Dairy & Data: How ANC uses DairyComp305 to maximize milk production

At Agri-Nutrition Consulting LLC we are using state-of-the-art technology to analyze collected data to determine herd health, milk production status, and pinpoint areas of opportunity. DairyComp305 is an incredibly powerful tool that allows us to help dairies reach their goals, and take them to the next level. This spring we had a textbook example of a dairy that needed a little help, and how we utilized DairyComp305 to boost their milk production by 12 lbs. in 45 days. Quite the turnaround!  Before ANC: 300 lactating Holstein cow dairy 78 lbs. milk 3.78% Butterfat 2.93% Protein High Group and Postfresh cows milked 3x, and late lactation cows milked 2x The red area noted in the chart below is what our team at ANC refers to as the ‘Broken Box.’ This box helps us identify cows milking less than 50 lbs. of milk within 150 days in milk. Cows in this box hold the most opportunity for improvement in the herd. Our goal is to minimize the number of cows in this group, which will result in higher production.     The chart indicates that there are currently three cows in the ‘broken box’, which in most cases is really good. However, when we look at overall milk production (78 lbs.), it becomes apparent that the window of peak production is being left wide open. This graph also indicates that around 100 days in milk, a rapid decrease in milk production is happening. With this information, the ANC team formulated a diet that will help support higher milk production and move cows out of the ‘broken box’ and achieve higher peaks....

Strategies for $25 Milk and $4 Corn

What a difference a year can make!   Class III milk prices are more than $6/cwt higher and corn price is at least $2.00/bushel lower than at this time in 2013. In fact, the February, March, and April Class III milk prices were record highs. Dairy farming is far more profitable than it has been for some time. The last two years margins were tight due to low milk prices and high feed prices. (See results of the 2012-2013 survey on challenges due to high feed cost).  We assisted our clients in developing strategies to manage these challenges.  Today margins are more generous and it is easier to become complacent and miss profit opportunities. However, optimizing income over feed costs can have a dramatic impact on farm profitability particularly in today’s favorable market conditions. We’ve listed a few strategies we consider as we help our clients strive to maximize income over feed costs regardless of milk prices and feed cost. Carbohydrate nutrition Fermentable carbohydrates feed the bacteria in the rumen. These rumen microbes digest the forage fiber in a cow’s diet converting it into highly digestible sources of protein and energy that the cow uses to produce milk.  For this reason, fine-tuning the carbohydrate nutrition can result in higher levels of milk production with minimal added ration cost.  This is one of the reasons we utilize advanced rumen modeling software to formulate rations for our customers. (Read more about using advanced rumen modeling software). Increase Production of Fat and Protein In most milk markets, the value of milk is determined by its content of fat and protein and the income generated by a...

Sawle selected as Marketing Intern for Agri-Nutrition Consulting LLC

Jaime Sawle was recently hired as the marketing intern for Agri-Nutrition Consulting LLC (ANC).  Throughout the summer she will assist in a variety of projects, such as: writing blog posts and articles, implementing new social media strategies, editing and designing the newsletter, assisting with the development of new brochures, literature, and advertising, and obtaining testimonials from clients. Sawle will be a junior in the fall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is studying Agricultural Business Management.  Jaime is from Prairie du Sac, Wis. where she grew up on a 78-acre hobby beef farm, Sandhill Pines Farm.  Jaime and her parents, Jon and Jennifer Sawle, care for a small herd of registered Scottish Highland beef cattle and a donkey.  On campus she is involved with the Association of Women in Agriculture, Renk Scholars, Agricultural Business Management Club, Collegiate Farm Bureau in which she serves as secretary, and National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) in which she serves as the Vice President of Membership. “We are very excited to welcome Jaime to the ANC team this summer,” says Connie Eibergen, ANC Marketing Coordinator.  “She brings a positive passion for agriculture, and has had many agricultural leadership experiences that make her a great fit for this...

Biosecurity is YOUR Responsibility (And Everyone Else’s)

At ANC, our consultants know it is absolutely essential to carry out proper biosecurity protocols from the moment they step foot on your farm to the moment they leave. Although it is important for every visitor to be aware that biosecurity protocols need to be carried out, it is your own responsibility to have a biosecurity plan for your farm. Having your own biosecurity farm plan can potentially save your farm from significant economic loss and lend assurance to consumers that products are safe and wholesome, assisting to ensure consumer demand for product. Biosecurity also helps you keep your animals healthy and farm profitable. What is biosecurity? It is the series of management steps taken to prevent the introduction and spread of infectious agents, such as pests and diseases into a herd. Various protocols include screening and testing animals or plant materials coming onto your farm, a type of quarantine or isolation for newly purchases or returning animals, as well as a monitoring and evaluation system. In fact, animals can carry diseases and pests without even showing any signs. A ‘Biosecurity Program’ for your farm will make this management task easier. Examples of biosecurity measures that should be implemented on your farm: Restrict access to your property and livestock. Have a sign posted that does not allow anyone to enter your farm or come near your animals without permission. Only allow visitors near your animals if it is absolutely necessary. Discourage them from handling/touching your animals. Make sure visitors have clean footwear and clothes; keep disposable boots on your farm for them to wear and throw away. Also, have...

Using TTNDFD when changing to new forages

In my last blog, ‘What is TTNDFD and why does it matter?,’ we talked about several possible uses of TTNDFD (Total Tract NDF Digestibility). One such example is when changing to new forages. TTNDFD can be used to determine if there is a change in the overall digestibility and prevent costly losses in milk production. ANC has been able to put this tool to use.  The following example is from a customer that was switching from BMR corn silage to conventional corn silage, and also to a new haylage bag. Below are some specs from these samples they were using and the ones they were switching to:   New Haylage Old Haylage New CS Old CS CP 25.98% 23.10% 5.85% 6.24% NFC 27.7% 22.1% 43.0% 38.2% STARCH ——- ——– 30.23% 26.62% SUGAR 3.67% 2.57% ——- ——– ADF 29.06% 35.67% 26.95% 28.06% NDF 34.9% 41.09% 45.48% 49.88% 30h NDFd 46.05% 45.58% 52.75% 69.71% 48h NDFd 58.31% 53.44% 62.66% 71.95% TTNDFD 31.79% 48.58% 40.22% 41.56%   Initially, the example farm switched to the new conventional corn silage before a new ration was run and the milk production dropped from 87 lbs. to 85 lbs. Seeing this change from a highly digestible BMR corn silage to a conventional corn silage that should be less digestible prompted the ration department to look at TTNDFD. The drastic change in total tract fiber digestibility from the new haylage sample was not expected since all other parameters indicate the new sample should feed better. At this point, the new haylage had not been fed, so the ration department was able to take that into account when...