PDPW Dairy's Bottom Line -- April 2017

Page 1

Volume 19: Issue 3 April 2017

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

Prepare for heat stress MARIO MONDACA AND DR. NIGEL COOK

Page 2 Make your alerts effective

Page 6 Dairy AdvanCE: track education

Page 11 Calling all youth to learn

Page 14 Dairy Dialogue Day

The average Holstein dairy cow produces more milk than she did 10 years ago. Because producing milk is heat-intensive, heat stress continues to be one of the most prominent problems for m os t d a i ry Mario o p e ra t i o n s. Mondaca Heat stress reduces milk p ro d u c t i o n and pregnancy rates, and it can have negative effects on calves and dry Nigel Cook cows as well. The most common tools to alleviate heat stress in confinement-housed dairy systems are the provision of fast-moving air and the use of water. Ventilation ensures that fresh air comes into the barn, displacing stale and humid hotter air, while fast-moving air in the resting space helps distribute the heat away from the cow and facilitates longer lying times. Water-based cooling systems use either direct or indirect evaporation to cool the cow. Mechanically ventilated barns sometimes are

University of Wisconsin graphics

While heat stress often affects dairy cattle in obvious and immediate ways, several other health challenges don’t present themselves for up to a couple months after initial onset of heat stress.

equipped with cooling pads, high-pressure foggers work which use water to reduce air by reducing air temperature temperature as it enters the See HEAT, Page 2 barn. Similarly misters or

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


April 2017 • 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 Board of Directors Andy Buttles Lancaster, Wis. 608-723-4712 stonefront@tds.net Mitch Breunig Sauk City, Wis. 608-643-6818 mysticvalley336@gmail.com Brian Forrest Stratford, Wis. 715-650-0267 bforrest70@gmail.com Marty Hallock Mondovi, Wis. 715-495-2812 marbec@nelson-tel.net Jay Heeg Colby, Wis. 715-507-0030 jcheeg@yahoo.com Steven Orth Cleveland, Wis. 920-905-2575 orthlanddairy@gmail.com Katy Schmidt Fox Lake, Wis. 920-210-9661 katy_schmidt@live.com Dan Scheider Freeport, Ill. 815-821-4012 dnscheider@gmail.com Linda White Reedsburg, Wis. 608-393-3985 linda@krdairy.com

PDPW Advisers Mark Binversie Investors Community Bank Manitowoc, Wis. mbinversie@ investorscommunitybank.com Eric Cooley UW-Discovery Farms Sturgeon Bay, Wis. etcooley@wics.edu Dr. Randy Shaver UW-Madison Dairy Science Madison, Wis. rdshaver@wisc.edu Chad Staudinger Dairyland Seed St. Nazianz, Wis. cstaudinger@dairylandseed.com

Precision-technology alerts: interpret, monitor and use MATTHEW BORCHERS AND JEFFREY BEWLEY

Regarding dairy-cow rations, it’s been said there are three types – the one formulated, the one mixed and the one actually con Matthew sumed. Borchers Similarly, there are three types of actions a dairy farmer takes after an alert from precision dairy-monitoring technology – the one that Jeffrey should be perBewley formed, the one that’s recommended based on available

Heat Continued from page 1

around the misted area, which is generally in front of circulation fans. But both of those systems increase air humidity. Another approach is to apply water directly on the cow using a soaker system. While all systems have their pros and cons, more humid regions typically use soaking systems and drier climates generally fog or mist. On any operation, the holding area is a critical area to manage for heat stress. To keep cows cool and alleviate stress, producers need to ensure the holding area is properly ventilated, that fast-moving air is provided to the milking group and that it is coupled with an evaporative system. Heat stress is not always apparent; production losses and health issues aren’t always obvious until after heat stress has affected the

Steve Patton/University of Kentucky

Tracking technology is used on dairy cows at the University of Kentucky Coldstream Dairy farm. Because of how long estrus-detection technologies have been available and how widely they’re used, these alerts are highly accurate.

technology and the one that’s actually taken. Of the three, the best action to take depends on the type of alert, the technology and the person receiving the alert.

