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Progressive Dairy Industry Happenings: February 25, 2021

Published on 24 February 2021

Progressive Dairy provides updates on dairy-related organizations and companies, compiled from staff news sources and industry press releases. Email industry and organization news to Progressive Dairy Editor Jenna Hurty.

Business Digest Highlights



New product and services

Taking preservative application to a new level

A new preservative application for large square balers has been introduced as the innovative 700 Series applicator from Harvest Tec. The new technology makes the process of applying preservative easier and more efficient, and has the capacity to match the speed and higher production of today’s large square balers. The series achieves greater reliability from engineered simplicity, fewer components and less maintenance.

The system monitors hay moisture with two star wheel sensors at the bale chamber entrance. The sensors use conductivity to read levels through the entire bale from 5% to 70%. Based on predetermined application rates set by the operator, the system’s control module activates a single bypass pump that supplies constant pressure to dual pulsating solenoids for instant response to changing moisture levels, controlling rates from 24 to 800 pounds per hour.

Baler operators can observe the continually changing moisture levels on their choice of monitoring device. Information displayed includes current moisture levels, the reading of the last bale, amount of preservative being applied as well as the target rate, the average amount of preservative used and the total amount for the job being done. It also shows the current baling rate and the number of bales made. Job records contain additional information, including the average moisture for the field and the total tonnage baled.

For more information, contact your dealer, visit Harvest Tec. or call (800) 635-7468.


EZ Step Products designed for farmers and ranchers

EZ Step Products is a post support system designed for farmers and ranchers.

EZ Step-In Post is patented, customizable, made in the U.S. and sturdy. Use it for fencing, livestock containment, plant support, trail marking and a multitude of other applications. Two 45-degree cutting edges penetrate the terrain, while the 4-inch anchor platform makes it easy to step the post into the ground, keeping the post from tipping over or rotating in the ground. Unlike traditional post support systems, this post does not require digging, hammering or pounding.

Heavy-duty EZ Ring, made of military grade polymer with UV-stabilizer, attaches to the company’s step-in post or your existing post support (between 3/8-inch and 3/4-inch in diameter). An adjustable D-lock design secures the ring in place.

Visit EZ Step Products for more information.

Industry news

Organic Valley to pioneer use of satellite technology to improve pasture grazing


Organic Valley is launching a pilot program that uses satellite photography to measure pasture health on its dairy farms, providing its farmers with nearly real-time feedback every week to support dairy herd nutrition, protect and improve their pastures, and benefit the environment.

“Rotational grazing requires farmers to measure the forage in each paddock on a regular basis, a manual and time-intensive practice,” said Wade Miller, Organic Valley senior director of farm resources. “Satellite photos measure the forage in each paddock remotely, greatly easing the farmer’s labor and time burden. Based on university trials, we expect our farmers will be able to capture at least a 20 percent increase in pasture utilization through the use of this technology.”

“Through this pilot program, we will test the technology on a cross-section of farms nationwide in 2021, and will make it available to all Organic Valley farms in 2022,” Miller added.

Visit Organic Valley for more information.

Ahlgren Dairy awarded Form-A-Feed Outstanding Dairy Award

Ahlgren Dairy of Darwin, Minnesota, was awarded the 2020 Form-A-Feed Outstanding Dairy of the Year Award at the Form-A-Feed Professional Dairy Conference, which was held virtually on Jan. 14, 2021.

The Ahlgren family consists of the owners, Rick and Sarah, and their children. Rick and Sarah Ahlgren are the fourth generation in their family to farm. Rick’s father, David, and two of Rick’s uncles operated Ahlgren Brothers Inc. from 1982 to 2018. They milked around 170 cows in a double-12 parlor with a freestall barn. Rick and Sarah moved to the farm in 2013. In 2017, Rick’s father was killed in a farm accident. In 2018, Rick and Sarah purchased the dairy assets from Ahlgren Brothers Inc. and started Ahlgren Dairy LLC. In 2019, the Ahlgrens started construction of a new freestall barn equipped with three milking robots, three robotic manure collectors and a robotic feeding system.

The Ahlgrens are active in their church and community, including partnering with Midwest Dairy to purchase a cooler to be used for dairy products at the Meeker County Food Shelf.

The Ahlgrens welcome visitors on their dairy to educate consumers, in-person and virtually. They have hosted many tours on their farm, and in December, they put on a live Christmas nativity for the community. They also hosted an online tour of their robotic dairy barn for over 1,000 students, where they were able to answer students’ questions about where milk and dairy products come from. The Ahlgrens were also involved in a dairy promotion ad called “Nourishing What’s Next” with U.S. Olympian Morolake Akinosun. It has over 793,000 views on Facebook alone. Ahlgren Dairy is active on social media, including a YouTube channel with a goal of educating the public about dairy farming.

