HD Notebook

E.U. tops the U.S. in cheese consumption

Mon, 12/02/2013

Even though Europeans eat four more pounds of cheese than Americans each year, there is wide variation in individual consumption across the continent.

person eating cheese

by Corey Geiger, Hoard’s Dairyman Managing Editor

Americans have developed a tremendous taste for cheese over the past 30 years. In 1980, domestic cheese consumption stood at 17.5 pounds per person. Thanks in part to growing demand for Mozzarella via pizza sales, cheese consumption jumped to 25.9 pounds by 1992, 30.5 pounds in 2002, and 33.5 pounds last year which is a new watermark. Despite our nation’s growing appetite for cheese, we still don’t consume as much as those living in Europe. Read more

“Next year is going to be pretty good.”

Fri, 11/29/2013

How does $10 per hundredweight income over feed cost sound?

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Jerry DryerEven among other dairy market forecasters, predictions by marketing consultant Jerry Dryer are known for having a strong track record of accuracy. That’s why milk producers should find one of his recent public statements – the headline above – so encouraging.

It’s been a long and hard struggle to crawl out of the deep financial hole created by the dairy disaster of 2008-09. But dairy owners should make some serious progress in 2014, thanks to lower feed costs and higher income over feed cost margins that Dryer thinks will be around $10 per hundredweight all year. Read more

Thanks for the dairy opportunities

Tue, 11/26/2013

But, please don’t send me the bill!

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Girl with JerseyThis time of year, many reflect on what they are grateful for – family, friends and their health. Younger people often think of it as the Christmas warm-up event. For those youngsters in the dairy industry, it is the end of the show and judging seasons. (But, really they have already started thinking about next year.) While at this point in their lives, their experiences are fun, but later in life the thankfulness will reach its full depth. Read more

Use genomic data to your farm’s advantage

Tue, 11/26/2013

Genomic testing of heifer calves can provide farmers useful information for making selection and culling decisions.

by Abby Bauer, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

When genomic testing became commercially available a few years ago, it was almost immediately incorporated into genetic evaluation systems for dairy cattle. Today, genomic data is used to select young bulls that enter A.I. companies, and many cows, heifers, calves and embryos sold at auction are marketed based on genomic information.

Genomic testing can also be a great tool on the farm level, noted Kent Weigel, University of Wisconsin-Madison, in his presentation at the Dairy Cattle Reproductive Council annual meeting last month. Read more

What is your dairy’s purpose?

Mon, 11/25/2013

Getting your employees to work more cohesively could be as simple as three words: mission, vision and values.

dairy employee

by Ali Enerson, Hoard’s Dairyman Special Publications Editor

Every farm should have mission, vision and values statements.

Did you just stop reading? Are you tired of hearing that your dairy needs these core items? To you I say – just do it! You’ll be done with it. You have to start somewhere. You have nothing to lose. Read more

Idaho needs to become a huge dairy exporting state

Fri, 11/22/2013

No one else comes close to making as much milk per capita.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Twenty-seven U.S. states border either the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, or Gulf of Mexico. This makes them candidates to be international dairy product exporters via low-cost sea shipping.

But in terms of yearly milk production, only four are top 10 dairy states (California, New York, Texas and Washington) that have sufficiently high milk production volume to make them likely exporters.

Of those, California and Washington are already there. New York has more than 100 dairy processing plants, but their output is almost entirely used by New York residents. Texas, meanwhile, produces significantly less milk than its population consumes.

When looking at the list of largest dairy states, pounds of milk produced per resident clearly shows which one badly needs to become a major dairy exporter even though it doesn’t have ocean access: Idaho. Read more

Should we worry about negative protein balance?

Thu, 11/21/2013

When cows are MP deficient, they will break down muscle and other bodily protein sources. This is most severe in the first 10 days postpartum.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

cows eatingOver the years, tremendous attention and research dollars have been poured into studying cows’ early lactation negative energy balance. But should we also be concerned with our fresh cows' protein balance? Generally, negative protein balance is not considered as big of an early lactation concern as negative energy balance. In the November Miner Institute Farm Report, Heather Dann delved a bit deeper into the protein drain our cows likely experience postcalving. Read more

October Milk Production up just a tick

Wed, 11/20/2013

A mere 1 percent increase over 2012’s October levels.

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

milking parlorWhile production in the 23 major dairy states was up 1.2 percent in October, the increase was a straight 1 percent nationwide. October’s total milk output was 16.425 billion pounds, while the top 23 states had all but 1 billion of that total.

In the top 23 states, cow numbers were up, as was output per cow. However, the states of Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico and Oregon all saw less milk production as compared to last year. The big movers were Florida (5.8 percent increase), Kansas (5 percent rise) and Utah (4.5 percent boost). Modest gains were seen by Iowa and Virginia, both at 3.8 percent increase over 2012, followed closely by Indiana at 3.4 percent. Read more

Aging farm population doesn’t warrant concern

Tue, 11/19/2013

U.S. farmers and ranchers aren’t the only aging workforce. It’s a nation wide trend across all labor sectors.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

The U.S. farm population is aging. This isn’t news to anyone in the agricultural community; it is our reality. The age of U.S. farmers and the impending need to replace them is a recurring topic of discussion.

But, Ohio State professor Carl Zulauf, has a fresh perspective on agriculture’s future. In his paper "Putting the age of U.S. farmers in perspective," Zulauf examines changes in the average age of U.S. farmers over time. He then compares this to the age of the U.S. labor force. The conclusion: farmers aren’t the only population sector that’s aging.

Age of the U.S. farmer Read more

Consistent milking procedures are beneficial

Mon, 11/18/2013

A prep routine checkup may provide an opportunity that ties directly to your wallet.

by Ali Enerson, Hoard’s Dairyman Special Publications Editor

milking machineCows love routine. Proper, repeatable milking procedures are your best friend when it comes to harvesting high quality milk and ensuring comfortable, productive cows.

As basic as it seems to some dairy farmers, an inconsistent routine at milking time may be contributing to low production or slow milk out times. Ask yourself if every employee in the parlor is following your dairy’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for milking routine to the letter. If you don’t have an SOP for your milking routine, there is no time like the present to implement one. Correcting procedures in the parlor can improve overall efficiency, make happier cows and strengthen your bottom line. Read more

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