herd. It’s important to be aware of common visible and invisible signs shown by cows under heat stress. Visible signs include increased respiratory rate, reduced feed intake, reduced milk production and an increase in somatic cell count. Invisible signs include poor conception rate, lowered immunity and compromised gut function. Health problems – including fresh-cow diseases, pneumonia and lameness – are other signs. Those problems, though, often take about two months after the peak in heat stress to strike. Most systems are designed to operate at full efficiency with temperatures of about 68 degrees. As seasons change from spring to summer, and the ambient temperature increases, it’s important to ensure ventilation and cooling systems will provide sufficient heat and humidity removal. Because the cost of heat stress to the cow is so high, it’s generally better to

Technology-alert responses vary When a producer receives estrus alerts, the appropriate response is typically to breed. The correct response to health alerts is less straightforward because the technologies used to detect deviations in a cow’s behavior patterns aren’t as widely used or available as estrus-detection technologies. In addition, illnesses present themselves differently across points in lactation, animals and parities. Accordingly, most health-alert technologies offer only generalized information. While the alerts may indicate a cow is less active, not eating or ruminating, or lying more frequently – or less – these technologies aren’t yet reliable in pointing to

over-ventilate than under-ventilate. To mitigate the effects of heat stress, and to keep cows healthy and cool this summer, now is the time to ensure barns are well-ventilated, that fast-moving air flows into the cows’ resting space, that holding areas are properly cooled and ventilated, and that water is used to cool the cow directly or cool the air around her. Visit thedairylandinitiative. vetmed.wisc.edu for more information. Mario Mondaca is a research associate with The Dairyland Initiative, a project of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Nigel Cook, DVM, is the chair of the Department of Medical Sciences and professor in food-animal medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. Contact him at nbcook@wisc.edu for more information.

April 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line a specific disease or health issue. Employees or managers still must identify actual problems and follow through with the right approach. Tech options vary Given the abundance of precision dairy-monitoring technologies and manufacturers, producers need to research their options with a specific focus on the following four questions regardless of the condition to be measured – estrus, disease, calving or other. • S ensitivity or the percentage of animals alerted to be positive for a condition • Specificity or the percentage of animals revealed to be negative for a condition • Positive predictive value or the percentage of animals actually positive for a condition, out of all animals alerted as being positive by the technology • Negative predictive value or the percentage of animals a c t u a l l y n e ga t i ve f o r a

Steve Patton/University of Kentucky

New types of technologies are being developed all the time. Common among them are devices worn above the pastern, in the ear or as part of a neck collar, as seen on a cow at the University of Kentucky Coldstream Dairy farm.

condition, out of all animals identified as being negative for a condition by the technology The aim is for precision-technology alerts to be as close to 100 percent accurate as possible. Determining the accuracy of any tool takes good recordkeeping. In the case of precision

dairy monitoring, access to a capable customer-service agent is often critical. If a producer is already implementing one of these technologies and keeping good records of health events, he or she should work with the product’s customer-support agent to evaluate how


well the technologies are performing. If technology performance isn’t measured, it’s not valuable to the degree it can be. Efficiencies can be lost – and money, too. If a large number of alerts are incorrect when cows are checked, discuss those issues with the technology’s field representative. Employees and managers need to monitor technologies and respond appropriately to alerts, while also bearing in mind the potential inaccuracy of the technology being used. Treating based on alerts alone can lead to over-treatment and overspending. Use technology in conjunction with capable and knowledgeable people. Matthew Borchers is a PhD student at the University of Kentucky. Jeffrey Bewley is an assistant professor in animal and food sciences at the University of Kentucky, where his program focuses on implementation of precision dairy technology.


April 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Weather webinar series coming in late April Without doubt, weather is one of the most critical factors in successful dairying – and it’s also one of the least manageable. On the horizon is a three-part World Class We b i n a r d e s i g n e d to better equip Eric producers to Snodgrass make the most o f ava i l a b l e weather forecasting and prediction resources. “Outlook on Spring” is the first of three webinars offered by PDPW, to be presented by Eric Snodgrass, director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of

Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The April 26 webinar will highlight weather analysis and forecasting tools, while teaching attendees how to fo re c a s t s h o r t - te r m weather events, temperature and precipitation trends. Snodgrass will also lead discussion on the implications of early spring weather, U.S. drought, temperature anomalies and precipitation patterns at the start of the 2017 growing season. Visit pdpw.org or call 800947-7379 to register and for more information. All webinars are held from noon to 1.p.m. Central Daylight Time. The remaining two “Weather: more than a guess” webinars will be offered May 17 and June 14.

