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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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One year ago in the May 2007 issue of Progressive Dairyman, I was asked to write an article on feed price direction. By using basic fundamental analysis, a dose of futuristic forward thinking and some technical analysis on historical price patterns in commodity markets, I forecasted that the next bull market would likely give us upper $6 to lower $7 corn prices.

Well, $7 corn is here, and everyone is now wondering, “What’s next?”

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How much genetic improvement do you make in the absence of a pregnancy? None. How much milk will be created without a pregnancy? None. How much money will a dairy make without milk? None.

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High temperatures have adverse repercussions on herd health and productivity. Proper management and nutrition strategies are used to minimize the impact of heat stress in dairy cattle, reducing the associated economic losses.

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With input costs on a continual rise, the words feed efficiency are the latest buzzwords. Feed efficiency has long been a cornerstone for the livestock industry, and dairy producers should help feed managers realize the value of the calculation to ensure each pound of feed is utilized properly by every cow. Here are some tips to accurately measure feed efficiency in your herd.

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Heat detection always requires some degree of human intervention. This is because our only indication of estrus is the cow’s abnormal behavior.

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As a holistic veterinarian, I am gratified that many of the trends affecting the dairy industry today appear to be moving the industry toward a more holistic approach to animal husbandry and away from some of the “factory farm” concepts that have gained popularity in the past few decades; high feed and energy costs are pushing the industry toward holistic. And, at the same time, consumer preferences with regard to animal welfare and food safety are pulling it in the same direction. I am under no illusion that these trends will force everyone to become organic certified.

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