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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.