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.
A discouraging feature of recent visits to digester projects in Pennsylvania and neighboring states is that we are still seeing many of the “same olde mistakes and problems” on our digester projects.
The debate of organic vs. inorganic bedding and which has better udder health has gone on for some time.
It appears that linolenic acid is deficient in typical calf diets.
Dairy farmers – and other farmers too – should not be paying Pennsylvania sales tax on electricity!
Life is all about choices. Some work out great, some not well at all. The key though is to always have a choice, because the alternative is not pleasant.
There are many different ways that we can reduce our carbon footprint, either on an individual basis, as a farm, an industry or even a country.
Evidence has been accumulating that lactating cow mortality rates have increased more than 2 fold since 1980.
What can the active compounds cinnamaldahyde and eugenol found in essential oils do for your dairy cows?
Dr. Kevin Harvatine was recently hired as an Assistant Professor of Nutritional Physiology by the Department of Dairy and Animal Science.
Progress is be made to understand more about this condition and treatment strategies have improved but diagnosis of the type of cysts is still a challenge. However, culling chronically cystic cows, developing a strategy to avoid over conditioned dry cows and providing balanced transition cow ration will certainly help minimize periparturient problems so that the incidence of cystic ovaries remains low.
Penn State Dairy Extension is offering a new online tool to help dairy producers better manage feed costs during the current economic downturn.
That old saying, “What goes up must come down,” has been proven to be true yet again.
The time is right to review the concerns with ammonia emissions and the particular role of livestock in the global context of anthropogenic air pollution.
Genomic sire evaluations were released for the first time in January. Many people believe this will have the largest impact on genetic improvement programs since the advent of frozen semen.
The energy site has undergone massive reconstruction over the past several months with the new theme of "Coping with High Energy Prices."
Penn State Dairy Alliance is currently forming discussion groups for dairy producers in southcentral and southwestern Pennsylvania who want an opportunity to meet regularly so they may network and learn from each other.
With all the talk about electricity prices increasing when the rate caps expire within the next year or two, you may be tempted to consider generating your own electricity. After all, you probably already have a back-up generation system to provide electricity during blackout periods.
On occasion we receive inquires about the effect of phytoestrogens on reproductive performance of cattle. There have been a few reports from nutrition consultants and veterinarians working with well managed herds which experienced a sudden decline in reproductive performance for no obvious reason but when forages suspected to have high concentrations of phytoestrogens were removed from the ration performance improved. It is difficult to find well controlled studies which document how widespread this condition might be. However there are some good review articles describing the effect of phytoestrogens on sheep and cattle.
The adoption and evolution of milking cows without regular intervention by humans (robotic milking, automatic milking, voluntary milking…) is progressing in the US. The Pennsylvania dairy industry, lead by innovative and courageous farmers is participating in this pioneering activity. The questions as to “will robots work?” or “can they reliably identify, prepare and milk cows without human intervention?” are regularly being answered and demonstrated on several farms in Pennsylvania.
At the recent Penn State Dairy Cattle Nutrition Workshop, Dr. Nigel Cook from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin presented results of on-going research into the daily time budgets of cows. Their studies use video surveillance to determine how cows spend their time and how management practices and facility designs influence cow behavior. The findings are summarized in this article.