Show Summary: Thursday, Oct. 2, 2009
- Make sure your county and state emergency-management officials know about agricultural issues. Most county emergency managers do not have an agricultural background, points out Matt Mathison, vice president of technical services for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. They are better versed in how to handle floods and natural disasters than they are in ag issues such as foot-and-mouth disease. So, it's important that ag people be at the table and make their issues known.
- Dry cow feeding management trumps diet formulation every time, Garrett Oetzel, University of Wisconsin veterinarian says. Fanatically consistent feed mixing and delivery is critical. Also, you must keep feed in front of dry cows, he adds. Furthermore, Oetzel recommends that you feed dry cows for 5 to 10 percent feed refusals, feed quality ingredients and use optimal grouping strategies.
- Compost bedded pack barns are an alternative loose housing system that appear to offer very good cow comfort for lactating, dry and specials needs cows, says Marcia Endres, University of Minnesota dairy scientist. To improve success in these systems, she suggests that you allow at least 80 to 85 square feet per cow of space for Holsteins and similar size breeds. Jersey cows require about 65 square feet per cow. She also recommends that it’s time to add more bedding when it begins to stick to cows. Keep a bedding supply readily available so you can add as soon as needed and you aren’t waiting for bedding and the cows get too dirty, Endres adds.
- Todd Bilby, extension dairy specialist at Texas A&M University, offers these tips to improve reproduction:
- Consult and communicate with your team.
- Ensure proper semen handling, storage and AI techniques.
- Strengthen your estrus detection program and compare notes from the last heat — has a 21-day cycle elapsed or was she bred the day before?
- Resynchronize non-pregnant cow