In This Issue Vol. 44 No. 4 • April 2018
6 Publisher Statement 8 Industry News
Trending news from around the dairy world.
18 12 14 22 4
Is Old Bessie’s Heifer Calf Really Replacement Quality? By Bruce Derksen
One question that the dairy industry as a whole is continually faced with is how to replace the open, old, or unproductive cows in their collective herds. Replacement heifers are a large part of each dairy’s investment not only for a short period of time but for years to come.
Considerations for Preventing Lameness Vases in Your Herd
Identifying Reproduction Benchmarks
Progress Takes Planning
By Michael Cox for American Dairymen Magazine
Many dairy producers have excellent animal health prevention protocols in place, such as vaccinations and bio-security. But when it comes to the issue of lameness in the dairy herd, perhaps we need to take a second look at prevention methods, and aim to minimize having to take a second look at yet another cow showing poor mobility.
By Jaclyn Krymowski for American Dairymen
Among the most important assets a cow can provide to a farm is pregnancy. The value of a single pregnancy varies from farm to farm and has a host of contributing factors.
By Aly McClure
In any area of life your success depends on foresight and planning, raising cattle is no different. You have to go through and not only have goals but a feasible action plan to attain them.
The Lifeline to Cold Milk
“Nothing is More Precious Than Life…”
In today’s dairy, foods, and beverage industries, maintaining the correct temperature is extremely important to process integrity and to insure product quality and safety for the consumer.
Consumers are becoming more and more in tune with what they eat, where their food comes from and how it is grown. At the same time, farmers and ranchers are raising the bar in the agriculture production systems by providing larger quantities of healthful products through innovative food production practices and systems. www.americandairymen.com
Change Takes Time, But It’s Worth It
Products and Services
Vol. 44 No. 4 • April 2018
President/CEO Gale McKinney
Change is something that we struggle with, both
VP/CFO Audra McKinney
professionally and personally. With change comes the fear of the unknown, the struggle of where to
Group Publisher/COO Patrick McKinney
begin and the second-guessing if you are doing the
Publisher Dustin Hector
right thing. You may be wondering where this is coming from? Well, if you have followed our publication over the last 6-8 months you have noticed some
Associate Publisher Lissa Baker
changes within the magazine. Going through this change was definitely a struggle and a lot of time was spent trying to figure everything out, and now
Office Manager Dawn Busse
it seems to be in full swing.
Creative Director Brandon Peterson
One of the major changes was revamping and increasing our editorial. To do so, we needed to build a team of writers who had the knowledge within the industry, the time to contribute, and flexibility to work within our guidelines. Through the process we have built a strong core of writers with these three characteristics and willingness to help us with the process. This has been a great upgrade for our publication as we now have industry specific edit that are hot topic items that may help you and your dairy become more efficient
Advertising Account Executives Kathy Davidson Mary Gatliff Lori Seibert Irene Smith Joyce Kenney Ed Junker Kendra Sassman Circulation Coordinator Shawna Nelson
as well as ways to improve. Another area we are expanding is our industry news area. This is
Subscription Sales Falon Geis
information provided to us by different manufacturers, associations, etc. that are updating the industry on news or things going on in their company that would be of interest. A big part of industry news is what new products are coming out, or what changes are being made to policies. This information is
for American Dairymen
Contributing Writers Bruce Derksen, Michael Cox, Steve Weisman Jaclyn Krymowski, Aly McClure
always relevant and important information that is needed to continue having success in the industry. I encourage you to spend some time on the editorial in this issue. We touch on a lot of different areas ranging from lameness prevention to reproduction benchmarks. Other editorial topics in this issue are heifer replacement and herd management and the process it takes. If you have anything specific you
Livestock Media Group 4685 Merle Hay Rd • Suite 200 Des Moines, IA 50322 877-424-4594 www.americandairymen.com
would like us to touch on and have our writers focus on, please let me know. You can email me those ideas at email@example.com. We are always looking for ideas and any input you can give us would be appreciated. In closing, I hope you enjoy the new look of American Dairymen. We will continue to strive and improve our products so we can provide the best quality product that you, the producers, require and deserve. Best Regards, Dustin Hector Publisher – American Dairymen
©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.
Industry News omega-6 than conventional milk, and 36% less omega-6 than organic milk. In addition, the research team found that grassmilk has the highest average level of CLA—0.043 g/100 g of milk, compared to 0.019 g/ 100 g in conventional milk and 0.023 g/100 g in organic.
