HD Notebook

Merry Christmas to all our readers

Wed, 12/25/2013

Our blog today comes from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2, verses 8 through 12

Christmas Day

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

Is your bedding working for your cows?

Tue, 12/24/2013

Make sure your bedding is doing its job by evaluating cow cleanliness and comfort.

by Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

cow in bedded stall
Cost and ease of handling are often the first considerations when it comes to bedding for dairy cattle. Ideally, bedding selection should really focus on what works best for the cow.

“The function of bedding is to keep cows clean and comfortable,” said David Wolfgang, a field study coordinator and extension veterinarian at Penn State, during a Penn State Extension Tech Tuesday webinar earlier this month. “Look at cow comfort as the driver for bedding selection.” Read more

Speak up for the good of our industry

Mon, 12/23/2013

news van

When the call comes from the popular press, we must be prepared to answer it.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

There are a number of people we willingly let on our dairies each day. Most, the breeder, vet or nutritionist, are readily welcomed as they offer much needed services. And oftentimes, we don’t hesitate to spend a few minutes chatting, updating them on our herds and homes.

The media though is often a less welcome visitor, especially in the light of disheartening industry news. Yet, when the time comes, we need to remove our humble hats, open our doors and be strong advocates for our industry. Read more

A cow numbers disaster for China’s dairy industry

Fri, 12/20/2013

The country’s milk cow population has dropped 20 percent this year.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

China, with the world’s biggest population, is gradually developing a taste for dairy products, particularly because parents want to feed their babies high-protein formula.

The surge in demand that goes with it has far exceeded the ability of Chinese dairies to keep up, on the order of about 21 billion pounds per year on a fluid milk basis. The gap is expected to widen as older children and adults increase their consumption of dairy products, and it is what makes China the biggest sales opportunity for exporters around the world.

That opportunity grew even larger in 2013 due to a massive decline in dairy cow numbers on Chinese farms. Read more

Tis the season for giving or taking (advantage)

Thu, 12/19/2013

New HumaneWatch.org report reveals continued inaction by HSUS when it comes to aiding animals by funding shelters.

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard's Dairyman Online Media Manager

kittenAds for dogs and cats in undesirable conditions make many of us uncomfortable. They are followed by requests for pledges of money to help stop the cycle of neglect. Our heart wants to help, but are we really helping if we contribute? How much is actually going to help those sick animals if you contribute to Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)? – Less than 1 percent of all money raised by HSUS! The rest goes to employee pensions, to the tune of $2.4 million just last year, advertising, fundraising, salaries, lobbying and other nonpet-shelter-related budget priorities. One dollar of every $100 you donate. Read more

NFL player visits Minnesota dairy farm

Wed, 12/18/2013

Toby Gerhart, Minnesota Viking backup running back and former Heisman Trophy runner-up, took the time to reward a Minnesota farm family for winning a photo contest by feeding calves and asking questions.

by Lucas Sjostrom

It was a chilly Tuesday, December 17 in Hastings, Minn., but yesterday the mood at Bremer Farms was warmed with excitement. After winning the National Dairy Council’s “Show Your Pride” contest, they learned that NFL running back Toby Gerhart would be visiting their farm. First, the family welcomed him into the garage where they talked about Vikings football, his diet and his hometown. Then, Toby got a tour of the farm and even helped with calf feeding.

Read more

Don’t leave calves out in the cold

Tue, 12/17/2013


Heightened calf care can keep calves healthy and growing during winter weather.

by Abby (Huibregtse) Bauer, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

“This is the time of the year where we face the most challenges with raising calves,” said Noah Litherland from the University of Minnesota. Cold stress diverts energy away from growth and immune function. Calves that are not growing or losing body weight are delaying the start of first lactation, he explained. If you see a calf shivering, act quickly, because calves don’t have many fat reserves.

“Don’t allow cold stress to push you around,” Litherland told the audience at a Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin Calf Care Connection program. The goal is to adjust feeding and management to enable calves to grow, resist respiratory and digestive disease and minimize stress. Read more

Don't blame cows for climate change

Mon, 12/16/2013

The more a cow produces, the lower its environmental footprint will be.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

Frank Mitloehner
Climate change has always occurred. Yet, the heating trend over the last decade has been outside the normal range. Humans and livestock have both contributed to this issue. Of particular concern, are carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, noted Frank Mitloehner, UC-Davis, at the 2013 Vita Plus Dairy Summit.

These three gases trap the sun's heat at different rates. Methane and nitrous oxide, the two gases primarily associated with livestock, trap heat at 20 and 300 times the rate of carbon dioxide, respectively. Read more

Fonterra dedicates the world’s biggest milk powder dryer

Fri, 12/13/2013

Global exporting giant ramps up its production capacity to serve huge nearby markets.

Fonterra milk powder dryer

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

The. U.S. is the hot new star in the global dairy exports game, but New Zealand, the all-time everything, hasn’t slowed down. Not at all, in fact.

Last weekend, exporting giant Fonterra officially dedicated the world’s largest milk powder dryer, located in its first new facility in 14 years. The dryer’s massive scale speaks volumes not only about Fonterra’s opinion of the world’s current and future demand for dried dairy proteins, but also its commitment to its biggest markets: southeast Asia and China. Read more

Cow care starts with the farm owner

Thu, 12/12/2013

Notice to the help

W.D. Hoard’s Notice to the Help set the standard for all farm staff over a century ago.

by Corey Geiger, Hoard’s Dairyman Managing Editor

The recent video showing employees at a northeast Wisconsin dairy mistreating dairy calves and cows is very disheartening. No one can condone those actions. As dairy farm owners, we must reinforce to our employees that quality care is job number one. Everything else is secondary. Read more

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