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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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David Albers wishes he could say the reason he’s covering his lagoon and capturing methane is because he had a genius epiphany one day, but instead he says he’ll be producing enough commercial-grade methane to power about 1,200 homes because of persistence and luck.

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We’ve become accustomed to the fact that if cows aren’t comfortable in their environment, milk production, reproductive performance and overall herd health will suffer.

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Since the onset of the modern era of biotechnology in 1973, scientists have made impressive strides in developing new agricultural biotechnologies. Biotechnologies that enhance productivity and productive efficiency (feed consumed per unit of output) have been developed and approved for commercial use. Technologies that improve productive efficiency will benefit both producers and consumers because feed provision constitutes a major component (about 70 percent) of farm expenditures.

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The following is the second of a two-part series about design specifications for feed and water spaces in freestall barns.

Water plays an important role in milk production, temperature control and body functions for dairy cattle. Cows may consume 4.5 to 5 pounds of water from drinking and feed per pound of milk produced. Providing the opportunity for cows to consume a relatively large quantity of clean, fresh water is essential.

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Sand-laden manure may be handled using a scrape or flush system. The handling systems should allow for the sand and solids to separate from the effluent. The abrasiveness of sand may create problems when mechanically handling sand-laden manure. Manure weighs about 60 pounds per cubic foot (lbs/cf), whereas sand has a density of 120 lbs/cf.

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We believe most dairy producers have become increasingly aware of the importance of replacement heifer health. Not only can disease episodes become a major financial problem, but these animals represent the future producing herd. Calves that require treatment for disease tend to be less productive in the long run, and production efficiency is negatively impacted if heifers fail to grow and begin milk production by 2 years old.

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