Five Dairy “Do NOT Do” in 2018

Are you also "doing" at least five of these 10 recommended practices? ( Wyatt Bechtel )

Mike Hutjens, a nutritionist with the University of Illinois, has a quick-hit list of “do NOT do” items this year, despite low milk prices and low margins:

  • Remove minerals from rations
  • Cheat heifers; slow down growth
  • Delay breeding with longer calving intervals
  • Avoid body condition scores > 3.25 without rBST
  • Saving a dime and lose a dollar (organic trace minerals, hoof trimming, bull breeding)

Hutjens also has this check-list of management items you should be doing on your dairy to optimize profitability. His challenge to you: Are you doing at least five?

  • Feeding an accelerated milk or milk replacer program (2% birth weight as milk solids dry matter)
  • Calving heifers at 23 to 24 months of age with monitoring growth 1.8 lb average daily growth (Holsteins)
  • Consider the low-energy / high-straw dry cow ration
  • Strategic use of feed additives
  • Implement a fresh cow group (for 10 to 21 days)
  • Use of calcium boluses for at risk cows (50 grams with Calcium chloride, propionate, or sulfate)
  • Supplementing organic trace minerals (Zinc, Copper, Chromium, and Selenium)
  • Heat stress abatement for dry cows


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