Department of Animal Sciences
Quarterly Newsletter Vol. 6 No. 2 Spring 2006
FLORIDA STUDENTS PARTICIPATED IN THE FIFTH
NORTH AMERICAN INTERCOLLEGIATE DAIRY
Albert de Vries
A team of UF students participated in the 5h North
American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC) in Twin
Falls, ID, on March 31 and April 1, 2006. This year's contest
was hosted by Washington State University and the University
of Idaho. The NAIDC was established by universities and the
allied industry to challenge students in recall of basic dairy
management principles and their practical application, while
testing organizational, time management, data analysis, public
speaking, leadership and teamwork skills.
The event attracted 27 teams from leading dairy science
programs in the United States and Canada. The UF team
consisted of Angela Robinson, John Legg, Emma Ivarsson,
and Heather Yerby. Coach was Albert de Vries.
Day One of the NAIDC began with each team receiving
information about one of the 3 participating dairy farms. After
an in-person inspection, the students interviewed the herd
managers. Then each team developed a farm analysis and
presentation materials, including recommendations for
nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health,
housing and financial management. Day Two was
presentation day. Team members presented recommendations
to a panel of judges from the allied dairy industry and then
fielded questions from the judges. Presentations were
evaluated, based on the analysis and recommendations. The
evening concluded with a reception and awards banquet. The
Florida team did fine and obtained a silver award.
In addition to the competition, the UF team visited the
Jerome cheese plant, several dry-lot and freestall dairy farms,
and a calf raising operation in the area. We were impressed
with the size and growth of the Idaho dairy industry.
The NAIDC gives students and sponsors plenty of
opportunity to interact and many students are recruited for
internships or jobs. NORTH AMERICAN INTERCOLLEGIATE
Experiences from the
NAIDC are used to DAIRY ChAENE
improve the UF
undergraduate dairy TOMORROW'S DAIRY LEADERS
program to help prepare our students as well as we can for a
career in the dairy industry or elsewhere.
Generous support from many agribusinesses makes the
Dairy Challenge possible. Southeast Milk, Inc., supported the
Florida team by a milk check-off grant to help with travel
costs. Thank you for your support!
In 2007, the national Dairy Challenge will be held March
30 and 31 in Sioux Falls, SD. A Southern Regional Dairy
Challenge is planned for November 20-21, 2006 in Virginia.
The format of the Regional Dairy Challenges is similar to that
of the national competition, but the focus is more on learning
For more information
about the Dairy Challenge,
contact Albert de Vries, (352)
392-7563, firstname.lastname@example.org, or
go to www.dairvchallenge.org.
2006 The 2006 University of Florida
Dairy ( h,,ll, ,ci-, team.
Standing: Albert de Vries,
Angela Robinson, and Heather
Yerby. r ,,, Emma
Ivarsson and John Legg.
IT'S SPRING CLEANING TIME AGAIN! # 12
David R. Bray
Now is the time to prepare for the long hot summer. I'm
going to repeat this thing until you do these tasks:
1. Clean out high organic matter dirt (MUD) in lots and add
new dirt, especially in calving areas.
2. Clean out cooling ponds. Pump out the water, and clean
out the sludge and spread it some place where the cows
do not have access to it.
3. Let ponds sit dry for the sun to work on the bacteria.
Mycoplasma and other nasty stuff live in ponds. You
must clean them out, at least once a year if you
continuously add water to the pond. If you DO NOT
continuously add water, you need to sample the ponds for
Mycoplasma and pump and clean out the ponds once or
twice during the summer.
4. Clean your fans. Dirty fan shields can reduce fan
efficiency by 50%. You can purchase and install twice as
many fans if you wish not to clean them. If cows are in
the barn or holding area, run fans 24 hours a day, this not
only moves air to cool cows it also helps to remove
moisture and dry the place out.
5. Make sure your sprinklers, foggers, etc, work. It was a
cold winter, many pipes froze and/or broke, and dirty
nozzles don't add much water, check timers for the proper
time for adding water, constant water is not as efficient as
intermittent sprinkling and saves water. Set your
sprinkler thermostat at 75 degrees F or lower during the
hot season. Sprinklers need to run at night because cows
get hotter at night than daytime on those hot nights. To
repeat the above message, you need timers to control
sprinklers or you will waste great volumes of water.
