With the recent higher temperatures in the upper 80 F° and low 90 F° range along with high humidity levels we will start to incur heat stress in livestock. Producers need to review their “game plan” for summer and be ready for warmer weather to help minimize the effects of heat stress in dairy herds.
As we know less than 1% of Americas population has direct connections to agriculture production. Therefore many producers will be opening up their farms to have conversations with the public about how and where their food is produced.
On behalf of I-29 Moo University, a 5-state collaboration of extension professionals (Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota), we are inviting you to help with sponsorship of our entire year’s activities.
The United States Department of Agriculture made changes to the Margin Protection Program (MPP) for dairy producers within the Bipartisan Budget Act which was signed into law on February 9th, 2018.
Recently, I attended the Commodity Classic in Anaheim, CA and had the pleasure of listening to Keni Thomas, a Staff Sergeant with the Army 3rd Ranger Battalion who was deployed to Mogadishu, Somalia.
As the American farm continues to grow and evolve, the need for extra labor within these operations is also exhibiting the same parallel trend. Unfortunately, many of us as agriculture producers did not sign on to become human resource managers, when we entered into the occupation of agricultural production.
Caring for the lactating dairy herd in extreme cold conditions also has its challenges. If not properly cared for producers may see a decline in performance including total milk production, increasing somatic cell counts due to mastitis, losses in reproductive efficiency and even decreased growth in young first calf heifers if the extreme cold continues for extended periods of time.
The most critical and most expensive period of calf growth in raising dairy calves is the pre-weaning period. During this period calves are highly susceptible to cold stress with a lower critical temperature of 50°F for newborn calves and 32°F for older calves. Cold stress can result in calves turning to stored body fat to generate body heat, essentially losing weight. In addition, calves experiencing cold stress will have compromised immune systems making them more susceptible to disease.
Within the dairy industry there is a high percentage of contact time between animals and human beings on a daily basis. So how are these injuries occurring? Many victims of animal injuries are the result of being stepped on, kicked, fallen on, crushed by cows or mauled by dairy bulls and gored by animals that have not been dehorned.
As agricultural livestock producers, we should know the dangers of manure pit gases. We should know they can be toxic and even deadly. The gases referred to are methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and ammonia.