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2013 Archives

December 2013

December 17, 2013

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.

December 17, 2013

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.

December 17, 2013

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.

December 17, 2013

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.

October 2013

October 15, 2013

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.

October 15, 2013

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.

October 15, 2013

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.

October 15, 2013

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.

October 15, 2013

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.

August 2013

August 21, 2013

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.

August 21, 2013

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.

June 2013

June 17, 2013

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.

June 17, 2013

We can't control the weather, but we can make management changes to improve calf comfort and performance as the mercury rises.

June 17, 2013

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.

June 17, 2013

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.

June 17, 2013

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.

April 2013

April 24, 2013

Research from the University of Florida shows that calves exposed to heat stress before birth have lower birth weights and compromised immunity.

April 24, 2013

Two real world examples of group housing and feeding systems for calves and a discussion of the challenges in each system.

April 24, 2013

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.

February 2013

February 22, 2013

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.

February 22, 2013

Insight into world supply and demand factors that influence milk price.

February 22, 2013

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.

February 22, 2013

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.

February 11, 2013

Penn State Extension Dairy Team has scheduled two workshops to help increase milk quality through collecting and indentifying on-farm cultures.

February 11, 2013

Workshops designed for English-speaking milkers and managers will emphasize proper milking techniques and standard operating procedures.

February 8, 2013

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.

January 2013

January 23, 2013

Recent hire to the Penn State Extension Dairy Team, Heather Weeks featured in Progressive Dairymen Magazine

January 21, 2013

Recent hire to the Penn State Extension Dairy Team, Ximena del Campo featured in Progressive Dairymen Magazine

January 4, 2013

Recent hire Andrea Tholen featured in Progressive Dairyman Magazine