Join Us in Going Beyond for Dairy!

Join Us in Going Beyond for Dairy!

World Dairy Expo is right around the corner.  This year ANC has some big plans to share with you.  We will be rolling out our brand new look, with the initiative to “go beyond nutrition” for farmers and for the dairy industry. As we are getting ready to roll-out our new look at World Dairy Expo, we wanted to spread the word about what we feel especially passionate about.  Going beyond nutrition, and going beyond for the dairy industry. You can help us spread the word by participating in our “I go beyond for dairy” campaign.  We want to showcase all of the ways farmers “go beyond for dairy,” to open the conversation between consultants and farmers about working together to create management programs, practices, and solutions that work best for each individual farms’ needs. We especially hope this campaign will bring awareness to those that may not be as familiar with today’s farming practices about the many ways farmers care for their animals every day, while providing safe and nutritious food for the world! Join the conversation online by using the hashtag #Igobeyondfordairy and mention @ANCAgNutrition, OR share your own photos, thoughts, and stories to eibergenc@agrinutrition.com.  Let’s spread the word about how farmers go beyond everyday to care for their animals!...

Housing Calves in Groups Can Lead to Success at Weaning Time

Weaning is a stressful time for any mammal, especially dairy calves. This stress can have detrimental effects on animals, such as a reduced immune system and growth rate. Group housing can combat this stress. A study was done at the University of British Colombia to understand what effects group housing calves had on the pre- and postweaning periods. The results demonstrated that there are some benefits to group housing. In the pre-weaning period, calves that were housed in pairs showed a higher intake of starter. Their intake was around 34 grams more per day than the individually housed calves. The researchers also measured vocalizations to determine the amount of distress during the weaning processes. The individually housed calves vocalized three times more often than the group-housed calves, indicating that they felt more distress than the group housed calves. After weaning, calves were mixed into groups containing one pair of group-housed calves and one calf that had been individually housed. In this setting the group-housed calves performed better than the individually housed calves. The group-housed calves spent more time eating, ate more often, and overall consumed more starter. They also gained more weight on day two and three after co-mingling. The individually housed calves actually lost weight, about 2.4 lbs on day two and 0.9 pounds on day three. A possible reason for the better performance of the group-housed calves is that the early social interaction gives the paired calves better ability to adjust to changing environments, allowing them to learn how to use the feeder in a new environment faster. Another reason could be that the paired calves are...
Going Beyond: Consultant Scores a Home Run with ANC

Going Beyond: Consultant Scores a Home Run with ANC

In February of 2002, Addison Bowman was signed by the Boston Red Sox Organization into the minor league system after a successful history of playing collegiate baseball. In college, Addison was a short-stop and third-baseman and then switched to a catcher and outfield player once he made it into professional baseball. A graduate of Virginia Tech in Agricultural Economics and today an ANC Independent Consultant, Addison relates many of his accomplishments to the value of teamwork. “It is a team game, but you want to do your part to make the team successful,” he says of his baseball experiences. Addison says it is no different on-farm and in nutritional consulting. Addison grew up on a poultry and beef cattle farm in Virginia. Beef cows were one of Addison’s biggest interests, and he has had some of the most fun improving his beef herd throughout the years. Agriculture was a large part of Addison’s life growing up, as was playing baseball. In 2003, Addison was released from the Boston Red Sox Organization and returned to his home poultry farm, as he did not know what he wanted to do after his career in baseball. Around that time, farmers around the area were forming a cooperative called the Virginia Poultry Growers Cooperative, providing a good opportunity for Addison to join his father in the poultry business. Since his return, Addison has worked full-time at the poultry farm and also owns 50 beef cows, mostly Angus. In addition, Addison runs 100 acres of cash crops and manages his independent nutritional consulting business with Agri-Nutrition Consulting LLC (ANC). Addison started consulting with ANC after...
ANC is a “spoke” on the wheel of farm management

