52 publications were found
Adoption of Mastitis Control Technologies in the Southeast to Reduce Mastitis and Improve Milk Quality
Mastitis continues to be a major livestock disease afflicting the U.S. dairy industry. As the industry strives to improve milk quality to meet consumer as well as exportation demands, the legal limit for bulk tank sec will likely be reduced from 750,000/ml to 400,000/ml in the near future. It is estimated that between 10 and 20% of US dairy farms, mostly located in the Southeast, are currently at …
Antibiotic Therapy in Mastitis Control for Lactating and Dry Cows
Antibiotic therapy continues to play an important role in the control of mastitis in dairy cows. Lactational therapy is effective against Streptococcus agalactiae but less successful against infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus and other causes of mastitis. As a result, alternative treatment strategies have been developed, including a combination of both intramammary infusion and the parente…
Bull Buyer's Guide
Bull procurement decisions can greatly impact your future calf crops and herd genetics for many years. Selecting and buying a herd bull is the quickest way to make genetic improvement in your herd. The selection process must include looking for those traits that are economically important and highly heritable. Demand and buy bulls with total performance that will improve your herd. This publicatio…
Calf Health Basics
Calf health is a key variable for calf growth and performance. Producers should not expect to know all calf health issues, causes, and the most successful treatments. Instead, a producer's main goal should be to accurately identify and differentiate normal from abnormal in a calf's physical state and behavior. The topics discussed in this publications are intended to help producers notice key area…
Common Terms Used in Animal Feeding and Nutrition
The purpose of this publication is to serve as an educational
reference and resource to those who are interested
in animal feeding and nutrition. Our primary objective
is to list the common terms used when discussing animal feeding. This listing will also be helpful when reading articles on animal feeding and nutrition, feed analysis reports or tags associated with feeds sold in the market.
Considerations for Using By-Product Feeds
By-product feeds come from a variety of sources, including grain processing, production of human foods and beverages, and manufacturing of fiber products. Although many of these feeds have been used for years, others are relatively new. Research has been conducted on most by-product feeds and the guidelines for their use are well documented; however, limited information is available on the feeding…
Control of Mastitis and Milk Quality in Dairy Goats through Immunization
Prevalence of mastitis in dairy goats ranges between 5% and 30%, with Staphylococcus spp., otherwise known as the coagulase-negative staphylococci, identified as the most frequent cause of infection. These staphylococci produce persistent subclinical mastitis with markedly elevated somatic cell counts (SCC), which may lead to clinical symptoms.
Prevention is the key to controlling staphylococcal …
Cow Behavior: A Critical Factor to Consider Under Heat Stress
Cow behavior is critical for animal well-being and performance and influenced by many factors, such as heat stress. Under thermo-neutral conditions, cows spend half a day lying down and the rest of the time is distributed into standing, feeding and milking. However, when cows are exposed to heat stress, they spend less time lying down but more time standing up. The altered cattle behavior by heat …
Cutting Costs, Not Corners: Managing Cattle in Tough Times
Cutting costs allows producers to survive during trying times and also teaches valuable lessons that may actually increase profits in future years. Cutting corners, on the other hand, may save some money in the short-run but ultimately will have very detrimental effects.
Dairy Business Analysis Project: 1999 Summary for Florida and Georgia Dairies
The Dairy Business Analysis Project was initiated in 1996 to measure and document the financial performance of Florida dairy businesses using standardized accounting measures, so uniform comparisons could be made among participants. Formal collaboration between the Universities of Florida and Georgia began in 1998. This publication presents the results from fiscal year 1999 information.
Dairy Business Analysis Project: 2005 Summary for Florida and Georgia Dairies
Financial data for the year 2005 were collected from participating dairy farms and screened for completeness and validity. Each dairy farm then received a benchmark report detailing its financial results compared to the average results for the other participants and the six dairy farms with the highest net farm income per cwt. This benchmark report is discussed with the dairy farms to identify cha…
Dairy Genetic Benchmarks
This publication provides genetic benchmarks for Holstein herds processed by Dairy Records Management Systems. Examples for using and applying benchmark values are provided; however, this publication should be viewed primarily as a comprehensive resource of genetic benchmark values. These values will be useful to dairy producers, dairy managers, consultants, veterinarians and agribusiness represen…
Dairy Herd Synchronization Programs
This publication describes dairy herd synchronization programs will help improve your reproductive management efficiency. Try the one that fits your management system the best. Both estrus and ovulation synchronization programs will help get more animals bred more efficiently. Feeding open animals extra days can be costly to producers. Identify open animals and pick the best breeding alternative f…
Dairy Judging Terminology: A Guide to Saying What She is and Not What She Isn't
This guide is designed to help you improve your reasons for your placings in dairy cattle evaluations. Slowly incorporate new terms into your oral reasons and your ability to describe what you see will continue to improve. Concentrate on what you see instead of what you don't see. You only have 2 ½ minutes to justify your placings. Use I.D. points, and Practice! Practice! Practice!
