HD Notebook

Secure your farm to protect your reputation

Thu, 10/08/2015

by Hannah Thompson

Having grown up working in the dairy industry, I know firsthand how hard dairy farm families work to make cow comfort and safety a top priority. Unfortunately, animal rights groups, with the ultimate goal of ending the consumption of milk, meat and eggs, make their top priority misleading consumers about how dairy cows are cared for on farms.

One method of accomplishing this is sending “undercover” activists to gain employment on farms. These individuals — who are also being paid by animal rights activist organizations in addition to collecting a paycheck from the farm — have the sole mission of capturing footage or images that activist organizations can use to depict the industry in a poor light.

Let me be clear — no one in animal agriculture condones any sort of animal abuse. If animal mistreatment is occurring, it needs to be reported and dealt with swiftly. Read more

Why do other states care about a California FMMO?

Wed, 10/07/2015

Because it would probably hurt producer prices just about everywhere else.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

All-Milk price changes under cooperative proposal

One of the interesting aspects of USDA’s public hearing that is underway in Clovis, Calif., to gather testimony on establishing a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) in California, was participation by producer groups on the opposite side of the country.

However, it comes as no surprise after seeing the department’s 46-page analysis of projected economic impacts that a California FMMO would have on the country’s current FMMOs. That analysis can be downloaded here. Read more

Robot cows are on the move

Tue, 10/06/2015

The success of a robotic milking system depends on four good feet to get each cow to the robot with ease.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Jack Rodenburg“Healthy feet are absolutely critical for success in robot barns,” said Jack Rodenburg from DairyLogix Consulting in Ontario, Canada. During his educational seminar at World Dairy Expo, he pointed to research that showed a drop in robot visits and a rise in the number of fetch cows when lameness was prevalent in a herd.

“Fetching cows” is a new labor demand for producers milking with robots. Fetch cows are cows that don’t visit the robot for milking voluntarily. The number of fetch cows typically runs between 2 to 10 percent on robot farms, noted Rodenburg.

This number can escalate when the incidence of lameness rises. Thus, timely and effective treatment of lame cows is a necessity in robot herds. Read more

Get your piece of Expo History

Mon, 10/05/2015

We Need a Show is now available for purchase from the Hoard’s Dairyman bookstore.

By Maggie Seiler, Special Publications Editor

We Need a ShowBooths are deconstructed, cows are headed home, and the 49th edition of World Dairy Expo is wrapped up. If you had the opportunity to be on the grounds this year, you might have heard the buzz surrounding We Need a Show, the book commemorating the 50th anniversary of World Dairy Expo.

The book outlines the first 50 years of the show from its humble beginnings as the brainchild of a single passionate Wisconsin dairy farmer to the place where the dairy industry meets today. Along the way, the show saw many great successes on the colored shavings and in the aisles of the trade show. Most importantly, the last 49 years witnessed the coming together of many great people. Read more

Fun in the summer sun

Fri, 09/25/2015

Cows in Wisconsin had a lot, cows in California did not.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Wisconsin passes CaliforniaTwo very different songs sum up what milk production per cow was like in the nation’s two biggest dairy states this summer.

In Wisconsin it was “Hot Fun in the Summertime.” In California it was “Summertime Blues.”

According to USDA-NASS “Milk Production” reports, average milk production per cow in both July and August were higher in Wisconsin (1,960 and 1,940 pounds, respectively) than in California (1,919 and 1,875 pounds). Bravo Badger State!

It was news that some Wisconsin news outlets pumped up the volume for, but put out static when trying to say what it meant. And they put it into no context whatsoever. Read more

Feed’s too valuable to waste

Thu, 09/24/2015

Leachate and runoff can drain nutrients from your bunk while hampering water quality.

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

bunkerWhen it comes to feed, shrink – or nutrients that are lost before they have a chance to be consumed – can have a substantial impact on a dairy’s bottom line. Any number of factors, from operator error to natural causes, can be to blame.

Nutrients can also flow away from feed storage areas with or without the aid of precipitation. When the crop is harvested at a high moisture level, silage leachate can flow from the silage pile without a precipitation event. Meanwhile, runoff – the more common way that nutrients leave the feed storage area – generally coincides with a rain or snowmelt event. Read more

The reproductive program at Hoard’s Dairyman Farm is top-notch

Wed, 09/23/2015

Aggressive management yields impressive statistics

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Hoard's Dairyman FarmThe Hoard’s Dairyman Farm has been in existence since 1899. Numerous advancements have been made in technology and management since those early days. The changes in the farm can be seen in the photos that line the walls of the farm office.

On occasion, we receive requests to tour the farm, primarily from readers who have the enjoyed the publication over the years and want to see the iconic dairy once owned by Wisconsin’s 16th governor, W.D. Hoard. Read more

Spend your summer with Hoard’s!

Tue, 09/22/2015

Students interested in dairy and journalism are encouraged to apply for the 2016 Hoard’s Dairyman editorial internship.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

2015 Editorial team

College students often find themselves faced with the question, “What do you plan to do after graduation?” Some students know exactly what they want to do after college; for others, the idea of finishing school and entering the workforce may be met with more uncertainty.

Whether you’re still trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up, or you’ve had your career path cemented since Kindergarten, internships are a great way to “try on” a job to see how it fits with your talents and interests. Internships are also a valuable opportunity to gain work skills, learn what areas you still need to grow in, and make connections within the industry you hope to work in after graduation. Read more

Cow personality tests

Mon, 09/21/2015

Researchers are delving into animal personalities and the effects they have on production.

By Maggie Seiler, Special Publications Editor

HolsteinThey have personalities. For anyone who has managed cattle or spent much time around them at all, it is pretty easy to confirm bovines exhibit behavioral traits that vary from animal to animal. Their own little ticks if you will. In recent years, researchers throughout the world have begun to quantify correlations between these traits, cows’ personalities and animal productivity.

One such research project in Sweden recently identified correlations between low milk production and certain cow behaviors such as stepping (shifting weight from one leg to the other) during milking and facing the herd while in social isolation. These animals produced less milk than their herdmates and were categorized as showing more nervousness. Read more

As harvest winds down, so does crop size

Fri, 09/18/2015

USDA slightly cuts its average bushels per acre forecast.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

corn harvest

Across the U.S., cornfields are clearing out and silage bunkers are filling fast. And as they do, USDA has slightly changed its mind about just how full it thinks they will be.

In September’s “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” the department shaved its forecast about national average corn yield per acre by 1.3 bushels from the August estimate of 168.8 bushels. Its initial forecast back in May was 166.8 bushels.

In the context of what is still likely be the third biggest corn crop in history, the change doesn’t amount to a whole lot – 101 million bushels. That nudges total expected crop size down to 13.6 billion bushels. Read more

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