Perennial Lactation – Keeping Cows In Milk Longer

Andy Vance

Dr. David Zartman, The Ohio State UniversityThe typical dairy cycle is for a producing cow to enter a dry period from between 45 and 60 days prior to calving. That cycle, however, may not be the most profitable production practice available. Dr. David Zartman, Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University’s Department of Animal Sciences recently released an article examining the concept of perennial lactation – a lactation lasting over two full years, and in several cases, three and four years without a dry period. I spoke with Dr. Zartman on the subject, and you can listen to his comments here: Audio David Zartman Interview (8:54 mp3 file)

Audio, Dairy Business, Milk, Production, University

Select Sires Adds Jersey and Milking Shorthorn Firepower

Andy Vance

Select Sires LogoSelect Sires of Plain City, Ohio has strengthened its stud with the addition of three top Jersey and one leading Milking Shorthorn bull to its sire string. The Jersey bulls are all graduates of Select’s Program for Genetic Advancement young sire program. The Milking Shorthorn Sire is the Number One bull in the breed according to Jeff Ziegler, manager of protein/specialty sire programs for Select Sires.

Jersey Sire 7JE670 C-Bar Hallmark GERONIMO debuts as the highest milk bull in the breed at +2089 and is #2 for both PTAP and JPI. His production numbers indicate exceptional profit potential, and his data also indicates his cows will be productive in your string for a long, long time.

7JE667 Mason Lemvig JACINTO-ET ranks in the top 20 both for PTAP and JPI with +189. Coming from and Excellent (92) dam, his component scores are outstanding, and his health traits have earned him Herdlife Builder status. His daughters are well regarded for their ligaments and correct feet and legs.

7JE681 Lynvail TELMARK-ET is the #3 JPI bull in the breed at *225, featuring a unique balance of genetics and components. His Cheese Merit score ranks in the breed’s top 5, and he is tied for 5th in PTAP. His daughters are known for their exceptional dairy strength and excellent, well-attached udders.

The Milking Shorthorn 7MS342 Vinra Peerless FROLIC joins the lineup as the breed’s top performer in terms of profitability, featuring a breed toping +132 PTI. With a dam and granddam both scoring Excellent producing over 26,000 pounds of milk, its no wonder FROLIC sires daughters who produce volumes of high-component milk from well-attached udders.

Dairy Business, Production

He May Not Be Much To Look At…

Andy Vance

Andy Vance Headshot… but he thinks he can write!

So Chuck couldn’t make me hot – It’s tough being a broadcaster sometimes – When the camera comes out, usually. In fact, my Dad called me when I got my first radio job and congratulated me on getting a position that really suited me. Looking for some more platitudes, I asked Dad what made him say sucha thing, to which he promptly replied, “You sure have a face for it.” I knew then that I would always have a strong fan base.

I’ve been in farm broadcasting my entire career, starting as a college intern with an early morning studio internship. I was in the office by 4:30 each morning to produce the morning show for our network’s farm broadcaster. I wasn’t on the air much, but I loved the work. While I was there, I was trained by a beautiful young producer whom I later married. To quote one of my fellow farm broadcasters from earlier this week, I really married up. Our network was purchased by a larger radio company at the end of my first year with the company, so I was out of radio and back into fulltime college at Ohio State. That didn’t last long – One of the sales consultants I had worked with at the network moved to a local radio station, WRFD-AM in Columbus. Along with being central Ohio’s strongest signal, WRFD was also Ohio’s only major farm radio station, producing over two hours of agricultural programming each day.

