April 2022 Vol. 2
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
  • Increase feeding frequency from once daily to two or more times per day.
  • Push up feed 7 to 12 times a day.
  • Maintain stocking density below 110%.
  • Increase bunk space to at least 24 inches per cow.
  • Feed at consistent times each day.
Learn more in the full article
UNDERSTANDING MATURE BODY-WEIGHT BENCHMARKS FOR YOUR HERD is key to timing inseminations of heifers to maximize milk production and animal health. In addition to basing inseminations on age at first calving, managers should consider how individual heifers compare to herd benchmarks. According to an article from UW-Extension, cows reach mature body weight (MBW) in their third or greater lactation, and heifers at first breeding should be at 55% of MBW. At pre-calving, heifers should reach 94% of MBW and 85% MBW by post-calving.

Read the full article to learn more. 
INCREASED PEN TEMPERATURES HAD A POSITIVE EFFECT on the average daily gain of preweaned dairy calves, according to research published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Researchers assigned 79 calves at birth to one of four groups: no calf jacket and no heat lamp, heat lamp but no jacket, jacket but no heat lamp, or both heat lamp and jacket.
Calves were weighed at birth and 21 days of age. Researchers found that calves housed under a 1-kilowatt heat lamp had an increased average daily gain of 0.09 kilograms per day (almost 0.2 pounds per day) and saw no effect of jacket or interactions between jacket and heat lamp. Also, the study showed an increase in temperature of 1° Celsius (1.8° Fahrenheit) was associated with a .03 kilograms per day (0.066 pounds per day) increase in average daily gain.

Read the full study for more details. 
For your business mind
EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS REGARDING COST OF FEED SUPPLIES and feed management during periods of elevated input prices, especially where forage shrink is involved. While some degree of silage shrink is unavoidable due to dry matter losses during fermentation, carefully managing every step of the harvest, storage and feedout process can optimize feed supplies. During feedout, minimize the amount of silage exposed to the air to preserve quality and put forth a focused effort to avoid piles on which an exposed face is left for extended time periods.
Read the full article from the Pro Dairy team at Cornell University for a list of practices to review to make sure your operation is making the most of silage inventory.
HOW MUCH DOES YOUR MOOD AFFECT YOUR TEAM? More than you might think, according to a Fast Company article. Humans are social creatures, and just as a virus can spread from person to person, so can a negative attitude or bad mood. As a leader, your emotions can directly influence the attitudes and behavior of your team.
Several ways to keep a positive environment include:
  1. Be consistently aware of your state of mind.
  2. Reframe the situation.
  3. Pay attention to body language.
  4. Foster a positive climate.
  5. Protect yourself from negativity.
Learn more about each of these steps in the full article.
REAL ESTATE LAWS PRESENT A CHALLENGE to adopting regenerative ag practices and developing the carbon-sequestration marketplace, according to an article published on the American Bar Association website. Traditional legal tools to determine land restrictions include deed restrictions, leases or easements. As companies have begun to establish their own carbon contracts, the legal tools are changing. Though they continue to evolve, the tools have elements in common, including enrollment of land, mandated farming practices, data collection, verification, transfer of carbon credits, prohibition of stacking and continuity.
Learn more about the hurdles and potential fixes in this article.
The Dairy Signal
TUNE INTO THE DAIRY SIGNAL™. Join leading experts across dairy and agricultural industries, government and regulatory associations and universities for insights on the most pressing issues on today’s dairies and in the marketplace. The educational sessions air every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with recorded episodes available for free at pdpw.org. Click here to find archived recordings of sessions.
Presenters and topics covered recently include:
Adjust your feeding strategy to feed more economically and take advantage of the continued popularity of protein and fat by maximizing components in the bulk tank. Learn how to read your milk check and make adjustments to capture opportunities.

  • Dr. Thomas Overton, PhD, Professor, Animal Science Department and Director of PRO-DAIRY, Cornell University

How familiar are you with today’s selective-dry-cow-therapy options? Learn best practices to establish protocols, identify cows for treatment, monitor the program’s efficacy and identify cows with subclinical infections.

  • Dr. Chris Booth, DVM, Partner, Dairy Doctors Veterinary Services

Pain management should be a critical part of a farm’s animal-health program. Hear practical approaches and best practices for managing pain in procedures such as dehorning, calving, lameness, injury and illness, and take a look at the public’s expectations for animal pain management.

  • Dr. Hans Coetzee, DVM, PhD, Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Kansas State University

Carbon markets present a number of opportunities for today’s farmers; they also come with potential risks. When it comes to carbon credits and offsets it’s important to know the different types and the range of options. Understand what they are, how they work, and learn more about why this market is evolving.

  • Patrick Wood, Founder and General Manager, Ag Methane Advisors, LLC

Sponsored by Balchem, this month’s Rising Stars Graduate Research Showcase featured students from the University of Florida. They shared research on the impact of choline on hepatic metabolism and performance in dairy cows as well as studies on how a cow’s ability to utilize nutrients can impact her production, health and reproduction.

  • Usman Arshad, PhD student, University of Florida
  • Mariana Nehme Marinho, PhD student, University of Florida
  • Dr. José Eduardo Santos, Research Foundation Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida

Staying on top of the latest news on global grain markets, dairy industry trends and other economic factors that impact dairy farming can overwhelming. Tune in to hear the latest news and market trends in this bi-weekly market update.

  • Dan Basse, President of AgResource Company
Dairy currents
DON’T OVER “LOOK” VISION CARE FOR EMPLOYEES. A study conducted by South Dakota State University Extension found that over 44% of employees at four dairy farms in the state had never visited an eye care professional due to cost or language barriers. Though 75% of the employees showed no vision impairments based on screening with a spot vision device, 25% of employees were referred for possible eye issues. Vision impairments can present safety risks in addition to an inability to read posted signs or protocols. Also, colorblindness can hinder the ability to sort cows marked with paint stick colors.

Read more for details and eye safety practices. 
WHY DO WE LOVE ICE CREAM? Bon Appetit magazine featured an interview with a food scientist known for developing unique ice cream flavor combinations, including pear and blue cheese, malted milk balls and even ranch dressing. She shared factors that go into flavor development and how the craveable components of sugar and fat, along with positive associations of ice cream, make the combination magical.

Read the full article here.
CONSUMERS ARE ABSORBING RISING GROCERY PRICES, FOR NOW according to consumer research. Consumers are still spending more on groceries than pre-pandemic levels because they are still eating at home more and trading up for higher quality items as a treat. However, many are starting to alter behaviors; 59% are looking for deals, 48% are changing where or how they buy groceries and 35% are buying an increased proportion of store brands. Consumers are also buying more groceries from mass and club stores and fewer from supermarkets.

Learn more here.

“Grow spiritually and help others to do so. It is the meaning of life.” - Leo Tolstoy 

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