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Peruse practical information for the dairy producer on essential topics including management, A.I. and breeding, new technology, and feed and nutrition.

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If you raise cattle, you likely know about and have dealt with dystocia or calving difficulty. How dystocia is scored and assessed can prove quite variable.

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Each day, the cows at Second-Look Holsteins are served up a hefty helping of corn silage, and they have yet to miss the haylage that used to be a part of their meal.

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Dairy cows that become pregnant within a reasonable time frame produce more milk over their lifetime and are less likely to be culled from the herd. Thus, the goal is to have as many cows pregnant as possible by the time they are less than 150 days in milk.

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Cow comfort is often listed as one of the most important aspects associated with getting dairy cows to milk to their genetic potential economically. Cow comfort involves not only providing a comfortable resting place and surface for cows, but also providing for proper ventilation within the facility to minimize heat stress, prevent condensation of moisture and allow for good air quality (i.e., low ammonia concentrations).

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The sole on a cow’s claw protects it from outside harm, similar to the sole of a shoe on a human foot. Having thin soles is similar to wearing thin or worn shoe soles in that the feet are more vulnerable to ground surfaces when they lack that extra layer of protection. Since cows are on their feet for extended periods, excessive sole wear, linked with over trimming of claws, can lead to significant complications in everyday activities, as well as dips in production.

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Most farms recognize the benefit of meeting to discuss issues facing the farm. But it can be hard to see the value of doing this regularly before things blow up. Editor Walt Cooley talks with farm family decision consultant Andy Junkin about how to start meeting regularly and keep farm meetings on track and productive.

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