Dairy Blog

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14 Ways to Increase Profits on Today's Dairy Farm Without rBST

14 Ways to Increase Profits on Today's Dairy Farm Without rBST

May 23, 2017
Today, in most businesses across the world, we have tighter profit margins and that includes America’s dairy farm. This is due to increased demand for lower prices by the public and the ever-increasing exit of the dairy farmer out of the industry. Fewer and fewer folks are milking more cows, bigger feedlots and larger swine operations, and running more land to make more food than ever before for the world. Read More
Have a Comprehensive Plan to Beat Heat Stress

Have a Comprehensive Plan to Beat Heat Stress

Apr 20, 2017
Even though hot summer days seem weeks away, now is the time to start protecting your herd against heat stress. Cow comfort, cow behavior, and grouping issues exacerbate themselves when heat stress is added to the mix. Read More
Evaluating Technologies and Innovations for Dairies

Evaluating Technologies and Innovations for Dairies

Mar 27, 2017
Dairies have been adopting new technologies for generations. Our grandparents or great-grandparents may have been among the first in the area to use a milking machine, or AI. Can you imagine dairying without bulk tanks and refrigeration, or automatic waterers? Now, robotic milkers and computerized calf feeding systems are common. New tools and technologies are becoming available with increasing frequency. Read More
Robotic Milking: Is It For You?

Robotic Milking: Is It For You?

Feb 21, 2017
I get this question almost weekly from dairy producers: “What do you think of robotic milkers?” I’ll give you my short answer. It is the right thing to do for some farms, but you still need to like cows, work with cows, and manage cows. Read More
Shedding Light on NDF Digestibility

Shedding Light on NDF Digestibility

Feb 1, 2017
The Cost to Calving Springing Heifers After 24 Months

The Cost to Calving Springing Heifers After 24 Months

Nov 29, 2016
The best age to calve a first calf heifer is 24 months. Or is it? Every month I look at calving data from 1000’s of animals and I have come to find that it really depends. In every herd’s youngstock program, there is a point that growing a heifer one month longer yields them no benefit, and in most cases, it starts doing harm to fresh milk production. Read More
Increase Fiber Digestibility for Better Lactation Performance

Increase Fiber Digestibility for Better Lactation Performance

Oct 18, 2016
Even under an intensive concentrate feeding system, forages are still an important component of dairy cow diets. After all, a cow is a ruminant, and the nutritionist needs to balance rations for fiber in order to keep a functional rumen. However, the energy availability from forages is significantly limited by large quantities of fiber materials forming plant cell walls and as a consequence, it limits feed intake, diet energy density, grain and protein inclusions, starch levels, as well as feed cost. Ultimately, it impacts cow health and lactation performance. Read More
Two Management Practices that Impact Dry Matter Intake in Dairy Cows

Two Management Practices that Impact Dry Matter Intake in Dairy Cows

Sep 13, 2016
I thought about beginning this article with a statement like: “in today’s markets…” or “with the recent economic situation in the dairy industry…”, but I am not going to! The management practices that I would like to discuss have proven to be a great investment in any economic and market situation in the dairy industry. The last two years have been very difficult to make profits or even stay afloat milking cows. Owners and managers of any dairy have been asking themselves the same questions: Read More
Corn Silage Harvest: Setting Yourself up to Succeed in 2017

Corn Silage Harvest: Setting Yourself up to Succeed in 2017

Aug 17, 2016
What is the best way to set yourself up to succeed in 2017? Make great forage in 2016. Nothing you will do after making corn silage in 2016 will bring you more profitability than focusing on great corn silage today. Making corn silage is much more than just chopping. Planning for great silage starts today. Read More
Not All Bugs Are Bad: Let's Talk About DFMs

Not All Bugs Are Bad: Let's Talk About DFMs

Jul 15, 2016
What does a bee, the flu, Bugs Bunny, and bacteria all have in common? Bugs! Although often enough, our first impression of a bug is usually something that isn’t favored, but there are also a lot of bugs that can help out our livestock production systems throughout the course of the year. A DFM is a direct fed microbial, a product that contains live, viable bacteria or yeast. They can be fed to livestock on a daily basis or whenever animals are feeling stress or production challenges. Read More
Meet Form-A-Feed's Dairy Intern: Adam Fellbaum

