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American ®

Industry Features

In This Issue

8 The Growing World of Crossbreds 10 Get the Jump on Winter with Practical Preparations 20

American ®

Products and Services

for American Dairymen

Vol. 44 No. 10 • October 2018

Industry News

Publisher Dustin J. Hector

Trending news from around the dairy world.

Editor Patrick McKinney

By Jaclyn Krymowski for American Dairymen

A look at the influence of crossbreeding in the Dairy Industry and what science have to say about it.

Art Director Brandon Peterson

By Bruce Derksen for American Dairymen Magazine

Graphic Designer Teri Marsh

Getting things ready before winter such as your animals, the infrastructure and last but not least, yourself and your family.

Advertising Executives Lori Seibert Kathy Davidson Mary Gatliff Irene Smith Wendy Mills Joyce Kenney Ed Junker

34 Maximizing Value from Transition Cow Diets 48

Good Mixer Loading, Better TMR Consistency

By Jaclyn Krymowski for American Dairymen Magazine

A look at how important TMR mixers are to the Dairy industry.

By Michael Cox for American Dairymen Magazine

Controller Robert Reedy

The transition time period from dry to fresh is one of the most intense, stressful and critical periods in a cow’s production cycle.

Sponsored Features

14 Why Settle for Less than the Original & the Best 24 Understanding the costs and dangers of birds on your feedlot 26 Celebrating Danone North America’s Industry Leadership 28 Colostrum Banks Pay Big Dividends 42

Office Manager Dawn Busse

Organic Trace Minerals Capitalize on Dairy Cattle Productivity

Circulation Coordinator Shawna Nelson

By Steve Weisman

How important nutritional planning is for your herd and how Alltech is the answer to that plan.

Article by REDI Driver

REDI Driver changes the way you build fences.

Field Editors Bruce Derksen, Michael Cox, Jaclyn Krymowski, Steve Weisman, Maura Keller

Birds in your feedlots can be costing you far more than you realize.

By Maura Keller for American Dairymen Magazine

Danone North America has recently launched initiatives aimed at exploring regenerative agriculture.

Livestock Media Group 4685 Merle Hay Rd • Suite 200 Des Moines, IA 50322 877-424-4594

Article courtesy of Dairy TechTM

Get a better return on your colostrum investment when you combine the Perfect Udder Feeding System with Dairy Tech’s latest colostrum pasteurizer, Matilda™!

52 Sometimes Simple is Simply Better 56 Armenta 62

Cool Roof: The Cooler the Roofs, the Cooler the Cattle

By Steve Weisman

Keeping cattle cool means less heat stress, improved milk production and higher birth weight during calving season, producers spend a lot of money on fans, misters and extra ventilation. By Steve Weisman

A look how PBI Parlor Systems has become known in the dairy industry as a leader

in the manufacturing of milking stalls and equipment for dairies around the world.

By Maura Keller Ink

Non-Antibiotic Treatment For Mastitis in livestock.


©Twin Rivers Media, LLC, 2018. All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recorded or otherwise without the prior written permission of Twin Rivers Media, LLC, 2018. The information and advertising set forth herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Twin Rivers Media, LLC, 2018 (“Publisher”) however, does not warrant complete accuracy of such information and assumes no responsibility for any consequences arising from the use thereof or reliance thereon. Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertisement or space reservation at any time without notice and for any reason. Publisher shall not be liable for any costs or damages if for any reason it fails to publish an advertisement. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of their respective advertisements appearing in this publication and Publisher is not responsible or liable in any manner for inaccuracies, false statements or any material in such advertisement infringing upon the intellectual property rights of others. Advertisements appearing in this publication are not necessarily the views or opinions expressed by Publisher.

Cover photo courtesy of Alltech. Poster on cover courtesy of World Dairy Expo


October 2018

Industry News

Patz Introduces New 1600 Series II Vertical Mixer Article and photos courtesy of Patz® Patz Corporation is pleased to announce the new 1600 Series II Twin-Screw Trailer Vertical Mixer as the next evolution in Balanced Flow™ Technology. The Series II offers Precision Feeding Trailer options and features an affordable, re-designed uni-body frame. The new 1600 Series II 620 Vertical Mixer includes an optional front door with multiple front door conveyor discharge options. The front discharge conveyor is trailer mounted only. A standard viewing platform for monitoring TMR mixing and recessed LED lights in rear bumper are added safety features. This mixer also has (4) 285/70R19.5 Hybrid Implement tires with DOT spec’d truck sidewalls (duals). Standard 1600 Series I and II Balanced Flow™ features include Patz Patented contoured baff les and twin Tru Taper™ V-Screw with Dual Kicker (34” or 44”). Choice of screw top options i nc lude c one or mu lt i- a ng le


October 2018

depending on ration being mixed. Four hitch types are available: clevis, single tang, articulating ball, and BullPull™. Drive packages offered are a manual 2-speed or 1000 RPM Direct Drive package. The Patz 1600 Series I 620 Vertical Mixer will continue to be offered. As with all of our mixer lines, the 1600 Series II vertical mixers are able to handle a wide variety of ingredients, from large round or square bales that are wet or dry. Our vertical mixer line offers a consistent TMR from start to finish, regardless of the batch size. Patz Corporation designs, manufactures, and markets agricultural, industrial, and environmental products as well as offering contract manufacturing and finance options. Patz Corporation’s rich history boasts 70 years of success. We continue to thrive in an ever-changing market by listening to the needs of the diverse customer base we serve,

ranging from small dairies to large corporate farming operations to commercial businesses.

Alternative Bullet Point Format:

• Patz Corporation announces new 1600 Series II Twin-Screw Trailer Vertical Mixer as the next evolution in Ba lanced Flow™ Technology • Two options of 1000 RPM drive package or manual 2-speed are available • Optional front door and standard viewing platform available • Multiple front door conveyor discharge options with front discharge conveyor being trailer mounted only • (4) 285/70R 19 .5 Hy br id Implement tires with DOT spec’d truck sidewalls (duals) • The Patz 1600 Series I 620 Vertical Mixer will continue to be offered.


o one will deny there is a whirlwind of change coursing through the dairy industry. With it comes discussion of both old and new ideas to best move forward. One of these hot topics is crossbreeding. It’s hardly a new concept, but many dairymen are only recently giving it a serious look.

When it comes to breeds and breeding decisions the dairy world abounds with opinions of all sorts. But what does science have to say about the influence of crossbreeding? When done correctly, the results are effective and proven. The most profitable cow of the future may yet lie ahead building on the different breeds of the past.

Changing tides

Traditional Nor th A merican dairying systems have shied away from crossbreeding. This is largely because the industry grew as with increased demand for f luid milk production and many farms opted for purebred Holsteins. There seems to be a stigma that you will end up “ruining” perfectly good purebred herd by outcrossing to different breeds. As the market demands shift a nd ec onomic s dema nd more efficient traits that can support a long-lasting cow, crossbreeding may be a progressive solution. Ac c ord ing to t he C ounci l for

Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) the number of crossbred dairy cattle is up 400% percent over the past decade. In light of this, they intend to add crossbreds to their genomic evaluations to accommodate this rising group of animals. O ut side t he United St ate s, crossbreeding has been experi-

While overall milk output is lessened, the crossbred animals are more feed efficient and have a longer productive lives on average. Depending on the breed cross, increased fertility, disease resistance and earlier heifer puberty have also been reported.

The right mix

Many herds that practice crossbreeding have adopted a three-way cross and keep their breedings on a rotational system. One of these is the combination of Holstein, Jersey

As with any other breed, crossbreeding is only as effective as the breeding decisions behind it. Conscious breeding, with an added dash of creativity, may lead us to a future of untapped potential we didn’t know existed. mented and refined for some time now. Holsteins, in part due to their popularity and inbreeding concerns, have been the focus of many crossbreeding studies and applications. The practical application of successful crossbred animals in commercial herds is probably the most convincing evidence to illustrate hybrid vigor at work. Crossbred Holsteins are consistently shown to be more profitable than their purebred counterparts.

and Swedish Red. One study examined this cross with a purebred Holsteins on two different production systems of low and moderate concentration inputs for a full lactation. The crossbred animals had lower feed intakes in their early lactation and over all lower total milk yield. However, they made up their value in higher fat and protein content. In this case, the study saw no improvement with fertility, but did see fewer cases of mastitis with October 2018



the crossbreds. Another crossbreeding method, ProCROSS, also uses a three-breed rotation of Holstein, Montbeliarde and Viking Red. The Viking Red breed is itself a result of the Swedish Red, Finnish Ayrshire and Danish Red breeds. The method takes years to come full circle, but the end result promises a herd that excels in


October 2018

production, milk quality, productive life, fertility and better calving with minimal assistance. A r e c ent 10 -ye a r s t udy i n Minnesota looked at eight different large-scale herds who used a group of purebred Holsteins as their foundation and, w ith the ProCROSS rotation, eventually bred up to the three-breed cross.