Dairy Production and Management Benchmarks
This publication provides production and management benchmarks for Holstein herds processed by Dairy Records Management Systems. Some examples of using and applying benchmark values are provided. However, this publication should be viewed primarily as a comprehensive resource of production and management benchmark values. These benchmarks will be useful to dairy producers, dairy managers, consulta…
Dairy Reproduction Benchmarks
This publication provides reproduction benchmarks for Holstein herds processed by Dairy Records Management Systems. Some examples of using and applying benchmark values are provided; however, this publication should be viewed primarily as a comprehensive resource for reproduction benchmark values. These benchmarks will be useful to dairy producers, dairy managers, consultants, veterinarians and ag…
Developing a Storm Preparedness and Response Plan for Dairies
The Southeast U.S. is susceptible to hurricanes and tropical storms every year. Hurricane season occurs from June 1 through November 30, and these storms are normally forecast several days in advance. Tornadoes, ice storms, thunderstorms, or straight-line winds—potentially damaging winds produced by thunderstorms—are rarely forecast with enough notice to prepare other than to hopefully warn employ…
Drought-Related Cattle Feeding Problems
Drought does not develop overnight but progressively over time. Proper management during a drought period can make or break a producer's ability to stay in the cattle business. One main concern during a drought period is feeding and nutrition of the cow herd. Several problems could arise due to drought conditions. A good producer should stay alert for warning signs and avoid potentially damaging s…
Estrus Synchronization Programs for Natural Service
Cattle producers commonly evaluate reproductive performance by determining how many cows became pregnant during the breeding season. Although pregnancy rates are important, when the females become pregnant within the breeding season is a major component of cow-calf profitability. Cows that become pregnant early in the breeding season calve earlier in the calving season. Consequently, they have mor…
Feeder Calf Grading Fundamentals
Feeder cattle buyers, marketers, and producers are able to communicate the potential growth and carcass merit potential of individual and grouped calves using the USDA Feeder Cattle Grading Standards. Producers that are aware of these standards and their use in predicting carcass value are better suited to making breeding and management decisions to improve the value of future calf crops.
Feeding for Improved Yield of Milk Components
This bulletin provides information for producers, nutritionists, and feed industry personnel on formulating diets to maintain or improve milk composition. The value of milk components is increasing more than skim milk, so this topic impacts all dairy farmers. The publication provides information on feeding dairy cows for improved yield of milk components, providing background on how the cow synthe…
Feeding Sprouted Wheat to Cattle
Sprouted grains are usually considered unsuitable for milling or distilling; however, they can serve as an excellent source of nutrients for cattle.
Wheat, which is commonly used for human consumption, is usually priced higher than other feedstuffs and is typically not utilized for livestock consumption. Sprouted wheat, however, is discounted heavily at the mill and may be economically feasible to…
Feeding Whole Cottonseed to Dairy Cows and Replacements
Whole cottonseed is an excellent feed for dairy cattle due to its high level of fiber, protein and energy (fat) in a compact package. It can be fed just as it comes from the gin without processing or may be pelleted before feeding. Whole cottonseed can also be used to stretch limited forage supply. Dairymen should capitalize on this situation as much as possible. Some limiting factors to consider …
Forage Use and Grazing Herd Management During a Drought
This brief management guideline provides producers with specific management tactics that may minimize the potential for short- and long-term problems. These tactics, categorized in order of early, advanced, and severe drought stages, are based on specific characteristics including water loss, forage growth, and rainfall.
Freeze Branding Cattle
To improve efficiency, cattle producers should place a high priority on identifying individual cattle and maintaining accurate records. One type of permanent identification is branding.
