Title: Dairy update
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087054/00005
 Material Information
Title: Dairy update
Series Title: Dairy update
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Institute of Food and Agricultural Science
Publisher: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Summer 2003
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087054
Volume ID: VID00005
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Department of Animal Sciences

airy Update

Quarterly Newsletter


UF results confirmed by
researchers in Wisconsin, Idaho
and Arizona

Kermit Bachman, Mehmet
Gulay, and Herb Head

Your Milk Check-Off dollars
supported our research which has
initiated the current national
interest, among researchers and
dairy farmers, in decreasing the
length of the non-income producing
dry period. Research published by
the University of Florida concluded
that cows given a 30-day dry period
produced as much milk during the
ensuing lactation as cows that had a
60-day dry period. No special
treatments are needed (see Dairy
Update: Fall2001; Winter 2002).
The cow experiments conducted
recently by researchers in
Wisconsin, Idaho, and Arizona
support our conclusion.
The university-affiliated
researchers presented their results
this June during the Lactation
Biology Symposium: "Altering the
lactation cycle in dairy cows" held
at the annual meeting of the
American Dairy Science
Association. The Wisconsin study
indicated that no difference in 4%
fat-corrected milk yield existed for
cows dry for 28 days (91.5 lb/day)
and 56 days (93.5 lb/day). Cows
with no dry period produced 79.6
The Idaho and Arizona study
reported average milk yield through
119 DIM. For the cows that entered

their third or higher lactation, those
that had 30 days dry produced 100.5
lb/day while the 60 day dry group
averaged 104.3 lb/day. Young cows
that entered their second lactation
produced 88.4 (30 days dry) and
95.0 (60 days dry). These
researchers also reported that, when
given no dry period, mature cows
produced 92.6 lb/day while young
cows produced 71.0 lb/day.
Mature cows do not need a 60-
day dry period. They will produce
as much milk with a 30-day dry
period. Try 40 days dry to establish
your management approach and
comfort zone. Of course, you must
know when the cow became
pregnant and realize that heat stress
can induce an earlier-than-expected


Charlie Staples and
Lee McDowell

Biotin is a B-vitamin that is
found in the diet and produced by
microorganisms in the cow's rumen.
Between the two sources, about 25
mg reach the small intestine for
absorption. Apparently this is not
enough for today's lactating dairy
cow. Five recent studies between
1998 and 2003 have each reported
that feeding an additional 20
mg/cow/day increased milk
production significantly. The
average milk increase was 4.2
lb/cow/day with a range between 2.2

to 6.2 lb/cow/day. The milk
production of the cows not receiving
biotin averaged 80.5 lb/day. Dietary
forages were corn silage-alfalfa mix
or all alfalfa. The University of
Florida conducted a study in which
18 multiparous cows were fed biotin
prepartum (-17 days) at 20
mg/cow/day and then postpartum
(70 days) at 30 mg/cow/day and
compared to 20 cows not fed
supplemental biotin. The study was
supported by the Florida-Georgia
Milk Check-Off Program and by
Roche Vitamins, Inc., manufacturers
of biotin. Although milk production
was not improved in the Florida
study, cows supplemented with
biotin demonstrated improved
metabolic status. Specifically, blood
glucose concentrations were higher
and blood nonesterified fatty acids
(NEFA) concentrations were lower
in the early weeks post calving.
Lower NEFA concentrations
indicate that the cows supplemented
with biotin were mobilizing less
body fat to support their milk
production and relying more on
dietary energy. In addition, liver
was biopsied at 2, 16, and 30 days
postpartum and samples measured
for fat content. The fat concentration
in the liver decreased at a faster rate
postpartum in cows fed biotin
compared to control cows. A liver
with less fat is better able to
synthesize glucose for milk
production and to detoxify ammonia
from excess intake of protein. These
responses make sense with biotin's
known role in synthesizing glucose.
The price of biotin has come down
of late partially due to the increased
manufacture of biotin from China.

