HD Notebook

Corn silage deserves attention before harvest

Wed, 12/11/2013

Plan ahead to maximize your crop’s performance.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

December 2013 webinar cover slideJoe Lauer, University of Wisconsin, shared “Growing high yield and high quality corn silage in the northern Corn Belt” on the December 9 webinar, sponsored by Kuhn North America. There are different goals when producing corn silage. Some aim for high yields, while others choose quality over quantity. But, quality means different things to different growers and feeders, but the proof is ultimately seen in how the cow performs after consuming it. Read more

Students and farmers alike are excited about Fuel Up to Play 60

Tue, 12/10/2013

Fuel Up to Play 60

The NFL announced another 5-year commitment to the program that encourages healthy eating and physical activity in schools across the nation.

by Abby Bauer, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

You could feel the excitement the minute you entered the door at Pulaski International School in Chicago, Ill., yesterday. It was a special day for the students and staff, as they were hosting a Fuel Up to Play 60 event at their school.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program that was launched by the National Dairy Council (NDC) and National Football League (NFL), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Read more

Employee reviews have merit

Mon, 12/09/2013

Regular performance reviews can be a daunting task.


by Ali Enerson, Hoard’s Dairyman Special Publications Editor

Feedback. Our society craves it, depends on it and thrives on it. Why then, is it so hard for farmers to provide regular feedback to employees?

Knowing that your employees are the most important asset to your business is the best place to start. The time you take training employees and the knowledge each employee possesses is valuable to you and your business’ bottom line. You truly value it when there’s employee turnover, and you reteach a new employee. Read more

Profitability outlook for 2014 keeps getting better

Fri, 12/06/2013

The Class III futures average has jumped 58 cents in just a month.

cows eating

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

The early Christmas cheer that dairy producers received two days ago — November’s announced Class III price of $18.83 per hundredweight was 61 cents higher than in October — came with an outlook for 2014 that just keeps getting better.

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s close on Wednesday, the average of Class III futures prices for the first 11 months of 2014 (December trading hasn’t started yet) was $17.54. Almost as encouraging was the tremendous price stability that CME traders expect: no individual month was lower than $17.21.

That compares to a 10-month Class III futures average of $16.96 on November 1. Its price stability outlook was just as solid, but no individual month was higher than $17.31. Read more

Will India become a major dairy importer?

Thu, 12/05/2013

To avoid this, the nation must sustainably grow milk production at a price the consumer can afford.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

The European Union leads the ranks in world milk production. But, on an individual nation basis, India takes the cake. The U.S. pulls ahead when considering milk produced solely by dairy cattle, as India’s totals include buffalo milk.

Top 10 milk producing countries in 2012
Thousand tons*
1. European Union 156,400
2. India 133,700
3. United States 90,856
4. China 44,233
5. Pakistan 37,866
6. Brazil

Learn to express yourself and share your experiences

Wed, 12/04/2013

Interviewing tips for young dairy applicants.

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

It is the season when many breed associations have conventions and often youth awards are presented at these annual events. Some awards require interviews to select the top recipients. In preparation for these times, here are a few things to keep in mind.

An interview follows the printed application. The form should be an accurate reflection of the body of work the young person has accomplished, but the interview is a living and breathing application. It allows the judges to get to know the applicant better and ask further questions.
dairy youth
Before the interview

  1. Know the award details – requirements, history of the award (named for an individual), expectations of the winner (another level of competition).

The onset of lactation is a major calcium drain

Tue, 12/03/2013

Current research is taking a look at serotonin’s role in calcium uptake and its future potential in helping ward off milk fever.


by Abby Bauer, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

The start of lactation greatly raises the need for calcium in a dairy cow. On the day a cow freshens, she will produce 2-1/2 gallons or more of colostrum containing at least 23 grams of calcium. The continued loss of calcium through milk can exceed 50 grams per day in early lactation. This sudden shift challenges the cow’s ability to maintain blood calcium within an adequate range, potentially leading to the development of periparturient hypocalcemia, or milk fever. Read more

E.U. tops the U.S. in cheese consumption

Mon, 12/02/2013

Even though Europeans eat four more pounds of cheese than Americans each year, there is wide variation in individual consumption across the continent.

person eating cheese

by Corey Geiger, Hoard’s Dairyman Managing Editor

Americans have developed a tremendous taste for cheese over the past 30 years. In 1980, domestic cheese consumption stood at 17.5 pounds per person. Thanks in part to growing demand for Mozzarella via pizza sales, cheese consumption jumped to 25.9 pounds by 1992, 30.5 pounds in 2002, and 33.5 pounds last year which is a new watermark. Despite our nation’s growing appetite for cheese, we still don’t consume as much as those living in Europe. Read more

“Next year is going to be pretty good.”

Fri, 11/29/2013

How does $10 per hundredweight income over feed cost sound?

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Jerry DryerEven among other dairy market forecasters, predictions by marketing consultant Jerry Dryer are known for having a strong track record of accuracy. That’s why milk producers should find one of his recent public statements – the headline above – so encouraging.

It’s been a long and hard struggle to crawl out of the deep financial hole created by the dairy disaster of 2008-09. But dairy owners should make some serious progress in 2014, thanks to lower feed costs and higher income over feed cost margins that Dryer thinks will be around $10 per hundredweight all year. Read more

Thanks for the dairy opportunities

Tue, 11/26/2013

But, please don’t send me the bill!

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Girl with JerseyThis time of year, many reflect on what they are grateful for – family, friends and their health. Younger people often think of it as the Christmas warm-up event. For those youngsters in the dairy industry, it is the end of the show and judging seasons. (But, really they have already started thinking about next year.) While at this point in their lives, their experiences are fun, but later in life the thankfulness will reach its full depth. Read more

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