T he f i r s t ge ne r at ion br e d the half the Holsteins to either Montbeliarde or Viking Reds and the rest to traditional Holstein s i r e s o f c omp a r a ble ge ne t i c merit. The resulting generation of Montbeliarde and Viking Red Holsteins crosses showed, again, less f luid milk output compared to the purebreds but enhanced fat

and protein contents. The calving of these three groups of cattle found that the Viking Red crosses had the least calving difficulty and the lowest stillbirth rate. On average, purebred Holsteins can

Many herds that practice crossbreeding have adopted a three-way cross and keep their breedings on a rotational system. One of these is the combination of Holstein, Jersey and Swedish Red.

Minnesota study, the first-generation Viking Reds and Montbeliarde crosses combined had a +4% survival rate to their second lactation than their purebred herdmates. Other crosses frequently used are include the standard Holstein and Jersey or the “HoJo�. In South A mer ica other strategies have incorporated Bos Indicus t y pe

cattle, to create a cow that will be effective in the tropics. As with any other breed, crossbreeding is only as effective as the breeding decisions behind it. Conscious breeding, with an added dash of creativity, may lead us to a future of untapped potential we didn’t know existed.

expect to see stillbirth rates in excess of 8%. The study noted that if each live birth were given a fixed value at just $500, the advantage of 5%more live calves alone would be more than $22,000 profit from 997 crossbred calves. Additionally, it was noted crossbred bull calves often sell for a premium price compared to purebreds. Body condition, in the ProCROSS and other case studies, show crossbred groups maintaining significantly more body condition than pure Holstein cows throughout their lactations despite them being smaller and lighter. This can give a fertility advantage when it comes to breeding back during late lactation. Both crosses also showed 8-12 fewer days open. Survivability is another trait that makes crossbred attractive to many producers in a variety of climates and circumstances. In the

October 2018


Industry Innovation Fertility Concerns

Organic Trace Minerals

Capitalize on Dairy Cattle Productivity By Steve Weisman


here is little doubt that the dairy industry is in constant change, and today’s dairy producer has critical decisions to make. The producer must think of the wellbeing of the animal along with how to maximize milk quality and at the same time, improve the profitability of the operation. The foundation for all of this is the nutritional plan that is implemented. Yet, this is where things become complicated, because there are lots of options out there. Ideally, the nutritional plan will take the herd past their average peak performance. But where does the producer turn and what plan should be followed? For over 38 years, Alltech (www. has been at the forefront of nutrition with the vision of sustaining and nourishing the world’s plants, animals and people. Dan Weiland, the U. S. Dair y


October 2018

Business Manager for Alltech, has been with Alltech for the past 19 years. “When Dr. Lyons started Alltech in 1980, he believed the plan must be good for the animal, good for the consumer and good

for the environment. Although the industry has changed, the vision has remained the same. We are constantly asking the question, ‘How can we improve how we feed animals naturally and better?’” Alltech’s nutritional technologies help animals maximize the nutrients in their feed for optimal wel l-b ei ng a nd per for ma nc e. Alltech has also realized the importance of partnering with other companies who share the same vision. One such partner is Hubbard Feeds (, which has been a part of the Alltech family since 2015. Headquartered in Mankato, MN, Hubbard Feeds,

has a long history of providing research-based nutrition products and innovative support services. Like Alltech, Hubbard Feeds is driven to provide customers with products and answers that will improve their profitability, increase

Much of Pretz’s recent work has been analyzing the increased productivity and performance through organic trace mineral nutrition. “Much of our success has come t hrough our par tnership w it h Alltech, along with both extensive

the utilization of organic trace minerals can more readily capitalize on the animal’s genetic potential. Pretz notes, “Organic trace minerals consist of these same metals being chelated, complexed, or covalently

In addition, feeding dairy animals diets containing more available sources of trace minerals such as those provided by Bioplex® minerals is a key way to increase mineral availability for absorption and ultimately improve trace mineral status in the animal. their competitive advantage, reduce their risk and simplify their lives. Jon P r e t z , Ph .D., a d a i r y nutritionist ser v ing producers throughout the Midwest, has been with Hubbard Feeds for nearly three years. His professional interests include nutrition and management consulting regarding diet optimization, forage management, protocol development, transition cow management and product evaluation. He has conducted extensive research on strategies to increase forage quality and digestibility.

university and farm research over the past decade.” According to Pretz, “Historically, nutritionists have supplemented dairy cattle rations with inorganic salts consisting of metals bound via ionic bonds to sulfates or oxides (copper sulfate, zinc sulfate, zinc oxide, etc.) to prevent mineral deficiencies and to support metabolism, growth, and reproduction.” However, as the industry has evolved, the challenge has become how to better increase the herd’s productivity leading to greater profitability. Research has shown that

October 2018


Industry Innovation Fertility Concerns

bonded to amino acids, analogues of amino acids, proteins, or organic acids such that they tend to be more bioavailable in the intestine. In comparison, when inorganic minerals are supplemented, a portion of them breakdown readily in the rumen prior to the intestine. This causes these minerals to form indigestible compounds with other feed components and makes the initial mineral supplement partially unavailable for absorption and can potentially kill beneficial rumen microbes.”

What studies show

Studies have shown that there are four key characteristics of effective organic trace minerals: Have high water solubility – allows materials to be absorbed Remain stable throughout the digestion process – helps promote proper digestion Enhance absorption – critical for increased productivity Produce an economic response in the animal - Through performance increases in milk yield, reproduction, decreased somatic cell count, and improved hoof health; we can comfortably predict

results beyond a 2:1 return on investment. Studies have shown the following improvement potential with organic trace mineral nutrition: • Increased milk yield • Improved reproductive performance • Decreased somatic cell count • Decreased lameness • Improved hoof health

Benefiting from Bioplex ® and Sel-Plex®

Through t he par tnership between A lltech and Hubbard Feeds, producers can benefit from the organic trace minerals such as Bioplex® and Sel-Plex®. According to Pretz, Bioplex ® offers a range of trace minerals that provide mineral nutrition in a form as close to nature as possible. “Bioplex® minerals are trace minerals that are bound to amino acids and a range of peptides. They are easily absorbed and readily metabolized, optimizing animal performance. Bioplex® trace minerals (zinc, manganese, copper, iron and cobalt) are co-factors in enzymes critical to the animal’s defense system, g row t h, a nd

reproduction.” In add it ion, feed ing d a ir y animals diets containing more available sources of trace minerals such as those provided by Bioplex® minerals is a key way to increase mineral availability for absorption and ultimately improve trace mineral status in the animal. It is important to note that responses to organic trace mineral nutrition are likely to be subtle improvements in health, performance and reproduction.

What Bioplex® can provide: • Offers higher bioavailability than inorganic minerals. • Reduces concerns about negative mineral interactions. • Supports mineral retention and tissue reserves. • Reinforces mineral status, which leads to optimal overall health, immune status and reproductive function in the animal. • Is readily absorbed, stored and utilized by the animal. • Is supported by more than 21 years of research.

Meanwhile, Sel-Plex® is supplied in a form that can be readily stored * Continued on page 18


October 2018

Industry Innovation Fertility Concerns

in tissues because of similarities between methionine and selenomethionine that are interchangeable during protein synthesis. Selenium plays an essential role in metabolism, orchestrating normal growth, supporting normal reproduction, neutralizing free radicals and supporting the body’s normal defense mechanisms against infection. Selenium allows animals to opti-

selenium-enriched yeast. Supported by more than 19 years of research, SelPlex is also the most proven form of selenium-enriched yeast. Research shows that trace mineral nutrition is key to maintaining health and animal food product quality. According to Weiland, “The Alltech Q+ (Quality Plus) program, the mineral quality control program unique to Bioplex® and SelPlex® trace

Through the partnership between Alltech and Hubbard Feeds, producers can benefit from the organic trace minerals such as Bioplex® and Sel-Plex®.


mize health status during periods of increased demand. Sel-Plex® is Alltech’s proprietary form of selenium-enriched yeast and is the first European Union-approved and only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-reviewed form of

minerals, guarantees quality, safety and performance in every batch. When minerals come in, they are all tested to make sure that everything is pure and that there are no contaminants. Parameters are in place for products to meet Alltech’s standards.”

