“Black” is Not the Only Goal in Beef-on-dairy Breeding

By: Maureen Hanson. Previously published by Bovine Veterinarian online.

Dairy-Beef Crossbred ( Maureen Hanson )

If the dairy industry wants the beef business to embrace beef-on-dairy crossbreds long-term, we need to up our genetic selection game, according to Denise Schwab, Extension Beef Specialist for Iowa State University.

Schwab advised producers at Iowa State’s recent Midwest Dairy & Beef Day that beef-on-dairy breeding decisions need to be made with the same precision they devote to genetic selection for dairy replacement females. “It’s not likely you tell your semen rep, ‘Just give me Holstein semen that’s cheap,’” she stated. “Yet that’s what’s happening with a lot of beef-on-dairy breeding right now. We need to aim for more than just a black calf.” Continue reading

Winter Dairy Calf Management

By: Jason Hartschuh, Extension Educator, Crawford County, Ohio State University Extension

Winter roared in this year way before most of us were ready with corn still in the field, barn doors not dug out and winter calf supplies still in the back corner of the barn. Even though we know winter is coming, it never seems like we are ready when the first blast of winter comes.

Calves are most comfortable when the outside temperatures are between 50 to 68 degrees F, which is a calf’s thermoneutral zone. When temperatures are below the lower critical temperature of 50 degrees F, calves need extra energy to stay warm. At times during winter, this can be a challenge since 50 degrees F at night can have highs of 70 degrees F during the day. Usually calves deep bedded with straw manage this variation by nesting with their legs covered at least to the middle of the back leg when lying down. Continue reading

USDA Announces New Decision Tool For New Dairy Margin Coverage Program

Source: USDA

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the availability of a new web-based tool — developed in partnership with the University of Wisconsin — to help dairy producers evaluate various scenarios using different coverage levels through the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized DMC, a voluntary risk management program that offers financial protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. It replaces the program previously known as the Margin Protection Program for Dairy. Sign up for this USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) program opens on June 17. Continue reading

Only 1-In-5 Consumers Think Plant-Based Products Should Be Called Milk

Previously published by Ohio Ag Net

With only days to go before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) comment period on fake milks ends, new consumer research shows Americans widely disapprove of dairy terms being appropriated by fake-milk producers, as well as confusion on the nutritional content of milk versus plant-based imitators, offering further evidence that FDA must enforce long-existing standards of identity on dairy imposters. Continue reading

Low Milk Prices Sending Some Dairy Farmers Out of Business

Previously on Ohio Ag Net

Nervous about the dramatic drop in milk prices, Ohio’s dairy farmers are leaving the business at a higher than usual rate.

Every year, some farmers retire and give up their dairy licenses, but there’s been an uptick recently. In March 2018, there were 2,253 licensed dairy farms in Ohio — a drop of 59 farms in five months. Continue reading

Milk Production of Ohio Dairy Herds

By: Maurice L. Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

It is always important to monitor the yield of milk and the composition of milk, especially for the individual farmer, because the income of the dairy farm depends on this source of revenue. The yields of fat and protein are the primary determinants of the price received by farmers. The proportions of fat and protein are useful in monitoring cow health and feeding practices within a farm. The income over feed costs (IOFC) and feed costs per hundred of milk are important monitors of costs of milk production. Continue reading

Omnibus Bill Addressed Milk Labeling Concerns

From Ohio Ag Net

The massive congressional spending bill signed into law last week  expresses Congress’ concern that many plant-based foods and beverages are not properly labeled. It builds on language from the DAIRY PRIDE Act (DPA), a bipartisan bill introduced last year in both chambers of Congress, to compel the Food and Drug Administration to act against misbranded imitations. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Tough Times in Dairy

Last week I wrote about March Madness and if you have been following the NCAA tournament you know that madness is certainly what has happened in college basketball over the last week. Needless to say but my bracket is busted just like everyone else’s at this point.

When thinking about what to write about this week I thought about a variety of topics from garden planting to bull selection and buying. However, one topic has had the attention of agriculture here as of late, in that of the dairy crisis. Continue reading

Dairy Price Woes Continue

By Matt Reese and Ty Higgins, for Ohio Ag Net

The world is awash in milk, it seems. Production is up, consumption is down and grim economic reality is settling in for many dairy farms.

Ohio State University Extension field specialist for dairy production economics Dianne Shoemaker does not see much light at the end of the tunnel for dairy prices.

“Sadly, I am not hearing a lot that is hopeful — too many cows, lots of heifers coming up behind them, too much milk. It sounds like New Zealand is having some weather issues, so if that results in lower than expected milk production, that means less milk for export to the international market,” Shoemaker said. ‘It is a bleak picture of the next 12 months. Top this off with uncertainty about NAFTA and proposed tariffs, and it is hard to be terribly optimistic. In spite of the oversupply of milk, farmers have to manage their businesses on an individual basis, which means they are likely to produce more milk and focus on components.” Continue reading