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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.

Calf and Heifer

Minnesota Milk’s Dairy Conference & Expo

“A Path Forward” is the theme of the 2014 Minnesota Milk’s Dairy Conference & Expo (formerly Midwest Dairy Expo), scheduled for December 2-4 at the River’s Edge in St. Cloud.

The event will feature a trade show, educational sessions, hospitality rooms and networking opportunities. Minnesota Milk’s Annual Business Meeting also will take place on Wednesday, December 3.

Calf and Heifer

There’s a new tool in genetics management

Data is everywhere on your dairy. Your challenge is knowing how to use it and finding time to compile and analyze it so you can make better decisions for your cows. Enlight™ is a new, online management tool designed to help Holstein dairy producers more efficiently manage herd genetics.

Calf and Heifer

Managing low colostrum yields

A significant drop in colostrum yield is a commonly reported challenge in the fall, according to Noah Litherland, dairy youngstock technical specialist with Vita Plus Corporation.

Litherland said researchers have not yet been able to pinpoint the reason why colostrum yields tend to drop in late October into November. When he studied the issue as a researcher at the University of Minnesota, he concluded that the phenomenon is not affected by changing dietary starch levels, protein levels or negative-DCAD transition diets.

Calf and Heifer

When whole milk isn't enough

Nearly half of all dairy calves raised in the United States are fed a diet of whole milk in the pre-weaned stage. The source of this nutrition is primarily hospital waste milk, salable milk, or a combination of the two.

While milk has been deemed “nature’s most perfect food,” and calves have been shown to perform very well on it, we are learning that there are ways we can optimize the consistency and nutritive value of milk fed to calves.


Not quite perfect

Calf and Heifer

Alternative protein sources in milk replacers evaluated

Less-expensive alternatives for milk proteins in calf milk replacer have long been sought. In many cases these proteins have been found to have lower nutritional value for the calf and a typical recommendation is that only products containing all-milk proteins be fed to calves less than three weeks of age. Alternative proteins have been seen as a cost-effective option for older calves, with the expectation that performance may be somewhat less than that possible with an all-milk protein milk replacer.

Calf and Heifer

Rumen development in dairy calves

At birth, calves are essentially monogastric animals, according to Penn State University professor Jud Heinrichs. Their initial, liquid diets bypass the undeveloped reticulum and rumen, and flow directly into the omasum followed quickly by the abomasum.

Only when calves start consuming dry feed can rumen development begin. Starter grain intake promotes important bacterial growth and amino acid conversion that allow the rumen to grow and become functional.

Calf and Heifer

Food Demand Survey measures consumer attitudes

For more than a year, researchers in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University have conducted a monthly Food Demand Survey, called “FooDS.”

The purpose of the project is to track the preferences of at least 1,000 U.S. consumers regarding their sentiments on the safety, quality, and price of food consumed at home and away from home. The survey also tracks and indexes consumer demand for several retail meat products.

Calf and Heifer

Lying behavior in calves studied

There were numerous presentations related to animal behavior at the recent joint meeting of the American Dairy Science Association and the American Society of Animal Science. Many focused on calves.


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