Dairy nutritionist Jon Pretz, Ph.D.

Dairy nutritionist Dan Welland

October 2018

As a result, Alltech Q+ sets the industry standard, enabling Alltech to offer a global quality guarantee to customers using trace minerals in more than 85 countries around the world. For producers looking for more information, Pretz notes that Hubbard Feeds offers complete technical support. “First, producers can reach out to us by going to our website where they can put in their zip code and find the location of the nearest dealer or they can complete a form and email it to us so that we can get back to them with answers for their situation. I spend a lot of my time providing technical support, working with dealers and also individual producers to answer their questions. Our dairy specialists are also equipped with the most robust ration balancing software available which allows them to easily update rations with a total replacement of organic trace minerals in a matter of seconds, for all stages of a dairy animal’s life.” Weiland ref lects on what will come next. “We have made great strides. I think over the next five years you will see this process used even more in the industry. The vision that Dr. Lyons implemented years ago will continue. We will continue to look at new technologies that will positively redefine animal nutrition for the future.”


October 2018


hen we feel summer and fall slipping from our grasp, whether we want to accept it or not, we know that winter will soon be knocking at the door and we must be ready. Procrastinating and ignoring the elephant in the room that is winter, is not smart, because when it shows up, and it will, we need to be able to withstand it.

There are plenty of things to get ready before the snow flies and the cold temperatures hit, but the majority can be grouped into the animals, the infrastructure and last but not least, yourself and your family. With the colder temperatures and harsh conditions of winter, the cow

herd’s diet will need to be adjusted. At 32 degrees Fahrenheit and below, a cow begins to need more energy to maintain its normal body heat. Younger heifers and calves are even more susceptible to the demands of weather. Weaned animals can be supported by the feeding of extra

hay, forages and grain to sustain their protein and energy requirements while the very young calves can be offered a greater quantity of milk replacer, or extra feedings. Energy supplements can also be stocked to use in milk replacer or whole milk increasing calories in times of cold weather. Remember calves younger than a month in age can experience cold stress at temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit and will require extra attention. Consider the use of calf blankets as many producers swear by them. Young cattle need to be using the provided energy and October 2018


Winter Preparations protein for growth and production, not only maintenance. It is a good rule of thumb to have on hand a two weeks quantity of commonly used veterinary dairy supplies such as mastitis treatments, antibiotics, electrolytes, colostrum, antiseptics, syringes and needles. If you grow your own grains, hay and forages, make sure you will have enough to last the season, and if this is not the case, make early arrangements to purchase what is required. Make every attempt to complete the harvesting and storage of your feed and bedding while the weather is still good. You may not get another chance before the snow flies. Make building, fence, gates and water bowl repairs early while it is


October 2018

more comfortable to be outside in the elements. Consider adding a snow fence for those troublesome areas that seem inclined to catch drifts. They can be a fairly easy to erect, cost effective defense against excess snow. Repair windbreaks and drafty areas of the buildings and barns. Make sure to look up at ventilation fans and

roof issues. It’s much easier to make these repairs in reasonable weather than the day the first winter blizzard hits tearing the tin roof sheets loose and launching them across the yard threatening to decapitate someone. And don’t forget about your feeding, bedding and snow removal equipment. Get skid steers, loaders, feed wagons and manure pumps serviced, repaired or upgraded as needed, plus stock up on extra fuel. And of course, don’t ignore the needs of yourself and your family. Dig out your winter clothes and boots so you’re not fumbling around in the dark at 5 a.m. the morning of the first winter storm. Get the family involved in a clean- up afternoon picking up the tools and equipment lying around the yard before they get covered by the winter snows. Basic risk management is a part of any business, so consider the possibility of extended extreme weather and the action you will take to minimize the problems that could arise. Ask yourself what you could do if access to your farm is cut off. It’s not always a situation where you need to bring in supplies- you may not be able to have your milk collected at normal time intervals. What about power failures? Should you service your old generator or invest in something better? And lastly, make sure to have a list handy of all the important phone numbers you may need in an emergency, like your veterinarian, dairy or insurance company. Winter can be fearsome but if you’ve planned ahead and prepared well, it can be wrestled into submission and before long spring will be helping you forget that winter ever had you worried in the first place.

Business Profile



o you dread the driving of fence posts into the ground? You can simplify (any maybe even enjoy!) the task with the REDI Driver gas powered post driver & our exclusive accessories. You can cut your working time & effort in half; and still have energy left at the end of the day for the more important things in life! The REDI Driver is designed to do all the work for you, without any additional equipment such as power packs or hoses. The power is provided by an authentic HONDA 4 stroke engine. Simply carry the REDI Driver which weighs only 32 pounds, from post to post until you reach the end of your fence line. Lorri Evans tells us that REDI Driver is the original gas-powered post driver, it was the first one to hit the market over 6 years ago! The REDI Driver has since been copied, but it has never been equaled! You will get the best 3-year warranty, and the best personalized customer service from the Evans Family; who personally operate the business with passion for the product & their customers. Your complete satisfaction is guaranteed! With REDI Driver’s perfect reputation, there is no reason to settle for a copied unit, or to get lost in the shuffle…. Just ask one of our satisfied customers:


We’ve found the Redi Driver to be a great piece of gear. This has been an


October 2018

unusually dry year. The ground is as hard and tough as I’ve seen. The Redi Driver makes short work of driving T posts into this type of soil. It also handles rocky soil very nicely. It does a good job and doesn’t fatigue the operator. Nice and light and not at all cumbersome. The Redi Driver designers really hit a home run with this one.


First, I wanted to tell you that the REDI Driver Boss I purchased from you is one of the best machines I’ve owned. We rebuilt a large corral system and used the REDI Driver to driver 3” posts 4’ into the ground.  Doing the same with our skid steer driver has always been difficult trying to maneuver around the existing panels and alleyways.  Not only that, we felt we could control the pipe and keep everything plum much easier with the REDI Driver.  Great Machine! REDI Driver offers 2 models to meet all your post driving needs: • REDIclassic model with 2” id barrel is perfect for t posts & other smaller posts,

optional rod sleeve available for rods or rebar. • REDIboss model with 3 1/8” id barrel & reducer sleeve will drive from t post up to 3” posts, optional 4” id magnum barrel available for larger profile posts. Accessories available which are exclusive to REDI Driver: • REDIhdnlkit is a handle extension kit available in 2 ½’ or 4’ lengths. These kits will make driving taller posts an easier & safer task; no more ladders or stools! • REDIbox is a customized hard plastic storage box to secure your driver & accessories for transporting or storing. Please visit or you are more than welcome to give us a call (509) 235-2780

Business Profile Fertility Concerns

Understanding the costs and dangers of birds on your feedlot B

irds in your feedlots can be costing you far more than you realize. Feedlots are ideal refuges for birds, especially in the winter months when alternate food sources are not available and natural roosting places are less hospitable. How much feed do birds eat?

A lot! Starlings are the most common birds infesting livestock operations. The USDA Wildlife Services estimates a flock of 1,000 starlings can consume 40 pounds of feed per day. Starling flocks on feedlots can grow to 100,000 birds.

How do birds negatively impact weight gain and feed efficiency?

Birds can be very selective about what they eat, preferring the more expensive components in rations, such as protein pellets or grain, and seldom consume roughage. This substantially alters the ration formulation, resulting in suboptimal feed that negatively effects digestion and growth rate of cows.

What are the health risks to cows caused by birds?

