Department of Animal Sciences
Quarterly Newsletter Vol. 4 No. 4 Fall 2004
NATIONAL MASTITIS COUNCIL ANNUAL MEETING
IN ORLANDO: JANUARY 16-19, 2005
David R. Bray
The 44th Annual NMC Meeting will be held January 16-19,
2005 at the Coronado Springs Resort, Orlando, Florida. While
this organization does not necessarily support the Florida
dairyman, it does support the Florida Tourism Council. The
last NMC meeting in Florida was held in Orlando in 2002.
NMC has been one of the driving forces in lowering
the US Somatic Cell Count to 400,000. The membership is
heavy with folks north of the Mason Dixon line, so their dairy
farm experiences differ from ours, like milk quality bonuses.
They make a lot of cheese, and many don't have much to do,
as they only have two seasons there; winter and Road
While some of their views differ from mine, this
organization has done much for the Florida dairy industry.
NMC was the group that got the Milking Machine guidelines
back to normal; we don't need 50 hp pumps anymore. They
developed the testing procedures for teat dips and have
published The Summary of Peer-reviewed Publications on the
Efficacy of Premilking and Post milking Teat Disinfectants
since 1980. The Summary, which includes information such as
product name, manufacturer, active ingredients) and product
efficacy, is updated annually and published in the NMC
Annual meeting proceedings.
The 2005 program looks interesting; the leadoff
speaker is from UF and is the result of research funded by the
first winners of the NMC Research Awards, on mycoplasma.
There are not a lot of data in many of the talks and they are
easy to follow. Most papers are well suited to dairymen, who
usually do not attend.
NMC is an
inexpensive organization iaIM C
to join and most Florida '
dairymen should be
members. There is good
information from people with good intentions who try to help
the dairy industry. This is the driving force in the lowering of
your SCC. If you support that, go tell them; if you disagree,
join and tell themtoo.
We are part of a Global Economy, and even though
we will never sell "Florida Fresh" Aged Cheddar to Holland,
or wish to sell milk for $7.00/ cwt. or what ever the world
price is, our neighbors in other parts of the US who are paid to
have a lower SCC still want to sell their milk to our processors
and hope that their low SCC will be a carrot to entice our
processors to do so. You need to know what the rest of the
country is doing and that we must lower our SCC to preserve
our markets. Join NM C and attend the annual meeting. I have
not seen registration forms yet, but I assume it will be
November before they appear. Let me know if you want a
form or more information. You can contact NMC at: phone
(608) 848-4615 or email: email@example.com or website:
DAIRY BUSINESS CONFERENCE: OCTOBER 27
The 2004 Florida Dairy Business Conference will be held at
the Marion County Extension Office in Ocala, FL, on
Wednesday, October 27. The programs as follows:
10:10 "Udder financial stress and MOOving out of it",
Scott Peelin and Tom Rugie.
10:50 Break sponsored by our supporters
11:00 "How should you be looking at feed costs?", Brian
Perkins, Monsanto Dairy Business.
11:30 "Economic feasibility of generating electricity from
biogas", Russ Giesy, UF/IFAS Dairy Extension.
12:00 Lunch- sponsored by our agribusiness supporters and
provided by Sonny's BBQ thank you!
1:00 Presentation of Dairy Community Award
1:10 "DBAP03: what we've learned about your business"
Albert de Vries, UF/IFAS Dept. of Animal Sciences.
1:40 "Coping with milk price volatility", Geoff Benson,
North Carolina State University, Dept. of Agricultural
and Resource Economics.
2:30 "Changes in consumer habits when choosing dairy
products", Bob Degner, UF/IFAS Dept. of Food and
3:00 "Test some newer products", Ryan Kitelyn, Dairy
3:15 "Cow comfort: what's really important?", Brian
Perkins, Monsanto Dairy Business.
3:50 Dairy producer panel: "How we manage to ride the
waves", producers Don Bennink, Terry Reagon, and
Joe Nickerson. These producers will share their
experiences of 2002+3 (the trough of our latest cycle)
and 2004 (it was supposed to be the good times).
There is no registration fee and no charge for lunch, but we
would appreciate a RSVP. Please call Jeanne at the Sumter
County Extension Office at (352) 793-2728 to RSVP.
