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Updated: 2017-12-15T21:40:05Z

 



Dairy Video Archive

2017-12-15T21:31:27Z

Contents Recent Videos Business and Labor Management Calf and Heifer Management Facilities Genetics Health and Diseases Heat Stress Mastitis and Milking Management Nutrient Management on Dairy Farms Nutrition of Milking and Dry Cows Reproduction   Recent Videos Implementing and Evaluating a Selective Dry Cow Therapy Program Dr. Pamela Ruegg, University of Wisconsin-Madison Dr. Ruegg joins us to discuss selective dry cow therapy. Learn about implementing and evaluating a program, as well as how to decide whether selective therapy might be a good fit for your operation. Watch the video on YouTube.View Dr. Ruegg's PowerPoint presentation.   Selective Dry Cow Therapy- It's Complicated! Dr. Ron Erskine, Michigan State University Dr. Erskine joins us to discuss selective dry cow therapy. Learn about some of the research around selective and blanket dry cow therapy. He also discusses tactics for implementing selective therapy, from identifying and monitoring candidates to ensuring a clean environment. Watch the video on YouTube.View Dr. Erskine's PowerPoint slides.   "Udder"standing Mastitis from the Outside In Dr. Robert VanSaun, Pennsylvania State University Watch as Penn State's Dr. Robert VanSaun uses dissection to show the physical anatomy of the mammary gland and how mastitis comes about. Watch the video on YouTube.   New Insight Into the People Side of Milk Quality Susan Schexnayder, University of Tennessee In collaboration with Southeast Quality Milk Initiative. From attitudes and perspectives to the relationship between employer and employee, Susan Schexnayder discusses new insights into the roles people can play in milk quality. Watch the video on YouTube.View Susan Schexnayder's PowerPoint Presentation.   Business and Labor Management An Overview of Work Safety and Health Issues on Dairy Farms Dr. Dennis Murphy, The Pennsylvania State University Dairy farming can be a hazardous occupation! In this presentation from Dr. Dennis Murphy, you can learn about potential hazards and how to mitigate risk on farms. Dr. Murphy will discuss safe animal handling practices, working in and around confined spaces, tractor and machinery safety, and respiratory hazards. He’ll also spend some time talking about safety and health regulations as well as how to manage worker safety and health on dairies. Watch the video on YouTube.View Dr. Murphy's PowerPoint presentation.   Defining a Compensation Structure for the Dairy Workforce Felix Soriano, APN Consulting In this video, Felix discusses both the importance of having well-defined compensation packages and how you can achieve this for your farm. He covers compensation structure, including direct pay and other benefits, some different methods of determining bonuses, and tips on how to make these strategies work for you. Watch the video on Youtube.View Felix's PowerPoint presentation.   Economic Benchmarks for Dairies: Eight Rules You Cannot Break Gary Sipiorski, Vita Plus There are many financial benchmarks and ratios a lender will use to evaluate a dairy farm’s financial position and progress. During this webinar, Gary sorted out and discussed 8 key items that are critical for a dairy producer to monitor. View the recorded webinar. View Gary Sipiorski's PowerPoint presentation.   Effective Management of Farm Employees Phil Durst and Stan Moore, Senior Extension Educators with Michigan State University Extension Here, Durst and Moore discuss the results of phone interviews with 158 employees from 11 dairy farms, including: Employee turnover rate and employee engagement Management makes a difference Focus employees on achieving performance standards Providing opportunities to learn and develop Language and cultural barriers View the recorded webinar. View Phil Durst and Stan Moore's PowerPoint presentation.   Farm Confined Space Safety Davis Hill, Penn State University In this presentation, Mr. Hill will define confined space and help identify some of the spaces on farms that may qualify, as well as d[...]



Upcoming Dairy Cattle Videos

2017-12-15T15:43:14Z

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Upcoming Video Releases

These videos are geared toward bringing pertinent information to dairy producers, extension educators, allied industry professionals, and veterinarians across the United States. All of our upcoming videos will be posted on YouTube. Subscribe to the DAIReXNET channel to catch all our new releases!

 

On-Farm Milk Culture Training Workshop

Dr. Christina Petersson-Wolfe, Virginia Tech
Produced in a collaboration with Southeasy Quality Milk Initiative.

Christina Petersson-Wolfe joins us to discuss on-farm milk culturing from deciding which cows to test to using results. Learn about collecting and plating samples, identifying types of pathogens, and treatment recommendations for different types of infection. To be released on January 15, 2018




Reference Guide for Mastitis-Causing Bacteria

2017-10-03T20:45:38Z

    Introduction The reference guide for mastitis-causing bacteria below was developed to provide a succinct yet comprehensive summary of the major classes of bacteria that cause mastitis in dairy cows as a rapid reference for dairy farmers and bovine practitioners. In addition, the guide denotes the environmental or contagious nature of each pathogen, its source in the cow’s surroundings, mechanisms of spread, methods of control, and treatment strategies. Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production.                                                               Reference guide for mastitis-causing bacteria   C. S. Petersson-Wolfe and J. Currin Virginia Tech Mastitis & Immunology Laboratory & Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (Information obtained from NMC Laboratory Handbook on Bovine Mastitis and veterinary consultation for treatment recommendations) Classification Bacteria Contagious or Environmental Source Spread Control Treatment* Staphylococcus spp. Staph. aureus Contagious Infected udders, hands of milkers Milking time Post-dip, DCT1, segregation and cull if necessary Label recommendations for broad-spectrum antibiotics, if early lactation – 5-7 d pirlimycin, do not treat chronic infections Coagulase (-) staph. &S. hyicus Neither Skin flora & occasionally environment Infect teat canal from skin sources Post-dip, DCT Treat clinical cases (broad spectrum), DCT Streptococcus spp. and Enterococcus spp. Strep. agalactiae Contagious Infected udders Milking time Milking time hygiene, post-dip, DCT Label recommendations for broad-spectrum antibiotics Strep. dysgalactiae Contagious and environmental Infected udders and environment Milking time & environmental contact Milking time hygiene, pre- & post-dip, DCT, teat seal Label recommendations for broad-spectrum antibiotics Strep. uberis Environmental Environment – early dry period New IMI2 during early dry period Milking time hygiene, pre- & post-dip, DCT, teat seal Label recommendations for broad-spectrum antibiotics and consider IMM3 therapy 4-5 d penicillin systemically (3.5 cc/100 lb body weight)** Environmental strep & Enterococcus spp. Environmental Environment Environmental contact Milking time hygiene, pre- & post-dip, DCT, teat seal Gram negatives Escherichia coli Environmental Bedding, manure, soil Environmental contact Cows clean & dry, use of sand bedding, pre-dip, a J5 vaccine Do not treat local cases. Systemic cases – 2-3 L hypertonic saline IV, followed by oral fluid therapy, NSAID*** and injectable antibiotics Klebsiella spp. Environmental Organic bedding Environmental contact Avoid sawdust & recycled manure, pre-dip, J5 vaccine Enterobacter spp. Environmental Bedding, manure, soil Environmental contact Cows clean & dry, use of sand bedding, pre-dip, a J5 vaccine Serratia spp. Environmental Soil and plants Environmental contact Cows clean & dry, pre-dip (no chlorhexidine products) 180-300 ml hypertonic saline IMM infusion Pseudomonas spp. Environmental Water & wet bedding Environmental contact No water use in parlor, no cooling ponds, sand bedding, a J5 vaccine Proteus spp. Environmental Bedding, feed & water Environmental contact Not much known, use of sand bedding, a J5 vaccine Pasteurella spp. Probably contagious Upper respiratory tract of mammals and birds Unknown – likely cow to cow Prevent teat injuries, remove affected cows from herd Do not respond to IMM treatment Other Yeast & mold Environmental Soil, plants, water Dirty in[...]



Vaccination against Staphylococcus aureus Mastitis in Dairy Cattle

2017-10-03T20:13:20Z

This article is part of our series of original articles on emerging featured topics. Please check here to see other articles in this series. Staphylococcus aureus Mastitis Staphylococcus aureus is a major mastitis pathogen because it can be highly contagious and have a significant impact on farm income. S. aureus primarily causes subclinical intramammary infections (IMI) that often become chronic. It also has a negative economic impact from increased milk somatic cell counts (SCC) and decreased milk production. However, there are regional and herd differences, and in some instances, S. aureus may cause a high rate of clinical mastitis. Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. As early as the 1960s, numerous researchers established the standards for contagious mastitis control on dairy farms (Davidson, 1961; Wilson and Davidson, 1961; Neave et al., 1966; Dodd et al., 1969; Neave et al., 1969). From this work came the five-point mastitis control program. Implementation of the five-point plan, which was later developed into the National Mastitis Council 10-point mastitis control plan, successfully reduced the prevalence of contagious mastitis on many farms. However, S. aureus can still plague individual farms and significantly impact milk quality (Smith et al., 1998).  Vaccination against S. aureus mastitis has been studied for many years, but none of the vaccines studied to date have consistently prevented S. aureus infections. The goal of an S. aureus mastitis vaccine should be to prevent new IMI or facilitate clearance of new IMI as soon as possible after infection, thus minimizing cow-to-cow transmission.  Vaccines Currently, there are two commercially available S. aureus mastitis bacterins (vaccines) labeled for bovine mastitis. Lysigin® (Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc.) is available in the United States, and Startvac® (Hipra) is available in Europe and Canada.  Lysigin Lysigin: Early Studies Lysigin is a multivalent whole cell lysed S. aureus bacterin (a mixture of numerous strains of S. aureus bacteria that have been disintegrated into smaller parts) that contains common varieties of S. aureus that cause mastitis in the United States. Initial studies with Lysigin in experimental infections seemed to help lower clinical mastitis effects, SCC, and the occurrence of infections that became chronic (Williams et al., 1966; 1975).  Nickerson and co-workers (1999) vaccinated heifers with commercially available Lysigin at 6 months of age followed by a booster 2 weeks later and subsequent booster vaccinations every 6 months until calving. Vaccinates had a 45% reduction in both new S. aureus IMI during pregnancy and new S. aureus IMI at calving relative to controls. In addition, vaccinates had a 30% reduction in new coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) IMI which became chronic and a 31% reduction in new CNS IMI at calving relative to controls, providing evidence that Lysigin may be of use in reducing staphylococcal mastitis in heifers vaccinated early in life with frequent follow-up vaccinations. Lysigin: Recent Studies More recently, the efficacy of Lysigin was studied in experimental S. aureus infections in heifers (Middleton et al., 2006). All cattle became infected with S. aureus after challenge. Cattle vaccinated with Lysigin had clinical mastitis symptoms that were milder and cleared faster than unvaccinated animals. However, the vaccinated animals did not have lower SCC or greater milk yields than unvaccinated animals. Furthermore, anti-S. aureus antibody levels in milk were not different from control animals, suggesting that vaccination provided minimal immune protection (Luby et al., 2007). In a follow-up field study in milking cows in a herd with 5% of cows infected with S. aureus and 40% of the cows infected with CNS, the vaccine did not reduce the new staphylococcal intramammary infection rate, and the vaccine failed to provide sufficient antibodies in[...]



Mold and Mycotoxin Issues in Dairy Cattle: Effects, Prevention and Treatment

2017-10-03T19:42:26Z

Introduction Molds are filamentous (fuzzy or dusty-appearing) fungi that occur commonly in feedstuffs, including roughages and concentrates. Molds can infect dairy cattle causing a disease referred to as mycosis. A mycosis is most likely when cows may be immune suppressed during stressful periods. A mycosis can occur in various locations such as the lungs, mammary gland, uterus, or intestine. An intestinal infection may result in hemorrhagic bowel. Molds may also affect cattle by producing poisons called mycotoxins that affect animals when they consume contaminated feeds, resulting in a mycotoxicosis. Molds are present throughout the environment and, therefore, mycotoxins can be formed on crops in the field, during harvest, or during storage, processing, or feeding. Mold spores are in the soil and in plant debris lying ready to infect the growing plant in the field. Mold growth and the production of mycotoxins are usually associated with extremes in weather conditions leading to plant stress or hydration of feedstuffs, insect damage, poor storage practices, low feedstuff quality, and inadequate feeding conditions. Fungal field diseases are characterized by yield loss, quality loss, and mycotoxin contamination. Management of crop production can reduce but not totally prevent the occurrence and concentrations of mycotoxins. Excellent silage management can reduce the incidence of mycotoxins. Standard silage-making practices should be followed to include hybrid selection, reduction of field and harvest stress, rapid filling of the silo, use of an effective silage additive, tight packing, covering, rapid feed-out, and discarding the spoilage. The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated that worldwide about 25% of crops are affected annually with mycotoxins. Because of mycotoxin degradation in the rumen, dairy cattle are more resistant to mycotoxins than are monogastrics but, because of greater feed consumption and production stresses, may be more susceptible to mycotoxins than are beef cattle. Because ruminants consume forages, by-product feeds, and wet feeds, they are exposed to a broader range of mycotoxins at concentrations that are perhaps higher than are found in dry grain mixtures. The mycotoxins of greatest concern to dairy cattle include ergots produced in small grains, fescue, and other grass; aflatoxin, which is generally produced by Aspergillus mold; deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, T-2 toxin, and fumonisin, which are produced by Fusarium molds; and ochratoxin, PR toxin, mycophenolic acid, and roquefortine C produced by Penicillium molds. There are many other mycotoxins, some of which may also affect dairy cattle or co-occur with the more common mycotoxins in feeds. Contaminated feeds often contain multiple mycotoxins, altering the expected effects on the cow. A single large dose of a mycotoxin can cause an acute toxicity in cattle, but it is more likely that the effects are chronic, caused by low-level consumption over time. Mycotoxins affect dairy cows by reducing feed consumption, reducing nutrient utilization, altering rumen fermentation, suppressing immunity, altering reproduction, irritating tissues, and causing cellular death. Diagnosis can be difficult because mycotoxin residues are not easily detected in the cow, and symptoms are often nonspecific and may be the result of a series of events or opportunistic diseases. Feed analyses of mycotoxins are hindered by the difficulty in gathering representative feed samples. Obtaining representative feed samples is difficult because mold growth is inconsistent, and mycotoxins are not uniformly distributed within a feedstuff. Feed analyses for mycotoxins are improving but continue to be slow and expensive and generally limited to only a few mycotoxins. Not all mycotoxins can be detected in routine testing by commercial laboratories. Mold spore counts and mold identification can be helpful to diagnosis. Diet management[...]



Dairy Robotic Milking Systems – What are the Economics?

