April 2022 Vol. 1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
  • 360 RAIN requires much lower volumes of water than traditional irrigation systems and can water irregularly shaped fields.

  • In replicated side-by-side trials, test strips that received just 4.5 inches of water from 360 RAIN through the growing season generated an additional 65 bushels per acre – a 32% improvement over non-irrigated strips.
For more information and to contact them, visit the 360 Yield Center website. Also, call or email them for details on upcoming field days at a farm near you.
For your dairy
PRECONDITIONING PROGRAMS CAN ADD VALUE to dairy-beef-cross calves. An article from the University of Wisconsin Extension shares preconditioning strategies adapted for dairies to ensure that calves get the best start for their health and value, whether they are sold or raised at home. For calves being sold, dairies should provide evidence of passive transfer of colostrum and share the dam’s vaccination protocol as well as herd prevention strategies for Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus and digital dermatitis. Calves raised for beef must be castrated and disbudded prior to weaning. Read the full article here
STUDY SHOWS UDDER HEALTH PARAMETERS DID NOT DIFFER in Dutch dairy herds after several years of widespread adoption of selective dry cow treatment. Research published in the Journal of Dairy Science showed no significant change in udder health over two separate timeframes – from May 2016 through April 2017 and the several years before selective dry cow treatment became the standard approach in the Netherlands.
The study did find that herds with automatic milking systems had more cases of severe mastitis and that more cows were treated with antimicrobials at dry-off than in conventional parlor-milked herds. However, more research is needed in this area. Read the full study here.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL AND HYGIENE PRACTICES are critical in preventing cryptosporidiosis. An article from the University of Kentucky Extension shares several best practices to control crypto, which is contracted through the consumption of infectious oocysts excreted in feces. At temperatures under 59°F, oocysts can remain infectious for as long as one year. Practices include:

  • Wash milk-feeding equipment at each feeding with hot water and soap and allow it to completely dry
  • Store feed in a manner that prevents barn cats and other such animals from defecating in it
  • If calf starter becomes contaminated with fecal material, replace starter and clean the pail or feeding trough before adding fresh feed
  • Feed any scouring calves last; wash footwear before and after taking care of calves
  • Wash hands; crypto is a zoonotic disease and transmissible to humans
Learn more here.
For your business mind
CREATE A “WOW” CULTURE that transforms your workplace and makes you the go-to choice for business partners and customers. In a Learning Lounge session at the 2022 PDPW Business Conference, Michael Hoffman shared three practices to elevate your workplace into a more energetic and collaborative environment.

