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Volume 18: Issue 6 November 2016

BOTTOM LINE Sharing ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.

New footbath design: increase length Choose a personal harvest ............................... Page 4

Precision dairy-monitoring technologies ...................... Page 6

Nutrient Innovation and Technology Tours ............. Page 7

Sharpen communication skills: Five courses coming up .... Page 15

DR. NIGEL COOK

The use of footbaths in dairy operations to control infectious hoof disease has long been commonplace, but the design of the bath has received little interest until recently. A well-designed footbath should optimize transfer of the antibacterial – whether copper sulfate, formalin, zinc compounds or other disinfectants – to the feet as the cow walks through the bath, while minimizing the volume of solution needed. Worldwide, the most common footbath design is approximately 6 inches deep by 77 inches long and 36 inches wide, with a 50-gallon c a p a c i t y. However findings show that footbaths of Nigel Cook this design aren’t long enough to transfer the footbath solution effectively to the cows’ feet. For both rear feet to receive at least two immersions as the cow walks through the bath, the bath needs to be at least 10 feet long. At 12 feet in

University of Wisconsin

Located at the end of a parlor exit lane, a footbath is positioned on a level platform; cows make an additional step down to return to the exit lane.

length, for example, at least one of the rear feet is immersed three times. Also, studies show that longer baths improve the control of infectious hoof disease no matter what chemical is used – emphasizing the importance of chemical transfer to the feet. Of course the disadvantage of a longer bath is that more chemical is needed if the other dimensions aren’t changed. Studies show that when the width of the bath is made

narrower to reduce chemical volume, cattle will sufficiently tolerate them as narrow as about 20 inches at hoof level, provided that side walls of the bath widen to accommodate for the cow’s body; 36 inches wide at 3 feet above the bath floor is satisfactory. Also cows will tolerate a relatively high step of about 10 inches high – which means higher retention of chemical, reduced solution loss and increased number of foot immersions. With a 10-inch step, a bath filled to a 3- to 4-inch depth will still have acceptable levels of chemical for the final cow through the bath. Using a wash bath in front of the treatment bath is not recommended for keeping the footbath solution cleaner. Observations suggest that t h i s p ra c t i c e a c t u a l ly increases manure contamination of the treatment bath. Water from the wash bath is transferred to the treatment bath, diluting the antibacterial and potentially reducing efficacy. In addition, use of a wash bath adds a significant amount of water to manure storage during the course of a See FOOTBATH, Page 3

Professional Dairy Producers™ I 1-800-947-7379 I www.pdpw.org


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November 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

1901 Fish Hatchery Road Madison, Wisconsin 53713 Toll-Free: 1-888-AGRI-VIEW Madison Phone: 608-250-4162 Madison Fax: 608-250-4155 agriview@madison.com www.agriview.com

PDPW Leadership Board President Mitch Breunig Sauk City, Wis. mysticvalley@wildblue.net Vice President Marty Hallock Mondovi, Wis. marbec@nelson-tel.net Secretary Kay Zwald Hammond, Wis. rfkz@centurytel.net Treasurer Charlie Crave Waterloo, Wis. charles@cravecheese.com Directors Brian Forrest Stratford, Wis. bforrest70@gmail.com Jay Heeg Colby, Wis. jcheeg@yahoo.com Jeremy Natzke Greenleaf, Wis. jnatzke@yahoo.com Dan Scheider Freeport, Ill. dnscheider@gmail.com Linda White Reedsburg, Wis. linda@krdairy.com PDPW Advisors Eric Cooley UW-Discovery Farms Sturgeon Bay, Wis. etcooley@wisc.edu Steve Schwoerer Badgerland Financial Fond du Lac, Wis. steve.schwoerer@ badgerlandfinancial.com Chad Staudinger Dairyland Seed St. Nazianz, Wis. cstaudinger @dairylandseed.com Richard Wallace Zoetis McFarland, Wis. richard.l.wallace@zoetis.com