Exit Interstate 75 at exit #354 onto route 27. Proceed east into
Ocala, 27 becomes Blichton Street, then NW 10th Street.
After 2.5 miles (from 1-75), turn left (north) onto 301/441.
After 0.5 mile, turn right (east) onto route 200A or NE 20th
street (watch for signs for the Livestock Pavilion). After 0.5
mile, turn left (north) into the Livestock Pavilion & Extension
Complex parking area. The meeting will be in the auditorium
located on your right as you enter the facility.
The 2004 Florida Dairy Business Conference is sponsored by
the Central Florida Dairy Advisory Committee. For more
information, contact Russ Giesy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or
phone (352) 793-2728.
PDHGA ANNUAL WORKSHOP: OCTOBER 28
The PDHGA annual workshop is held in conjunction with the
Dairy Business Conference. The program is as follows:
8:30 Tour of M+B Dairy, Lecanto, FL. Owners
McClellan family. This dairy is the newest dairy
facility in Florida. It was built for 699 cows and has
several unique characteristics, including 1) confined
cows with cow comfort technology, 2) free-stalls with
mattresses (no sand), 3) daily capture of manure
nutrients sent to hay fields. Location: M+B Dairy,
8760 S. Lecanto Hwy, Lecanto, FL.
9:30 Educational Meeting
"Heifer economics", Geoff Benson, NCSU Dept. of
Agricultural and Resource Economics.
"AI vs bull breeding", Albert de Vries, UF/IFAS
Dept. of Animal Sciences.
"Heifer health protocols we use in our heifer
raising operations", Panel of Georgia producers, to
be moderated by John Bernard, University of Georgia.
12:00 Lunch. Free if you pre-register before 10/26/04.
Please call Jeanne at the Sumter County Extension
Office at (352) 793-2728 to RSVP.
1:30 Tour of Telfair Farms, Nobleton, FL. Owner Art
3:00 Tour of Hancock Farms, Dade City, FL. Owners
Richard & Francine Hancock
4:00 Evaluation and Adjourn
The PDHGA Annual Workshop is sponsored by UF/IFAS,
University of Georgia and the Professional Dairy Heifer
Growers Association. Please call Jeanne at the Sumter County
Extension Office at (352) 793-2728 to RSVP for the lunch.
For more information, contact Russ Giesy, phone (352) 793-
2728 oremail email@example.com
WEST FLORIDA DAIRY PRODUCTION
CONFERENCE: NOVEMBER 4
The 2004 West Florida Dairy Production Conference will be
held at the AG Complex in Chipley, Florida, Thursday,
November 4, 2004. For more information, contact Andy
Andreasen, email amandreasen@.mail.ifas.ufl.edu, or phone
2004 SOUTHEAST DAIRY HERD MANAGEMENT
CONFERENCE: NOVEMBER 16-17
The 2004 Southeast Dairy Herd Management Conference will
be held November 16-17, 2004 at the Georgia Farm Bureau
Building in Macon, GA. This year's program has a strong
emphasis on heat stress and reproduction. Details about the
program can be found in the Sept/Oct DairyFax newsletter at
or contact Dr. Lane Ely, University of Georgia, at (706) 542-
9107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
16th ANNUAL FLORIDA RUMINANT NUTRITION
SYMPOSIUM: FEBRUARY 1-2, 2005
The 16th Annual Florida Ruminant Nutrition Symposium will
be held on February 1 and 2, 2005 at the Gateway Grand Best
Western Hotel in Gainesville, FL. Ten presentations will be
given on meeting the nutritional needs of dairy and beef cattle.
Featured out-of-state speakers will include Dr. Dave Beede
from Michigan State University, Dr. Chris Reynolds from The
Ohio State University, Dr. Lon Whitlow from North Carolina
State University, and Dr. David Ledoux from the University of
Missouri. Contact Charles Staples (352) 392-1958 or Gbola
Adesogan (352) 392-7527 in the Department of Animal
Sciences for further information or check out
2nd ANNUAL FLORIDA DAIRY ROAD SHOW:
FEBRUARY 7 -11,2005
The 2d Annual Florida Dairy Road Show will be held in the
week of February 7-11, 2005. The 2005 program will focus
on health issues. Just like the 2004 Reproduction Road Show,
the 2005 Road ,I .., will focus on practical cow management
and be held at several Extension Offices around Florida. The
exact dates and locations are yet to be determined. For more
information, contact Albert de Vries, email
devries@.animal.ufl.edu orphone (352) 392-7563.
