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Category: Dairy

Evaluating Technologies and Innovations for Dairies

March 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 […]

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Robotic Milking: Is It For You?

February 21, 2017

“What do you think of robotic milkers?” I get this question almost weekly from dairy producers.  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. I personally work with several robot milking farms.  I am […]

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Shedding Light on NDF Digestibility

February 1, 2017

Dairy producers understand the importance of feeding good quality forages.  Feed nutritionists are always looking for ways to use the best quality forages in diets of the highest performing groups of animals.  Digestible forages support high production by providing the necessary energy and nutrients.  They also aid in rumen health and help promote high intakes.  […]

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The Cost to Calving Springing Heifers After 24 Months

November 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 thousands 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 […]

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Increase Fiber Digestibility for Better Lactation Performance

October 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 […]

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Two Management Practices that Impact Dry Matter Intake in Dairy Cows

September 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. […]

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

July 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 […]

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Shorten the Duration of Winter Dysentery

April 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 of feed intake/milk production, and result in significant economic losses.  I’ve experienced this first hand […]

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Calving Heifers at 21 Months: Real Dollars, Really Achievable

April 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 […]

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PerFourMax 21 Heifer Program

March 21, 2016

Form-A-Feed’s new PerFourMax 21 Heifer Program was created based on goals to raising healthier heifers, calving earlier, with faster payback. The basic principles to the PerFourMax21 Heifer Program are: 1. Metabolizable Protein (MP) optimization for growth. 2. Complete macro and micronutrient fortification for a lifetime of health. 3. Body condition management for breeding and calving on […]

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What happens when heifers fail to meet growth goals?

March 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. To raise healthier and faster growing heifers (from birth to calving), that will calve at the correct […]

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New VFD Regulations Will Affect Most Livestock Producers

February 11, 2016

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. These regulatory changes will take full effect by January […]

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