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Advice And Tips

Browse our wealth of news and information for advice and tips on topics ranging from reproduction to nutrition.


Choosing alternative feedstuffs in a fickle marketplace

Despite lower feed costs in recent months, declining farm-gate prices for milk will have dairy farm managers sharpening their feed-planning pencils in search of cost-effective rations for 2015. Well-balanced rations are critical to the health and well-being of the cow and the dairy enterprise.


Feedback: Calving outcomes on dairy farms: We've been collecting data for decades

Dairy Herd Management recently published a pair of articles (Get a handle on dystocia data and Every delivery is special) that discussed the need for record-keeping as part of a calving management program. I agree very strongly with the importance of data collection. Without accurate information about calving performance it is difficult to identify and address problems.

Quality Silage

Paper or plastic?

What type of sample bag should be used for silage to be analyzed for yeasts and molds — paper or plastic?
Some forage testing laboratories recommend submitting these samples in paper bags. However, no research supports this recommendation. It may be labs might be recommending paper bags because that’s what they read somewhere or “because we’ve always done it that way.”


Preventing calf scours

Calf scours, the diarrhea seen during the first 30 days of a calf’s life, is caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses and parasites. But the exact cause is less important than prompt treatment, says a University of Missouri professor of food-animal medicine.


Close-up dry cows sort, too

We put a lot of focus on feed sorting issues with lactating cows for very good reason. However, we don’t often look at sorting in close-up dry cow diets.


USDA: Most 2014 dairy forage numbers are up

Corn and soybeans garner nearly all the attention, but USDA’s early-January Crop Production, Grain Stocks and World Ag Supply & Demand Estimates reports also contain other numbers important to dairy farmers, especially when it comes to forages. Among the highlights, 2014 corn silage production set a record high; dry hay production increased over 2013, providing additional stocks heading into winter; total 2014 forage production was also up; and new seedings of alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures were higher for a third consecutive year.


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