Summer 2003

Feeding 20 mg/cow/day costs about
$0.04 per cow/day. Even if milk
response is at the low end of 2.2
lb/cow/day, the benefit-cost ratio is
quite favorable at about 7:1.


The following article was
written by Douglas J. Reinemann,
Ph.D. Professor of Biological
Systems Engineering, University of
Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc.
Reprinted from the National
Mastitis Council Newsletter 6-03.
(Contributed by David Bray)

You may have read some recent
articles containing confusing or
conflicting opinions on the effects
of "stray voltage" or other forms of
electrical exposures on cows. I am
aware that some people are very
concerned about the possible effects
of electricity on their cows and
themselves. I have been asked by
agencies in several states to
investigate these concerns. As a
researcher and educator, it is my job
to inform society of the results of
these studies and I would like to
present to you a brief summary of
what the research really says. The
short answer is that animals will be
affected if voltage and current
exposure levels get high enough,
however there is a threshold level
below which no harm will occur.
The studies done at the
University of Wisconsin are only a
small part of the long history of
research. Studies on cows began
over 40 years ago while studies on
humans date back more than 100
years. These studies by hundreds of
independent research groups in
many countries have given us a very
good understanding of the way that
electricity affects living organisms
and the levels of electrical exposure
that can be problematic to cows. A
summary research on farm animals
can be found on the web sites

www.mrec.org and www.uwex.edu/
Here are some of the notable
The first study of the effects
of stray voltage on cows was
published in New Zealand in 1962.
It was concluded that 3 volts (60 Hz
rms) would be a likely minimum
level for a response.
A review conducted by 15
scientists and published by the
USDA in 1991 concluded that
exposure levels should be kept
below 2 4 volts (60 Hz rms) to
prevent adverse responses.
Research in the past 10
years has shown that high frequency
events require much higher voltage
and current exposure levels to elicit
the same response as 60 Hz voltage
and current.
SThe state of Minnesota
commissioned a 4 year, $4 million
study by a team of 8 national
experts who concluded "We have
not found credible scientific
evidence to verify the specific claim
that currents in the earth or
associated electrical parameters
such as voltages, magnetic fields
and electric fields, are causes of
poor health and milk production in
dairy herds."
The Attorney General of the
State of Michigan conducted a
lengthy investigation of concerns
over 'ground currents' created by
utility grounding. An administrative
law judge ruled that the complaint
be dismissed because there was no
evidence that a "stray voltage"
problem resulted from the practice
of grounding electrical distribution
Wisconsin has established 1 volt
in cow contact locations (or 2
milliamps of 60 Hz current flowing
through a cow) as its regulatory
standard. The research clearly
supports this as a safe exposure
limit. This standard is meant to
apply to 60 Hz voltages and currents
carried by ground and neutral wires.
The voltage and current exposure
produced by 'ground currents' are

typically 100 to 1000 times lower
than this level.
Wisconsin has had the most
aggressive program of any state in
the nation to deal with the stray
voltage concerns of the public. Stray
voltage is not a mystery. We know
how to measure it and we know how
to reduce it. If you have a concern
about electrical exposures on your
farm request a measurement of cow
exposure levels from your utility
company. Make sure your farm
wiring and the utility wiring meets
electrical safety codes and exposure
guidelines. Always remember to
keep yourself and your animals safe.
Never compromise the safety of
your farm's electrical system in an
attempt to reduce electrical exposure


David Bray

Stray voltage is not a great
problem in Florida. In a lot of cases
an electrician actually has walked
on the dairy. The biggest problem I
see is the use of extension cords in
the parlor to run a radio or fan. Most
two year old cords will bleed 8 volts
ac through the coating of the cord. A
five year old will give you 25 volts
ac. If this is going into the
superstructure of the parlor, you
may have a problem. If you must
use an extension cord, hang it away
from any metal. Use a plastic leg
band or something to isolate the
cord from the metal in the parlor.
Almost everybody has some
extension cords in their parlor do


Mary Beth Hall

Keep an eye on this website out
of the University of Georgia:

