Proceedings for 4-State Dairy Nutrition & Management Conference

The proceedings for this conference held in Dubuque in early June is available on line.

New Hoard’s Dairyman article preview

I was invited by Hoard’s Dairyman to write an article based on the talks I am giving for the Wisconsin Dairy Herd Heath seminars this month. The article is entitled: "Seven Musts for Getting Cows Bred" and it will appear in the March 10, 2011 issue. I have just uploaded a pdf of that article that you can download under the secure section of my web page. Go to my web page here and click on the "Staff Resources" tab on the left side of the page. Log into the secure site and click on the article under "Hoard’s Dairyman". Questions and comments are welcome.

Dairy Reproductive Economic Analysis Tool

A new and exciting tool is available in the UW Dairy Management Website: → Tool → Reproduction → Dairy Reproductive Economic Analysis. This decision support tool has been developed to assess the economic value of reproductive programs and, more importantly, to calculate the economic value of improving reproductive performance: E.g., improving 21-d pregnancy risk from 15% to 20%.


We made every possible effort to present this tool as a practical, user-friendly application in spite of the complexity involved in the internal calculations. Also, we strove to keep the tool as a web-based system for easy use and application.


The tool comes with a 7-minute video demonstration I recommend to take a look before using it. I also encourage you to read the one-page overview in the front page of the tool. Do not hesitate to contact me for further information or technical support.



Real Feed Costs on WI Dairy Farms (Survey Results)

In January 2011, Paul Dyk, UWEX Dairy and Livestock Agent for Fond du Lac County and Greg Booher, Lakeshore Technical College conducted a feed cost survey of 19 farms.  These farms represented 15 different nutritionists across nine counties.  The Four State Feed Cost Evaluator developed Dr. Victor Cabrera and Dr. Randy Shaver ( ) was utilitzed to compare feed costs across farms.  The average production on these 19 farms was 78.7 lbs.  Farm sizes ranged from 43 to 1260 cows with an average herd size of 350 cows.  Feed cost/cwt of milk ranged from $6.03/cwt to $8.89/cwt with an average of $7.17/cwt.  The full survey can be found at: .   Questions on the survey can be directed to Paul Dyk at, 920-929-3171.


Survey Results

Midwest Manure Summit

January 2011


Paul Dyk, 920-929-3171,

Mark Hagedorn, 920-391-4610,

Abby Huibregtse, 920-834-6849,

Midwest Manure Summit highlights new technologies to best utilize and dispose of manure

Green Bay, Wis. – The animals on Wisconsin farms produce a lot of milk and meat. They also produce a lot of manure. One cow alone creates about 54,000 pounds (6460 gallons) of manure over the course of a year. Handling manure is a challenge for any dairy or livestock producer.

In the past, daily hauling or some kind of storage pit were basically the only and obvious ways to deal with manure. We still use daily hauling and long term storage, but other options in manure handling and processing are surfacing as well. What are some of the new options available? Where have they worked? Are they applicable here? These are some of the questions that will be tackled at the 2011 Midwest Manure Summit.

University of Wisconson-Extension will host the Midwest Manure Summit on Feb. 15 – 16, 2011. For these two days, the legendary Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin will become the meeting place of dairy and livestock producers, government agency workers, agribusiness professionals, and educators as we take a closer look at the processing and handling of manure.

Speakers from near and far will be on hand to bring their knowledge and expertise right here to Wisconsin. Topics and speakers include:

— Air Quality, What’s coming in 2011, and What should you do? John Ferguson, P. Eng, Conestoga-Rovers & Associates

— Utilizing Biofilters for Air Emissions and Odor Reduction from Animal Production and Waste Storage Structures. Dr. Joe Taraba – University of Kentucky

— European Perspectives on Technical and Economical Approaches to Phosphorus Recycling. Dr. Marie-Line Daumer, Cemagref, France

— USDA Developed Technologies for Recovering Manure Phosphorus. Dr. Ariel Szogi, USDA-ARS South Carolina

— Managing Manure to Minimize Environmental Impact. Dr. Joe Harrison, Washington State University

— Making Digesters Work: The Economics of Bedding and Cofeeding. Dr. Dana Kirk, Manager, ADRE Center, Michigan State University

— Ecological Impacts on Future Farming. Dr. Ann Wilkie, University of Florida

— Profitability of Digesters-If I Knew Then, What I Know Now. Bob Nagel, D.V.M., Holsum Dairy, Chilton WI

A dozen other breakout sessions will also be held throughout the conference. These breakout session topics include small scale digesters, treatment options for dairy wash water, alternative bedding challenges, and odor study results.

There is still time to register! The registration deadline is Feb. 8 and the registration fee is $195 per person which includes meals and breaks, proceedings, and a tour of Lambeau Field.

More details and registration information about the Midwest Manure Summit can be found at the conference website, You can also contact one of the conference chairs: Paul Dyk, 920-929-3171,, Mark Hagedorn, 920-391-4610,, or Abby Huibregtse, 920-834-6849,


Midwest Manure Summit 2011 Brochure

Dairy and Beef Cattle Husbandry Conference

UW-Extension will host a variety of well-known speakers from around the country to address the emerging issue of animal handling and well-being.  Speakers include:

Naomi Botheras, Animal Welfare Extension Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences
The Ohio State University. Animal Handling and Production Based Outcomes

Trevor DeVries, Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph. Utilizing knowledge of dairy cow behavior to improve cow comfort

Curt Pate, National Cattlemens Association. Live  Cattle Handling Demonstrations

Kurt Vogel, UW-River Falls Professor of Animal Science. Measuring Animal Welfare

Please look through the following website for information from this program.



Factsheets Available

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Please find below links to 4 dairy management factsheets that may be of your interest.

All are excerpts from recent peer-reviewed publications.

Feel free to use (and adapt them) in your programming and contact me if you need further information.


Exploring Best Replacement Policies in Dairy Herds

Get the Most from Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Insurance

Dairy Farm Technical Efficiency will Keep You Competitive

Optigen® Could be a Viable Substitute for High-Priced Soybean

2010 4-State Dairy Nutrition & Management Conference Proceedings

The proceedings for this conference have been posted on the dairy cattle nutrition web site.

Program set for the 2010 Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council (DCRC) meeting

This year the DCRC will host their annual convention November 11-12 at the Crowne Plaza Riverfront hotel in St. Paul, MN. The two-day event will continue to expand the DCRC’s reach to producers, veterinarians, academia and industry professionals, presenting usable information that can be implemented on commercial dairy farms.

The 2010 DCRC program planning committee includes Dr. Paul Fricke (chair) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Jeff Stevenson at Kansas State University, and Dr. Neil Michael at Vita Plus. Visit Dr. Fricke’s web page to download a pdf of the newly-released meeting agenda and to link to the DCRC web page for more information on the annual meeting.

Brochure for June 9-10, 2010 4-State Dairy Nutrition & Management Conference

The registration brochure for this conference has been posted

4-State Extension workers are granted gratis registrations, but are requested to complete and send in the registration form if planning to attend

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