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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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New all-breed formula announced
Records from all breeds, including crossbreds, are now combined and analyzed together in one animal model. All relatives, regardless of breed composition, contribute to each animal’s genetic evaluation, and more cows are compared within management group in herds containing multiple breeds and crossbreds.

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During the past several decades, selection for increased milk yield has had a temporal association with declines in fertility and reproductive efficiency in dairy cows. In the U.S., an average annual decrease of 0.5 percent in conception rate at first service occurred between 1975 and 1997. In the United Kingdom (between 1978 and 1996) and in Spain (between 1991 and 2000) conception rate at first service decreased 1 percent per year.

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This is the time of year to get serious about heat abatement strategies for your herd. Though we enjoy the warmer weather, most lactating cows perform best at temperatures from 40 to 65°F. Signs of heat stress start to occur at around 75°F. This spring, once you’ve installed your new fans and sprinkler systems and cleaned off your existing fans in the lactating herd, you also need to consider making sure your close-up dry cows are kept cool.

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In the history of milk production, a reoccurring problem for dairy farmers has been the capacity of producing more milk than can be utilized. This problem is complicated by the limited shelf life of milk. In the early 1900s, farmers dealt with this issue by fractionating milk into cream and skim milk. The cream was then churned into butter, and the buttermilk produced was used in baking. The skim milk was fermented into cottage cheese, and the whey produced was fed to farm animals. Consequently, fractionation of milk into its various components and creation of milk-based ingredients is not a new concept.

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The Prins Dairy, owned by John and Kevin Prins, is located near Oakdale, California. Our dairy has been in operation since 1971. Today, we milk 570 cows, and cows are grazed in the summer and freestall-housed in the winter. All cows are fed a total mixed ration (TMR) once per day.

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Author’s note: The instructions for use of the recommended insecticides are not as comprehensive as the pesticide labels and are intended to be used as guidelines only. Before using any pesticide, read the label for more specific instructions. Many insecticides are sold under brand names not listed in this publication.

House fly and stable fly control on dairy farms

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