HD Notebook

World's first robotic rotary parlor announced

Fri, 11/19/2010

Once upon a time, all cows were milked by hand and the job got done just fine. Then one day technology brought a new tool for dairy producers to consider: milking machines. The evolution of technology never stops, so in 1992 another option arrived to consider: individual robotic milking stalls. Read more

Should we buy more cows for the Hoard farm?

Thu, 11/18/2010

There is always something going on at the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm. This week, one of the irons in the fire has been looking at the impact of buying 35 Jersey cows.

Here’s how we approached the issue: First, our Jerseys are eating 40 pounds of dry matter, which we value at 9.6 cents per pound or $3.84 per cow per day. For the group, feed cost would be $134.40 per day. Read more

Something consumers have to be thankful for: low-cost dinner

Wed, 11/17/2010

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just a week away? I almost did until of course, I spent a good hour of my evening going back and forth with family about what time the big "to-do" should be. One of my favorite parts of this all-American holiday is helping plan the menu. Of course, it will include the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. Read more

The best man for the job

Tue, 11/16/2010

This title is an often-heard phase. It tells us to select the best person to accomplish a given task. It makes sense. If you are good with numbers, work with finance. Good with your hands, choose tasks where your fingers do the work. Do you need to share with consumers how your farming operation works? The best option might be a woman! Read more

Set higher goals when breeding Holsteins

Mon, 11/15/2010

Holstein breeders need to set higher goals when it comes to reproduction, said Neil Michael, D.V.M., with Vita Plus when speaking to those attending the fifth annual Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council meeting in St. Paul, Minn., on November 11 and 12. Read more

Dairy is Arizona’s first to go solar-powered

Fri, 11/12/2010

According to the National Weather Service, Arizona is the sunniest state in the country (followed in order by California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas). That makes it the perfect place for solar electricity production; yet it is only now that a dairy there has begun harnessing the power of the sun. Read more

Most signs point to tougher times ahead

Thu, 11/11/2010

Margins are going to be squeezed for those of us in the dairy business. The cheese and butter prices that drive our milk prices are on the way down, and corn prices are on the way up. Butter prices dropped from nearly $2.20 per pound in early October to just $2 on Monday. Also, earlier this week, the Cheddar block price was down to $1.40 a pound after being as high as $1.77 in mid-October. Read more

Give yourself a grade in air quality

Wed, 11/10/2010

All the hype surrounding methane emissions, greenhouse gases, and odors have left most of our brains spinning. It isn't uncommon for us to think, "Ok, so what am I supposed to do?" In addition, regulations on volatile organic compounds, methane, and ammonia are not being imposed in all areas of the country or on all farms. Read more

National 4-H Dairy Bowl Winners from Ohio

Tue, 11/09/2010

The North American 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl contest was held on Saturday, November 6th in Louisville, Ky. Twenty teams competed in the national double-elimination contest which celebrated its 31st year. High school and college aged youth (still 4-H members) compete by answering questions on all things dairy, including reproduction, genetics, feeding, dairy products and animal health. Read more

Alicia takes Grand for the third time

Mon, 11/08/2010

Even though it was the smallest cow class of the day, Judge Hank Van Exel and Associate Judge Tom McCauley spent more time deliberating the top end of the extremely competitive Jersey 5-year-old class than any other. Moving back and forth looking at entries 717 and 719 and taking a hard look at 728. At the first pull, Van Exel choose 719, Frederick 2783 Adventure to lead out the class. Read more

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