Preliminary research from Purdue found that on average, farms could spend an additional $7.50 for polled genetics and break even with the average costs of dehorning.
Look for those “grey areas” that may be costing you money and workers. Taking steps to eliminate the grey – creating SOPs that are used and having good conversations daily – can be two steps forward towards a better environment for you and your workforce.
Approximately half of U.S. and one-third of Pennsylvania ag businesses use technology to assist in business management. If you have not yet made the switch to computerized financial records, Penn State Extension provides a comparison of features in the major software packages.
What makes good housing for cows with a robotic milking system? The simple answer is, the rules haven’t changed! Every dairy shelter, no matter the style, needs to provide good ventilation, ready access to high-quality water and feed, a clean, dry, comfortable resting area, and confident footing. It doesn't matter how she is milked, the measures of what makes good housing and husbandry don't change.
The Penn State Particle Separator (PSPS) provides a tool to quantitatively determine the particle size of forages and total mixed rations (TMR). The updated 2013 version of the PSPS adds the ability to estimate physically effective fiber (peNDF) to this tool.
Achieving ideal levels of fecal phosphorus requires attention to several factors. The good news is ideal levels are possible, but they certainly are not the easiest to achieve.
Genetic technologies offer new opportunities to develop precise management plans that will help a farmer capitalize on the genetic merit of each animal in his or her herd.
Delegating management of a process or technology we aren’t familiar with to someone else based on their personal strengths can be a way to develop our human resources on the farm. We can rely on the younger generation to help bridge the information and technology gap while providing them with experiences and opportunities to progress our farms at a quicker rate.
A few manure piles at the rear of the stalls doesn’t necessarily mean a poorly managed stall, but rather a well-used stall, which is a good thing. Rather than just look at how clean the stalls are, watch and evaluate how the cows use the stalls. In the end a clean, well-used stall is the real goal.
Fresh dairy cattle sometimes need a little extra TLC. Moving cows too early can hurt milk production.
Balanced rations for lactating dairy cows only work if ingredients are mixed properly.
Knowing what it costs you to grow corn or beans can allow you to determine what yield levels will be profitable and how much you can afford to pay to rent crop ground.
Precision dairy management involves the use of technology to measure indicators on individual animals and the use of automation to perform tasks. These technologies are intended to increase efficiency and improve cow management; ultimately improving farm productivity and profitability. Many of these technologies can be applied to both small and large farms.
The heat and corn silage changes take a toll on milk production and dry matter intake at the Penn State Dairy Barn.
A new growth spreadsheet that generates a customized growth curve for an individual herd based on that herd’s goal for age at first calving and the mature size of animals in the herd. Using this tool, you will be able to tell at every step of the way whether heifers are on track to calve at the right size and age, eliminating the delay that comes with not measuring heifer performance until first calving.
We can't control the weather, but we can make management changes to improve calf comfort and performance as the mercury rises.
A growing population and increased incomes from an economic boom are the driving forces behind a surge in dairy product demand in India. One key to the success of recent consumption trends has been an American standby: the refrigerator.
On-farm milk culture is a tool that can help you reduce the amount of antibiotics being used, decrease costs associated with clinical mastitis, and increase milk quality and profitability.
Commodity feeding can be a money saving or money losing game, and each farm needs to look at their numbers and make that decision for their operation.
When it rains, it pours: broken TMR mixer, running out of feed, and a drop in the milk fat test pose challenges to the herd.
Research from the University of Florida shows that calves exposed to heat stress before birth have lower birth weights and compromised immunity.
Two real world examples of group housing and feeding systems for calves and a discussion of the challenges in each system.
Dairy producers are encouraged to design a parasite control program with their veterinarian. This article presents some elements that might be considered in crafting a more effective program.
Crows are not dumb birds.
A decrease in milk butterfat sends the alarm but is the diet to blame?
There are several ways to economically evaluate better reproduction. Whatever economic indicator is used, research suggests that the more efficient our dairy producers become at getting their entire dairy herd pregnant, both first service cows and repeat breeders, the potential exists for increased profitability for the dairy enterprise.
Insight into world supply and demand factors that influence milk price.
Penn State research suggests that when low quality forage is added to the diet to achieve extra chewing or rumination, chopping it fine enough to minimize sorting will help cows to consume the amount of forage desired and still provide physically effective fiber.
Transitioning cows from the dry period into and through early lactation has a huge effect on the overall production and health of the entire herd. The way we house and manage the dry and prefresh cow ultimately determines the level of production she can achieve.
Haylage shrink of 22% keeps the PSU Dairy on their toes but setting goals and making a plan of action keeps milk production going strong.
Penn State Extension Dairy Team has scheduled two workshops to help increase milk quality through collecting and indentifying on-farm cultures.
Workshops designed for English-speaking milkers and managers will emphasize proper milking techniques and standard operating procedures.
Video clip from the Big Ten Network featuring the DairyCents app with interviews from Penn State Extension, a local dairy producer, and a Penn State student.
Recent hire to the Penn State Extension Dairy Team, Heather Weeks featured in Progressive Dairymen Magazine
Recent hire to the Penn State Extension Dairy Team, Ximena del Campo featured in Progressive Dairymen Magazine
Recent hire Andrea Tholen featured in Progressive Dairyman Magazine