HD Notebook

$3.25 corn? We’ll believe it when it happens

Fri, 09/13/2013

Analyst’s forecast has grabbed a lot of attention, but we are wary.

corn silage

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

It’s been just a year since corn prices spiked to over $7 per bushel, which is why this recent headline grabbed so much attention and sparked so much hope: “Analyst says ethanol rush is over, corn may drop to $3.25.”

Everyone in agriculture has an opinion about corn these days, and the opinion of a longtime, respected forecaster who has a strong track record can and should carry more weight than others.

But the ethanol rush being over and $3.25 corn? Really? Read more

The bottom line is food waste

Thu, 09/12/2013

Everyone contributes to the problem . . . the solution must encompass all levels of the retail chain.


by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

We have a problem with our food system. “Despite our excesses on U.S. soil, in 2013 we still cannot get food to people who need it,” noted Mark Gale, CEO of Charleston|Orwig at its Thought Leadership event.

One thing we can all agree on is food waste. We may not see the same significance in the problem, but we know it is a reality. Maeve Webster, with Datassential, presented revealing statistics on how the average American consumer perceives the issue of food waste.

Is food waste an issue? Read more

Hands-on learning contest celebrates 27 years at the All-American Dairy Show

Wed, 09/11/2013

Wisconsin 4-H and Big Spring FFA top Junior Dairy Management Contest.

All-American Dairy Show

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

While the seven breed shows and dairy judging contests garner the most attention at the All-American Dairy Show, a not-so-well-known contest tests young members’ on-farm knowledge. The Junior Management Contest celebrated its 27th year in 2013. The contest was held on Tuesday, September 10 in Harrisburg, Pa.

Teams of three or four members compete in six dairy disciplines: dairy cattle judging, linear scoring, dairy farm business management, milking management, dairy records management and feed evaluation/nutrient management. Students cannot have completed any college courses and all are to be high school students. Those graduating in the spring and recently enrolled in college are still eligible. Read more

Hock lesions a measurement of lameness, too

Tue, 09/10/2013

Hock injuries are prevalent on many farms and may signal a need for change in bedding or management.

cow on bedding

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

We often think hooves when we think lameness in dairy cattle, but hock injuries should receive similar concern. Hock injuries range from a small area of hair loss to open wounds, sometimes accompanied by infection and swelling of the joint. These injuries can be just as detrimental to mobility, cow comfort and milk production as hoof issues can be.

A research report released in July by the University of British Columbia (UBC) featured the prevalence of hock and knee injuries found during a lameness study. UBC teamed up with key players in the dairy industry and visited hundreds of farms in North America to benchmark lameness and leg injury data. Read more

Two families, one partnership

Mon, 09/09/2013

The Mack and Behnke families come together to form Sunnyslope Dairy.

dairy farm

by Taylor Pires, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

A desire to continue dairying brought the Mack and Behnke families together. When both Keith Mack and Corey Behnke’s fathers decided to retire from the dairy business, they thought they would have a better chance of making farming work if they joined forces rather than going it alone. In 2004, they did just that and formed Sunnyslope Dairy in Reedsville, Wis. Read more

Dairy farmers are apparently nobodies

Fri, 09/06/2013

Processor group leader takes another swipe at milk producers.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

For decades, the relationship between milk producer groups and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), which represents milk processors, was tenuous at best. Relations soured even more when the Dairy Market Stabilization Program was proposed for the recently failed farm bill and have gone downhill ever since.

That’s understandable, since higher milk prices for producers would mean higher raw product costs for processors. Producer groups say farmers need higher prices in order to survive; IDFA says they would raise retail dairy product prices and hit families and lower-income consumers the hardest.

Higher producer prices would also probably cut into processor profit margins, but I have yet to see IDFA say anything about that. Read more

Looking for dairy intelligence?

Thu, 09/05/2013

Hoard’s Dairyman launches Hoard’s Dairyman Intel.

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager
Hoard's Dairyman Intel
Hoard’s Dairyman subscribers who graciously provided their email addresses were part of a select group of individuals who received a special delivery to their inboxes yesterday. Hoard’s Dairyman Intel, this new electronic publication is designed to bring readers the latest market observations and valued insight that they’ve grown accustomed to reading on the pages of our printed magazine. However, Hoard’s Dairyman Intel content does not appear in print and you won’t find it elsewhere. Read more

Dairy beef production on the rise

Tue, 09/03/2013

As the beef cattle herd continues to shrink, dairy steer growers have options to consider to enhance beef production.

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

Dairy steers are becoming a growing part of the beef industry. The number of beef cows that calved as of January 1, 2013, was down 3 percent from the year before, while the number of dairy cows that calved in that same time period remained unchanged. Because the dairy industry provides a consistent, predictable source of bull calves and they can produce high quality carcasses, dairy beef has become an important part of satisfying consumers’ beef needs.

Dan Loy Read more

Why are dairy numbers growing in Washington?

Fri, 08/30/2013

New business opportunities are helping small herds stay in business.

Jay Gordon

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Washington was the only state in the country to increase dairy farm numbers in both 2011 and 2012, adding 10 herds each year. Jay Gordon (pictured above), executive director of the Washington State Dairy Federation and operator of a 140-cow organic dairy, has a good idea why.

“I see three or four factors why we’ve gained dairies,” he explained. “First, we have some really good dairymen who have taken advantage of the natural attributes Washington has. About one-fourth of our dairies are in the “niche” [small herd size] category. The rest are in the 750+ range. Read more

What can you realistically expect for a salary?

Thu, 08/29/2013

Financial data from 1,500 agriculture students gives you a better feel for that number.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

It’s that time of year. Across the country, millions of students have returned to their chosen institution of higher education. For a quarter of these students, it’s their first time stepping foot on a college campus. At the other end of the spectrum though, there are another 25 percent of students who are stepping foot in their hallowed halls for the last time, should they choose to enter the work force immediately after graduation.

ag students

For this group of students, the job search is imminent and that first salary offer can be overwhelming. As a soon-to-be graduate, what can you reasonably expect as an entry-level salary based on your major and chosen career path? Read more

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