Tue, 08/26/2014

The introduction of cows into your herd can present a big threat for new diseases.

dairy cattle truck

by Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

With strong milk prices, farms may wish to bring more cows in to help fill the bulk tank. Outlets for purchasing dairy cattle are plentiful, but so are the disease risks new animals can bring to your herd.

Introducing new cattle may be more risky than ever before. In an article in the Dairy Farmers of Ontario publication Milk Producer, veterinarian Ann Godkin explained that more access to a greater variety of tests at a lower cost from veterinary diagnostic labs and milk recording organizations have led farms to do more testing. This is obviously a positive for the dairy industry, but with more testing producers become more aware of a cow’s disease status and more likely to remove a test-positive cow from the herd.

Mon, 08/25/2014

Knowing you’re N deficient, sufficient or in excess may allow better fertilizer application.

corn stalk nitrate test

by Ali Enerson, Hoard’s Dairyman Special Publications Editor

As we quickly approach harvest season, cornstalk nitrate testing may be something you want to consider adding to your regular fall routine. While testing the nitrates at the end of the season won’t allow you to improve the current year’s crop, it will allow you to tweak your nitrogen application for each field in the coming year. Annual nitrate testing is beneficial to every operation as it gives you a longer term view of how much N is available during the growing season. When you notice a field continually tests in excess each year, you may observe that manure or fertilizer may be better spent on another field to improve yields elsewhere.

Fri, 08/22/2014

Expansion will boost Hilmar Dalhart capacity to 12 million pounds per day.

Hilmar Cheese logo

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Another round of expansion at Hilmar Cheese Company’s processing facility in Dalhart, Texas, has been announced by the dairy farmer-owned firm.

Two major expansions of the plant have already been done since it opened in 2007. The first, or phase two of construction, was finished in 2010. The second, to increase production and packaging capacity of 40-pound block cheese and whey protein, was completed earlier this year.

Round three, which is scheduled for completion in early 2015, will boost production of 640-pound blocks, add additional cold storage room, and increase the plant’s milk receiving capacity.

Thu, 08/21/2014

Young people should take advantage of internships as a chance to learn and travel.

by Maggie Seiler, Hoard's Dairyman Editorial Intern

A few clicks of my heels and a quick 11-hour drive, and I will be back on my flat, home turf of Kansas, enjoying 100-plus degree temperatures and humidity. It seems like the three months I have spent as the editorial intern at Hoard’s Dairyman have really flown by.

Before I pack my bags and turn the last page in this chapter of my college experience, I wanted to leave dairy and nondairy students with a lesson I have learned from my adventures this summer. Find an internship in a state or industry that you never thought you would.

Wed, 08/20/2014

A television show traces actor’s ancestry

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

On a spring day in late May, the phone rang at my family’s dairy. A television show wanted to film at our location, as someone famous had relatives that previously owned the property.

Surprised by the call, my family did some checking on their credibility. The show was indeed reputable, so my family agreed to participate.

Upon agreeing, the name of the celebrity was shared with us, but we were not allowed to tell anyone until all taping and editing was completed in late summer. The well-known celebrity was an individual who my family had seen on television and they looked forward to meeting him.

Tue, 08/19/2014

The New Holland Pavilions at the Alliant Energy Center are on track to be ready for the start of World Dairy Expo.

New Holland Pavilion

by Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

There are just six more weeks until the start of World Dairy Expo, and many eyes are curiously watching the progress of the new pavilions at the Alliant Energy Center.

At a media event this week, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced that the New Holland Pavilions building project is on time. “Things are going good, even better than expected,” he shared.

Mon, 08/18/2014

Subtitle: New Joint venture has Holstein Association USA handling registrations and classification for RWDCA.

by Corey Geiger, Hoard’s Dairyman Managing Editor

Fifty years after its formation, the Red and White Dairy Cattle Association (RWDCA) returned to its roots by hosting its 2014 national convention in Elkhorn, Wis. It was that southeast Wisconsin location that served as home of the breed’s national show and sale in the early decades of its existence.

To honor this historic occasion, Ron Eustice was commissioned to write a book chronicling the breed’s history. Originally pegged to be 50 pages, the finished product is an impressive, 80-page hardcover book that was released at the Elkhorn convention. Each paid RWDCA member receives a copy, while additional books are available for $20.

Fri, 08/15/2014

The size of your herd has a lot to do with the answer.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

margin table

Sometime in the next two weeks or so – the deadline is September 1 – the U.S. Department of Agriculture will issue final details about how the 2014 Farm Bill’s voluntary Dairy Margin Protection Program (DMPP) will work.

At that point every dairy producer in the country will have two big decisions to make in as little as 30 days: Should I sign up? And should I buy extra coverage above the $4 per hundredweight level that goes with signing up?

In my opinion the answer to the first question is easy: Yes. Signup cost is just $100 per year and it guarantees producers will receive at least $4 per hundredweight from all sources above a USDA-computed feed ration index price if there is a catastrophic milk price decline or catastrophic feed price spike.

Thu, 08/14/2014

Activity monitors have become almost commonplace on dairies, aiding in heat detection but not always improving pregnancy rate.

by Maggie Seiler, Editorial Intern
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Since the early 2000s, automated heat detection has played an important role in reducing breeding and associated labor costs by eliminating the need for reproductive synchronization protocols. Farmers revealed they were happy with the systems, giving them a 94 percent satisfaction rating, reported by a survey of 219 German dairies that implemented automated detection methods.

Wed, 08/13/2014

We’re just beginning to unlock the genome’s secrets

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

August webinar slide
“Do not compare proven sires PTAs to genomic PTAs. Only compare them within their contemporaries for rankings,” cautioned Chad Dechow when presenting “The new world of genetics” during the monthly Hoard’s Dairyman webinar. He covered genomics and crossbreeding in his hour-long presentation.

Genomics