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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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Pasture is the primary source of forage for grazing dairies. In the northern U.S., this requirement is typically met by a May-to-October grazing season, and profitability depends on pastures that provide a uniform, season-long supply of high-quality forage. However, in the northern U.S., seasonal variation in temperature and precipitation creates a challenge, as the predominant forage plants, which include perennial grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass and smooth bromegrass, and legumes such as white clover, undergo a “summer slump” in production.

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In times of low milk prices, there is a need to reduce feed costs, and one way is to feed more homegrown forages. In order to feed a higher inclusion rate of forages, they need to be highly digestible, and this starts with seed selection.

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An interview with Meghan Hauser, Table Rock Farm, New York

Dairy farm nutrient mass balances (NMBs) are gaining traction in some parts of the U.S. and the European Union is considering widespread use on farms.

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With so many challenges in the dairy industry today, farm managers realize they need to be “better than average” to be in business for the long-term. Running a whole-farm nutrient mass balance (NMB) can help achieve this.

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Key performance indicators, such as milk urea nitrogen, ration nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) levels, corn stalk nitrate testing, and soil fertility assessments are only useful if we know what to strive for.

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Sorghum, mainly a crop of the deep south, is being planted on more acres across the northeast. Originally relegated as an emergency summer feed when earlier crops had failed, or for part-time livestock farms, the crop is going mainstream because of the number of economic and practical advantages it offers.

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