Economic Benchmarks for Dairies: Eight Rules You Cannot Break
Gary Sipiorski, Vita Plus
There are many financial benchmarks and ratios a lender will use to evaluate a dairy farm’s financial position and progress. During this webinar on October 7, 2013, Gary sorted out and discussed 8 key items that are critical for a dairy producer to monitor.
Financial Outlook for the Dairy Industry
DAIReXNET hosted its second webinar on November 10, 2008. The topics discussed in the webinar were “Financial Outlook for Dairy” and “Managing through Turbulent Times.”
Human Resource Management: Being a Boss or Building Relationships
Bob Milligan, Dairy Strategies
On October 20, 2011 Dr. Bob Milligan, Cornell University Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management Professor Emeritus and Senior Consultant at Dairy Strategies, LLC, introduced the audience to the current thinking in human resource management. Current research substantiates that great leaders and supervisors focus on relationship building, communication, clarity and feedback rather than command and control.
Public Perception of Dairy Farms
Held on October 12, 2010, this webinar included success stories of how extension educators have organized programs to educate the public, how they have used media/social media successfully, and how producers have reached out to communities.
Breakfast on the Farm
Faith discussed how MSU Extension has developed a statewide program to address bridging the gap between the producer and the public via educational farm tours entitled “Breakfast on the Farm.” She also talked about some strategies for successfully hosting an educational event with large crowds on a working farm.
Connecting with Your Community
Darin discussed his efforts to engage and educate the local community about his family's heifer raising operation.
Reaching Out Through Social Media
Andy, an extension educator for The Ohio State University, discussed his use of social media in reaching out to the public.
Critical Economic Decisions when Raising Heifers
Jason Karszes, Cornell University
ON December 16, 2013 Jason Karszes discussed some key items every dairy farmer should consider in heifer raising. He covered the costs involved, factors that influence those costs, the economic impact of the replacement program on the dairy farm's performance, and several other factors to consider in a replacement program.
Feeding Systems for Group-Housed Dairy Calves
Dr. Mark Thomas, Countryside Veterinary Clinic
Nutrition is a vital part of calf health and development, and making sure that calves get the nutrients they need in an efficient manner is an important job! In this session held on December 7, 2012, Dr. Thomas reviewed feeding systems for dairy calves in a group-housed setting. Watch this recording to learn about how to optimize nutrition, some practical concepts for ad libitum, acidified group feeding, to see comparisons of other available systems, and for a review of possible health benefits and challenges of feeding calves in a group setting.
Optimizing Facilities for Transition Cow Success
During this session conducted on December 14th, 2010, Ken Nordlund reviewed field studies using Transition Cow Index (TCI) that suggest that limitations in housing are the primary risk factors for transition cow problems in freestall dairy herds.
View the recorded webinar here.
View and download Ken Nordlund's PowerPoint presentation.
Potential and Pitfalls for Genomic Selection
Dr. Chad Dechow, Pennsylvania State University
In this session held on January 14, 2013 Dr. Dechow reviewed genomic technology and implementation, comparisons of early genomic predictions to actual daughter proofs, a discussion of inbreeding, and how genomics can be used as a herd management tool.
Animal Welfare Certification Options
Dr. Jim Reynolds, Western University
In this session on February 8th, 2012, Dr. Reynolds, Professor of Large Animal Medicine and Welfare at Western University College of Veterinary Medicine, discussed current options in animal welfare certification. he also covered the value of certification and how to determine if you should become part of one of these programs.
Appropriate Drug Use and Residue Avoidance Practices
Dr. Michael Apley, Kansas State University
Dr. Craig Shultz, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
On November 10, 2011 Drs. Apley and Shultz discussed the why and how of drug residue avoidance, as well as appropriate usage of medications on dairy farms.
Here is an example record sheet for recording treatments given to cattle.
Basic Vaccinology: Why Vaccines Work or Don't Work
Dr. Dan Grooms, Michigan State University
Vaccines are a vital part of maintaining the health and well-being of a dairy herd, but have you ever wondered about what makes them work? On January 14, 2014 Dr. Grooms covered some of the basics of vaccinology. He included basic immunology and how vaccines work, as well as the different types of vaccines and important considerations for designing and implementing a vaccine program for your farm.
Can I Really Prevent My Cows from Becoming Lame?
Dr. Ernest Hovingh, Pennsylvania State University
Lameness is a painful, costly, common and complex problem - a problem with which too many dairies struggle. Dealing with a lameness problem not only involves identifying and dealing with lame cows in the herd, but trying to prevent new cases from occurring in the first place. This webinar, held on October 8, 2012, focused on a number of best management practices that farms can utilize to try to minimize the number of cows that become lame - even when milk prices and profit margins are low.