Implications for Public Health
Forage-Based Diets on Dairy Farms Produce Nutritionally Enhanced Milk
Markedly higher levels of health-promoting fatty acids reported Article provided by Dr. Bradley Heins Associate Professor, University of Minnesota Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are essential human nutrients, yet consuming too much omega-6 and too little omega-3 can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. Today, Americans consume 10 to 15 grams of omega-6 for every gram of omega-3. Previous studies have shown that consuming organic beef or organic dairy products lowers dietary intakes of omega-6, while increasing intakes of omega-3 and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), another valuable, hearthealthy fatty acid. In a collaborative research project including the University of Minnesota, Johns Hopkins University, Newcastle University in England, Southern Cross University in Linsmore, NSW Australia, and the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, researchers have found that cows fed a 100% organic grass and legume-based diet produce milk with elevated levels of omega-3 and CLA, and thus provides a markedly healthier balance of fatty acids. The improved fatty acid profile in grass-fed organic milk and dairy products (hereafter, “grassmilk”) brings the omega-6/omega-3 ratio to a near 1 to 1, compared to 5.7 to 1 in conventional whole milk. “With growing consumer demand for organic dairy products, producers may be able to expand their profitability and market share by converting to 8
grass-based pasture and forage-feeding systems,” said co-author Dr. Bradley Heins, Associate Professor of Dairy Science at the University of Minnesota’s West Central Research and Outreach Center. Findings f rom t he st udy “Enhancing the Fatty Acid Profile of Milk through Forage-Based Rations, with Nutrition Modeling of Dietary Outcomes,” published in Food Science and Nutrition, compared the fatty acid profile of milk from cows managed under three systems in the United States: • “Grassmilk” cows receive an essentially 100% organic grass and legume forage-based diet, via pasture and stored feeds like hay and silage. • “Organic” cows receive, on average, about 80% of their daily Dry Matter Intake (DMI) from forage-based feeds and 20% from grain and concentrates. • “Conventional” cows are fed rations in which forage-based feeds account for an estimated 53% of daily DMI, with the other 47% coming from grains and concentrates. Conventional management accounts for over 90% of the milk cows on U.S. farms. Grassmilk provides by far the highest level of omega-3s—0.05 grams per 100 grams of milk (g/100 g), compared to 0.02 g/100 g in conventional milk - a 147% increase in omega-3s. Grassmilk also contains 52% less
Daily consumption of grassmilk dairy products could potentially improve U.S. health trends. In addition to the well-established metabolic and cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and CLA, there are additional benefits for pregnant and lactating women, infants, and children. Various forms of omega-3 fatty acids play critical roles in the development of eyes, the brain, and the nervous system. Adequate omega-3 intakes can also slow the loss of cognitive function among the elderly. In describing the public health implications of the study’s main findings, co-author Charles Benbrook, a Visiting Scholar at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, points out that “The near-perfect balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in grassmilk dairy products will help consumers looking for simple, lifestyle options to reduce the risk of cardiovascular and other metabolic diseases.”
Source of Samples and Funding
The team analyzed over 1,160 samples of whole grassmilk taken over three years from on-farm bulk tanks prior to any processing. All samples came from farmer members of CROPP Cooperative and were tested by an independent laboratory. For more information on the research team, study methods, findings, nutrition modeling results, study costs and funding, and to follow along with grass-fed dairy research by Dr. Heins, visit https://z.umn.edu/ whygrassmatters Link to the journal repor t: https://z.umn.edu/2018grassmilkpaper
VAS Introduces FeedComp Mobile Feed Management Software
By Bill Elverman
Valley Agricultural Software (VAS) introduces FeedComp, a Software-asa-Service (SaaS) extension of its newly enhanced FeedWatch feed management software. FeedComp provides dairy operators, feeders, consultants and nutritionists access to feeding program detail and controls from web-connected mobile devices of all common operating systems (MAC, PC, iOS, Android). This streamlines feeding operations by allowing workers to more closely monitor, track and control (in real time) factors such as feed use, intakes, dry matter percentages, waste, mixing ratios and chemistries — as well as allowing for simple report creation/review. It also integrates with the larger VAS Platform (DairyComp and ParlorComp) to give dairy operators and feeding
professionals a complete view of the entire dairy ecosystem. “Feed is the most costly input of milk production, and even the simplest improvements in feeding programs achieve greater profitability through improved production at lower cost,” says Tim Taylor, CEO, VAS. “The ability to access and control feeding parameters, recipes and inventories from anywhere with a mobile device allows for important decisions to be made on the fly, and changes to be made more immediately to have the greatest effect.”