2017-10-03T19:13:21Z

This article is part of our series of original articles on emerging featured topics. Please check here to see other articles in this series. Over 35,000 robotic milking systems (RMS) units are operational on dairy farms around the world. The main reasons dairy producers install milking robots are to improve their lifestyle and to expand without hiring additional labor. Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. What drives robot profitability? Milk production per cow, milk produced per robot per day, labor savings, and length of useful life are the main factors affecting RMS profitability. The primary disadvantage is the capital investment of $150,000 to $200,000 per robot that will milk 50 to70 cows each. Most historical data shows milking robots are less profitable than conventional milking systems. Advances in robotic technology, improved management skills, and higher labor costs may change these results. Labor efficiency USDA (2016) reports that wages paid to livestock workers increased 3% in 2014 and 4% in 2015. Reported RMS labor savings vary. Researchers have reported from no savings up to 29% savings with RMS. Barn design and management may explain much of this variation. Farm Management Records (Finbin, 2016) showed that Upper Midwest RMS farms averaged 2.2 million lb of milk per full time worker compared to 1.5 million lb for similar sized herds milking in parlors (Table 1). Our survey of 53 Minnesota and Wisconsin robot farms showed that even when total labor is similar, time saved from milking is used for activities, such as improving animal health, analyzing records, improving reproduction, and more timely forage harvest. Another factor affecting the decision to install robots is the future availability of labor for milking cows. A 2014 survey indicated that 51% of all farm labor was immigrant labor (Adcock et al., 2015). The future availability of immigrant workers may be reduced if less foreign workers choose to work on farms or if tighter immigration laws are passed in the US. Milk production change when transitioning to robots The primary driver for the change in milk production with RMS is a change in milking frequency. de Koning (2010) found that robotic herds had production increases of 5 to 10% compared to milking 2X, but production decreased 5 to 10% compared to milking 3X. In our survey, the average RMS milking frequency was 2.8 with a range of 2.4 to 3.2. To optimize efficiency, the goal is to have high milking frequency in early lactation and lower milking frequency in later lactation. The primary factors that affect individual cow and herd average milking frequency include: Number of cows per robot Milking permission settings Palatability and quality of partial mixed ration and robot box feed Robot free time (time robot is idle) Cow fetching policy Barn design and walking distance (a major factor for grazing herds) Robotic milking systems compared to conventional parlor systems Bijl et al. (2007) compared the economic performance of Dutch farms using RMS to closely matched conventional farms milking 2X. Because of higher costs for the RMS, conventional farms were more profitable. However, the labor requirement was 29% lower on the RMS farms resulting in more milk production and income per worker. They concluded that investing in RMS allows farms to milk more cows and produce more milk with less labor. Farm management records collected by the University of Minnesota show a similar pattern (Table 1). Herds utilizing RMS had higher milk production and gross margin, but costs were higher, resulting in slightly lower net farm income. Table 1. Robot and parlor farm profitability, 2011-2015, Upper Midwest1 Item Robot Parlor Difference Milk/cow/yr 23,532 lb 21,528 lb +2,004 lb Gross margin/cow/yr $4,564 $4,254 +$310 Feed cost/cow/yr $2,251 $2,20[...]



Dairy Cattle Genetics

2017-09-01T14:48:00Z

Introduction Improvement of dairy herd genetics can affect herd health, longevity, reproductive traits, and many other vital aspects of dairy cattle production. It can also lead to increased milk production, milk quality, and overall animal performance. Efficient sire selection is the primary avenue for an immediate impact on genetics in a dairy cattle operation. Genetics Videos   Complete and Accurate Recording of Calving Ease and Stillbirth Data is Key Dairy Cattle Inbreeding Dairy Crossbreeding: Results from New Research and Information Still Needed Dairy Crossbreeding: Why and How Do Genetics Determine the System, or Does the System Determine The Genetics? Exploring the Best Combinations of Genomics, Semen Type, and Culling in Dairy Cattle Genetic Improvement of Dairy Cow Longevity Genetic marker technology and its impact on the dairy industry Genetics and Genomics: An Introduction Impact of Genetic Selection on Female Fertility It's Sire Summary Time...Zero In on the Information You Really Need Net Merit and Its Use in Genetic Improvement Programs Sire Evaluations for Health and Fitness Traits Sire Selection Strategies for Graziers Use of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms for Whole Genome Selection in Cattle Subject Area Leader Mike Schutz is the leader of the Genetics subject area. If you have submissions or comments, you can contact him via email at mschutz@purdue.edu. [...]



DAIReXNET Feature Article Series

2017-09-01T14:47:47Z

DAIReXNET has published a short feature article at the beginning of each month since September 2012. Below you can find all of the articles which have been published as part of this series.   Business and Labor Management How to Properly Discipline and Terminate Dairy Employees Managing Labor Responsible for Feeding the Lactating Dairy Herd Dairy Robotic Milking Systems — What are the Economics? Calves and Heifers Automated Milk Feeding Systems for Dairy Calves Considerations when Planning Dairy Calf and Heifer Facilities Dairy Calf and Heifer Management Videos Dairy Calf Management Practices Impact Future Production Getting Dairy Calves Off to a Good Start — The SIP Principle with Colostrum Managing Dairy Calves and Heifers During the Winter Months Precision Feeding Dairy Heifers Rumen Development in the Dairy Calf Simplified Scoring System to Identify Respiratory Disease in Dairy Calves Weaning Calves from an Automatic Feeder Dairy Cow Nutrition General Nutrition Checklist for the Top 5 Priorities for Fall/Winter Dairy Feeding Programs Dairy Cattle Water Consumption Management Feeding Practices for Dairy Cows Milked with Robotic Milking Systems Setting Nutrient Specifications for Formulating Diets for Groups of Lactating Dairy Cows Processing Cereal Grains Fed to Dairy Cattle Targeting Dairy Feeding Programs for Less Feed Waste or Shrink Top Ways to Tweak Dairy Nutrition Management Programs to Improve Profitability: Part 1 Top Ways to Tweak Dairy Nutrition Management Programs to Improve Profitability: Part 2 Using Your Feed Resources, Labor, and Dollars Wisely What are Your Dairy Cows Telling You about Their Nutrition Program? Forages Bunker Silo and Drive-Over, Silage-Pile Management Cow Nutrition and Crop Nutrient Management Feeding Frosted Forages to Dairy Cattle Forage Evaluation: Wading Through a Sea of Numbers Forage Sorghum for Dairy Cattle Improving Corn Silage Nutritive Value through Harvesting Practices Managing a Grazing System for a Milking Dairy Herd Proper Use of Forage Composition Data for Formulating Diets for Dairy Cows Supplemental Forage Production for Dairy Cattle Ration Formulation Dairy Cows Need Adequate but Not Excessive Amounts of Trace Minerals Does TMR Sampling Provide Useful Nutrient Composition Data? Excess Sulfur and Potassium can Cause Mineral Nutrition Problems with Dairy Cows Feeding Fat, in Moderation, to Dairy Cows Feeding Lower-Starch Diets to Dairy Cattle Low Protein Diets for Dairy Cows Real World Vitamin Recommendations Sugar in Diets for Lactating Dairy Cows Using Milk Urea Nitrogen to Improve Nitrogen Efficiency and Reduce Environmental Impact of Dairy Cows Genetics Exploring the Best Combinations of Genomics, Semen Type, and Culling in Dairy Cattle Genetics and Genomics: An Introduction Health and Diseases Communicable Diseases Bovine Leukosis Virus Simplified Scoring System to Identify Respiratory Disease in Dairy Calves Understanding Metritis in Dairy Cattle Metabolic Diseases Displaced Abomasum – Avoiding the Need for a Tummy Tuck in Dairy Cows Issues Related to Subacute Rumen Acidosis in the Dairy Cow Minimizing the Risk for Ketosis in Dairy Herds (En Español) Subclinical Hypocalcemia, or Milk Fever, in Dairy Cows — Why all the Fuss? (En Español) Heat Stress Dairy Feeding and Management Considerations during Heat Stress Heat Stress Management of Dry Cows Mastitis and Milking Management Responsible Use of Antibiotics for Treatment of Clinical Mastitis Vaccination against Staphylococcus aureus Mastitis in Dairy Cattle Mastitis From Start to Finish: Featured Videos Nutrient Management Evaluation of Dairy Manure as Fertilizer: Manure N and P Supplies for Crop Production Nutrition and Reproduction Checklist for Nutritional Aspects for Improving Reproductive Efficiency  (En Español) Dairy Reproductio[...]



Exploring the Best Combinations of Genomics, Semen Type, and Culling in Dairy Cattle

2017-09-01T14:45:18Z

This article is part of our series of original articles on emerging featured topics. Please check here to see other articles in this series. Introduction Commercially affordable sexed semen (since 2006) and genomic testing (since 2009) have added to the options that dairy farmers should consider when looking to increase profitability. These technologies, combined with good overall management, and older technologies such as embryo transfer or beef semen, lead to an expanded number of choices regarding genetic selection, breeding and culling. Among the options to consider are: which animals to breed  with sexed semen, which dairy calves to raise as herd replacements, which cows to cull, possible use of beef semen to create crossbred calves, and whether to use genomic testing. The best combination of these practices is often not obvious. This article lays out some of the key principles behind finding these best combinations and discuss results of some combinations that lead to greater profitability. Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. Genetics and Genomic Testing 101 Genomic testing provides more reliable estimates of the genetic merit of animals than estimates that are only based on the animal’s relatives, and testing can be performed at a young age. The parent averages or predicted transmitting abilities (PTA) of the various traits on the genomic test report are the genetic merits that the animal is expected (predicted) to transmit to its offspring (the next generation). The expected genetic merit of the animal itself is the estimated breeding value (EBV), which is PTA x 2 = EBV. The EBV of Lifetime Net Merit (NM$) differences between animals provide direct estimates of the differences in profit when exploring the economics of genomic testing and breeding decisions. Differences in PTA of NM$ only show half of the profit differences between animals. For example, if two animals have PTA of NM$ of +$300 and +$400, then the difference in lifetime profit is expected to be $200. PTA are expected values of genetic merit but the true genetic merit can be quite different. Genomic testing provides PTA that are on average more similar to the true genetic merit of animals. How to Evaluate Breeding Schemes At the University of Florida, we put together a herd budget model to evaluate combinations of genomic usages, semen type, and culling rates given herd specific data and prices. The bottom line is to focus on profit per milking cow per year. In this model, dairy calves kept as replacements were valued based on their genetic merit. This genetic merit depends on the genetic merit of the dams and sires of the calves and on the sale value of the surplus heifer calves. A greater surplus of dairy calves can be created with sexed semen, but this is at a higher cost than using conventional semen and at lower conception rates. Sexed, conventional, and beef semen can be applied to different groups of cattle. Results of some user-defined and optimal breeding schemes are shown in this article. The cost of genomic testing was set at $50 per tested calf, which included the extra labor cost for obtaining and sending the sample. All born alive dairy calves were tested if genomic testing was applied. Culled cows were sold at approximately half the cost of raising heifers. Dairy bull calves and surplus dairy heifer calves were sold a one month after birth at a profit of $150 after their expenses. The initial premium for a crossbred calf was $75 over the price of a dairy bull calf. Many other inputs that affect the outcomes are not shown here but certainly affect the outcomes from the model. The cow cull rate was fixed at 35% and did not vary with breeding scheme. Optimal Breeding Schemes The best breeding scheme generates the greatest profitability. This [...]



Biosecurity for Livestock and Poultry Manure Management

2017-08-17T22:40:39Z

Most biosecurity plans are meant to protect animal and human health by preventing the spread of bacteria or other pathogens. Indirectly, effective biosecurity practices can reduce the likelihood of multiple or catastrophic mortalities which is an issue of environmental concern. While not usually discussed under the umbrella of "biosecurity", manure handling should not be ignored when considering your plan. Related: Manure Pathogens Avian Influenza | Swine PEDv | Pumping & Land Application | Inspectors | Mortalities | Recommendations by Species Avian Influenza Resources In 2015, millions of birds either died or had to be euthanized because of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The approved methods of disposal for large-scale (catastrophic) mortalities include: burial, incineration, and composting. Managing Animal Mortalities (scroll down to see the section on catastrophic mortalities) PEDv (Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus) Resources align="right" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="196" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/eRmL3SqgM5M?feature=player_embedded" width="300"> The swine industry has experienced significant losses as a result of PEDv, which can be transmitted through contact with manure of infected pigs. It is possible to move the virus between farms on vehicles, pumps, manure handling equipment, clothing, or any other item that comes in contact with manure and is not thoroughly disinfected between farms/fields. The low amount of viral exposure required to cause illness means that even tiny amounts of residual manure pose significant biosecurity risks. Archived webcast "Managing Biosecurity to Prevent PEDv" The National Pork Board has fact sheets, results of research, and a newsletter including biosecure manure pumping protocols for pork producers, for commercial manure haulers, and land owners. (Spanish versions of each fact sheet are available). North Dakota State Extension PEDv Resources including basics about the disease and recommended biosecurity procedures The American Association of Swine Veterinarians released a technical, non peer-reviewed article summarizing PEDv. The sections on transmission and treatment/prevention (including a nice summary of disinfectants). New York released a very concise FAQ-type document on PEDv Preventing Manure Pathogen Dispersal Between Farms or Field Restricting access of off-farm equipment and personnel involved in manure pumping or manure application and thorough cleaning of equipment between farms are among the recommendations to follow to reduce risks of spreading manure-borne pathogens. North Dakota State Biosecure Nutrient Management. This fact sheet does an especially nice job describing how to manage and clean equipment used in manure handling around the farm. The National Pork Board released fact sheets on Biosecure Manure Pumping Procedures for farmers, commercial manure haulers, and land owners. The Maryland Department of Agriculture developed a brochure related to transporting manure and set out some guidelines to prevent the spread of pathogens. Biosecurity for Inspectors or Technical Service Providers What should regulatory inspectors do when traveling between farms to prevent the spread of disease? What requests can farmers make of inspectors to protect their farm biosecurity? EPA Routine Biosecurity Procedures for Personnel... Recorded Webinar Biosecurity for NRCS Farm Visits Biosecure Mortality Management One of the best collections on composting animal mortalities comes from the Cornell Waste Management Institute. Check out their sections on health and safety and animal mortality composting for research on pathogen destruction and other safety considerations. The following fact sheet was developed in response to the PEDv (porcine epidemic diarrhea vi[...]



Resources for North American Dairy Quiz Bowl 2017

2017-07-27T13:53:44Z

Farm Safety

Video: An Overview of Work Safety and Health Issues on Dairy Farms

Dr. Dennis Murphy, The Pennsylvania State University

Dairy farming can be a hazardous occupation! In this presentation from Dr. Dennis Murphy, you can learn about potential hazards and how to mitigate risk on farms. Dr. Murphy will discuss safe animal handling practices, working in and around confined spaces, tractor and machinery safety, and respiratory hazards. He’ll also spend some time talking about safety and health regulations as well as how to manage worker safety and health on dairies.

Watch the video on YouTube.
View Dr. Murphy's PowerPoint presentation.


Articles:

Confined Spaces: Hazards of Manure Gases

Preventing Tractor Overturn Incidents

Rollover Protective Structures

Dangers of Silo Gases

Horizontal Silo Safety

Robotic Milking

Dairy Robotic Milking Systems – What are the Economics?

