PDPW Dairy's Bottom Line -- June 2021

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BOTTOM LINE Thursday, June 17, 2021 SECTION E

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

Plan for first-response needs SHELLY O’LEARY


Most dairy producers have plans in key areas of their business, such as animal and people management and financial benchmarking. Not as many have an emergency-preparedness plan. Safety-expert and trainer Chris St. Pierre has seen firsthand how businesses with an emergency plan in place can avoid devastating losses. In a 2021 PDPW Business Conference session entitled “Stayin’ alive: first response,” he shared first-response techniques that can save lives before emergency medical technicians arrive. “The goal is to be able to provide some initial first care before the emergency team arrives,” said St. Pierre, noting it often makes the difference between life and death or long-term disability. Safety expert Chris St. Pierre demonstrates listening for breathing before administering help. ‘Before approaching someone you’ve found lying on Prepare in advance the ground, make sure the scene is safe for you,’ he says. In situations In the first few moments of an where deadly silo or manure gases might be present it’s often best to emergency, the critical steps to do call 911 and wait. But in cases of cardiac arrest every second counts; immediately are simple but not administering chest compressions can increase survival odds. always remembered – including calling 911 and sending a flagger case they’re the one who needs to the 911 call. Critical moments can to stand ready at the appropri- call for help and make sure that be lost if a dispatcher needs to find ate driveway or outbuilding. It’s information is available in every bilingual support. also critical all workers can direct first-aid kit.” St. Pierre encourages working emergency personnel to the corHe strongly recommends num- with local emergency providers rect farm address. bering or lettering outbuildings in advance so their teams are fa“Does every employee know for easy identification by ambu- miliar with the layout of a farm’s the address of the site they’re lance drivers or other emergency entrances, exits and outbuildings. working on?” St. Pierre said. “Do personnel. For employees who It’s also good for their teams to be they know the addresses of all the don’t fluently speak English, en- aware of high-risk tasks involving other work sites? Have something sure best practices are in place in silos, lagoons, heavy equipment accessible for everyone to grab in case one of them needs to make and hazardous materials.

Longer-than-average response times may impact rural or under-served locations. Also rural departments may not be equipped with specialized resources for grain-bin rescues, high- or low-angle rescues, extractions from heavy implements or emergencies involving hazardous materials. Knowing that in advance allows the farm team to develop a secondary plan in such cases.

Assemble emergency supplies Easy access to first-aid kits is essential to every emergency plan. Pre-assembled kits can be purchased but typically cost more than those made with separately available items. A basic kit should contain several items.  emergency-contact information – addresses for every worksite, phone numbers for local fire and police departments as well as specialized departments such as poison control or handlers of hazardous material  supplies to control traumatic bleeding – compression bandages, hemostatic dressing for wound packing and pre-loaded tourniquets  disposable resuscitation masks for mouth-to-mask rescue breathing  chest seals for penetrative wounds to the chest  clean pillowcase, towel or rag for wiping away excess blood before administering aid


Chris St. Pierre presents a session on first response at the 2021 PDPW Business Conference. He’s worked in the electrical-construction industry and public-safety sector with an emphasis of focus on hazard assessment, risk-based analysis and supervisory safety.  heating pads and ice packs Assemble kits in cases or zipper bags to protect against dust, humidity and manure; place kits in appropriate buildings on the farm. Remember to include first-aid kits on tractors, skid steers, and other vehicles and drivable implements. In addition to first-aid kits, farms should strategically position multiple fire extinguishers. All workers should be trained to use them, and someone should be tasked with routinely recharging or replacing the extinguishers. St. Pierre strongly encourages having at least one automated external defibrillator on each work site. Please see PLAN, Page E3