This site has UGA's yearly
information on variety trials for
crops as well as forages (corn,
sorghum, sorghum/sudangrass,
small grains, millet). The corn silage
section has information on In Vitro
Dry Matter Digestibility (IVDMD)
of the plant minus the ear (to get an
idea of forage digestibility without
the starch), and the percentage of
grain in the silage. The IVDMD is
very important because the more
digestible the fiber, the more
nutrients and milk you can get from
the forage (so long as there is
enough effective fiber in the ration
to keep the rumen working). If you
don't have access to the internet,
give me a call (352-392-1958) and I
can send you a copy of their 2002
data for specific forage crops. The
forages other than corn do not have
IVDMD information, only yield
data. Whenever you can, get
comparative information on forage
digestibility, so you can use the
potential feeding value to select
varieties for next year.



Albert de Vries

Most dairies participate in the
Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC)
program administered by USDA-
Farm Service Agency. The MILC
program financially compensates
dairy producers when the Boston
Class I milk price falls below
$16.94 per cwt. MILC payments are
made on a monthly basis for up to a
maximum of 2.4 million pounds of
milk produced and marketed by the
dairy per fiscal year. The 2004 fiscal
year begins October 1, 2003 and
ends September 30, 2004.
Payment rate per cwt is
determined by multiplying 45% of
the difference between $16.94 and

the Boston Class I price for that
month. For example, the Boston
Class I price announced for July
2003 is $13.02. Therefore, 45% of
($16.94 $13.02) is $1.764. MILC
payment rate for July 2003 is $1.764
per eligible cwt sold.
Most Florida dairies produce
much more than the 24,000 cwt
milk that is eligible for MILC
payments in the 2004 fiscal year.
Therefore, only part of the total
amount of milk that is produced is
eligible for payments. The MILC
program allows dairy producers to
select in which month of the 2004
fiscal year payments will be started.
The question is which starting
month do you choose.
The selected starting month will
remain the same throughout the
duration of the contract, unless it is
modified. The starting month is
indicated on MILC form CCC-580.
Once a starting month is selected,
the payments continue for the
consecutive months that follow until
the 24,000 cwt cap is reached or the
fiscal year is ended. Dairy
operations that have not designated
a starting date on form CCC-580
will be issued fiscal year 2004
payments beginning with October
2003, unless the FSA office is
notified that no starting month is yet
selected. To select the starting
month, or to change the selected
starting month, dairy producers
must notify their FSA office on or
before the 15th of the month prior to
selected month (September 15th if
your start month is October 2003).
The highest MILC payments
will be received when the Boston
Class I milk price is the lowest. One
way to predict the largest difference
with the Boston Class I milk price is
to look at the Class III or Class IV
futures market. Take $16.94 $3.25
(Boston Class I Differential) =
$13.69 and then subtract the Federal
Order Class I mover (higher of
Class III or Class IV futures values).
The payment rate is 45 percent of
the difference between $13.69 and
the Class I mover.

For example, a dairy chooses as
starting month October 2003. On
June 30th, 2003, the Class III and
Class IV future values were $12.83
and $10.15, respectively. The Class
I mover for October 2003 is the
highest of these two, $12.83. The
predicted payment rate (on June
30th) for October 2003 is 0.45 x
($13.69 $12.83) = $0.387 per
eligible cwt.
An Excel spreadsheet is
available on http://www.animal.ufl.
edu/devries which allows users to
enter herd size, milk production per
cow, and the Class III and IV future
values (available daily on for
example http://www.dairy.nu/
ddh.htm). Users can select different
starting months and see which
starting month results in the highest
expected total MILC payments.
An important consideration (not
included in the spreadsheet) is that
any MILC payments received will
be added into your farm income for
calculating taxes due. So MILC
payments received in 2003 will be
added to farm income for 2003 and
payments received in 2004 will be
added to farm income for 2004.
Considering that 2003 has so far not
been a good year, signing up for
MILC payments in 2003 may be
smart if the dairy does not need to
pay taxes over 2003.
Another consideration is that
money received earlier is more
valuable than money received later,
because you can invest that money
and earn interest on it (or pay bills).
Check with your local FSA
county office for details. USDA-
FSA's MILC website is


