HD Notebook

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

Corn silage deserves attention before harvest

Wed, 12/11/2013

Plan ahead to maximize your crop’s performance.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

December 2013 webinar cover slideJoe Lauer, University of Wisconsin, shared “Growing high yield and high quality corn silage in the northern Corn Belt” on the December 9 webinar, sponsored by Kuhn North America. There are different goals when producing corn silage. Some aim for high yields, while others choose quality over quantity. But, quality means different things to different growers and feeders, but the proof is ultimately seen in how the cow performs after consuming it. Read more

Students and farmers alike are excited about Fuel Up to Play 60

Tue, 12/10/2013

Fuel Up to Play 60

The NFL announced another 5-year commitment to the program that encourages healthy eating and physical activity in schools across the nation.

by Abby Bauer, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

You could feel the excitement the minute you entered the door at Pulaski International School in Chicago, Ill., yesterday. It was a special day for the students and staff, as they were hosting a Fuel Up to Play 60 event at their school.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program that was launched by the National Dairy Council (NDC) and National Football League (NFL), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Read more

Employee reviews have merit

Mon, 12/09/2013

Regular performance reviews can be a daunting task.


by Ali Enerson, Hoard’s Dairyman Special Publications Editor

Feedback. Our society craves it, depends on it and thrives on it. Why then, is it so hard for farmers to provide regular feedback to employees?

Knowing that your employees are the most important asset to your business is the best place to start. The time you take training employees and the knowledge each employee possesses is valuable to you and your business’ bottom line. You truly value it when there’s employee turnover, and you reteach a new employee. Read more

Profitability outlook for 2014 keeps getting better

Fri, 12/06/2013

The Class III futures average has jumped 58 cents in just a month.

cows eating

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

The early Christmas cheer that dairy producers received two days ago — November’s announced Class III price of $18.83 per hundredweight was 61 cents higher than in October — came with an outlook for 2014 that just keeps getting better.

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s close on Wednesday, the average of Class III futures prices for the first 11 months of 2014 (December trading hasn’t started yet) was $17.54. Almost as encouraging was the tremendous price stability that CME traders expect: no individual month was lower than $17.21.

That compares to a 10-month Class III futures average of $16.96 on November 1. Its price stability outlook was just as solid, but no individual month was higher than $17.31. Read more

Will India become a major dairy importer?

Thu, 12/05/2013

To avoid this, the nation must sustainably grow milk production at a price the consumer can afford.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

The European Union leads the ranks in world milk production. But, on an individual nation basis, India takes the cake. The U.S. pulls ahead when considering milk produced solely by dairy cattle, as India’s totals include buffalo milk.

Top 10 milk producing countries in 2012
Thousand tons*
1. European Union 156,400
2. India 133,700
3. United States 90,856
4. China 44,233
5. Pakistan 37,866
6. Brazil

Learn to express yourself and share your experiences

Wed, 12/04/2013

Interviewing tips for young dairy applicants.

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

It is the season when many breed associations have conventions and often youth awards are presented at these annual events. Some awards require interviews to select the top recipients. In preparation for these times, here are a few things to keep in mind.

An interview follows the printed application. The form should be an accurate reflection of the body of work the young person has accomplished, but the interview is a living and breathing application. It allows the judges to get to know the applicant better and ask further questions.
dairy youth
Before the interview

  1. Know the award details – requirements, history of the award (named for an individual), expectations of the winner (another level of competition).

The onset of lactation is a major calcium drain

Tue, 12/03/2013

Current research is taking a look at serotonin’s role in calcium uptake and its future potential in helping ward off milk fever.


by Abby Bauer, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

The start of lactation greatly raises the need for calcium in a dairy cow. On the day a cow freshens, she will produce 2-1/2 gallons or more of colostrum containing at least 23 grams of calcium. The continued loss of calcium through milk can exceed 50 grams per day in early lactation. This sudden shift challenges the cow’s ability to maintain blood calcium within an adequate range, potentially leading to the development of periparturient hypocalcemia, or milk fever. Read more

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