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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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Forage neutral detergent fiber (NDF) is retained in the rumen longer and is therefore more filling than other feed components. Rumen fill can limit feed intake, especially for high-producing cows and cows fed high forage diets. There is great variation in the filling effects of forage fiber because of differences in digestion characteristics; forage fiber that digests and passes from the rumen quickly is less filling than forage fiber that digests and passes more slowly.

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Cows need lots of water when temperatures outside get warmer.

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Imagine a dairy cow that gave 15,000 liters (33,000 pounds) of high-quality milk year after year after year at a high level of efficiency, a cow whose milk had health benefits for the consumer, a cow that got in calf when you wanted her to; a cow that was highly resistant to infections such as mastitis and whose milk had a consistently low somatic cell count, a cow that never suffered from acidosis and a cow that was never lame. Now imagine a herd of such cows, and imagine how profitable it would be.

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The following article is the fifth in a series of articles summarizing the “Supervisory Skills for Managers” DVD collection produced by Jim Henion. The series provides helpful management hints for owners and managers working with employees on dairy operations.

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Copper, according to internationally renowned dairy scientist Jesse P. Goff, is “the trace mineral where deficiency is common and toxicity is also common.”

That observation, combined with the wide array of bodily functions in the dairy cow that involve copper, makes it a good idea to keep an eye on this trace mineral in dairy cattle rations.

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Editor’s note: The following benchmarks have been compiled using data reported by dairies enrolled in Alta Genetic’s AltaAdvantage program, a progeny testing program. More than 182,500 cows in 175 herds participate in the program nationwide.

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