42nd FLORIDA DAIRY PRODUCTION CONFERENCE:
MAY 3, 2005
The 42nd annual Florida Dairy Production Conference will be
held at the UF Hotel and Conference Center in Gainesville,
Florida, Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005. For more information,
contact Albert de Vries, phone (352) 392-7563 or email
CORN SILAGE FIELD DAY: MAY 26, 2005
For further information concerning the 2005 Corn Silage Field
Day, please contact Jerry Wasdin at email@example.com or
(352) 392-1120 or visit http://dairy.ifas.ufl.edu
TRENDS IN REPRODUCTION 1976-2002
Albert de Vries
There have been several reports that reproductive efficiency in
dairy herds has decreased over time. I looked at all Florida
and Georgia herds that were on DHIA between 1976 and 2002
and calculated days to first service, days to conception, and
Figure 1 shows how the number of herds, the average
herdsize and the average milk production has changed over
time in FL and GA herds on DHIA. The number of herds
decreased after 1982 to little over 300 in 2002, the average
herdsize increased to approximately 330 cows, and milk yield
increased from approximately 13,500 lbs / cow per year to
17,500 lbs in 2002.
- -, t t- -t i - - - ,- -
-c-herdsize --herds milk305
Figure 1. Number of herds, average number of cows per herd,
and average 305-d milk production (kg) from 1976 to 2002 in
the DHIA data set.
Figure 2 shows how average days to first service has
increased from about 85 some 20 years ago to 110 days in
2002. Season of calving has a great effect on days to first
service. In 2002, cows that calved in the spring had on
average 127 days to first service while those that calved in the
fall had on average 99 days. While these trends may be a sign
of decreased reproductive efficiency in the cow (high
producing cows don't show heat as long as low producing
cows), it can also be the result of a change in management.
The voluntary waiting period for breeding has increased on
many dairies, and more cows that show heat may go
carvings in spring, fall, and average for the year.
Pregnancy rate is the most important measure of
reproductive efficiency. It is the percentage of open cows that
are eligible for breeding that become pregnant in a 21-day
period. Another way to think about pregnancy rate is the
speed at which open cows become pregnant. Pregnancy rate is
typically calculated per 21 days, because every open cow is
assumed to have had one chance to become pregnant (an open
cow ovulates approximately every 21 days). A quick way to
calculate pregnancy rate is heat detection index conception
rate. Cows that did not become pregnant in 21 days were
either not bred or were bred but did not conceive. Although a
100% pregnancy rate is impossible to achieve, the best herds
in the country have a pregnancy rate of 20 to 25%.
S 20% -
0% . . . . . . .
-Winter Spring -- Summer Fall -Averag
Figure 3. Average pregnancy rates for open cows between 70
to 364 days in lactation from 1976 to 2002.
-D- Average ----Spring -I Fall
Figure 4. Average days to conception from 1976 to 2001 for
calvings in spring, fall, and average for the year.
Figure 3 shows that the average pregnancy rate in
Florida and Georgia has decreased from about 22% in the
1970s to 12% in 2002. Figure 3 als o shows that the pregnancy
rate in the winter is double that of the pregnancy rate in the
summer. It has clearly become more difficult to get cows
pregnant, especially in the summer. The summer pregnancy
rate is a little underestimated because some dairy producers
The result of voluntary waiting period, pregnancy
rate, and repro cull rate, is average days to conception (also
called days open). Figure 4 shows that average days to
conception increased from about 125 days in the 1970s to 160
days after 2000. Cows that calved in the spring take up to 40
days longer to conceive than cows that calve in the fall.
Remember that days to conception does not include
open cows that left the herd, for example because they failed
to get pregnant. Because some cows do get pregnant late in
lactation, average days to conception is increased if a dairy
producer tries to breed open cows longer before they become
These trends in these figures are consistent with
trends in many other parts of the country. Although changes
in reproductive management may have impacted these
statistics some, the decrease in reproductive efficiency in our
dairy herds is reason for concern.
SOUTHEAST DHIA INFORMATION
:d 150 day
le of 1st
-oj 305 da
The Florida Daily 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. UF/IFAS Dairy Extension website: http://dairy.ifas.ufl.edu