Meet Form-A-Feed's Dairy Intern: Adam Fellbaum

Jun 16, 2016
Form-A-Feed is excited to have Adam Fellbaum join us this summer as the dairy intern! We asked Adam a few questions so you can get to know him: Read More
Shorten the Duration of Winter Dysentery

Shorten the Duration of Winter Dysentery

Apr 25, 2016
A viral outbreak of diarrhea in dairy herds commonly known as "Winter Dysentery" affects a number of herds in the Midwest during our transition from Winter to Spring. The animal becomes susceptible to pathogens that damage the hindgut causing dehydration, a drop feed intake/milk production, and result in significant economic losses. Read More
Calving Heifers at 21 Months: Real Dollars, Really Achievable

Calving Heifers at 21 Months: Real Dollars, Really Achievable

Apr 13, 2016
Calving first lactation females on your dairy earlier than you currently do today can challenge your thinking. Some might not even think it’s possible. To shave a month or two, in some cases 3 months off the average age at first calving can seem like a monumental if not impossible change for a dairy to implement. The fact is it is a simple matter of choice, the choice to set the goal, manage age at first breeding with discipline, and feed correctly to optimize genetic potential. The results are healthier heifers, calving earlier and that pay you back faster. Read More
PerFourMax 21 Heifer Program

PerFourMax 21 Heifer Program

Mar 21, 2016
Form-A-Feed's PerFourMax 21 Heifer Program was created based on goals to raising healthier heifers, calving earlier, with faster payback. Read More
What happens when heifers fail to meet growth goals?

What happens when heifers fail to meet growth goals?

Mar 4, 2016
Most dairy producers want their heifers to grow bigger and faster, but how often are we actually reaching those goals? If your heifers are not reaching growth goals, you could be sacrificing health, productivity, cost, and calving age. Read More
New VFD Regulations Will Affect Most Livestock Producers

New VFD Regulations Will Affect Most Livestock Producers

Feb 11, 2016
In a process that began several years ago, we are now about 10 months away from the implementation of sweeping changes in FDA regulations affecting the use of antibiotics in animal feeds. These changes will affect the use of antibiotics that are deemed “medically important”, generally meaning that they are also used in human medicine. Read More
Feed an Amino Acid Balanced Diet for Transition Cow Performance

Feed an Amino Acid Balanced Diet for Transition Cow Performance

Jan 4, 2016
In today’s dairy farming operations we are all affected by the global milk markets. As nutrition suppliers we are always asked to “get more milk” or “do it cheaper with same the result.” Sounds simple, right? Not always. Read More
Critical nutrition for fresh cows: energy and hydration

Critical nutrition for fresh cows: energy and hydration

Dec 23, 2015
The transition period immediately after calving, commonly referred to as the “fresh period”, often presents the challenges of metabolic diseases related to negative energy balance, namely ketosis, in early lactation dairy cows. The fresh period also is a time that the dairy cow must replenish lost fluids and heal or repair tissue associated with the calving event. This process also requires extra energy, fluids and minerals in ample quantities for the cow to maintain and perform up to optimal health status. Ultimately, high production of peak milk levels and fast return to estrus activity for timely rebreeding are the goals for profitable production in commercial dairies. Read More
Fermented Feeds: A year-long investment made in just hours

Fermented Feeds: A year-long investment made in just hours

Oct 22, 2015
As we wrap up this year’s harvest, now is a great time to start planning for next year’s to-do list of harvest time decisions. Taking a few moments to record timing, yield and moisture of crops relative to the growing season and variety, equipment limitations that may have caused downtime, bottlenecks, and particle size or processing concerns are all items that can aid in managing the handful of days known as “silage harvest”. The degree and extent of fermentation, which leads to subsequent feed-out and livestock performance the rest of the year, are all affected by these decisions executed in just a handful of hours. Read More
Strong Team. Quality Milk: Training Successful Employees

Strong Team. Quality Milk: Training Successful Employees

Oct 7, 2015
As dairy managers and owners it is our responsibility to make sure employees succeed by achieving goals and expectations. Training programs don’t have to be complicated, however when we think about training we do have to outline three main categories depending on the needs of the business and the direction we see it going. Read More
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