2015 Florida Dairy Production Conference

The 2015 Florida Dairy Production Conference will be held Wednesday April 29, at Gainesville, Fla. More information is forthcoming. Contact Mary Sowerby at meso@ufl.edu or Jose Santos at jepsantos@ufl.edu


Kentucky Dairy Partners Meeting is Feb. 24-25

The 2015 Kentucky Dairy Partners Annual Meeting will be held Feb. 24-25, at the Sloan Convention Center, Bowling Green, Ky. Program and registration information is available will be posted at http://afsdairy.ca.uky.edu/extension or www.kydairy.org.


Proceedings 2015 Florida Ruminant Nutrition Symposium

Proceedings of the 2015 Florida Ruminant Nutrition Symposium are now available at http://dairy.ifas.ufl.edu/rns


Florida bills require GMO labels

Bills in the Florida House and Senate would require labels on some foods produced through genetically modified technology. House Bill 351 and its companion, Senate Bill 416, would require the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to update a list annually. Any dairy product containing milk produced with recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST) would also require mention on labels. If passed, the new requirements would take effect on Jan. 1, 2017.


UF Dairy Update available

The winter 2015 issue of the Dairy Update newsletter from the University of Florida’s Department of Animal Sciences is available at http://dairy.ifas.ufl.edu/dairyupdate. In this issue:

• Four UF undergrads were “Dairy Challenged” at the Southern Regional

University of Florida Animal Sciences majors Jacquelyn Mariano from Orlando, Alexandra Lemus from Miami, Diana Roldan from Miami, and Caitlin Conway from Indiantown, participated in the 9th annual Southern Regional Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge, hosted by North Carolina State University. They were among teams from 15 Southeast universities: Alabama A&M, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana State, Mississippi State, Murray State, North Carolina A&M, North Carolina State, Tennessee, Tuskegee, Virginia Tech, Western Kentucky and West Virginia.

Learn more about Dairy Challenge at http://www.dairychallenge.org or contact Mary Sowerby at meso@ufl.edu


• Larger Florida dairy farms tend to have lower bulk tank somatic cell counts

Summers in the Southeast can be tough on cows. Heat stress reduces milk production and makes cows more susceptible to mastitis. The higher incidence of mastitis is seen in higher somatic cell counts (SCC).

Fernanda C. Ferreira and Albert De Vries asked Southeast Milk, Inc., and Premier Milk, Inc., both milk marketing cooperatives, for the monthly volumes of milk shipped and average monthly bulk tank SCC of their Florida members (with the herd identifications removed). They evaluated records from about 100 farms, or about 77% of all licensed dairy herds in Florida.

The information showed that farms that shipped lower volumes of milk tended to have a higher annual bulk tank SCC. The average SCC for all farms was 327,000 cells/ml. For the 79 farms that shipped less than 25 million lbs. annually, the average SCC was 345,000 cells/ml. The average SCC for the 21 larger farms was 261,000 cells/ml. There are many smaller farms with lower SCC. Fourteen farms had an annual average SCC < 200,000 cells/ml and 79 farms had an annual average SCC < 400,000 cells/ml.

Reviewing seasonality, the data showed February, March and April were generally the months with the lowest bulk tank SCC. August, September and October were generally the three months with the highest bulk tank SCC.

Overall, the data show that many Florida farms produced milk with a bulk tank SCC that would look good anywhere in the US. Their milk quality management practices might be studied and could be implemented on other farms. For some farms, producing milk with a low SCC seemed less of a priority. For more information, contact Albert De Vries at devries@ufl.edu


• Dutch dairy farms getting ready for end of milk quota in April 2015

University of Florida dairy scientist Albert De Vries is currently on sabbatical with the Business Economics Group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He offers his view of dairy farming in the Netherlands, and the impending end to European Union milk quotas on April 1.

Read: Dutch dairy farms getting ready for end of milk quota


DHM Southeast: Calendar

To add an event to this list, e-mail details to dnatzke@vancepublishing.com


Alabama Forage Focus webinar, Feb. 11.

National Farm Machinery Show 2015, Feb. 11-14, Louisville, Ky.

• Virginia State Feed Association Nutritional Management & Cow College, Feb. 18-20, Roanoke, Va.

• USDA 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum, Feb. 19-20, Arlington, Va.

Kentucky Dairy Partners annual meeting, Feb. 24-25, Bowling Green, Ky.

35th Kentucky Alfalfa Conference, Feb. 26, Cave City, Ky.

Mid-South Farm & Gin Show, Feb. 27-28, Memphis, Tenn.



Virginia Area Dairy Conferences, March 9 (Amelia), March 10 (Harrisonburg), March 11 (Culpeper), March 12 (Rocky Mount) and March 13 (Marion), Va.

Alabama Forage Focus webinar, March 11.



Alabama Forage Focus webinar, April 8.

Florida Dairy Production Conference, April 29, Gainsville, Fla.



Alabama Forage Focus webinar, May 13.

Alltech “Rebelation” Week, May 16-20, Lexington, Ky.



Alabama Forage Focus webinar, July 8.

2015 Joint Annual Meeting (JAM) of the American Dairy Science Association and the American Society of Animal Science, July 12-16, Orlando, Fla.