Thu, 11/12/2015

Delaying a herd’s age at first calving to 25 months has the potential to cost $45 to $90 per heifer.

heifers grazing in field

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Age? Weight? Height? If you ask three dairy producers what criteria they use to breed heifers, each will likely give you a different answer. One thing we can all agree on: pushing the age at first calving out too far comes with a hefty price tag.

In addition to being the most fertile group of animals, heifers should represent the best genetics on the farm. Breeding heifers at the right time enables producers to take full advantage of this valuable resource, noted Emily Wilmes, an extension educator with the University of Minnesota.

Wed, 11/11/2015

Veterinarian shares ready-to-use information.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

November 2015 slide cover “Technology is great, but you still need to manage it,” shared Scott Poock, D.V.M., during the Hoard’s Dairyman webinar, “An update on repro technologies and protocols.”

For many years, fertility suffered in dairy herds, but that trend is changing due to selections for higher daughter pregnancy rate (DPR) and sire conception rate (SCR). But, estrus expression remains lower for cows than for heifers and beef cattle. Research hasn’t confirmed any difference between Holstein and Jersey herds, or confinement versus pasture-based operations.

Tue, 11/10/2015

National-winning FFA Dairy Judging Coach talks about preparing a non-traditional dairy judging team.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

“This was an extremely hard-working bunch of kids,” commented coach Bland Baird. His dairy judging program has brought six national FFA dairy judging titles to the Spencer County FFA Chapter in Kentucky – and that is just in the past eleven years.

Kentucky’s Spencer County FFA
Coach Baird, Tanner Goodlett, Marissa Allen, Jacob Whitely and Ryan Linton

Mon, 11/09/2015

Winners hail from coast to coast

By Corey A. Geiger, Managing Editor

Grand Champion  Jersey Champion

Carly-O Tequila Alley (shown to the far right), the winning senior 3 year old and Intermediate Champion was selected Grand Champion of the All American Jersey Show. Taking the Reserve Grand Champion trophy was Miss Triple J Serenity-ET (shown second from left). The winning senior champion, Serenity won the five year old class.

Judge VanderMuelen

Mon, 11/09/2015

Three national contest wins for these college programs.

By Corey A. Geiger, Hoard's Dairyman Managing Editor

The University of Minnesota and Ohio State University Ag Tech each swept the three major dairy cattle judging competitions this year by winning this year’s North American International Livestock Exposition’s competitions in Louisville, Ky., on November 8 with results being announced the next day.

For the Minnesota team coached by Dr. Les Hanson, this was the third championship in the four-year university division, having won Harrisburg’s All American by 15 points; World Dairy Expo by 54 points; and Louisville by 31 points. Making the win even more impressive was the fact the Gopher’s Louisville team was comprised of an entirely different team than the two earlier champions.

University of Minnesota dairy judging team

Mon, 11/09/2015

Empire State continues dairy bowl dominance.

By Corey A. Geiger, Managing Editor

With teams from coast to coast, the 36th North American 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl once again fielded an extremely competitive contest. Teams came from as far west as Washington, as far east as Vermont, and as far south as Mississippi. Topping this year’s event for the second straight year was the New York team coached by Deborah Grusenmeyer and Matt Young.

New York 4-H Quiz Bowl team
The winning team, front row (l to r): Coach Deborah Grusenmeyer, Coach Matt Young, and George Lamb. Back row: Mia Brown, Allison Herrick, and Eddie Sykes.

Fri, 11/06/2015

Where people shop for food is constantly moving away from traditional outlets.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

Mike Beal, Balls Food StoresMore and more these days, taking a quick trip down to the grocery store doesn’t involve a grocery store at all. Instead, a likely destination is a convenience store, dollar store, supercenter, small specialty store, or farmers' market.

It is a trend that food retailers struggle to keep up with and hopefully answer the question, “what’s next?” explained Mike Beal (pictured), Chief Operating Officer of Balls Food Stores in Kansas City, at last week’s National Agricultural Bankers Conference.

Thu, 11/05/2015

A deep dip in rumination during the week prior to calving could hint that a cow is on track to develop a health disorder.

cow with calf

By Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

While it’s strongly driven by a cow’s diet, rumination time is influenced by much more than the amount and quality of fiber in the bunk. Several recent studies have shown that monitoring cow’s rumination activity before and after calving can be quite useful as a means to identify animals that are at an elevated risk of developing an early lactation disease.

Wed, 11/04/2015

One Wisconsin county is looking to take advantage of new manure treatment technology to turn manure into usable water.

cows drinking water

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Manure may be animal waste, but a complete waste it is not. The nutrients in manure make it a valuable fertilizer, and on some farms, manure solids are recycled into a comfortable bedding material.

Did you know that manure can also be converted into water? Clean, reusable water? It sure can be, and Dane County in southern Wisconsin is hoping to make use of some fairly new technology to do that.

Tue, 11/03/2015

Three years running and six wins in 11 years.

By Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Kentucky’s Spencer County FFA
Coach Baird, Tanner Goodlett, Marissa Allen, Jacob Whitely and Ryan Linton

Winning the 2015 National FFA Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management Career Development Event (CDE) was Kentucky’s Spencer County FFA. Team members were Tanner Goodlett, Ryan Linton, Marissa Allen and Jacob Whitely. You could say consistency won it for them, as team members individually placed fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh. Their individual scores were separated by a mere nine points. All four team members’ scores counted in the final tally and topped the next team by 42 points.