July 2016 vol.1
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization®
Opportunity to learn...

DAIRY FARMERS HAVE OPTIONS WHEN IT COMES TO COVER CROPS and these opt ions 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. 10. Click here  to find more information and to register online. 
For your dairy...

ANTIBIOTIC DRY COW THERAPY (ADCT) VS. ADCT + INTERNAL TEAT SEALANT. Research undertaken in Australia has found that combining an antibiotic dry cow therapy administered at dry off in tandem with an internal teat sealant provides more benefits than when an antibiotic dry cow therapy is used alone. During their work on eight farms in southern and eastern Australia, researchers found the combo delivered improved prevention of subclinical mastitis and reduced individual somatic cell cou nt in the first 60 days of lactation. The odds of at least one case of subclinical mastitis were 1.9 times higher with ADCT alone in the first 60 days of lactation compared with ADCT and teat sealant used together. Details about this study, reported in the June 2016 issue of the Journal of Dairy Science, can be found here.

VITAMIN R can influence the physiological function, health and productivity of dairy cows, notes Rick Grant with the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute. What's Vitamin R? Rest. "Lying behavior takes precedence over eating and social behavior when opportunities to perform these behaviors are restricted," Grant states. "Cows with restricted lying time have greater serum cortisol and lower growth hormone concentrations, impaired hoof health and location and sometimes lower milk yield." Maintaining that management environment is "just as important as nutrition" and that cows have a strong behavioral need to rest, Grant highlights the economic benefits of improved cow comfort in this PowerPoint presentation.

WATER IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT NUTRIENT,  yet it typically gets the least amount of attention, points out Dr. Paul Kononoff, dairy extension specialist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Kononoff offers a quick checklist to consider when evaluating water quality for dairy cattle: 

1) Total Dissolved Solids is a "pre-indicator" of water quality.  It is a measure of inorganic constituents and is influenced by local geology
2) Hardness, which may affect accumulation of scale and negatively affect water delivery systems
3) Sulfate, which can negatively affect water intake and may reduce an animal's ability to utilize some minerals
4) Iron, may cause nutritional deficiencies and cause oxidative stress in periparturent cows with compromised immune systems
5) Nitrate, which may reduce the oxygen carrying capacity of blood
6) Fecal coliforms. 

Check out how these factors can impact water quality and how they can negatively impact a dairy's bottom line at this website
Dairy currents...

WHAT COULD BREXIT DO TO MILK PRICES?  Jim Wiesemeyer of Informa Economics thinks it "will hurt milk prices" and bases his remark on two factors: economic growth and reduced UK dairy imports. In an interview with AgriTalk host Mike Adams, Wiesemeyer stated, "Impact of economic growth would reduce global milk equivalent imports by 0.5 percent. That will pull down dairy forecasts around the world." Pointing out that Britain is the third largest milk producer in the EU and the second largest net importer of dairy products, Wiesemeyer noted, "When you factor in the British pound down 5 to 15 percent against the Euro, imports just got 5 to 10 percent more expensive in the world market." Tom Suber, CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, admits that Brexit could present a market hurdle. This website is where you can find more information.

IMMIGRATION WORKERS are among the topics discussed during this year's elections. "If you were to round up everyone who is illegal in agriculture, it would basically shut down our food system," notes Chris Galen, National Milk Producers Federation senior vice president of communications. "That's about as bad- or worst-case scenario as you can imagine. It would be disaster for dairy farming as well as the fruit and vegetable industry and the meat packing industry. I think that's where we really have to be careful about making certain that we don't end up with the reality that matches some of this campaign rhetoric we've heard so far." Is the answer a guest-worker program? Or a more comprehensive immigration reform? Read more  here.

GENE EDITING TECHNOLOGY IS TOUTED AS ONE OF 10 INNOVATIONS that could change the world. Considered distinct from GMOs, which is high on consumers' concerned list, gene editing technology could be used to improve animal welfare (for example, removing the need to dehorn). "But transparency will be critical for public acceptance," notes an article published by the Center for Food Integrity. "Broad public support for technology will increasingly depend on the level of transparency and consumer engagement by those in the food system." Learn more from this CFI article by clicking here
For your business mind...

