SDSU Extension has developed the Feed Cost Comparison to help evaluate the relative costs of two different feedstuffs. This interactive tool will run through the iGrow Livestock Decision Aid webpage on your mobile or desktop device.
Often times we get into the mindset that the only time we need to provide feedback to employees is when we do a formal evaluation. Not true. Providing feedback, whether it is on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis is extremely important as we develop great employees. Unfortunately, formal evaluations are viewed like a visit to the doctor for our annual check-up.
Fly Control in concentrated animal feeding operations such as dairies is a challenge, especially as the weather heats up and there is abundant moisture and organic matter available. Flies not only are a pest, but they also decrease production efficiency. Flies cause livestock to expend extra energy fending them off instead of resting, feeding and milking. Other issues directly associated with fly pest problems on dairies include increased medication costs, veterinary costs, increased potential for disease spreading, and possible increased public complaints. For example it is estimated that Stable flies (biting, blood-feeding fly) can lower milk production by 15 to 30 percent (Westbroek, 2002). Additionally, contagious mastitis is also spread by high fly populations. Flies also can hinder worker productivity along with spreading disease to humans.
Emergency preparedness is something we all know we should do, but unfortunately it often ends up on the “to do list” never getting checked off as completed. We know emergencies happen, we just don’t know to whom, when, or what type of emergency. Being prepared for an emergency on your dairy can significantly improve recovery time from an unexpected incident.
SDSU Extension has the purpose to foster a learning community environment that empowers citizens to advocate for sustainable change that will strengthen agriculture, natural resources, youth, families, and the communities of South Dakota. For the dairy industry, we ensure that all sources of information has direct knowledge and offer scientific-based information that is concise, easy to understand, and vetted through unbiased sources to our clientele.
On January 1st of 2017 the latest version (Version 3.0) of guidelines were implemented for dairy producers participating in the F.A.R.M. program (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management). Producers are reminded that there are two priority phase areas for Version 3.0. Phase One Priority items include 3 Mandatory Corrective Action Plan criteria. These items are expected to be implemented and the farm showing progress within one year from their on-farm evaluation in which a F.A.R.M. evaluator finds one of these items to be inadequate.
Sources of handling stress are accumulative in cattle. Stockmen can have a positive impact on the amount of stress cattle experience by planning ahead and being realistic about allowing adequate time to get things done well. Low-stress handling techniques from the Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) and Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) programs can minimize stress on both cattle and people, improve handling efficiency, and subsequently be beneficial to limit potential losses.
Winter is here and snow and icy roads will increase the risk for accidents. Getting ready to leave the house and going to work on the snow and ice might be a problem for inexperienced people. The cold and snowy season are challenges for anyone, and especially to the immigrant workers that have to endure them.
Cold weather is not just hard on the people taking care of animals, it can be tough on the animals themselves. Consider respiratory disease (pneumonia) in dairy calves. It’s not just our imagination that cold temperatures often bring with them an increase in sick calves; there are physiologic reasons why cold weather increases the risk of respiratory disease.
Dairies and cattlemen transport calves, cows and bulls routinely. Ensuring that trailers are properly prepared for transport no matter how short the distance helps stockmen be efficient and promote animal well-being while ensuring human safety. One important way to be prepared during transportation emergencies is to consider the Bovine Emergency Response Plan (BERP) curriculum.