  1. Be random and unexpected. While doing everything right is the baseline, look for ways to add a smile or extra service to every experience.
  2. Look at processes. Make sure you have systems in place that allow for people to go the extra mile. If teams are short-handed or stressed, they won’t be able to take just a minute to do something better.
  3. Do things that are out of proportion to the circumstances. Following up after a routine conversation or event can leave a lasting impression in a customer or employee’s mind.
EVALUATING COST OF HOME-RAISED FEED compared to purchased feed for dry cows and heifers can be complicated. An article from Penn State Extension highlighted research showing it was less expensive to feed home-raised feeds in Pennsylvania for 2 of the 7 growing seasons from 2011 to 2017 for dry cows and springing heifers. However, the results were not as clear-cut for breeding-age and pregnant heifers. Learn more in the full article
CLUTTER IS MORE THAN PILES OF PAPER. Clutter can be anything that delays decisions and gets in the way of accomplishing tasks and goals. A Fast Company article identifies four types of clutter: paper, digital, emotional and spiritual. If an item doesn’t help you accomplish your work or have the life you want, it can be defined as clutter and can prevent you from reaching your purpose. Read more, including tips for reducing clutter, in the full article
The Dairy Signal
KEEP TUNING IN TO THE DAIRY SIGNAL. In its third year of bringing valuable information to the dairy industry, The Dairy Signal™ continues to bring together leading experts across dairy and agricultural industries, universities, and government and regulatory associations for insights on the most pressing issues in today’s marketplace. The 60-minute sessions air every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with recorded episodes available for free at pdpw.org. Click here to find archived recordings of sessions.
Presenters and topics covered recently include:
Learn about the latest on-farm and water-quality research underway at Discovery Farms, and hear about the results that may be applicable to dairy operations.
  • Amber Radatz, Agricultural Water Quality Program Manager, University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension
With planting season just around the corner, hone in on safety tips and best practices for working with and around large equipment.
  • Cheryl Skjolaas, Agricultural Safety and Health Specialist, Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, UW-Madison/Division of Extension
Johne’s disease and leukosis remain underlying concerns for dairy herds. Learn about new data on these diseases and the resources producers can consider to combat them.
  • Dr. Keith Poulsen, Director, Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
Take a deep dive into antibiotic usage on farms, including best practices and the how and why of antibiotic resistance and antibiotic residues.
  • Dr. Brian Lubbers, Associate Professor, Food Animal Therapeutics, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University
Fertilizer pricing and availability will be driving many decisions regarding crop rotations and feed rations for the upcoming growing season. This expert panel shared valuable recommendations and insights on crop growing choices and nutrient input options during the 2022 PDPW Business Conference, and this episode provides an opportunity for a broader audience to hear from them.
  • James Bailey, Owner, ProAGtive Dairy Nutrition
  • Eric Birschbach, Owner and Operator, Ag Site Crop Consulting, LLC
  • Matt Lange, Business Consultant, Compeer Financial
Global news is impacting agriculture markets on a daily basis. Tune into the bi-weekly market update to hear the latest developments and how they could impact your business.
  • Dan Basse, President of AgResource Company
Dairy currents
COMPLETE THIS SURVEY ON DAIRY-COW-HANDLING PERCEPTIONS. If you work in or with the U.S. dairy industry, you’re invited to participate in an online research study led by researchers from UW-Madison and the University of Tennessee. The goal of the study is to understand how professionals view various dairy-cow-handling practices and is part of a larger USDA grant-funded project, "Building Public Trust in the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle."
Your participation will entail a brief online survey regarding your views on various practices and scenarios shown in brief video clips. After the survey, you’ll have the option to sign up for a 1-hour Zoom focus group session. The focus group will be recorded, but recordings will never be shared with anyone other than members of the research team for data analysis.
All data gathered from the survey and focus group will be de-identified to protect your identity. To participate in this study, click this link to launch the survey: https://go.wisc.edu/w53t11.
SUSTAINABILITY OF WISCONSIN DAIRY INDUSTRY IN FOCUS. The positive progress and commitment to the sustainability of Wisconsin dairy farmers are featured in a number of programs launched by Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. The “I’m a Wisconsin Dairy Farmer” series of sustainability-focused documentary films will be highlighted at the Wisconsin Film Festival and shared with local and statewide news outlets, and a variety of digital and social media resources are available for dairy farmers to tell their own sustainability story. See more sustainability resources here.
CLEAR, SPECIFIC CLAIMS ON A LABEL ARE MORE EFFECTIVE than broader terms such as “organic,” according to a survey of 2,500 consumers. The majority of survey respondents expressed concern about some practices that aren’t approved for organic production, but that did not mean they were more likely to purchase organic products. Consumers did say that more specific labels including “raised without antibiotics,” “hormone-free,” and “all-natural” were more likely to increase sales and products citing animal-welfare claims saw a 27% sales increase over the previous two years. Learn more here.  
Book review
TRUST & INSPIRE: HOW TRULY GREAT LEADERS UNLEASH GREATNESS IN OTHERS. Even though our world has changed significantly in recent decades, the leadership style of most companies, organizations, schools, families and teams has stayed mostly the same. Operating with a “command and control” model focuses on hierarchies and compliance. However, author Stephen M.R. Covey suggests a new approach of “trust and inspire.” This model starts with a belief that people are creative, collaborative and full of potential. It also underscores that the best leaders inspire others to become the best version of themselves and produce their best work. Learn more here.

No man becomes rich unless he enriches others. - Andrew Carnegie

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