Working capital needs to work PAUL DIETMANN, Badgerland Financial‌

The term “working capital” conjures an image of a pile of money available to be used for virtually any purpose, whether it’s paying down debt, buying new equipment or installing new carpeting in the house. But for many dairy farmers, working capital may not be held in a form that’s easily accessible when it’s needed. This article explains the elements of working capital, how to calculate it and common snags when making the calculation. Sugge s t i o n s a re offered for determining if a f a r m ’s n e t Paul working capital Dietmann is adequate. Lenders tend to look closely at working capital, particularly when the farm economy is sagging, because it’s a strong indicator of a farm’s ability to sustain itself through a downturn. A strong working-capital position gives a farm the ability to take advantage of unexpected opportunities to make strategic investments in the business. Working capital is calculated using a farm’s balance sheet. It’s simply the difference in dollar value between current assets and current liabilities – current assets minus current liabilities equals working capital. Current assets include cash, any assets that will be converted to cash within a year, and any items that will be depleted on the farm within a year. Cash and checking-account balances are considered current assets, as are market livestock such as steers because they will be sold and converted to cash within a year. On the other hand, replacement heifers are generally not considered to be current assets. As breeding livestock, they are

Calculating working capital can be complex, but knowing what’s available for use is priceless.

intermediate assets. Feed inventories are current assets, because much of the inventory will be depleted on the farm within a year. Current liabilities include any items due now or that will come due within a year. Unpaid bills, credit-card debt, and accrued interest on term loans are current liabilities. The entire amount of principal and interest owed on operating loans is a current liability because it’s due within a year. Any principal that must be paid within the year on longer-term debt such as a farm mortgage is a current liability. For most dairy farms, the largest category of current assets is feed inventory. Feed inventory presents unique challenges because it’s included in the calculation of working capital – but really isn’t available to be used as “working” capital. Selling feed inventory to cover operating expenses or loan payments could be disruptive to the dairy business. That makes it somewhat of a challenge to place a value on feed inventory. Should it be valued at its cost of production? Should it be valued at what it would cost to buy it, or at the price another dairy farm would be willing to pay for it? What should a producer do if

market value changes significantly during the year? The biggest challenges with current liabilities are accrued interest on term loans and the amount of principal due within a year on longer-term debt – because both figures change on a daily basis. Online banking can be used to check that, or contact the lender to see up-todate numbers. Suggestions for working capital: Use conservative values for feed inventories. The working-capital position shouldn’t be shown as stronger than it really is. Use a low market value per ton, per bushel or per bale, and then discount another 10 percent to allow for shrink and potential marketing costs. Aim to maintain a yearround working-capital position that is a minimum of 15 percent of annual gross farm income. Working capital can fluctuate quite a bit through the year. It may be strong in the fall when feed inventories are high, and low in the spring as feed inventory declines and operating-loan balances increase. If working capital consistently falls short of that benchmark of 15 percent of gross income, make a plan to incrementally wipe out the deficit from cash flow during the course of four years. Try to keep 10 percent to 15 percent of current assets in cash or “nearly cash” – such as grain intended to be sold. There hasn’t been any incentive in recent years to hold cash. But when in a pinch there is no better type of working capital than cash. Keeping a good handle on a farm’s working-capital position and following a few simple guidelines will help put that capital to work for the long term. Paul Dietmann is an agricultural lender with Badgerland Financial, a mission sponsor of PDPW.


November 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Footbath

Traditional footbaths are often poured with concrete, but many are now prefabricated in stainless steel or plastic.

Continued from Page 1

year. As an example, a 1,000cow dairy using a 50-gallon wash bath once a day, five days a week, and replacing the solution every 200 cows adds 65,000 gallons of waste water annually to manure storage – 50 x 5 x 5 x 52. A 12-foot-long bath that’s 24 inches wide with a 10-inch step-in height filled to 3.5 inches would contain 52 gallons of solution – no more than most traditional baths that are shorter in length. Sidewalls should be sloped, from 3 feet above the floor to the top of the bath, and sides should be enclosed to create a walk-through tunnel. This design promotes cow flow through the bath and reduces defecation. Whatever the location of the footbath, it’s preferable to have the option to divert cows into or

University of Wisconsin

around the footbath rather than walk cows through a bath of accumulated manure when the bath is not filled and prepped for cow traffic. Parlor exit lanes are the most common location for footbaths, but those lanes are often sloped – and cow flow may be compromised if located too near the parlor. It’s recommended to level the lane where the footbath is located and allow for cows to step onto a platform, providing an additional step down after about 6 feet. Another alternative is a level transfer lane between barns, where the footbath lane may be used or closed off as necessary. Of course in cold climates that type

of location may be exposed to freezing if under-floor heating pipes are not installed. In herds with automatic milking systems with a robot positioned at the side of the pen, it’s best to place the footbath in the center exit lane. In layouts with robots at the center of the pen, a “toll-booth” layout is preferred, diverting cows to exit into a rear lane where the footbath is located. In all cases, the preparation area where footbath solution is mixed should be positioned adjacent to the baths for efficient transfer of solution. A repurposed bulk tank makes an ideal mixing reservoir, in which case

