Dairy Herd Management Articles

Insight on forage management, lowering production costs 
Two experts share tips.

Dairy management decision-making tools 
Free, easy-to-use, online, decision-making tools developed by University of Wisconsin-Extension specialists are available to help dairy producers improve profitability and sustainability.

Alfalfa becomes a biofuel option
Scientists think new varieties could provide both animal feed and fuel.

Analyze hay-storage cost
New tool helps you compare the cost of different hay-storage options.

Advice for late-summer forage crop seeding
Use these recommendations to improve your odds of success.

Evaluate your feed cost and consumption
New tool enables you and your advisors to better estimate feed cost and consumption for your herd.

Hone your feeding economics 
Seek to answer, “When does a savings represent a sacrifice?”

Survival skills needed 
What does it take to succeed in the dairy industry? Here’s a look at what California dairies have done to make it in times of crisis.

Outlook: 1 million more tons of cottonseed in 2010
A 50 percent increase in cottonseed supply is positive news for dairy producers who rely on the feedstuff.

Should you use that feed additive?
Use these guidelines to decide.

Ask hard questions when it comes to direct-fed microbials
With direct-fed microbials, or DFMs, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are getting unless you ask the right questions.

Russian roulette with the corn price
Biofuel mandates have made it even chancier for livestock producers, considering the ongoing risk of weather-induced corn-crop shortages.

Evaluate replacement and dry cow feed costs 
Feed costs for replacement and dry cows are usually calculated as $/day for each animal.

Reduce feed costs by 30 cents per hundredweight 
How can you reduce feed costs by about 30 cents per hundredweight for a 100-cow herd averaging 70 pounds of milk? Get the answer here.

Connecting buyers and sellers 
A new Web site, Farmer to Farmer, connects corn and forage sellers and buyers.

Missourians research low-input dairies 
An attentive audience of 291 people came to the 2009 Missouri Dairy Grazing Conference, July 8-10, to hear researchers and farmers tell the advantages of management-intensive grazing. 
We could see $3 corn by October 
Dairy Herd Management wrote in April that one of the "silver linings" of the current global recession is that corn prices seem tethered to the $3-to-$4 mark. 
How to best improve feed efficiency 
Over the past year feed efficiency has been in the news often as a way to maintain margins. Improving feed efficiency enhances margins, but the method by which improved efficiency is achieved directly impacts the improvements realized.  

Feed efficiency at your fingertips 
A University of Wisconsin-Extension paper on heifer feed efficiency is available electronically. 

Book discusses distillers grains
The Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center at Iowa State University has published a book on using distillers grains as a feedstuff for livestock.

Spanish aid: Sulfur in distillers grains
A new publication in Spanish from South Dakota State University gives information about sulfur in distillers grains as a consideration in feeding dairy cattle.

Feed prices tethered by the economy
Rod Hissong has found that a positive outlook is important in tough economic times.

A homegrown advantage
At the time of ration formulation, the dry matter level of the corn silage in the diet was 37 percent.

3 economic rules-of-thumb
Dairy Managers must not make economically “wrong” decisions (saving a dollar today while losing $10 six months later) these days, says Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois extension dairy specialist.

Hay barn turned commodity shed
A new commodity shed was cost-prohibitive.

Don’t forget to check the water
Water is an often-overlooked cause of herd-health issues or reduced milk production.

Shrink the shrink
Shrinking the shrink is the fastest way to save money when it comes to feed cost, says Bill Stone, nutritionist with Diamond V.

Navigating unchartered waters
Channel does a story on rising grain costs and biofuels demand. At the end of the piece, the anchorman says, “I guess that’s good news for my cousin’s dairy out in Nebraska,” and the reporter responds that she would like to talk to that cousin.

Check out this feed barn
A larger feed barn at north Florida Holsteins has paid dividends, according to consulting veterinarian Dave Kelbert.

Don’t blindly cut back on feed cost
With the price of corn, soybeans, hay and other feeds at or near-record levels, your feed cost is painfully high.

Help to management input price volatility
Daily volatility of the grain market is one constant dairy producers can depend on.

Database consolidates feed information
The USDA’s economic research service has launched a new online service providing statistics on feed grains, hay and related items.

Get what you pay for
Feed prices have escalated over the last year.

Make better feed purchase decisions
Don’t let feed purchase decisions trip you up during these times of challenging feed prices.

Milk-yield similar for GMO-corn diets
Milk production is no different between cows fed corn silage and corn grain from a genetically modified corn hybrid versus cows fed corn silage and corn grain from a traditional hybrid.

Treasure hunt
In the popular “Indiana Jones” film series, Harrison Ford is on a quest to find a treasure.