6. Clean and rebuild your pulsators. Wash out and change
the filters on your vacuum controller, (unless you have a
variable speed drive); make sure all ATOs work.
7. Replace all milk hoses, wash hoses, pulsator hoses and
jetter cup holders. Replace all rubber hoses that may be
in the milk house that may add water to the pipeline and
/or bulk tank wash. These hoses harbor Pseudomonas and
Coliforms and can raise your bacteria count. If rubber
hoses are used to wash udders, change them also.
8. Replace all of your floor mounted cow wash sprinkler
nozzles once a year. Spring is a good time to do this.
They not only clean cows they cool cows also.
9. Clean your condenser fins on your milk coolers. Dirty
fans cut down cooling and efficiency and you get warmer
milk at higher electric costs.
10. Mow and spray careless weeds in pastures.
11. Cull your chronic mastitis cows now. It will lower your
cell count and your help is sick of treating them.
12. Dip the dogs to keep the fleas out of your pick-up truck
and your bed.
13. Keep a smile on your face. People will wonder what you
are up to.
Contact Dave Bray at bravwianimal.ufl.edu or call (352) 262-
43rd FLORIDA DAIRY PRODUCTION CONFERENCE
The 43rd annual Florida Dairy Production Conference will
be held at the UF Hotel and Conference Center in Gainesville,
Florida, on Tuesday, May 2, 2006. Program:
Tuesday, May 2, 2006
Presiding Russ Giesy, UF/IFAS Dairy Extension
9:45 Welcome -Dr. Glen Hembry
10:00 The South CAN Rise Again Jim Dickrell, Editor,
Dairy Today, Monticello, MN
10:45 Genetics for the Future Southeast Dairy Industry -
Marjorie Faust, Director of External Research, ABS
Global, Inc., DeForest, WI
11:30 Supply of Milk to Southeast Markets Calvin
Covington, CEO, Southeast Milk, Inc., Belleview, FL
Presiding Charlie Staples, UF/IFAS Animal Sciences
1:15 Using RFID for Dairy Cattle Management -Dan
Webb, Professor, Department of Animal Sciences,
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
1:45 Economic Considerations of Sexed Semen on Your
Dairy Michael Overton, Associate Professor,
College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of
Georgia, Athens, GA
2:30 Ranking Dairy Cows for Optimal Breeding
Decisions Albert de Vries, Assistant Professor,
Department of Animal Sciences, University of
Florida, Gainesville, FL
3:00 Refreshment Break
3:30 How to Optimize Corn Silage Quality in Florida -
Adegbola Adesogan, Associate Professor, Department
of Animal Sciences, University of Florida,
4:00 Future of Milk Production in Florida Producer
Panel, Participants: L.E. "Red" Larson, David
Sumrall, Ed Henderson, Joe Wright. Moderator:
Wednesday, May 3, 2006
9:00 PCDART Workshop -Dan Webb, Professor,
Department of Animal Sciences, University of
Florida, Gainesville, FL
F,.,,,,,.,, Registration for the Dairy Production
Conference includes the program, one copy of the
proceedings, refreshment breaks, and the luncheon. The early
registration fee is $65 for fees postmarked on or before April
21, 2006. The regular registration fee is $80 for fees
postmarked after April 21, 2006, or at the door. To register,
please visit the website http://dairy.ifas.ufl.edu.
Advance registration for the PCDART Workshop on
Wednesday May 3rd, 2006, is requested since space is limited.
Please email dore(ianimal.ufl.edu or call (352) 392-5592 by
April 29th, 2006.
Lodging. A block of rooms is being held at the Hilton for
Dairy Production Conference participants. The group rate is
$89 per night plus 9.25% tax. To qualify for this special rate,
reservations must be made on or before April 15, 2006. Call
the Hotel directly at (352) 371-3600 and be sure to mention
group code "BCS" to receive the group rate. Guest rooms will
be available at the group rate until April 15 or until the block
of rooms is filled. The Hilton is located at 1714 SW 34th
Street, Gainesville, FL.