The Mobile Feed Management Advantage The latest edition of the FeedWatch desktop software has already helped dairies increase production and profitability through greater mixing
accuracy (ensuring the proper mix is established for each pen), the ability to identify errors and waste, ensure labor consistency, and establish a turnkey way of weighing, inventorying and ordering feed. The ability to do all that from a mobile device instead of requiring travel back to a central desktop computer saves time and effort, and allows for changes to have an immediate impact. Reports can also be accessed and reviewed at home or in the field, allowing for faster understanding of current conditions. “FeedComp establishes an immediacy in decision making, and action based on the best available information,” says Taylor. “It also gives dairy operators the most direct and accurate contrast of feed costs to overall profits, helping them understand that balance
and drive continuous improvement.” FeedComp requires no additional technological infrastructure other than the mobile device the user already has. It is automatically updated via the web — so users will always have the most current edition of the software. And the integration with the greater VAS platform allows for deeper integration of reporting and data in a single, common interface. It also provides a basis for the development of future application program interfaces (APIs) that can tie in partners (veterinary, milk distribution, feed providers, etc.) to create efficiencies throughout the entire dairy ecosystem. And, as a web-based system, it also allows for the integration of multi-site data into a single program. For more information on VAS FeedComp, visit VAS.com, or call tollfree at 888-225-6753. www.americandairymen.com
Is Old Bessie’s Heifer Calf Really
Replacement Quality? By Bruce Derksen
ne question that the dairy industry as a whole is continually faced with is how to replace the open, old, or unproductive cows in their collective herds. Replacement heifers are a large part of each dairy’s investment not only for a short period of time but for years to come. They are not just a small insignificant puzzle piece of little to no value, but an integral part of building the cornerstone of your dairy’s foundation over the long haul. Even if there are not a large amount of cows to be culled, many operations need to secure replacements if only to maintain the size of their producing herd or expand if the circumstances warrant it. A serious question that needs asking of these owners should be, “Is old Bessie’s heifer calf really good enough to be a replacement on your dairy, or are you biased because Bessie has been around forever and you and the kids happened to be there when she calved last time and Bessie Junior became the family pet?” There are a few options to dairy farms when it comes to replacement heifers. Obviously, they can keep all or some of their own heifer calves- they could sell them with the contracted option of buying them back- or they could buy replacements outright from other producers. Sometimes keeping your own heifers can be the easiest and least disruptive way to maintain or grow your herd. Going this route guards against other producer’s health issues and keeps genetics and qualities that you know. Maybe some poorer feeds can be better put to use that might otherwise be wasted. Contracting your own calves out to other farms with the first chance to buy them back can be an option although sometimes complicated and confusing. It is not always optimal to hand over control of decisions about
feed quality, weight gains and overall well- being, care and attention. When considering how to preserve or grow your cow herd, reflect on these questions- are your cows perfect when it comes to health, condition, disposition, confirmation and proper udders? Of course, no cow herd is perfect, so should maintaining the security of your closed herd health really be at the top of the priority list? What about the genetics of your herd? Could they not be improved? Will keeping your own calves offer enough of a chance to grow your herd’s production or will it be the status quo? If the bar is already set high, the status quo might be the right option. Seriously consider if your cow herd is “good enough” or if it would be prudent to try to add better fertility, progeny growth, disposition, udder quality,
milking volume and early birth dates. Remember, adding replacement heifers to the herd is one of your best and only opportunities to improve it. Obviously, the economics of keeping your own heifers versus buying good quality replacements from reputable producers needs to be pencilled out. There may be more than one correct answer and they will depend on many factors that only you as a producer will be able to come to grips with. Do you grow or buy most of your own feed and is it available? Were the crops impacted by drought, insects or disease? What are the calf and yearling markets now and what are they projected to be? Use common sense, but don’t disregard the option of culling a mediocre herd more aggressively than you have done in the past, putting in the extra legwork and elbow grease to search out and find quality producers with good replacement options. So when doing all the calculations to help you decide if buying replacements this year instead of only keeping your own heifers is a good idea, remember this is your family’s investment in the future. Don’t just settle for the easy route. If deep down you know old Bessie’s calf just isn’t going to improve your herd, say your good-byes and let her go down the road. Don’t be afraid to make the slightly tougher choices. Remember when you are building a cornerstone, you need the best material you can get.
Considerations for preventing
lameness cases in your herd By Michael Cox for American Dairymen Magazine
revention is better than cure,â€™ is a phrase that often comes to mind while carrying out daily duties on-farm. Many dairy producers have excellent animal health prevention protocols in place, such as vaccinations and bio-security. But when it comes to the issue of lameness in the dairy herd, perhaps we need to take a second look at prevention methods, and aim to minimize having to take a second look at yet another cow showing poor mobility.
Recent research findings published in the Journal of Dairy Science suggest that lameness prevention merits a strong focus on dairy farms. Findings published by researchers Randall et al 2017, state that previous lameness occurrence greatly increases the future risk of subsequent lameness cases. In a study of two large dairy herds in the United Kingdom, the researchers discovered a 96% and 89.5% repeat rate of clinical lameness following an initial lameness case. Such high rates of repeat offences are not only costly in terms of lower production, treatment costs and labor inputs, they also lead to higher rates of involuntary culling.