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well-mixed solution can be transferred to the footbath via the milk pump. The solution should be changed after 150 to 350 cow passes, depending on the degree of contamination and pen size. Once the footbath is installed, ensure the pH of the solution is not less than 3.0 if using an acidifier. Allow cows to walk through the footbath once a day for three days a week. If necessary, frequency can be increased to four or five days a week. Many hoof-care protocols and treatment designs exist; be sure to use one that cows can safely travel through and for which the footbath solution can be efficiently and properly maintained. Dr. Nigel Cook, DVM, is the chair of the Department of Medical Sciences and professor in foodanimal medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. Contact him at nbcook@wisc.edu for more information.


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November 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

PEOPLE PERSPECTIVE

Control personal-harvest outcome HANK WAGNER

It’s harvest time again – a beautiful season of change and color. The season represents the culmination of planting, tending, care-taking, hoping and waiting. Large sums of money a re s p e n t o n seed, fertilizer, Hank Wagner‌ weed control, equipment and repairs, labor and even the land itself. Countless hours have gone into planting and caring for those seeds, which have now multiplied into abundantly more than what was sown. And this process is repeated year after year, never

knowing for sure what the end result will be. There are no guarantees for success, yet producers plant anyway. One thing is guaranteed. If a corn kernel is p l a n te d , corn is w h a t grows; if wh ea t i s p l a n te d , w h e a t grows. If beans are p l a n te d , the result isn’t corn. The literal “reap what you sow” truth is obvious, but it also applies to another important area in

businesses and lives – peop l e ’s t h o u g h ts. C u r re n t thoughts – and beliefs – are the result of seeds that were p l a n te d by ex p e r i e n c e s, o t h e r people, culture, events and more. The seeds are n u r t u re d a n d a cce p te d as truths; t o d a y they’re growing as thoughts and habits. If we’re not careful we’ll have a harvest we don’t want – like fear, lack of confidence and other types of loss. In a field of corn, farmers take steps to protect their crops from losses caused by weeds. We should do the same with the harvest w e ’ r e growing each day in our personal lives, whether it’s in the field of finances, relationships, health, success or contentment. The good news is we each have tremendous power to influence life’s outcome by making good choices. I f we d o n ’t m a ke t h o s e choices, other people will. Does anything grow on a plot of land in which nothing has been planted? Certainly! Weeds will take over every inch of that soil and the harvest will be of little value. The same applies to our personal

lives when we don’t take charge of what’s planted, or when we don’t deem ourselves worthy of planting good seeds such as learning, gratitude, sharing and achieving. Most people spend at least eight hours a day at a job or in their businesses trying to create a good harvest, which is sensible because it’s what we are paid to do. But how often do we take time to bring about a good personal harvest? While there’s often no immediate or tangible incentive, there certainly are long-term incentives. Consider personal dreams and make a plan – set goals – to achieve them. Stay flexible to change strategies as necessary. Typically the path to personal success involves also helping lead others to success. Be sure to be around p e o p l e who can encourage and motivate on this important journey. Set aside s o m e thinking time today to reflect upon life’s current harvest. And then decide if different seeds need to be planted. Prune away unhealthy growth – or continue to nurture a crop that shows promise. As is often the case in real life, probably all three will be necessary. Hank Wagner is a dairy producer and a John Maxwell Team teacher, mentor, speaker and coach. Contact him at hwagner@frontiernet.net for more information.


