HD Notebook

Mismatched equipment creates bottlenecks

Thu, 04/02/2015

When output doesn’t match between machines, hay harvest efficiency goes down the tubes.

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Financially speaking, last year was one of the dairy industry’s best. While most equipment purchases were made this past fall, some last-minute changes to the fleet may be in order before haying gets under way. Read more

Which replacements to keep?

Wed, 04/01/2015

Genomics is taking away some of the guesswork.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Some read the milk meter. Others admire cow families. A few “just know” that a heifer or cow will be great.

With dairy cattle, producers use various information sources to determine the caliber of the animals in their herd: pedigree, performance and progeny. Holstein, Jersey, Brown Swiss and Ayrshire breeders have a fourth source, genomics. Read more

Milk culturing can be a win-win

Tue, 03/31/2015

On-farm milk culturing can lead to better mastitis treatment decisions that benefit you, the cow and our industry.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

milk culturingWhen it comes to mastitis, is there a way to reduce antibiotic use and, in turn, lower treatment costs, minimize days of discarded milk, reduce the risk of residue violations and make better treatment decisions to improve outcomes?

Indeed, there is: milk culturing. Read more

The next generation

Mon, 03/30/2015

Having those hard talks are worth the effort when it comes to farm transition planning.

by Maggie Seiler, 2014 Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

California drought looks worse than ever

Fri, 03/27/2015

Spring has barely begun, yet things already look grim.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

cows at water troughBad turned to worse for California’s drought situation in 2014, which is why, on the first day of spring this year, California’s 2015 water situation already looked terrible.

Signs of a fourth straight year of drought — which broke historic records a year ago — were unmistakable in the San Joaquin Valley and Sierra Nevada mountains last week.

Winter precipitation was once again far short of normal. Snowpacks are once again abysmal. Reservoir levels are still too low. Some farmers are making more money by selling the water they are entitled to than they could if they used it to grow crops. Read more

Bedding choice drives pathogen load

Thu, 03/26/2015

A breeding ground for bacteria, bedding is a significant source of mastitis pathogens in a confinement system.

cows lying down

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

The climatic conditions encountered in many regions of the country necessitate cattle housing. Such strategies must therefore account for a means to reduce the mammary gland’s exposure to environmental pathogens and minimize bacterial growth in cows’ surroundings.

“Populations of bacteria in bedding are related to the number of bacteria on teat ends and rates of clinical mastitis,” says Joe Hogan with The Ohio State University. Therefore, reducing the number of bacteria in bedding generally results in a reduction in environmental mastitis. Read more

Nature and nurture

Wed, 03/25/2015

What accounts for the size differences between calves in the showring?

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager
brushing a heifer at the fair

There are two factors that contribute to an animal’s appearance – genetics and the care it receives. Read more

Tools that enhance our cow sense

Tue, 03/24/2015

The list of precision dairy farming technologies continues to grow and tell us more about our cows.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

cow monitorPeople with good cow sense are irreplaceable, but there are exciting new tools that can help producers make more timely and informed decisions. Read more

Tales from the crypto

Mon, 03/23/2015

My bout with an intestinal infection hardened my stance on raw milk.


by Brittany Statz, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

I spent most of my Christmas break helping my boyfriend on his 40-cow dairy in northwestern Wisconsin. The first couple of weeks of 2015 saw a bumper crop of calves hitting the ground: 11 calves out of nine cows, in fact . . . and eight of those calves were heifers. When I wasn’t sitting up until nearly midnight getting newborns to drink or holding down the fort while Sam made many mad dashes up the silo in the bitter cold to keep silo unloaders running, I was helping care for and feed the baby bovines. Read more

Please take this dairy safety survey

Fri, 03/20/2015

University coordinators hope results will lead to a free safety program for producers.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

HICAHSWith dairy farm safety, there is always room for improvement. Read more

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