HD Notebook

A no-brainer dairy investment

Fri, 04/04/2014

Dry pen and hospital pen cooling pay benefits forever.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Record milk prices give milk producers a financial opportunity that is simply too good to ignore – dry pen and hospital pen cooling.

They’re no-brainer investments whose benefits touch every area of the dairy, from the calving pen to the milking parlor to the calf area to the culling list. In those areas and others, they pay for themselves over and over forever.

Geoffrey DahlResearch evidence to back up this statement is beyond compelling, as Geoffrey Dahl (pictured), chairman of the department of animal sciences at the University of Florida, explained at five stops in the just-concluded Dairy Heat Stress Road Show. Seminar stops were made in Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. Read more

Fine-tune your fresh cow checklist

Thu, 04/03/2014

Rumen fill must be prioritized when observing cows in lock-up.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

If you were raised on a tie stall dairy, you quickly learned that a cow’s appetite dropped well before her milk yield showed signs of slowing. As our industry has transitioned from this one-on-one setup, our focus, too, has shifted toward milk yield deviations to alert us to potential problems. “We need to find sick cows before milk yield drops. If we wait for this trigger, we are two to three days behind the illness curve,” Gary Oetzel, UW-Madison, noted at the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin’s annual meeting in early March. Read more

Food security is a global issue

Wed, 04/02/2014

Will there be enough is the question

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

The Enough MovementI recently read a report on “The Enough Movement” and thought I would share its findings. It addresses world hunger and looks at not only food quantity, but quality. Read more

Focus more on the postfresh diet

Tue, 04/01/2014

Make every mouthful count when feeding postpartum cows to fill their energy and protein needs.

postfresh cows

by Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Transition cow diets have been the focus of considerable research the last few decades. However, 90 percent of that research has been done on dry cow or prefresh rations, says Ric Grummer, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor emeritus and current ruminant technical director at Balchem.

“Maybe we have missed the boat by not putting the emphasis on the postfresh cow,” Grummer noted in his presentation at the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin’s Transition Cow Workshop last week. “In reality, it is easy to meet the energy requirement of a dry cow,” he said. Read more

There’s more to breeding Red and Whites than we thought

Mon, 03/31/2014

In addition to the traditional red carrier gene, Black-Red, wild type and dominant red have all entered the equation.

by Corey A. Geiger, Hoard’s Dairyman Managing Editor

Red and White cow
Most of us grew up being taught that there was one gene and two alleles involved in the coat color of our Holsteins . . . with the black allele being dominant over the recessive red allele. To determine the odds of getting a Red and White Holstein (two recessive red alleles coming together), we would use a tool called a Punnett Square and follow the Mendelian inheritance of those alleles. Those were simpler times. Today’s students, both young and old, have a bit more of a challenge than we did to understand the genetics of coat color in today’s Holsteins.

Let’s review the traditional breeding of Red and Whites involving simple recessives: Read more

Mastitis treatment decisions aren’t so easy anymore

Fri, 03/28/2014

Social expectations and new research make selective versus blanket therapy a difficult choice.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

To treat or not to treat is a question whose answer once seemed obvious: treat every clinical mastitis case found, and treat every cow at dry-off. But things have changed.

Public perception is intensifying that antibiotics are evil and less is better, regardless of rigid safety protocols that are in place and animal health and comfort considerations. High cull cow values have also become a significant new component in the decision process. Read more

All aboard “The Great American Milk Drive”

Thu, 03/27/2014

Feeding America has partnered with the dairy industry to get milk in the hands of those who need it most.

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

gallon of milkWe don’t have to look to a third-world country to find a hungry population. Hunger is here in our own backyards. With 49 million hungry people in the U.S., it is likely you are touched by food insecurity at some point during your day.

Nationwide, organizations dedicated to feeding the hungry are struggling to provide enough to eat for those who rely on them. And milk is one of their most limited, and most often requested, resources. Read more

What’s next in university research?

Wed, 03/26/2014

Three researchers share insight on how science and communications must be interwoven.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

“Beef is in the global marketplace,” reminded University of Wisconsin-Madison Animal Sciences Department Chairman Dan Schaefer.

Badger NAMA panelDepending whether it is beef, pork or poultry, about 10 to 25 percent is exported. We need to be aware of what the global consumer demands of our products. What they are hearing and believing about the safety of the U.S. food supply? These are all issues U.S. food producers need to be thinking about, he reminded those attending a panel hosted by Badger NAMA (National Agri-Marketing Association). Gary Radloff, Dominique Brossard and Dan Schaefer field questions from panel moderator Jenny Martin. Read more

Exports can’t be an afterthought

Tue, 03/25/2014

With 15.5 percent of all dairy products being shipped overseas last year, the dairy export market is one that deserves attention.

by Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

More than 15 percent of U.S. milk was exported in 2013. That equates to one out of every seven U.S. tanker loads of milk being turned into products destined for overseas.

U.S dairy exports last year topped a record-breaking 3.91 billion pounds, with a value of $6.8 million. The dollars that exports bring into the dairy industry are not to be ignored.

2013 Annual Export Trade Data
Total value of U.S. dairy exports $6.7 billion
Total lbs. U.S. milk solids exported 3.91 billion
Percent U.S. milk production exported

Spring reminds us to think runoff control

Mon, 03/24/2014

Small improvements each year make runoff control less burdensome.

water runoff

by Ali Enerson, Hoard’s Dairyman Special Publications Editor

With spring approaching, runoff concerns come to mind for many dairy farmers around the country. Managing or redirecting the water that could run to or through manure storage facilities and confined animal feeding areas provides many benefits. Not only is runoff management a responsible choice to lessen environmental impact, it reduces manure storage needs, reduces the cost of manure handling and application, and improves animal health. Read more

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