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November 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Precision dairy monitors save time JEFFREY BEWLEY AND AMANDA STONE

A s a ve ra g e h e r d s i z e increases, the time producers can devote to each animal decreases. Precision dairy-monitoring technologies can help a producer measure physiological, behavioral and production indicators on individual animals, in order to improve management strategies and farm performance. The tools can detect changes in cow performance and b e h av i o r to Amanda indicate various Stone circumstances – including estrus, disease, impending calving and cow-comfort problems. Prec i s i o n dairy-monitorJeffrey ing options are Bewley‌ a t t ra c t ive to many dairy producers because they can improve efficiency, milk quality and animal health while lowering costs and negative impacts on the environment. While precision dairy-monitoring technologies have primarily focused on automated heat detection to supplement or replace visual estrus detection, the tools can offer much more. They can monitor cow activity, feeding time, lying time, rumination time, mounting activity, real-time location, reticulorumen pH, body temperature and more. Because heat detection was the first area to be evaluated with precision dairy-monitoring technologies, it’s been heavily researched and farmer-tested. Producers are fairly confident in its reliability and often see a quick return on their

In addition to recording cow behaviors such as estrus and time spent eating, precision dairy-monitoring technologies are increasingly used to monitor milk yield, milk quality and subclinical disease indicators – including body temperature, rumen pH, lying time and rumination time. Many milking systems incorporate monitoring technologies so cow data is recorded during milking time.

Cow activity typically changes near estrus; day 0 represents estrus. Activity may start to increase the day before estrus and peak on the day of estrus. Technologies in place allow a producer to have advanced notice of when to breed the cow.

investment when it’s used properly, especially if they previously struggled to breed cows. Traditionally disease detection has relied on the producer observing clinical signs. Unfortunately, by the time clinical signs are noticeable, it’s often too late to take effective action. Even the best dairy

producers can miss physiological changes that precede clinical symptoms, but precision dairy-monitoring technologies can make a dramatic impact. A sick cow may lie down more and be less active, eat and ruminate less, and run a fever. When diseases are detected early, producers can observe the potentially sick

cows and intervene more quickly. In-line parlor and robot systems that detect changes in milk yield, electrical conductivity, lactose, protein and fat content already exist. Those systems are no longer set to merely detect mastitis. Today all diseases that can affect milk components can be monitored. Another exciting development in precision dairy-monitoring technologies is in calving detection. Anyone who’s needed to trudge to the barn multiple times on a snowy night can appreciate the value in automated calving detection. Without precision dairy technologies, producers need to visually check cows that are close to calving by monitoring physical signs. Technologies can evaluate similar parameters, as well as those that are more difficult to observe – such as body temperature, which decreases 24 to 48 hours before calving. Some newer systems are designed to reside in the vagina and send the producer a text alert when a cow’s water breaks. Healthy, comfortable cows will lie for 10 to 14 hours a day and ruminate seven to eight hours each day. Technologies can monitor these variables, as well as the number of times a cow lies down and the number of lying periods – all of which help to evaluate cow comfort. While the arena of precision dairy-monitoring systems is loaded with potential, it’s still held back by a few factors. For one, animals are complex and respond differently compared to their herd-mates. Also, evaluating scenarios other than heat detection is relatively new in the dairy industry so there’s still much to learn. In addition, the initial investment can be cost-prohibitive, leaving the adoption of these tools to a


November 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

smaller pool of producers. That can translate into a slower learning curve and slower technology-improvement process. No technology can replace good management; these tools should never be used as a short cut. The good news is that precision dairy-monitoring technologies allow researchers to understand cows better, which helps increase the value of the technologies for producers. In the end, the data provided by a precision dairy-monitoring device is only valuable if it records the data properly for the right cow and is effectively used by the producer. Jeffrey Bewley is an assistant professor in animal and food sciences at the University of Kentucky, where his program focuses on precision dairy-technology implementation. Amanda Stone is an assistant professor and dairy specialist at Mississippi State University-Extension.

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Explore nutrient-management technologies PDPW offers Nutrient Innovation and Dairy Technology tours Dairy farmers and industry professionals seeking the latest nutrient innovations and technologies have an opportunity Nov. 9 and 10 to tour six Wisconsin dairies. Hear directly from dairy owners and managers to get a clearer understanding of how the hosting dairies capitalize on the use of methane digesters, water-purification systems, nutrient-capture systems, soil mapping and recycled bedding. See operations with rotary parlors, manure and sand-separation systems, and other stateof-the-art technologies. The tours will make stops via chartered bus. The bus will

bring attendees Nov. 9 to Robinway Dairy LLC near Kiel, Majestic Crossing Dairy near Sheboygan Falls and Holsum Elm Dairy LLC near Hilbert. The bus will make stops Nov. 10 at Brickstead Dairy near Greenleaf, Pagels Ponderosa Dairy near Kewaunee a n d K i n n a rd Fa r m s n e a r Casco. Boarding will take place each morning at Fox Valley Technical College in Chilton, Wisconsin. The bus will depart at 9 a.m. and return at 4:30 p.m. Attendees can register for one or both days. Visit www.pdpw.org for more information. The training runs in partnership with the University of