At WRFD I started in the sales arena, learning how to write effective selling messages and how to efficiently serve clients. These experiences were some of my most rewarding, because of the close relationship I built with so many of our sponsors. After a few weeks on the job, our station Program Director learned that I had previous studio experience, and promptly offered me more hours producing commercials and voicing small projects. I was thrilled to be back in the booth. The very next summer, I got my big break: broadcasting from county fairs! Because our sales team had successfully marketed over 35 county fairs across our state, there were more events to broadcast from than there were broadcasters to cover them. That meant I, junior farm broadcaster intern boy, got to head out on the road. Those early broadcasts were rough, but really fun. After a few of those, our afternoon drive talk show host Bob Burney invited me to fill in for him during the state fair – WOW! I was doing cartwheels in the aisles. Hosting a two hour talk show live from the Ohio State Fair was daunting enough, but filling in for our most popular host and previewing our Sale of Champions was enormous. I couldn’t belive my good fortune.

That broadcast is still one of my favorite memories on the radio. I had a great time, wonderful guests, and earned a great deal of respect from listeners and sponsors, as well as station management. Two months later, I was having breakfast with our General Manager. This breakfast started out innocently enough – he picked my brain about how we could improve our programming and marketing. By the time I finished my eggs, he had asked me to take over the Farm Department altogether. I was floored, thrilled, astonished, and blessed all at the same time. I served as host of our farm programming from 2002 through late 2005, and had the time of my life doing it. And then, it all came to an end.

The first Friday of the Ohio State Fair that year was a busy day. My wife was working with me at WRFD by that time, and we were doing everything in the farm department – broadcasting, sales, promotions, marketing, public relations, housekeeping, production, feeding the hogs (just kidding about that last part)… State Fair is one of our busiest times of the year with live broadcasts, shows, and countless stories to cover. So I was naturally a little miffed when the boss called me and told me to get back to the office right away. Assuming something bad was going to happen, I really had no idea what was going on.

Our parent company had decided that farm programming no longer had a place on our hallowed airwaves. After 58 years of providing the best farm radio programming in the state, RFD was no longer going to stand for Rural Free Delivery. While my wife and I were both offered other positions at the station, we both knew that farm broadcasting was our passion and our mission. And so after about three minutes and 37 seconds of discussion, we decided to strike out on our own – We’d be entreprenuers!

October 1st, 2005 I officially became CEO of AdVance Broadcast & Communication, Ltd. and I reported to our Chairman of the board (she’s the wife I mentioned eariler). On November 14th, we launched our broadcast, hailing The Buckeye Ag Radio Network as the Next Generation of Rural Radio accross three great radio stations. Now, nearly four months later, we have grown our listening area to include 11 radio stations in Ohio and Indiana, reaching over 55 counties and thousands of farmers. Our website is one of the premier agricultural news sources in the known universe (I can say that because my wife does 100% of the work) and we have just launched our own blogs and podcasts. You’re more than welcome to join us there.

I’m honored that Chuck and Cindy have asked me to join their stable of contributors, and I am anxiously awaiting your feedback on my thoughts and my stories. I have a great deal of passion for farm news, farm people, and in particular, the cattle industry. I grew up raising beef cows, but have always had a special affinity for the dairy industry. My Dad and his four siblings grew up milking cows, as did my Mother and her three brothers and sisters, so it’s in my blood, even if perhaps the genes ended up being recessive this generation. If you want to learn more about me, read my personal blog, Andy’s Angle. Feel free to email me any information requests or story ideas you come across. Most importantly, God speed and God bless.

Industry News, Media

Welcome Andy Vance

Chuck Zimmerman

Andy VanceLet me officially introduce you to Andy Vance, Buckeye Ag Radio Network. You’ve been seeing some of his articles here and (hopefully) listened to a few of his reports.

Well, you’re going to be seeing him even more. I was looking for someone who could help me post current stories here on World Dairy Diary and Andy volunteered. I wanted someone who was blogging and he is. I wanted someone who would be consistent about posting good, up to date information and he does.

As soon as I have a chance to go over the posting procedure with him, Andy will begin posting his own content here and we’d love your feedback.

Andy sent me his photo and was hoping I could use PhotoShop to make him look “hot.” I tried Andy, sorry.

Welcome to the ZimmComm family of farm news blogs!

Media

Colorado Flap Over Organic

Chuck Zimmerman

The whole organic vs. “regular” milk issue is pretty hot in Colorado according to a story in today’s Denver Post. What do you think of the way their reporter characterizes today’s dairies?

