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Free stall barn

Long Day Lighting

Dec 03, 2021

Photoperiod is the duration of daily light exposure in a 24 hour period.  When the photoperiod has been manipulated to 16-18 hours of light exposure; research has shown an increase in milk production, feed efficiency, reproduction, and heifer growth.

cattle in harvested field

Fall Beef Herd Tips

Nov 03, 2021

Pasture conditions are variable in southwest Wisconsin this fall, and how you manage this with your cows can have an impact on winter-feeding costs and cow performance next year. What are some things to assess right now?

cattle in harvested field

Energy or protein, do you know what you need?

Oct 06, 2021

  Harvest is in full swing and soon mother nature will be presenting us with colder temperatures and the white stuff we all have grown to have a love-hate relationship with as livestock producers. With these changes also comes a change in how we manage our beef cattle, transitioning from stored pasture forage to perhaps grazing of corn fodder to feeding of stored feeds.

Colostrum unit

DIY Colostrum Thawing & Heating Unit

Oct 06, 2021

As producers are beginning to focus a lot more on their calf health, lowering excess heifer numbers and raising only what they need for replacements, I have been asked a lot about how to properly store, warm, and feed colostrum.  Refrigerating or freezing excess high-quality colostrum (greater than 22% Brix reading) is a great way to ensure each newborn calf receives this vital nutrition at birth.  Because high temperatures can destroy immunoglobulins (IgGs) and other nutrients, colostrum should be carefully thawed and warmed before feeding it to the calf.  Producers can easily build their own colostrum thawing and heating unit to accomplish this task.

School Bus

Propane Autogas: The Safest Way to Get Back to School

Sep 15, 2021

Propane Autogas is the not just the best economical choice you can make for your district, it's also the safest for your students. Here's why:

Dairy Cow

Do you allow your cows to reach their potential?

Sep 10, 2021

This topic is one of the most talked about items by dairy cow nutritionists and dairy producers.  I wanted to add to prior newsletter articles written by my colleagues where they talked about setting the table for fresh cows by ventilating dry cows and feeding dry cows for success.  Building from that I will add on how handling postcalving animals is crucial to those lactating animals reaching peak milk.  

Corn Silage Harvest

2021 Corn Silage Harvest

Aug 13, 2021

I don’t know about where you live but in my area in the SW corner of WI a majority of the corn tasseled on or near the July 7-11th this year. Easy rule of thumb is the corn is close to ready or ready to be chopped for corn silage 45 days after tasseling.  That means some people could be chopping corn silage around August 18. Yes, weather has a big impact on the time of harvest time.  A week ago, I’d say it’d be earlier due to drought conditions and now with rains it may mature normally. The good news is we don’t have to guess about this. 

Dairy Cow

Are you setting your dry cows up for success?

Aug 04, 2021

We often focus on the ROI of additives in lactating cow diets as they are the ones currently earning their keep, but without a smooth transition period, they cannot reach their potential. Two of the most important metabolic shifts that occur at calving are calcium and fat mobilization to support milk production. Clinical milk fever is relatively easy to identify, but subclinical milk fever is a pervasive, and often unrecognized problem. Low calcium impacts muscles, the immune system, and the digestive system. The high prevalence of subclinical ketosis has also gotten a lot of attention in the past few years with the introduction of reliable cow side blood testing capabilities and the recognition of the associated decreased milk production. Today, we have research proven feed additives (ex. negative DCAD, choline) to help alleviate these metabolic issues and provide a good ROI to the farm. 

Dairy Cow

Should you Cool your Dry Cows?

Jul 01, 2021

Warm weather is upon us, and with that heat stress enters your mind. The effects of heat stress are obvious in your lactating cows with decreased milk in the bulk tank, but may not be as obvious in your dry cows. Heat stressed dry cows can have a much bigger effect than you may have thought possible. Cows that have heat stress leads to lower production throughout the entire lactation, decreased ability to fight off infections, and affects the potential for their offspring to compete in the herd. 

Dairy Cow

Dairy Financial Drivers

Jun 03, 2021

There is no question that the state of the dairy industry, as it has been since my time began at Premier in 2017, has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. While there are plenty of moving parts not in a consultant’s or producer’s control, there are still several ways to improve profitability on our dairies today.

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