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Dairy News

The latest news from the Penn State Extension Dairy Team.
February 24, 2015

We recently evaluated the costs of feeding pasteurized milk to calves in comparison to other feeding systems considering current market conditions. To do so, we utilized a spreadsheet tool we developed a few years ago with colleagues at Virginia Tech. The results may surprise you.

February 24, 2015

As we look at reproductive management and its impact on overall success of a dairy operation, it is clearly a critical component.

February 24, 2015

Biofilms protect bacteria, and you're probably familiar with them as build-up on surfaces of equipment around the farm. But new research reveals some mastitis-causing bacteria use biofilms to survive inside the mammary gland.

Aerial photo of cattle taken by a drone on a heat-detection mission.
February 24, 2015

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) in agriculture is in its infancy, but there are a lot of possibilities.

February 23, 2015

The DPM Certificate Program VII will update and refocus the dairy practitioner by providing skills and knowledge in production medicine.

February 13, 2015

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.

January 15, 2015

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.

December 23, 2014

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.

December 23, 2014

Description of revisions and new additions to genetic evaluations as of December 2, 2014.

December 23, 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.

December 23, 2014

A reminder that all Pennsylvania dairy and livestock operations must register with the Department of Agriculture for premise identification.

US shield symbol required on official animal identification tags.
December 23, 2014

A reminder about animal identification required by the USDA Animal Disease Traceability program.

December 23, 2014

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.

December 23, 2014

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.

December 23, 2014

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

Colostrometer: green = >50 mg/ml immunoglobulins (Ig)
November 18, 2014

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.

November 3, 2014

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.

November 3, 2014

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.