Protein: How low can we go?

We continue to hear about feeding diets with lowered protein content. We know these diets reduce nitrogen input, improve nitrogen utilization, and reduce nitrogen losses from manure. They also reduce feed cost. These interventions, however, have to be balanced with the risk of losses in milk production. FULL STORY »

Research identifies economical corn substitutes for dairy diets

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program and Miner Institute released the results of the first comprehensive analysis of products that can be substituted for corn in dairy cow rations in Northern New York. FULL STORY »

Making a case for case definitions

Dairy producers are encouraged to accurately record disease events to monitor incidence and react in a timely manner to any significant increases. As with all data, we must be confident in the recording method, the identity of animals represented and the diagnosis itself. It is important to ask the question: “Does everyone on the dairy really understand the ‘case definition’?” FULL STORY »

High ambient temperatures and humidity compromise lactation

Thermostasis is the process by which cows attempt to keep their body temperature constant in spite of changes in environmental temperatures. Heat stress occurs when the cow is incapable of dissipating enough heat to maintain its core body temperature below 101.3°F. FULL STORY »

Particle size reduction

We monitor feed bunk forage particle length for physically effective fiber, but the cow must reduce those particles to form and swallow a bolus. To what size does she chew those forages, and how does forage dry matter (DM), neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and NDF digestibility (NDFD) affect eating time? FULL STORY »

A study of a different sort for JDM

In preparation for June Dairy Month, the results of a survey in Michigan indicate on-farm breakfasts provide transparency and education – with a possible payback. FULL STORY »

Case Study: A study of a different sort for JDM

In preparation for June Dairy Month, on-farm dairy breakfasts provide transparency and education – with a possible payback. FULL STORY »

Getting a handle on Farm Bill, Dairy Margin Protection Program

When it comes to risk management it seems like things are never simple. The new approach in the farm bill appears complicated. FULL STORY »

Increased buffer levels enhanced herd health, productivity

The inclusion of buffers in dairy rations is a well researched and successful strategy. But, buffers seem to have become a forgotten tool – or at the very least, one that’s taken for granted. FULL STORY »

Center for Dairy Excellence ‘case study’ files

As a part of the Animal Welfare and Herd Health Standard Operating Procedures grant provided by the Pennsylvania Soybean Board, Pensylvania’s Center for Dairy Excellence utilized farm press and other media avenues to encourage Pennsylvania dairy farmers to apply for a $1,000 grant that would help them to address a dairy cow care area for improvement on their farm. One specific case study identified a herd with continued issues with fresh cows and transition cow health at the time of calving. The goal: Improve the overall health and longevity of this herd demographic and reduce the incidence of metabolic disease. FULL STORY »

Butterfat depression

The problem of milk fat depression can have multiple causes, and because it can take 3-5 weeks to see the impact of a ration change, it can be a time-consuming process to fix. I was called to a 700-cow Pennsylvania dairy, averaging 85 pounds of milk. The herd had a strong reproduction program and, in general, herd health was good. FULL STORY »

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