HD Notebook

What are my forage options now?

Wed, 07/24/2013

Creating solutions to forage needs.

July webinarby Patti Hurtgen,
Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois, presented “Playing the crop-year cards we’ve been dealt” webinar on Monday, July 8.

Labeled the “perfect storm” by Mike Rankin, Wis., the country’s weather conditions have created some unique challenges to crop production. More than 1 million acres in Wisconsin and an additional 750,000 acres in Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa experienced alfalfa winterkill last year. The drought was widespread last year and a cool, wet spring in 2013 added to the mix. These conditions left forage shortfalls and little or no carryover of corn silage for 2013. Most recommend 4 to 6 months of corn silage carryover in a normal year. However, Hutjens warns dairy producers not to feed forages that are too old, as they can be lethal. Read more

When it comes to lameness, accelerometers detect more than the eye can see

Tue, 07/23/2013

Using technology to identify lameness earlier can help farms better treat this widespread disease.

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


Lameness is a health and welfare issue for the entire dairy industry. In North America, an estimated 21 to 25 percent of cows housed in freestall barns are lame. Lameness can be identified through locomotion or gait scoring, but unfortunately, many farms underestimate the incidence of this disease in the herd. Earlier research found that farm employees were unable to recognize approximately 70 percent of cows that were lame. Identifying lameness in its early stages is difficult but instrumental in improving treatment success rates. Read more

There is family fun for all ages at Young’s Jersey Dairy

Mon, 07/22/2013

The Young family incorporates agriculture into family entertainment.

Young's Jersey Dairy

by Taylor Pires, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

Before planning your next trip to the waterpark or beach, consider spending your weekend on the farm. Not just any farm though. Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs, Ohio, offers visitors a chance to learn how a real-life dairy operates while also enjoying freshly made dairy products and having fun at their many attractions, including a miniature golf course and batting cages. The Young family has found success in providing visitors with education and entertainment while promoting family values, hard work and dairying. Read more

55 years of alfalfa research

Fri, 07/19/2013


MUCH more than meets the eye has gone into making “the queen of forages.”

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Looks are deceiving when it comes to what is perhaps dairy producers’ favorite cattle feed.

Alfalfa is known to date back at least 8,000 years, but the last 50 or so have seen a reinvention of the plant through scientific research and development that helps feed cows around the world.

One of the leaders in that effort has been W-L Alfalfas, which last week celebrated its 55th anniversary at its newly opened research farm in Davis, Calif. (pictured above).

Alfalfa has seen quantum improvements the last few decades, but those are dwarfed by what appear to be in the pipeline. Read more

Bulk tank cell counts continue to fall

Thu, 07/18/2013

Across the four monitored milk-marketing orders, a 5.9 percent drop in somatic cell count was achieved.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

U.S. dairy producers continued to make strides toward lowering bulk tank somatic cell count (BTSCC) levels this past year. Across four federal milk marketing orders, producers saw a 5.9 percent drop in BTSCC, from 206,000 cells per milliliter (mL) to 194,000 cells/mL according to information provided in a July 2013 release from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

The data comes from the four federal milk marketing orders (FMO) that report BTSCC. These include the Central, Mideast, Southwest and Upper Midwest. These four orders monitored milk from 28,274 producers located in 31 states. The data also accounted for 94.8 billion pounds, or 47.4 percent, of the 200.3 billion pounds of milk produced in the U.S. in 2012. In total, 309,343 milk shipments were monitored. Read more

Both large and small farms can excel at animal well-being

Wed, 07/17/2013

Despite public perception, growing herd size does not have to equate to less individualized care for animals.

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

U.S. Junior Holstein members strive for maximum success

Tue, 07/16/2013

Members uphold the Holstein Association USA motto of working to be the best.

Iowa Junior Holstein membersby Taylor Pires, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern Read more

Four new Excellent Jersey cows at Hoard’s Dairyman Farm

Mon, 07/15/2013

Young cows also score well.

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager Read more

Remember, hot temperatures can kill calves, too

Fri, 07/12/2013

Shade, ventilation and water are critical for them.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

calfRecord heat across the West in recent weeks has driven home a sad and expensive reminder for some dairies: heat stress can kill calves. Read more

Low-forage diets work, too

Thu, 07/11/2013

In late lactation, forage substitute, high byproduct diets can support the milk production in the short term.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor Read more

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