Dairy calves experience many challenges in early life, and producers need to be diligent in the hours and days after birth to ensure calf health and reduce mortality. Overall, research shows that eight percent of calves die within 48 hours of birth — this includes those born dead or those that die within the first… Read More

Lameness is the dairy industry’s leading and most visible animal welfare concern. It’s also among the top three health challenges, along with mastitis and reproductive problems. Veterinarian Dr. Laura Solano, dairy cattle extension specialist at Calgary, Alberta-based Farm Animal Care Associates, says that despite the negative impacts to lameness, studies show that 15 to 30… Read More

Milking with single-box automated milking systems (AMS) has revolutionized the way dairy producers manage their herds. Current estimates indicate that 10 percent of the Canadian dairy herd are now milked by automated systems, and it’s growing. Globally, nearly 30,000 farms employ robots, according to a 2014 survey. Much of the conversation around dairy robots focus… Read More

It is a good idea to keep an open mind, to make changes when new, better ideas present themselves. Some dairy farmers, for instance, wouldn’t consider breeding some of their cows to a beef sire, but others are doing just that and, under the right circumstances, they are finding it to be a successful cross-breeding… Read More

The Dairy School on RealAgriculture helps producers put more milk in the tank. From animal nutrition to feed quality, herd health, reproduction and the latest in innovative technology, Dairy School delivers the expertise and insight required to make better and more profitable management decisions. The Dairy School is made possible through support by Corteva Agriscience.

Anaerobic digesters have popped up on farms across Ontario in recent years, but there are none quite like the digester Rob McKinlay has installed at Harcolm Farms at Beachville, Ontario. What makes it unique is its size – at 20 kilowatts, it’s 10- to 20-times smaller than the other 42 digesters currently operating on Ontario… Read More

Do you plant a cover crop before or after you harvest corn silage? It’s an option dairy farmers should consider, says University of Wisconsin Extension crops and soils agronomist Heidi Johnson, especially when planting corn after corn. Removing corn silage and then leaving the ground bare risks soil erosion, decreases microbial activity, and reduces the field’s ability… Read More

Mycotoxin and mould growth in dairy feed can lead to lower milk production, poor animal health and reduced profits. This impact on production is not a new discovery for dairy producers, but there certainly is a growing awareness of the problem, says North Carolina State University professor emeritus Dr. Lon Whitlow. “A large part of it… Read More

What are the keys to making great corn silage? It’s really important to chop the crop at the right time to ensure you get the highest energy level possible,” says DuPont Pioneer dairy specialist Martina Pfister. In this episode of the Dairy School, Pfister explains that many farmers chop their silage too early. “You really want… Read More

Ontario dairy farmers had their first opportunity to plant low-lignin alfalfa in 2016. In this episode of the Real Agriculture Dairy School we visit with Elmira, Ontario, dairy farmer Dale Martin and PRIDE Seeds market agronomist Aaron Stevanus to get the lowdown on low-lignin alfalfa. Martin harvested his first crop HarvXtra low-lignin alfalfa with Roundup Ready… Read More

Dairy farm expansion typically focuses on adding more cows to increase production. That’s certainly the case for Monkton, Ontario-based producers Rick and Theresa Portena, but the Portenas also want a better opportunity to milk cows themselves. In this inaugural episode of Real Agriculture’s Dairy School, the Portenas’ share the strategy on why they invested in… Read More

One of the most important metrics in improving profitability and productivity (not to mention animal welfare, and arguably, environmental stewardship) is feed quality. In this episode of the Beef School, Leland Fuhr, DairySmart Nutrition and BeefSmart Consulting, provides tips on everything from sampling winter feed to analyzing the results. After all, as Fuhr says, “you… Read More