The Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) officially launched their sustainability initiative this week in Ottawa. The initiative, called proAction, includes national standards for milk quality, food safety, animal care, traceability, biosecurity and the environment. It’s a way to showcase what the industry’s strengths, while also encouraging constant progress and improvement. “As dairy farmers, we are… Read More

Walking through the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar tradeshow for the first time felt a bit reminiscent of my first day on the job. I was equally overwhelmed and intrigued by all the new faces and unrecognizable products. But, when I spotted Cargill’s booth (a no doubt familiar logo) in conjunction with a CowSignals display, I had to stop… Read More

Body condition scoring (BCS) is not a new tool to the livestock industry, by any stretch, but like so many other management indicators, it continues to evolve. In the last decade, researchers have learned that cows have a genetically determined “set point,” something they refer to as “Target BCS.” According to research conducted in 2007… Read More

Flax could have an important role in improving reproductive performance in dairy cattle. Research studies looking at including flax oil in dairy rations in Alberta, BC and Oregon showed “mixed results, but in all three studies we found reductions in pregnancy losses,” explains Divakar Ambrose in the interview below. Ambrose, a dairy research scientist with… Read More

The Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency is generally known for its work funding research and market development in the beef and pork industries, but the organization also has a vested interest in dairy. Whether its forage production, animal welfare or meat prices, dairy has more in common with other livestock industries than most recognize, says ALMA… Read More

Cows aren’t the only creatures that need to be trained to use a dairy robot. The value a dairy farm gets out of an automated system depends on all the people involved knowing how to utilize the machine’s capabilities. “That robot is doing nothing more than milking your cows,” explains Ben Smink of Lely North America… Read More

The 20 million acres of canola that blooms yellow every summer is a pride of the prairies. So what does that have to do with dairy? Canola and soybeans duke it out in the oil market, but also the meal market. At the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, I searched out some answers on this canola versus soybean… Read More

There are some jobs on the farm (and at home for that matter, but we won’t get into that now) that are worthwhile, important jobs, but really leave you feeling like the time could be better spent somewhere else. Those jobs are exactly the niche jobs robotics were designed to fill. In years past, the… Read More