HD Notebook

Focus more on the postfresh diet

Date: 
Tue, 04/01/2014

Make every mouthful count when feeding postpartum cows to fill their energy and protein needs.

postfresh cows

by Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Transition cow diets have been the focus of considerable research the last few decades. However, 90 percent of that research has been done on dry cow or prefresh rations, says Ric Grummer, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor emeritus and current ruminant technical director at Balchem.

“Maybe we have missed the boat by not putting the emphasis on the postfresh cow,” Grummer noted in his presentation at the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin’s Transition Cow Workshop last week. “In reality, it is easy to meet the energy requirement of a dry cow,” he said. Read more

There’s more to breeding Red and Whites than we thought

Date: 
Mon, 03/31/2014

In addition to the traditional red carrier gene, Black-Red, wild type and dominant red have all entered the equation.

by Corey A. Geiger, Hoard’s Dairyman Managing Editor

Red and White cow
Most of us grew up being taught that there was one gene and two alleles involved in the coat color of our Holsteins . . . with the black allele being dominant over the recessive red allele. To determine the odds of getting a Red and White Holstein (two recessive red alleles coming together), we would use a tool called a Punnett Square and follow the Mendelian inheritance of those alleles. Those were simpler times. Today’s students, both young and old, have a bit more of a challenge than we did to understand the genetics of coat color in today’s Holsteins.

Let’s review the traditional breeding of Red and Whites involving simple recessives: Read more

Mastitis treatment decisions aren’t so easy anymore

Date: 
Fri, 03/28/2014

Social expectations and new research make selective versus blanket therapy a difficult choice.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

To treat or not to treat is a question whose answer once seemed obvious: treat every clinical mastitis case found, and treat every cow at dry-off. But things have changed.

Public perception is intensifying that antibiotics are evil and less is better, regardless of rigid safety protocols that are in place and animal health and comfort considerations. High cull cow values have also become a significant new component in the decision process. Read more

All aboard “The Great American Milk Drive”

Date: 
Thu, 03/27/2014

Feeding America has partnered with the dairy industry to get milk in the hands of those who need it most.

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

gallon of milkWe don’t have to look to a third-world country to find a hungry population. Hunger is here in our own backyards. With 49 million hungry people in the U.S., it is likely you are touched by food insecurity at some point during your day.

Nationwide, organizations dedicated to feeding the hungry are struggling to provide enough to eat for those who rely on them. And milk is one of their most limited, and most often requested, resources. Read more

What’s next in university research?

Date: 
Wed, 03/26/2014

Three researchers share insight on how science and communications must be interwoven.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

“Beef is in the global marketplace,” reminded University of Wisconsin-Madison Animal Sciences Department Chairman Dan Schaefer.

Badger NAMA panelDepending whether it is beef, pork or poultry, about 10 to 25 percent is exported. We need to be aware of what the global consumer demands of our products. What they are hearing and believing about the safety of the U.S. food supply? These are all issues U.S. food producers need to be thinking about, he reminded those attending a panel hosted by Badger NAMA (National Agri-Marketing Association). Gary Radloff, Dominique Brossard and Dan Schaefer field questions from panel moderator Jenny Martin. Read more

Exports can’t be an afterthought

Date: 
Tue, 03/25/2014

With 15.5 percent of all dairy products being shipped overseas last year, the dairy export market is one that deserves attention.

by Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

More than 15 percent of U.S. milk was exported in 2013. That equates to one out of every seven U.S. tanker loads of milk being turned into products destined for overseas.

U.S dairy exports last year topped a record-breaking 3.91 billion pounds, with a value of $6.8 million. The dollars that exports bring into the dairy industry are not to be ignored.

2013 Annual Export Trade Data
Total value of U.S. dairy exports $6.7 billion
Total lbs. U.S. milk solids exported 3.91 billion
Percent U.S. milk production exported

Spring reminds us to think runoff control

Date: 
Mon, 03/24/2014

Small improvements each year make runoff control less burdensome.

water runoff

by Ali Enerson, Hoard’s Dairyman Special Publications Editor

With spring approaching, runoff concerns come to mind for many dairy farmers around the country. Managing or redirecting the water that could run to or through manure storage facilities and confined animal feeding areas provides many benefits. Not only is runoff management a responsible choice to lessen environmental impact, it reduces manure storage needs, reduces the cost of manure handling and application, and improves animal health. Read more

That’s none of their business

Date: 
Fri, 03/21/2014

Arkansas Congressman's bill would bar EPA from releasing farmers’ private information.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

It’s a refreshing new trend: farmers and lawmakers saying “no” to groups that think they are entitled to obtaining private information about farmers and then making it public.

In February, it was passage of Senate Bill 1337 in Idaho, the “Interference With Agricultural Production” act, that makes it illegal to trespass on a farm or ranch or to apply for work under false pretenses in order to make secret videos. Read more

Recognizing attractive farms promotes a positive image for dairy industry

Date: 
Thu, 03/20/2014

Dairy of Distinction Program celebrates 30 years

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

Dairy of Distinction

Thirty years ago, dairy representatives wanted a way to promote the positive image of the industry. Their ideas brought forth the Northeast Dairy Farm Beautification Program. At that time it included the states of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Vermont. Since then, Maryland has been added to what is now called the Dairy of Distinction program.

The purpose of the program is to recognize attractive, well-kept farmsteads in an effort to promote a positive image for the dairy industry, its people and its products. Read more

Watch appetite, not milk yield

Date: 
Wed, 03/19/2014

Regardless of herd size, we must model the tie stall when it comes to illness detection.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

fresh cow and calfWhen it comes to finding sick cows, tie stall herds have the upper hand. As we have transitioned our dairies from this individual care system to managing groups, illness detection has become one of our most significant struggles.

“To stay ahead of illness in larger groups, our chosen herd managers must have good observation skills,” noted Gary Oetzel, with the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. “We need to find sick cows before milk yield drops. If we wait for this trigger, we are two to three days behind the illness curve,” he continued when addressing the audience assembled for the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin’s annual meeting. Read more

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