FIVE OR MORE FARMERS WHOSE FARMS ARE IN THE SAME WATERSHED can form a group and apply for a grant for up to $20,000 a year to help them find solutions best suited for their particular watershed, based on topography, soil type, types of operations and other factors that differ among regions of Wisconsin. Applications for the Producer-Led Watershed Protection grants are being accepted now through Sept. 1. You can read how grant money can and cannot be used, what farms qualify, grant parameters and more at this website

10 TIPS CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. While being in the dairy industry has its challenges today, Dr. David Kohl offers 10 key practices that can help dairy producers survive and ride the downturn: 

1) Be modest in family living
2) Invest in productive assets, including yourself
3) Learn to deal with not only employees but the public
4) Become a life-long learner
5) Have a strong group of peers
6) Find great mentors
7) When you profit, use 60% for growth, 30% to build working capital and 10% for yourself
8) Get better before getting bigger
9) Balance numbers and passion
10) Keep a strong relationship with your lender. 

Kohl shares additional information, including his P=O+C+L+M2 business equation for success, in a PowerPoint presentation available at this  website.

THE FIRST AND MOST CRITICAL STEP IN A FARM'S ANIMAL WELFARE PROGRAM is prevention, underscores Jane Dukes, public relations executive with MorganMyers. Before a dairy is faced with a crisis, Dukes recommends a dairy and its veterinarian partner to develop policies and procedures for appropriate animal care as well as a written animal-care-commitment statement. Once these are on paper, Dukes advises sharing them with all employees-and employees should be required to read and sign the commitment statement. Dukes also urges dairies to hold employees accountable for adhering to stated standards of care. Additional recommendations and steps that can help minimize the long-term impact should a dairy be the target of an animal rights group can be found online  here.

YOUR SAFETY AND HEALTH ARE IN YOUR HANDS. Literally, in your hands, when it comes to handling toxic chemicals. Ronald Jester, University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, points out that not just any glove will do the job. Gloves should be chemical resistant, appropriate for the chemical you are handling, fit properly, have a palm finish that provides the grip needed for the job and be long enough to protect against chemical splash. Jester discusses common glove materials, glove selection criteria, use, care and reuse questions at this site.

"Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will."  --Zig Ziglar
Meet a fellow PDPW member...
Morgan & Nathan Kliebenstein
Kliebenstein Farm - Darlington, Wis.

As a youth, Nathan Kliebenstein dreamed of being an attorney. But a bigger dream emerged when Nate said "yes" to becoming the fourth generation on the family farm, Kliebenstein Farm, in Darlington, Wis. Upon his dad's retirement, Nate purchased 200 acres of land and the 116 heifers his dad had not sold upon his retirement. 

Beginning with just 13 cows, Nate and his wife Morgan now milk 200 cows.

Lots of changes have occurred since Nate took over the dairy. His first purchase was a TMR mixer. He's also replaced silos with bags, had a freestall barn built and retrofitted the stanchion barn for a double 8 parabone parlor and then expanded to a double 10. A second freestall barn was constructed in 2014 to house breeding age and pregnant heifers as well as dry cows, and 40 more stalls were added to the original freestall barn, allowing them to expand the herd.

Concentrating on advancing their herd, Nate and Morgan are flushing one of their best cows for the second time this year. In their breeding program, they focus on AI bulls that have good sire conception rates and zero in on health traits, udders, protein and pedigree variety. Morgan points out that they prefer having cows with a high body condition, contending that these cows "will live longer and milk better."

"We have a closed herd, and healthy cows, and we don't push them," Nate says. "We milk twice a day and concentrate on quality." He adds, that, with their system, "the heifers should be set up to do better and the herd will continually improve."

Kliebenstein Farm
Next year, 150 acres that have been tied up in the CREP will be available so the dairy can use it to grow more crops for their dairy rations. They will also continue to buy some feed and plan to utilize custom operators to save on the investment in equipment.

Believers in continuing education, Nate and Morgan are members of PDPW. They attended their first PDPW Business Conference in 2015 and said it was beneficial learning from resources from around the country and mingling with others with like-interests.

Morgan says it is the little things that they pick up at these events that make a difference.   "You can't put a price tag on that," she summarizes.
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.