Preventing lameness can be best achieved by focusing on a few
key areas of the farmâ€™s facilities. Advice from University of Kentucky Extension urges dairymen to pay attention to the following areas, namely; Cleanliness, Holding pen time, Footbaths, Bedding, Heat Stress and Overcrowding. Cleanliness; Areas of high-traffic need to be regularly cleaned and maintained in a manure-free condition. Excessive manure can rapidly spread diseases such as digital dermatitis throughout the herd. Feeding areas, around water troughs and stalls are just some of the places to consistently monitor and keep clean. Holding pen time: Cows waiting in holding pens before entering the milking parlour is a potentially problematic area for consideration. Total daily holding pen times should be 1
hour or less, regardless of milking frequency. Short holding times will help reduce hoof stress and unnecessary standing time on hard surfaces. Footbaths: Regular footbathing is a crucial lameness preventative and treatment practice. While every farm will have a different requirement for footbathing, it is recommended that cows go through a footbath at least once a fortnight. Copper sulphate and/or formaldehyde are the triedand-trusted footbathing solutions for most dairymen. Footbath solutions should not exceed 5% concentration and should be topped up regularly (after 200 cows have passed through the footbath). Recent research findings are indicating that weaker solution concentrations, i.e. 1%-3% and more frequent bathing, i.e. 4-7 days consecutively, could be more beneficial in treating and preventing hairy heel warts and other infectious diseases than stronger and less frequent bathing. Ideally, cows should have a minimum of two steps in the solution (1 step gives approximately 3 seconds of contact time). Bath sizes should be at least 3.5meters long and * Continued on page 16
.5meters wide. Bedding: As the vast majorit y of lameness incidences initially occur when a cow is standing and weight-bearing, dairymen should strive to achieve high levels of resting time in the herd. Cows should lie and rest for approximately 12 hours each day, which gives hooves the opportunity to rest and remain clean and dry. Stall design and bedding condition have a direct influence on the duration of resting time. Stalls should be made large enough to accommodate the largest cows in the herd and bedding materials must be regularly cleaned and topped-up. Adequate lunging area is necessary for freestall-cows to be able to stand up in a sure-footed and balanced position. Perching or standing idle in alleyways are indicators that cows are finding the stalls uncomfortable. Taking a few moments to observe the cows behaviour around stalls and the feeding area can highlight areas where cows are finding discomfort. Heat Stress: Cows under heat stress will stand for long periods of time in an attempt to expose the entire surface area of their body for cooling. This excessive standing can lead to hoof stress and subsequent lameness. Adequate fans and sprinklers must be in place during heat stress weather conditions, so that cows feel cool and comfortable enough to lie-down and rest. Overcrowding: Pen overcrowding, particularly in feeding areas, will create lameness issues in the herd, as cows will push and act aggressively to access feed. Overreaching for feed can cause splayed hoof syndrome in front hooves, while rapidly eroding hind hoof soles as cows push forward to reach feed. Regular feed push-ups 16
and a minimum per-cow feed space allowance of 2 feet will help alleviate such negative effects.
Dairymen should also ensure that the farm team are made aware of the importance of lameness prevention. Neil Chesterton, an expert dairy-lameness veterinarian from New Zealand, suggests that apart from issues with facilities, people are the second major causes of lameness in cows. Staff must be trained on correct animal handling and work in a calm and quiet manner. When moving cows to the holding pen for example, it is important that a worker does not rush and hurry cows from the back of the group. Rushing cows will cause the group to bunch up tightly, jostle for space and raise their heads, all of which leads to poor foot placement, increases the risk of slipping and leads to poorer hoof health. Cows should be allowed to walk at a leisurely pace with their heads down to see where to place feet and avoid any obstacles. Correct use of backing gates in the holding area is another area where lameness prevention gains can be made. The gate should be regularly moved in 5 second durations to take up space, not to push cows into the parlor. Installing a buzzer on the gate can signal to workers and cows that the gate is moving. Like many animal health issues, lameness is a multi-factorial problem. Dairymen should review their facilities and people management. Taking time to assess your farmâ€™s standards in these key areas could save dozens of future lameness cases and help lower associated costs.
Partnering with Producers for Success
The Lifeline to Cold Milk By Steve Weisman
n today’s dairy, foods, and beverage industries, maintaining the correct temperature is extremely important to process integrity and to insure product quality and safety for the consumer. There is a world of difference between hot and lukewarm, cool and cold, and when specific temperatures are critical to a process, it better be right! Oftentimes, the best solution is a glycol chiller. What exactly is a glycol chiller?
A glycol chiller is basically a compact close-coupled factory manufactured refrigeration system that eliminates the need for field-installed refrigerant lines and components, by circulating foodgrade non-toxic propylene glycol to remove unwanted heat from a process, product, or fluid (like raw milk).
Why a glycol chiller at the dairy?
A smaller producer whose tankbased refrigeration system is no longer reliable, can (without buying or waiting for a new tank) install a glycol chiller and a plate cooler to reliably cool his milk as it is transferred from the milking parlor to his insulated tank. For the growing producer who upgrades to a higher-volume milking parlor, a properly designed packaged glycol chiller can cool the milk very rapidly to help
keep milk temperatures (and bacteria growth) under control. For larger producers or those moving to direct tanker load out, the glycol chiller is the best way to handle high volumes rapidly. Glycol chillers are also proving to be less expensive to install, more reliable, and easier to maintain than conventional remote-field-connected refrigeration systems.