This year, the Ahlgrens chose the Dassel Fire & Rescue Department for the Wayne Quinn Award to help purchase a new grain bin rescue system.

‘Dairyman’s dairyman’ Gaylord Joe Lyon passes away

Gaylord Joe Lyon, 92, of Toledo, Iowa, passed away Jan. 22, 2021. The family is planning a celebration of life at a later date. An eminent dairy industry leader, Joe was born on Nov. 10, 1928 in Toledo.

Joe has been called a “dairyman’s dairyman,” active in many dairy industry organizations, including being appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the only Democrat on the inaugural National Dairy Board in early 1984. But Joe was usually found, daily, milking his own cows.

Joe used this notoriety to embark on a lifelong passion of reforming the existing farm milk pricing system. His advocacy was instrumental in finally getting “end product pricing” installed throughout the entire federal milk pricing system. His lifetime of leadership on cooperative boards led the Iowa Institute for Cooperatives to install Joe into their Hall of Fame in 2015.

Organization news

Updates made to JerseyMate to recognize newly identified JNS matings and improve inbreeding calculations

The American Jersey Cattle Association’s comprehensive mating program, JerseyMate, recently had three major updates incorporated. The program now accounts for the risk of a JNS mating, incorporates both genomic and pedigree inbreeding levels, and has added a minimum constraint to indicate the minimum number of units to be used from the breeder’s semen inventory when selecting bulls to use.

With the discovery of the undesirable genetic factor JNS in 2020, updates were made to eliminate matings of designated JNS carrier bulls to designated JNS carrier females. In addition, the program now discounts the potential matings by accounting for the probability of a lost calf when two copies of the JNS haplotype are inherited.

In the latest version, the Genomic Inbreeding of potential calves is now being used when both the sire and dam are genotyped. With the second modification, the impact of inbreeding on the PTAs of genetic evaluations of the parents is removed before matings are made. The inbreeding of the potential calf rather than an estimate of the population is used, allowing the Parent Average of the resulting calves to reflect the impact of inbreeding.

One of the latest improvements is the ability to set both maximums and minimums for usage, helping to manage semen inventory on the farm.

Visit InfoJersey for more information.

NMC honors 46 dairies in National Dairy Quality Awards program

National Mastitis Council (NMC) recognized the U.S. dairy industry’s “elite” for producing quality milk at its Jan. 27 virtual National Dairy Quality Awards (NDQA) program, held in conjunction with the NMC 60th Annual Meeting. Six dairies earned a Platinum Award – Blue Star Dairy Middleton LLC, Middleton, Wisconsin; Christop Dairy, Shiocton, Wisconsin; Country Aire Farms, Kaukauna, Wisconsin; Riverside Dairy LLC, Reedsville, Wisconsin; University of Wisconsin Marshfield Agricultural Research Station, Stratford, Wisconsin; and Wilson Centennial Farm LLC, Carson City, Michigan.

NMC honors Gary Neubauer as 2021 Award of Excellence recipient

Gary Neubauer, New Ulm, Minnesota, received the National Mastitis Council’s (NMC) Award of Excellence for Contribution to Mastitis Prevention and Control. The 2015 NMC president, Neubauer retired last year from Zoetis after a distinguished career.

Neubauer earned two bachelor’s degrees and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota. For 16 years, he worked as an owner and partner at the Nicollet-New Ulm Veterinary Clinic, New Ulm, Minnesota. Neubauer joined Pharmacia Animal Health in 1994 as a dairy technical services consultant. From 2003-13, he served as a Pfizer Animal Health senior manager, dairy technical services. Neubauer transitioned to Zoetis in 2013, again serving as a senior manager, dairy technical services.

For 10 years, Neubauer served on the NMC board of directors. Plus, he chaired the NMC National Residue Avoidance Committee (2002-07). Neubauer also served on the American Association of Bovine Practitioners milk quality committee, Minnesota Milk Producers advisory board, Minnesota Department of Agriculture antibiotics working group, University of Wisconsin milk quality resources advisory council, University of Minnesota Veterinary College dean’s advisory council, Ridgewater College dairy advisory board, Elanco Pharmaceutical dairy advisory board, Pfizer technical services supplementary support group and South Central Technical College ag advisory board. In 1992-93, he led the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association as president. Neubauer received the Minnesota Veterinarian of the Year honor in 2000. end mark