HD Notebook

Dairy farmers, your thoughts are needed

Fri, 08/16/2013

Researchers hope to stop infertility losses; producers’ survey input is vital.

dairy farmers

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Slowly but surely, dairy cattle around the world are becoming less fertile. As they do, financial losses to dairies grow in the form of more culling, fewer calves and higher expenses.

Infertility is a slow, insidious drain on dairy income and an invisible increase in operating costs. Both are the result of a national dairy herd that has significantly lower conception rates today than just a few decades ago.

How much lower? A team of scientists at Washington State University, the University of Idaho, and the University of Florida says average conception rate on U.S. dairies in the 1980s was about 50 percent. Today it’s about 35 percent. That’s a dangerous trend that should scare everyone who milks cows. Read more

By-products: an alternative nutrient source

Thu, 08/15/2013

By utilizing by-products, the dairy industry has the potential to reduce the environmental impact of human food production.

taco waste

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

A staple in many dairy rations, by-products are seeing increased use as producers attempt to replace higher-cost ingredients and meet their herds’ nutrient requirements. For ruminants though, most of the attention has centered on it as a source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. There has been little to no mention of how dairy cattle reduce the GHG production of the human food industry. Read more

Is robotic milking a good fit for your dairy?

Wed, 08/14/2013

Hoard’s Dairyman webinar discusses considerations when going to robots.

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

August webinar slideLarry Tranel, Iowa State University, spoke on robotic milking during the August 12 Hoard’s Dairyman webinar, titled “Is robotic milking a good deal?” His noon-time presentation covered a cross-section of financial and management considerations when contemplating installing automatic milking systems (AMS). Read more

Troubleshooting calfhood disease starts with knowledge

Tue, 08/13/2013

By getting to know the parts of a calf’s respiratory “engine,” farms are better equipped to troubleshoot breakdowns in defense.


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

“It’s tough to fix an engine until you know how it works. The same is true for respiratory disease in calves.” This is the philosophy of Darren Katzung, D.V.M., a large animal veterinarian at Southwest Veterinary Service in southwestern Wisconsin. Katzung spoke at the Dairy Beef for Profit workshop hosted by Iowa State University Extension last week. Read more

Capitalize on your calves’ routine

Mon, 08/12/2013

Calves housed in groups will eat according to their daily pattern.


by Taylor Pires, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

Producers have options for ad libitum, or free access feeding, as shared by the July 2013 William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute Farm Report. This style of feeding is a key component when group housing calves and can be successful with proper management. Some benefits include more frequent meals, improved growth rates and less labor. However, using milk replacer or acidified milk in a mob feeder can be inconvenient with the need for cooling down, reheating and agitation. The Miner Report offered producers some options to give the calf what it needs while also making ad libitum feeding more convenient. Read more

A blur of change in farm equipment technology

Fri, 08/09/2013

Tools from even a few years ago can’t hold a candle to new equipment.

farm equipment

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

A dairy producer who hasn’t bought a new tractor or piece of forage equipment in less than five years — which industry surveys say is most of them — will be amazed by what is out there now.

The level of technology in farming equipment today is, to put it mildly, stunning. Like classic cars, old farming equipment may have its admirers, but nothing compares to the speed, comfort, efficiency and versatility of modern equipment.

Last week I had the opportunity to learn about the 2014 tractor and forage lineup from New Holland. I knew I’d see "gee-whiz" sophistication and automation, but I didn’t expect the Starship Enterprise. My head is still spinning. Read more

Deficits foster our ability to export

Thu, 08/08/2013

Chinese consumption and U.S. production are growing at the same rate.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Sourcing safe, local raw milk remains expensive in many nations. Countries that are currently in a milk deficit will continue to struggle with its scarcity. Comparatively, the EU and U.S. are in a surplus situation. Their growth will be seen in markets that are in a deficit. “To meet these needs, there will be an ongoing expansion of trade. Who is poised to take advantage of the opportunity?” asked Tim Hunt, Global Dairy Strategist with Rabobank.

China and Africa are amongst the fastest growing, but India owns the growth space when discussing dairy demand. Read more

Only six dairy exhibitors have attended all 50 years!

Wed, 08/07/2013

All-American Dairy Show celebrates golden anniversary.

50th Anniversary of the All-American Dairy Show
by Patti Hurtgen,
Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

This September marks the 50th Anniversary for the All-American Dairy Show (AADS) in Harrisburg, Pa. There are six prominent families that stepped into the show ring for the duration of the event.

Sam Yoder
The first is one of the founding fathers of the AADS, Sam Yoder of Shoemakersville, Pa. He established Pinesedge Farm in the 1940s, taking over his father’s beef and Shorthorn herd after returning from service in World War II.

Sam Yoder, All American Dairy Show
Read more

U.S. land values climb upward from the year before

Tue, 08/06/2013

Average farm real estate, cropland and pastureland values were higher in 2013 for many parts of the country.

farm scene

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

Farm real estate, cropland and pastureland values in the United States have all gone up this year, according to the USDA’s new Land Values 2013 Summary released this month.

Real estate value, which measures the value of all land and buildings on farms, averaged $2,900 per acre in 2013, up 9.4 percent from 2012. The biggest change was a 23.1 percent rise in the Northern Plains region (Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota). No change occurred in the Southeast region (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina). Read more

Milk consumption is declining with each generation

Mon, 08/05/2013

How can the dairy industry work against the odds?

by Taylor Pires, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

The way we grow up has more of an affect on our habits than one would think. Specifically, we are influenced by the actions of our parents. If you grew up sitting down to dinner every night with your family, you may be likely to do the same with your own. Similarly, if your parents made it a point to drink milk with every meal, you could be more inclined to make nature’s most nearly perfect food part of your daily routine. Unfortunately, acts of habit can’t always overcome what’s trending. Today what’s on trend is a challenge for America’s dairy producers. Successive generations are drinking less milk than their parents and grandparents. Read more

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