What’s important when selecting a chiller?
highest quality parts that are recognized and understood by my local service guy and readily available through local aftermarket suppliers. A manufacturer’s customer support and availability for advice is also critical to our success; that’s what we get from G&D.” Adding further, Steve Dennis of Rock Creek Refrigeration from Twin Falls, ID, shares his thoughts on his long-term business relationship with G&D. “I first reached out to G&D years ago when my client, Double A Dairy needed to replace an older chiller. I was met with knowledgeable service as we worked through the chilling equipment selection. That new chiller showed up onsite and exceeded our expectations on performance and
Tony Freeman, owner of Sunny Slope Dairy shared his insight: “In these days of rising product quality standards and reduced demand / pay prices, the ‘smart money’ goes directly to overall value when selecting any equipment. With chillers, this means choosing a manufacturer who offers simple, smart designs and uses the www.americandairymen.com
design. In fact, since that time we have bought and commissioned two more of their units for other process cooling applications at that same facility! G&D Chillers is a company I trust. They back their equipment and customers 100 percent.” Kit Kesey, co-owner and VP Operations for Springfield Creamery shared his experience with G&D when they needed a quick turnaround. “Our company recently had an immediate need for additional chiller capacity. We contacted G&D Chillers, explained our urgency and were able to acquire a chiller that fit our specific needs quickly. The G&D sales and service teams were very knowledgeable and responsive throughout the entire process. We would not hesitate to work with G&D Chillers again for needs in the future.” Craig Nelson, Facilities Manager with Rogue Creamery talked about ease of maintenance. “Our G&D chiller has worked well and helped us regulate our cave systems with consistent temps even during 110+ degree days. It has been low maintenance and easy to work on when needed.”
Built on quality customer satisfaction
Quality and customer satisfaction are the primary driving forces for G&D Chillers (www.gdchillers. com) located in Eugene, Oregon. In fact, during their 25 years in business, G&D has become the trusted “go to” for many of the leading wineries, breweries, distilleries, medical, and industrial manufacturers across North America. And a
growing number of dairy/foods processors and satisfied dairymen with milking herds ranging from 20015,000 cows are also choosing G&D Chillers. According to owner and president Justin Thomas, “We are as committed to cold as we are to our clients. The most important word at G&D Chillers is “committed”. No matter what your cooling needs are, whether you require a permanent installation, a portable chiller, or if you’re expanding and need one of our modular designs, we engineer and manufacture the finest quality liquid chilling systems right here in Eugene. We also partner with our customers for life - and we enjoy serving every customer from start to finish. We’ve been unmatched in customer service for over 25 years!” Andy Backer, VP of sales, actually got his start welding chiller frames back in the 1990s and joined G&D Chillers in 2009. “Although G&D has been building chillers for dairies since the beginning, in the past five or six years, we have really begun to expand into this area. We work with dairy producers ranging in size from small producers that require just a small chiller to a huge dairy producer that might need up to three chillers in different sections of the operation. What we pride ourselves on is being able to work with each individual producer to help them design exactly what they need in a chiller system.”
Where to start
It all begins with a telephone call to G&D (1.800.555.0973) or an inquiry
link from the G&D website to info@ gdchillers.com by the dairyman or his contractor. Thomas notes, “We spend a lot of time with customers, looking at their specific needs. We might do this over a series of telephone conversations or maybe face-to-face or through the computer. Sometimes, if it is feasible, we will have them come to our facility here in Eugene. If it is a really complex plan, we will visit the site to make sure we understand the situation.” Thomas continues, “We also understand that not every dairy application requires a package chiller that falls within our standard line. That’s why G&D has been thinking outside of the box for over 25 years, designing and building hundreds of custom chillers. Whether it’s a simple relocation of the utility connections of a complex build up or ground level design and engineering, we are eager to meet the challenge. We strive to help make simple changes to help save customers thousands in installation costs with the highest efficiency. We have the ability to make changes rapidly and get the product out of the door in a timely manner.” When it comes to sales, Backer believes that developing a solid relationship with the customer is at the top of the list. “I am here to help the customer. That is what I want to do, and when we go into a project, we look at it to find the solution that will work best for them. Every client has a different application. I will look at the blueprint or layout and offer my recommendations.” To this Thomas adds, “Everything doesn’t have to be totally new construction. We have dairymen that want to add capacity to their existing system. If it makes sense, we can do that and save the producer money. Ultimately, April 2018
Partnering with Producers for Success
we want to provide the best chiller system possible at a reasonable cost.”
Installing the system
All G&D chillers are designed and manufactured at the Eugene Oregon plant. Depending on the time of year lead-time can vary, but a typical lead-time is 4-6 weeks. Thomas says, “Everything is built right here, so the producer and/or contractor is working on parts that are common across the
country. Many times, we will work with local contractors and will do our best to train and help the contractors. Over the years, we have developed a solid base of local contractors that are really good at what they do.” As Thomas says, “The chillers are as smart or as simple as you want them to be. It can be a simple push of the switch.” With over two decades in the business, Thomas says there are always customers who come up to him and tell him that even after 10-15-20 years, their chillers are still working. Maintenance is relatively minimal. Just follow these tips: measure the glycol mixture quarterly throughout the year and keep the condenser clear of obstructions and free of leaves and debris. Thomas recommends, “G&D partners with multiple service
companies throughout the country, so if a customer needs a contractor, we can provide names of contractors. Yearly inspections after the first or second year are a good idea.”
