Wed, 07/29/2015

Cattle can be efficient users of leftovers.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

cows grazing

Last week I blogged about different management types that produce beef. One of the interesting facts was the large amount of water and resources used to produce beef on pasture versus a feedlot. However, there are some advantages to consuming grassland-raised products.

In the United States, more than two-thirds of the land where cattle graze cannot be used for any other purpose. Its topography is less than ideal. Steep and hilly terrain is not a great place for homes and rocky land isn’t suited for growing crops. But, cattle are mobile and can walk to where grass can grow.

Tue, 07/28/2015

There are some benefits to be gained when manure is injected directly into the soil rather than applied on top.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

spreading manure

Manure smells like money to farmers because of the nutrients it contains and the fertilizer value it provides when applied to cropland. But to the non-agriculture nose, manure often smells like, well, manure.

Animals produce a lot of manure, and the best final destination for this valuable by-product is on the land where it can feed crops. While odor can’t be completely eliminated when hauling and applying manure, it can be reduced. One such way is to inject manure directly into the soil.

Mon, 07/27/2015

Class 4b increase starts August 1 and will last 12 months.

money

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

It wasn’t as much as dairy producers asked for, and the duration is only half as long, but California dairy producers will begin receiving a temporary 12-month increase in the dry whey portion of their Class 4b (cheese) pricing formula on August 1.

California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary Karen Ross announced the increase July 17. It follows a June 3 public hearing that she called to consider temporary adjustments to the state’s milk pricing formula to close the gap between California Class 4b prices and comparable Class III prices in Federal Milk Marketing Orders.

Fri, 07/24/2015

Legendary dairy cattle judge and professor Fred Foreman passed away on July 22, leaving behind a grand legacy of teaching and passion for the dairy industry.

Brittany Statz, 2015 Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

He was born on a small farm in Kansas, but his knowledge and skill for judging dairy cattle would take him all over the world.

Fred Foreman judging at world Dairy Expo

After serving in World War II, Fred Foreman returned to Kansas to study his favorite animal – the dairy cow. He earned his undergraduate and master's degrees at Kansas State, followed by his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri, and he began to share his acquired knowledge and skill with the next generation. Fred taught for a short time at Kansas State before moving to the University of Minnesota. Ultimately, Fred went on to become a staff member at Iowa State University for 31 years.

Thu, 07/23/2015

With Johne’s extended incubation period, infected cows have the opportunity to shed millions of bacteria before breaking with clinical disease signs.

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

cows laying down

Oftentimes, the diseases and disorders we cannot readily detect are the ones that cost our cows and bottom lines the most. Particularly with Johne’s disease, a seemingly fit animal may actually be a super shedder, releasing large number of disease-causing bacteria that can then infect its healthy herdmates.

Johne’s is caused by Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP) and results in inflammation and damage to the intestinal wall. This, in turn, affects the cow’s nutrient absorption capabilities.

Wed, 07/22/2015

The nutrition is the same, even if the method of raising it varies.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

steaks on the grillBeef for dinner, or any other meal, can be found with a variety of labels. How it was raised, housed and fed can differentiate how it is marketed.

Here is some background on the most commonly seen marketing labels for raising beef.

Grain-Finished: Cattle spend most of their early lives grazing on pasture and then spend four to six months in a feed yard. They are free to eat an optimal balanced diet of grasses, grains and other forages. The label will often read, “Beef: Raised with Care, Grain-Finished.”

Tue, 07/21/2015

Protect yourself and others by making sure your implements of husbandry are road ready before you hit the streets.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

husbandry rulesThe roadways can be a dangerous place, no matter what your mode of transportation. But, for farmers, there are times when public roads are the only way to get field equipment from Point A to Point B. When moving implements of husbandry on public roads, safety must be front and center.

This important topic was the focus of a breakout session at the North American Manure Expo, held last week in Chambersburg, Pa. Police officers Greg Fisher and Mitchell Saflia addressed the crowd with some statistics, food for thought and recommendations for safer roadway travel.

To start off, Fisher said, “Have a safe attitude.” Saflia agreed and said, “It starts with you. Get in the right mindset.”

Mon, 07/20/2015

A dairy farm family showcases their love for agriculture through a tractor show.

By Brittany Statz, 2015 Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

Allis-Chalmers tractor

Brand loyalty runs deep in agriculture, particularly where machinery is concerned. When people are asked what their favorite color of farm machinery is, they usually respond with either green or red.

Not the Durst family.

When Jerry Durst, the family patriarch, bought his farm in 1940, his first tractor was a Case. However, after purchasing an Allis-Chalmers C, he went orange and never looked back. The Durst family farm, a 70-cow dairy located in the steep hills and valleys of Richland County, Wis., has since grown to include over 200 owned Allis-Chalmers tractors.

Fri, 07/17/2015

El Niño and fewer planted acres indicate higher prices this fall.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

cottonseedThe price picture for cotton in the 2015-2016 marketing season is even more complicated than usual, but so far indications are that whole cottonseed will be more expensive for dairy producers this fall.

The outlook has many interrelated parts, including below-cost prices for some growers, and uncertainties about crop size and quality.

Thu, 07/16/2015

The less time a cow spends in the holding pen, the more time it has to engage in productive functions.

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

holding penStanding time is often wasted time. Throughout the day, cows should spend the majority of their time budget engaged in one of three functions: feeding, lying and milking. In order to accomplish the latter, though, some “loitering” in the holding pen is necessary.