The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) in agriculture is in its infancy, but there are a lot of possibilities.
The DPM Certificate Program VII will update and refocus the dairy practitioner by providing skills and knowledge in production medicine.
Controlling feed costs for heifers through precision feeding is important. Heifers make up a large portion of the animal numbers on the farm as well as the total feed costs for the farm.
Byproduct feeds are a main staple of the diet for all animal groups on a dairy operation. They are either incorporated into a grain mix or they are fed as a separate commodity. Precision feeding can be successfully implemented using byproduct feeds. The key is finding a supplier that provides a consistent product.
The group of animals that have recently been weaned and grouped together are often called the Transition Calf Group. But too often this group of animals becomes The Forgotten Group. We focus labor and capital on keeping calves healthy and growing and on catching heifers in heat and getting them bred, but if we lose a month of time between these two points we will never get it back.
Description of revisions and new additions to genetic evaluations as of December 2, 2014.
For most major renovations or expansions, a lender will want a business plan to outline the plans and goals for the farm’s future success. For that plan to be approved, a comprehensive financial plan must be included that proves the farm’s past profitability and justifies the expansion for further profits down the road.
A reminder that all Pennsylvania dairy and livestock operations must register with the Department of Agriculture for premise identification.
A reminder about animal identification required by the USDA Animal Disease Traceability program.
Cleanliness of teats as the cow enters the robot and the ability of the robot to clean teats prior to milking will impact teat cleanliness at attachment and ultimately cow health and milk quality.
A study of data from Penn State calf research suggests that calf hip height and body weight can be useful predictors of future milk yield, while calf growth rate and starter feed intake can impact mature cow body weight.
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.