G&D Chillers has 25 years of experience in the refrigeration business. G&D manufactured its first unit in 1993, which was timed perfectly with the growth of the wine and craft beer industries. Although that remains a huge part of their business, G&D designs and manufactures self-contained refrigeration and heating units that cool or warm large amounts of liquid to the exact temperature required in industries ranging from aviation to pharmaceuticals to the dairy industry across the United States and into foreign countries. Justin Thomas, owner and president, started with G&D in 1993 as an apprentice engineer shortly after the company was founded. Over the years, he learned the refrigeration trade from the original owner Dan Smith, who had over 40 years of experience in the refrigeration industry. Thomas worked on the manufacturing side and then moved to sales and distribution working with customers across the country. In 2005, he purchased G&D Chillers.
continued commitment to teamwork, and to our policy of placing the needs of our customers above all else. We’ve successfully tripled in size, increased research and development, achieved significant technological advancements and strengthened our position as the premier manufacturer and developer of Glycol chillers. We’re continuing to find new ways to advance our products in this evolving industry to ensure that G&D remains at the top of our game.” Reflecting on the G&D experience, Thomas adds, “We are committed to our customers. What makes us unique is our ability to move on the fly and make the changes and help tailor our products for our customers’ specific applications. We work through the entire process with the customer to build the unit that they want and that is competitively priced, and then we stand behind it after the sale and walk them through the install and maintenance for years to come. We believe that the best advertising is word of mouth. If we can make our customers happy and keep them happy, there is no better advertising than that. That is how we have grown and spread across the country.”
Thomas is proud of the company’s growth since 1993 and looks with excitement toward the future. “This past decade, we’ve experienced extraordinary growth and change here at G&D Chillers, thanks largely to our
benchmarks By Jaclyn Krymowski for American Dairymen
mong the most important assets a cow can provide to a farm is pregnancy. The value of a single pregnancy varies from farm to farm and has a host of contributing factors. It’s estimated at an average worth anywhere from $250 to over $500, depending on the markets and specific operation. Every day a cow is kept open past an established voluntary waiting period (VWP) her expense increases. The benchmarks a herd should aim for needs to be evaluated in a team effort involving farm owners and managers, veterinarians, and everyone involved in the breeding process. A handful of key reproduction analysis measures can be narrowed down to improve pregnancy success.
Where to look
The big a na ly se s to w atch include pregnancy rate (PR), and conception rate (CR) in both cows and heifers. Daughter pregnancy rate (DPR) is another measure of note is of ever increasing importance in many herds. To get an
idea of where your farm stands on each of these measures, it is a good practice to review the national and state breed-specific herd averages and understand what factors contribute to each. Pregnancy rate is determined either by the number of animals pregnant div ided by the total number of animals eligible for pregnancy within a specific time frame – usually each 21-day cycle – throughout the year. Another way this is calculated is by a herd’s total CR multiplied by the heat detection rate (HDR) or service rate (SR). “Eligible” cows or heifers refers to any animal that is open
past the established VWP and not marked as a “do not breed” animal. According to AgSource Dairy, the annual 2017 PR herd average out of 2509 Wisconsin Holstein herds was 18.1%. Herds in the 80th percentile were as high as 25% for mature cows. Jersey PR statistics were 21% for cows from 127 herds in the state; the 80th percentile was a 28%. Comparatively, heifer conception rates were 59.7% on average with the 80th percentile being 67%. Conception rate is calculated by the number of confirmed pregnant animals by the total number of inseminations. According to the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) the most recent national average from December 2017, calculated from over 200,000 Holstein cows born in 2015, is 59.7%. The calculation for Holstein heifer CR born in 2016 is 68.7%. For Jersey cows and heifers, the CR is 54.7% and 64.3% taken out * Continued on page 24
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from over 300,000 and 400,000 animals respectively. For a local compar ison, t he AgSource Wisconsin Holsteins herds averaged around the 57.5% with the 80th percentile being 64% for first lactation groups. Heifers averaged around a 60% CR with the 80th percentile being over 66%. The state Jersey herds averaged 63% in the first lactation and the upper percentile herds being as high as 75%. Heifers averaged at 59.7% and as a high as 67%. Many of the factors impacting CR and PR are directly linked to the breeding process, namely, these include fertility of the cow and semen used, time of insemination, and skill of the technician. Both analyses are highly accurate to get an idea of where a herd is standing because they draw their data from confirmed pregnancies. However, they require diligent record keeping and all services need to be recorded. Likewise, these benchmarks donâ€™t account for all fertility data. For example, only animals that are presented for A.I. are accounted for, pregnancy rates can be high, but fertility can be low because too few animals are being presented for service.
