HD Notebook

Expo buildings right on schedule

Tue, 08/19/2014

The New Holland Pavilions at the Alliant Energy Center are on track to be ready for the start of World Dairy Expo.

New Holland Pavilion

by Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

There are just six more weeks until the start of World Dairy Expo, and many eyes are curiously watching the progress of the new pavilions at the Alliant Energy Center.

At a media event this week, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced that the New Holland Pavilions building project is on time. “Things are going good, even better than expected,” he shared. Read more

Red and White celebrates 50th anniversary

Mon, 08/18/2014

Subtitle: New Joint venture has Holstein Association USA handling registrations and classification for RWDCA.

by Corey Geiger, Hoard’s Dairyman Managing Editor

Fifty years after its formation, the Red and White Dairy Cattle Association (RWDCA) returned to its roots by hosting its 2014 national convention in Elkhorn, Wis. It was that southeast Wisconsin location that served as home of the breed’s national show and sale in the early decades of its existence.

To honor this historic occasion, Ron Eustice was commissioned to write a book chronicling the breed’s history. Originally pegged to be 50 pages, the finished product is an impressive, 80-page hardcover book that was released at the Elkhorn convention. Each paid RWDCA member receives a copy, while additional books are available for $20. Read more

Is extra margin protection worth it?

Fri, 08/15/2014

The size of your herd has a lot to do with the answer.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

margin table

Sometime in the next two weeks or so – the deadline is September 1 – the U.S. Department of Agriculture will issue final details about how the 2014 Farm Bill’s voluntary Dairy Margin Protection Program (DMPP) will work.

At that point every dairy producer in the country will have two big decisions to make in as little as 30 days: Should I sign up? And should I buy extra coverage above the $4 per hundredweight level that goes with signing up?

In my opinion the answer to the first question is easy: Yes. Signup cost is just $100 per year and it guarantees producers will receive at least $4 per hundredweight from all sources above a USDA-computed feed ration index price if there is a catastrophic milk price decline or catastrophic feed price spike. Read more

The human element

Thu, 08/14/2014

Activity monitors have become almost commonplace on dairies, aiding in heat detection but not always improving pregnancy rate.

by Maggie Seiler, Editorial Intern
Since the early 2000s, automated heat detection has played an important role in reducing breeding and associated labor costs by eliminating the need for reproductive synchronization protocols. Farmers revealed they were happy with the systems, giving them a 94 percent satisfaction rating, reported by a survey of 219 German dairies that implemented automated detection methods. Read more

Adopt genetic strategies now for future benefits

Wed, 08/13/2014

We’re just beginning to unlock the genome’s secrets

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

August webinar slide
“Do not compare proven sires PTAs to genomic PTAs. Only compare them within their contemporaries for rankings,” cautioned Chad Dechow when presenting “The new world of genetics” during the monthly Hoard’s Dairyman webinar. He covered genomics and crossbreeding in his hour-long presentation.

Genomics Read more

One cow stands out above the rest

Tue, 08/12/2014

The world’s largest cow sculpture calls New Salem, North Dakota home.

Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Salem Sue frontOf North Dakota’s 18,000 dairy cows, one stands head and shoulders above the rest. That’s because she is 38 feet tall, 50 feet long and weighs in at 12,000 pounds. Her name is Salem Sue, and she has the distinction of being the world’s largest cow. Read more

A tracked number grows

Mon, 08/11/2014

Knowing your numbers makes farming easier


by Ali Enerson, Hoard’s Dairyman Special Publications Editor

How do you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you are? Tracking various aspects of your dairy business is one of the biggest contributors to your financial success.

The reasons to keep records are to provide clarity, measure progress and plan for the future. The three overarching categories to maintain records of are inventory, finances and production records. You don’t need an accounting degree to keep track of what you own, how much you spend or get paid, and what your cows and crops produce each year. Whether it’s a notebook and pencil, computer spreadsheet or more advanced software program, as long as you’re tracking your business you’ll see the benefits and have clarity.

Let’s start with two small steps toward record keeping and tracking: Read more

China’s dairy demand is a growing beast

Fri, 08/08/2014

Can the United States and other countries meet their needs?

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

glass of milkA staggering picture of just how big China’s demand for dairy products already is – and how much bigger it is expected to be in less than a decade – is painted by two recently released forecasts about global dairy demand.

Even though dairy foods are not part of traditional Chinese diets and per-person consumption is tiny by U.S. standards, China is already the world’s number one dairy products importer, accounting for about one-sixth of everything that is sold.

But recent studies by the International Farm Comparison Network (IFCN) in Germany and the Canadean Group in England say China’s dairy demand is going to get much, much bigger. Read more

Calf care pays off long term

Thu, 08/07/2014

For one Pennsylvania producer, the dollars spent on heifers are returned after calving.

Bollinger Farm

By Maggie Seiler, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

A common strategy for spending available dollars on the farm is investing it close to the milk parlor. Areas that tend to get the most attention are the ones that directly affect milk production such as nutrition and cow comfort. In many cases, this short changes other areas of the farm which must modify and adapt as resources permit. This has led to a variety of models for calf and heifer care across the nation, but producers who invest in their calves are reap the benefits. Read more

“My American Farm” is fun learning

Wed, 08/06/2014

Educational games share agriculture’s story.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager


“Corn is grown in every state and on six continents.” That is just one of the agriculture facts state fair attendees could learn in the American Farm Bureau’s booth in the Discovery Barnyard. At the Wisconsin State Fair, I volunteered for a four-hour stint and oversaw the four tablets that allowed fair attendees to learn about agriculture with "My American Farm." I was very impressed with how engaged the youth (and their parents) were. One young girl, after answering a few of the counting exercises correctly, turned to her mom who had been helping her and with newly found confidence said, “Mom, I got this!” noting that she did not need any assistance and wanted to do it herself. Read more

Syndicate content