Studies done by the Agriculture Research and Development Center at Ohio State University concluded starlings were responsible for the transmission of food borne illnesses between livestock sites. Birds carry disease-causing microorganisms and contaminate areas with their droppings, feathers or external parasites such as mites. Bird droppings in feed have been shown to spread pathogens including E. coli, salmonella,


October 2018

cryptococcosis and histoplasmosis. Many of these pathogens are potentially lethal and capable of being spread to humans. Salmonella infects the intestinal tract of cows and can be serious, even fatal. There are 81 strains of salmonella that affect cattle. Calves two to four weeks old are most apt to contract severe infections. In mature cattle, salmonella may cause abortions, or a decrease in weight production. Salmonella may be transmitted by direct contact with birds, consumption of feed or water contaminated by bird feces, or inhalation of dried bird droppings. Cryptococcosis and Histoplasmosis are chronic progressive fungal diseases that are spread through dried bird droppings and can be fatal if left untreated. Is there a connection between Bovine Tuberculosis and bird infestations? Yes! Birds often carry avian tuberculosis which is nearly identical to the bovine strain and is spread through their feces. While it is rare for cows to develop lesions in their lungs from avian tuberculosis, it is not uncommon for cows exposed to bird droppings to show false positive test results for bovine tuberculosis, resulting in entire farms being unnecessarily quarantined.

What are the health risks to workers?

OSHA and the Centers for Disease Control have extensive warnings and guidelines about the risks of working around and cleaning areas contaminated with bird droppings. There are more than 60 diseases that can be transmitted from birds to humans, primarily through contact with bird droppings. The build-up of bird droppings can also be slippery, leaving operators liable for injuries caused by falls.

What can be done to eliminate birds?

Exclusion netting is effective, but impractical for feeding operations. Cannons and visual scare devices work for a short while but birds quickly adapt. Poisoning programs, while effective for a season, can create public relations problems with local residents and the dead birds present their own hearth issues. Numerous university and research studies have determined the most effective way to keep birds away from feedlots is a bird deterrent that uses recordings of bird distress sounds and indigenous raptors. To cows and humans they sound like a flock of birds in the trees, but to birds they signal imminent danger. Birds flee to find someplace more hospitable to roost and feed. The most effective models are made by Bird Gard and can be customized to repel specific bird species and configured to the feed operation.

Partnering with Producers for Success Fertility Concerns

Celebrating Danone North America's Industry Leadership

Brothers looking forward Left to Right - Mike, Dave, and Clay McCarty

By Maura Keller


artnering with dairy industry producers in the areas of animal welfare, sustainable agriculture, social progress and innovative regenerative farming practices has been at the core of Danone North America for years. As part of this ongoing commitment, the company recently launched multiple initiatives aimed at exploring regenerative agriculture, and aligned these initiatives with Danone’s new global vision of One Planet, One Health.

In addition, Danone Nor th America’s industry leadership evolution now includes the company’s new soil health initiative, which highlights the company’s commitment to a range of progressive practices focused on sustainable agriculture, transparency and naturality, which allows Danone North America to offer consumers more of what they want in terms of dairy choices. The initiative brings together experts and academics to build best-in-class soil health programs to benefit farms and communities with a goal to improve organic matter in soils leading to carbon sequestration and improved yields, reduce chemical use and restore biodiversity, and enhance soil water holding capacity leading to improved farm economic resilience long-term. Partners include Dr. Rattan Lal and the Carbon Management and


October 2018

Sequestration Center at The Ohio State University, Dr. Harold van Es and the soil health team at Cornell University and EcoPractices, working with EFC/ Ag Solver as a service provider. Originally formed as a public benefit corporation, Danone North America is legally committed to balance shareholders’ financial interests with the social benefits the company creates for people, their communities and the planet. And Danone North America has taken this commitment one step further by becoming the world’s largest Certified B Corporation®, which the company achieved in April 2018. This designation is a major accomplishment for the dairy industry as a whole. Here’s why: As a B Corp™ company, Danone North America is continuing to collaborate with its large network of dairy farmers to ensure

the company and its industry partners are all doing business in a way that meets rigorous standards of verified performance, transparency and accountability, which helps propel the whole industry forward.

Partners in Progress

As part of the company’s commitment to the dairy industry, Danone North America supports dairy farmers—both large and small—by implementing change through established programs meant to benefit the entire industry. For example, Danone North America recently joined The Carbon Underground, Green America and other food companies to inform the design and development of a new global certification standard for food grown in a regenerative way—across all agricultural systems. This group, the Regenerative Organic Alliance, is working together to develop a new standard, known as the Regenerative Organic Certification. According to Steeve Yammine, Vice President, Milk Procurement, Danone North America, the Regenerative Organic Alliance defines the proposed certification as a “holistic agriculture

certification for organic encompassing robust, high-bar standards for ensuring soil health and ecological land management, pasture-based animal welfare, and fairness for farmers and workers.” Danone North America has committed to explore how the proposed standard can be implemented at farm all the way to product level through the company’s pioneer organic brands, including Horizon Organic (Grass-Fed range). The company’s organic brand, Happy Family, supports the initiative as an ally.

Improving Soil Health

The Danone North America team understands that soil is the foundation of our food system, with an estimated 95 percent of food directly or indirectly reliant on soil. “To achieve productive and sustainable agriculture, agricultural players must strive constantly to conserve natural resources and maintain the delicate balance in the ecosystem’s natural cycles on which all life depends,” Yammine says. In April 2017, Danone’s U.S. dairy business and WhiteWave Foods were brought together to become DanoneWave, which was renamed Danone North America in April 2018. “As part of Danone North America’s holistic commitment to ongoing improvement within the dairy industry, the newly formed entity launched an innovative soil health initiative with renowned experts and academics to build best-in-class soil health programs to benefit farms and their communities,” Yammine says. Established in March 2018, Danone North America’s soil initiative is focused on sustainable agriculture and transparency. The company plans to make a significant impact in this area and has committed to invest up to $6M for this research program over the next five years. While the company is in the early phase of the program, key activities with participating grower and dairy farmer partners and third-party soil health experts will include soil

sampling, review of yield, grower engagement, data collection and analysis, first reports and field days with farmers to provide training around soil health best practices — all of which are intended to positively impact operations and reduce waste. More than a dozen of Danone North America’s farming partners are involved in the program. Dr. Rattan Lal and the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at The Ohio State University will lead soil sampling across a set of grower and dairy farmer partners. The team will analyze the samples and provide data for analysis. The team will then look at the data to identify practices to help increase the carbon intake of soil. Dr. Harold van Es and the soil health team at Cornell University will partner on soil health analysis for the program. “The team will use results to review data to make recommendations to be implemented over the next five years with an aim to improve soil health with participating grower and dairy farmer partners,” Yammine says. In addition, EcoPractices, working with EFC/Ag Solver as a service provider, will gather information from program partners to analyze and share reports that help to create an understanding of what the data means for many stakeholders – importantly, the company’s farmer partners. “Our partnership with farmers is paramount in all of Danone North

America’s efforts,” Yammine says. “Our direct relationship with farmer partners spans the organic and conventional segments of the dairy business, and farmer partner relationships are at the core of this commitment.” Each year Danone North America holds an annual Dairy Forum at which farmers with expertise ranging from organic to non-GMO to conventional practices, join the event from all regions of the country, reflecting Danone North America’s commitment to serving the growing demand among consumers for more choices to meet their individual needs and preferences. Over the course of the two-day forum, attendees participate in Q&A sessions with Danone North America leadership, attend site visits to farms or plants to learn about the latest industry innovations when possible, attend various learning sessions and present on their own best practices. This is truly a collaborative event, and one that puts the company’s commitments into practice with its valued farmer partners.

Far-reaching Implications

While Danone North America, a subsidiary of Danone, is playing a significant role within the U.S. dairy industry, globally speaking, the team at Danone recognizes that food is health’s most significant partner. Everything we eat depends on the earth that it grows in or feeds on, so the Danone team wishes to protect that home.

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Partnering with Producers for Success Fertility Concerns “One way to do so is by reducing our carbon footprint,” Yammine says. “Therefore, the goal at Danone is to target zero net emissions—become carbon neutral—by 2050.” The company will accomplish this through a variety of measures such as reducing carbon emissions, fostering “carbon positive” solutions, offering healthier and sustainable diet solutions, transforming agricultural practices to sequester more carbon in the ground, building resilience in food and water cycles, and eliminating deforestation from the company’s supply chain by 2020. With a wealth of goals identified, Danone North America is excited for the future. “We constantly engage with industry experts, partners and our own network of dairy farmers to develop programs that meet company goals— from increasing sustainable practices across the business to ensuring independent farmers are equipped with the latest innovations.” Dairy consumers will continue to


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value where their food comes from, as well as companies that implement socially responsible business practices. One challenge across the food industry is keeping prices affordable while investing in producing the best products possible—from animal welfare to soil health. According to Yammine, for Danone North America, this remains a passion point with regard to the dairy

industry, ensuring a wide variety of responsibly-made options are available to consumers—from conventional to organic to Non-GMO Project Verified. “Danone North America is committed to giving shoppers the ultimate choice at accessible price points,” Yammine says. “This is part of our mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible.”

