Title: Dairy update
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087054/00007
 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: Winter 2004
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087054
Volume ID: VID00007
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

9airy Update


Quarterly Newsletter

Winter (January) 2004


Reproduction Extension Meetings Coming Near You!

You are invited to attend the Reproduction Road Show. This is
a series of 4 meetings around Florida, March 2, 3, 4, and 5, to
bring you up to date on practical state-of-the-art methods to
improve reproductive performance in dairy cattle.


10:00 am Trends in reproductive performance in dairy
cows: what do the numbers tell us? Brent Broaddus
UF/IFAS Dairy Extension
10:15 am Managing the postpartum cow to maximize
pregnancy rate Carlos Risco, UF/IFAS College of
Veterinary Medicine
10:45 am Successful timed AI programs Milo Wiltbank,
U of Wisconsin Dept. of Dairy Science
11:25 am Economic importance of improved reproductive
performance Albert de Vries, UF/IFAS Dept. of Animal

11.45 pm- Lunch (sponsored by Pfizer).

1:00pm Reproductive data management with PC-DART
- Dan Webb, UF/IFAS Dept. of Animal Sciences
1:20 pm Embryo transfer that works Pete Hansen,
UF/IFAS Dept. of Animal Sciences
1:45pm- Getting anestrous cows pregnant -
Milo Wiltbank, U of Wisconsin Dept. of Dairy Science
2:30pm Speaker Panel (Wiltbank discussion leader)
3:00pm PC-DART reproduction workshop (Webb

Meeting Places and Times

Tuesday, March 2 10 am, Okeechobee County Extension
Office, 458 Highway 98 N, Okeechobee, FL
Local Contact Person: Pat Miller (863) 763 -6469

Wednesday, March 3, 10 am, Hardee County Extension
Office, 507 Civic Center Drive, Wauchula, FL
Local Contact Person: Brent Broaddus (813) 744-5519 ext 132

Thursday, March 4, 10 am, Marion County Extension Office,
2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala, FL
Local Contact Person: Russ Giesy (952) 793-2728

Friday, March 5, 10 am, Washington County Extension
Office, 1424 Jackson Avenue, Chipley, FL
Local Contact Person: Andy Anderson (850) 638-6180


Early registration is $10 and provides the program, a copy of
the proceedings, and a CD with the videotaped presentations
once released. Lunch is free (kindly sponsored by Pfizer).
Registration after March 1 is $20. Registration at the door is
possible. To register and indicate your preferred location,
please contact:

Brent Broaddus (UF/IFAS Dairy Extension)
5339 County Road 579, Seffner, FL 33584
Phone: (813) 744-5519 ext 132, Fax: (813) 744-5776
Email: broaddus@ufl.edu

More Information

Brent Broaddus (UF/IFAS Dairy Extension)
Phone: (813)744-5519ext 132- Email: broaddus@ufl.edu

Albert de Vries (UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences)
Phone: (352) 392-7563 Email: devries@animal.ufl.edu

Pete Hansen (UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences)
Phone: (352) 392-5590 Email: hansen@animal.ufl.edu


David R. Bray

It is a new year once again. It is time to repeat what we did
right last year and not to repeat what did not work well last
Mastitis was a big problem last year for many dairies.
With low milk prices and the previous year's high replacement
costs many of us did not cull our chronic cows. We dried off
our chronic cows and, as predicted, they calved back in with
high somatic cell counts.
Resolution #1 Cull chronic mastitis and other cows that
live in the hospital herd. To do this you must keep records to
determine which cows are the problem. Many people keep
records in a daybook but never look at it. PC-DART has a
herd health section to record all health data. These data should
be recorded and looked at and culling decisions made on
animals staying longer in the hospital herd than the time
needed to sell milk to make a profit. If this time is longer than
their profit margin, cull them. 30 days out of the bulk tank is
about the limit before they become unprofitable. You can use
hand recorded data as well to determine length in the hospital
herd. This is more important than ever with the new "downer
cow" rule. If you have a cow that needs to be culled because
she is lame or has chronic mastitis or other problems, do not

