HD Notebook

Don’t forget to develop the rumen

Mon, 09/15/2014

Calves need a steady supply of calf grain or starter to mature the rumen and prevent growth losses.

by Maggie Seiler, 2014 Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

Not long ago, calf care was a bit of an afterthought, and many young animals received a standard serving of milk that was adequate for survival and some growth. In the last several years, developments in calf rearing have allowed producers to take advantage of the high potential for growth during this period by feeding higher quality milk or milk replacer.

This movement toward accelerated calf growth has boosted weaning weights and reduced weaning ages, while automatic feeders and group housing management strategies have aided the process. However, high milk consumption does not equate to rapid rumen development. Read more

Feed price outlook for rest of decade: Low

Fri, 09/12/2014

Forecast paints a nice financial picture for anyone with livestock to feed.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Low prices for corn and other feed grains are expected to last for the rest of the decade, according to a recent forecast by a leading agricultural research group.

The dramatically lower prices being driven by this year’s record crop harvests are not expected to continue, of course, but those in following years should still be very low in comparison to what was seen in 2008 and again from 2010 to 2013, according to the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri.

December corn ($3.41), November soybeans ($9.88) and December wheat ($5.17) all traded at 52-week lows yesterday morning at the Chicago Board of Trade. In 2012, by comparison, corn touched $8, soybeans approached $18 and wheat flirted with $9. Read more

Our spin on “Designer Dairy”

Thu, 09/11/2014

From concept to cover: how we created this year’s gatefold

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

On the Saturday of World Dairy Expo, the theme for the following year’s event is announced. As 2013’s “Center of the Dairy Universe” drew to a close, the artwork for “Designer Dairy” was unveiled. From that time, our staff has 10 months to come up with our interpretation on the latest theme. The design or image that is crafted then graces the cover of our September 10 World Dairy Expo Supplement.

Found in the center of your September 10 issue, this year’s gatefold cover was composed and photographed by our art director, Ryan Ebert. He estimates that between, sketching and brainstorming, dying and drying the shavings, the photo shoot and finalizing the design, 30-plus hours of work were wrapped up in this year’s cover. To see what went in to our cover creation process, Ebert put together the video below: Read more

Is getting cows pregnant getting harder?

Wed, 09/10/2014

It might seem like it, but tighter management and technology can help.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

September webinar slide Decades ago, cows gave far less milk and reproduction came easy. Today’s cows produce high volumes of milk, but are still expected to calve back consistently. There was a downward trend for fertility until 2001, when a focus on reproductive health reversed that trend. Matt Lucy, University of Missouri, discussed this during the September Hoard’s Dairyman webinar, “Getting them bred.” Read more

Milk price tops list of organic dairy concerns

Tue, 09/09/2014

A fair and steady milk price is on organic dairy producers’ wish lists.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Organic dairy product consumption continues to grow, but so does the price of organic cattle feed, cutting into margins for dairy producers. Thus, a new study has revealed that a fair and consistent milk price is the top concern for organic producers.

Researchers with the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station and the University of New Hampshire College of Life Sciences and Agriculture surveyed 183 organic dairy farmers in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont during the spring of 2011. The average Northeastern organic farm in the survey consisted of 57 milking cows and 309 acres. Three-quarters of the farms grew their own forage but purchased grains. On average, the farms were certified organic for 7.6 years. Read more

Once There Were No Cows

Mon, 09/08/2014

Bonnie Mohr’s inspirational book features 16 new paintings

By Ali Enerson, Hoard’s Dairyman Special Publications Editor

Once There Were No Cows coverThe farmer is an American icon to many, the foundation upon which our country was built. They are some of the most hardworking, committed, stubborn, yet optimistic entrepreneurs around. And, ultimately, farmers live life as a guardian to their land, animals and family. Bonnie Mohr’s new book is about the Creator finding an animal worthy of giving back to their guardian. Read more

U.S. exports are becoming a monster

Fri, 09/05/2014

We are well on track for a fifth record year in a row in 2014

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Because they started so modestly and have grown so quickly, it is easy to forget how important exports have become to the financial well being of the U.S. dairy industry.

And it is impossible to not be stunned by how big they have become.

Once again, U.S. dairy exports are well on their way to setting new all-time records for total milk volume and dollar value in 2014. Unless they fall off a cliff the next few months, it will be the fifth record year in a row.

But just how much do exports amount to and what does it mean to U.S. dairy producers?

It means that in the last 10 years (including just the first half of 2014), U.S. exports have totaled over 203 billion pounds on a milk solids equivalent basis. That is roughly all of what is expected to be produced in the U.S. this year. Read more

Transfer the farm to the next (nonfamily) generation

Thu, 09/04/2014

Partnering has benefits for both the entering and exiting generations.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

FarmerFew dairymen readily admit when the time has come to retire. After pouring decades of blood, sweat and capital into their business, hanging up the milkers is likely the most difficult decision they will be faced with during their career. For those without a successive generation, the decision to exit the industry can be even more daunting. Partnering with a beginning dairy farmer can ease this transition while keeping the dairy in working order. Read more

Milk ads for one and all

Tue, 09/02/2014

The California Milk Processor Board has revealed a new advertising campaign encouraging all parents, regardless of ethnicity, to buy milk for their children.

Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

A scene from the new cross-cultural milk advertisement.

In 1995, the California Milk Processor Board’s advertising agency, Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, created the iconic “Got Milk?” slogan that lead national dairy marketing efforts up until earlier this year. Branching off of that success, the board partnered with agency Grupo Gallegos in 2005 to create a Spanish version of the campaign, “Toma leche,” or “Drink milk.” Read more

Idaho dairying in another uproar

Fri, 08/29/2014

“Confidential” heading on letter is like blood to sharks.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Public perception about the dairy industry has sadly melted down in Idaho again, and along with it comes a reminder to producers everywhere that if a news story doesn’t “have blood,” the non-ag media is fully capable of making it look like there is.

Earlier this year was a blowup over Idaho passing a law that essentially says entering a private business just because you want to see what is going on, such as in the form of undercover videos, has nothing to do with the First Amendment (freedom of speech). Rather, it violates the constitutionally protected private property and privacy rights that every citizen is entitled to. Read more

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