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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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Have you tipped any cows lately? Cow tipping has become quite the rage. Yes, I said cow tipping! If you type “cow tipping” into Google.com, you will find at least 200,000 different websites that deal directly with cow tipping. Unfortunately, after sifting through all 200,000 sites, I did not find one site that referred to cow tipping as a way to reward a cow for a job well done. I’m sure you’ve tipped a waitress for a job well done. Right? But are you rewarding your cows for a job well done?

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Editor’s note: The following is the first of a three-part series of articles – “Estate and Farm Transition Planning for Agricultural Producers”

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Observation 1: Two hours before milking, are less than 20 percent of your cows standing in their stalls?

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Lameness is recognized as a problem in most dairy herds throughout the world. Producers and herd managers agree it is an ever-present challenge and that with modern dairy management practices, lameness rates continue to rise. A recent University of Minnesota study observed 5,626 cows housed in 50 freestall barns. The average lameness rate was 24.6 percent. Surprisingly, this rate averaged 3.1 times greater than estimated by the herd managers.

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Anyone who is even remotely familiar with automobile racing knows that the pit crew is an important part of the racing team. No matter how good the driver, successes or failures in the pit area can have a significant impact on the outcome of the race. The crew is constantly making adjustments and operates as a team to accomplish all of the necessary tasks as efficiently as possible. Seconds or fractions of seconds count and may be the difference between winning or finishing second or worse.

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Jerry Gonterman understands security. He installs and maintains security systems for school districts, Intermountain convenience stores and state liquor stores. In addition to protecting kids, gasoline and alcohol, Gonterman watches over milk tanks and parlors.

“A dairyman’s worst fear is a hot tank of milk,” Gonterman says.

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