Wisconsin-School of Veterinary Medicine and will be crediting up to 5.4 continuing-education credits for the first day’s tours and up to 4.8 continuing-education credits for the second day’s tours. The American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists will be crediting up to 4.5 continuing-education credits on the first day’s tours and up to 4 continuing-education credits on the second day’s tours. Certified Crop Advisors will be crediting up to 9 continuing-education credits, total, for both days.


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November 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Hock, knee lesions important indicators KATY PROUDFOOT

W h e n t h i n k i n g o f cow co m fo r t , wh a t co m e s to mind? Many think about dimensions of the freestall, stocking density or lying time. But another way to m ea s u re t h e comfort of a herd is to take a closer look at cow hocks and k n e e s. H o c k and knee lesions are Katy i n c re a s i n g l y Proudfoot recognized as barometers of cow comfort; they indicate how facilities directly impact cow welfare. For that reason, those lesions are routinely scored by evaluators for the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management program

Optimally 95 percent of the dairy herd should score a 1 or 2. For herds not yet at this level, the incidence of hock and knee lesions can be reduced by making simple modifications in cow housing and facilities.

– FARM – and for other animal-welfare assessments. Dairy producers should determine the prevalence of

hock and knee lesions in their herds, and compare the findings with averages estimated by researchers and criteria for t h e Fa r m e r s A s s u r i n g Responsible Management program. To r e d u c e i n j u r i e s , incorporate these strategies: Score hock and knee lesions

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Most researchers use a three-point scoring system to m ea s u re h o c k a n d k n e e lesions, typically while cows are in the milking parlor. In large herds, randomly choose a sample of cows to score – for example, every third cow. When scoring a herd, a good rule of thumb is to score at least 100 cows. A herd’s prevalence can easily be calculated by dividing the number of cows scoring a 2 or 3 by the total number of cows scored, and multiplying by 100. So if 100 cows are scored and four of them have a score of 3, the e s t i m a te d p reva l e n ce o f score-3 lesions is 4 percent – 4 divided by 100 equals 0.04, times 100 equals 4 percent.

Compare with other farms On a farm with excellent cow comfort no cow should score a 3. But maintaining a level of zero cows with a score of 3 isn’t always realistic – and can vary by region and housing systems. Researchers at the University of British Columbia’s Animal Welfare Program estimate the average prevalence of hock and knee lesions with a score of 3 to be 5 percent for hocks and 23 percent for knees in the northeast part of the continent. In California the program found 2 percent for hocks and 0 percent for knees. T h e Fa r m e rs A s s u r i n g Responsible Management program’s criteria are for 95 percent of cows in a herd to score a 1 or 2. If more than 5 percent of cows in a herd score a 3, it’s advisable to consult with an evaluator or veterinarian to reduce the prevalence and create a plan for improvement. See Lesions, PAGE 10


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November 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Lesions Continued from Page 8

Reduce lesion risk Hock and knee lesions are typically the result of a cow repeatedly rubbing against or lying down on a hard surface – such as conc re te o r r u b b e r - f i l l e d mattresses. Multiple studies have found that d e e p - b e d d e d s ta l l s, o r compost-bedded or straw-bedded packs, significantly reduce the incidence of lesions compared to mattresses. Bed maintenance plays a vital role because cows tend to push out bedding material, creating a “bath tub” effect. To counteract this, rake stalls frequently so bedding stays level with the curb.

Farms using mattresses can reduce lesion incidence by making simple modifications. Studies show that recessing the mattress 2 inches below the curb and topping it with 1.5 to 2 inches of sand is comparable to using deep-bedded stalls. Other ways to reduce hock and knee lesions include reducing stall-stocking density, providing cows with access to pasture during the dry period, and keeping bedding dry and clean, as well as more frequently raking the stalls and changing the bedding. Katy Proudfoot is an assistant professor and The Ohio State University-Extension specialist in animal welfare and behavior with the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. Contact her at proudfoot.18@osu.edu for more information.

In addition to scoring hocks, knees should also be scored. The easiest place to do this is in the milking parlor.