Internships build owners, students Training the next generation of dairy leaders is at the heart of PDPW’s mission. For more than a decade the PDPW Enhanced Internship Program has brought farm owners together with college-level students who are seeking to achieve learning and business goals. The Enhanced Internship Program provides students with a resource to find active dairy producers seeking interns. Producers and students work together to tailor the program to suit the needs of both student and farm owner. Students gain educational and hands-on experiences in business management and specific farm responsibilities as determined by the farm owner. Ranging from basic to advanced, common experiences gained include calf care and young-stock management, involvement in breeding and reproductive programs, operation and maintenance of equipment and

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machinery, business management and more. Unlike many internships, the program places as high a value on the experience of the hosting farm as on the student experience. Participating farm owners can put PDPW’s resources and connections to work for them. Intern candidates who are interested in pursuing a profession in the dairy and food industries can gain on-farm experience, achieving goals that go beyond earning money. The duration and timing of each internship is based on farm-owner and student objectives. Dairies interested in working with a dairy-focused student, contact PDPW at mail@pdpw. org or 800-947-7379. Students interested in applying can visit pdpw.org to find additional details, including an internship application, brief bios of approved host farms and a list of skills required.

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Get a vision – from the driver’s seat HANK WAGNER

Who’s driving my bus? Where is it going? Who’s in it with me? Let’s take a look at “the bus” as a metaphor for life, family, business, finances, happiness, thoughts and success. Obviously the driver of the bus plays an i m p o r ta n t ro l e . Hopefully you’re the Hank Wagner driver of your own bus; if not, your future is at the mercy of someone else. Fortunately you can reclaim control of your bus any time you choose. Every moving vehicle is headed somewhere whether the driver is following a road map or not. Think about where your bus is going. Write it down. The answer reveals your You have the power to change the direction of your bus – your vision. Who you are today is a result of all your thoughts, beliefs and actions up until this point in life. You have the power to continue to change your See WAGNER, Page 6 choices and your future as long as you’re driving your bus.


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PDPW launches Dairy AdvanCE PDPW has created Dairy AdvanCE™, an online onestop shop for ongoing professional development in the dairy industry. “ We d e s i g n e d D a i r y AdvanCE so farmers can easily take control of their continuing education and position themselves for success,” said PDPW President Mitch Breunig, owner and manager of Mystic Valley Dairy LLC in Sauk City, Wisconsin. T h ro u g h t h e p ro g ra m , dairy producers and partners have access to vetted high-quality dairy education, training programs, workshops and accredited continuing-education opportunities. The qualified resources cover a wide range of topics – animal care,

human resources, financial management, environmental stewardship and more. The online resource at dairyadvance.org makes it easy for farmers and on-farm team members to track their continuing-education credits and advancement toward professional development goals. Dairy AdvanCE includes a function to print continuing-education transcripts so farmers can professionally demonstrate their commitment to continuous improvement, in their business plans

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to lenders and partners. “Consumers’ expectations of farmers are changing, and it’s affecting the entire food chain,” Breunig said. “It’s never been more important to be proactive and prepared to demonstrate our dedication to continuous improvement. Dairy AdvanCE makes that easy.” While PDPW developed Dairy AdvanCE with farmers in mind, anyone in the dairy industry can subscribe. That includes allied industry professionals such as veterinarians, nutritionists, technicians, and field and sales representatives, plus food system, legal and public-service professionals. “Dairy AdvanCE offers t ra i n i n g , t ra c k i n g a n d

reporting all in one spot,” Breunig said. “These are the benefits the industry valued most when we tested the concept with dairy farmers, and allied industry and education providers.”


players attributing to our habits include books we’ve read and other influences we allow into our lives. To a large degree we have power to choose these influences – or at least how much impact they have on us. When we choose the right influencers, we can make intentional, steady progress toward our vision. And studies show that when we clearly see and believe in the vision we’ve created, our thoughts, words and actions start pulling us toward it. As you reflect on your vision, ask yourself if you’re in the driver’s seat of your bus and if you have the right people riding along. Are you headed toward your vision? Or are your influencers steering you away from your vision?

Continued from page 5

vision – and every leader needs to have a vision. A meaningful vision first requires an end goal. Once determined, this goal needs to be clearly depicted because humans are visual communicators. For example, when we hear or read the words “red elephant,” we visualize a red elephant. We don’t visualize the words. Similarly, an impactful vision isn’t just a spoken or written set of ideas and goals, but also a picture of those ideas and goals. When there’s a clear vision of what can happen it’s more likely to actually happen. Who else is on the bus?