Hodorffs include next generation in dairy

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EDEN, Wis. – Building a strong foundation for the dairy industry’s future starts with small steps to introduce the next generation to its opportunities. Even as their herd has grown and work has become more automated, Corey Hodorff has always worked to find ways to involve his four daughters at Second Look Holsteins near Eden. He and his wife, Tammy Hodorff, are partners with his brother Clint Hodorff as well as their father, Doug Hodorff, and his wife, Linda Hodorff. The fourth-generation dairy farm has evolved from their great-grandfather’s 14 cows to a current 1,250 in the milking herd. “We try to get our kids involved in every aspect of the business from caring for calves and cows to managing people and equipment,” Corey Hodorff said. “Once they’ve experienced everything and developed a passion for an area, we can help them down their path and grow their interests and leadership skills to be successful.” In addition to being involved in the family farm, the Hodorff daughters – Kayli, 25, Kalista, 22, Kaianne, 19, and Kaydence, 15 – have been active in 4-H, FFA and Junior Holstein associations. That provides them a well-rounded view of the dairy community. Corey Hodorff was also active in those groups while growing up, competing on 4-H dairy-judging teams and in Junior Holstein Association dairy-quiz-bowl competitions as well as showing cattle at county and state fairs. Kalista Hodorff and Kaianne Hodorff currently work full-time on the dairy. Kalista Hodorff graduated in spring 2021 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds a number of responsibilities at the dairy, with a focus on employee training. She’s bilingual and is in the process of translating on-farm protocols; she also leads Hispanic-milker meetings and conducts new-employee trainings. Kaianne Hodorff works in the farm’s maternity area, taking care of all calving procedures with fresh cows and newborn calves. She also manages a couple of

Corey Hodorff, co-owner of Second Look Holsteins near Eden, Wisconsin, encourages dairy producers to look for opportunities to engage the next generation in order to pursue their love for dairy. employees, which is helping her develop managerial and leadership skills. Corey Hodorff emphasizes the importance of

connecting youth with opportunities and people within the dairy community beyond one’s own farm. “There are so many networks of people out there that can play an important role throughout your lifetime,” he said. “Whether it’s a veterinarian, nutritionist or a neighboring farmer, you never know which connections will be valuable to generating new ideas, or which of those people will end up being mentors and friends.” The Hodorffs are firm believers in the lifelong value of youth and industry associations. In addition to broadening valuable networks, those organizations present training experiences to help young people find their niche and spark ideas for careers. Being exposed to opportunities be-

yond the production side of agriculture allows young people to follow their passions into science, technology, communications, business, legal and other areas while still working in the dairy field. “The number of people involved in agriculture is shrinking as the global population rapidly grows,” he said. “If we’re going to continue to feed that population, we need to make sure we keep the best talent in every segment of dairy and food production.” Corey Hodorff encourages producers to volunteer, mentor and share their experiences with young people including those who have not grown up on farms. “There are so many opportunities outside of agriculture and the dairy industries for the next generation


Clint Hodorff, left, farms with his brother PDPW Board member Corey Hodorff and other family members. The brothers work through financial calculations at a PDPW Financial Literacy for Dairy® training session. to pursue, it’s critical that we as dairy leaders, parents and mentors encourage young people to look seriously at opportunities within dairy to so our industry can keep that talent and continue moving

forward,” he said. He credits training and networking opportunities from Professional Dairy Producers® in helping build his own leadership skills and Please see HODORFFS, Page E2

“ ... for our fresh cows, especially 2-year-olds.” — Tom Kestell

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TOM AND GIN KESTELL Ever-Green-View Farms WALDO, WISCONSIN 110 Holsteins BAA 111.6 RHA 44,455M 4.24 1884F 3.21 1426P, SCC 100,000 Nat’l Dairy Shrine Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder Nat’l Holstein Elite Breeder, Nominated HI Most Influential Breeder

Comfortable, healthy, productive cows are the focus of the dairy Tom and Gin started in 1971. Ever-Green-View Farm is home to 110 cows with a consistent RHA around 45,000M. They bred the only dam and daughter pair to both achieve World Records at 72,147M and 77,477M, and their genetics have gone to 40 countries. “Udder Comfort really works. It is a good, successful product for us,” says Tom. He loves everything about dairying, especially giving cows the opportunity to do their best. https://wp.me/pb1wH7-T

BOTTOM LINE Thursday, June 17, 2021 E2

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

Upcoming Educational Events

PDPW: Who we are

Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW ) is Dairy's Professional Development Organization®. W ith a vision to lead the success of the dairy industry through education, our mission is to share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.

PDPW Board of Directors

JUN 15-17

President Katy Schultz Fox Lake, Wis. 920-210-9661 katylschultz@ gmail.co m

The Dairy Signal™ Online, 12 – 1 pm CT Visit www.pdpw.org to participate in live-streamed event. Audio/video recordings also available free.