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October 2018


ows need consistent rations for optimal milk production. That’s why on-farm feed mixers get a lot of attention in the TMR Audit® program, which has been helping to improve dairy operations across the country since 2008. Many factors are important, including the mechanical condition and operation of the mixer, order of ingredient loading into the mixer, mixer over-filling or under-filling

effects, and mixing times. However, one of the most profound findings from thousands of TMR Audits over the years is the impact of location of loading into the mixer. It may seem

Crude protein distribution in TMR mixed after adding a liquid supplement to the back of the mixer

like a relatively unimportant factor, but proper loading plays a very big role in the mixing performance of both vertical and horizontal mixers.

Critical: Location of loading into the mixer

In both vertical and horizontal mixers, it is critical to add all ingredients (except large round bales) in the middle of the mixer (Photo 1) or load the ingredients evenly across the mixer. In vertical mixers in particular, TMR Audit findings show that

Photo 1. Proper loading location – center of mixer.

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problem of poor mixing. During one evaluation, a twinscrew vertical mixer was loaded with a liquid supplement on the back screw (Photo 3) with loadout through the front of the mixer. After mixing, samples were taken as the diet was delivered to the cows. Ten samples were taken from the beginning of the feed-out to Photo 2. Incorrect loading locathe end of the feed-out. Moisture tion – toward either end of mixer. distribution and crude protein P06383_Anderson_Flyer_Mixer.indd 1 ingredients added at one end of the (CP) distribution of the TMR were mixer (Photo 2) tend to stay at that determined (Graphs 1 and 2). end. In this evaluation, TMR moisIn the case of liquid supplements, ture levels had a range of about improper loading accentuates the 3.5% across the feed delivery.

Graph 1. Moisture distribution in TMR mixed after adding a liquid supplement to the back of the mixer (Photo 3).

Graph 2. Crude protein distribution in TMR mixed after adding a liquid supplement to the back of the mixer (Photo 3). 36

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Photo 3. Liquid supplement loading location (Graphs 1 and 2).

Although it was intended that all cows consume the same diet, this level of moisture discrepancy provided an opportunity for some to sort feed while others received a homogenous diet. Also, this TMR ranged from just under 17% CP for more than 40% of the feed delivery, up to 19% CP towards the end of the delivery. Therefore, cows fed this ration were taking in significantly different levels of protein. Few were likely to consume the target crude protein that had been formulated. This example uses liquid supplement inclusion to emphasize the importance of location of loading into the mixer. However, exactly how liquids are added to the mixer also is important.

Loading liquids

Through the TMR Audit process, Diamond V Dairy Advisors have concluded that the best method for adding liquids to any mixer is to have equal distribution centered across the mixer. This can be achieved by using a liquids distribution bar that is roughly two-thirds the length of the mixer (Photo 4). In determining the best method, Dairy Advisors compared results for water added to the front of a mixer with front load-out (Photo 5). After mixing and distribution, 10 samples were collected along the feed-out. The Penn State Shaker Box was used to determine particle length distribution along the feedout (Graph 3). Water added to the front of the mixer tended to stay in the front of the mixer, as shown during sampling in the bottom and middle trays of the 38

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Photo 4. Liquids distribution bar centered across mixer.

Penn State Shaker Box. With more moisture in the front of the mixer,

Photo 5. Water loaded at front of mixer.

Graph 3. Particle distribution of a TMR in which water was loaded at the front of the mixer.

smaller particles stuck to the medium-size particles found in the middle tray. However, during delivery, the ration became drier and the smaller particles did not have enough moisture to stick to other particles. This resulted in more fine particles in the bottom tray and fewer in the middle tray (indicated in Graph 3 by the separation of red and yellow lines from left to right). Poor liquids mixing like this can result in sorting by cows. In some cases, considerable dry matter intake variability can occur. The fix is easy: Center the liquid distribution bar over the mixer, with the bar extending twothirds the length of the mixer. It is also important to have enough holes in the liquids distribution bar to allow equal flow across the bar (Photo 6). Also, the bar must remain level during operation or there is going to be unequal flow to one end of the mixer. Mixing on the level

When TMR mixers are not level during ingredients loading or mixing, ingredients tend to migrate to the lowest part of the mixer. This is especially the case for dry, fine ingredients. Again, the result is poor mixing and uneven particle distribution at feed-out. The two most common causes of off-level mixers are the attachment at the tractor and an off-level loading area. In most cases, it is easy to re-adjust the attachment to the tractor. In some cases, the attachment cannot be adjusted due to the location of the PTO, but these cases are rare.

Photo 6. Liquids bar with adequate amount of holes kept level for even liquids addition.

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October 2018


Partnering with Producers for Success Fertility Concerns

Colostrum Banks Pay Big Dividends

Get a better return on your colostrum investment when you combine the Perfect Udder Feeding System ™ with Dairy Tech’s latest colostrum pasteurizer, Matilda ! Article courtesy of Dairy Tech


smart veterinarian recently reminded me that there is no silver bullet when it comes to raising a healthy, productive calf. However, getting full value out of your colostrum is pretty darn close. After all, it’s the most important meal of the calf’s life. The first step in managing this precious commodity is to collect it quickly. For every hour that passes after the calf is born, colostrum quality and immunoglobulin content decrease by 3%. Now, that’s not a very scary number until you think of the common example of a cow calving at quitting time, or a shift change at 10pm. It is not unrealistic for her to go without being milked until the next morning. Easily 10 hours could have passed, and now the quality of her colostrum has been reduced by a full third.


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Why is this important?

A calf is born with an incredibly unique set of cells lining its small intestine that are capable of fully absorbing the large immunoglobulin (Ig) molecules and then depositing them into the blood stream. Without these immunoglobulins, the new baby has no immune system to combat bacterial, viral and parasite challenges. This process is called Passive Transfer and life for the calf depends on this wholesale stockpiling of nutrients and immune factors. This has to happen quickly because these cells are only open for a short time. The intestine is most receptive during the first few hours after birth and steadily declines to nearly 0 at 24 hours after birth. By the end of that first day, the specialized cells are replaced with normal epithelial cells and the opportunity for absorption of Ig and other

immune factors is mostly gone. Time is of the essence. Despite the nutrition and health benefits, colostrum can also transfer a risk from the cow to the calf. That is why the second step is to make sure the colostrum is clean and pathogen free, because the very same unique cells that allow the large Ig molecules to pass through to the blood stream can also put the calf at risk if there are pathogenic bacteria and viruses present at the same time.

Colostrum left sitting in a bucket for a couple of hours is a perfect environment for bacteria growth, and at room temperature, those bacteria will double in number every 20 minutes. In a short amount of time, good colostrum can turn infectious or even deadly to the calf.

Pathogens find their way into the colostrum by being secreted in the udder; by contamination during collection or storage; or by the instruments used to feed the calf. Fortunately, published research has shown that pasteurization (heat treatment) of colostrum at 60° C for 60 minutes significantly reduces or eliminates these pathogens. By reducing the number of pathogens in heat-treated colostrum, we reduce the number of pathogens in the intestine. This leaves more Ig antibodies free for absorption.

Are There Really Bugs In My Colostrum? Here is a list of pathogens that can commonly be found secreted into the colostrum when the cow herself is carrying these diseases: • Mycobacterium avium subsp. Paratuberculosis (Johne’s) • Mycoplasma spp. • Salmonella spp. • Listeria monocytogenes • Escherichia coli • Campylobacter spp. • Staphylococcus aureus

How Much Colostrum does a Calf Need?

Research shows us that when we feed the calf colostrum equal to 15% of its body weight, we can expect: • Much Lower Veterinary Costs • Lower Morbidity & Mortality •Dramatic Increase in Milk Production… in First & Second Lactations One study conducted by the Department of Animal Sciences, University of Arizona (Faber et al., 2005) looked at the simple difference between feeding 2L of colostrum vs 4L of colostrum. The result supported all of these benefits including 1500 more pounds of milk in each lactation.