put her in a lot to lose 500 pounds and become a downer cow.
Make the decision before you fill her up with antibiotics.
Resolution #2 Milk clean, dry udders. Post-dip, and
keep equipment in good repair.
Resolution #3 Keep your cows cool. Our summer
research has shown that our cows became hot at night when no
sprinklers were used at night. When hot weather comes, leave
the sprinklers and fans on all night. Set the sprinkler
thermostat at 68 degrees F and run them all night as long as
barn temperature is above 68F. Run fans 24 hours a day if
your cows have access to the barns for that time.
Resolution #4 Clean your fans, put timers on your
sprinklers (set the timer so the cow gets wet to the skin, shuts
off and turns on again before the cow dries off). Cooling
occurs when we wet the cow and the fans dry the water off the
cow and takes the heat with it. Usually sprinklers on for 1 to 2
minutes every 10 to 15 minutes will suffice but this varies due
to water pressure fluctuations, supply and pipe size. Set your
sprinklers individually for each barn, not what Joe Blow down
the road uses. Also keep in mind that dirty fans are half as
effective as clean ones.
Resolution #5 Keep your cows as clean and
comfortable as possible. Most of our mastitis problems are
due to Strep uberis This organism lives in the ground and in
our free stalls, including sand bedding. Bedded packs are a
huge reservoir for mastitis pathogens when wet and dirty.
Remove old dirt in pasture mud holes, put in clean dirt,
especially in calving lots. Clean and drain cooling ponds, keep
free stalls and packs bedded and clean.
If you need help in these areas let me or any of the Dairy
Agents know we will be glad to help.


James Umphrey and Debbie Clements

Florida dairy youth from seven counties took advantage of the
First Annual fitting and grooming workshop and contest held
on January 10th in Arcadia. There were over 50 youth and
family members in attendance to see six teams compete. The
event was an effort on the part of the State Dairy Youth
Volunteer Leaders Committee to provide information to youth
on the proper techniques needed to fit and groom a dairy
heifer for the show. The top senior team was Adam Spann
and John Larson of Okeechobee and the top junior team was
Kaitlyn and Brittany Watts of Lake County.
There are a number of shows coming up for youth to
show off their skills and animals. The South Florida Fair youth
dairy show is January 31 in West Palm Beach. The Florida
State Fair youth dairy show is February 15th and 16th in
Tampa. The State 4-H Dairy show and the State FFA
Commercial Dairy Heifer show is Saturday March dh in
Orlando. Make plans to come out and watch the future of the
dairy industry show off what they have learned.
Now is the time to start working on Dairy Judging for the
youth interested in being a part of the State teams for the
coming year. Hoards Dairyman magazine has put their
previous classes on-line. They can be found by going to
http://www.hoards.com/vouth corer/cic corer/cow judging
There are a number of local dairy judging contests that
youth can participate in that are listed below:
South Florida Fair West Palm Beach January 30th, Florida

State Fair Tampa February 14th, Central Florida Fair -
Orlando March 5th.
If you have any questions concerning upcoming judging
events please feel free to contact James Umphrey 352-392-
5594 and Umphrev@animal.ufl.edu or Debbie Clements at
863-763-6469 and DSClements@mail.ifas.ufl.edu. We will try
to help get your youth involved. The Dairy Judging program is
supported through IFAS, the SMI Milk Check-off and
numerous industry supporters.


Albert de Vries and Russ Giesy

We often find that the people on our most successful dairies
have great cow sense. But it is also clear that they use business
principles to make the most profitable decisions.
Maybe you feel your dairy business analysis knowledge
and skills could use a boost. We are offering an applied course
in the fundamentals of dairy business analysis. Topics covered

Balance sheet, income statement, equity statement
Investment decisions (buying cows, facilities, etc)
Economics of maintaining the herd
Capital and partial budgets
Marginal costs and returns
Use of spreadsheets
Business plan
Buy or lease

Meeting place and time: In Gainesville, dates to be decided
soon (second half of May 2004). Let us know if you are
interested because we'll try to tailor to your needs.