Feeding Practices for Dairy Cows Milked with Robotic Milking Systems

Automated Calf Feeding

Automated Milk Feeding Systems for Dairy Calves

Weaning Calves from an Automatic Feeder




Dairy Calf and Heifer Management Videos

2017-07-05T18:47:42Z

This article is part of our series of original articles on emerging featured topics. Please check here to see other articles in this series. Heifers are the future of your dairy operation, and require a significant amount of attention and decision-making. Will you raise your own heifers or contract them out? How will you manage nutrition, breeding, health, and even mastitis control? In this selection of DAIReXNET videos, you’ll find information on a range of calf and heifer topics, including economics, nutrition, and health management. Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. Avoiding Disease in Dairy Calves Attention to health is particularly important for young calves, which are vulnerable to a number of conditions. As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so watch this video to learn about best practices for disease prevention! Here, Dr. Geof Smith focuses on environmental controls and early disease detection. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/V3egHhip1M4?list=PLsR7z2OWtsxJpPtCb1fCtGlnhCa0cI2ro" width="560">   Critical Economic Decisions when Raising Heifers Not sure of all the factors you should consider when making heifer-raising decisions? Jason Karszes lays them out for you in this video. He talks about the costs involved, factors that could influence those costs, and how the replacement program can affect the farm’s overall financial performance. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Vc4KfTIuEu4?list=PLsR7z2OWtsxJpPtCb1fCtGlnhCa0cI2ro" width="560">   Economic Considerations Regarding the Raising of Dairy Replacement Heifers Diving a little deeper into heifer economics, Dr. Mike Overton joins us to focus on the differences in conventional and intensive heifer raising systems. He discusses the inputs in different stages of growth, compares models, and talks a little bit about the impact that heifer-rearing can have on later lactation. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jetZD5VyR2A?list=PLsR7z2OWtsxJpPtCb1fCtGlnhCa0cI2ro" width="560">   Meeting Heifer Nutrition Goals It can be difficult to keep an efficient and effective heifer nutrition program. Watch this video to learn about optimizing pre- and post-weaning growth and achieving puberty at the desired age. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/68i2su84r64?list=PLsR7z2OWtsxJpPtCb1fCtGlnhCa0cI2ro" width="560">   Feeding Systems for Group Housed Calves Speaking of nutrition, how do you get it into them in the first place? In this last video, Dr. Mark Thomas discusses feeding systems for group-housed dairy calves. Learn about optimizing nutrition, ad libitum feeding, acidified group feeding, and comparisons of available systems. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eWuxmOA0ZZ0?list=PLsR7z2OWtsxJpPtCb1fCtGlnhCa0cI2ro" width="560"> [...]



Dairy Cattle Reproduction

2017-07-05T18:44:57Z

Introduction Getting dairy cattle rebred in a timely fashion is critical for dairy farm profitability. To accomplish this objective, information is provided on artificial insemination in dairy cattle, improving the detection of heat cycles, methods of pregnancy diagnosis in dairy cattle, and dairy cow reproductive management. Dairy Reproduction Videos Assessment of an Activity Monitoring System for Detection of Estrus and Timing of Artificial Insemination in Lactating Dairy Cows Dairy Cow Synchronization Protocol Sheet Dairy Herd Synchronization Programs Economics of Reproduction and Genetics: The Quality of the Pregnancy Evaluating the Economic Value of Changing the Reproductive Management Program for a Specific Dairy Farm Handle Sexed Semen with Care to Maximize Heifer Fertility (en Español) Improving Artificial Insemination Techniques Improving Fertility in the Repeat Breeder Management and Treatment of Dairy Cows that are Not Cycling or have Follicular Cysts Methods for Diagnosis and Monitoring of Pregnancy in Dairy Cattle and their Implementation Pregnant vs. Open: Getting Cows Pregnant and the Money it Makes Recent Studies on Nutritional Factors Affecting Reproductive Efficiency in U.S. Dairy Herds Reproductive Management Systems for Artificial Insemination of Dairy Heifers Reproductive Status of U.S. Holsteins and Jerseys Solutions to Infertility Caused by Heat Stress Strategies for Optimizing Reproductive Management of Dairy Heifers Strategies for Success in Heat Detection and Artificial Insemination The Economics of Sexed Semen in Dairy Heifers and Cows When to Pregnancy Check Dairy Cattle and Why Effects of Heat Stress on Reproduction Cooling Strategies During Heat Stress (En Español) Economics of Heat Stress: Implications for Management (En Español) Strategies to Improve Reproduction During Summer (En Español) Genomics and Reproduction Genetics and Genomics: An Introduction Genética y Genómica: Una Introducción   Subject Area Leader Joe Dalton is the leader of the Reproduction subject area. If you have submissions or comments, you can contact him via email at jdalton@uidaho.edu. [...]



Dairy Cattle Nutrition of Milking and Dry Dairy Cows

2017-07-05T18:43:41Z

Feed costs for the dairy cattle herd represent 50 to 60% of the total cost associated with the production of milk. In addition, properly implemented dairy cattle nutrition programs can improve milk production, health, and reproductive performance of dairy cows for both the milking herd and dry cows. In this section, articles on various aspects of dairy cow nutrition and feeding and dairy feeding management are provided. Articles pertaining to acidosis and lameness in dairy cattle, feed additives, the use of by-products in dairy cattle diets, fats, water quality, protein nutrition, minerals and vitamins, feeding management, troubleshooting nutritional problems, and forage information for dairy diets are available below. Nutrition of Milking and Dry Cows Videos Topics Acidosis and Laminitis Additives Animal Health Byproducts Carbohydrates Dry and Transition Cows Fats Feed Program Management Feedstuffs Management Forages Heat Stress Managing Feed Costs Milk Composition Minerals and Vitamins Protein Troubleshooting Tools Water Acidosis and Laminitis Effective Fiber for Dairy Cows Feeding to Minimize Acidosis and Laminitis in Dairy Cattle Forage and TMR Particle Size and Effects on Rumen Fermentation of Dairy Cattle Issues Related to Subacute Rumen Acidosis in the Dairy Cow Nutrition and Claw Health Additives Effect of Supplemental Biotin on Performance of Lactating Dairy Cows Feed Additives for Dairy Cattle Rumen-Protected Choline Use of Rumensin in Dairy Diets Animal Health Body Condition Scoring as a Tool for Dairy Herd Management Checklist for Nutritional Aspects for Improving Reproductive Efficiency  (En Español) Displaced Abomasum – Avoiding the Need for a Tummy Tuck in Dairy Cows Gossypol Intake from Cottonseed Feedstuffs – A Performance Concern for Dairy Cattle? Impact of Milk Fever and Hypocalcemia on Reproductive Performance of the Dairy Cow Minimizing Subclinical Metabolic Diseases Minimizing the Risk for Ketosis in Dairy Herds (En Español) New Developments in Understanding Ruminal Acidosis in Dairy Cows Prevention and Control of Nitrate Toxicity in Cattle Prevention of Displaced Abomasum Prevention of Udder Edema in Dairy Cows Progress in the Understanding of Hemorrhagic Bowel Syndrome Subclinical Hypocalcemia, or Milk Fever, in Dairy Cows — Why all the Fuss? (En Español) Therapeutic Nutrition for Dairy Cattle Understanding Fungal (Mold) Toxins (Mycotoxins) Links Plant Poisonous to Livestock Byproducts Distillers Grains Feeding Byproducts High in Concentration of Fiber to Ruminants Randomness Rules: Living with Variation in the Nutrient Composition of Concentrate Feeds Storage of Wet Distillers Grains Carbohydrates Dietary Effective Fiber, Particle Length and Sorting Feeding Sugar to Ruminants Feeding Lower-Starch Diets to Dairy Cattle Glycerol as a Feed Ingredient in Dairy Rations Optimizing Starch Concentrations in Dairy Rations Processing Cereal Grains Fed to Dairy Cattle Reaping the Most Nutrients: Working with Starch and Nonfiber Carbohydrate Digestibility Starch Digestibility of Corn - Silage and Grain Sugar in Diets for Lactating Dairy Cows Dry and Transition Cows Management of Fresh Dairy Cows Critical for a Dairy's Profitability Management Practices before Calving Help Prevent Fresh Dairy Cows from Becoming “Losers” Modified Dry Periods in Dairy Cattle: Implications for Milk Yield and the Transition Period Optimizing Transition Cow Diets Rethinking Energy for Dry Cows Fats Feeding Fat, in Moderation, to Dairy Cows Lipids and Longevity Feed Program Management Checklist for the Top 5 Priorities for Fall/Winter Dairy Feeding Programs Does TMR Sampling Provide Useful[...]



Dairy Cattle Nutrient Management

2017-07-05T18:43:17Z

Introduction Managing dairy cattle nutrition plays a crucial role in modern dairy cattle operations. Areas in which dairy producers can exercise control of nutrient management include diet formulations for dairy cattle, dairy rations, and use of minerals or supplements such as Rumensin. This section provides information on a variety of dairy cattle nutrient management issues, some of which include mineral management, dairy cattle ration formulation, and silage management. For more information on various aspects of manure and nutrient management, please visit the Animal Manure Management CoP. Nutrient Management Videos   Air Quality A Review of Manure Injection to Control Odor and Ammonia Emissions During the Land Application of Manure Slurries A Review of Permeable Cover Options for Manure Storage A Surface Aeration Unit for Odor Control from Liquid Swine Manure Storage Facilities Air Emissions After Manure Land Application Including Subsurface Application of Poultry Litter and Solid Manure Air Emissions From Cattle Feedyards and Dairies Biofiltration: Mitigation for Odor and Gas Emissions from Animal Operations Carbon Footprint of Animal Agriculture Webcast Characterizing Ammonia Emissions from Swine Farms in Eastern North Carolina – Part I. Conventional Lagoon and Spray Technology for Waste Treatment Characterizing Ammonia Emissions from Swine Farms in Eastern North Carolina – Part II. Potential Environmentally Superior Technologies for Waste Treatment Effect on Residue Cover and Crop Yield of Manure Incorporation Equipment Effects of Sodium Bisulfate in Reducing Emissions from Dairy Cow Slurry Effects of Waste Management Techniques to Reduce Dairy Emissions from Freestall Housing Environmental Responses to Dietary Monensin in Lactating Dairy Cows Feeding Strategies To Reduce Animal Air Emissions Webcast Gas Impermeable Film and Sheet for Control of Methane and Odors in Agricultural Applications Management of Dairy Operations to Prevent Excessive Ammonia Emissions Methane Emissions from Dairy Cattle NAQSAT for Beef and Dairy Negative Air Pressure Cover for Preventing Odor Emission from Earthen Manure Storage Odorgon: Overhead Spray System to Neutralize Odors Pennsylvania's Odor Siting Index RAPP Technology for Control of Gas and Odor from Swine Manure Pits Reducing H2S, NH3, PM, & Odor Emissions from Deep-pit Pig Finishing Facilities by Managing Pit Ventilation Research Summary: Odor Emissions and Chemical Analysis of Odorous Compounds from Animal Buildings Siting Animal Production Facilities and Evaluating Odor Control Options Using the Odor Footprint Tool Siting of Livestock & Poultry Facilities Using MNSET The Use of Vegetative Environmental Buffers For Livestock and Poultry Odor Mitigation Use of Anaerobic Digestion Systems to Mitigate Air Emissions from U.S. Livestock Production Facilities Water Requirements for Dust Control on Feedlots Feed Nutrient Management A National Template for Preparing a Dairy Feed Management Plan An Introduction to Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Feed Management Practice Standard 592 Becoming A Certified Nutritionist to Develop a Feed Management Plan - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Feed Management Practice Standard 592 Dietary Cation-Anion Difference for Dairy Rations Direct Fed Microbial Products (DFM) Dry Matter Determination Effective Fiber for Dairy Cows Estimating Manure Nutrient Excretion Evaluating Corn Silage Quality for Dairy Cattle Feed Efficiency and Its Impact on Feed Intake Feed Management Planning as a Tool to Reduce Nutrient Excretion Feed Management on Livestock Farms Feeding Dairy Cows: In Vitro NDF Dige[...]



Dairy Cattle Mastitis and Milking Management

2017-07-05T18:42:49Z

Introduction Mastitis in dairy cattle can result in potential losses in milk production, milk income, and milk quality bonuses. Understanding the many aspects of dairy cattle mastitis can lead to more effective prevention and treatment strategies. Articles in this section can help producers as well as industry-allied partners further their knowledge about mastitis issues in dairy cattle. Some of these publications are also available in Spanish for Spanish-speaking workers and managers. If there is a Spanish version, there will be a link at the top of the article. Mastitis and Milking Management Videos   Mastitis Causing Pathogens: Prevention and Control Effect of a Pour-On and Fly Tag Insecticide Combination in Controlling Horn Flies and Staphylococcus aureus Mastitis in Dairy Heifers Escherichia coli—A Practical Summary for Controlling Mastitis Klebsiella spp.—A Practical Summary for Controlling Mastitis Mycoplasma Mastitis Reference Guide for Mastitis-Causing Bacteria Serratia spp.—A Practical Summary for Controlling Mastitis Staphylococcus aureus Mastitis: Cause, Detection, and Control Vaccinating for Coliform Mastitis: Buying the Right Insurance Policy Vaccination against Staphylococcus aureus Mastitis in Dairy Cattle Management Practices A Practical Look at Contagious Mastitis A Practical Look at Environmental Mastitis Best Management Practices to Reduce Mastitis and Improve Milk Quality Dry Cow Therapy How to Beat That Summer Heat! Importance of Dry Cow Management in the Control of Mastitis Mastitis Detection, Prevention, and Control in Dairy Replacement Heifers Milk Quality and Somatic Cell Counts Are U.S. Dairy Farms Ready for a Drop in SCC Legal Limit? How Milk Quality is Assessed The Value and Use of Dairy Herd Improvement Somatic Cell Count Milking Management and Equipment Cleaning and Sanitizing Milking Equipment Milking Management Systems: What Your Computer Can Tell You Questions and Answers About Pre-Dipping Teat Disinfection Facts The Role of Milking Equipment in Mastitis Culturing Clinical Mastitis and Antibiotic Therapy Antimicrobial Resistance: Implications for Human and Animal Health on Dairy Farms Collection and Preparation of Milk Samples for Microbiological Culturing Making Better Treatment Decisions for Managing Clinical Mastitis On-farm Culture: Role in Mastitis and Impact on Antimicrobial Use Relationship Between the Use of Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin (Posilac®) in Dairy Cows and the Incidence of Clinical Mastitis Responsible Use of Antibiotics for Treatment of Clinical Mastitis Subject Area Leader Ron Erskine is the leader of the Mastitis and Milking Management subject area. If you have submissions or comments, you can contact him via email at erskine@cvm.msu.edu. [...]