Far Off to Fresh Cow – Opportunities to Improve Transition Performance
Dr. Mike Overton, Elanco
A successful lactation starts well before calving. Going back to the completion of her previous lactation and entry into the far dry cow pen, how we manage and feed the cow well before she approaches calving contributes to the likelihood of her achieving a high level of milk production and conceiving in a timely manner. In this presentation held on March 18, 2013 Dr. Overton walked through the opportunities and challenges in the far dry, close-up, and fresh pen, including nutritional and housing management, and discuss a few of the key monitoring approaches for evaluating performance.
Lameness, Hoof, and Leg Issues in Dairy Cattle
Dr. Ernest Hovingh, Pennsylvania State University
During this webinar on January 12, 2012, Dr. Hovingh discussed some of the main causes of lameness and reviewed some ways to prevent production & well-being concerns.
Outcome Driven Health Management
Dr. John R. Wenz, Washington State University
The goal of the “Good Health Records” program at Washington State University (www.goodhealthrecords.com) is: Accurate and consistent health records, efficiently summarized, used to evaluate and inform management decisions on all dairies. "Good records" have long been recognized as a cornerstone of successful animal husbandry and are becoming increasingly important in the dairy industry as the size of herds has grown. However, industry-wide standards for recording and evaluating health data don't exist. View this webinar from March 5, 2013 to learn how to achieve truly “good” health records and use them to make health management decisions based on hard evidence (outcomes) from the cows rather than perceptions of people.
Cooling Strategies During Heat Stress
Dr. Pete Hansen, University of Florida
Cooling dairy cows is the most important strategy to improve both milk production and reproduction during summer months. During this session held on April 23, 2013, Dr. Hansen discussed opportunities that dairy farms can utilize to evaluate the effect of heat stress on their dairies. He also covered various environmental modifications that can be employed to improve cow performance.
Economics of Heat Stress: Implications for Management
Dr. Albert DeVries, University of Florida.
Heat stress costs the American dairy industry approximately 1 billion dollars annually in production losses. In this session held on April 9, 2012, Dr. Albert DeVries discussed the economic consequences of employing various strategies to reduce the effects of heat stress and how this affects the dairy farm’s profitability. Novel economic evaluation and approaches were discussed to educate producers on cost effective strategies to improve summer fertility.
Nutrition Programs for the Heat Stressed Herd
Dr. Jose Santos, University of Florida
Proper dietary programs are essential to cow health and performance during heat stress. Understanding what dietary changes can be made prior to and during summer heat stress are important for assisting thermoregulatory mechanisms of our modern high producing lactating dairy cows to aid in reducing the negative effects of heat stress. During this session held on March 19, 2012 nutritional changes were presented for producers and consultants to make informed decisions on the proper dietary changes necessary to reduce the severity of summer heat stress.
Strategies to Improve Reproduction During Summer Heat Stress
Dr. Todd Bilby, Texas A&M
Reproductive failure is the number one reason dairy cows involuntarily leave the dairy farm and summer heat stress exemplifies this costly issue. However, managerial, hormonal and novel reproductive technologies are available for producers to utilize which will reduce the severity of summer heat stress on reproduction. The various strategies were presented in detail on March 5, 2012 to educate both producers and consultants to be able to implement reproductive program changes to subside summer’s negative effects.
Better Milk Quality from Better Mastitis Therapy Decisions
Dr. Ron Erskine, Michigan State University
Mastitis is one of the biggest chronic problems facing the dairy industry- it is ever present. In this session from February 12, 2013, Dr. Ron Erskine discussed how to better identify cases of mastitis through tools such as milk culturing, somatic cell count records, and treatment records.
Managing Somatic Cell Counts
This webinar, conducted on November 11, 2010, deals with somatic cell counts: a brief overview of SCC, methods for identifying trouble areas and problems cows, ways to reduce SCC, and changes in acceptable bulk tank SCC.
An Introduction to Somatic Cells
Origin of somatic cells and the importance of a cow’s immunity
How to Control Mastitis and Lower Herd Milk Somatic Cell Count
Keys in prevention of mastitis and practices to lower and maintain lowered SCC.
Using Records for High SCC and Mastitis Problem-Solving
Learn to use records to identify herd mastitis trends, herd SCC trends, and individual problem cows to improve udder health and milk quality.
View the recorded webinar here.
View and download Ron Erskine's PowerPoint presentation.
View and download Larry Fox's PowerPoint presentation.
View and download Jeff Reneau's PowerPoint presentation.
Milking System Design and Analysis
Roger Thomson, DVM, Milk Quality Consultant
The milking system is the heart of any dairy operation, and requires a lot of consideration! On April 7, 2014 Dr. Thomson discussed the design and analysis of a milking system, including some reasons a producer might consider changing the milking system, frequency of evaluation, and basic system design. He also covered regular maintenance concerns and discussed the National Mastitis Council's analysis fundamentals and goals.
