Current Progressive Dairyman digital edition
  • Clean water membrane technology
    Membrane technology to address excess water problem on Washington dairy Read More
  • Cow at the feedbunk
    4 tips for winter hoof care Read More
  • Example Midwest dairy herd
    Calculating cost of production: Identify opportunities Read More
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  • Use a planned approach to bring even greater precision to strategic breeding.

    Strategic breeding plans are commonplace among commercial herds. Producers are considering their future goals and breeding different groups of animals to specific types of semen to create the most profitable breeding plan. Beef semen, conventional dairy semen and sexed dairy semen are among the options. Before leaping into a strategic breeding plan, however, it’s important to strategize so the results meet the goals.

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  • Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a national dairy marketing cooperative owned by more than 14,000 members on nearly 8,000 farms in 48 states, held its 21st annual meeting, March 18-20, in Kansas City, Missouri. The theme for this year’s meeting was “One Cooperative. One Planet. One Community.” — highlighting how DFA is working together with others with a link to dairy to protect the environment and nourish families around the world.

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  • The USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) is catching up on reports delayed due to the partial government shutdown earlier this year, releasing January and February 2019 milk production reports within a week of each other on March 12 and 19, respectively. There’s the potential for improved prices based on those numbers, according to Bob Cropp, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

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  • Although federal dairy safety net programs have been strengthened, efforts to change dairy policy affecting milk pricing and production have not ended. After a hard winter saw a high number of dairy farm exits, policy meetings and proposals are emerging this spring. 

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  • In recent years, many U.S. producers have adopted use of a custom index. This index is used for sire selection or sorting females for culling or strategic breeding programs. These custom indexes are used in place of standard selection indexes such as Net Merit (NM$), Cheese Merit or breed-specific indexes (TPI, JPI, etc.).

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  • There is a widespread misconception that dairies must wait to see financial returns from genomic testing – that cash-strapped dairies can’t justify the investment for potential long-term gains. A close look at the numbers produced from a carefully considered genomic testing plan tells a different story – one of increased efficiency and more immediate returns. But how?

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  • In another installment of Penn State Extension’s Dairy Grazing Management Guide webinar series, University of New Hampshire professor, extension educator and veterinarian Andre Brito discussed the growing popularity of supplementing kelp to cows in pasture-based systems, both organic and conventional.

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