Dairy Cattle Facilities

2017-07-05T18:41:53Z

Dairy cattle, specifically the milking herd and close-up dry cows, are housed in various types of dairy facilities. These facilities can include tie stalls for individual dairy cows, free stalls, dry lots, pasture systems, and more recently, compost bedded packs. One common thread with all of these dairy cattle housing systems is to ensure that dairy cows are comfortable and managed in an environment to improve their health and prevent diseases. Dairy farmers have always realized and practiced good animal welfare and well-being, and understand that comfortable cows give more milk and are healthier. Facilities Videos   2008 Wisconsin Dairy Modernization Survey Adolescent Heifer Housing Assessing Existing Facilities for Replacement Housing Bulk Storage Comprehensive Evaluation of a Low-Profile Cross-Ventilated Free Stall Barn Compost Bedded Pack Barns for Dairy Cows Cross-Ventilated Barns for Dairy Cows: New Building Design with Cow Comfort in Mind Dairy Robotic Milking Systems — What are the Economics? Design Considerations for Dairy Cattle Free Stalls Design, Selection, and Use of TMR Mixers Drive-Over Silage Pile Construction Effect of Flooring and Flooring Surfaces on Lameness Disorders in Dairy Cattle Effects of Cow Comfort on Milk Quality, Productivity, and Behavior Evaluating and Selecting Cooling Systems for Different Climates Feed Center Design Feed Center Design and Components Five Steps to Designing the Ideal Transition Cow Barn Flooring Considerations for Dairy Cows Housing Factors to Optimize Respiratory Health of Calves in Naturally Ventilated Calf Barns in Winter Improving Cow Comfort in Tie-Stall Housing Low Cost Housing and Feeding Facilities for Lactating Cows Makin' Me Dizzy - Pen Moves and Facility Designs to Maximize Transition Cow Health and Productivity Newborn Housing for Dairy Calves Planning and Design Considerations for Transition and Special Needs Cow Housing Recycled Manure Solids as Bedding (En Español) Remodeling a Tie Stall Barn for an Interim Milking Parlor Role of Facility Design and Ventilation on Calf Health Sand for Bedding Dairy Cow Stalls Taking Advantage of Natural Behavior Improves Dairy Cow Performance Transition Housing for Heifers Water System Design Considerations for Modern Dairies Subject Area Leader Rick Norell is the leader of the Facilities subject area. If you have submissions or comments, you can contact him via email at rnorell@uidaho.edu. [...]



Dairy Cattle Business Management and Dairy Farm Labor

2017-07-05T18:41:33Z

Introduction Business management of dairy cattle operations is increasingly important if family goals are to be achieved in today’s dairy economy. Managing labor and farming operations effectively can lead to improved overall profits and success. The following articles deal with some of the areas that dairy producers should consider, including labor management, dairy farm financial records and analysis, budgeting, and business planning. Business and Labor Management Videos   Bidding Strategies for the CWT Herd Buyout Program Building Family Business Relations Building a Dairy Farm Team Dairy Robotic Milking Systems — What are the Economics? Establishing and Using a Farm Financial Record-Keeping System Evaluating Performance and Providing Feedback to Employees Farm Financial Scorecard How to Properly Discipline and Terminate Dairy Employees Including Employees in the Decision-Making Process Managing Labor Responsible for Feeding the Lactating Dairy Herd Partial Budgeting Suggested Chart of Accounts For Computer Accounting and What Should Be in Each Account The DuPont Analysis: Making Benchmarking Easier and More Meaningful The Economics of Heifer Raising Options The Role of Human Resource Management in Risk Management What is Your Farm's Future?   Subject Area Leader Dianne Shoemaker is the leader of the Business and Labor Management subject area. If you have submissions or comments, you can contact her via email at shoemaker.3@osu.edu. [...]



Dairy Calf and Dairy Heifer Management

2017-07-05T18:40:12Z

Introduction Well-grown dairy calves and heifers play an important role in the future success of all dairy farms. Being able to efficiently raise replacement dairy heifers or create an effective working relationship with a contracted dairy heifer grower is crucial to raising replacements that improve the performance of the dairy herd for years to come. Choose one of the following subcategories to view in-depth articles and fact sheets about dairy calf and dairy heifer management. Calf and Heifer Management Videos Management Systems Assessing Existing Facilities for Replacement Housing Considerations when Planning Dairy Calf and Heifer Facilities Dairy Calf Management Practices Impact Future Production Economic Issues Associated with Raising Dairy Replacements Heifer Economics Heifer Growth Monitor Spreadsheet Series Heifer Management Blueprints: Heifers and Feed Bunk Management Heifer Management Blueprints: Unique Aspects of Managing Dairy Heifers in Free Stall Barns Labor Management for Heifer Rearing Manual for GROWTH MONITOR Monitoring Dairy Heifer Growth Newborn Housing for Dairy Calves Precision Feeding Dairy Heifers Raising Dairy Replacements:Heifer Fundamentals The Economics of Heifer Raising Options Birth to Weaning Health Calf Diseases and Prevention Colostrum Supplements and Replacer Early Identification of Sick Calves Important to Their Survival and Future Milk Production Electrolytes for Dairy Calves Getting Dairy Calves Off to a Good Start — The SIP Principle with Colostrum Role of Facility Design and Ventilation on Calf Health Simplified Scoring System to Identify Respiratory Disease in Dairy Calves Feeding Equipment Cleaning Milk Equipment, Yet Again! Technology & Nutritional Needs of Milk-Fed Calves To Wash or Not to Wash: Who Knows the Answer? Using Bleach as a Germicide for Manual Washing Feeding Equipment Nutrition Application of New Technologies in Functional Proteins for Feeding Calves Automated Milk Feeding Systems for Dairy Calves Early Weaning Strategies Feeding Pre-Weaned Calves for Future Production Feeding the Newborn Dairy Calf Managing Dairy Calves and Heifers During the Winter Months Milk Replacer Costs and Your Options Pasteurizing Milk and Colostrum Raising Dairy Replacements:Calf Nutrition Rumen Development in the Dairy Calf Weaning Calves from an Automatic Feeder Weaning to Six Months Applied Calf Research from Birth to Six Months Feeding Strategies for Post-Weaned Dairy Heifers, 2 to 6 months of age Transition Housing for Heifers Six Months Until Breeding Adolescent Heifer Housing New Horizons in Ethanol Byproducts Breeding to Pre-fresh Heifer Management Blueprints: Distillers Grains for Dairy Heifers Heifer Management Blueprints: Energy Requirements of Dairy Heifers in Wisconsin Environments Reproductive Management Systems for Artificial Insemination of Dairy Heifers Strategies to Improve Feed Efficiency in Dairy Replacement Heifer Feeding Programs Contract Raising Heifers Dairy Heifer Contracting Fundamentals Pasture Management Systems Labor Efficient Pasture Management Raising Dairy Replacements:Pasture Management Resources Follow this link for Calf Notes by Jim Quigley and issues of Calving Ease by Sam Leadley. Subject Area Leader Amy Stanton is the leader of the Calf and Heifer subject area. If you have submissions or comments, you can contact her via email at alstanton@wisc.edu. [...]



Understanding Metritis in Dairy Cows

2017-06-01T19:18:24Z

This article is part of our series of original articles on emerging featured topics. Please check here to see other articles in this series. Metabolic and infectious diseases in transition dairy cows directly impact future milk production and reproductive performance. Metritis is an infectious disease that is typically observed 10 to 14 days after calving. Fresh cows with this infection have a foul smelling discharge and may or may not have a fever. Approximately 12% of freshening dairy cows experience some degree of metritis, with the incidence rate being greater in those that experience a difficult birth, have twins, or have a retained placenta. In a DAIReXNET video entitled “Diagnosis and Treatment of Metritis in Dairy Cows”, Dr. Stephen LeBlanc from the University of Guelph discussed the factors that contribute to the occurrence of metritis, the impact of the disease, and treatment for it. A summary of his discussion is included in this article. Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. Dr. LeBlanc described metritis as a foul smelling, reddish brown discharge from the vulva. He explained that only 10 to 45% of the cows with metritis have a fever. After calving, all dairy cows experience some degree of bacterial contamination within the uterus and a cow’s immune system must “kick in” to clear the infection. Healthy cows have a robust and well-regulated immune response that can respond to this contamination. Cows that later develop metritis may have a lower or delayed immune response around the time of calving compared to cows that remain “healthy”. Thus, the difference between healthy cows and those which develop metritis is related to how effectively the cow responds to the infection and recovers.  E. coli is the initial bacterial contaminant associated with metritis. Certain strains of E. coli are adapted to cause an infection in the uterus, and these are different from those causing mastitis or scours in calves. Dr. LeBlanc discussed research that showed cows with metritis have lower milk production and reproductive performance. Mature cows with a mild or severe case of metritis produce about 600 lbs. less milk within a lactation compared to healthy fresh cows. First-calf heifers did not show any difference in milk production whether they had metritis or not. Cows with severe metritis had lower pregnancy rates at first service and by 120 days in milk, but these differences disappeared by 300 days in milk. Culling rates were not different between cows with or without metritis. Dr. LeBlanc discussed risk factors for metritis other than dystocia, twins, or retained placenta. Research has indicated a relationship between feed intake before calving and risk for metritis. Cows that later develop metritis had lower dry matter intakes pre-calving than cows that did not develop metritis. Management practices, such as adequate bunk space (36 inches/cow), adequate resting space (80% of capacity), and heat abatement, are important to optimize feed intake before calving. In addition, subclinical hypocalemia (milk fever) can be a risk factor for developing metritis. Calcium is important for uterine muscle contractions and for the best immune response to fight off bacterial challenges. Dr. LeBlanc also discussed the results of research studies where antibiotics were given as a treatment for metritis. In one study, only three-quarters of the cows treated with an antibiotic were cured 7 to 9 days after treatment. For those cows not treated [...]



Dairy Cattle Health and Diseases

2017-06-01T19:18:09Z

Introduction Being able to properly identify and monitor certain health conditions and diseases of dairy cattle is an important step in preventing side effects from these situations. The following articles provide current information related to dairy cattle health and diseases including, but not limited to, dairy cattle lameness, parasite control, dairy calf diseases, and other common diseases and metabolic disorders in dairy cattle. Health and Diseases Archived Webinars   Adult Dairy Cow Mortality Body Condition Scoring as a Tool for Dairy Herd Management Bovine Leukosis Virus Calf Diseases and Prevention Cow Comfort and Health Electrolytes for Dairy Calves External Parasites of Dairy Cattle Five Steps to Designing the Ideal Transition Cow Barn Heat Stress in Dairy Cattle Heat Stress Management of Dry Cows Impact of Milk Fever and Hypocalcemia on Reproductive Performance of the Dairy Cow Inflammation and Transition Cow Disorders Internal Parasites in Beef and Dairy Cattle Lameness in Dairy Cattle Minimizing Subclinical Metabolic Diseases New Developments in Understanding Ruminal Acidosis in Dairy Cows Nutrition and Claw Health Prevention and Control of Foot Problems in Dairy Cows Prevention and Control of Nitrate Toxicity in Cattle Prevention of Displaced Abomasum Prevention of Udder Edema in Dairy Cows Progress in the Understanding of Hemorrhagic Bowel Syndrome Simplified Scoring System to Identify Respiratory Disease in Dairy Calves Therapeutic Nutrition for Dairy Cattle Transition Management Checklist Understanding Fungal (Mold) Toxins (Mycotoxins) Understanding Metritis in Dairy Cattle Subject Area Leader Julie Smith is the leader of the Health and Diseases subject area. If you have submissions or comments, you can contact her via email at julie.m.smith@uvm.edu.. [...]



Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures

2017-05-30T20:00:07Z

If your farm stores oil, fuel, or oil products, you should take note of the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC) program. This rule applies to storages of a certain size and places some planning requirements on the farm. Speakers also discuss the proposed exemption for certain milk containers. Reminder: Farms now must amend and implement their Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans. The compliance date for farms is May 10, 2013. NOTE: This presentation was originally broadcast on November 19, 2010 and the speakers discuss a proposed exemption for certain milk containers. On April 18, 2011, EPA published a final rule amending the SPCC regulations to exempt milk and milk product containers, associated piping and appurtenances. The capacity of the exempt milk and milk product containers, piping and appurtenances should not be included in a facility's total oil storage capacity calculation to determine if the facility is subject to SPCC. For more information on the milk exemption, see EPA’s SPCC and milk page.  More about the webcast...What software do you need to view the slides and the videos? The embedded videos can be viewed full screen by clicking on the icon in the lower right corner. The SPCC Rule and Recent Amendments Troy Swackhammer, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Emergency Management (29 minutes) frameborder="0" height="300" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/17121725" width="400">Download a Copy of This Segment (29 MB)Presentation Slides NRCS Pilot Initiative to Help Comply with On-Farm Oil Spill Regulation Troy Swackhammer - presentation developed by Carol Galloway for NRCS (4 minutes) frameborder="0" height="300" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/17121597" width="400">Download a Copy of This Segment (4.2 MB)Presentation Slides SPCC Guidance and Template for Dairy Producers David Hickey, Director of Government Relations, National Milk Producers Federation (9 minutes) frameborder="0" height="300" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/17120907" width="400">Download a Copy of This Segment (9.8 MB)Presentation Slides Question and Answer All Speakers (19 minutes) frameborder="0" height="300" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/17121423" width="400">Download a Copy of This Segment (19.9 MB) Continuing Education Units American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) View the archive and report your attendance to ARPAS via their website. Visit the ARPAS continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities. Additional Resource and Links Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule EPA's SPCC website for Agriculture SPCC Information for Farmers, factsheet Compliance Deadline Extension for Farms Tools to help you create your SPCC plan EPA Frequent Questions and Answers NRCS Factsheet SPCC Plan Template [...]



Manure Application in No-Till

2017-05-30T19:58:35Z

Novel Approaches to Manure Application in No-Till. This webcast features some of what has been learned about the agronomic, economic and environmental effects of several novel approaches to incorporating manure in no-till systems. This presentation was originally broadcast on September 17, 2010. More... What software do you need to view the slides and the videos? The embedded videos can be viewed full screen by clicking on the icon in the lower right corner. Pennsylvania Low Disturbance Manure Incorporation Research Doug Beegle, Penn State University (22 minutes) frameborder="0" height="300" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/28108178" width="400"> Download a Copy of Part 1 (8.5 MB) and Part 2 (7.1 MB)Presentation Slides Aerator Incorporation of Spring-Applied Dairy Manure versus Chisel Incorporation in Reduced Tillage Systems Quirine Ketterings, Cornell University (12 minutes) frameborder="0" height="300" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/28108199" width="400"> Download a Copy of This Segment (9.7 MB)Presentation Slides Subsurfer Manure Injection Doug Beegle, Penn State University (10 minutes) frameborder="0" height="300" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/28108189" width="400"> Download a Copy of This Segment (7.2 MB)Presentation Slides Question and Answer All Speakers (27 minutes) frameborder="0" height="300" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/28108134" width="400"> Download a Copy of Part 1 (5.5 MB), Part 2 (6.2 MB), and Part 3 (5.4 MB) Written Question and Answer Summary Continuing Education Units American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) View the archive and report your attendance to ARPAS via their website. Visit the ARPAS continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities. Additional Resource and Links Manure Application in No-Till and Pasture Systems Cornell University Manure Application Methods New Subsurface Applicator for Dry Litter Direct Incorporation of Poultry Litter into No-Till Soils to Minimize Nutrient Runoff to Chesapeake Bay [...]



