HD Notebook

My piece of the Empire State

Date: 
Thu, 04/16/2015

It was a difficult decision to leave my family and our farm in 2011. On the most recent return trip, I brought home a small piece of the herd.

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Most days it is hard to believe that nearly four years have passed since I made the decision to uproot and move nearly halfway across the country. While it’s a decision I have yet to regret, leaving behind my family, friends and farm was one of the hardest things I had done up to that point. Read more

Make 2015’s corn silage the best ever

Date: 
Wed, 04/15/2015

Little things add up to quality feed and increased production.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

April webinar slide
To best prepare for 2015, we should examine 2014’s corn silage and look at ways to make it better.

Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois, presented the monthly Hoard’s Dairyman webinar, “Storing and preserving next year’s silage.” Read more

Build a bridge to your consumers

Date: 
Tue, 04/14/2015

One California dairy had the opportunity of a lifetime to connect with customers through the television show, “Undercover Boss.”

Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Brad ScottWith each passing generation, we as agriculturalists find ourselves more and more distanced from our consumers. Read more

Headed back to the farm

Date: 
Mon, 04/13/2015

Producer panel offers college students a gaze into dairying as a young person.

By Maggie Seiler, 2014 Editorial Intern

NAIDC panel
Read more

Sick calves? Check your water

Date: 
Fri, 04/10/2015

A constant source of problems can sometimes be a faucet or hose.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

calf

Tracking down the source of constantly sick calves can be maddening, so before your search goes too deeply into frustration territory be sure to check one of the constants in every dairy animal’s life: the water source. Read more

Is your feed accounted for?

Date: 
Thu, 04/09/2015

Shrink is hard to define, but committing to best management practices during harvest, ensiling and feedout can reduce its impact.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Over the past few years, sustainability has earned its status as a dairy industry buzzword. It’s become rare to attend a meeting where the concept of producing milk and meat sustainably isn’t mentioned or alluded to. In much the same vein, shrink has become the nutrition community’s focus for sustainability.

Corn silage shrink, or the loss of weight between ensiling and feedout, is economically important, yet hard to quantify. And, unless there is buy-in on-farm, practices that minimize or mitigate these losses are less likely to be adopted. Read more

Hormone hype

Date: 
Wed, 04/08/2015

Understanding science takes away the scare tactics

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

A few of us liked science class. Others catnapped during the detailed and technical presentations. However, some of those very concepts are now playing a role in consumer perceptions.

Hormones are needed for survival and for the cycle of life. Unfortunately, certain foods, like milk, get incorrectly tagged as villains. To measure anything, we need to know the baseline or normal levels before we can make judgments.

Review the chart and pay careful attention to milk, both whole and skim — less than 2 nanograms of estrogen in one serving, while soy beverage is at 30,000 nanograms. Compare the others, too.

Source Estrogen

What lies beneath (your calf pens)

Date: 
Tue, 04/07/2015

You can keep calves drier while using less bedding with well-designed calf pens that drain properly.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

calf penMany factors go into creating an environment that supports good calf health. There’s sufficient space, proper ventilation, the ability to clean and sanitize, and adequate bedding, especially during cold weather. Another key feature that often goes unmentioned is the surface below the bedding. Read more

The dawn of a new dairy exports era

Date: 
Fri, 04/03/2015

E.U. milk production quotas ended on Wednesday, raising global export potential for an already big source.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

EU flagTwo days ago, the sun rose on a new dairy world.

April 1 was the first day in 31 years without milk production quotas in the European Union (E.U.), and with it came increased potential for an already big player in the dairy exports world. Read more

Mismatched equipment creates bottlenecks

Date: 
Thu, 04/02/2015

When output doesn’t match between machines, hay harvest efficiency goes down the tubes.

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Financially speaking, last year was one of the dairy industry’s best. While most equipment purchases were made this past fall, some last-minute changes to the fleet may be in order before haying gets under way. Read more

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