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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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Replacements are an investment in the future of a dairy, and they are significant, often representing 15 to 20 percent of the total cost of milk production, which is second only to dairy feed costs. The likelihood of a positive payoff on those investments is dramatically improved when the management team has a system in place that generates quality heifers.

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When I met with Ted Carpenter and Paul Kelly more than 18 months ago, they had an idea that seemed almost too good to be true. I remember leaving the conversation thinking: “If they can prove what they are saying, then what they have to say would really be worth saying!” I am here to make good on my thoughts, because Bio-Environmental Solutions for Today (BEST) has lived up to its end of the conversation.

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Change is accelerating to an incredible pace in the dairy industry. In just the past few years we’ve had to deal with issues like: BSE, rBST, organic, high grain prices, volatile milk prices, feed grains for fuel production, high demand for milk components, cloning, sexed semen, consolidation, immigration, etc. It makes me think of Billy Joel’s song, “We didn’t start the fire.”

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How do you make a good dairy a great dairy? Is it adopting all the latest gadgets that are introduced? Is it changing protocols all the time to stay on top? Neither of these are the answer for Jim Collins, author of the best-selling book, Good to Great. His answer is to focus on: “First who, then what.”

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Observing the dairy industry’s recent changes, one might think registered animals are becoming a thing of the past. We asked Randy Carpenter, regional representative for Holstein Association USA, a few questions about where registrations are heading.

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Feed efficiency may be called milk production efficiency or dairy efficiency, but all these refer to the same thing: How efficiently a dairy cow converts feed to milk. Far more important than the name is how this efficiency can affect a dairy’s bottom line.

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