The less stress on the cow, goes the logic, the better the milk. Consumers who pay a premium for organic milk are supposed to feel good about subsidizing this expensive bovine lifestyle.

Ordinary dairy cows, by contrast, are strapped to a big corporate sucking machine for up to 10 months a year. And they typically get turned into hamburger before they can complain about it.

But Steve Wells, 48, who runs a 32,000- acre ranch east of Greeley, says he didn’t let the so-called organic cows out of his feedlot very often. Wells was a contractor for Boulder-based Aurora Organic Dairy, which supplies milk for private labels in stores such as Safeway, Wild Oats, Target and Costco, and also to Dean Foods’ Horizon Organic.

Industry News, Milk

Rabobank Thinks U. S. Dairy Future is Bright

Chuck Zimmerman

RabobankRabobank has a report out that paints a very promising future for the dairy business in the U. S. It’s one of their Ag Focus reports called “U.S. Dairy Farming: Facing New Markets and Uses, August 2005.” Here’s the introduction:

The United States dairy sector is entering new markets and product uses as a result of ongoing changes at the demand,production and processing stages. With stocks already at record low levels,world demand for U.S. dairy exports continues to increase, as the supply by traditional exporters is limited and world prices climb higher. Increasing concentration, relocation and larger farms and processors have been ongoing
trends, while the development of the export market, the definite increase in the consumption of cheese, and the resulting decline in the importance of fluid milk in total milk use are reshaping the U.S. dairy sector.

The Demand Side

The growth in consumption of dairy products in the U.S.continues to favor cheeses over fluid milk. While per capita consumption of cheese has increased by almost 3 percent per year since 1983, consumption of all fluid milk varieties has declined annually by about 1 percent during the same time period.

You can see the whole report here.

Agribusiness

When A Name Causes Problems

Chuck Zimmerman

Kuwait Danish DairyBoy, talk about a name problem. An AP story today points out the problems a dairy company in Kuwait is having over the whole Danish cartoon protests and boycotts. It’s the Kuwait Danish Dairy Co. They’re an Arabian gulf company that employs about 1,500 people.

But when Arabs began boycotting all things Danish over the prophet cartoons, it was the company’s name that caused it big problems.

“In other places outside Kuwait, where the company is known, but not as well as it is known locally _ such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates _ that has caused a drop of more than 95 percent in our sales,” KDD chairman Mohammed Jaafar lamented during an interview with The Associated Press.

Industry News, International

Low Quality Silage May Turn Your Cow's Stomachs

Chuck Zimmerman

Ohio State University ExtensionFrom Mr. Buckeye Ag Radio Network himself, Andy Vance.

Animal health experts want you to get poor quality silage out of your cows’ diet. Not only because of the lower nutritive value, but because it could kill them. Literally. Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center microbiologist Dr. Jeffrey LeJeune said this week that listeriosis can be caused by such poor silage. What veterinarians often refer to as circling disease because of a common reaction in affected cows, listeriosis is technically caused by Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium found on plants, in the soil, and in natural waterways. Studies have found the bacterium isolated in manure from dozens of species, and the bacterium is often present without symptom.

Dr. LeJeune says for the most part, exposure to the bacterium is harmless, but “using feed that has been inadequately ensiled and does not reach an acidic pH of less than 5 can pose a problem.” He says that under such conditions, “Listeria naturally present on the feedstuffs can slowly multiply in storage, resulting in a large number of organisms accumulating in feed by late winter and early spring.”

Listeria often presents itself with the symptomatic circling pattern many affected cows walk, but also can lead to late-term abortions, mastitis, and other conditions. Dr. LeJeune suggests that if you experience death loss and suspect listeria, save samples from the deadstock for veterinary analysis and confirmation. To prevent the disease, he suggests taking “precautions when silage is chopped and packed to make sure it reaches the appropriate pH conditions.”

Education, Nutrition, University