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.
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.
It’s that time of year again! Cold weather is approaching and keeping every newborn and young calf healthy might be challenging. Wind and snow can add stress to even the healthiest of calves.
Penn State research has determined that histidine can be a limiting amino acid in high-producing dairy cows fed corn silage and alfalfa haylage-based diets deficient in metabolizable protein (MP). This is primarily a result of the relatively low histidine concentration in microbial protein synthesized in the rumen. When formulating diets for high-producing dairy cows fed MP at or below NRC (2001) requirements, nutritionists should also balance for digestible histidine supply.
Internal parasites continue to plague the livestock industries. Economic costs due to parasitism vary with animal age, stage of growth, degree of exposure, and level of nutrition. Late fall or winter is a good time for dairy producers to strategize with their veterinarian and develop a parasite control program that fits with animal care and planning for crops and forages.
Penn State will be conducting a survey to identify causes of stillborn calves in dairy and beef herds in Pennsylvania. Calves must be submitted for testing within 6 hours of birth. Read on for more information on stillbirths and contact information for participating in this research project.
Since the deregulation of electricity generation there have been numerous changes in the price structures for electricity. Take the time to investigate your options and consider changes that could save you money.
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.