Category: Dairy

Tailoring Mastitis Management for High or Low SCC Herds

The risk of mastitis is highest just after calving and even higher in first-calf heifers. There are several strategies to avoiding the incidence and spread of this udder infection, and some key management decisions to make prior to treatment of the disease. Dr. Herman Barkema, DVM and professor of animal health at the University of… Read more »

Johne’s Disease — Getting a Handle on This Silent Profit Robber

Johne’s disease, a bacterial disease of ruminant animals, can be incredibly difficult to manage, as there is no treatment and production losses can occur even without clinical signs being present. What’s more, few animals actually exhibit the wasting and diarrhea associated with infection, unless under stress. It means that for every visibly sick animal you… Read more »

Modern Dairying: Local vs. Global Markets & the Move to Specialty Products

Milk, in North America at least, is very much a commodity. There is little distinction between brands or types — a 4 litre jug is a 4 litre jug and not many have a preference as to what label it carries. This is changing, however, as family size shrinks and food trends increase the push… Read more »

Support GM Alfalfa? You’ll Have to Let Someone Know

On Tuesday, April 9th, a widespread day of protest will be held against – of all things troubling our country – GM alfalfa. Activists will be gathering at about 20 locales, including 12 in Ontario, to show their opposition to its pending arrival. The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, a relatively benign group with agricultural ties… Read more »

Supply Management, the TPP & the Potential for Dairy Exports: Muirhead

What does Canada’s participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership really mean to supply management? Will Canada give up some or all of the supply management pillars in the face of trade opportunities for other agricultural products? While there are no clear cut answers as of yet, TPP negotiations are most certainly a topic of interest… Read more »

Comfort Strategies for Dairy Cows — Try a Waterbed

The more comfortable a cow’s bed, the more likely she’ll spend her day laying about making milk instead of standing or walking. A well supported, comfortable, resting cow is less likely to end up lame as well, and the link between lameness and reduced production and decreased fertility is real. Nearly all bedding options —… Read more »

Managing Milk Fat Through Nutrition: Forages, Fatty Acids, Fat Supplements and More

Milk volume is only one aspect of dairy production — the level of individual components in the milk matter just as much. Managing butterfat is often a challenge, as high producing genetic lines tend to have lower butterfat milk. RealAgriculture.com asked Adam Lock, assistant professor, dairy cattle nutrition with Michigan State University, for his perspective… Read more »

What Does Precision Dairy Farming Really Look Like?

If you envision GPS-guided cows when you hear “precision dairy,” you might be a grain farmer. If, instead, you envision a way to measure and monitor several aspects of dairy production no matter what time it is or where you are, you’re much closer to reality.From heat detection, to mastitis management, and even lameness monitoring,… Read more »

Beef Research School: Preventing and Treating Lameness in Cattle

Lameness isn’t just a welfare issue, it’s a production issue too. A cow or bull in pain due to an abscess, foot rot or or injury may go off feed, or, if it’s a bull, may not be able to breed. There are several different types of lameness, some more common in feedlots, others an… Read more »

U.S. Farm Bill Gets Extension in Fiscal Cliff-hanger

New Year’s Eve held much excitement in U.S. politics, not because of any ball drop or extravagant party, but because of a late-night crunch session to hammer out a tax bill that would pull the U.S. from the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” of mandatory cost cutting and tax hikes. Included in the last-minute agreement was an… Read more »

Liberal Leader Hopeful sets her Sights on the End of Supply Management

The Liberal Party of Canada is in the middle of choosing a new leader. While the vast majority of attention has been lavished on a raven-haired prime minister’s son, Martha Hall Findlay has been the first (and perhaps only) candidate to bring any part of an agriculture platform into the race. RealAgriculture.com’s editor, Lyndsey Smith,… Read more »

Preventing and Treating Lameness in Dairy Cattle

We demand so much of our dairy herd — the highest quality milk in copious quantities, excellent production persistence and (we hope) a heifer calf at every calving. The demands of modern dairy production mean cows spend much of their day standing, supporting their large frames and heavy udders. While dairy farmers take extra care… Read more »

Expected Nutrient Mineralization from Manure and Crop Residue: Jeff Schoenau

Soil is a magnificent thing. It’s the medium that makes crop production possible. It’s also rather mysterious. Even now, scientists are just beginning to scratch the surface of naming all the microbes that live in soil and understanding their functions and interactions. There’s also much we do know and understand about soil and its ability… Read more »

Is the U.S. Moving Towards Supply Management in Dairy?

Utter the words “supply management” and those involved in the agriculture industry are likely to have strong opinions for and against. The same can be said for the U.S., where an expired Farm Bill and recent run-ups in feed costs have converged to make a whole lot of farmers and industry folk nervous about the… Read more »

Methane-Fuelled Milk Truck Pays Its Own Way

Can we capture the energy from manure that dairy cows produce and use it to fuel the trucks that pick up and deliver milk? The short answer is yes, but we’re not going to see bio-methane pumps around town any time soon. RealAgriculture.com caught up with OMAFRA’s Don Hilborn at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show to… Read more »