The 365 day forage ration
November 16, 2015
Cows perform best when they can be kept on a consistent ration and forage quality is excellent. Is it an achievable goal to maintain lactating cows on the same forage ration for 12 months? Most people would automatically respond no to this question. Based on my experience as a dairy producer, dairy manager and nutritionist it can be a realistic goal; however it requires a very committed and focused approach to achieve that end result.
Hoof Health Workshop Held in Marion Center
November 2, 2015
On a cool day in late October, nineteen workshop participants were treated to a full program about hoof health in dairy cattle. A portion of the workshop was held at a Marion Center dairy farm, where everyone had an opportunity to get "hands on" practice.
PCR as a Diagnostic Tool for Mastitis: Weighing the Options
October 23, 2015
PCR can be a useful diagnostic aid when combined with other currently available tools and herd data. With advances in research and improvements in the interpretation of assay results, PCR and other molecular biology techniques are likely to gain a more prominent place in mastitis diagnostics in the future. Producers should weigh their options and expectations along with consideration of the means by which the results will be utilized when determining whether to opt for PCR as a diagnostic tool for mastitis on their farm.
Interpreting Forage Analysis Reports
October 16, 2015
Forage quality plays a significant role in animal performance and profitability. Producers and nutritionists should be evaluating quality parameters. Ultimately it is the dairy producer who will implement changes to correct any problems.
Managing the Down Cycle
September 15, 2015
The dairy industry in 2015 is experiencing a similar down cycle to 2009 and 2012. These volatile market swings are not new or unexpected. There are management practices that can be implemented to help sustain the dairy operation.
Can On-Farm NIR Analysis Improve Feed Management?
August 20, 2015
Feed cost is one of the largest expenses on dairy farms. In addition to being a major cost, over feeding, under feeding or feeding an improperly balanced diet can impair cow health, decrease milk production, and result in negative environmental impacts. Regular dry matter (DM) testing of feeds and rebalancing the ration to compensate for DM changes ensures that dairy producers are feeding the ration formulated by their nutritionist. Where trade names appear, no discrimination is intended, and no endorsement by Penn State Extension or by the author is implied.