Colostrum is More than Immunity

In addition to immune factors, colostrum contains superb nutrition, hormones, growth factors, enzymes and many additional compounds, which affect the lifetime performance of the calf. Epigenetics is the word used to describe the phenomenon resulting when outside influences have an impact on gene expression without involving changes to the actual DNA sequence itself. It is how the stuff around us influences what genes we will express. Air quality, chemicals in the environment, nutritional quality of feed, toxins, vaccines and a thousand other biases act upon the rapidly developing fetus and newborn animal to

manipulate the expression of genes. When everything is going in the right direction, the alterations allow the animal to thrive. If there are deficiencies and stresses, the regulation either does not occur or manifests itself in a negative manner. In this instance, what we have commonly referred to as “genetic potential” is lost forever. This very concept of having an opportunity to realize the full potential of the animal at a very young age is what prompts the theory that we can NEVER regain the opportunity that we have in the first 8 weeks of the animal’s life to impact its lifetime health and productivity. In calves, we call this the Lactocrine Hypothesis. The lactocrine hypothesis “describes the effect of milk-borne factors, including colostrum in this definition, on the epigenetic development of specific tissues or physiological functions...” (Soberon et al., 2012). Simply put, the factors in colostrum can permanently impact future performance and milk production. When we consider the types of factors in colostrum, the picture quickly comes into focus.

In a Minnesota study, 24-hour serum IgG was 22.3 mg/ml in calves fed pasteurized colostrum compared to 18.1 mg/ml in calves fed raw colostrum. This difference was significant. This study has been replicated two times with similar results, proving the benefits of heat treatment of colostrum to eliminate bacteria and other pathogens. Higher levels of immunoglobulins in the serum mean that the calf is better protected against infections.

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Partnering with Producers for Success Fertility Concerns

Here is a simple chart showing levels of a few factors in colostrum compared to their relative levels in normal milk.Steroids and hormones top the list. Protein is nearly 3X that of normal milk and vitamins are often 6-10X higher. Sound like the diet of any body builders and professional athletes that you know? There is a reason for that … it works. Specifically, we see a dramatic impact on development of the gastrointestinal tract … the gut! This simple tube, from the mouth to the other end, is responsible for some pretty spectacular functions. From absorption of nutrients to protection from the horrible things we can sometimes digest, the gut must be ready at all times. Imagine the power of an intestinal tract that is twice as robust and healthy. Disease tolerance? Ability to absorb nutrients at a higher rate? Better hydration? Aren’t all of these functions likely to be improved? So, the importance of feeding a newborn calf the correct amount of high quality, pathogen free colostrum as soon after birth as possible becomes obvious. However, to help prevent exposure to pathogens, the common practice is to separate the calf from the cow immediately after birth. How do we satisfy all of these demands?

Develop a Colostrum Bank

The word “bank” is certainly appropriate given the value that colostrum carries for the calf. Banking your colostrum keeps a readily available supply on hand at all times. But, how do you create an employee-friendly system that


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makes it easy to “deposit” and “withdraw” pasteurized colostrum as needed, and also ensures each calf receives the correct amount at the right time? You use the Perfect Udder® Feeding System and a Matilda™ by Dairy Tech, Inc. Perfect Udder® is the specialized aluminum bag that allows for quick heat transfer for both cooling (important for preventing bacterial growth) and heating (both pasteurization and warming to feed). This simple, but unique design allows raw colostrum to be collected, pasteurized, cooled, stored, warmed and then fed to the calf all from the same, single-use, biosecure bag. Matilda™ is Dairy Tech’s brand new colostrum pasteurizer and warmer. She features an easy-to-use touch screen control, bluetooth connectivity, and can process up to 8 Liters of colostrum at a time. By combining these two, colostrum can be commingled, if necessary. Since we are pasteurizing it, we are not as concerned with colostrum being a source of new infections and we can focus on other biosecurity measures around the youngstock. Treated colostrum can be refrigerated if used within 24-48 hours but is generally frozen to avoid rotation concerns. Frozen colostrum retains most of its value for extended periods of time, even up to a year.

How the Perfect Udder™ Colostrum Management System Works

When a calf is born o WARM: A bag is removed from the bank, placed into Matilda™ and

then warmed to the perfect feeding temperature. The size of the bag is chosen depending on the size of the calf and the number of feedings in your particular protocols. For example, an average Holstein calf requires 4L of colostrum to equal 10% of its body weight. In 8-10 hours, a second dose of 2L is heated and fed to the calf to provide the full 15% of body weight. There are also 3L bags for smaller calves and for various feeding protocols. o FEED: The entire bag of colostrum is then fed directly to the calf via an attached tube or nipple. No clean up. o COLLECT: Afterwards, the cow is milked within an hour or two of calving, and now her colostrum is placed into a new Perfect Udder® bag. o PASTEURIZE: Each bag of colostrum is placed into Matilda™ and pasteurized at 60°C for 60 Minutes. o STORE: After being pasteurized, the colostrum is rapidly cooled down and then “deposited” into the bank to be ready for the next calf.

Economics of Colostrum Management

Sure, all of this sounds great, but if only the largest dairies can afford it then what is the point? The average cost per calf using the Perfect Udder® Colostrum Management System including Matilda™ starts as low as $6 per calf.

Points to Consider:

• What is the cost of one round of antibiotics? ROI is instant • What is the value of 1500lbs of milk? ROI is 50-60X • What is the value of a live calf? ROI = 25X • What is the value of reduced disease on your farm? Depends on what battles you face, but the impact of total colostrum management and breaking link from dam to calf is priceless. • What is the value of implementing a system that new employees can be taught in minutes and be monitored with ease? For most dairies, this is the most valuable ROI of all.

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he transition time period from dry to fresh is one of the most intense, stressful and critical periods in a cow’s production cycle. Managing the diet over this period will aim to meet the maintenance requirements of the dry cow, before transitioning to a higher energy close-up and fresh diet. Correct management and use of transition cow diets will allow dairymen to set the cow up for optimum performance in the up-coming lactation.

Low-energy diet

Transition cow diets typically focus on high fiber and low energy as key components of the diet. Straw is most commonly used to bulk up the diet with fiber which will dilute higher energy ingredients and prevent cows from getting over-fat during the dry period. For example, a t y pical far-off transition cow diet where cows are eating 30lbs dry matter could be made up of 20% straw and 50% corn silage, w ith the remainder of the diet comprising of other ingredients such as haylage, wet gluten, grain, minerals etc.


Generally, dry cows (and youngstock) are seen as easy targets for cost savings to be made, particularly be cheapening the ration and

feeding poorer quality feedstuffs. However, this could be penny-wise, pound-foolish approach, as the consequences of a poor transition diet will not be seen until weeks later when cows fail to breed-back on time, reach peak milk and have increased health issues. Granted, some small strategic savings can be made without compromising future cow performance if producers work closely w ith their nutritionist. Chad Mullins, a dairy nutritionist based out of Missouri believes that savings can be made in the diet w ithout negatively impacting cow health; “A simple saving that I’ve found useful is to replace some of the expensive chlorine in the diet w ith more methionine, which is cheaper and can still maintain the benefits associated with chlorine,” Mullins says.

Stocking rates

Regardless of the diet composition that is used, correct stocking rates in the transition cow pens is necessary to provide fair access to all cows and avoid excessive bullying. One free-stall per cow will aid in optimum recovery and help keep a steady flow of healthy cows moving out to the milking herd. Cows should be grouped according to Body Condition Score, expected calving date and age. If possible, heifers and a small number of cows in poorer body condition should be grouped together. Both sets of cows will benefit from this grouping; the mature cows benefiting from less competition with heifers compared to the main herd, while the heifers will benefit from the slight bullying and ‘toughening-up’ the older cows will give them. Research coming out of Dairy NZ in New Zealand suggests that heifers introduced to groups of older cows during the early transition period will have less body condition loss by breeding time, compared to heifers that are introduced to the main herd post-calving. It would appear that early introduction allows heifers October 2018


Transition Diets time to acclimatize and regain the inevitable body condition score losses before breeding time comes around. Fresh pens should be cleared out a s qu ick ly a s possible to maintain low stocking rates, with cows sent to the lactating herd on a consistent basis once they have recovered from calving and any health issues. Balancing the amount of time a cow spends in the fresh pen can be a catch 22 situation; do we allow cows spend greater time in the fresh pen and force close up cows spend more time in the ‘dry’ pen or vice versa? Mullins believes that the best way to tackle this necessary evil is to keep cows away from the fresh pen as long as possible, and prioritize fresh cow time post calving. Stocking rates in the close-up and fresh pens should not be comprised, as feed intakes of transition diets and resting time will suffer.


