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We’ve all heard the statement, “genetics don’t matter without first creating a pregnancy.”
This insightful truth has shifted our global breeding strategy to a stronger focus on fertility. When improved fertility is one of your ultimate goals, you can use genetics to help get you there – both now and into the future.
While certainly not a new concept, inbreeding has become a hot topic in recent years. Producer concern is on the rise over whether genomics is creating too much inbreeding in the dairy cattle population. The worry is that there will soon be limited options to which a herd can be bred to avoid negative effects of inbreeding.> Read more
Assessing appropriate iron levels in drinking water for cows
When given access to drinking water, lactating dairy cows can handle iron (Fe) concentrations of up to 4 parts per million (ppm) without decreasing the amount of water they consume, according to results of a recent study entitled, “Preference and drinking behavior of lactating dairy cows offered water with different concentrations, valences and sources of iron.”
Breeding & Genetics
There are several ways to get heifers bred quickly after they move into the breeding pen.
Ultrasound use has been a popular diagnostic tool for detecting early pregnancies, but the true benefit to reproduction comes from identifying open cows even sooner. A skilled ultrasonographer can identify a fetus and a heartbeat within 26 days of gestation.
Suboptimal reproductive performance leads to extended days open, increased culling due to reproductive failure, and decreased milk yield.
What are some of the risk factors for postpartum cows to be anovular (non-cycling) for a prolonged length of time? Researchers at the University of Guelph set out to find some answers using data from 2,178 Holstein cows in six commercial herds.
?The recent hot and dry spell is putting pressure on dairy cows and
grass growth as many herds are starting to see yields affected.
A new teat seal which is proven to dramatically reduce mastitis in
the 100 days post calving could deliver returns on investment of up
It's mid-June and the crops are on the whole looking well. Spring
barley and the wheat at home got a coating of slurry. This is
usually a time-consuming job with the slurry tanker, but this year
it was done in two days by a contractor with an ...
A third case of case of Schmallenberg Virus (SBV) has been
confirmed in Scotland. The latest case involved a homebred heifer
calf on a farm north of Aberdeen which was found to have
deformities typical of Schmallenberg and tested positive for the
Feed & Nutrition
Over the last few decades, ration balancing tools and product development technologies have improved exponentially. We also have a greater understanding of the cow's biology and dietary needs.
This understanding has led to simple, yet highly effective, nutritional products that enhance animal performance – rumen buffers, protected fats and yeast derivatives – merely being added on top of the existing diet.
These products are known as "feed additives." But what about more complex product technologies such as rumen-protected amino acids?
A New York state dairy noticed that its heifers were falling short of the herd's growth goals. The farm owner called in the herd's nutritionist to see how they could get things back on track to ensure heifers entered the lactating herd in a timely fashion.
Why is this an issue? Every month that calving is delayed beyond the 22-month target costs the dairy about $100 per animal because of lost production and fewer days of productive life.
New research shows that when calves on a higher plane of nutrition were fed three times a day instead of two, they had a much better chance of entering lactation than calves fed twice a day.
Management & Economics
WHILE farmgate milk prices increased by an average 5 per cent during the 2010/11 milk year, the commodity markets indicator, AMPE, showed a 31 per cent rise.