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November 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

11

Understand nutrient losses from dairies ERIC COOLEY

No matter if equipment is spreading manure or cows are doing it themselves, the critical times and conditions for nutrient loss are similar. The best s o l u t i o n fo r Eric Cooley minimizing losses, however, differs between crop systems and pasture systems. The University of Wisconsin-Discovery Farms program has monitored water quality on private farms in Wisconsin for the past 15 years. Discovery Farms has collected water-quality information from a wide variety of farming systems, including two management-intensive grazing dairies. The key difference between the two grazing-based farms in the

study was soil type. Farm A was located on soil high in clay content, whereas Farm B was located on sandy soil. Due in part to the differences in soil type, Farm A had more runoff than Farm B – 12 percent of annual precipitation versus 4 percent. In addition to findings based on soil type, there were several clear lessons learned about grazing-based systems: 1. At least half of annual runoff occurs when soil is frozen; be sure to protect concentrated-flow areas. As is often the case in row-crop farms, approximately half of all annual runoff on Farm A

Disturbance from hoof traffic may cause soil crusting.

occurred when soil was frozen; in contrast, nearly all runoff occurred during that time phase on Farm B. Runoff is unavoidable but there are

measures that can be taken to reduce losses, such as limiting access to concentrated-flow See Dairies, Page 12

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November 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Dairies Continued from Page 11

areas from fall to spring. One way to do this is to temporarily fence off the areas. The Discovery Farms study found instances in which entire individual-cow piles of manure we re b ro k e n a p a r t a n d transported by snowmelt runoff in areas around concentrated-flow channels within paddocks. On both farms, the g rea te s t n u t r i e n t l osse s occurred during spring snowmelt. It’s within that window of time that it’s incredibly important to protect concentrated-flow areas from manure deposits. 2. The majority of annual nitrogen and phosphorus loss occurs when soil is frozen; plan to locate setstock and overwinter paddocks in low-risk areas. The set-stock

and overwintered paddock areas are likely the biggest water-quality challenges to any grazing-based system. In cropping systems, the season of frozen ground is the time frame to take extra precautions when spreading manure. It can be difficult for the manure to make good contact with the soil – runoff risk is high. Specific conditions that enhance those risks include rainfall on frozen ground, “concrete” frost and ice crust. Because a grazing system can’t control the timing of manure deposits, it’s important for managers to control the location. Overwintering and set-stock paddocks should be located in areas of low risk. Low-risk fields should be identified based on slope, on where the field drains and on the distance to water. Paddocks used during times of high risk should be located in low-risk areas that are less likely to negatively impact water quality.

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3. Phosphorus stratification influences phosphorus loss; consider occasional paddock renovations. There are two forms of phosphorus: particulate and dissolved. Typically particulate phosphorus is lost with soil, whereas dissolved phosphorus is lost with water. No-till and grazing systems do a good job of eliminating overall soil loss when paired with the appropriate conservation practices. Because monitored pastures had continual protective-vegetative cover, soil losses were minimal so particulate-phosphorus losses were minimal. Phosphorus loss was predominantly of the dissolved form at both Farm A – 80 percent dissolved – and Farm B – 90 percent. The high percentage of dissolved phosphorus observed from the grazed paddocks is similar to amounts observed on long-term no-till row-crop fields. The high dissolved fraction is partially a result of the stratification of phosphorus near the soil surface. Stratification is likely to occur when manure and fertilizer are continually surface-applied, which happens in both no-till and grazing systems. Incremental soiltest data showed high phosphorus values in the upper inch of the soil. Low soil loss combined with phosphorus stratification led to high percentages of dissolved phosphorus from grazed paddocks. One way to combat phosphorus stratification is through occasional paddock renovation. Paddock renovation can help reduce runoff and nutrient loss while increasing forage production and quality. On Farm A, some paddocks were renovated during the monitoring period because of weed pressure, compaction issues and feed-quality degradation in the paddocks. The paddocks had previously gone 12 to 14 years without tillage or reseeding. Deep tillage in late fall or early