NAQSAT for Beef and Dairy

2017-05-30T19:57:55Z

NAQSAT is a tool for determining opportunities to reduce air emissions from livestock farms. This webcast focuses on Beef and Dairy Production, while part 2 focuses on Swine and Poultry. This presentation was originally broadcast on August 20, 2010. More... View Individual Presentations What software do you need to view the slides and the videos? The embedded videos can be viewed full screen by clicking on the icon in the lower right corner. Introduction Natalie Rector, Michigan State University (13 minutes) frameborder="0" height="300" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/28207368" width="400"> Presentation SlidesDownload a Copy of This Segment (9.4 MB) Beef Case Study Crystal Powers, University of Nebraska - Lincoln (19 minutes) frameborder="0" height="300" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/28109930" width="400"> Presentation SlidesDownload a Copy of This Segment (12.8 MB) Dairy Case Study Tamilee Nennich, Purdue University (18 minutes) frameborder="0" height="300" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/28109894" width="400"> Presentation SlidesDownload a Copy of This Segment (12.5 MB) Question and Answer All Presenters (19 minutes) frameborder="0" height="300" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/28109952" width="400"> Download a Copy of This Segment (13.2 MB) Continuing Education Units American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) View the archive and report your attendance to ARPAS via their website. Visit the ARPAS continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities. Additional Resource and Links National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool (NAQSAT) Air Quality in Animal Agriculture Animal Agriculture and Air Quality Air Managements Practices Assessment Tool Manure Management and Air Quality Livestock Manure Management [...]



Precision Phosphorus Feeding for Dairy Cattle

2017-05-30T19:55:32Z

Precision Phosphorus Feeding of the Dairy Cow. This presentation was originally broadcast on March 19, 2010. More...What software do you need to view the slides and the videos? The embedded videos can be viewed full screen by clicking on the icon in the lower right corner. Dietary Nutrient Management: What Goes In, Must Come Out Dr. Mark Hanigan, Department of Dairy Science, Virginia Tech (25 minutes) allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Ig0bMhdX3dw?hl=en&fs=1" width="425"> Download a Copy of This Segment (17 MB)Presentation Slides Precision Phosphorus Feeding Incentive Program Dr. Charles Stallings, Department of Dairy Science, Virginia Tech (10 minutes) allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/UgeWVMH5abw?hl=en&fs=1" width="425"> Download a Copy of This Segment (6.8 MB)Presentation Slides Impact of Feed Management Software on Feeding Management and Whole Farm Nutrient Balance Dr. Robert James, Department of Dairy Science, Virginia Tech (20 minutes) allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/brZkoMYJ4G0?hl=en&fs=1" width="425"> Download a Copy of This Segment (14.3 MB)Presentation Slides Question and Answer All Speakers (9 minutes) allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/lrfKVqfG9EE?hl=en&fs=1" width="425"> Download a Copy of This Segment (5.9 MB) Continuing Education Units American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) View the archive and report your attendance to ARPAS via their website. Visit the ARPAS continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities. Additional Resource and Links Review – Nutrient Management in Dairy Cattle Lesson 12. Feeding Dairy Cows to Reduce Nutrient Excretion [...]



Methane Mitigation Strategies for Dairy Herds

2017-05-04T18:16:00Z

Proceedings Home | W2W Home  Purpose  The U.S. dairy industry has committed to lowering the carbon footprint of milk production by 25% by 2020. A key factor in meeting this goal is reducing enteric greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which represent about 51% of the carbon footprint of a gallon of milk. Methane (CH4) is the primary GHG emitted by dairy cows. Total methane emissions represented 10.6% of the total U.S. GHG emissions in 2014. Enteric CH4 emissions were 22.5% of the total methane emissions. Methane emissions from dairy cattle were 5.7% of total U.S. methane emissions or 0.6% of all U.S. GHG emissions. The purpose of this project was to examine nutrition and management options to lower methane emissions from dairy cattle. What did we do? align="right" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/u5GWopis044?rel=0&modestbranding=1&autohide=1&showinfo=0&controls=0" width="480"> This project utilized a number of approaches. One was to develop a base ration using the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System (CNCPS) model to evaluate the impact of level of dry matter intake and milk production on methane emissions. A second approach was to compile a database of commercial herd rations from 199 dairy farms. This database was used to examine relationships between the feeding program and CH4 emissions. A third component was to utilize published review papers to estimate potential on-farm CH4 reductions based on research data. What have we learned?  A base ration developed in the CNCPS model was evaluated at milk production levels ranging from 40 to 120 pounds of milk. As milk production increased, CH4 emissions increased from 373 to 509 grams/cow/day. This is primarily due to increasing levels of dry matter intake as milk production increases. However, the CH4 emissions per pound of milk decreased from 9.32 to 4.24 g as milk production increased. The 199 commercial herd database had an average input milk of 83.7 pounds per day with a range from 50 to 128 pounds. Daily dry matter intake (DMI) averaged 51.4 pounds with a range of 35.2 to 69.8. Simple correlations were run between CH4 emissions and ration components. Dry matter intake had a positive (0.795) correlation with CH4 emissions (g/day). However, the correlation between DMI and CH4/pound of milk was -0.65. These results agree with published research on the relationship of DMI and CH4 emissions. Starch intake also had a positive correlation (0.328) while percent ration starch was negatively correlated (-0.27) with CH4 emissions. There was also a positive correlation (0.79) between the pounds of NDF intake and CH4 emissions. A review paper indicated that the maximum potential reduction in CH4 emissions by altering rations was 15% (Knapp et. al., 2014). Projected reductions from genetic selection, rumen modifiers and other herd management practices were 18, 5 and 18% in this same paper. The reduction by combining all approaches was estimated to be 30%. A second review paper listed mitigation strategies as low, medium or high (Hristov et. al. 2013). Potential reductions for the low group was <10% while the medium group was 10-30%. The high group had >30% potential to lower CH4 emissions. Ionophores, grazing management and feed processing were in the low group. Improving forage quality, feeding additional grain and precisio[...]



Dairy Calf Management Practices Impact Future Production

2017-05-01T17:46:02Z

This article is part of our series of original articles on emerging featured topics. Please check here to see other articles in this series. Gone are the days when growth and health of dairy calves are the only important outcomes expected with successful calf management programs! We now understand that these programs also impact a calf’s future performance. Known as perinatal programming, management and nutritional practices during early life have three to seven times more influence on future milk production than sire selection. Our understanding in this area has increased in recent years and this will continue to be an actively studied area. Consequently, the role of certain management practices which control or impact future performance will become better understood along with a continual refinement of recommended nutritional and management practices in heifers prior to puberty.  When implementing practices on farm, understanding the reasons behind these practices, why they have changed over time, and how they can impact future performance are important parts of managing heifer programs. Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. Colostrum intake Feeding four quarts of high quality colostrum within six hours of life is important for healthy calves. Antibodies are not absorbed across the placenta because of the multiple tissue layers between the blood supply to the placenta and uterus. Thus, calves must absorb antibodies found in colostrum for early life immunity against diseases. Failure to absorb an adequate amount of IgG antibodies is known as failure of passive transfer. Calves which do not absorb adequate IgG antibodies have lower weight gain, increased risk for disease and death, and decreased milk production during their first lactation. (Additional information on feeding colostrum is available in the article “Getting Dairy Calves Off to a Good Start — The SIP Principle with Colostrum”.) Colostrum important for more than healthy calves Researchers estimate that feeding four versus two quarts of colostrum to large breed calves may increase milk production by 2,500 lbs. or more during the first lactation. This production response is related to nutrients and other components found in colostrum, in addition to the antibodies. Colostrum contains growth factors, hormones and other biologically active factors which positively impact the development of the digestive tract. These components of colostrum, in turn, enhance the uptake and utilization of nutrients, especially those associated with providing energy. This positive effect continues throughout this calf’s life. Calves are born with an immature immune system Newborns have an immature immune system which takes 6 months or more to fully mature. Essentially, their immune system has “no memory” and, as a result, does not respond well when faced with a disease challenge. Maternal antibodies from colostrum are essential to protect the newborn for at least the first 2 to 4 months of life. However, these maternal antibodies can interfere with a calf’s ability to respond immunologically to traditionally administered vaccines. To avoid the influence of maternal antibodies, intranasal vaccines can be used to vaccinate young calves to reduce the risk of respiratory diseases. Intranasal vaccines elic[...]



Automated Milk Feeding Systems for Dairy Calves

2017-04-03T15:33:38Z

This article is part of our series of original articles on emerging featured topics. Please check here to see other articles in this series. Automated milk feeding (AMF) systems have been used in Europe for many years, but the usage in the US has increased in recent years. These systems allow for increased social facilitation among calves, redirection of labor from feeding to management of calves, consistency of milk delivery, and consumption of additional milk in smaller meals. Experience with these systems has revealed that the risk of spreading disease in the group housing can be minimized with good management, and non-nutritive sucking is minimized by the higher consumption of milk than is typical with conventional twice-a-day feeding. Some farmers have installed these systems with the idea that labor needs for calves would be reduced; however, use of these systems generally just allows redirection of the labor from feeding to calf management. Perceived benefits of such systems by dairy farmers considering adopting them need to be evaluated based on research and experiences by those using such systems. Thus, many aspects of AMF need to be monitored to optimize calf performance. Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. Housing As with any indoor calf raising system, ventilation is fundamental for reducing the risk of respiratory and other diseases. Inadequate ventilation has been a common problem in barns where AMF systems have been installed. Farmers should exercise caution when placing these feeders in pre-existing barns without modifications to the ventilation. Increased animal stocking density and inadequate ventilation can cause immediate issues and increase the incidence of respiratory diseases. Whether in a pre-existing barn or a new barn, positive pressure ventilation will most likely be needed. In a University of Minnesota study, researchers observed that barns without such ventilation resulted in about an 80% increase in the likelihood that calves would become sick. A minimum resting space of 35 sq. ft. per calf is needed, but 40 to 45 sq. ft. of space per calf is recommended, especially for larger breed calves. In the University of Minnesota study, health problems declined as the amount of space per calf was increased. From their study, they suggested 12 to 15 calves per pen because they observed that the number of sick calves increased with larger numbers of calves per pen. Most manufacturers of the AMF recommend one or two nipples per pen, with 25 to 30 calves per nipple. Thus to reduce the risk of disease, generally one nipple should be provided per pen and 20 to 25 calves grouped together. For example, a 30’ x 30’ pen should provide enough space for 20 Holstein calves. However, it has often been observed that calves do not use the allocated space well; they tend to bunch up in certain areas of the pen. Improved use of entire pen can occur with good ventilation (most important), adequate amount of dry bedding, and placement of the water and calf starter away from the nipple. Both water and calf starter need to be provided free choice. The most common method of feeding calf starter is in a raised bunk. Using the bunk tends to encourage calves to eat as a group, thus potentially stimulating greater starter intake. [...]



Dairy Reproduction Featured Videos

2017-03-02T16:11:48Z

Reproductive success is vital to the profitability and sustainability of any dairy farm. Good management practices are an important component of running an effective reproduction program, and these five videos can help improve management and decision-making. From economic tools to troubleshooting, learn more with DAIReXNET. Don't want to miss new videos? Head over to our YouTube channel and subscribe!   Dairy Reproduction: Identifying Problems and Solutions for Your Herd Many dairies experience difficulty in their reproduction programs, and a wide range of factors can affect reproductive success in a herd. In this session, Ray Nebel took a look at some of the factors that affect reproduction on dairies, including labor, nutrition, environment, and the cow herself. He also discussed how you can find and fix problems that could be affecting the success of your reproduction program. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FBY8FnOQsO0" width="560"> The Role of Nutrition in Dairy Reproduction In this presentation, Dr. Milo Wiltbank discussed some studies on the effects nutrition can have on reproduction for high-efficiency dairy cattle. He talked about some important time periods to focus on, the effect of vitamin E on reproductive performance, dry period nutrition and post-partum body condition, and more. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fH2scAa7xNc" width="560"> Strategies to Improve Reproduction During Summer Heat Stress Reproductive failure is the number one reason dairy cows involuntarily leave the dairy farm and summer heat stress amplifies this costly issue. However, managerial, hormonal and novel reproductive technologies are available which will reduce the severity of summer heat stress on reproduction. The various strategies were presented in detail to educate both producers and consultants to be able to implement reproductive program changes to mitigate summer’s negative effects. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hjm1rRJKF_4" width="560"> Economic Analysis Tools for Dairy Reproduction Programs Drs. Cabrera and Fricke of the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed some new economic analysis tools for dairy reproduction programs. During this session, Dr. Cabrera discussed three main decision support systems, including the UW-DairyRepro$Plus and the Dairy Reproductive Economic Analysis. These tools are openly available at http://dairymgt.info/tools.php under the Reproduction heading. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WBFF9H1bsJg" width="560"> New Tools for Dairy Reproduction Programs Dr. Fricke covered two areas of reproductive research that have investigated new tools for reproduction and conclude each with an economic analysis of the data. The first new tool will be the use of accelerometer systems combined with various levels of synchronization for submitting cows for first AI service. The second tool will be new methods for non-pregnancy diagnosis coupled with strategies for resynchronization of ovulation. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1kt9VFH0NGs" width="560"> [...]



External Parasites of Dairy Cattle

2017-02-20T21:13:54Z

This factsheet discusses the various external parasites of dairy cattle. It also includes tables with dairy cattle insecticide registrations and lists insecticides by specific pests for which they control. You can find a regularly updated version of this factsheet at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ig050.

Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production

P.E. Kaufman, P.G. Koehler, and J.F. Butler




Weaning Calves from an Automatic Feeder

2017-02-01T19:02:43Z

This article is part of our series of original articles on emerging featured topics. Please check here to see other articles in this series. Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. Over the years, the practice of feeding calves through an automatic feeding system has been explored. Even though the conventional way of feeding milk or milk replacer to calves individually 2 or 3 times daily has been proven to result in healthy and profitable calves, some farmers are considering ways to reduce time spent feeding calves. Most automatic calf feeders are programmed to use accelerated calf feeding programs where more total volume of milk is fed per day but in smaller more frequent meals, similar to how a calf nurses its dam. This automatic system identifies a calf through an ear tag or a neck collar and dispenses an amount of milk based on how the system has been programmed, such as based on age, body weight, etc. When managed properly, this feeding system provides for excellent growth of the calf. Additionally, when these systems are used correctly, they can reduce the stress on the calf at the time of weaning. Some key points to remember when weaning calves from an automatic calf feeding system include: Program automatic calf feeder carefully to meet your goals when weaning calves At the time of weaning, calves usually are consuming between 8 to 16 quarts/day of milk or reconstituted milk replacer, depending on how the feeder was programmed and the goals of the operation. These calves usually visit the feeder 4 to 8 times per day and consume around 2 quarts per visit. The computer will then recognize that the calf is at a management-determined age, usually 50 days of age. Now, the computer will start reducing the amount of milk the calf receives during each visit and decrease the number of visits where milk is available to the calf each day. This step-down process is usually done over a week to 10 days. After this time period, the computer will stop providing milk to the calf. Take it slowly With accelerated calf feeding programs, more milk is fed during the suckling phase than conventional calf rearing methods. Feeding these higher amounts of milk likely means that calves are not eating as much starter as calves that are fed on a conventional system where less milk is fed. To stimulate increased intake of starter, weaning should occur over a 1- to 2-week period whereby the amount of milk fed is slowly decreased. When calves are weaned suddenly over a shorter period, the intake of starter is not sufficient to provide for the energy needs of the calf. Consequently, the calf may not gain weight or may actually lose weight during the weaning phase. By reducing the amount of milk calves receive at each visit, this will promote the calf to consume more starter and increase energy intake from the starter while decreasing energy supplied through the milk. Additionally, this weaning technique will decrease the number of unrewarded visits than if the amount of milk is removed quickly, decreasing the stress to the weaning calf. Always have starter and clean water available Water always should be available and starter should be available after three days of age or wh[...]



Simplified Scoring System to Identify Respiratory Disease in Dairy Calves

2017-01-18T12:59:23Z

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD), also known as shipping fever or pneumonia, is a significant problem for dairy replacement heifers. According to reports from the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), 18.1% of pre-weaned dairy heifers experienced respiratory disease (USDA 2012), but respiratory problems accounted for 22.5% of deaths in unweaned heifers and 46.5% in weaned heifers (USDA 2010). That means respiratory disease is the single greatest cause of heifer deaths after weaning. Long term effects on performance include decreased probability of survival to first calving, decreased growth, delayed age at first calving, increased probability of having a difficult delivery at first calving, premature culling, and reduced lifetime profit (Heinrichs et al 2005, Guliksen et al 2009, Stanton et al 2012, Bach 2011).  Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. Early detection and treatment of sick animals is important regardless of cause. Often there are multiple causes such as a combination of viral and bacterial infections along with various management and environmental stressors. Among a group of animals, individuals may be observed with varying severity and stage of disease. Diagnostic tests can be expensive, so care takers should be trained to consistently assess an animal’s health status. BRD scoring systems present a way to standardize diagnosis across a large number of animals.  Simple and Useful Tool to Assess Respiratory Disease The usefulness of a disease scoring system for dairy farms is limited by the logistics and practicalities of on-site implementation. A new on-farm bovine respiratory disease (BRD) scoring system has recently been created in an effort to provide an easy and accurate way to diagnose BRD in pre-weaned dairy calves (Love et al. 2014).  Five’s the Limit This simplified scoring system assesses six clinical signs.  When present, a specific number of points are assigned for each sign. A total score of 5 or higher classifies an individual as a BRD case.  Cough = 2 points Eye discharge = 2 points Fever (> 39.2oC) = 2 points Abnormal respiration = 2 points Nasal discharge = 4 points Ear droop or head tilt = 5 points One of the advantages of this system is that a rectal temperature is not needed for every calf; it is only needed if the total score for the visible signs is 4. A temperature could then tip the score over the cutoff of 5.   Please see Figure 1 for a detailed outline of the scoring. A printable version of the scoring system (in English and Spanish) can be found at: http://www.vmtrc.ucdavis.edu/laboratories/epilab/scoringsystem.pdf.   Figure 1. Scoring matrix for the simplified scoring system. (http://www.vmtrc.ucdavis.edu/laboratories/epilab/scoringsystem.pdf)   Simple and Accurate Validation of the simplified scoring system was performed by scoring 500 hutch-raised calves in parallel on both the new system and the Wisconsin system. The Wisconsin system uses five clinical signs scored by level of severity (http://www.vetmed.wisc.edu/dms/fapm/fapmtools/8calf/calf_respiratory_scoring_chart.pdf). In addition to scoring with both systems, the calves were evaluated fo[...]



Mastitis From Start to Finish: Featured Videos

2017-01-03T19:34:19Z

Mastitis is one of the more renowned health issues for dairy cattle. Affecting cattle health, production, and milk quality, mastitis can have a huge economic impact on a dairy. To learn more about mastitis, from how it starts, to diagnosis, prevention, and treatment, view this curated selection of past DAIReXNET webinars, now available on YouTube for your convenience. Don't want to miss a video from DAIReXNET? Head over to our channel and subscribe!   Managing Somatic Cell Counts First, you'll hear from Dr. Ron Erskine on the origin of somatic cells and the importance of a cow's immunity. Then Dr. Larry Fox picks up, discussing prevention tactics as well as practices that can help lower and maintain lowered SCC. Finally, Dr. Jeff Reneau wraps up by discussing how you can use herd records for problem-solving at the herd and individual cow level. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bo5PDwrJ2Lg" width="560">   Better Milk Quality from Better Mastitis Therapy Decisions Dr. Ron Erskine returns to talk about using available tools to improve mastitis therapy. Learn about mastitis culturing, the use of records, and several aspects of antibiotic usage. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lkHl8vZjv7g" width="560">   Milking System Design and Analysis The milking system is the heart of any dairy operation, and can have a major impact on mastitis! In this video, Dr. Roger Thomson discusses the design and analysis of a milking system, including some reasons a producer might consider changing the milking system, frequency of evaluation, and basic system design. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/10VC-CeYX_U" width="560">   Proper Dry-Off Procedures to Prevent New Infections and Cure Existing Cases of Mastitis Hear from Dr. Steve Nickerson on the keys of proper dry-off procedures for dairy cows, including: when to dry off intermittent milking vs. complete cessation of milking teat sanitation and infusion procedures use of nonlactating cow therapy and/or teat seals allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/s0xaFj971cE" width="560">   Managing Mastitis in Bred Heifers When you think mastitis, don't just think about your lactating cows! In another presentation from Dr. Nickerson, you can learn about the prevalence and treatment of mastitis in bred heifers, as well as several strategies for prevention. He discusses various methods that may help reduce the incidence of new infections, including teat seals, controlling horn fly populations, vaccinations, and feed additives. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Qd13LzYzWwo" width="560">       [...]



Transition Cow Webinars Now Available on Youtube!

2016-12-02T21:18:05Z

If you're familiar with DAIReXNET, you may have already perused our extensive collection of recorded webinars. But did you know that we have been putting this collection on Youtube? Now you can easily watch webinars on your computer, phone, or even your TV! To get you started, here's a small selection of our excellent educational presentations on transition cow issues.

 

Let's start with nutrition and reproduction, and how the one affects the other. In this presentation, Milo Wiltbank discusses some studies on the effects nutrition can have on reproduction for high-efficiency dairy cattle. You can learn about important time periods to focus on, the effect of vitamin E on reproductive performance, dry period nutrition and post-partum body condition, and more!

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Next, we'll move on to ketosis. Ketosis is the most common metabolic disease in dairy cattle, and it's important to be able to identify individual cows with ketosis as well as monitor herd prevalence. In this video, Dr. Oetzel discusses the testing process, including which tests can be used, the pros and cons of different tests, and testing strategies you may be able to use.

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Speaking of metabolic diseases affecting transition cows, this two-part series on hypocalcemia will first walk you through subclinical hypocalcemia and its causes.With Jesse Goff as your guide, you can learn about the implications of subclinical hypocalcemia on cow health, including possible effects on the immune system. Then, learn about various aspects of treating and preventing subclinical hypocalcemia. In addition to the efficacy of dietary means of prevention, Dr. gary Oetzel covers oral calcium supplements and how the calcium source can affect response.

 

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In one our our more recent dairy videos, Dr. Stephen LeBlanc discusses various aspects of metritis in dairy cows. This includes the contributing factors, such as lowered feed intake, bacterial loads, and various stressors, as well as diagnostic methods. He also covers the impact of metritis and efficacy of some of the available treatment options.

 

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Dairy Drought Resources

2016-11-09T21:54:29Z

Weather creates its share of challenges for dairying. Drought conditions can lead to short- and long-term effects in our production systems by impacting the forage portion of the ration. The resources compiled by DAIReXNET can help you identify and address the consequences of drought such as reduced pasture dry matter production, reduced forage inventories, poor fermentation of silage cut too dry, and the creation of toxic metabolites and silo gases. Special Drought Newsletters Delaware Dairy Summer Forage Special (PDF) Louisiana Dairy Digest - Drought Management on Louisiana Dairy Farms (PDF) Kentucky Dairy Notes (Dealing with the Drought - Considerations for Extending Forage Supplies) (PDF) Maryland Cooperative Extension Newsletter Special Drought Edition (PDF) Michigan Dairylines Regional Drought Newsletter (PDF) Michigan Dairy Review - 8 Ways to Beat the Summer Pasture Slump (PDF) Michigan Dairy Review - Harvesting Drought Stressed Corn for Silage (PDF) Tennessee Dairy News Drought Stress (PDF) Special Drought Websites North Carolina NC Department of Agriculture Drought Resources Information Page North Dakota Dairy Feeding During Drought Don't Overlook Water for Dairy Cattle Drought and Feed Poisoning in Dairy Cattle Drought Information - Coping With the Drought - home, family, farm and ranch and general drought information Drought Information Resources and other Disaster links Limiting Forage Intake for Dairy During Drought   The DAIReXNET Project Team wishes to thank everyone who contributed to this collection of limited forage resources (drought). If you have information that you would like to contribute feel free to let us know at damaral@uky.edu. [...]



Livestock Biosecurity

2016-11-09T21:03:53Z

  What Is It and Why Should I care? Biosecurity refers to strategies and management practices that lessen biological risk. On a farm, attention to biosecurity is the most important measure to reduce and prevent the introduction of diseases or pests of animals and plants. Biosecurity practices also minimize the spread of diseases or pests within a farm system. Many aspects of biosecurity are common sense, but if these strategies and practices are not enforced consistently, there is a greater risk of introducing animal or plant diseases and facing their accompanying economic costs.   Biosecurity practices on livestock farms and ranches include sanitation, animal management, feed management, facility maintenance,  manure handling, and disposal of dead animals. The following is a list of best practices. Sanitation Employee Sanitation Provide on-farm laundry facilities for all employees. Encourage employees to wash farm clothing with detergents and bleach. Have employees wash their hands before and after milking animals, working with sick animals, and working with young animals. Provide gloves when frequent cleaning between animals is necessary. Have workers wear some type of medical exam gloves when helping with births. Order tasks so employees work with younger animals before working with older animals. Young animals are  susceptible to diseases carried by older animals. Equipment Sanitation Clean and disinfect equipment that has been used on sick animals before using on healthy animals. Clean and disinfect hoof knives, clippers, tattoo pliers, ear taggers, ear notchers and dehorners between uses. Use the farm's own halters and clippers whenever possible. Sanitize nursing bottles and buckets before each feeding. Don’t use equipment that has handled manure for transporting or delivering feed.             Vehicle and Transport Sanitation Make sure visitor and service vehicles don’t drive over feed delivery or manure handling routes. Locate holding pens for animal pickups near the road and away from the herd and barn areas. Keep visitor vehicles out of areas that are accessible to livestock. Have visitors move from younger to older animal groups when touring the farm. Ensure that bedding in trucks is clean and ample when moving livestock to prevent both injuries and disease. Wash and disinfect the outside, inside, and especially the tires of vehicles that transport livestock to other farms.            Boot Cleaning Scrub off any visible dirt before thoroughly disinfecting boots. Soak boots in a clean solution of disinfectant mixed according to the product's directions. Provide disposable booties for visitors and dispose on site. Animal Management Keep animals that are new to the farm in a separate holding area. A quarantine period should be established to facilitate monitoring and testing the health status of new animals. This will also help to prevent the spread of diseases to the existing herd from animals that might be harboring a disease without exhibiting any clinical signs. Young [...]



DAIReXNET Contents

2016-10-31T20:43:08Z

Take a look at our series of new articles written just for DAIReXNET! Sign Up for Our Newsletter Videos Dairy Video Archive Upcoming Dairy Videos Subject Areas Business Management and Farm Labor Calf and Heifer Management Facilities Food Safety Genetics Health and Diseases Mastitis and Milking Management Materiales en español Milk Marketing Nutrient Management for Dairies Nutrition of Milking and Dry Cows Reproduction Other Resources State Newsletters State Extension Websites Consumer Links Contributing Partners [...]



Materiales en español

2016-10-17T20:00:17Z

Some of these publications are also available in English. If there is an English version there will be a link at the top of the article.   Terneros (Becerros) Alimentación con calostro Alimentando terneros con diarrea neonatal (scours) Electrolitos para terneras lecheras Importancia y manejo del calostro en el ganado de leche Métodos para alimentar con líquidos a los terneros ¿Se puede alimentar a los terneros una vez al día? Vaquillas Análisis económico para reemplazo de vaquillas Becerras prepúberes y producción de leche Efectos a largo plazo de la nutrición y manejo de la recría del vacuno de leche Maneje el Semen Sexado con Cuidado para Maximar le Fertilidad de las Novillas (In English) Uso de subproductos en las dietas de crecimiento de becerras lecheras Estrés Calórico Aporte adecuado de carbohidratos durante periodos de estrés por calor Estrategias para mejorar la ingestión durante periodos de estrés por calor.  (In English) Mastitis y Calidad de Leche El valor y uso del mejoramiento del conteo celular somático del hato lechero Hechos sobre la desinfección de los pezones Limpieza y desinfección del equipo de ordeño Mastitis contagiosa vs. ambiental Principios y bases para la prevención de mastitis Preguntas y respuestas sobre el uso del pre-sellado Programa de control de mastitis para vacas lecheras infectadas con Streptococcus agalactiae Rutinas apropiadas de ordeño Una mirada práctica a la mastitis ambiental Una mirada práctica a la mastitis contagiosa Un brote de mastitis: Qué hacer antes de que llegue el veterinario Uso de sólidos de estiércol reciclado para encamado (In English) Vacas lecheras infectadas con Staphilococus aureus Nutrición Aporte adecuado de carbohidratos durante periodos de estrés por calor Consideraciones en el Manejo y Alimentación del Hato Lechero durante el Estrés Por Calor Desarrollar una alimentación con procedimientos operativos estándar Efectos a largo plazo de la nutrición y manejo de la recría del vacuno de leche Estrategias para mejorar la ingestión durante periodos de estrés por calor.  (In English) Evaluación de forrajes: Vadeando a través de un Mar de Números (In English) Evaluando el tamaño de partícula de forrajes y RTMs usando el nuevo separador de partículas de forraje de Penn State Fósforo: importancia, problemas ambientales y requerimientos en ganado de leche Interpretación del análisis del ensilaje de maíz Lista de Chequeo de Aspectos Nutricionales para Mejorar la Eficiencia Reproductiva  (In English) Lista de Chequeo de las 5 Prioridades más Importantes del Programa de Alimentación de Otoño/Invierno en un Hato Lechero (In English) Manejo de Mano de Obra Responsable de la Alimentación de las Vacas Lecheras Lactantes (In English) Manejo del ensilado durante el proceso de alimentación Midiendo la concentración de materia seca en la granja ¿Qué le Están Diciendo sus Vacas Lecheras Sobre Su Programa de Nutrición? (In English) Tamaño de partícula y fibra efectiv[...]