Impact on Air Quality and Climate Change- Where the Dairy Industry Stands
During this session held on April 4, 2011 Dr. Frank Mitloehner discussed the most recent scientific findings as they relate to the impacts of dairy industry on environmental quality. He also summarized recent national and regional efforts to quantify and mitigate emissions, as well as the latest developments in the area of dairies and air quality regulation and litigation. John Fiscalini, a California dairy producer, discussed the more practical aspects of these issues.
View the recorded webinar.
View and download Frank Mitloehner's PowerPoint presentation.
View and download John Fiscalini's PowerPoint presentation.
How Low Can We Go: Nitrogen in Dairy Rations
Mike Van Amburgh
On March 7, 2011 Dr. Mike Van Amburgh of Cornell University discussed how low we can formulate dairy rations for nitrogen, and what this means for the cost of the ration and for environmental impact. We also heard from Mike McMahon, a dairy producer, on the practical side of on-farm nitrogen management.
View the recorded webinar.
View and download Mike Van Amburgh's PowerPoint presentation.
View and download Mike McMahon's PowerPoint presentation.
Precision Phosphorus Feeding for Dairy Farms
During this session on February 7th, 2011, Katharine Knowlton of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and Jimmy Huffard, a dairy producer in Virginia, discussed recent research into phosphorus requirements for dairy cattle, the bioavailability of different phosphorus sources, and how these impact the dairy farm and the environment.
View the recorded webinar.
View and download the PowerPoint file here.
Diagnosing Problems in Nutrition Programs Through Records
Dr. Greg Bethard, North Carolina State University
There are numerous points in a nutrition program where problems may arise, especially when you're dealing with transition cows. In this webinar held on November 20, 2012, you can learn how to use records to track performance of transition and early lactation cows to diagnose problems in your nutrition program.
Discovering Hidden Feed Costs for the Milking Herd
Dr. Micheal Brouk, Kansas State University
Unsure of where your dairy's feeding program might be leaking money? On November 7, 2013, Dr. Brouk discussed how you can do a little detective work to identify some common sources of unseen feed costs in a dairy herd. Just a few areas he covered included commodity shrink, mixer errors, refusals, and expense of inventory.
Handling High Commodity Prices
Normand St-Pierre, The Ohio State University
On September 14, 2011 Dr. St-Pierre discussed how to control feed costs using various methods. These methods include: getting the full value of forage crops, purchasing ingredients that are favorably priced, inventory management, producing things that you are being paid for, managing the herd structure, cow grouping, and feed additives.
Forage Fermentation: How to Make Good Silage
Limin Kung, University of Delaware
With so many variables affecting the quality of silage, it can be difficult to manage the fermentation process to produce an optimal feed. On February 17, 2014 Dr. Kung covered the general factors which affect forage quality, the basic types of silage fermentation, factors that affect fermentation and silage stability, and some management practices to help in attaining high feeding value.
Managing TMR Variability
Dr. Tom Oelberg, Diamond V
In this session held on December 5, 2011 Dr. Tom Oelberg discussed managing TMR variability through the use of TMR audits. He covered what a TMR audit is, as well as factors that affect TMR consistency such as bunker face management, overfilling, under-processing of hay, improper loading of liquid supplements, worn equipment, and under-mixing.
Surviving High Feed Cost
DAIReXNET hosted our first webinar on "Surviving High Feed Cost" for producers and allied industry on August 18, 2008. The topics that were discussed in the webinar were:
Dairy Reproduction: Identifying Problems and Solutions for Your Herd
Ray Nebel, Select Sires
Many dairies experience difficulty in their reproduction programs, and a wide range of factors can affect reproductive success in a herd. In this session on March 17, 2014, Ray Nebel took a look at some of the factors that affect reproduction on dairies, including labor, nutrition, environment, and the cow herself. He also discussed how you can find and fix problems that could be affecting the success of your reproduction program.
Economic Analysis Tools for Dairy Reproduction Programs
Dr. Victor Cabrera, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Drs. Cabrera and Fricke of the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed some new economic analysis tools for dairy reproduction programs. During this session held on April 8, 2013, Dr. Cabrera discussed three main decision support systems, including the UW-DairyRepro$Plus and the Dairy Reproductive Economic Analysis. These tools are openly available at http://dairymgt.info/tools.php under the Reproduction heading.
New Tools for Dairy Reproduction Programs
Dr. Paul Fricke, University of Wisconsin-Madison
On April 22, 2013, Dr. Fricke covered two areas of reproductive research that have investigated new tools for reproduction and conclude each with an economic analysis of the data. The first new tool will be the use of accelerometer systems combined with various levels of synchronization for submitting cows for first AI service. The second tool will be new methods for nonpregnancy diagnosis coupled with strategies for resynchronization of ovulation.