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.
Corn silage quality was typically considered one of the more consistent forages produced on a dairy farm.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.’