Edited by Dr. Jud Heinrichs, Professor of Dairy and Animal Science, Dairy Digest features articles by Penn State's experts in dairy management, engineering, herd health, and related areas. Dairy Digest has been published by the Department of Dairy and Animal Science and Penn State Cooperative Extension since 1963.
Controlling costs is just as important as ensuring the quality and quantity of heifers entering the dairy herd. Understanding a herd’s unique heifer need and availability based on key herd metrics can achieve insight into potential limitations or excess availability of heifers. Controlling these metrics to improve access to replacement opens the dairy business to greater control of quality of heifers becoming their next lactating herd participants.
Holstein herds in Pennsylvania have made progress in reducing the average age of heifers at first calving.
Federal funding is gone, but Johne's Disease isn’t. This article presents some relatively easy and inexpensive management practices that you can use to minimize the level of infection and the impact of this disease in your herd.
Perspectives on the dangers of keeping bulls on the farm and alternatives that can help keep you, your family, and your employees safe.
New research from the University of Minnesota confirms that colostrum pasteurization can be successful on commercial dairy farms.
In late summer and early fall, the talk of pricing standing corn for corn silage always seems to come up in conversation. Most look for a simple conversion from the current cost of grain corn to the value for corn silage. Unfortunately, in today’s economic environment, taking a little time to look at the factors involved with pricing corn silage from standing corn will help both the buyer and seller reach a fair price. Consider the price from each perspective, grain grower and forage buyer.
Poor maintenance can reduce efficiency of ventilation systems by as much as 40 percent.
Manure digesters will become more common on our dairy farms in the future, perhaps driven by odor control more than anything else.
In addition to cooling, shade, and ventilation, strategic adjustments to diet formulation and feeding management can help cows to better cope with extreme weather conditions.
Research shows how lameness can contribute to reproductive problems that drain profits
Designed and managed properly freestall shelters can be a good fit on productive dairy farms.
Since we cannot predict prices of energy in the future, we need to prepare for fluctuations in prices of the various energy sources.
Labor and cost spent getting water into each paddock may pay for itself quicker than almost any other management practice on the farm.
Some characteristics of unprofitable dairies.
Key factors can be better managed to improve milk production.
Milk production, somatic cell counts, pregnancy rate, culling rate, income over feed cost, are just a few of the metrics available for monitoring among dairy advisory teams.
Be careful to avoid the “Twinkies Effect” on your farm and in your home.
Many times the difference between success and failure is a matter of inches and seconds! Profitability of your dairy is no different.
Every state has different options for handling on-farm mortality. It is important to check with your state Department of Agriculture or Department of Environmental Protection regarding your options. In Pennsylvania, state law says that any animal mortality needs to be properly disposed of in 48 hours.
The following are some a collection of the common questions asked during the "Managing your Farm Business with Quickbooks" Workshops and how to address them to help simplify your financial records process.