Vice President Janet Clark Rosendale, Wis. 608-341-6709 vafarmsllc@hotmail.com

JUN 16-17

Obstetrics & Newborn Calf Care Workshop

Secretary John Haag Dane, Wis. 608-576-0812 jahaag5@gmail.com

(taught exclusively in Spanish) June 16, Juneau, Wis. June 17, Colby, Wis.

Treasu rer Steven Orth Cleveland, Wis. 920-905-2575

Visit www.pdpw.org for details; all sessions held in compliance with CDC guidelines.

JUN 22-24; JUN 29 - JUL 1; JUL 6-8; 13-15


The Dairy Signal™

Directors Andy Buttles Lancaster, Wis. 608-723-4712 stonefront@tds.net Ken Feltz Stevens Point, Wis. 715-570-6390 feltzfarms@hotmail.com Corey Hodorff Eden, Wis. 920-602-6449 corey@secondlookholsteins.com Paul Lippert Pittsville, Wis. 715-459-4735 lippert4735@gmail.com Brady Weiland Columbus, Wis. 920-285-7362 bweiland11@hotmail.com

PDPW Advisers Andrew Skwor 608-963-5211 askwor@msa-ps.com

Kurt Petik 920-904-2226 kurt.petik@raboag.com Roger Olson 920-362-4745 roger.olson@zinpro.com Peter Weber 715-613-6664 pweber@genex.coop

www.pdpw.org mail@pdpw.org 800-947-7379

Online, 12 – 1 pm CT

PDPW to hold hoof-health workshops Lameness is a costly problem for dairy farms; it leads to reduced milk production, fertility challenges and increased cull rates. Focusing on key strategies such as effective record-keeping, collaborating with key team members and employing appropriate treatment options is essential. Those interested in learning more about combatting lameness have an opportunity to attend an interactive on-farm workshop to join a discussion with other producers and industry experts. The PDPW Hoof Health Workshops will be held in three locations this summer.  July 20 – Brooks Farms, N1757 County Road A, Waupaca, Wisconsin  July 28 – Entwistle Bros. Farm, 105 Birdseye Road, Frankfort, New York  Aug. 3 – Drumgoon Dairy, 19048 U.S. Highway

81, Lake Norden, South Dakota The interactive workshops will present a case study of each host farm with engaging discussion to identify hoofhealth issues and practical strategies to address them. Each workshop will begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 3:45 p.m. Developed for herd managers, hoof trimmers, veterinarians and nutritionists, the workshops will be presented by three hoof-health experts. Dr. Gerard Cramer, veterinarian from the University of Minnesota; Karl Burgi, founder of the Save Cows® Network; and Roger Olson, dairy-account manager for Zinpro Corporation will each shed light on various management areas key to supporting hoof health. During each workshop attendees will engage in an onfarm case study through which

they’ll learn how to identify opportunities for lameness prevention, treatment options and protocols for chronically challenged cows. Attendees will also identify lameness trends through records and discuss practices that will create continual hoof-health improvement. The PDPW Dairy Hoof Health Workshop is accredited and has been approved for continuing-education credits for as many as 4.75 continuing-education credits through PDPW’s Dairy AdvanCE® – DACE – and as many as 5 continuing-education credits through American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists – ARPAS. Visit www.pdpw.org/programs or call 800-947-7379 for more information. Additional registrants from the same dairy can attend for a reduced registration fee.

Visit www.pdpw.org to participate in live-streamed event. Audio/video recordings also available free.

JUL 15

Wisconsin Dairy Robotics Tours Visit www.pdpw.org for details; all sessions held in compliance with CDC guidelines.

JUL 20

Hoof Health Workshop July 20, Waupaca, Wis. Visit www.pdpw.org for details; all sessions held in compliance with CDC guidelines.

JUL 20-22; 27-29

The Dairy Signal™ Online, 12 – 1 pm CT Visit www.pdpw.org to participate in live-streamed event. Audio/video recordings also available free.

JUL 28

Hoof Health Workshop July 28, Frankfort, NY Visit www.pdpw.org for details; all sessions held in compliance with CDC guidelines.

PDPW mission: to share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.