For more information, to sign up,
or just indicate your interest, contact:

Russ Giesy (UF/IFAS Dairy Extension)
Phone: (352) 793-2728- Email: giesyr@aol.com

Albert de Vries (UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences)
Phone: (352) 392-7563 Email: devries@animal.ufl.edu

UF/IFAS Dairy Extension Website: http://dairy.ifas.ufl.edu


Dr. William W. Thatcher, Graduate Research Professor,
retired on December 31, 2003, after 35 years of service. Dr.
Thatcher's very successful research approach has been to first
elucidate the physiological mechanisms controlling aspects of
reproductive function that are amenable for manipulation to
improve reproductive efficiency and then develop strategies
for exploitation of this basic knowledge to develop systems,
such as Ovsynch and Heat Synch, to improve reproductive
efficiency at the farm level. Dr. Thatcher will continue his
research efforts at UF part-time.


Albert de Vries, Russ Giesy, and Brent Broaddus

The Dairy Business Analysis Program (DBAP) is an annual
survey of the financial results of participating dairy farms in
Florida, Georgia and Alabama. The survey data are used for a
financial analysis of each dairy through a comparison of the
dairy's financial and production measures with results from
other participating dairies. The dairies that submit data to
DBAP receive a detailed report which indicates their financial
strengths and weaknesses.
Summary results for the 20 Florida dairies that
contributed their 2002 data are shown in the table:

Average Top 6*
Number of cows 1324 1952
Milk sold / cow 16,352 17,203
Cows / worker 65 73
Milk sales / cwt $16.08 $16.36
Other revenues / cwt $ 1.45 $ 1.02
Total revenues / cwt $17.53 $17.38
Labor cost / cwt $ 3.11 $ 2.92
Feed cost / cwt $ 7.51 $ 6.32
Crop cost/cwt $ 0.24 $ 0.32
Machinery cost / cwt $ 0.81 $ 0.64
Livestock cost / cwt $ 1.74 $ 1.46
Milk marketing / cwt $ 0.91 $ 0.96
Real estate cost / cwt $ 0.54 $ 0.42
Depreciation / cwt $ 1.98 $ 2.10
Other costs / cwt $ 1.48 $ 1.07
Total cost/cwt $18.34 $16.21
NFIFO/cwt -$0.80 $ 1.17
Assets / cow $5529 $5805
Asset turn over ratio 0.61 0.61
Debt / cow $2134 $2199
Current ratio 0.97 1.91
Return on assets -3% 5%
Return on equity -10% 4%
Cash flow coverage ratio 1.16 2.69
* Top 6 dairy farms based on highest net farm income from
operations / cwt (NFIFO / cwt).

Data collection for the year 2003 is starting now. If you
would like to participate, or learn more about DBAP, contact
Russ Giesy (352) 793-2728, giesvr@aol.com Albert de Vries
(352) 392-7563, devries(i.animal.ufl.edu, Brent Broaddus
(813) 744-5519 ext 132, babroaddus@.mail.ifas.ufl.edu, Lane
Ely (University of Georgia), (706) 542-9107,
laneelv@.arches.uga.edu, or your local Dairy Agent.


The 2004 Corn Silage Field Day will be held on Thursday,
May 27, at the UF/IFAS Plant Science and Education
Research Unit, 2556 West Highway 318, Citra, Florida 32113.
Topics include field demonstrations of corn varieties and
equipment and presentations by various speakers. Program
details are posted on http://dairv.ifas.ufl.edu. For more
information, contact Jerry Wasdin, (352) 392-1120,


