Jim and Sam Dobson use wisdom of the past to thrive in the market of today

CM-MR-2-SAM-DOBSON_1a1by Karl H. Kazaks

CENTRAL SCHOOL, NC — “We’ve just gone back in time,” said Sam Dobson, describing the change his family’s dairy has gone through in becoming organic.

“We’re working ground again, cultivating, using a higher seed population,” he said, of the strategies he and his father Jim are using to control weed pressure in the crop fields. “The cool thing is, we had the equipment on hand. That’s what I grew up doing.” [Read more…]

Dairy herd management and methane production

by Tamara Scully

Climate change has become a focus of the dairy industry, both because climate change will impact dairy herd performance and because dairy herds impact greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Not only do dairy farmers have to worry about protecting their cows from the impacts of climate change; they also have to worry about the carbon footprint of the herd. [Read more…]

Keeping up with the Veterinary Feed Directive ~ Part One: why do we need this?

by Sally Colby

Consumers are more aware and concerned about the use of antibiotics in livestock than ever before, and some of those concerns are valid.

Dr. Mike Apley, boarded clinical pharmacologist and professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University, says that many factors led to the veterinary feed directive or VFD; a topic of much discussion lately among livestock producers.

“It all started back in the 1960s with the concerns about the use of antibiotics in feed for livestock,” said Apley. “There have been numerous reports and studies through that time, waxing and waning, and interest continues to build now.” [Read more…]

Judging the best of the best

CEW-MR-2-JUDGING-AADS_09931by Steve Wagner

The judging for Supreme Champion is a culmination of AADS events for the preceding week. Alan McCauley, AADS President, took a moment to focus on judging guidelines for this particular event, what the judges look for. “You look for straight lines, dairyness, which means angularity and not carrying a lot of excess condition,” he said. “The most important thing is probably a real sound set of feet and legs and a well attached, well balanced udder with proper teat size placement — udder and feet and legs are very, very important.” [Read more…]

Feeding Holstein beef

CN-MR-1-Feeding-Holstein91by Mary and Bill Weaver

Some producers raising Holstein beef calves feed them too long, according to Jim Hogue of Agri-Basics, who has spent 27 years as a nutritionist. “Don’t go by the ‘finish’ on the outside of the animal. Most of the fat deposited in Holstein beef will be internal, and will not be detectable in the live animal,” he explained. “At 1,350 to 1,400 pounds, they’re ready for market. Both you and your buyer will be happier with the results.” [Read more…]