HD Notebook

Beef cattle numbers may have bottomed

Fri, 08/02/2013

Favorable feed cost outlook sets the stage for herd rebuilding to begin this fall.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

The fatal production problem that has driven many dairy producers out of business in recent years – sky-high feed prices – has been every bit as brutal for beef producers.

In fact, a strong argument can be made that their greater dependence on pasture puts some beef producers in even greater harm’s way when an expensive feed market happens to coincide with severe drought, as happened in 2012.

The resulting shortage of market beef supplies has also been a boon to dairy farmers in the form of record high cull cow prices. But it is a windfall that milk producers knew would end when beef producers began rebuilding herds and cattle numbers finally turned around. Read more

It’s time for dairy’s reorientation

Thu, 08/01/2013

There are opportunities to develop a more export-focused market, but planning is required.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

In 2009, the U.S. began to truly enter the arena of global dairy marketing. Since this time, an ever-growing share of U.S. milk has been exported in some form. Our export volume has risen from 2 percent in 2000 to beyond 10 percent in 2013.

Tim Hunt“A shifting focus on international markets will provide an opportunity for our industry’s continued growth, but it will not be without challenges,” noted Tim Hunt, Global Dairy Strategist with Rabobank.

“There is a good dairy marketplace in the U.S. but it is not as good as it used to be,” he continued. This is easily observed with the nation’s trend continually declining per capita consumption of fluid milk. Read more

Hoard’s Dairyman Farm wins National Guernsey Awards

Wed, 07/31/2013

Balance of production and type earn recognitions.

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

The American Guernsey Association presented awards at their National Guernsey Convention Awards breakfast. Hoard’s Dairyman Farm Manager, Jason Yurs attended the convention in Oklahoma as the farm garnered several honors.

The 2012 National Guernsey Queen Kami Schuler from Wisconsin holds the
Nyala-Bedford Trophy as Jason Yurs displays the Commercial Herd plaque.

The High TPE Lactation Average for Protein and High TPE Lactation Average for Fat were both won by Hoard’s. The 140 Guernsey records averaged 22,624 M 4.7% 1,067 F 3.4% 770 P. On a cheese yield basis, that equates to 2,610 pounds of cheese per cow. Read more

What have we learned about S. aureus mastitis in the past 50 years?

Tue, 07/30/2013

Extensive research conducted five decades ago still serves as the basis for milking practices today.

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

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a Gram-positive, facultatively anaerobic, nonmotile, nonsporulating, catalase-positive, coagulase-positive coccus. What we need to know on the farm level is that it is regarded as the leading cause of contagious mastitis in North America.

In the 1960s, extensive research on S. aureus mastitis was released, and this information set the stage for the understanding and control mechanisms we use today. This work was the basis for the National Mastitis Council’s 10-point mastitis control plan, which has led to a reduction of S. aureus on many farms. Read more

Hoard’s Dairyman Farm hosted United States Embassy guests

Mon, 07/29/2013

Embassy representatives

Representatives from 15 different countries got a taste of Midwest agriculture.

by Taylor Pires, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

South Korea • Sri Lanka • Brazil • Saudi Arabia • Cuba • Swaziland • Bangladesh •

Liberia • Japan • Malawi • India • Laos • Fiji • Vietnam • Moldova
Read more

U.S. dairy exports remain red hot

Fri, 07/26/2013

April set a new one-month record. May shattered it.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

“On a roll” is a good way to describe how U.S. dairy exports have been doing so far this year.

“Thank goodness” is how dairy producers should feel about the supporting strength they have provided for milk prices.

According to data from the U.S. Dairy Export Council, foreign purchases of U.S. dairy products set a new all-time record in April at 15.7 percent of total milk production (solids equivalent basis). Then in May they set a new record of 16.9 percent. For the first five months of 2013, exports have accounted for 14.4 percent of all U.S. milk production.

To put these figures into perspective, Wisconsin accounts for just 13.6 percent of U.S. milk production (fluid volume basis). Read more

We have an export opportunity

Thu, 07/25/2013

China isn’t the only story. Other export markets are opening up as New Zealand focuses on meeting their import needs.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Tim HuntWith a focus on the U.S. dairy market and exports today, in the coming year and in the long-term, Tim Hunt, Global Dairy Strategist with Rabobank, shared his insights on what the industry can expect. In future blogs, we will touch upon these topics, but two questions asked at the conclusion of his presentation highlight the potential for U.S. dairy in the export market if we position ourselves to be a bigger player.

During his presentation, Hunt briefly touched on what may happen when the European Union lifts production quotas in 2015 and was questioned further on this at the end of the talk. Read more

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

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