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High intakes

Of course, t he cha llenge in the close-up phase of the transition period is keeping dry matter intakes as high as possible before

calving. Intakes can drop by 30%40%, so ration formulations need to be adjusted to provide the cow with increased energy, protein etc. Although the dry cow diet may

have been based on straw and long fiber/low energy, the close-up diet will benefit the cow most of it is similar to the fresh cow diet. Including half-rates of the major ingredients in the fresh cow diet during the close-up phase will not only increase energy and protein pre-calving, but also adjust the r umen to dea l w it h t he more energy dense lactation diet in the near future. The close-up diet can contain similar ingredients to the fresh-cow diet, apart from buffers and minerals. We will still need the cow in the correct DCAD range, so save those buffers and minerals for the ‘add-pack’ post-calving. Research f rom Texas A& M University Extension suggests that cows should have reached at least 85% of their peak dry matter intake by two weeks after calving. If this target is not being reached, it is likely that the transition cow diet is in need of closer attention. Dry matter intake, as apposed to energy density of the diet, is key to energy intake and low negative energy balance. Intakes can be stimulated by increasing sugar

levels in the diet, providing non-forage fiber instead of straw/hay and reducing starch levels. The transition cow diet should also physically mirror the lactation diet, in terms of chop length and sortability. Long fibers such as straw should be chopped to 1 inch or less in length which will aid in increasing intakes. Density should also be similar between the transition diet and fresh diet. If necessary, water can be added to the more fibrous close-up diet to raise the density and reduce any sorting issues. The benefits of transition cow diets are well documented, but these benefits can only occur if cor rect diet composition, pen stocking rates and high intakes are achieved. Although it can be tempting to cut costs in transition diets given the current milk market conditions, it will almost always pencil out better to maximize the value of the transition diet through good management and give the cow every chance to perform well in the next lactation.

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Business Profile

Cool Roof:

The Cooler the Roofs, the Cooler the Cattle By Steve Weisman


oday’s dairy producers work extremely hard at optimizing the conditions in which their herds are housed. Realizing that keeping cattle cool means less heat stress, improved milk production and higher birth weight during calving season, producers spend a lot of money on fans, misters and extra ventilation. Unfortunately, a hot metal roof can be one of the main culprits of excessive heat. Of course, a metal roof keeps the sun’s rays off the cattle, but when you can literally cook an egg on the roof’s hot surface, that heat transfers down to the livestock. Optimizing ways to keep your cattle cool is important in the dairy industry. There is a better solution that many dairy owners are cashing in on: energy efficient roofing systems. Many producers are turning to WaterTight Roofing (WaterTightRoofingInc. com) to explore options specific to 52

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their dairy operation. Since 2011, co-owners Cole Garrison and Mike Slaughter have built their company based on the mission of providing the highest quality commercial, energy-efficient roofing systems, to

honor their warranties and be available to all customers for services or repairs. Furthermore, their team has resources to get these roofs at very little cost to the building owners. After several years of experience working in the roofing industry, Garrison and Slaughter accomplished this mission by deciding to start WaterTight Roofing. “We saw that a lot of roofing companies work on new construction, re-roofing and patchwork, but we’re the roofing company that focuses on white, reflective roofs,” Slaughter states. “Even though we build lots of metal roofs, when it’s a priority to control the temperature underneath the roof,

we’re the company that specializes in this. We love the continued benefits our owners receive from these roofing systems, and we focus on excellent customer service.” On a warm sunny day, the temperatures are dramatically higher and a metal roof becomes too hot to even touch. These WaterTight roof systems can turn a hot metal roof into a white, cool roof that’s cool to the touch. Both Garrison and Slaughter grew up involved in the Texas cattle industry. With a special passion for the agricultural industry in general, they truly believe they’ve carved out a special niche in WaterTight Roofing. According to Garrison, “Instead of only trying to treat the symptoms of a hot roof with fans, misters, etc., we address the source of the problem – a hot roof. This is the very reason we install energy-efficient roofs. It cools the roof, therefore, everything under the roof is cooler – whether it’s people or animals.” He explains, “At the end of the day, everything is about protecting and cooling what’s underneath the roof.” The options offered by WaterTight Roofing are

energy-star rated roofing systems with high solar reflectivity. Garrison adds, “An elastomeric roof coating or single-ply membrane is a cost-effective way to get a cool roof out of an existing hot roof, and these options do not require a tearoff of the current roof system.” These energy-efficient roofs have also shown that cooling fans can be used

industry.” He continues, “At the same time, our goal is to work closely with the customers, offer free inspections and assessments, and offer solutions for their specific needs.” And don’t just take their word for it. Listen to what their customers say about WaterTight roofing: Dyke Rogers, owner of Clauss Dairy Farms located in the Texas

less often, which conserves energy, leading to savings. Over the past eight years, the word has continued to spread. Garrison says, “Because of the solution that actually treats the source of heat, our business has grown exponentially within the agricultural

Panhandle notes, “This was a very clean operation. They did exactly what they said they would do and there was no disruption to my daily operation. I would recommend WaterTight Roofing without a doubt.” Will Collier, owner of T&K Dairy in West Texas, adds, “The team and crew were efficient throughout the entire process. They did an excellent job, and I am very pleased with the overall production and capabilities of WaterTight Roofing.” WaterTight Roofing has different roof options from metal replacement to cool roof systems, depending on what’s right for you. Simply stated, Garrison adds, “Give us a holler, and we’ll do a free assessment and provide you with options.” October 2018


October 2018


Partnering with Producers for Success

Sometimes Simple is Simply Better By Steve Weisman


hether it is new construction or updating a dairy’s milking facilities, PBI Parlor Systems ( has become known in the dairy industry as a leader in the manufacturing of milking stalls and equipment for dairies around the world. From the time he started building stalls in Anthony, New Mexico in 1989, owner Steve Peacock has been committed to helping dairy producers improve their bottom line by offering the finest, most durable milking stalls and equipment, along with the most exceptional ongoing customer support in the business. “ The business has cer tainly grown over the years,” says Peacock. “I started out being an industrial welder, and my goal was to be the best welder that I could be. Then I went into construction, remodeling corrals and barns and even built a couple of barns. Then a friend of mine, Jerry Settles, manager of Del Oro Dairy, asked if I would design a parallel stall for his dairy barn.” Peacock’s initial response was “No, because I had no clue.” However, Settles kept after him until Peacock 56

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said he would do it! It took some tweaking, but after six months, they were both satisfied with the results. Peacock had hit a grand slam with his stall design, and over the subsequent years, dairies of all sizes, from small family dairies to large commercial dairies, have been fitted with PBI stalls. The business has grown to include customers all over the world. Today, PBI Parlor Systems sets the standard for milking stalls and related equipment. In addition, PBI stalls are engineered to be the best solution for maintaining cow safety and dairy efficiency. Among the international customers is Almarai in Saudi Arabia. “They have become a huge customer

for us,” says Peacock. “As a matter fact, when we first started working with them over 20 years ago, I and one of my employees went over to Saudi Arabia to help them set up their facilities. Since that time, we have sold over 40 sets in a variety of sizes ranging from double 10s to double 75s.” Much of the company’s success has come because of the PBI employees. “We are truly blessed to have trusted and loyal employees,” says Peacock. “You know, in the first few years, we kept tweaking our design, just doing little things to make the product even better. We worked very hard to make the system as effective and as simple as possible.” Whether it is new construction or remodeling an existing facility, PBI works closely with the customer to make sure that everything is customized to meet their needs. “Remodeling has become a huge part of our business,” notes Peacock. “We also do a lot of front-end conversions. The stall design gives the customer the capability of keeping their existing butt shields in most cases. This saves them time and money on a front-end conversion.”