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Going into its second summer of three-timesweekly dairy programming, PDPW’s The Dairy Signal™ has far exceeded its original objectives. It began as a way to deliver timely information to dairy farmers, caused by anxiety and shutdowns at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s evolved into a consistent source for the latest in dairy research, production practices, marketing and financial analyses as well as industry trends. “At the height of uncertainty we didn’t even know whether there would be markets for our milk,” said Shelly Mayer, executive director of PDPW. “Our dairy-producer board members challenged us to find ways to get reliable information to our mem-

bers. As a result we developed The Dairy Signal format as a onehour webinar to provide the most up-to-date information available, free to everyone with internet access.” Topics in the early weeks were focused on market and pandemic news, including updates from economists, marketing cooperatives, processing plants, government officials and more. Within weeks the content evolved to include panel discussions with progressive farmers, insights on retail and processing trends, and news on the latest research results for dairies. A few presenters have appeared on a somewhat-regular basis, including economist Dan Basse of AgResource; Eric Snodgrass, principal atmospheric scientist

for Nutrien Ag Solutions; and Chad Vincent, CEO of Dairy Famers of Wisconsin. But the program features a wide variety of presenters and topics. Now in its 62nd week of production, The Dairy Signal continues to air from noon to 1 p.m. Central Time every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Viewers tuning in live can ask questions of the presenters. All episodes are available at pdpw. org by clicking on The Dairy Signal logo; they are downloadable in audio and video format. To date more than 5,000 unique devices have streamed episodes of The Dairy Signal. Viewers tune in from across the United States and around the world, including dairy farmers and allied industry professionals as well as media, community leaders and the general public.

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providing valuable training for the entire dairy-farm team. He has served on the PDPW Board of Directors since 2018. He and other team members from Second Look Holsteins have attended a number of PDPW events, including Managers Academy for Dairy Professionals™, Financial Literacy for Dairy®, Cornerstone Dairy Academy™, herdsperson workshops, calf-care workshops and more. “The variety of programming targeted to specific topics and different levels of team members and managers provides great opportunities for everyone to grow their skills and experience,” 00 he said. 1

BOTTOM LINE Thursday, June 17, 2021 E3

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

Consider Italian ryegrass for forage In addition to being versatile, Italian ryegrass also boasts a reduced seed cost and excellent quality. It’s particularly popular in cool and wet areas with poorly drained soils.


Italian ryegrass is trending to be the next big thing in dairy-forage systems and is making an impact on farmland. Once an overlooked item in Short Lane Ag Supply’s seed shed, it’s been a bestseller the past few years. It’s easy to understand why. In addition to its reduced seed cost and excellent quality it’s also incredibly versatile. Italian ryegrass can be interseeded into old alfalfa and grown as “green manure” to improve the soil. It’s also a popular choice in grazing systems and as a cover crop. And Oehmichen in winterkill situations, Italian ryegrass has been a go-to option for emergency forage. But like other crops it needs to be managed to be an effective tool. Italian ryegrass Cavadini began capturing attention a few years ago as a potential foundational forage crop across dairy country. The intriguing crop generated great Akins interest, especially in eastern and north-central Wisconsin where poorly drained soils are prevalent and have led to increased alfalfa winterkill. Italian ryegrass was touted as a versatile forage that performed well in cool and wet environments. Since then the use of Italian ryegrass across Wisconsin has taken off like a train from the station. What wasn’t anticipated was how popular the crop would become in so short a time. Italian ryegrass has benefits that extend beyond agronomy. It’s a fairly simple crop to manage and it possesses forage-quality potential that seemingly has no ceiling. For example the more nitrogen that’s applied, the greater the yield of crude protein.

Plan From E1

“Prices on AEDs are coming down significantly, and funding and grants are available,” he said. Another standard on every farm should be the wearing of personal protective equipment. “Having long-time team members buy in to the consistent wearing of safety gloves and glasses, hearing protection and other PPE gear will go a long way to encouraging new team members to do so,” he said. “The great thing is that a lot of this gear is getting more comfortable while still offering protection.”

Schedule regular training, drills To ensure emergency planning translates into appropriate actions when needed, it’s critical to regularly train team members and review safety protocols. Safety and emergency drills, printed resources and links to YouTube training videos on specific emergency protocol are effective agenda items. Encourage or incentivize employees to take a first-aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation class; publicly recognize those who have completed such courses. Create a team culture that welcomes the sharing of ideas among workers. A team that’s comfortable pointing out hazards, near-misses and ideas for solutions is more likely to help make the workplace safe and respond correctly if an emergency strikes.

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Shelly O’Leary is the communications and outreach specialist with the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin.