Albert de Vries

EDIS is the Florida Cooperative
Extension's Electronic Database
Information Source. The EDIS

website (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu)
provides a comprehensive, single-
source repository of all current
UF/IFAS peer-reviewed extension
documents. The papers have been
written by UF/IFAS faculty,
specialists, and agents.
A search on July 2nd listed 240
papers with dairy related
information. The topics range from
4-H to nutrition and feeding,
reproduction and health, milking
systems, genetics, management and
economics, and veterinary medicine.
You can also browse these papers
through the link http://edis.ifas.ufl.
edu/TOPIC Dairy. Dairy veterinary
medicine is found under
VeterinaryMedicine_Dairy. Papers
can be read on the screen in htm
format or printed in pdf format.
From the EDIS site, more than
three million educational print and
electronic products are disseminated
each year from some 4,800
publication titles. The site is also the
ordering system for as needed
printing of EDIS publications.
Together, the streamlined
publication process, universal
access, and print as needed services
not only reduce the cost but also
expand the impact of the EDIS
Take a look at EDIS and let us
know what you think about the dairy


UF Vice President for Agriculture
and Natural Resources Dr. Mike
Martin announced the appointment
of Dr. Roger Natzke as Senior
Associate Dean and Director IFAS
International Programs beginning
July 1, 2003. While serving in that

role he will continue to spend 20%
of his efforts to the Animal Sciences
IFAS and the University of
Florida recognize that it is important
that our students have an appreciation
for and a broad understanding of the
International picture. Many of the
employers of the future will be
looking for bilingual employees who
have an understanding of the world
markets. To achieve our objectives it
is important that the curriculum be
altered to include the international
perspective and that will come if our
faculty gain exposure to management
systems and conditions in other
IFAS and the University of
Florida have through the years
developed formal agreements with
institutions in other countries to
facilitate cooperative research,
training programs and student
exchanges. With the agreements in
place faculty members are able to tap
into funding sources that would
otherwise not be available. The joint
research and teaching programs are
designed to benefit the citizens and
producers of each country.
A long term goal of our
international efforts is to help people
to help themselves to reduce hunger.
A side benefit to our country is that
as their economies improve they
become better customers for products
produced in the US.


Albert de Vries

Five UF dairy science students
participated in the second annual
North American International Dairy

Challenge (NAIDC) which was held
in Lansing, Michigan in April of this
year. The NAIDC is a dairy
management contest that incorporates
all phases of on-farm consulting in a
fun, interactive and educational
The 2003 NAIDC contest
consisted of 24 teams from 22
universities from around the U.S. The
UF team consisted of Meghan Eade,
Nicole Reyneveld, Jose Rossignoli
and Catarina Silveira. Ashley Bailey
participated in an aggregate team
with students from Cal Poly,
University of Vermont and
University of Wisconsin, River Falls.
Each team of four students was
assigned a participating farm. The
first day the students analyzed farm
records, visited the dairy, and
prepared a presentation with what
they thought were the dairy's
strengths, weaknesses, opportunities
and challenges. The next day they
presented their findings to a panel of
judges from producers, allied
industry, and academia. Both teams
with Florida students did very well
and received Gold awards.
In addition to the competition,
there was time to interact with
sponsors, industry leaders, and fellow
students from other institutions. For
coaches, the contest provided a good
opportunity to discuss the dairy
programs at the various schools. All
participants enjoyed and appreciated
the very educational contest. The
June 2003 issue of Hoard's Dairyman
features on page 434 an article about
the NAIDC contest.
The NAIDC is supported
financially through generous
donations by industry and
coordinated by a volunteer steering
committee. You can find their names
on the NAIDC website

The Florida Dairy Update newsletter is published on a quarterly basis by the University of Florida, Department of Animal Sciences as an
educational and informational service. Please address any questions comments or suggestions to Albert de Vries, Editor, Dairy Update, PO Box
110910, Gainesville, FL 32611-0910. Ph: (352)392-7563. Email: devries@animal.ufl.edu

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