HD Notebook

Little room for gray area with antibiotics

Wed, 09/16/2015

Webinar stresses the importance of diligent administration protocols.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Ruegg Webinar“People are not perfect,” stated Pam Ruegg, D.V.M., with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For that reason, every attempt should be made to properly record treatments, double check animal IDs, communicate with team members, including training and administration protocols – especially with milking cows. Ruegg brought real-life, on-farm antibiotic use scenarios to the Hoard’s Dairyman webinar. Read more

Clean as a whistle

Tue, 09/15/2015

Sanitary feeding equipment is a vital part of the calf health equation, especially early in life.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

cleanThe equipment used to feed calves on your farm may look clean, but is it really? Oftentimes, there’s more trouble lurking than the eyes can see.

“Many farms place a low importance on proper cleaning,” noted Sarah Mills-Lloyd, D.V.M., an agriculture agent with University of Wisconsin-Extension. During her presentation at UW-Extension’s Calf Management Seminar, she explained that farms often rush through cleaning because they don’t have the time or see its value. Read more

My weekend in a tie stall barn

Mon, 09/14/2015

Over Labor Day weekend, I checked milking in a tie stall barn off my bucket list.

By Maggie Seiler, Special Publications Editor

tie stall barn

Hoard’s Dairyman editors stay close to the business of dairying through involvement on their home farms and the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm. The editors also travel on a regular basis encountering many other dairy operations across the country throughout the year. As a new member to the team, I am still working on growing my knowledge of the national dairy industry, and last weekend I had the opportunity to fill in what I consider a huge gap in my dairy industry education. Read more

Oh how milk production costs have changed!

Fri, 09/11/2015

Average cost is approximately one-third higher than it was in 2006.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

The cost of making milk never seems to go down, a hard reality that data from the nation’s largest dairy accounting firm drives home clearly.

And from 2006 to 2014 that cost changed a LOT, as seen in the accompanying table.

Annual income and cost summaries generated by Genske, Mulder & Company almost entirely represent very large dairies (average client milking herd size in 2014 was 2,055 cows) that are located in the western half of the U.S., but we doubt any larger such database exists.

Comparing items in the simple average cost summaries for 2006 and 2014 is sometimes startling. Read more

Take your parlor to the next level

Thu, 09/10/2015

Performance evaluations identify the milking routine bottlenecks that are holding your herd back.

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

milking parlorFarms operate on pennies and seconds. The pennies saved per head after a ration reformulation can equate to thousands of dollars over the course of a year. When seconds are cut from each turn of the parlor, more cows can be milked

At the National Mastitis Council’s Regional Meeting, Rick Watters, Cornell University, encouraged producers to develop a thought process that challenges their current parlor efficiency standards.

“Milking center performance focuses around cows, people and equipment. Developing synergies between these three is key to improving performance,” noted Watters, who works with the university’s milk quality group. Read more

Ag jobs are out there

Wed, 09/09/2015

Nearly 60,000 openings each year for new graduates, but do students have the right skills?

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

employment opportunities“Not only will those who study agriculture be likely to get well-paying jobs upon graduation, they will also have the satisfaction of working in a field that addresses some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” stated USDA Secretary Vilsack.

The United States Department of Agriculture and Purdue University released a report on job availability for new college graduates, “Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Agriculture, Renewable Natural Resources, and the Environment, United States, 2015–2020”. The shortfall in people to fill those jobs should make students look twice at agriculture. There are nearly twice as many openings as graduates to fill them. Read more

The hidden costs of raising cattle

Tue, 09/08/2015

Feed makes up the bulk of cattle rearing costs, but other expenses chip away at profits, too.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Today’s high price for beef may entice more dairy producers to raise some steers as a second enterprise. Mixed with the more cost-friendly price of grain right now, feeding out steers may seem like a very viable option. Before taking the plunge, though, one must first consider all the costs associated with raising cattle.

Whether you are raising dairy or beef cattle, feed is the single largest expense. But, other expenditures can eat away at profitability, too. Don’t forget the little expenses that can add up big over time. Read more

A voice of sanity amid GMO hysteria

Fri, 09/04/2015

Article in Washington Post is a huge and high profile challenge to common perceptions.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

screaming womanWe in agriculture are often angered by articles about food or farming in publications with huge readerships that tend to be clueless about both.

That is why I urge everyone to read a recent interview article about GMOs that appeared in, of all places, the Washington Post. Read more

Cooling cows from below

Thu, 09/03/2015

Circulating chilled water through a waterbed may be another avenue to alleviate heat stress.

cows lying down

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

As the latter half of the year looms, our thoughts have started to turn toward harvest and our winter checklists. While temperatures have begun to moderate from their summertime highs, our cows may still be feeling the early September heat.

When it comes to cooling, fans and misters or soakers have become the norm. Conductive cooling from below, though, could serve as a future heat stress solution. Read more

“Ag safety is not just a slogan, it’s a lifestyle”

Wed, 09/02/2015

Autumn is the perfect time to promote farm health and safety.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

National Farm Safety & Health Week, September 20 to 26, is the perfect time to reiterate why safety matters. Whether it’s your first or 51st harvest, we all need reminders about the dangers that can present themselves as a result of heightened machinery use and transportation. The event is hosted by the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) at Northeast Iowa Community College.

Ag Safety logo
Read more

Syndicate content