Heat detection rate, like the PR
equation, is the number of animals bred divided by the number of animals eligible for breeding, typically each 21-day cycle. This measurement is perhaps the greate st impac ted by ma nagement strategy. Without regular monitoring and recording, a herd with a poor HDR percentage can be difficult to pinpoint if heats are not being obser ved or animals are
Many of the factors impacting CR and PR are directly linked to the breeding process, namely, these include fertility of the cow and semen used, time of insemination, and skill of the technician. failing to cycle at all. For farms that donâ€™t use a form of electronic monitors to track heat detection, the service rate is typically used to measure HDR. Service rate is the proportion of cows eligible for service in a set period (again usually every 21-day period) that are bred. The minimum service or heat detection rate is usually suggested to be at least 60% but well-managed farms can be well above. In recent years there has been
more emphasis on sires with higher DPR to genetically improve overall fer tilit y. The DPR ca lculation currently used deviates slightly from the PR formula, as it is more technically accurate. The national Holstein cow averages from the CDCB was 36.2% taken from over 300,000 individual animals born in 2015. For Jerseys born in the same year, it was 38.1% out of over 50,000 individuals. For herds on DHI test, the PR, CR, and HDR report can be found on the DHI-202 Herd Summary for each test period and the last 12 months. In PCDART repor t 126-Pregnancy Rate Summary will calculate PR according to 21-day intervals or days in milk, the CR and HDR can be found on report 801. S o u r c e s : h t t p s : // w w w . d a i r y h e r d .c o m/a r t i c l e/m o n i tor-your-herds-pregnancy-rate h t t p s : // w w w . e x t e n s i o n . u m n . e d u /a g r i c u l t u r e /d a i r y/ reproduction-and-genetics/metrics-reproductive-performance/ index.html http://dairy.missouri. edu/reproduction/dairyreproductionmanual.pdf http://www.nadis.org.uk/bulletins/fer tilit y-in-dair y-herds/ part-8-measuring-fertility-benchmarking-your-farm.aspx
Partnering with Producers for Success
“Nothing is more precious than life…” Phileo Lesaffre Animal Care: Working at the Cross Roads of Nutrition and Health By Steve Weisman
onsumers are becoming more and more in tune with what they eat, where their food comes from and how it is grown. At the same time, farmers and ranchers are raising the bar in the agriculture production systems by providing larger quantities of healthful products through innovative food production practices and systems.
At the forefront of this agricultural evolution is Phileo Lesaffre Animal Care www.phileo-lesaffre.com the animal health and nutrition business unit of Lesaffre. Lesaffre is a family-owned business that was founded in northern France in 1853 with a philosophy that “Nothing is more precious than life”. Lesaffre is a global expert in the field of yeast and yeast extracts with a global presence in more than 70 countries with 63 production sites across the five continents. The Phileo team is working at the crossroads of nutrition and health and committed to delivering 26
ev idence-based solutions that enhance animal health and performance. Phileo provides nutritional solutions based on live yeasts, yeast
fractions (components, extracts, etc.) and mineral enriched yeast. Dr. Joe Ward, who is North American Project Manager, discusses the research that goes into these solutions. “The research and development team has spent years working to develop literally thousands of strains of yeast through yeast propagation and selection. The researchers and production teams grow live yeast tailored with a
specific outcome in mind to enhance animal health and performance. Yeast is grown and processed without using any drugs or harmful additives. The end result is that animals are healthy and perform well. Everything that is produced is manufactured to food grade standards and is ecologically safe for the environment and safe for humans.” Phileo is committed to help provide America’s producers with ev idence -based solut ions t hat enhance animal health and performance. By doing this, the goal is ultimately to better enhance the lives of people. Ward says, “Working at the crossroads of nutrition and animal health, the research and development team of microbiologists, engineers, nutritionists and veterinarians have proven that feeding animals our proprietary yeast products enhances many facets of animal health and performance.” The peer reviewed research and field studies have demonstrated the following: • Improvements in digestibility and bioavailability, for better feed conversion and performance • Cost-effective nutritional alternatives, providing substitutes for unsustainable or limited feed sources • Control of the risk associated with bacterial toxins and mycotoxins through binding and detoxification • En ha ncement of immune response and digestive health in preventive management • Reduction of pathogen pressure to help limit the risk of antibiotic resistance • Optimization of the physiological mechanisms against stress, to support animal health and performance. The Phileo research and development team has spent years working to select the right yeast strain, to process the yeast strain in a proper and consistent manner and to produce a consistent effective end product specifically selected for animals. Ward notes, “Our yeasts strains are selected and grown with a specific product use in mind that is based upon evidence-based research that demonstrates our products enhance www.americandairymen.com
animal health and performance. Our proprietary yeast strains are all grown and manufactured in food grade plants, safely without using any drugs or harmful additives.” The end result is that animals are healthy and perform well. Everything that is produced is ecologically safe for the environment and safe for humans. Every day, more than one billion people around the world consume food made with Lesaffre products. For livestock producers, four yeast products provide innovative solutions for a perfect integration into animal feed: ActiSaf is a thermostable live yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae concentrate produced in microspherical form that is compatible with liquid and solid feedstuffs. It is fed to dairy, beef and swine. Research has demonstrated that it lowers ruminal acidosis, while increasing average daily gain, feed efficiency and fiber digestibility. Procreatin 7 is a highly concentrated vermicelli form of proprietary Saccharomyces cerevisiae live yeast adapted for use in non-pelleted feed. Designed for dairy and beef cattle. SafMannan is a premium yeast
fraction rich in mannan-oligosaccharides and B-glucans (1,3 and 1,6). Saf Mannan is obtained by autoly si s of a pr opr ie t a r y strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae selected for specific life science traits that enhance animal health a nd p er for ma nc e. O u r batchto -batch consistenc y and high concentration in active ingredients allows SafMannan to achieve repeatable excellent performance in food producing animal diets. SelSaf 3000 is a natural source of highly bioavailable organic selenium and is obtained from a proprietary yeast strain of Saccharomyces cerev isiae, specially cultivated on medium enriched with sodium selenite which is bio-transformed into an organic selenium form by yeast cells.