Each of us has developed a personal set of opinions and behaviors on account of genetics and environment, but also because of those with whom we spend the most time. Other key

Dairy AdvanCE is free for dairy farmer-owners, farm managers and on-farm team members. For all others, there is a $50 annual subscription fee. Visit www.dairyadvance. org or contact mail@dairyadvance.org or 800-947-7379 to learn more or subscribe to Dairy AdvanCE.

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.

April 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line


Members elect new directors Three people were elected to the PDPW Board of Directors at the 2017 PDPW Business Conference. PDPW membership elected, to three-year terms: • Andy Buttles of Lancaster, Wisconsin, • Steven Orth of Cleveland, Wisconsin, and • Katy Schmidt of Fox Lake, Wisconsin. The newly elected will help other board members and advisers steer producer professionalism, and strengthen unified outreach and stakeholder engagements. Buttles owns and manages Stone-Front Farm with his wife, Lyn. The dairy is currently in the process of expanding to 1,200 cows. He currently serves as president of the Grant County Dairy Herd Improvement Association. Orth is involved with a family partnership at Orthland Dairy Farm LLC. He returned to the farm after graduating from Fox Valley Technical College. He

was instrumental in a recent farm expansion that doubled the size of the herd. The farm now consists of 820 cows and operates 1,600 acres of land; the partnership includes his mother, Maxine, and brother Joel. Schmidt is the on-farm manager for daily operations at Tri-Fecta Farms Inc., including livestock and employees. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, where she earned a degree in agribusiness. She is involved in the Waupun Area FFA Alumni. The farm operation has 500 cows and 2,000 acres of cropland; she owns it with siblings Kari and Nick. Outgoing board members are Charlie Crave of Waterloo, Wisconsin, Kay Zwald of Hammond, Wisconsin, and Jeremy Natzke of Greenleaf, Wisconsin.

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Support engines of conservation innovation Amber Radatz

Farmer innovations happen every day. I hear about it in conversations, I see it on the landscape, and I watch it when farmers speak with each other and brainstorm together. This last example, which happens at meetings, workshops and other gatherings, is something special. My husband, Tim, and I both work with Discovery Farms. He works in Minnesota and I work throughout Wisconsin. We talked a lot about how to create a platform where farmers could share information more easily, instead of just relying on the chance of running into someone with the information they’ve been hoping for. It has always been our belief that farmers giving one another advice based on experience has a different effect than us making recommendations for something we’ve only

heard of trying. That’s why Discovery Farms of Wisconsin and Minnesota have launched The WaterWay Network. It’s an online discussion forum for farmers and crop consultants focused on conservation, water quality and nutrient-management solutions. Currently featured on The WaterWay Network are topics such as cover crops, soil health, farmer-led watersheds and nitrogen management. Because the network requires a username and password, producers can feel secure that those making suggestions are also farmers and crop consultants who understand the challenges of agriculture in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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Here are a few common comments I’ve heard about participating in The WaterWay Network: “I’ve already implemented many of these practices and I regularly attend other meetings; what is the benefit of an online discussion space for me?” Connecting with other early adopters who don’t attend the same meetings keeps the needle of progress moving ahead with subtle changes. And it provides a forum for others to share important experiences for those adopting specific practices for the first time. See progress more quickly. “I’m no expert. I’ve just tried a few things and continue to learn from them.” One doesn’t need to know everything to provide value and experience to others. Peer-topeer networking is the most preferred way to learn for many farmers. “I’m not like those guys who have all the conservation bells and whistles. My soil is challenging and there are so many variables that it can be overwhelming.” Connect with early adopters who have already been figuring out the details; any transition will go more smoothly. Reduce the “tried-but-failed” and

increase the “it works!” moments. Personal experience-based information exchange is used in many settings, especially those with many variables. Human health, for example, is an arena in which there are many forums for patients with rare diseases to connect with others – others who understand their symptoms and can suggest helpful measures based on patient experience, not merely a doctor’s view. Farming and conservation practices are similar to human health because every field is different than the next. An online network is a great fit for exchanging conversations and experiences. Visit www.waterwaynetwork. org to join the conversation. Log in; post questions or answers and give us feedback. We’d like to make this work for producers. Learn tips that work – or share something to someone else so we all move forward. Amber Radatz is co-director of University of Wisconsin-Discovery Farms. She has spent the past decade working with dairy farmers on soil and nutrient-loss risk reduction. She can be reached at aradatz@wisc.edu or 715-983-5668.

