HD Notebook

The slow demise of grocery stores

Date: 
Fri, 11/06/2015

Where people shop for food is constantly moving away from traditional outlets.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Mike Beal, Balls Food StoresMore and more these days, taking a quick trip down to the grocery store doesn’t involve a grocery store at all. Instead, a likely destination is a convenience store, dollar store, supercenter, small specialty store, or farmers' market.

It is a trend that food retailers struggle to keep up with and hopefully answer the question, “what’s next?” explained Mike Beal (pictured), Chief Operating Officer of Balls Food Stores in Kansas City, at last week’s National Agricultural Bankers Conference. Read more

Rumination is a window to cow health

Date: 
Thu, 11/05/2015

A deep dip in rumination during the week prior to calving could hint that a cow is on track to develop a health disorder.

cow with calf

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

While it’s strongly driven by a cow’s diet, rumination time is influenced by much more than the amount and quality of fiber in the bunk. Several recent studies have shown that monitoring cow’s rumination activity before and after calving can be quite useful as a means to identify animals that are at an elevated risk of developing an early lactation disease. Read more

The cleanest manure around

Date: 
Wed, 11/04/2015

One Wisconsin county is looking to take advantage of new manure treatment technology to turn manure into usable water.

cows drinking water

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Manure may be animal waste, but a complete waste it is not. The nutrients in manure make it a valuable fertilizer, and on some farms, manure solids are recycled into a comfortable bedding material.

Did you know that manure can also be converted into water? Clean, reusable water? It sure can be, and Dane County in southern Wisconsin is hoping to make use of some fairly new technology to do that. Read more

Kentucky FFA wins National FFA dairy judging contest, again

Date: 
Tue, 11/03/2015

Three years running and six wins in 11 years.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Kentucky’s Spencer County FFA
Coach Baird, Tanner Goodlett, Marissa Allen, Jacob Whitely and Ryan Linton

Winning the 2015 National FFA Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management Career Development Event (CDE) was Kentucky’s Spencer County FFA. Team members were Tanner Goodlett, Ryan Linton, Marissa Allen and Jacob Whitely. You could say consistency won it for them, as team members individually placed fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh. Their individual scores were separated by a mere nine points. All four team members’ scores counted in the final tally and topped the next team by 42 points. Read more

Killer Forages

Date: 
Mon, 11/02/2015

Prussic acid and nitrate poisoning should be a concern as first frosts arrive.

forage

By Maggie Seiler, Special Publications Editor

As autumn progresses, it is accompanied by cool weather, better milk production and easier reproduction for dairy herds. However, among all the benefits of the season, producers must be mindful of the dangers of feeding forages after a frost. Sudangrass, johnsongrass, sorghum-sudan hybrids, forage sorghum and grain sorghum can all fall suspect to prussic acid or nitrate poisoning. Read more

Best blogs of 2015: The end of tail docking is getting closer

Date: 
Fri, 10/30/2015

FARM program has moved up its deadline to stop the practice by 2017.

cows

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Time is running out faster than ever on the routine tail docking of dairy cows — and it can’t end soon enough.

The biggest step taken so far to end the controversial practice occurred on Monday this week, when the board of directors of National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) voted at their annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., to drastically shorten the deadline for dairies in the national Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) animal care program to stop routine tail docking.

The old deadline was January 1, 2022. The new deadline is January 1, 2017.

According to the FARM website, more than 90 percent of the current U.S. milk supply is produced by dairies that participate in the FARM program. Read more

Capitalize on sprinklers’ water use sweet spot

Date: 
Thu, 10/29/2015

Now is the time to conduct a postmortem on your heat stress mitigation plan and evaluate potential modifications.

dairy barn sprinkler

by Amanda Smith, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

With full bunkers and only a few remaining harvest tasks to check off the list, the warmth of summer may be the last thing on your mind. Or, maybe you’re already dreaming of the warmer days we’ll see next year. Either way, your cows are certainly thankful that the heat has dissipated.

Cows begin to experience heat stress at a THI (temperature-humidity index) of 68. This value is reached when the temperature hits 80°F with little to no humidity or when it approaches 72°F at 45 percent humidity.

Fans or sprinklers over the feedbunk are commonly employed to get cows over the heat stress hump. And few states know heat stress like California. Read more

National-winning dairy bowl coach shares insight

Date: 
Wed, 10/28/2015

Illinois coach builds a “family” of team members

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Whether you are a seasoned coach or someone looking to start a quiz bowl team, there are nuggets of wisdom in Becky’s words — maybe something you can put into use in your home area.

After both Illinois dairy bowl teams emerged as national champions at the 2015 Holstein convention, I spoke to Becky Meier, one of three coaches for Illinois. She shared how Illinois prepares for competition, how they build a team and how they practice — even with geographic challenges. Her willingness to help other volunteers with her experiences is one of the reasons that I think she is successful. She wants a positive experience for everyone and shares that passion. Read more

Let’s get certified!

Date: 
Tue, 10/27/2015

Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training is one way for cattleman to show consumers how much they care about animals and the food they produce.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Daniel Thompson
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to become Beef Quality Assurance certified. My training session was taught by Kansas State University’s Daniel Thompson, D.V.M. Thompson was the recipient of the Beef Checkoff’s 2015 BQA Educator of the Year award.

Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) is a national program that raises consumer confidence by offering training in proper management techniques and a commitment to quality within every segment of the beef industry. Certification can take place in a classroom setting or online. Read more

Bedding for success

Date: 
Mon, 10/26/2015

Choosing the correct bedding material for your farm’s system is an integral part of managing milk quality and production.

sand bedded stalls

By Maggie Seiler, Special Publications Editor

Selecting the ideal bedding for a farm can be a difficult and intensive project. Producers must consider milk quality and production goals, facility abilities and economics. No magic bedding has been identified that excels in all situations. That being said, inorganic bedding, such as sand, has been touted as a good option for achieving high production and low bulk tank somatic cell counts. On the flip side, it is notoriously hard on equipment. However, recent research in Wisconsin shows that more and more herds, especially large ones, are choosing inorganic options. Read more

Syndicate content