Hipocalcemia Subclínica, o Fiebre de la Leche, en Vacas Lecheras – Porqué Tanto Escándalo?

2016-10-17T19:57:16Z

In English: Subclinical Hypocalcemia, or Milk Fever, in Dairy Cows — Why All the Fuss? Con la iniciación de la lactancia y seguida producción de leche, tremendas adaptaciones ocurren en la vaca lechera debido al aumento en el requerimiento de nutrientes para sostener la síntesis de leche. Además del aumento en el requerimiento de energía y aminoácidos para el calostro y luego para la síntesis de leche, el requerimiento de calcio aumenta dos- a tres- veces por encima de ése requerimiento por la vaca lechera previo al parto. Poco tiempo antes del parto, una vaca lechera deposita 8 a 10 g/d de calcio en su feto, pero cuando pare, 20 a 30 g/d son secretados en el calostro y leche. Así, adaptaciones metabólicas deben llevarse a cabo para poder sostener el aumento en el requerimiento de calcio. Si no se llevan a cabo muy pronto o son de suficiente magnitud, la concentración de calcio en la sangre cae por debajo de un umbral crítico pudiendo resultar en una hipocalcemia clínica y subclínica, o fiebre de la leche. Si usted está interesado en la producción de leche especializada u orgánica, lea este enlace. Rol del Calcio El calcio es vital para el tejido del esqueleto, músculo liso y función nerviosa incluyendo motilidad gastrointestinal y resistencia del músculo del esqueleto. La concentración más baja de calcio en sangre en general ocurre dentro de las 12 a 24 horas del parto y generalmente retorna a la normalidad en vacas sanas dentro de 2 a 3 días post parto. La hipocalcemia clínica es la enfermedad más reconocida en el ganado vacuno lechero por productores lecheros, con una tasa de incidencia de alrededor del 5%. El ganado Jersey y Guernsey es más susceptible a éste desorden. Una razón para de esto es que el ganado Jersey tiene menos receptors de la vitamina D que el ganado Holstein. La incidencia aumenta con mayor producción de leche y sucesivas lactancias. Las novillas raramente desarrollan hipocalcemia clínica porque éstas producen menos calostro y leche y pueden movilizar más rápidamente calcio de los huesos en su esqueleto en crecimiento. Reinhardt y colaboradores en el Centro Nacional de Enfermedades Animales en Ames, Iowa, encontró que la prevalencia de hipocalcemia clínica era del 1% para primera lactancia, 4% para segunda lactancia, 7% para tercera lactancia, y 10% para cuarta lactancia en vacas Holstein en un estudio donde 1,462 vacas fueron examinadas. La concentración de calcio en sangre está estrechamente regulada a través del control en la absorción de calcio en la dieta y liberación o consumo de calcio desde el hueso. Dos hormonas, hormona paratiroidea (conocida como PTH) y 1,25-dihidroxi vitamina D3, controlan éstos procesos. A medida que la concentración de calcio disminuye en la sangre, PTH es secretada y actúa en el riñón a fin de disminuir la excreción de calcio en la orina. Este cambio permite solo pequeños ajustes en la concentración de calcio en sangre. Si mayores cantidades de calcio son necesarias, como con la iniciación y[...]



Subclinical Hypocalcemia, or Milk Fever, in Dairy Cows — Why All the Fuss?

2016-10-17T19:53:03Z

en Español: Hipocalcemia Subclínica, o Fiebre de la Leche, en Vacas Lecheras – Porqué Tanto Escándalo? This article is part of our series of original articles on emerging featured topics. Please check here to see other articles in this series. With the initiation of lactation and continued milk production, tremendous adaptations occur in the dairy cow because of the increased need for nutrients to support milk synthesis. Besides the increased need for energy and amino acids for colostrum and afterward for milk synthesis, the requirement for calcium increases two- to three-fold over that required by the dairy cow before calving. Shortly before calving, a dairy cow deposits 8 to 10 g/d of calcium into her fetus, but when she calves, 20 to 30 g/d are secreted into colostrum and milk. Thus, metabolic adaptations must take place to support the increased need for calcium. If they do not take place soon enough or of sufficient magnitude, the concentration of calcium in the blood drops below a critical threshold and clinical and subclinical hypocalcemia, or milk fever, can result. Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. Role of Calcium Calcium is vital for skeleton tissue and smooth muscle and nerve function including gastrointestinal motility and skeletal muscle strength. The lowest concentration of blood calcium usually occurs within 12 to 24 hours of calving and generally returns to normal in healthy cows within 2 to 3 days post-calving. Clinical hypocalcemia is the most recognized disease in dairy cattle by dairy farmers, with an incidence rate around 5%. Jersey and Guernsey cattle are more susceptible to the disorder. One reason for this is that Jersey cattle have fewer vitamin D receptors than Holstein cattle. Incidence increases with higher milk production and successive lactation. First-calf heifers rarely develop clinical hypocalcemia because they produce less colostrum and milk and can more rapidly mobilize calcium from bone in their growing skeleton. Reinhardt and co-workers at the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa, found the prevalence of clinical hypocalcemia was 1% for first-lactation, 4% for second-lactation, 7% for third-lactation, and 10% for fourth-lactation Holstein cows in a study where 1,462 cows were sampled. The concentration of calcium in blood is tightly regulated through control of absorption of dietary calcium and release or uptake of calcium from bone. Two hormones, parathyroid hormone (known as PTH) and 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3, control these processes. As the concentration of calcium decreases in the blood, PTH is secreted and acts at the kidney to decrease the excretion of calcium in the urine. This change allows for only small adjustments in the concentration of blood calcium. If greater amounts of calcium are needed, as with the initiation and maintenance of lactation, PTH acts on bone, and calcium is reabsorbed and released into the blood. In addition, PTH acts on the [...]



Using Your Feed Resources, Labor, and Dollars Wisely

2016-10-13T20:54:57Z

This article is part of our series of original articles on emerging featured topics. Please check here to see other articles in this series. Well-managed and properly implemented feeding programs are one of the cornerstones associated with profitable dairy operations.  Nutrition and associated management programs must support the nutritional needs of lactating dairy cows, dry cows, and replacement heifers. With feed costs representing approximately half of the cost for producing milk, profitability is directly impacted by minimizing losses of forages and grains on farm, using available feed, labor, facility and economic resources wisely, and managing feed costs while optimizing milk production.  Although some costs associated with feeding programs are outside a farmer’s control, many are not.  In a companion article entitled “Targeting Dairy Feeding Programs for Less Feed Waste or Shrink”, ways to evaluate and minimize feed shrink on-farm were discussed.  This article, the second part of the series, looks at feeding management practices that can help improve the use of feed, labor, facility, and economic resources.  Specifically, it addresses: Feed Bunk Management, Managing Silo Structures to Minimize Losses, and Other Aspects of Dairy Cow Management that Impact Use of Feed Resources.   Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. Feed Bunk Management Management of the feed in the feedbunk and the labor responsible for feeding cattle is critical to optimize milk production, rebreed cows in a timely manner, minimize cow-health issues, and optimize a dairy farm’s profit.  The goal is to provide each group of cows with the nutrients needed to support their milk production, maintenance, growth, health, and reproduction.  When balancing diets for groups of cows, we are concerned about providing the nutrients in the total dry matter intake that the cows will consume. When cows do not eat the amount of feed expected, they do not receive the intended amount of each nutrient.  Consequently, milk production, reproduction, or health suffers which impact profitability of the dairy operation.  Personnel feeding the cows need to understand that the amounts fed and following key feeding principles are very important. Managers, on the other hand, need to spend time training and reviewing concepts with the labor responsible for feeding not only the lactating herd, but dry cows and replacement heifers also. Practices to review for the lactating herd include, but are not limited to: Lactating cows should have access to the feed bunk at least 20 hours daily, but preferably 22 hours daily (i.e., in holding pen for no more than a total of 2 to 3 hours daily). Minimizing the time away from feed allows cows to eat multiple meals, thus spreading the daily dry matter intake over the day and avoiding larger bouts of intake which can help optimize feed intake. This is especially important for f[...]



Feeding Practices for Dairy Cows Milked with Robotic Milking Systems

2016-10-03T14:29:28Z

This article is part of our series of original articles on emerging featured topics. Please check here to see other articles in this series. The goal of every dairy feeding program is to develop a low cost diet that meets the nutritional requirements of cows while optimizing milk production and cow health. In most conventional herds, this is accomplished by feeding a totally mixed ration (TMR) where all the ingredients are mixed together and delivered to the cow. For robotic milking system (RMS) herds, a partially mixed ration (PMR) containing all the forage and some of the concentrate is offered in the feed bunk. An additional amount of concentrate is fed through the RMS milking station; this amount varies according to the cow’s stage of lactation. Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. What brings cows to the milking station? Feed that is offered pelleted through an RMS is the major motivating factor to attract cows to consistently visit the milking station. However, cow’s attendance to the milking station is not only dependent on the PMR and pellets offered in the RMS, but also on feeding management, cow comfort, cow health, and social interactions among cows. In a survey we conducted at the University of Minnesota, nutritionists indicated that quality of the pellet offered in the milking station and consistent mixing of the PMR were the two biggest feeding factors contributing to RMS success. Rodenburg and Wheeler (2002) showed that in a free flow RMS, feeding a high quality pellet (hard pellet with few fines made from palatable ingredients) increased the number of voluntary milkings from 1.72 to 2.06/cow per day compared with feeding a low quality pellet. We observed that at start-up of a new RMS, nutritionists and farmers focused on developing a pellet formula that encouraged milking station visits. Once they had a pellet that worked well, other factors became more important. Many producers commented that even minor changes in the PMR moisture, consistency of the mix (i.e., long hay that is difficult to process to a consistent length), and changes in forage quality affected visits. If forage moisture changes and rations are not adjusted promptly, visits may drop. The drop in visits will result in a decrease in milk production and an increase in the number of fetch cows. The increase in fetch cows may disrupt other cow behaviors, resulting in even bigger decreases in visits and milk production, leading to a downward spiral that creates much frustration for the producer. It is crucial to have consistent feeding in order to maintain high production and minimize the number of fetch cows. What are the differences between free flow and guided flow barns? In barns with free flow traffic, cows can access all areas of the barn without restriction. In guided flow traffic, one-way gates and selection gates are used to guide cows to milking, feeding, and re[...]



Evaluación de forrajes: Vadeando a través de un Mar de Números

2016-09-15T19:47:05Z

In English: Forage Evaluation: Wading Through a Sea of Numbers     Los informes de análisis forrajero de un laboratorio comercial de evaluación de alimentos muchas veces pueden incluir más de 70 potenciales análisis de laboratorio. Todos esos números tienen un valor en situaciones especificas, pero rara vez, casi nunca, uno querría o necesitaría los 70 resultados para una sola muestra. Alguno de los números son necesarios principalmente para formulación rutinaria de raciones (p. ej. concentraciones minerales), y alguna de las mediciones puede ser necesaria para ayudar a resolver problemas específicos (p. ej. concentraciones de micotoxinas). Un conjunto básico de análisis debe ser realizado rutinariamente en todas las muestras de forraje. Este conjunto básico de información es necesario para la formulación de raciones y puede ser utilizado para evaluar la calidad total del forraje, estimar un actual o relativo valor económico del forraje, y para manejo de inventario (asignar distinta calidad de forraje a diferente tipo de animal). Análisis más allá de éste conjunto básico puede ser necesario para mejorar dietas y ajustar decisiones de evaluación en situaciones específicas. Como se discute en un artículo previo (uso apropiado de datos de composición del forraje para la formulación de dietas en vacas lecheras) (Proper Use of Forage Composition Data for Formulating Diets for Dairy Cows), es mejor emplear un promedio de datos de dos o más muestras que emplear datos de una sola muestra. El conjunto básico de análisis (Tabla 1) está compuesto por materia seca (MS), fibra detergente neutro (FDN), digestibilidad in vitro de FDN (IV-DFDN), energía neta de lactancia (ENL), proteína cruda (PC), y cenizas. Cada análisis se va a discutir abajo. Si usted está interesado en la producción de leche especializada u orgánica, lea este enlace. Materia Seca (MS) La concentración de materia seca (a la inversa de la humedad) en el forraje es el número más importante al hacer decisiones sobre la cosecha de forraje porque ésta determina si el heno o ensilaje se almacenarán correctamente. Forrajes cosechados muy húmedos para heno o secos para ensilaje o henolaje tienen un alto riesgo de deterioro o baja calidad total luego del almacenaje. La concentración de MS del forraje almacenado es necesaria para ajustar las cantidades de alimento fresco (cantidades “como alimentado”) agregadas a la dieta. Heno y ensilaje con una concentración de MS fuera del rango aceptable debería ser descartado en gran medida cuando compra, por el alto riesgo de deterioro. Forraje con una inapropiada concentración de MS puede no ser una alimentación aceptable  para cualquier clase de ganado (p. ej. puede estar enmohecido), o usted puede que necesite limitar su uso para animales de más baja producción (p. ej. vaquillonas preñadas) Fibra Detergente Neutro (FDN) La FDN está relacio[...]



Forage Evaluation: Wading through a Sea of Numbers

2016-09-15T19:34:54Z

en Español: Evaluación de forrajes: Vadeando a través de un Mar de Números This article is part of our series of original articles on emerging featured topics. Please check here to see other articles in this series. Forage analysis reports from a commercial feed testing laboratory often can contain more than 70 potential lab analyses. All those numbers have value in specific situations, but rarely, if ever, would one want or need all 70 results for a single sample. Some of the numbers are needed mainly for routine ration formulation (e.g., mineral concentrations), and some of the measurements might be needed to help solve specific problems (e.g., mycotoxin concentrations). A core set of analyses should be conducted routinely on all forage samples. This core set of information is needed for ration formulation and can be used to evaluate the overall quality of the forage, estimate an actual or relative economic value of the forage, and for inventory management (assigning different quality forages to different types of animals). Analyses beyond this core may be needed to fine-tune diets and adjust evaluation decisions under specific situations. As discussed in a previous article (Proper Use of Forage Composition Data for Formulating Diets for Dairy Cows), using an average of data from two or more samples is much better than using data from a single sample. Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. The core set of analyses (Table 1) are dry matter (DM), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), in vitro NDF digestibility (IVNDFD), net energy for lactation (NEL), crude protein (CP), and ash. Each analysis will be discussed below. Dry Matter (DM) The concentration of DM (or conversely moisture) in forage is the single most important number when making forage harvesting decisions because it determines whether hay or silage will store properly. Forages harvested too wet for hay or too wet or dry for silage or baleage are at a high risk for spoilage or overall low quality after storage. The DM concentration of stored forage is needed to adjust the as-fed amounts added to the diet. Hay and silage with DM concentrations outside the acceptable range should be discounted heavily when purchasing because of the high risk of spoilage. Forage with the improper DM concentration may not be an acceptable feed for any class of livestock (e.g., it may be moldy), or you may need to limit its use to lower production animals (e.g., bred heifers). Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF) The NDF concentration is related to the economic value of forages because forage NDF is considered an essential nutrient (needed to maintain rumen and cow health). Therefore, higher NDF concentrations could enhance the value of a forage; however, increased concentrations of forage NDF can lower intake and milk yield, which would reduce the value of a forage. Almo[...]



