HD Notebook

Well worth the expense

Mon, 08/10/2015

A dairy in southwest Indiana has reaped major benefits from installing precision dairy technologies on their farm.

by Brittany Statz, 2015 Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

Brittany's blog

When one visits the Koester family farm in far southwestern Indiana, they’ll notice a lot of things. For one, they’ll see that the sprinklers run constantly on very hot days to keep the cows comfortable. They’ll also note the cows’ chunky red necklaces (aka activity monitors) and lastly, they’ll spot the robots positioned along the walls of the freestall barn.

Since they moved their dairy farm to its current location just one week before Christmas in 2012, Diamond K Dairy has jumped on the precision dairy technology train – and they aren’t looking back. Read more

California FMMO hearing starts September 22

Fri, 08/07/2015

It could last a month or more and will be unlike anything the state’s dairy industry has ever seen.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

California’s dairy industry asked for it, and on September 22 at 9 a.m., it may get to see an example of “be careful what you ask for” for many days in a row.

On Wednesday this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it will hold a public hearing at the Veterans Memorial District Building in Clovis, Calif., to consider establishment of a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) in the state.

A formal request to do so, along with a detailed FMMO proposal, was made by California’s three largest dairy cooperatives on February 4, 2015. Alternative proposals were subsequently submitted by state processor and producer-handler groups.

California accounts for approximately 20 percent of all milk made in the U.S., so a statewide FMMO would be by far the largest in the country. Read more

Proceed with caution

Thu, 08/06/2015

Not all cases of mastitis need to be treated. Let the causative pathogen be your guide.

culture dish

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

“Do not administer antibiotics to cows that will not benefit,” cautioned Daryl Nydam, Cornell University, at the National Mastitis Council Regional Meeting.

Based on research from the University of Wisconsin, not all cases of mastitis should or need to be treated. Nearly 85 percent of mastitis cases can be classified as mild or moderate. These animals don’t require systemic intervention, and delaying treatment 24 to 36 hours while waiting for culture results won’t change the treatment outcome. The remaining 15 percent of cases should be treated immediately and systemically.

When deciding which mild or moderately classified cows to treat, producers have three paths to pick from:

Read more

Lactose intolerance can be overcome

Wed, 08/05/2015

There are options for those who deal with the issue.

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

“It’s like the worst stomachache of my life. Someone is punching me in the gut. That is followed by nausea and diarrhea,” shared the 23-year-old when asked about the impact of lactose on her system. Lactose intolerance can cause digestive discomfort, but each person’s symptoms are a bit different.

Self-diagnosis of lactose intolerance is not always accurate. A medical doctor should confirm your suspicions because your symptoms may be from another condition that might need additional attention or treatment. I spoke with my cousin, Alicia, who was raised on a dairy farm and just before entering fifth grade was evaluated for lactose intolerance. An endoscopy and samples from her esophagus, and her small and large intestine confirmed what her parents suspected, lactose intolerance. Read more

Agriculture’s most important century

Tue, 08/04/2015

With the global population expected to grow by 3 billion in the next century, AgriCorps volunteers are doing their part to help train the farmers of today and the future.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Trent McKnight“This is the most important century agriculture will face,” said Trent McKnight during his presentation at the 2015 Ag Media Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz. “We never had the challenge before of feeding this many people.”

He explained that 2014 was the “peak child year”— more children were born last year than there were in any previous year or will be in any future year. Right now, there are 2 billion people on Earth under the age of 16, and by the end of the century the global population will max out at 10 billion people.

“Our greatest challenge of the next century will be feeding those 3 billion additional mouths,” he said. Read more

PETA cranks up the cute factor

Mon, 08/03/2015

One of the most widely known animal rights groups is no stranger to using emotional appeal to win over people’s minds.

By Brittany Statz, 2015 Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern


We’ve seen them all when we view websites, videos or photos posted by anti-agriculture groups. The furry kittens, bouncing puppies and wide-eyed bunnies have made us all go “awwww” at some point or another. Let’s be honest: animal rights propaganda is good at making people feel all sorts of emotions.

Take, for example, this video called “Down on the Farm.” It features a song and a plucky guitar to give the video a homespun feel during its 1-minute, 17-second duration.

Scene One: the video starts off with a cow, a pig and a chicken living what would appear to be happy, uninterrupted lives. Read more

Dairy takeaways from a beef meeting

Fri, 07/31/2015

We are a bigger part of that industry than ever before, and it is not likely to change anytime soon.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

describe pixt

Earlier this month I took off my dairy hat and went to the 2015 National Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver, hosted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

The view of our industry from that perspective was both interesting and encouraging, and I came away with several strong impressions: Read more

Cows need energy postcalving

Thu, 07/30/2015

Feeding a high forage diet alters feeding behaviors, health parameters and milk production in fresh cows.

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Transition cows are much like a puzzle that is missing a few pieces; we’re still working to develop the full picture. Feeding strategies are one piece of the transition cow puzzle that has evolved through years of trial and error.

“High forage diets for close-up dairy cows are gaining popularity and are perceived to provide health and production advantages,” noted Julie Huzzey, in a poster presentation at the Joint Annual Meeting of the American Dairy Science Association and the American Society of Animal Scientists.

After calving, cows typically transition to a high-energy diet. While at the University of British Columbia, Huzzey and colleagues compared the effect of keeping cows on a high-forage diet for three weeks after calving versus switching cows to a conventional high-energy diet. Read more

The often-forgotten-about side of feed consumption

Wed, 07/29/2015

Cattle can be efficient users of leftovers.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

cows grazing

Last week I blogged about different management types that produce beef. One of the interesting facts was the large amount of water and resources used to produce beef on pasture versus a feedlot. However, there are some advantages to consuming grassland-raised products.

In the United States, more than two-thirds of the land where cattle graze cannot be used for any other purpose. Its topography is less than ideal. Steep and hilly terrain is not a great place for homes and rocky land isn’t suited for growing crops. But, cattle are mobile and can walk to where grass can grow. Read more

Undercover manure

Tue, 07/28/2015

There are some benefits to be gained when manure is injected directly into the soil rather than applied on top.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

spreading manure

Manure smells like money to farmers because of the nutrients it contains and the fertilizer value it provides when applied to cropland. But to the non-agriculture nose, manure often smells like, well, manure.

Animals produce a lot of manure, and the best final destination for this valuable by-product is on the land where it can feed crops. While odor can’t be completely eliminated when hauling and applying manure, it can be reduced. One such way is to inject manure directly into the soil. Read more

Syndicate content