Day 1 Dairy Sessions: Alltech’s 28th International SymposiumPrint
Some highlights from Day 1 Dairy Sessions include:
Is the 20,000 cow farm sustainable?
Jim Ostrom, part-owner of Milk Source (Wisconsin), answered the question “Is the 20,000 cow farm sustainable?” Ostrom started out with his two business partners 18 years ago with just 160 cows. Today they have about 20,000 cows and just as many heifers spread across Tidy-View, Omro, Rosendale, New Chester dairies along with Calf Source, their calf raising facility.
“20,000 cows is sustainable. My grandfather’s farm didn’t have any manure containment, no nutrient management programs, and not much regard for the environment,” said Ostrom. “The old, small farm model is not sustainable. The modern model, whether big or small, is to have containment and nutrient management systems in place. With the old model you have runoff and pollution of the environment. The new model provides full containment.”
Ostrom showed a slide of the more than 35 permits they had to apply for Rosendale Dairy alone. The approval process cost the dairy more than a million dollars in consultant, legal, and other fees. Ostrom added that larger dairies are held to a much higher standard than the smaller farms via regulations.
Five ways we can bring the magic out of milk, and boost your sales
Tom Lorenzen of Alltech provided simple tips to increase productivity on the farm, and put a stress on dry cow environment. “We have 60 days to recharge the battery on that dry cow, and so often we ship her out of site and out of mind,” said Lorenzen. “Often those conditions are overcrowded, don’t have enough bunk space, and lack space at the waterer. What’s her next lactation going to look like?”
Lorenzen said each dry cow needs 150 sq. ft. of resting space, 30-36 inches of feed bunk space, and adequate space to get to water. He also recommended going out to a dry cow facility to see what’s going on. Lorenzen used the example of a cow lunging to get up and hitting her neck on the bar above her, or noticing that a cow’s hair is rubbed off in a certain spot indicating a likely stall design problem.
Need to design stalls to be bigger, go out to your barn and listen/watch
Other simple, small changes can help increase workflow, milk production, and drop SCC:
- Cover entryway to parlor to keep traffic constant into parlor stalls
- Keep unruly pets out of the parlor, they might be causing lost milk production
- Make sure employees understand flight zones
- Brush loose organic matter off udder before dipping
- Get teat ends clean
- Clean your waterers on a daily basis; if you wouldn’t want to drink it, why would they?
- Complete milking equipment checks; focus on support of claw
Lorenzen noted that the biggest bottleneck on the farm is communication, for any size or scale of operation, and that you must keep open communication channels.
Other Day 1 Dairy Sessions included:
A world of milk, Fonterra; Paul Campbell, Fonterra, UK
Milk waves: Why some producers make money in milk while others do not; Mikhail Ramanovich, IFCN Dairy Research Center, Germany
Are cows environmentally efficient?; Frank Mitloehner, UC-Davis, USA
Our children’s future: Designing smarter milk for health and development; Marcos Zanetti, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil