July 2016, vol. 2
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunity to learn... 
DAIRY FARMERS HAVE OPTIONS WHEN IT COMES TO COVER CROPS and these options will be explored during the PDPW World Class Webinars session conducted on Wednesday, Aug. 17. Led by Matthew Ruark, associate professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Soil Science, the webinar will discuss the goals and outcomes of cover crops, including erosion, nutrient capture, forage generation and understanding the climate so realistic and obtainable goals can be set. Register to participate live on Wednesday, Aug. 17, noon to 1 p.m. CDT or listen to a recorded session at your convenience. Registration deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 3. Click here  to find more information and to register online. 
For your dairy...

DOES SHORT-TERM OVERSTOCKING SHORTCHANGE FOOD INTAKE? Not necessarily. Researchers from the University of Tennessee and the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute have found that increasing stocking density for up to 14 days did not affect the feeding pattern of lactating dairy cows, "indicating that mid-lactation dairy cows can compensate for reduced feed bunk access during short-term overstocking." Increases in stocking density didn't have an impact on meal duration, meal frequency, meals per hour or time between meals, while mean meal duration was longer during the morning and afternoon compared with night. You can read more about this stocking density study, which was reported in the June 2016 issue of the Journal of Dairy Science, online at this website .

IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS. This is particularly true when it comes to factors that impact hoof health: stall dimensions, stall surfaces, alley dimensions, stocking rates, flooring, grooving, parlor holding area, ventilation and pasture access. "Dairy cow housing facilities are a double-edged sword when it comes to hoof health and lameness. Built right and managed properly, housing facilities can limit the problem and aid recovery," states Dr. Nigel Cook, University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, in the Spring 2016 UW-Extension Dairy Team factsheet "Walking Strong: A Factsheet Series on Dairy Hoof Health." Cook adds that "achieving and maintaining high-level dairy production are directly related to hoof health and lameness on every dairy farm." This four-page factsheet shares a plethora of information that can make a big difference to your dairy's production. Here is where you can see the entire article.

FEEDING ENDOPHYTE-INFECTED GRASSES during the dry period may permit effective utilization of feed resources without compromising milk production in the next lactation. That's what USDA-Agricultural Research Service researchers found and reported in the June issue of the Journal of Dairy Science. The study involved cows divided into three groups: one group fed endophyte-free fescue seed, a second group fed endophyte-free fescue seed plus given three times/week subcutaneous injections of bromocriptine and a third group given endophyte-infected fescue seed as 10 p ercent of the diet on an as-fed basis. More about this study is available online at here.  

DOES INJECTABLE TRACE MINERAL SUPPLEMENTATION impact somatic cell count (SCC), linear score (LS), milk yield, milk fat and protein contents, subclinical mastitis cure and incidence of clinical mastitis in cows with elevated SCC? Research reported in the June 2016 issue of the Journal of Dairy Science indicates yes and no. While supplementing trace minerals to cows with elevated SCC had no effect on SCC, LS, milk yield and milk fat and protein contents, cure of subclinical mastitis was associated with higher serum concentrations of phosphorus and selenium on Day 30. Supplementation did not reduce treatment incidence of clinical mastitis but it did tend to reduce the proportion of cows diagnosed with chronic clinical mastitis. Here is the report.
Dairy Currents...

BUTTER & HEART DISEASE NO LONGER LINKED.  A new study that analyzed nine papers involving more than 600,000 people has concluded that consuming butter is not linked to a higher risk for heart disease and might be slightly protective against type 2 diabetes. As highlighted in this  June 2016 TIME article , while butter is not considered a "health food," a growing number of nutrition scientists maintain that cutting back on fat, even the saturated kind, is doing more harm than good. A separate study found that people who had higher levels of three byproducts from full-fat dairy had 46% lower risk of getting diabetes than people with lower levels. Other studies have shown that full-fat products like dairy can be useful in weight maintenance and other health factors.