The bottom line
Phileo Lesaffre Animal Care’s employees are truly working at the crossroads of nutrition and health. Ward says, “We are committed to evidence-based solutions of our proprietary yeast strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that are specifically selected for use in animal diets that enhance animal health and performance. After all, we truly do believe that ‘Nothing is more precious than life’.” For producers wanting to learn more about the products, contact your Phileo Lesaffre Animal Care representative or go to the company’s website at www.phileo-lesaffre.com.
Progress Takes Planning “Success in any area of life takes
planning and raising cattle is no exception.” By Aly McClure
comes nutrition, they walk hand in hand with each other. A healthy cow is a properly fed cow, an easier to breed cow, and a better-transitioning cow from wet to dry. As is well known that a cow can experience a shortage of nutrients during the beginning of a lactation cycle, it is the problem in the front end. Your very important to keep high quality investment, time and financial, and well-balanced feed ration in should be on the animals that have front of her to keep her producing the best chance of success.” Setting the best quality of milk possible. up and following a vaccination As any dairyman can tell you, protocol including parameters like you can learn a lot from an animal’s Mc C lu r e me n manure, which is t i o n e d g i v e s To keep your animals a direct reflection you a baseline safe and happy you of the feed they are scale to evaluate must keep up with consuming. A re animals on and the demands of your they receiving the ma ke ef fec t ive property. proper nutrients? decisions for the Are they drinking future of your herd. enough water? Is there to much Along the lines of animal health grain and not enough forage? Just
n any area of life, your success depends on foresight and planning, raising cattle is no different. You have to go through and not only have goals but a feasible action plan to attain them. Managing a herd of dairy cattle requires yearly and lifetime actions covering everything from health to property maintenance - they all affect your animals. To start with your best foot forward calf health is a crucial cornerstone in your herds future. Every animal starts as a calf. Talking with facility manager, T.J. McClure – of Circle Heifer Development in Garden City, KS – “Good heifer health begins with good calf health. When a calf is doctored more than two times before six months of age that calf should be culled from the herd. Beyond that point the animal is very likely to be sickly it’s entire life and cost you more money in the long run than if you take care of
* Continued on page 32
by paying attention to the excrements of a dairy animal you can make adjustments that will positively affect your entire herd and catch sickness before it becomes detrimental. An unbalanced diet can cause an increased risk of lower milk production and unsustainable weight loss. A breeding program protocol is an excellent way not only to keep spending in check but also keep your herd in a rotation that keeps your milk production steady throughout the year. Each dairy will have different goals and ideas of what their program needs to look like but the end goal is milk production, and in order to produce milk you have to first produce a calf. In many instances it can make sense for a dairy to outsource their heifer development but, they will still need to oversee cow rebreeding. Using Artificial Insemination with timed heat cycles rather than bull breeding offers many benefits including, consistent and accurate breedingâ€™s, lower disease risk, and less danger on your facility. A.I. can also be easier to manage as you have more control over the process. But the control also brings with it a greater need for organization and timed accuracy. Facility maintenance is just as important to the health of your heard as vaccinations and a nutrition program. A clean, well-ventilated barn or pen will keep animals dry, healthy and producing quality milk. Whether you are using barns with free stalls or large outdoor pens, your number one goal would be for the cows to remain dry and warm, or cool depending on the season. You cannot disinfect filth, so make sure that your parlor and pens are being regularly cleaned and disinfected. Applying a layer of disinfectant wonâ€™t do anything if the base is filthy. By creating systems and protocols throughout your entire process, you are developing efficiency that will pay you dividends in your milk production. Efficiency is a multifaceted word that can mean both quicker work and money saved. I think we can all use a little more of both of those. As you go into this spring and summer season make it your goal to find at least one area you can improve on and use this as your cornerstone to continually build upon your operation for a successful future and visible progress. 32
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