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Dairy and livestock operations use fans to promote proper ventilation, in order to control air quality and air temperature. Proper ventilation in livestock facilities should help circulate oxygen, remove moisture and odors, control temperatures, dilute airborne contaminants and dispel disease-carrying organisms. Installing energy-efficient fans and practicing proper maintenance will improve the air quality of a building while reducing energy costs. But it’s important to keep animal well-being in mind when selecting and installing fans. Animals are susceptible to airborne diseases, so air quality needs to be closely regulated. Farms should have closely monitored ventilation systems.

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Tunnel ventilation in the main milking barn at Night Hawk Dairy near Stratford, Wisconsin, creates a more consistent environment inside the barn all year round.

The most common fan types for dairy facilities are exhaust fans, circulation fans and high-volume, low-speed fans. Exhaust fans promote general ventilation and are best installed away from prevailing winds. The larger the fan size the greater the efficiency. Circulation fans regulate airflow and temperature. They work best in freestall barns, with rows located in 30-foot to 40-foot intervals over the feed alley. High-volume, low-speed fans are designed to reduce moisture in buildings. Not only are they quieter than the other two types, they’re also the most energy-efficient. Some facilities run these fans in reverse during winter months to blow warm air back down on the animals.

Once a ventilation system is installed that’s right for the facility, it’s important to properly maintain the system for optimum energy efficiency. • C lean fans every-other month to reduce friction and move more air. Clean blades improve energy efficiency by up to 40 percent. • C h e c k fa n b l a d e s fo r proper rotation. In most cases, reversed direction can lead to less efficient performance. • Examine belts on a regular basis. Replace worn or broken belts, and tighten loose belts, to improve efficiency by as much as 50 percent. • Maintain discharge cones to increase fan efficiency by 15 percent or more. • Lubricate fan shutters and motor bearings at least once a month to ensure optimal operation.

April 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line • C lean air inlets and remove debris caught in screens. • Remove obstructions such as weeds or shrubs that may be growing close to fans. • Installing proper ventilation and maintaining the system routinely will not only increase energy efficiency, it will also save money. Focus on Energy requires circulation fans and ventilation fans to be on a Qualifying Product List to ensure minimum efficiency and quality standards are met. Visit focusonenergy.com/business/ qpls prior to that next project to see if the selected ventilation qualifies for a financial incentive from Focus on Energy. This article was submitted by Focus on Energy. Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy-efficient and renewable energy projects.

Calling all youth: register now It’s just about time for the most popular youth-oriented PDPW event of the year. Scheduled for April 22-23 at Colby High School in Colby, Wisconsin, Youth Leadership Derby® is designed for youth ages 15 to 18. It features an action-packed agenda for participants. In addition to farm tours, dissections with veterinarians and other hands-on labs, students will engage in discovery breakout sessions of their choice, explore a variety of agricultural careers to pursue and meet students from around Wisconsin with similar interests.

Youth Leadership Derby attendees gather around a veterinarian as he explains what they are seeing during a cow necropsy.

B r ya n t G i l l , a s s i s ta n t farm-report director for Wisconsin Farm Report, and motivational speaker Tasha Schuh

will serve as keynote speakers. Visit pdpw.org or call 800947-7379 to register and for more information.

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April 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

First-class calf management = Lifetime high production DR. LIZ COX

Preparing cattle for a long career in the herd begins when they are calves. Every dairy producer wants heifers that are easy to handle, healthy, fertile and productive from the start of the first lactation. Top-quality care from trained employees, along with positive Liz Cox human interactions, will positively impact a calf’s future performance as a milk cow. Reducing stress in heifers will result in beneficial health outcomes. Research has shown a

connection between animal-handling stress and milk production. Heifers experiencing stress due to poor stockmanship while entering the milking parlor, produced 3 pounds less milk per day, lost 30 pounds more weight and experienced more incidents of lameness. Results also showed that dairy cattle’s fear of humans can result in a 30 percent to 50 percent difference in the level of milk production between herds. Cattle learn from their interactions with people, and that begins when they are calves. They will remember the training they receive when they are young. As the calves graduate into larger groups, good stockmanship

