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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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Over the past couple of months, two situations within the world of animal nutrient management have come back into the limelight, forward movement of the EPA on monitoring air emissions from various agricultural facilities across the U.S. and a new look at who is actually required to obtain a discharge permit for CAFO operations. Neither development is going to change the face of agriculture today, but as information continues to flow, there is opportunity for change in the future.

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When crude oil was $10 a barrel, the benefits cow power can provide to farms, communities and the environment were a blip on the radar. Now that crude oil has surpassed $70 a barrel, interest in renewable energy is on the rise. However, biogas recovery from anaerobic digestion still takes a backseat to ethanol and biodiesel in the limelight. Experts in the energy field are beginning to shift this focus, pointing out the multiple benefits of using waste to produce biofuels.

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Ammonia used to be considered only as a nuisance odor emitted by dairies and other livestock operations. Now, ammonia is known to react with atmospheric nitric and sulfuric acids to form fine particulate matter (known as PM2.5), which is a major contributor to smog production.

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The goal in feed bunk management is to obtain maximum dry matter (DM) intake by ensuring that a fresh, palatable, balanced TMR is available to all cows.

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When milk prices are down, independent nutritionist Greg Bethard has this advice for the dairy producers he serves: “Stay the course with your rations.”

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Negative energy balance (NEB) is a physiological challenge the Holstein dairy cow faces in the early postpartum period when dietary energy intake cannot meet with energy output in milk. Infectious diseases commonly seen are retained placenta, metritis and mastitis, which are consequences of depressed immunity and NEB. Metabolic disorders may include ketosis, displaced abomasum and fatty liver.

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