Albert de Vries

Occasionally the question is asked how much a dairy producer
can afford to pay for replacement heifers (especially when
heifers were $2000). The decision to purchase a heifer is an
investment decision. A basic rule is that we must only
consider the cash flows (extra receipts and extra expenses) that
are changed as a result of the heifer purchase. The results of
these calculations are different for every farm. That is why it
is important to understand the basic concepts of the analysis.
Let's assume the dairy facility is not filled to capacity, the
desire is to continue dairying, and the question is whether to
purchase a few more heifers. For simplicity, we'll ignore the
timing of the cash flows (a dollar today is worth more than a
dollar tomorrow), and the effect of the heifer purchase on
taxes and possible loan payments.
First, estimate the expected time the heifer stays on
the farm. One estimate is 1 divided by the typical annual cull
rate, for example 1 / 40% is 2.5 years.
Secondly, estimate the receipts that will change:
lifetime milk sales, calf sales, and the cull value. For example,
2.5 yr 17,000 lbs @ $16 / cwt is $6800 for milk, 2 calves at
$100 is $200, and ultimately a $300 cull value. Total expected
extra receipts are $7300 (or $17.18 / cwt).
Thirdly, estimate the expenses that will change. This
can be tricky because many costs on farms stay the same,
whether the heifer is purchased or not. Good examples of costs
that do not really change are depreciation of buildings and
machinery and maintenance costs. And do labor costs really
change with the purchase of a few heifers? We must only
consider expenses that will change: feed, breeding, may be
some labor and some other variable costs. One estimate from
DBAP data is that at least 30% of the total costs to produce
milk are fixed. If the total cost to produce milk is, say, $16.50
/ cwt (which is lower than the DBAP average), then expenses
as a result of the heifer purchase will only increase by $11.55 /
cwt (70% of $16.50). Total estimated extra lifetime expenses
are therefore 2.5 yr 170 cwt $11.55 = $4909. Thus, the
maximum worth of the heifer to the farm is $7300 $4909 =
$2391. A producer could pay up to $2391 to purchase the
heifer and expect to come out ahead.
Because fixed costs must not be included (those have
to be paid anyway), the maximum worth of a heifer to a farm
is often higher than most producers think. Cows are the money
makers and keeping facilities full almost always pays.
Finally, a farm can be not profitable, even when the
best decision is to purchase the heifers. To be profitable, both
fixed and variable costs have to be counted whereas in the
heifer purchase decision, only variable costs count.


Adegbola T. Adesogan

There is relatively little published information on how
effective inoculants are for enhancing the production of silage
from tropical grasses. This study determined the effectiveness
for improving the fermentation and aerobic stability of
bermudagrass, of a dual purpose inoculant, molasses, and a

mixture of the inoculant and either molasses or fiber-
degrading enzymes. The rationale for evaluating the mixtures
was to determine if the microbes in the inoculant were more
effective when supplementary sugars are provided. Unlike
conventional inoculants which are aimed at either improving
fermentation or improving aerobic stability, the inoculant we
examined contained bacteria that improve fermentation, and
others that improve aerobic stability.
A five-week regrowth of Tifton 85 bermudagrass was
conserved in mini-silos for 60 days without treatment, or after
treatment with: 1) an inoculant
(BB); 2) molasses; 3) BB plus
molasses (BBM); and 4) BB plus
fiber degrading enzymes (BBE).
The inoculant was supplied by
Lallemand Animal Nutrition,
Milwaukee, WI and it contained
Pediococcus pentosaceus 12455, 1 x 105 cfu/g of fresh forage
and Lactobacillus buchneri 40788, 4 x 105 of fresh forage.
The untreated and BBE-treated silages had a very pungent
odor that is characteristic of undesirable clostridial
fermentation. The pH of additive-treated silages were lower
than those of untreated silages. Additive-treated silages also
had higher DM recovery than untreated silages. BB, BBM and
molasses-treated silages had lower ammonia nitrogen
concentrations than the untreated silages, indicating that
protein degradation was lower in those treatments. BB was the
most effective treatment in this respect. Residual sugar
concentrations were higher in molasses -treated silages than
the other silages. All forages had high acetic acid 4.8 %)
concentrations and low lactic acid (1.7 %) concentrations.
However, untreated and BBE-treated forages had higher
concentrations of butyric acid and ammonia nitrogen,
confirming that clostridial fermentation had occurred in these
forages. Untreated aid BBE-treated silages were aerobically
stable for 10 days while BB and molasses treated silages were
stable for 5 and 7 days, respectively. The main reason why the
untreated and BBE-treated forages were more stable was
because they contained high concentrations of butyric acid,
which causes the rancid odor, but also inhibits yeast and mold
growth to a greater extent than the antifungal acids in the other
It is important to interpret the aerobic stability results in
context. In spite of the greater stability of the untreated and
BBE-treated silages, they were less desirable for feeding
because their nutritive values were lower, and they had a
rancid odor that reflected extensive protein degradation and
clostridial fermentation. BB and molasses -treated silages had
negligible quantities of butyric acid, and both of these were
stable for 5 days, which is adequate for routine feeding
In conclusion, this study shows that the efficiency of
bermudagrass fermentation and the quality of the resulting
silage can be improved by treatment with the dual purpose
inoculant or molasses. Both of these treatments resulted in the
production of silages that were stable for at least, five days.
One advantage of using BB instead of molasses was decreased
protein degradation, though this occurred at the expense of
residual sugar concentration. No consistent benefits were
evident when the inoculant was mixed with molasses or
fibrolytic enzymes.