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practices will make working with the animals more efficient – whether they are required to move into new pens, walk on cement or are introduced to headlocks. When practicing good stockmanship, employees might not look like they are working because they are standing or walking calmly, yet they’re still paying attention to the cattle. If the animals are calm and moving in the direction that’s required, employees are doing their job well. Good calf care requires a commitment from dairy owners and managers to continually train and support employees, and to develop standard operating procedures for handling and care of young stock. The training can help prevent animal handling-related accidents, which may lead to lower insurance premiums, fewer workers compensation claims and increased worker satisfaction. Implementing standard operating procedures and training employees is the right thing to do for the animals, the employees and the operation. Begin on day one As soon as a calf is born, it needs to be closely watched and gently cared for while its mother returns to the milking herd.

Protocols for newborn calf care and stockmanship should be developed and followed from day one. Several management areas should be addressed. Calves should be born in a clean, dry and well-observed environment. The cow can be allowed to lick the calf for 20 minutes to help dry the calf and stimulate breathing. Next the calf’s navel should be dipped with strong iodine to kill bacteria on the umbilical stump. This can be repeated again on the day of birth as well as the following day. Within 30 minutes of being born, the calf should be moved to a clean, warm nursery and fed its first meal of colostrum. Colostrum must be tested to ensure high levels of antibodies and low levels of bacteria. Large calves, such as Holsteins, need 1 gallon of colostrum that is warmed to 100 to 105 degrees. Smaller Jersey calves need 2 to 3 quarts of warmed colostrum. The sooner the calf is fed colostrum, the more likely it is to have optimal absorption of antibodies. Once calves are fed and dry, they can be moved from the nursery to individual hutches. Be sure the transport trailer or wagon is clean and recently bedded. Calves will need to be lifted and

April 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line placed on the trailer because they are too young to walk on their own. Be careful when moving young calves because their growth plates are not closed; mishandling can easily cause a broken leg or rib. Consistency is key Newborn calves gain all their nutritional calories from milk. It’s important to provide enough energy for the young calf to grow and to support the immune system. Energy requirements can change with the season. A calf requires additional energy to warm itself in the winter and cool itself during the extreme heat of summer. When feeding baby calves, consistency is the most important rule to remember. There are several strategies to ensure caloric requirements of the calf are met and to ensure healthy growing calves. • Feed a higher energy density of milk, feed a greater volume of milk at each feeding and feed more times each day.

• Calves also require access to clean water and starter grain at all times. • Feed milk consistent in total solids, temperature and volume. • Consistent timing between each feeding is also important. If calves are fed three times per day, for example, then the feedings should be as close to eight hours apart as possible. Health complications such as diarrhea, bloat and clostridial disease can occur if consistency is not followed. Animal-friendly vaccination important Feeding time is an ideal time to vaccinate young calves, because it can usually be done by one person and eliminates the need to enter the hutch with a calf. Calves will be standing, alert and looking for milk. This makes access to the nose and neck easy for administration of intranasal and subcutaneous vaccines. Intranasal vaccination is a great young-calf option. The vaccine should be administered through a cannula that is fully inserted into

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the calf’s nose. Vaccines can also be conveniently administered subcutaneously while a calf is feeding or looking for milk. The calf can be restrained from outside of the hutch using a cane or strap to keep the calf from moving backward. The prescapular area of the neck is the best location for a subcutaneous injection. A needle with a gauge of 16 or 18 and a length of one-half inch will ensure vaccine is placed under the skin and not in the calf’s muscle. If vaccination is not performed at feeding, a worker may need to enter the hutch. If calves are in a group pen, vaccination may require two people, with one person restraining the calf and one person administering the vaccine. Proper position and restraint is important to ensure the vaccine is administered in the correct location for the calf’s immune system to fully respond. If two vaccines are to be given in one day, administer the vaccines on the opposite sides of the neck. Sick calves should not be vaccinated. Simply


record that the calf has not been vaccinated and administer vaccine once calf is healthy or has completed treatments. Sick calves need special care A sick calf needs to be examined and the veterinarian’s treatment followed. Always keep records when treating calves, including the animal identification, date of treatment, therapy given and suspect disease diagnosed. Recordkeeping and following a veterinarian’s protocols ensure proper treatment, protection against unwanted residues and information that can be analyzed later to evaluate vaccination and treatment protocols. Biosecurity is also important to calf health. Employees should enter the hutch only when necessary. Always work calves from youngest to oldest. Train employees to follow this rule when feeding, vaccinating, checking health status and treating sick calves with medicine.

