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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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The 2014 National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) dairy report shows that on average, 5.6 percent of all full-term pregnancies terminate in a dead calf. Dead on arrival (DOA) or stillborn calves are defined as being full-term but not surviving beyond 48 hours after birth. This average indicates there is a lot of room for improvement in the dairy industry.

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Lean would be one definition of the financial situation in today’s dairy industry. But the concept of lean represents a mindset of farming that takes stock of every step in the production process to reduce waste.

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It seems like every month there’s a new precision dairy monitoring technology introduced to the dairy market. Each introduction coincides with a lot of hype about how this new technology is going to change the dairy industry, with articles in mainstream media about how these new “Fitbits for cows” can be used to identify sick cows and cows in heat.

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In November of 2017, the milk price finally broke out of the prolonged sideways market that began way back in July 2016. Unfortunately, that break fell on the downside, and farmers were faced with lower trending prices for the next month-and-a-half.

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Editor’s note: This article is the first in a two-part series.

I meet farmers who are in the fifth or even sixth generation on their farm. I have met a few with double-digit generations. My wife and I both have brothers on Century Farms that are transitioning to our nephews.

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Everyone sees the world through their own prism. The same can be said for your cows. The crux of successful dairy management is to make sure the vision of human and animal intersects for a common perception. That is, observing – and managing – your dairy from a cow’s perspective.

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