Value is built into every PBI stall design. Low installation and maintenance costs make PBI stalls a valuable investment for dairies of all sizes. Plus the durable construction, smooth operation and labor saving design provide ongoing increased profits. Stall designs are adaptable to suit the needs of dairies of all sizes, no matter the environment. So, really, each installation is tailored to meet the specific needs of each facility. In addition, they are compatible with all brands of milking equipment. The Elite Parallel Stall is PBI’s signature stall and includes the following: • A hydraulic cylinder operates an entire row raising the headstalls to a full 62” clearance. High enough for even the largest cow. • The speed of lower ing of

The philosophy and commitment remain the same: to help improve dairy profits, while offering superior customer service. headstalls can be adjusted to your specifications. • Rapid exit allows cows to leave at the same time. • Counter weights are used on our divider gates. No springs to break or hurt your cows. • This stall is offered on 26” centers for jersey cows only, 27” centers with double index for mixed herds or standard index for Holsteins, or 28” centers for Holsteins. PBI also offers herringbone stalls on 29”, 30”, 36”, 38” and 44” centers. “We have found that the most efficient

size centers for a herringbone stall is on 38” centers. Here again, we build to suit the producer’s needs.” Peacock emphasizes again the simplicity of the system. “I think that’s what producers like the most. It’s simple, it works and they don’t have to mess with it.” Even so, Peacock will continue to ask those same questions. “Now today, when I go around and talk with customers, I will ask them whether they have any ideas for changes. Most often, they will tell me, ‘No! Leave it alone! It works fine!’” David DeJong, owner of Horizon Dairy near Hico, TX, has ties with PBI going back to his days in high school. “I have been a lifelong purchaser of PBI milking stalls. When I was in high school, we converted our old Herringbone into a PBI parallel Parlor and have not looked back. Every parlor since has been constructed using PBI stalls. They are extremely reliable, durable and trouble free. The staff is professional, knowledgeable, prompt and a pleasure to work with when you may need replacement parts or a new install. PBI is the first and only number I call when it comes to milking stalls.”

Meanwhile, John Verhaar, who owns Aquila Farms near Bad Axe, MI, totally agrees with Peacock’s assertion about the simplicity of the system. “PBI installed double 32s over 14 years ago. Today, they still look like new, and everything continues to work just like it’s supposed to. They are just so sturdy. I cannot see any reason they won’t go for

another 15 years.” Verhaar adds that service has never been an issue. “After installation, they checked with me, but I’ve never needed anything serviced. It’s such an open design and not a maze of gates. The cows like it and feel comfortable entering and being in the stall. My son-in-law, who has a dairy just north of my place, liked the system so well that he put PBI stalls in in 2013. They just are the best.” The track record of PBI Parlors and the positive response from customers over the years speak for itself. The philosophy and commitment remain the same: to help improve dairy profits, while offering superior customer service. From the free consultation and quote, through the installation and the subsequent customer service, PBI Parlor Systems is there for the dairy producer. October 2018


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Partnering with Producers for Success Fertility Concerns




ue to the ongoing economic pressure of the industry, dairy farmers work to maximize profitability by constantly improving genetic selection, nutrition, and herd management. Armenta Ltd., an Agtech company located in Kfar Sava, Israel, is working to help dairy farmers maintain economic viability while keeping their dairy herds healthy. Through extensive research and innovative therapies, Armenta has developed leading-edge products that not only transform the standard care of dairy cattle diseases, but also reduce the economic burden of these diseases. One of the key areas of research and development that the Armenta team has focused on is implementing mastitis detection, treatment and prevention modules. Mastitis is widely recognized as a significant economic burden on dairy farms across the globe. Not only does mastitis reduce milk yield and quality, but it also increases culling rates, resulting in more than $2 billion lost annual revenue in the U.S. and more than $1.5 billion across the EU. The compa ny ’s propr ieta r y Acoustic Pulse Therapy (APT) technology and devices have been specifically designed for treating dairy cows. Also known as low intensity shockwave therapy, APT has been widely documented over the last 35 years for treating patients with inflammatory diseases, heart ischemia and erectile dysfunction. APT has been shown to produce new blood vessels, reduce inflammation and improve tissue function with long term effects. According to Armenta’s CTO, Eddy Papirov, “The APT device was


October 2018

designed and adapted to produce deep penetrating acoustic pulses that are distributed over a large area (such as the cow’s udder) and treated at a therapeutic level, without causing any pain or discomfort to the cow. Furthermore, since the FDA does not require submission of a 510(k), or any pre-market approval (PMA) for devices used in veterinary medicine, the APT device will not have to overcome these regulatory barriers.” “We believe that the introduction

of our innovative APT technology into dairy farms will, for the first time, bring a proven new treatment modality to a real unmet need in the dairy industry” says Gil Hakim, CEO of Armenta. “Within dairy producers, this technology enables longer milking cycles, boosts milk yield and milk quality, increases cow well-being and leads to direct and significant increase in dairy farm profitability”. Dr. Gabriel Leitner, Armenta’s CMO explains that mastitis is normally divided into clinical and subclinical infection, both of which result in decreased milk yield, deter iorat ion in mi l k qua lit y and increased r isk of culling. Clinical and subclinical mastitis affect 20%-40% of cows. The major causes of mastitis are bacterial: coliforms, Streptococci, coagulase-positive staphylococci (mainly Staphylococcus aureus) and

coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS). Cows are most susceptible to bacterial infection after drying-off and prior to calving, with symptoms becoming apparent in early lactation. Current treatments of clinical mastitis use intramammary infusion and/or of intramuscular antibiotics or non-steroidal antiinf lammator y dr ugs (NSA ID). During the treatment the milk is discarded, and the affected cow is removed from the herd. Therefore, Non-antibiotic treatment of mastitis without the consequences of antibiotics is highly necessary.” Extensive research has proven that Armenta’s APT technology is highly effective. In a study conducted on 116 dair y cows with subclinical mastitis and 29 dairy cows with clinical mastitis from 3 different herds, following APT, 70% of cows with subclinical and 76% with clinical mastitis recovered (SCC <350,000 cell/ml and/ or cured from bacterial infection) compared to 18% and 19% in the control groups respectively. Moreover, cows with subclinical mastitis treated with APT produced 11% more milk with higher quality than the control group. In addition, following APT, 8% of the cows with clinical mastitis were culled compared to 56% treated w ith antibiotics. In contrast to current treatment options for subclinical and clinical mastitis, which require early identification of the type of bacteria, APT does not require bacterial identification. Moreover, administering antibiotics or NSAID require separating milk obtained from the infected cow during treatment until antibiotic residue is fully cleared (4-7 days), while with APT it is not necessary to discard milk during treatment. Dr. Leitner further explains: “Due to the high costs of antibiotic treatment during lactation as well as significant concern of overuse of drugs, which may increase the risk of infection by antibiotic-resistant bacteria among humans and animals, most animals are treated only during the dry-off period.”

Antibiotics are directed to kill and/or to slow down growth of bacteria, thus allowing the immune cells to eradicate the bacteria. However, they do not aid in regenerating the damaged tissue. The ATP treatment is directed to increase angiogenesis and anti-inf lammatory responses in the mammary tissues. Therefore, the treatment not only increases the activation of the immune cells but also accelerates the recovery of the regenerated gland tissue. Treatment of subclinical mastitis presents different challenges to veterinarians due to its wide prevalence, reaching 20 to 40% of udders in some herds. “Many cows with subclinical chronic infection show no recognizable symptoms and the milk appears normal, resulting in difficulty in identification” Leitner explains. Armenta’s goal is to transform the standard of care of dairy cattle diseases, with the focus on mastitis. The company’s APT-based solution offers increased milk yield after calving, profitability throughout the lactation period, reduced impact of mastitis on milk yield and quality, udder protection during the dry period and increased milk yield in the next lactation (see figure),” says Gil Hakim ,CEO of Armenta.

Thus, Armenta’s innovative APT technology has numerous benefits in the treatment of clinical and subclinical mastitis: 1. Significant reduction in the use of antibiotics complying with the public health demands 2. Significant reduction in milk discarded during treatment 3. Treatment of subclinical mastitis during lactation 4. Improved milk quantity and quality during lactation 5. Opportunity for treatment during dry off period 6. Increased regeneration process of the damaged tissues 7. Decreased culling of subclinical mastitis cows due to low milk production and low milk quality All these advantages open a new horizon in the dairy industry, benefiting both animals and humans. Armenta’s technology has the potential to treat other cattle diseases beyond mastitis such as ones that affect the reproduction system or causing lameness. “We are at the brink of a breakthrough in the management of herd health. Armenta has the potential to become a leading player in the dairy industry” says Hakim.

1 Leitner G. et al; Assessment of Acoustic Pulse Therapy (APT), a non-antibiotic treatment for mastitis in dairy cows; PLoS One. 2018 Jul 10;13(7)

October 2018






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American Dairymen October 2018  
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