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April 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line

Register for Dairy Dialogue Day tours

The Jauquet family has 285 cows on Synergy Family Dairy. From left are Carter, Jay, Evan, Heather and Mason.

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

Legal, business and planning solutions for Wisconsin’s farms and agribusinesses.

Join fellow dairy producers April 20 for the PDPW Dairy Dialogue Day Tour. More than a tour, this event allows attendees the opportunity to engage one-on-one with the managers and team members of two high-performing dairies. The Jauquet family farms in Shawano County, where they milk 285 cows with a rolling herd average of more than 32,000 pounds of milk. At Synergy Dairy – a home-bred, high-genetic herd – the team focuses on achieving exceptional growth in calves with an ever-increasing pregnancy rate. To date, pregnancy rates have increased by more than 8 percent. Betley Family Farms of Pulaski, Wisconsin, milks 1,700 cows and has averaged more than 100 pounds of milk per cow per day for more than five consecutive years. Attendees will learn how the family has made heifer raising more cost-efficient by changing how and where the calves are raised. Family members will share tips on transitioning a dairy into the next generation and collaborating with nearby dairies. The chartered bus tour, facilitated by Dr. Randy Shaver of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is limited to the

first 50 registrations with priority for dairy farmers. The bus will depart promptly at 9 a.m. from Fleet Farm West Auto Center, 325 N. Taylor St., Green B ay, a n d w i l l re t u r n a t 3:30 p.m. Advance registration is required by April 17. Visit pdpw. org or call 800-947-7379 for more information.

Betley Family Farms is home to 1,700 cows.

April 2017 • PDPW • Dairy’s Bottom Line


Springtime and beyond: runoff compared CALLIE HERRON

The majority of runoff from cropland happens between March and June. To discover when soil, nutrient and runoff loss most typically occurs in other landscapes, University of Wisconsin-Discovery Farms researchers monitored a city site and a s s o r t e d non-cultivated Callie Herron sites as part of three projects. They then compared the results to run-off losses from cropland within the same watersheds. The study showed soil, nutrient and run-off losses are seasonally dependent regardless of the site. Runoff varies by season In spring the ground is usually not frozen and rain events are likely. During this period the non-cultivated areas showed less runoff than agricultural sites, but all sites experienced some degree of runoff. The notable difference was not in the amount of runoff but in the breakdown of specific nutrients. Non-cultivated areas generally had lower losses of soil,

Careful manure management and appropriate conservation practices can minimize soil and nutrient losses during spring. At a study farm in Buffalo County, Wisconsin, manure applications were carefully timed after considering weather forecasts and avoiding times when run-off risk was high. The farm also incorporated cover crops, dams and waterways to protect the ground and decreased water-flow rates. A safe route was provided for runoff.

phosphorus and nitrogen than cropland in the same watershed. On monitored farms, soil and phosphorus yields were mostly delivered in storms during the growing season. In summer and early fall, crops provide important ground cover, which protects cropland from soil,

phosphorus and nitrogen losses. That holds true for non-cultivated sites as well. In late fall and throughout winter when the soil is frozen, land use doesn’t matter as much as land management. A study in Buffalo County, Wisconsin, showed phosphorus and nitrogen losses to be

similar to the non-cultivated area when the soil was frozen. It’s probable that was due to careful manure-management decisions and conservation techniques. Typically soil and snow conditions in late winter increase the risk of nutrient loss when nutrients are on the surface. The monitoring site located at the edge of a small city had about double the runoff water than the other sites in the same watershed. These occasions were more evenly distributed throughout the year; even small precipitation amounts caused runoff at this site. From year to year, losses from the agricultural areas were much more variable than losses from non-cultivated or city sites. Agricultural sites with exceptional erosion-control practices – such as appropriately sized and shaped waterways – had soil-loss values similar to non-cultivated areas. Thoughtful use of conservation practices and avoiding manure application when runoff risk is high has clear water-quality benefits. Callie Herron is a communications manager with UW-Discovery Farms, a program of UW-Extension.

Marketplace Professional Dairy Producers ® 1-800-947-7379 Dairy’s Professional Development Organization ®

www.pdpw.org facebook.com/ProfessionalDairyProducers


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