Diseases of Dairy Calves
Part I Enterotoxemia (Sudden Death Syndrome)

James E. Umphrey

Clostridium perfringens is an organism that occurs naturally
in the soil and is often found in the gut of normal, healthy calves.
Certain conditions allow the clostridial organism to rapidly
multiply in the intestinal tract and produce a potent enterotoxin
that damages blood vessels in the brain, large intestine and
numerous other body organs. Calves that have a healthy
appearance and appear to be performing well are susceptible to
this disease. Death usually occurs suddenly within 24 hours of
onset of disease.
Causes are many but are generally elated to the feeding
program. The four primary causes of SDS are: 1) overfeeding
milk; 2) overfeeding grain, both of which can lead to overeating;
3) changing grain mixes suddenly, and 4).not weaning calves
after she starts consuming adequate grain. Any one of these or a
combination can cause a valuable calf to suddenly become ill
and die.
Calves should receive 10% of their body weight in whole
milk or quality milk replacer per day. If a calf weighs 80
pounds, she needs 8 pounds of milk. Additional milk can cause
the calf more harm than good. Diarrhea can occur lowering the
calf's resistance to disease including SDS. Calves 2-3 weeks of
age can handle 2-3 gallons (or more) of milk per day without ill
Grain consumption should be monitored very closely. Your
goal is to have the calf eating 2.5 3% of her body weight at
weaning. The amount of milk consumed should stay constant
and as the calf grows her additional nutritional needs are met by
an increase in grain consumption.
Calves at weaning (8 weeks) should be consuming 34
pounds of an 18% crude protein feed. At this point calves can be
removed from milk feeding over 3-7 days by cutting milk
feeding in half for a few days and then complete removal. Some
research has shown that calves can be weaned earlier or when
consuming -2 pounds of feed per day for 2-3 days in a row.
This can happen in as little as 5 weeks of age. Careful
observation must occur if attempting to wean calves this early.
A good quality calf starter should be selected. Sudden
changes in feed can throw calves off feed and will cause changes
in the micro-flora of the gut. This change in the gut will allow
the clostridium bacteria a chance to start growing rapidly. Calf
starters should contain 18% crude protein. Research shows that if
35-40% of the protein is of the by-pass type it will help the calf
grow in stature. Dried brewers grains are best for getting by-pass
protein in calves. Adding 10-15% cottonseed hulls has been
shown to have an advantage in feeding young calves.
A good vaccination program can aid in the prevention of
SDS but it is not a substitute for properly managing the feeding
program. Clostridium type C&D toxoid vaccine should be used
in dry cows and springing heifers to establish clostridal
antibodies. Two vaccinations of the dam, 2-3 weeks apart,
should provide adequate immunity for the newborn calf. For
calves, vaccinations should be made at 2 weeks of age and
repeated in 2-3 weeks.

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.
Phone: (352)392-7563. E-mail: devries@animal.ufl.edu. UF/IFAS Dairy Extension website: http://dairy.ifas.ufl.edu

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