HD Notebook

Calving heifers earlier no guarantee for more milk

Tue, 09/24/2013

Rearing costs are high, but calving heifers too early may adversely impact lifetime milk production.

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

The earlier a heifer enters the milking string, the more milk she will make in her lifetime, right? Not necessarily, explained Pat Hoffman during a ‘Dairy Heifer Management: Pitfalls and Paradigms’ webinar hosted by the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin. Hoffman, University of Wisconsin Extension heifer management specialist, shared new data that showed cows entering the herd sooner might also leave the herd sooner, lowering both lifetime days in milk and lifetime production. Read more

Not your average internship

Mon, 09/23/2013

Hoard’s Dairyman offers students a real-world experience.

By Taylor Pires, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

The importance of internships is constantly stressed to college students. Gaining experience outside of the classroom is critical in understanding what career path you want to take, what your interests are and what you are passionate about. I was able to do just that during my time as the 2013 Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern.

This internship offers real-world experience for anyone considering a career as an agriculture journalist. Developing writing skills, an appreciation for deadlines and an understanding of how a national magazine is run are just some features of the editorial internship. Hoard’s also offers their intern the chance to travel the country visiting with producers and industry members. Read more

Political opposition to ethanol ignites in California

Fri, 09/20/2013

State Legislature unanimously passes resolution calling for an end to the federal ethanol mandate.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Using food to make fuel has found a distasteful audience among California politicians.

Kristen Olsen, R-ModestoLast week, a resolution by Assembly member Kristen Olsen (R-Modesto, seen here) that calls upon the U.S. Congress to eliminate the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandate on the amount of corn-based ethanol that must be used in gasoline was approved by both houses of the California State Legislature… unanimously.

The resolution will now be shared with Congress – an action that, realistically, figures to be far more symbolic than politically effective. Read more

Excess exists with hunger

Thu, 09/19/2013

From farm to fridge, we all play a role in reducing food waste.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

C|O logoWe waste 40 percent of all food. Forty percent of the calories we produce in the U.S. are lost across the food chain and go unconsumed," noted Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland, at a recent event hosted by Charleston|Orwig.

Throughout his presentation, "The food not eaten: Why we waste nearly half of our food and why it matters," Bloom focused on how we can shrink the staggering volume (160 billion pounds) of food we waste each year. Across the food production and consumption chain, this equates to a $240 billion economic loss.

As an aggregate, households are the largest source of food waste. Nearly 25 percent of home food will be thrown away or run down the garbage disposal. Read more

The best method to decrease mastitis incidences? Prevention!

Wed, 09/18/2013

Pam Ruegg, D.V.M., shares the latest in mastitis concepts.

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

September webinarMastitis costs dairy producers plenty – lost milk production, treatment costs and extra labor to manage the disease. Veterinarian and university professor, Pam Ruegg, presented “New concepts in mastitis control” webinar on Monday, September 9, 2013.

Prevention of mastitis cases is key to controlling the disease. Ruegg shared the popular 5-Point Plan:
1. Effective teat dip
2. Dry cow-treat all quarters
3. Treat clinical mastitis, record data and monitor outcome
4. Cull chronically infected cows
5. Conduct regular machine maintenance Read more

USDA ready to kick off dairy study

Tue, 09/17/2013


Data collection for the national dairy survey will begin in early 2014.

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

Dairy producers across the country will be asked to participate in a survey that will postulate benchmarking data for the whole industry. The USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) with launch its sixth national dairy study in January 2014.

Dairy 2014 will take an in-depth look at U.S. dairy operations. It will provide the industry with new and valuable information regarding trends and changes in the dairy industry from 1991 to 2014. Read more

Understanding the hazard communication standard

Mon, 09/16/2013

Ensure chemical safety on your dairy.

on-farm chemicals

by Taylor Pires, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

Employers have a duty to keep their employees safe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) promotes employee safety through The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). This document enforces safe practices by clearly identifying any hazards associated with chemicals in the workplace. Employers must make their employees aware of these hazards, provide written protocols and train employees to protect themselves. The HCS, previously known as “The Right to Know” standard, has been changed to make it easier for employees to identify and understand the hazards of working with chemicals.

Major changes include:

  • Hazard classification: provides criteria for classifying health and physical hazards
Read more

$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

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