Junior hereford exhibitors head East

CEW-MR-1-JrHerefordby Rebecca Long Chaney

HARRISBURG, PA — More than 600 junior exhibitors from 34 states across the country spent a week here for the VitaFerm Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE).

“I honestly think it’s the best junior national I’ve been too,” said Andy Billing of Greendale, NJ, co-chair New Jersey. representative on the six-state joint host JNHE planning committee. “The Farm Show Complex was a great facility to host the event. It’s the first time for all the cattle to be in one barn. The complex is air conditioned and there was plenty of trailer parking.” [Read more…]

Houcks looking to upgrade their Culpeper dairy with automatic milkers

CM-MR-2-Houckby Karl H. Kazaks

CULPEPER, VA — “We need to upgrade,” said Joe Houck, explaining his family’s plan to build a new dairy parlor with robotic milkers. “Our current parlor was modern decades ago.”

Construction hasn’t begun yet, but within a year Houck and his son Craig, who farms full-time with his father, expect work to be underway on a new parlor and tank room, and an extension of the freestall barn.

At present, the dairy milks 140 Holsteins 2x. The Houcks intend to internally build their herd to 180 cows by the time they move to the new parlor, to be better sized for three automatic milkers. [Read more…]

Transition is the ‘danger zone’ for dairy calving

CN-MR-1-Dairywebinarby T.W. Burger

The period just before and after calving can be a very dangerous time for a dairy cow, says Gustavo M. Schuenemann, DVM, MS, PhD, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Ohio State, and OSU Extension veterinarian.

“That transition period, especially during delivery and the week before and after, are critical point in the cow’s life, he said. “That will dictate how a cow performs later on, if they get sick or develop metabolic diseases.”

But with knowledge and focused analysis on the part of owners and workers, the cow’s odds can be improved and the owners’ profitability enhanced, said Schuenemann. [Read more…]

Growing canola as a component of dairy feed

CM-CN-MR-2-Growing canola1766by Sally Colby

A field of bright yellow canola is a pretty sight, although most people don’t know what it is when they see it. The terms canola and rapeseed are often used interchangeably, but they aren’t the same crop.

Canola is essentially improved rapeseed. Rapeseed contains high levels of certain compounds that make it unpalatable to livestock. In the early 1970s, after improving the palatability, oil quality and protein level, the crop became known as canola. To be called canola, the crop must test below established levels for erucic acid and glucosinolates; the two undesirable compounds in rapeseed. The term ‘canola’ comes from the term ‘Canadian oil’. [Read more…]