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Dairy News

The latest news from the Penn State Extension Dairy Team.
Figure 1. Water intake at various levels of milk production.
June 17, 2014

Water makes up 87% of the milk given by a cow, and drinking water satisfies 80 to 90% of a cow’s total water needs. Consider how and when cows drink to create a watering system that ensures every cow gets as much water as she will drink.

April 15, 2014

A 2013 study suggested that US EPA estimates of methane production underestimated true emissions. Penn State scientists collaborated with other experts to examine that claim. Using a method of calculating emissions based on feed consumption, these researchers concluded that the EPA estimates are accurate.

April 15, 2014

Most of the time when we think about sorting and dairy cows, we focus on the negative consequences of cows selectively eating the finer particles in a diet. But there is growing evidence that cows facing an acidosis challenge will select feeds with high ruminal buffering capacity if given the opportunity.

April 15, 2014

When it comes to risk management it seems like things are never simple. The new approach in the farm bill appears complicated. However, farms that have developed cash flow plans on their own or with the Extension Dairy Team, already have the tools available to implement the program effectively.

April 15, 2014

Designed, installed, and operated properly, tunnel ventilation systems can play a major role in keeping cows comfortable and productive during hot weather. Providing enough fan capacity is important, but properly sized inlets – located to supply uniform distribution throughout the animal space – are essential to provide a more comfortable space for the cows.

February 12, 2014

Successful culling strategies are based on economics and utilize accurate production data. This article discusses metrics that incorporate information from a current test day and for the current lactation.

February 12, 2014

As group housing systems for calves have gained popularity in recent years, interest in acidified milk systems has also been renewed. This article describes reasons for acidifying milk or milk replacer and examines research on acidified milk feeding systems.

February 12, 2014

Consistency is one of the biggest goals when feeding calves. Whatever the liquid feed (milk or milk replacer), the temperature, total solids percentage, and nutrient level should be reasonably consistent from feeding to feeding. Large changes in any of these parameters can lead to unwillingness of calves to drink or scours in calves that do drink.

February 12, 2014

Is the dairy industry ready to move from the past 75 years of artificial insemination (AI) as the primary way of advancing genetic progress, to using genomics, ovum pick-up (OPU), and in vitro fertilization (IVF) as another combination of technologies that could be used routinely to help take the dairy industry to the “next level” of genetic progress?

February 12, 2014

Prevention of mastitis requires reducing exposure to mastitis pathogens and enhancing the ability of the heifers’ immune system to respond.

February 12, 2014

The variety of production systems make it difficult for any one farm to truly know the cost to feed its herd when basing prices solely on the prevailing market. Though analysts do a reasonable job approximating the market costs for feedstuffs like corn silage and alfalfa haylage, actual producer costs can vary greatly within the same state. For this reason, it pays to know the true costs to produce the crops fed on the dairy farm.

CropCents Mobile App Icon
January 30, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – The Penn State Extension Dairy Team has just released their third mobile app; CropCents. The new mobile app calculates the cost of all home raised feeds by including direct and indirect costs. This app can be used by crop, dairy, and beef producers.

January 16, 2014

DairyCents Pro producer and consultant versions of the mobile app are now available for both platforms - Android and iPhone

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 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.