Italian ryegrass has rapidly gained traction as a popular forage choice in and around Wisconsin. It’s important producers understand current nutrient-management guidelines and recent research to optimally include it in a dairy’s feeding system. NITROGEN GUIDELINES FOR ITALIAN RYEGRASS Nitrogen rates in pounds per acre 0












Applied nitrogen; pounds nitrogen/acre



180 pounds

270 pounds

Harvested nitrogen; pounds nitrogen/acre



156 pounds

176 pounds

Unutilized nitrogen



24 pounds

94 pounds

Forage Yield; tons dry matter/acre across four cuttings Crude Protein; final two cuttings

For grasses the effect of nitrogen on yield seems to follow the traditional nitrogen-use-efficiency curve with an eventual plateau. That may not be the case for Italian ryegrass, for which the effect of nitrogen on crude protein seems to have no plateau. Some may conclude that translates to less protein supplementation, which is currently expensive. That may be true but it doesn’t consider the impacts of elevated nitrogen use on soil and other crop-management aspects. Despite the versatility, resilience and consistency of Italian ryegrass its major downfall is it must be planted every year. So while the cost of establishment is significantly less than a perennial forage, the long-term cost compared to a well-managed perennial is not as competitive. A rotation built on Italian ryegrass will require the use of more inputs such as fuel, labor, herbicides and fertilizer – even when practices such as no-till as well as utilizing legumes and manure as a nitrogen source are implemented. With an

ever-increasing need to focus on soil health and environmental impact, farmers should be cautious about viewing Italian ryegrass as a wholesale replacement for perennial forages. The University of Wisconsin-Marshfield Agricultural Research Station has been conducting trials in collaboration with the Eau Pleine Partnership for Integrated Conservation to hone in on nitrogen guidelines for Italian ryegrass. The preliminary results show that increased nitrogen fertilization after the first, second and third cuttings resulted in greater yields to as much as the 60-pounds-of-nitrogen rate – and greater crude-protein content during the final two cuttings. Looking at the nitrogen removal by crop, the rate of 60 pounds of nitrogen per acre resulted in better nitrogen usage – with 180 pounds of applied nitrogen per acre and 156 pounds of harvested nitrogen per acre. The rate of 90 pounds of nitrogen per acre resulted in poorer usage of applied nitrogen, with

270 pounds of nitrogen per acre applied and harvesting only 176 pounds of nitrogen per acre. Multiplied across many acres those rates could lead to unintended environmental consequences. Some industry fertilization recommendations for Italian ryegrass are driven by improved yields and crude protein. If those recommendations remain untested for nitrogen efficiency or losses, over-application of nitrogen is likely. Increased nitrogen rates may appear profitable when assessed in an economic model but it’s important to be mindful of hidden costs. For example 30 additional pounds of fertilizer between each cutting to boost crude protein by 1 percent to 2 percent may be more economical than purchasing protein supplements. But that depends on several factors – forage and protein yield, and prices of nitrogen fertilizer and protein. Factoring in the additional nitrogen cost for 30 pounds of nitrogen at $15 per acre and the forage yield at 1 ton of dry matter per acre for

each cutting, the cost per pound of protein gained – 36 pounds per acre – was $0.41 per pound of crude protein gained. The current price of soybean meal is about $400 per ton as fed. At 48 percent crude protein as fed, soybean-meal protein costs $0.41 per pound of crude protein. Though the cost appears to be the same under current market conditions, it’s prudent to compare costs of additional nitrogen fertilizer and protein-supplement costs. Farmers and consultants must assess the system in its entirety, from field to feed-out, to determine its feasibility – and strike a balance between economics and environmental impact. Italian ryegrass will continue to undergo evaluation as a potentially viable forage option in dairy systems. Along the way nutrient-management strategies will be researched. In the meantime farmers and consultants should be aware of the tradeoffs between environmental quality and forage quality, and the long-term repercussions of focusing solely on the latter. Matthew Oehmichen is part owner of Short Lane Ag Supply in Colby, Wisconsin; email matt.shortlane@ gmail.com to reach him. Jason Cavadini is an agronomist and certified crop adviser at the University of Wisconsin-Marshfield Agricultural Research Station; email jason. cavadini@wisc.edu to reach him. Matt Akins is an associate scientist and UW-Division of Extension dairy specialist at the UW-Marshfield Agricultural Research Station; email msakins@wisc.edu to reach him.

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