spring was followed by spring reseeding. Renovated paddocks showed higher infiltration, forage production and quality in the years following as compared to paddocks that weren’t renovated. Paddock renovation is also important to resolve problems created by hoof traffic during high soil-moisture conditions. In late fall and early spring, when soils are often at elevated soil-moisture content, hoof traffic can break down soil structure and cause compaction. Compaction layers can reduce infiltration and increase runoff risk. On monitored farms, hoof depressions of up to 5 inches deep in the soil were observed when soils were nearly saturated. In the commonly accessed paddocks a hardpan – compaction layer – developed during high soil-moisture conditions, but no hardpan developed in non-accessed paddocks. H o o f t ra f f i c i n h i g h soil-moisture areas causes the soil to break apart into its components of sand, silt and clay particles. When the surface of the soil becomes saturated, the individual particles settle out, filling and blocking surface pores. Upon drying, those particles form a crust that inhibits infiltration and increases surface runoff. Visit uwdiscoveryfarms.org for more information on water-quality monitoring efforts on grazing dairies and other farming systems. UW-Extension publications available are: “Pastures for profit – A guide to rotational grazing,” “Managing Pastures for Water Quality – Understanding Riparian Areas” and “Managing Pastures for Water Quality – Strategies for Seasonal Livestock Use.” Visit learningstore.uwex.edu for more information. Eric Cooley is a co-director of the University of Wisconsin-Discovery Farms. Contact etcooley@wisc.edu or 608-235-5259 for more information.


GET HIGHER QUALITY ALFALFA. DON’T SACRIFICE YIELD. HYBRIFORCE-3400 DELIVERS ON FARM. YIELD ADVANTAGE

QUALITY ADVANTAGE

VS. COMPE TITORS

VS. COMPE TITORS

9%

YIELD ADVANTAGE

982

COMPARISONS

VS. ROUNDUP RE ADY® COMPE TITORS

13%

YIELD ADVANTAGE

437

COMPARISONS

All cuts at all locations vs. non-Dairyland varieties with more than 3 comparisons in 2013 – 2015.

3.6% LOWER LIGNIN

2%

BETTER RELATIVE FORAGE QUALITY (RFQ)

1.3%

HIGHER CRUDE PROTEIN

1.1% MORE MILK/ TON

1.9%

TOTAL TRACT NEUTRAL DETERGENT FIBER DIGESTIBILITY (TTNDFD) ADVANTAGE

982 comparisons in on-farm HAY Plots in 2013 – 2015.

KEVIN NAZE Northeast WI (920) 309-0255 --RYAN DURRANT Northcentral WI (715) 467-1770 --BILL GAUSMAN Northwest WI (715) 684-9755 --TREVOR KNUTSON Northwest WI (715) 307-2779 --STEVE VANDENPLAS Eastern WI (920) 366-6322 --BRIAN GRADE Central WI (920) 948-7223 --GARY DVORACEK Western WI (608) 792-7523 --BEN PUESTOW Southeast WI (262) 305-8822 --TIM CLARK Southcentral WI (262) 305-8733 --JAMIE HORSFALL Southwest WI (608) 778-3065 --CHAD BUTTS Southern WI (608) 290-3191 www.dairylandseed.com 800.236.0163

©2016 Dairyland Seed Co., Inc. All rights reserved. ®Dairyland Seed and the Dairyland Seed logo are trademarks of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. Dairyland Seed is a seed affiliate of Dow AgroSciences.

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14

November 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

FOCUS ON WHAT MATTERS

Residue business risky; take caution DR. KATIE MRDUTT

Once a calf leaves a dairy operation, the producer may not always know with 100 percent certainty where it’s headed. In today’s world, producers and veterinarians Katie Mrdutt‌ should manage all calves sent to market assuming they’ll be harvested and consumed. Regulations are ever-changing and risking a residue violation is not worth the cost. Calves from a few days old to 150 pounds – also called bob veal – are currently the second-most targeted group for residue testing at slaughter plants. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the majority of

Bob veal calves – calves a few days old to 150 pounds – comprise the second-most targeted group for residue testing at slaughter plants.

confirmed positives are caused by the drug neomycin. This antibiotic is found in some medicated milk replacers and medicated concentrates that are commonly added to the milk.

