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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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Depending on where your dairy is located this may be a hot weather season for you. It is always challenging to maintain good gains under these weather conditions. What is “hot” weather for calves? Thermoneutral conditions for young calves cannot be expressed as one fixed temperature value.

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In the old days, we expected to get a 50 to 55 percent conception rate (1.9 to 2 services per conception) with milking cows. We have done a great job of breeding high-producing Holsteins. Unfortunately, the modern high-producing Holstein is not highly fertile, and the conception rate in many high-producing herds is 40 percent (2.5 services per conception) or lower.

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Recent reports rolling out of California might leave the average person believing that digesters on animal facilities are on their way out. First, there is the battle over which is more damaging to air quality – the natural emissions from anaerobic digestion in lagoons or the emissions from the generators that turn methane into power.

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Methane digesters have recently come under fire in California. Once seen as a viable option for helping producers deal with problems associated with manure management, the engines used to convert biogas into electricity have come under fire as an unwelcome source of emissions many air boards are clamping down on. Without the ability to generate additional income or offset energy use at the dairy, many had considered digesters a dying part of manure management.

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Can dairy farmers capture energy contained in manure produced by their cows and improve their operation’s sustainability, profitability and public image?

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Making electricity is more than flipping a switch or trapping gas. Indeed, the process takes much longer than many hope for, and with all the responsibilities on the farm to take care of, it’s a process that demands more time than a producer has. What are the steps to getting your digester hooked up to the grid? And who should you work with to get your methane making money?

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