HD Notebook

Step up lactating cow minerals, but do so cautiously

Date: 
Wed, 05/14/2014

Uncertainty and risk drive careful ration mineral balancing.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

May webinar slide slideWhile the 2001 National Research Council (NRC) has been an ally of nutritionists for years, Bill Weiss’ research and experience have proven that some of the minimum levels set in the NRC guidelines are low and should be increased to meet the needs of today’s dairy herds.

Weiss’ webinar presentation, “Update on mineral nutrition of dairy cows,” on Monday, May 12, covered seven important minerals needed in lactating dairy cow rations. The Ohio State University professor focused on phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, chromium and manganese. Read more

Filling the need for protein

Date: 
Tue, 05/13/2014

Dairy products can play an important role in meeting people’s protein needs, especially as our nation’s population ages.

by Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

The dairy product sector has seen great transformation. At one time, milkmen were delivering glass bottles of milk and a few other limited products. Today, every grocery store has a dairy aisle filled with an array of nutritious, protein-dense dairy foods.

One protein source of dairy descent that has seen tremendous growth is whey. Research in the area of whey has erupted recently. There was very little published data on the topic before 1990, but more than 240 articles were published in 2013.

“There’s been an explosion of high protein products the last 5, 10, 15 years,” said Brian Helwig, Director of Protein Nutrition Research at the Dairy Research Institute, when he spoke at the International Cheese Technology Expo. Read more

U.S. filled a world dairy export void

Date: 
Mon, 05/12/2014

With sluggish milk production around the globe in 2013, the U.S. developed relationships with new international customers. Can the U.S. continue at that pace?

by Corey Geiger, Hoard's Dairyman Managing Editor

Of the major exporting countries last year, only one — the U.S. — posted double-digit growth in multiple dairy product categories. Speaking to a group of dairy economists was Véronique Pilet from the National Center for Interprofessional Dairy Industries (CNIEL) in Paris, France. She noted that New Zealand and the European Union (as a federation of 28 countries) are stepping up milk production . . . and as a result, dairy product manufacturing. Read more

It’s official: 2013 was California’s driest year ever

Date: 
Fri, 05/09/2014

San Joaquin Valley dairy areas were among the very hardest hit.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

When it rained, it didn’t pour in California last year.

As a result, the California Department of Water Resources (CDWR) has officially declared 2013 the driest year since records began being kept in 1895. The announcement came after the season’s final snow survey on May 1, which found the state’s snowpack water content to be just 18 percent of normal.

According to the Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC), California’s total average statewide precipitation in 2013 was 7.0 inches. According to the National Climatic Data Center, the 30-year average from 1971 to 2000 was 22.2 inches.

Different parts of the state, of course, vary tremendously in terms of what normal precipitation is and illustrate how severe the magnitude is of the state’s ongoing drought. Read more

Calcium supports your cows' transition

Date: 
Thu, 05/08/2014

Milk fever impacts fresh cow health, production, reproduction and immune function.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

As our cows transition into lactation, their calcium requirements elevate two to three-fold over their dry period needs. “Shortly before calving, a cow deposits 8 to 10 grams per day of calcium into her fetus. After calving, 20 to 30 grams per day are secreted into colostrum and milk,” noted Donna Amaral-Phillips in a recent edition of Kentucky Dairy Notes. If the cow isn’t metabolically ready for this upswing, blood calcium concentration drops below a critical level and milk fever (clinical or subclinical) can result. Read more

GMOs . . . just like an app for your phone

Date: 
Wed, 05/07/2014

Technology allows you to do more with the same basis unit

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

How do you explain genetically modified organisms to a consumer without getting too science-based in your explanation? I recently heard the analogy of comparing the technology to produce GMO foods with adding an app to your smartphone. You have not fundamentally changed the phone, it is still a phone, but it just has some extra options now. For example, resisting drought and insects, as well as tolerating extreme climate conditions.

When a crop is modified at the genetic level, generally one or two additional genes are added to the genome. It is done to make the crop or plant stronger, more functional and able to withstand environmental stress. When these benefits are present, the result is the production of more food with the same resources. And with more food being produced, costs to the consumer can stay low. Read more

Happy 100th birthday, Cooperative Extension!

Date: 
Tue, 05/06/2014

The Smith-Lever Act was signed into law on May 8, 1914, and the Cooperative Extension Service was born.

by Abby Bauer, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

Smith-Lever ActThis Thursday, the Cooperative Extension System turns 100 years old. President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation a century ago, on May 8, 1914, that extended the land-grant university concept beyond college campuses to reach communities across the United States. Read more

What makes Wisconsin cheese so special?

Date: 
Mon, 05/05/2014

The Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Program celebrates its 20th anniversary.

by Ali Enerson, Hoard’s Dairyman Special Publications Editor

Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker logoWisconsin is known for its cheese. In fact, a good friend of mine just told me last week "a Wisconsin-style pub just opened" near her apartment in New York City. It's serving “Sheboygan bratwurst, fried cheese curds and Milwaukee's Best beer.” Those three items do reflect fairly accurately what my home state is known for. However, what many don't realize is Wisconsin's commitment to excellence of our delicious, high-quality cheeses. Read more

Milk has never been so valuable

Date: 
Fri, 05/02/2014

Class III is at an all-time high. Enjoy it, but be careful.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Dairy producers are living a milk price dream right now, even though scars from the nightmare five years ago are not fully healed.

It’s a bust-to-boom turnaround of staggering proportions that producers have every right to enjoy. Go to your cows and thank them: $24 milk! Hug them. Savor the moment. Be grateful you are here to enjoy it.

Use the money wisely, but don’t get accustomed to it. Because it can’t last.

Milk producers knew that Wednesday’s announcement of April's record Class III milk price of $24.31 per hundredweight was coming; futures prices had pointed to it for a few months. Even so, it is a staggering number that should not be taken for granted. Read more

Avoid spring calf care slip-ups

Date: 
Thu, 05/01/2014

With temperatures swing from high to low and back again, our calves need a little extra TLC.

calf

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

When combined with the five slip-ups below, fluctuating temperatures and wet spring conditions can often lead to an uptick in the rate of scours and respiratory illness we see on farm, noted Sam Leadley of Attica Veterinary Associates in the April Calving Ease.

These slip-ups all too often include:

  • Calves not having enough to eat
  • Consuming an insufficient level of coccidiostat
  • A shortage of clean, dry bedding
  • Colostrum being chilled slowly
  • Subpar cleaning procedures

Feeding Read more

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