Guidelines for Using Feeds Containing Aflatoxin in Dairy Rations
Aflatoxin is formed in stressed plants by the mold Aspergillius flavus. The mycotoxin is produced by an actively growing mold. The mold can be present without mycotoxin formation or the mycotoxin may be present without the mold. The formation of the mycotoxin can occur during storage if the feed is not kept dry. Aflatoxin can be found in many grains and forages but is most commonly found in corn, …
Heat Detection Strategies for Dairy Cattle
When the time comes to examine a herd's dairy reproductive management program, producers often want to discuss low conception rates. In most cases, however, inadequate heat detection is the much greater reproductive problem. Heat detection is the first step to getting an animal bred. According to DHIA records, producers in Georgia are only seeing a third of their heats. Missed heats are one of sev…
Horn Fly Control to Increase Productivity in Dairy Heifers
The implementation of horn fly control measures, such as aerosols, bait, strips, foggers, dust bags, traps, oilers, ear tags, pour-ons, natural predators, and insect growth regulators is instrumental in reducing the new infection rate, while existing mastitis cases can be eliminated with antibiotic therapy. Such management practices will promote animal health and well-being, enhancing producer pro…
How to Improve Your Percent Calf Crop
The number of calves sold is a major source of income from a cow/calf operation. A high percent calf crop increases profit. Reproductive efficiency is the first factor to consider in a breeding program. A beef cow must conceive in the first 40 to 60 days of the breeding season, have a live calf unassisted, breed back to calve every 12 months, and raise a calf that is heavy enough to be profitable.…
Improving Artificial Insemination Techniques
Using incorrect A.I. techniques can lower the overall success rate of the A.I. breeding program. Most producers learned correct semen handling techniques and insemination procedures at one time; unfortunately, many have developed bad habits that have lowered their success rates. This publication reviews proper procedures that should help eliminate some of those common mistakes.
Improving Dairy Heifer Reproductive Management
Reproductive management of dairy heifers is one area in which many dairy producers can improve. Heifers are the most fertile animals in a herd and should have the greatest genetic potential. Dairy producers need to pay more attention to getting heifers bred sooner and breeding them to genetically superior bulls. This publication describes methods for improving dairy heifer reproductive management.
Is Your Heifer Fit to Show? A Guide to Fitting and Showing Dairy Animals
Every animal emerging from the pasture or barn needs time and attention to get her show-ring ready. The showman on the other end of the halter needs to be prepared as well. Faults in either fitting or showing could lead to a less successful show experience than one might have hoped for. This publication offers advice on fitting and showing dairy animals, including the updated PDCA scorecard, maxim…
Maintaining a Clean Water Trough for Cattle
Clean water for cattle is important for animal health and production and water delivery systems require routine maintenance and monitoring.
Management Strategies to Reduce Heat Stress, Prevent Mastitis and Improve Milk Quality in Dairy Cows and Heifers
This publication describes management strategies to reduce heat stress, prevent mastitis and improve milk quality in dairy cows and heifers.
Managing and Feeding Lactating Dairy Cows in Hot Weather
Hot and humid environmental conditions stress the lactating dairy cow and reduce intake of the nutrients necessary to support milk yield and body maintenance. In Georgia, weather conditions are sufficiently hot and humid to reduce performance of dairy cows for five months or more each year. This publication presents methods that can be used to minimize the stress on dairy cows during hot weather a…
Managing Endometritis in the Dairy Herd
When it comes to managing a dairy herd, infections and inflammation of the cow's uterus can have negative implications for animal welfare, milk production, and rebreeding capacity. Maintaining uterine health is essential for proper ovarian function and the creation of a uterine environment that is favorable for successful pregnancy. Although all production species can suffer from disruptions to ut…
Managing Mastitis in Dairy Heifers to Improve Overall Herd Health
Prevalence of mastitis in unbred, breeding-age and pregnant dairy heifers is higher than formerly realized. Infected
mammary quarters, especially those with Staph. aureus IMI, exhibit reduced mammary gland secretory
potential, marked leukocyte infiltration and the accompanying inflammation. Both nonlactating and lactating
commercial antibiotic infusion products have been used successfully to cure …
Managing Mastitis through Proper Dry-Off Procedures
Research has demonstrated that proper dry-off methods are vital in promoting udder health during the nonlactating period and at calving. For high producing cows, it may be necessary to decrease dietary energy over the last 1-2 weeks of lactation by increasing fiber and eliminating grain. Abrupt cessation of milking is probably as good as intermittent milking with a diet change for low and medium p…
Measuring the Dry Matter Content of Feeds
Adjust rations for the dry matter (DM) content of each feed, especially when wet feeds, such as silage, are fed. Small changes in the DM content will change the nutrient profile of the ration. The potential results of not monitoring the DM content of wet feeds and adjusting rations accordingly are a combination of problems including decreased animal performance and feed efficiency and increased he…
Production Costs vs. Feeding Value of Forages
Determining an equitable price for purchased forages is a necessary but often uncomfortable topic of discussion for feed growers and purchasers. Usually this discussion is in the context of corn silage; however, the same principles can be used in any discussion involving hay, baleage or grains. In order for an input market to be efficient, the price agreed upon by both buyers and sellers should ad…
Setting Goals to Improve Breeding Strategies
Problem identification is the first step in establishing objectives and goals to improve reproductive management in a dairy herd. Management is determining what must be done and achieving results through the efforts of yourself and your employees. Use the following worksheet to evaluate herd reproductive performance and set goals to improve your breeding strategies. Then develop a tactical plan to…
Small Farm Nutrient Management Primer: For Un-permitted Animal Feeding Operations
Producers need to be aware of the impacts that manure can have on water and air quality. However, management of manure and other byproducts of livestock and poultry production has important impacts on farm profitability, neighbor relations and protecting soil and water quality.