Twohig Rietbrock Schneider & Halbach “Attorneys for Agriculture” (920) 849 - 4999

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According to the FDA, dairy producers should read all labels to determine if the product should be fed to calves that might be harvested for veal. Milk replacer or any other products with neomycin will have a label that states “Warning: A withdrawal period has not been established for use in pre-ruminating calves. Do not use in calves to be processed for veal.” Many neomycin products are not approved for use in pre-ruminating calves so there’s zero tolerance for this antibiotic in any tissue at the time of harvest. “Zero continues to get smaller,” said Dr. Mike Apley, veterinarian and professor of production medicine at Kansas State University. Apley’s research focuses on infectious disease, antibiotic efficiency and resistance, drug residues, and applications of drugs in food animals. Rather than risking a violation, dairy producers can use non-medicated milk replacers without neomycin or other drugs – replacers that have the same nutritional value as the medicated milk replacers. The FDA recommends the use of non-medicated calf milk replacers for all calves that will be sold off the farm at an early age,

including bob veal calves being held for sale by veal producers. Starting Jan. 1, 2017, a producer will need a signed veterinary feed directive from a veterinarian, as part of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship, in order to obtain and feed medicated milk replacer. All uses of these products must be according to the manufacturer’s label. Producers who aren’t sure how this will affect their operations are running out of time to consult with veterinarians to clearly understand the veterinary feed directive and its potential ramifications. But sometimes the benefit of using medicated milk replacers or medicated additives outweighs the risks. In those cases, be sure to establish tight control points for individual animal identification, have a written protocol for selling those treated calves and maintain good treatment records. Close work with the dairy’s veterinarian is increasingly important; partner with that team member to manage risks. Dr. Katie Mrdutt is a Food Armor Outreach Specialist with the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association. Contact her at mrdutt@wvma.org for more information.


November 2016 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

15

Pump up energy savings Focus on Energy

A variable-frequency drive – commonly referred to as a VFD – can help save a significant amount of money and energy when used appropria te ly – e s p e c i a l ly wh e n a p p l i e d to va c u u m a n d milk-transfer pumps. Variable-frequency drives regulate the speed and rotational force of an electric motor, decreasing or increasing the speed of a motor as necessary. In addition to vacuum and milk-transfer pumps, other equipment can also benefit from installation of variable-frequency drives, including second-use water systems, ventilation fans, sand-manure-separation

Effectively engage: Learn critical skills This winter producers have an opportunity to sharpen their skills through a series of meetings hosted by the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin. Dairy’s Visible Voice® winter programming presents a five-part series: Media Training, Social Media Strategy, Crisis Management, Effective Leadership and Proactive Communication.

systems, and high-volume lowspeed fans. To maximize savings from variable-frequency drives: 1. Select a correct-size drive – ensure the pump is sized properly for its use. 2. Correctly install the drive in an appropriate location – a variable-frequency drive is extremely sensitive to its surrounding conditions, so install it where it can be kept clean, dry and protected from freezing temperatures. Install it as close as possible to the equipment it’s intended to regulate to reduce electromagnetic emissions. Properly ground it to prevent damage by lightning strikes.

3. Adjust settings and controls – always match the minimum-speed setting of the variable-frequency drive to the system’s needs. 4. Request quotes from multiple vendors for new variable-frequency drives – installation costs and methodologies vary. Asking for bids or estimates from several vendors allows for the best match in product, service and price. Read Focus on Energy’s new “Agriculture Energy Efficiency Best Practices Guide” for more ideas on implementing energy-efficient practices. Visit focusonenergy.com/guidebooks to download a free copy or request a hard copy be mailed.

Variable-frequency drives can dramatically reduce energy expenditures, especially when applied to vacuum and milktransfer pumps.

Today’s successful dairy producers need to be proficient not just in cow, calf, land, business and financial management, but also in communication skills – with team members as well as farm and non-farm partners, both locally and globally. Communication platforms are ever-changing and sometimes uncomfortable to navigate. Still, to remain viable, it’s critical to be prepared to effectively engage with media and consumers.

The focus of the series is to offer proven communication skills to position dairy businesses for success, while enabling positive interaction with one’s local community. In a peer-group setting, attendees will be empowered with the skills necessary to develop and implement a comprehensive communication plan for their farms while also learning the skills to lead the industry and protect farm brands.

Training dates, all held in the Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, area are: • Nov. 3, Media Training; • Dec. 1, Social Media Strategy; • Jan. 12, Crisis Management; • Feb. 16, Effective Leadership; and • April 6, Proactive Communication. Visit www.pdpw.org or call 800-947-7379 to register or for more information.

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PDPW Dairy's Bottom Line -- November 2016  
PDPW Dairy's Bottom Line -- November 2016