ANC is a “spoke” on the wheel of farm management

“I always look at the farm as a spoked-wheel.  I, as a manager, am the hub, and all of the good people working with me are the spokes.  If the spokes are broken, the wheel won’t work,” said Paul Norrbom, owner of Norrbom Farms LLC. He believes that each person involved in his operation is important to its success. Paul has been working with ANC Independent Consultant, Bill Keough since 1995 on his 200-cow registered herd in Wittenburg, Wis.  “Bill and ANC are definitely a big team part of that spoked-wheel,” explained Paul. On the ANC program, Paul feeds his lactation cows a diet of approximately 2/3 corn silage and 1/3 haylage on a dry matter basis. He uses ANC TMR Base with Rumensin and Micro NRG.  Cottonseed, corn gluten feed, fine ground shelled corn, and a supplement mix containing canola meal, soybean meal, corn distillers and other ingredients, are also added to the TMR. Norrbom Farms LLC is currently producing 90-95 lbs. of milk per cow, with a dry matter intake of 56 pounds, and milking two and a half times per day. Recently, under ANC and Bill’s direction, Paul switched to a lower energy dry cow diet to solve the fresh cow problems that he was seeing on his farm.  “Vet bills are one-third of what they used to be since we put the low energy diets into place,” explained Paul. Along with the low energy diet, Paul also made a more conscious effort to keep heifers from becoming over-conditioned and calving in at 24 months.  He is seeing significant improvements in pregnancy rates among heifers.  “The...
Successful ANC Customers in VA

Successful ANC Customers in VA

Successful ANC customers are everywhere, but on a recent trip to Virginia, I noticed a few outstanding ANC herds.  Working with Addison Bowman and Nelson Showalter, these farms are really excelling on the ANC Program.  Hear what they have to say about ANC.  It just might convince you to have us run a ration on your farm! Patrick Showalter ANC Consultants: Nelson Showalter, Addison Bowman “With ANC, there is more of a broad range of information.   Other companies will come in, run my ration and leave. ANC looks at all of the little things – evaluates my bedding pack, checks waterers, and just looks at what we could be doing better management-wise.” “The fact that the rations are run by other Ration Analysts really frees up the consultant to be on the farm.  I think it’s a great system.” “So many other guys come in and all they do is take one forage sample, but ANC is doing a really good job managing my forages.” “I’ve never had anyone put so much energy in my heifers and dry cows.  ANC looks at the whole picture.” Stanley Koogler Consultant: Nelson Showalter “Last month we averaged 70 pounds of milk per cow.  Our milk production has went up since working with Nelson and gradually keeps moving up.” Fred Rohrer Consultant: Addison Bowman “We are really happy.  The cows are milking a lot better – 500 pounds a day extra!” “We averaged over a 4.0 fat test last month and we are really happy that milk production is up.” “We are feeding more on the bunk than we used to.”  ...
A High Forage Diet is the Answer for Weis-Way Dairy

A High Forage Diet is the Answer for Weis-Way Dairy

Dan, Marie, Brett and Greta Weis from Weis-Way Dairy certainly know how to utilize all of their homegrown forages.  They have been on the ANC program for more than two years, working with Scott Bascom, ANC’s Director of Technical Services, and have implemented a high forage diet for their dairy cows. Over 80% of the dry matter in the Weis-Way ration is forage.  The diet consists of baleage, corn silage, dry hay, liquid molasses and a supplement mix.  High quality corn silage is the predominant ingredient in the ration.  On this customized high forage diet, the cows seem to be eating more and are milking excellent.  The top cow is milking close to 150 lbs. per day.  The tank average is consistently 75 lbs. of milk, with 4.1% fat and 3.25% protein.  “Evidently you can make milk on forage!” exclaimed Dan Weis, owner of Weis-Way Dairy. “The price of grain was high, so we decided to switch to a high forage diet, and it worked! Milk has been going up, and the manure has probably been the most consistent we’ve seen in two years,” explained Dan.   The Weis’ have adequate acreage to grow more forage than their cows can consume, so they were a perfect candidate for a high forage diet. Cows are ruminants and are capable of consuming large quantities of forage.  Typically, the diet of lactating cows will contain 50-55% of the dry matter from forage.  The level of fiber (NDF) and the digestibility of the fiber, determine how much forage cows can consume before they are too full to eat more.  When high quality, highly digestible...