This publication covers: Farm and Homestead Maps; Manure Storage and Treatment; Nutrient Budgeting with Nitrogen and Pho…
Solving Postpartum Breeding Problems
Early identification and diagnosis of reproductive problems through a herd health program are an essential part of successful dairy management. A cow must be pregnant by 85 days postpartum to achieve a 12-month calving interval. This is the backbone of sound reproductive management in an economical dairy business. Many factors during the dry period, parturition and early lactation can lower reprod…
Somatic Cell Count Benchmarks
This publication provides somatic cell count benchmarks for Holstein herds processed by Dairy Records Management Systems. Some examples of using and applying benchmark values are provided. However, this publication should be viewed primarily as a comprehensive resource of somatic cell count benchmark values. These benchmarks will be useful to dairy producers, dairy managers, consultants, veterinar…
Spanish Series: Estrategias de Detección de Celo para Ganado Lechero
La detección de celo es el primer paso para hacer que un animal se preñe. De acuerdo con los registros de la Asociación Nacional para la Información de Hatos Lecheros (DHIA por sus siglas en inglés) los productores en Georgia solo ven un tercio de los celos. Los celos perdidos son uno de varios factores que contribuyen a intervalos largos entre partos. Al aumentar el número de celos observados es …
Spanish Series: Programas de Sincronización de Hatos
Los datos del programa Dairy Records Management Systems (DRMS) demuestran que hatos de alta producción tienen índices de concepción bajos, y estos tienen también pasarán menos días abiertos y tienen una mayor taza de detección de celo.
[This publication describes dairy herd synchronization programs will help improve your reproductive management efficiency. Try the one that fits your management sy…
Spanish Series: Resolviendo Problemas Después del Parto
La identificación y el diagnóstico temprano de problemas reproductivos relacionados a nuestro programa de salud del hato es una parte esencial de un manejo eficiente de nuestra producción lechera. Muchos factores durante el periodo horro (seco), el parto y la lactancia temprana pueden disminuir la eficiencia reproductiva. Estos incluyen la mastitis, quistes ováricos, falta de condición física (bod…
Speaking Spanish to Improve Dairy Cattle Reproduction
This publication contains English-Spanish translations of common dairy reproduction terminology to help producers better use Spanish to evaluate reproductive management and communicate with employees.
The Importance of Stripping Foremilk on Milk Letdown, Milk Quality, and Mastitis Detection
According to the National Mastitis Council, the recommended milking procedure for dairy animals is 1) provide low-stress environment, 2) check foremilk and udder for mastitis, 3) wash or predip teats with an effective disinfectant, 4) completely dry teats with a single-use towel, 5) attach milking unit within 120 sec of teat stimulation, 6) adjust milking units as necessary, 7) shut off vacuum for…
Vaccination as a Tool to Control Mastitis in Dairy Cows
Due to cows' universal exposure to manure, which contains E. coli and other gram-negative bacteria, as well as the requirement to maintain sec as low as possible, all cows should be vaccinated with one of the coliform vaccines available on the market. These vaccines have been proven to significantly reduce clinical coliform mastitis and have been shown to be profitable when incidence of clinical c…
Vaccine Handling: Producer Tips for Chuteside Success
Vaccines are an integral part of a comprehensive herd health program. When used in conjunction with other management tools, vaccines can reduce both the risk and impact of disease in beef cattle herds. Nevertheless, when used inappropriately, vaccines can be virtually useless and, in some cases, result in impaired productivity and significant economic losses.
Water Requirements and Quality Issues for Cattle
Water is the most important nutrient for cattle. It accounts for 50 to 80 percent of an animal's weight and is involved in every physiological process. Cattle cannot adapt to water restriction and feed intake greatly decreases if water is restricted. Water availability and quality can become a major issue during a drought. It is important to check water sources frequently for water availability an…