2019 Rewind: Dairy Herd Management Cover Stories
2019 Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year: Foster Brothers Farms
Foster Brothers Farms has a long and storied history of innovation, diversification and sustainability on the nearly 2,000 acres it operates near Middlebury, Vt.
The farm dates back to the 1930s, when it was founded by George and Luella Chaffee. After a devastating fire in 1957, their grandsons, Howard, Ben and George and their spouses, built a drive-through single story barn and herringbone parlor. Then, as their sons came back to the farm, they built a freestall barn with a double-eight parlor in 1964 and formed a C Corporation to manage the farm in 1971. Their four sons, Robert, Jim, George Jr. and Theodore (now retired) grew the business, updating the dairy facility in 1972. Full story.
Have You Done A Genetic Herd Audit?
If you have never done a genetic audit on your herd, you’re missing an important opportunity to evaluate the genetic level of your herd—and the diversity of genetic expression within your herd.
More importantly, in a commodity-driven business like dairy, a genetic audit will give you an idea of whether you are keeping pace. Full story.
They Haven’t Used a Lactation Tube in 68 Months–and Counting
Jordan Matthews and his milking crew at Rosy-Lane Holsteins have not used a lactation tube of antibiotics in the milking herd to treat mastitis for 68 months and counting.
That’s quite a feat, considering Rosy-Lane milks 950 cows 3X with an average production of 99 lb. of fat- and protein-corrected milk per cow per day. Total herd size is 1,100. Rosy-Lane is owned and managed by Matthews, Lloyd and Daphne Holterman and Tim Strobel, and is located near Watertown, Wis., which is just east of Madison. Full story.
Smart Ventilation Systems Make Cows Comfortable
You can feel it when you stand inside the new free stall barn at Kieler Farms, just outside of Platteville, Wis. It’s not really a breeze, but you can feel the air move.“We’re at about 1 mph,” says Matt Clark, who manages the barn. “We’re at about 25 degrees today so we don’t need much air movement. In the summer we can get between 7 to 10 mph.”
Moving the air inside a freestall barn is important, especially for the Kielers’ dairy where the barn holds 1,700 cows. Air movement equals cow comfort. Full story.
Four Steps to a Higher Fat Test
A high component price means it’s more important than ever for dairy producers to make sure their cows are producing as much fat as possible. It appears producers are responding. Full story.
Technology Is Cutting Animal Health Costs
A wise herdsman once explained that if you listen to cows long enough they’ll tell you what they want. When it comes to managing herd health, some producers are finding out that activity monitoring is helping cows do the talking. Full story.
Shiny New Tools Await Visitors To World Dairy Expo Trade Show
Dairy producers are increasingly turning to apps on their mobile devices to step up their management game. Here’s a look at some of the new apps being offered by exhibitors in the World Dairy Expo Trade Show. Full story.
This Dairy Manages the Three Legged Stool of Sustainability
Sustainability has been important to farmers ever since consumers decided they wanted to buy products from companies that met certain criteria. They valued companies that took care of the environment, valued their employees, gave back to their communities and other positive attributes. Full story.
The Rise of the Robots
Much has changed since the days when most cows were milked in small tiestall barns with bucket milkers and step savers. Milking in those barns was back-breaking, knee-grinding work. Expansion was next to impossible, which meant producers couldn’t afford to hire help and had to be in the barn a minimum of twice a day, 365 days per year. While there are still some farmers that prefer tiestall barns, which are much more progressive than they were back then, most farms moved toward parlors in the name of efficiency and expansion. Today, the majority of cows in the U.S. are milked in technology-rich parlors and a growing number, roughly 5%, are milked with robots. Full story.
A Solid Start – How Efficient, Well-Designed Facilities Improve Calf Care
After outgrowing their calf facilities, Heidi Fischer and the team at Fischer-Clark Dairy Farm Inc. in Hatley, Wis., set about deciding what their ideal facility would look like. They’re not alone. In fact, we recently asked readers the one thing they would change about their farm and an over- whelming majority said calf and heifer facilities would be at the top of the list. Full story.
Thu, 12/19/2019 – 16:17
2019 Cover Stories
Taylor Leach – Spark
Source: Dairy Herd