One of the most difficult things for farm managers/owners to master is coaching employees for optimal performance. Just like becoming an 85% free throw shooter on the basketball court, it takes practice.
Although belonging to the family Bovidae (bison, cattle, sheep, etc.), and sharing some characteristics with their ruminant cousins, goats are unique. They are represented worldwide by two genus: Oreamnos and Capra.
Haying season is well underway and yields are shaping up better than last year thanks to the much needed moisture. For many alfalfa and grass hay harvesters, the main cutting has been cut and bound with binding materials such as net wrap or twine.
We often don’t focus as much on heat stress in young dairy calves and tend to focus more on cold stress. However, it is just as important and producers or calf raisers should have a plan in place to help mitigate heat stress in these animals also.
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.
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.