Elanco Animal Health held a seminar last month in conjunction with the Central Plains Dairy Expo in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to highlight the role of innovation in the dairy industry. Elanco experts offered insight about the full costs of transition disease in the dairy industry and the impact of sustainability and innovation along the I-29 Dairy Corridor in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota.
“The dairy industry is a highly competitive business and the bar for success is constantly rising. To be successful in this environment requires continued improvement driven by sound decision making and innovation,” said Michael Overton, DVM, MPVM, Advisor – Dairy Analytics, Elanco Knowledge Solutions.
During the seminar, Overton presented Transition Diseases: Measuring, Monitoring, and What Do They Really Cost Your Operation? while Roger Cady, PhD, Global Sustainability Lead, Scientific Affairs & Policy for Elanco shared The Positive Impact of Innovation on the I-29 Dairy Corridor.
“The total costs associated with transition disease issues are far greater than the direct costs such as therapeutics, veterinary fees, and discarded milk,” said Overton. “The negative impacts on future milk production, reproduction, and culling extend well into lactation and usually far exceed the immediate costs of treatment.”
Overton encourages a strong focus on parameters such as stocking density, feed quality, urine pH, and days in the close-up pen. Additionally, he says, it is important to keep consistent, detailed records of disease issues that increase the risk of premature culling such as retained placenta, ketosis, mastitis, metritis and milk fever, he added.
“The bottom-line is that accurately monitoring key diseases and their indicators in a consistent, repeatable manner allows producers to detect changes well before issues show up on the culling report,” said Overton. “In turn, producers are much better equipped to make sound management decisions based on quality data.”
Cady’s presentation discussed how sustainability relies on continuous improvement. Based on the most widely recognized pillars of sustainability – economic, environmental and social – he shared that the one most important action that will affect all three is energy conservation.
“Numerous performance factors relate to growth, reproduction, health and productivity, but when a producer saves energy and enhances feed utilization, the ripple effect is notable,” said Cady. “More productive feed utilization translates to less feed required, less water required, less land used; lower input costs; and better economic returns….all of which contribute to continuous, sustainable improvement.”