Colostrum quality variability is the biggest bottleneck in calf management. Even with the correct amounts of colostrum received, if the quality is not acceptable, calves can be susceptible to health problems.
Managing feed refusals is a balance between providing enough to ensure that each cow has access to all the feed she wants and minimizing waste.
Automatic Milking Systems (AMS, also known as robotic milkers) are slowly gaining popularity on Pennsylvania dairy farms, with approximately 35 PA farms currently using the technology. This article outlines a recent study of AMS performance on PA farms.
Agriculture is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Take the time to use your number one piece of safety equipment - that one between your ears. Harvest time adds extra stress to already full days, but let's do all we can to avoid losing any farmers or future farmers this fall.
Use of a selection index, such as Net Merit, can help producers capture the most genetic gain and economic value when making breeding decisions. The Net Merit formula will be adjusted, a new Grazing Merit index will be calculated, and a base change will occur with the release of the December 2014 proofs.
Penn State Extension Dairy Team and Center for Dairy Excellence Team Up to Answer Producers' Questions with Sessions through November 6.
Ideal dairy cow body condition scores can not be achieved overnight. A good foundation in precision feeding and monitoring body scores are essential on any dairy farm.
The precision of what cows consume can be questionable. However, component fed herds can still apply precision feeding as successfully as herds feeding a total mixed ration. Dry matter intake can be monitored for cows and the weight of a grain scoop can be calibrated with each new delivery.
A timely reminder of simple practices that can help keep cows milking during the transition to new silage.
As tie stall dairy producers think about herd expansion they often consider converting their existing building into a milking center. In many cases this is a reasonable idea. However, ‘low-cost’ should not be interpreted as ‘cheap.’
Fall is almost here and with that will come corn silage harvest. One common side effect of silage making is silage effluent. No matter our best efforts to harvest at the correct moisture and in a timely fashion, it happens. If you have a silo, upright or horizontal, you have some amount of silage effluent.
Synchronization protocols have become a great tool for many breeding programs, but most would probably abandon them in a heartbeat if there was another effective way to consistently predict ovulation and pinpoint the perfect time to breed cows. Activity monitors may provide a solution.
Scientists from around the globe presented the results of their most recent research at the joint annual meeting of the American Dairy Science Association and the American Society of Animal Science last month in Kansas City, Missouri. This article highlights some of the latest findings related to feeding and managing dairy calves.
It was good advice then, and it still rings true. An adventure in cleaning out old file cabinets yields record keeping advice that has stood the test of time.
Several microbiological parameters are used to screen for the overall quality of milk. These analyses are associated with milk quality. They also can provide direction for trouble-shooting sanitation and procedural issues on the farm.
The goal of monitoring dry matter intake is getting to know your cows. This is extremely important for understanding what is normal and what is abnormal for the operation. It can also help explain how the cows may be responding to forage quality changes, ration changes, or labor’s implementation of the feeding program.
Improvements in forage quality, feed management and labor management equates to a productive Penn State dairy herd.
What is the difference between a barn built in 2014 and one built in 2002? It is likely there are multiple opportunities to upgrade an older barn and improve cow comfort.
Inspections are an inevitable part of the routine on most dairy farms. The demand for a safe, high quality product is driven, in part, by consumers who put pressure on producers for transparency and adherence to safety standards. Processors also require a product that consistently meets their standards resulting in the production of a high quality, uniform product on a regular basis. Producers in turn, may be rewarded with premiums for meeting quality standards. But do these inspections correlate with the quality of milk that is being shipped?
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.