Does TMR Sampling Provide Useful Nutrient Composition Data?

2016-09-01T20:03:23Z

This article is part of our series of original articles on emerging featured topics. Please check here to see other articles in this series.   Laboratory data from total mixed ration (TMR) samples have potential value when evaluating consistency and accuracy of the diet that was delivered to a pen of cows including: Assessing within bunk variation in nutrient delivery. When evaluating consistency of TMR mixing and delivery, samples are taken at various locations across the bunk, analyzed for nutrients or particle size, and then some measure of variation, such as coefficient of variation (CV) or standard deviation (SD), is calculated and compared to a benchmark. Assessing day-to-day consistency of TMR delivery. The same basic approach as above except the TMR is sampled over multiple days and then variation is calculated among the daily samples. Determining whether the delivered ration matches the formulated one. Because of normal variation in ingredient composition and random or systematic errors associated with the individual doing the feeding and the scales on the mixer wagon, the delivered diet may differ markedly from the formulated diet. To evaluate accuracy (how close the delivered diet matches the formulated diet), samples are taken and results are compared to the specifications of the formulated diet. Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. Although using TMR composition data to evaluate diets and troubleshoot nutritional problems has potential, to be useful TMR data must meet the following to criteria: Sampling variation (e.g., variation among results from samples taken at the same location within a feedbunk on a given day) must be known. Without knowing sampling variation, you might conclude that mixing is poor because you have a high CV across the feedbunk (or across days), but in reality, the high CV might have been caused by poor sampling technique. The nutrient composition of the sample must accurately reflect what was delivered to the pen (i.e., sample results must be accurate). If sample results do not match formulated expectations, you might assume ingredients have changed or blame the feeder for not following the recipe, when in reality, it might be the sample (or the sampler) that is to blame. Should sampling error be a concern for TMR data? Sampling error (or sampling variation) simply means that if you take multiple samples from the same population, you obtain different values. A TMR is comprised of particles that vary in density, size, shape, and nutrient composition. A stem of hay is light, long, and is generally high in fiber; whereas, a grain of salt is heavy, small, and has no fiber. The extreme heterogeneous nature of TMR makes them extremely difficult to sample accurately, thus sampling error is indeed a major issue with TMR data. In a field [...]



Minimizando el Riesgo de Cetosis en el Ganado Lechero

2016-08-16T19:43:13Z

In English: Minimizing the Risk for Ketosis in Dairy Herds Introducción Si bien la mayoría de los casos de cetosis ocurren en vacas lecheras frescas, las prácticas de alimentación y salud de la vaca preparto pueden predisponer a las vacas a sufrir cetosis después del parto. La mayoría de los casos de cetosis primaria ocurre dentro de las primeras 2 semanas del parto, e incluso la mayoría de las cetosis secundarias (ocurriendo luego del inicio de otra enfermedad) ocurren dentro de los primeros 30 a 60 días de lactancia. En general, menos del 5% de las vacas en una manada deberían sufrir cetosis clínica. Sin embargo, algunos reportes han indicado que la incidencia de cetosis subclínica puede afectar a un 40% de las vacas, con una tasa de incidencia que varía extensamente entre granjas, y puede ser tan alta como 80% en granjas individuales. El foco principal preparto para reducir el riesgo de cetosis después del parto se basa en mantener el consumo de alimento en gestación tardía y evitar el sobre acondicionamiento de las vacas durante los períodos de lactancia tardía y seca. Las vacas deben ser secadas y hacerlas entrar en transición (vaca fresca) con una condición corporal (BCS) de 3.5. Vacas con una condición corporal (BCS) igual a o mayor que 4.0 probablemente tengan más bajo consumo preparto y presenten un riesgo mayor de contraer hígado graso y cetosis durante y luego del parto. Trabajos recientes en la Universidad de Minnesota indican que vacas con una condición corporal mayor que 3.5 y produciendo por encima de 16 lbs de calostro presentan un mayor riesgo de cetosis. Programas de alimentación para vacas durante el período seco preparto y postparto temprano deben ser diseñados de manera tal de mantener el consumo durante la gestación tardía, es decir, minimizando la caída en el consumo durante la última semana de la gestación, para reducir el riesgo de cetosis después del parto. Estas dietas preparto deben contener forrajes con alto contenido en fibra y proporcionar adecuadas pero no excesivas cantidades de energía. Una caída del 20% o mayor en el consumo previo al parto puede resultar en elevados ácidos grasos no esterificados (AGNE) en sangre. Esta situación que precede al parto aumenta grandemente el riesgo de contraer hígado graso y cetosis. Si usted está interesado en la producción de leche especializada u orgánica, lea este enlace. Identificación de Cetosis La causa fundamental de cetosis es la inadecuada glucosa en sangre relativa a la demanda de glucosa por parte de la glándula mamaria, frecuentemente visto en vacas frescas con creciente rendimiento en producción de leche y bajo consumo. Debido al inadecuado suministro de energía dietaria, el cuerpo moviliza grasas a fin de proporcionar la energía necesaria, conllevando consecuentemente a un aumento en[...]



Minimizing the Risk for Ketosis in Dairy Herds

2016-08-16T19:40:29Z

En Español: Minimizando el Riesgo de Cetosis en el Ganado Lechero   This article is part of our series of original articles on emerging featured topics. Please check here to see other articles in this series. Introduction Although most cases of ketosis occur in fresh dairy cows, feeding practices and cow health prepartum can predispose cows to experiencing ketosis after calving. Most cases of primary ketosis occur within the first 2 weeks of calving, and even most secondary ketosis (occurring after the onset of another disease) occurs within the first 30 to 60 days in milk. In general, less than 5% of the cows in a herd should experience clinical ketosis. However, some reports have indicated that the incidence of subclinical ketosis may affect 40% of cows, with the incidence rate varying widely among farms, and may be as high as 80% on individual farms. The major focus prepartum to reduce the risk for ketosis after calving is maintaining feed intake in late gestation and avoiding overconditioning cows during late lactation and the dry period. Cows should dry off and freshen at a body condition score (BCS) of 3.5. Cows with a BCS equal to or greater than 4.0 will likely have lower intake prepartum and be at higher risk for fatty liver and ketosis at and after calving. Recent work at the University of Minnesota indicates that cows with a BCS greater than 3.5 and producing over 16 lb of colostrum are at a higher risk for ketosis. Feeding programs for far-off and close-up cows should be designed to maintain intake during late gestation, i.e., minimizing the drop in intake during the last week of gestation, to reduce the risk for ketosis after calving. These prepartum diets should contain high-fiber forages and provide adequate but not excessive amounts of energy. A 20% or greater drop in intake prior to calving can result in elevated blood non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA). This situation leading into calving greatly increases the risk for fatty liver and ketosis. Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. Identification of Ketosis The fundamental cause of ketosis is inadequate blood glucose relative to the demand for glucose by the mammary gland, often seen with increasing milk yield by fresh cows with low intake. Due to the inadequate dietary energy supply, the body mobilizes fat to provide the needed energy, thus leading to increased concentration of NEFA in blood. Overconditioned cows typically eat less and thus mobilize more body fat. Excessive rates and amount of fat mobilization (e.g., losing more than one BCS after calving) can result in an excessive amount of fat in the liver and the formation of ketones. The two primary ketones that increase in blood due to a shortage of glucose are β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) and acetoa[...]



Improving Corn Silage Nutritive Value Through Harvesting Practices

2016-08-01T19:02:06Z

This article is part of our series of original articles on emerging featured topics. Please check here to see other articles in this series. Corn silage supplies energy and physically effective fiber to high-producing dairy cows. Production of high quality corn silage reduces purchased feed costs from grain and byproduct supplements, and thus can increase profitability for dairy producers. Several harvesting practices influence fermentation and digestibility of corn silage. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to review selected corn silage harvesting practices that may aid dairy farmers during the decision-making process prior to or during harvest. Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. Kernel Processing Improves Starch Digestibility Corn is a seed and has a hard coat, the pericarp, which protects the embryo and the starch endosperm from external threats. Therefore, to increase starch digestibility, the primary objective at harvest is to break down the pericarp and expose the starch endosperm. Greater starch digestibility and corresponding milk production by dairy cows is achieved when corn silage is harvested using a kernel processor with roll gap settings between 1 to 3 mm (0.04 to 0.12 inches). However, other harvesting practices may impair the efficacy of kernel processors. Harvest Mature (>40% DM) Corn Silage? To harvest mature corn plants with the purpose of obtaining greater yields of starch is a common practice due to accumulation of starch in the kernel with maturation. However, an increased proportion of vitreous endosperm in the kernel is associated with greater maturity. Increased kernel vitreous endosperm increases kernel hardness which in turn may cause kernels in very dry corn silage (i.e., mature) to be less susceptible to breakage during kernel processing at harvest. This explains the results of a recent review article from University of Wisconsin that underscored that kernel processing was effective for corn silage containing 32% to 40% DM but not when corn silage was above 40% DM. In addition, even when kernels are broken with more mature silage, the starch digestibility may be lower than corn silage harvested at the recommended stage of maturity. The exposed starch endosperm is not fully digested due to existence of a starch-protein matrix formed by the chemical bonds of zein proteins with starch granules. These proteins accumulate as the plant matures. In addition, as maturity progresses, lignin content in corn plants increases, thus reducing fiber digestibility. Also, other challenges related to the harvesting of drier corn silage (> 40% DM), such as packing issues and poor aerobic stability, must be considered when harvesting more mature corn silage. Recently, res[...]



Checklist for the Top 5 Priorities for Fall/Winter Dairy Feeding Programs

2016-07-15T18:57:36Z

 en Español: Lista de Chequeo de las 5 Prioridades más Importantes del Programa de Alimentación de Otoño/Invierno en un Hato Lechero This article is part of our series of original articles on emerging featured topics. Please check here to see other articles in this series. Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. 1. Develop a Plan Develop a plan for using homegrown forages and determine whether you need to purchase other forages. To devise this plan, sample all forages and submit representative samples to a forage testing laboratory to determine their nutrient content. Forage samples taken at the beginning of the feeding season can serve as a starting place for balancing rations. Throughout the feeding season, take numerous samples (three to four samples) and combine their results to better describe the nutrient content of forages being fed. Single samples often do not accurately represent the nutrient content of feeds sampled. Concurrently, take an inventory of each forage and commodity in storage. With this information, you can allocate forages stored separately to the various groups of animals and determine shortfalls so that forages can be purchased or other feedstuffs can be added to rations being fed. For example, if you have corn silage from three different hybrids but the hybrids are stored in a single bunker silo, you need to know you have 900 tons of corn silage instead of 300 tons of each hybrid. If each hybrid is stored in a separate bag, they can be considered separate feeds with 300 tons of each. Reserve the highest-quality forages (usually hay) for heifers less than 4 months of age and fresh, early-lactation, or high-production groups of cows. This information then can be used to balance rations for the milking herd, dry cows, and heifers raised on the dairy operation.     2. Balance Rations Balance rations for all groups of cattle on the dairy operation using the inventory and forage analyses. Dairy cattle need nutrients, not ingredients, to support body maintenance, milk production, and growth. Rations also are balanced to provide these nutrients at the least cost. Various combinations of forages and other commodities can meet nutrient needs and may result in a cost savings. In the current economic climate, small savings for not only the dairy milking herd but also dry cows and replacement heifers can definitely affect cash flow. For example, substituting other forages and/or commodities for dry cows and/or heifers may decrease feed costs. Because of increased volatility in commodity prices, dairy farmers should follow ingredient prices and reevaluate feeding programs frequently. In addition, changes in the amount of starch and protein provid[...]



Lista de Chequeo de las 5 Prioridades más Importantes del Programa de Alimentación de Otoño/Invierno en un Hato Lechero

2016-07-15T18:56:05Z

In English: Checklist for the Top 5 Priorities for Fall/Winter Dairy Feeding Programs Desarrolle un plan Desarrolle un plan para usar forrajes cultivados por usted mismo y determine si usted necesitará comprar otros forrajes. Para trazar este plan, muestree todos los forrajes y envíe muestras representativas a un laboratorio de ensayo de forrajes para determinar su contenido de nutrientes. Muestras de forraje obtenidas al principio de la temporada de alimentación pueden servir como punto inicial para balancear las raciones. Durante la temporada de alimentación, tome varias muestras (tres o cuatro muestras) y combine sus resultados para describir mejor el contenido de nutrientes de los forrajes que se estén alimentando. Muestras únicas muchas veces no representan con exactitud el contenido de nutrientes de los alimentos muestreados. Al mismo tiempo, haga un inventario de cada forraje y producto que tenga almacenado. Con esta información usted puede designar separadamente los forrajes almacenados a varios grupos de animales y así determinar déficits de manera tal que forrajes puedan ser comprados u otros alimentos puedan adicionarse a las raciones que se están alimentando. Por ejemplo, si usted tiene ensilado de maíz proveniente de tres híbridos, pero los híbridos están almacenados en un solo silo, usted necesita saber que tiene 900 toneladas de ensilado de maíz en vez de 300 toneladas de cada hibrido. Si cada hibrido es almacenado en una bolsa separada, pueden ser considerados alimentos separados con 300 toneladas cada uno. Reserve el forraje de más alta calidad (usualmente alfalfa) para las terneras o becerras menores de 4 meses de edad y para las vacas frescas, de lactación temprana, o de alta producción. Esta información puede usarse luego para balancear las raciones del hato de ordeñe, vacas secas, y becerras o terneras criadas en el hato lechero.  Si usted está interesado en la producción de leche especializada u orgánica, lea este enlace. Balance las raciones Balance las raciones para todos los grupos de vacas en el hato lechero utilizando el inventario y análisis de forrajes. El ganado lechero necesita nutrientes, no ingredientes, para soportar el mantenimiento corporal, producción de leche, y crecimiento. Las raciones también están balanceadas para proveer estos nutrientes al menor costo. Varias combinaciones de forrajes y otros productos pueden satisfacer las necesidades nutricionales y pueden resultar en un ahorro de costos. En el clima económico actual, pequeños ahorros no solo en el hato de ordeñe, pero también en las vacas secas y becerras o terneras de reemplazo definitivamente pueden afectar el flujo de efectivo. Por ejemplo, substituir otros forrajes y[...]