CAN WASTE-PROCESSING TECHNIQUES REMOVE ANTIBIOTICS AND GERMS in excrement? The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture is spending $1 million to find this out, and more. While no direct evidence of antibiotic resistance spreading as a result of antimicrobial and antibiotic use on dairy farms has been f ound, the study's goal is to identify and prevent any potential spread of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. The study will evaluate anaerobic digestion, composting and long-term storage to see how well each remove drugs and germs in excrement. Researchers will also grow potatoes, lettuce and corn and examine if plants take up antibiotics and resistance genes from treated and untreated 
manure. Here is where you can read more.

BREXIT COULD HAVE A TRICKLE-DOWN EFFECT . Sarina Sharp, agricultural economist with the Daily Dairy Report, is keeping an eye on Brexit. Sharp's observations to date include: 

1) If England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland leave the EU within a couple of years, Britain will give up access to the EU's intervention purchase and private storage aid programs, "which means there will no longer be a market of last resort for British butter or skim milk powder during periods of surplus and low prices."

2) British dairy product exports to its EU trading partners could suffer due to customs and a levy of up to 45 percent on some dairy products.

3) The UK could reduce exports and possibly imports, leaving Ireland in the lurch as cheese is its largest dairy export.

Sharp notes that the British will be free to set their own dairy and agricultural policies, which could include subsidies or other forms of support that the European Commission has vetoed. While Sharp says dairy policy will likely be low on the priority list of policymakers, "Brexit will continue to create volatility in financial markets, which will likely trickle down to world dairy product prices."   Read more here.
For your business mind...

 Neither is maintaining machinery or recording amazing yields. For dairies to achieve success, Michael Boehlje, Craig Dobbins and Alan Miller with Purdue University agree that business management functions must be performed well. To that end, the three have assembled a series of checklists to help dairy producers perform a self-assessment of production management, procurement and selling, financial management, personnel management, strategic positioning, relationship management, leadership and risk management. "These checklists are not scientific instruments to precisely measure skill levels or accurately predict your chances of success," Boehlje states. "Rather, they are tools to stimulate your thinking about the activities farm business managers must perform. Over time, they can help you to track your progress in developing business management skills." You can find these self-assessment checklists online at this website.

SOPS HELP A DAIRY FUNCTION AT OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE  and can contribute to job satisfaction and understanding for employees. Pennsylvania State University's seven-step method of writing SOPs has a reputation for helping dairy producers establish excellent procedures and generate maximum buy-in from the workforce: 

1) Plan for results
2) Observe procedures, then put the procedure down in writing
3) Give each worker who performs the procedure a copy of the draft SOP and ask them to review and suggest changes
4) Run written procedures by technical advisers and obtain their input
5) Test all procedures in the workplace, revising any steps that cause confusion or hesitation for a worker
6) Make a final draft of the procedure and post it
7) Train or retrain workers, sharing the "why" for the procedures.  

Penn State's eight-page "Standard Operating Procedures: A Writing Guide" goes into significant details so every dairy can have effective, well-written SOPs, Click here  to read more.

WORRYING CAN BE HELPFUL when it spurs you to take action and solve a problem. But it can be problem when you're preoccupied with "what-ifs" and worst-case scenarios. The good news is that chronic worrying is a mental habit that can be broken. According to helpguide.org, you can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more positive perspective." 

Tip #1: Create a worry period, a time you set aside every day for perhaps 20 minutes. 
Tip #2: Ask yourself is the problem is solvable. Worrying and problem solving are two different things. 
Tip  #3: Challenge anxious thoughts by asking yourself questions such as "What's the evidence that the thought is true?" and "Is there a more positive, realistic way of looking at the situation?" 

Additional tips are yours  here

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." -- Thomas Edison
A BIG Thank You...    
TO OUR PDPW SPONSORS who  support continuous improvement for the dairy industr y. T hey believe in producer leadership and place a high value on lifelong  education for those involved in the dairy industry. We deeply respect their commitment to PDPW and the members we have the honor to serve. It is by this partnership that we c ontinu e to build a strong industry filled with capable professionals. Click  here  to see a list of our sponsors. If you interact with any of these companies, please thank them for supporting PDPW! 

If you or a company you know is interested in participating as a sponsor, please contact one of our team members at abonomie@pdpw.org or call 800-947-7379.