For more information, contact Albert de Vries, phone
(352) 392-7563, email devries(iZufl.edu, or visit
EFFECT OF HIGH TEMPERATURES, RAINFALL AT
HARVEST AND SHORT DELAYS BEFORE SEALING
ON THE QUALITY OF CORN SILAGE
A. T. Adesogan and S. C. Kim
This Milk Check-Off funded
project was designed to investigate how
rainfall during harvesting and high
temperatures during storage affect corn
silage quality. Since corn forage is
often transported for up to 3 hours from
custom growers fields to bunkers at
dairies, a further objective was to
determine how such delayed sealing outh-mt k, hm.
affects silage quality. Dairy Cheek-Of
Pioneer corn hybrid 31R87RR was grown on four
replicated plots and harvested at 35 % DM with (Wet) or
without (Dry) application of 2 inches of simulated rainfall
from a tanker. Forage samples from each moisture treatment
were ensiled immediately in mini silos (Prompt) or after a 3-h
delay (Delay). The delay forages were left uncovered in a pile
for the 3-hour period. Half of the bags stored in a 105F
incubator (Hot) for 82 d and the other half in a 85TF, air-
conditioned room (Cooler).
Wetting increased proteolysis (protein degradation) and
produced a more heterolactic, poorer quality fermentation.
Storage at the higher temperature produced a higher pH, a
poorer, more heterolactic fermentation, more proteolysis and a
greater concentration of indigestible, heat-damaged protein.
Delaying sealing for 3 h produced similar effects to a short
wilting period including reduced dry matter losses, lower pH
and better fermentation. The worst silages were those that
were wetted and stored at high temperatures because they had
the poorest fermentation, greatest pH values and dry matter
losses and greatest heat-damaged protein contents. They also
had a distinctive dark color and tobacco odor due to the heat-
This study shows that high ensiling temperatures and
simulated-rainfall had detrimental effects on the fermentation
process and silage quality, but delayed silo sealing for 3 h did
not. The beneficial effects of delayed sealing in this study
should not be confused with effects of longer delay periods (>
15 h) which tend to render inoculant treatment ineffective,
reduce fermentation quality and enhance spoilage. Corn silage
producers in hot, humid regions need to adhere strictly to
excellent silage making practices to overcome the adverse
effects of rainfall at harvest and high temperatures during
storage on corn silage production in such areas. This study
also implies that corn silage quality is not decreased by
hauling the harvested forage for distances lasting up to 3-h
For more information, contact Dr. Adegbola Adesogan by
email at adesogankianimal.ufl.edu, or (352) 392-7527.
MANURE MANAGEMENT AgSTAR PROGRAM
Ann C. Wilkie
The AgSTAR Program is a voluntary effort jointly
sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S.
Department of Energy. The program encourages the use of
methane recovery biogass)
technologies at confined animal -
feeding operations (CAFOs) that rSTAR
manage manure as liquids or slurries.
These technologies produce energy
and reduce methane emissions while
achieving other environmental
benefits. For additional information ENERGYANDPOLlUION PREVENTIO
about the AgSTAR Program, visit the website at:
The AgSTAR Program will sponsor a two-day conference
on the status and potential of anaerobic digestion of animal
wastes in Madison, Wisconsin, on April 25-26, 2006. The
conference will focus on the role that anaerobic digestion can
play with respect to reduction of the air and water quality
impacts of animal wastes, elements required for project
planning to insure operational and financial success, and
system operation and maintenance issues. This conference is
recommended for anyone interested or involved in the design,
financing, operation, or regulatory oversight of animal waste
management systems or in the development of alternative
sources of energy. For an updated agenda with speaker
names, visit www.epa.gov/agstar/conference06.html.
The conference will include sessions on project planning,
centralized systems, state public utility regulations, operation
and maintenance issues, performance evaluation, green power,
available alternatives, and resources available from the
AgSTAR program. Registration for the conference is free of
charge. You may register online at:
htp I \\ \\ 2 c i.lweb.com/proiects/conferences/agstarreg/regi
ster06.asp or by calling (781) 674-7374.
There will also be a field trip to two dairy farms with
operating digesters near Madison, on Wednesday, April 26
from 12:00 noon to 6:30 PM. Roundtrip bus transportation
from the conference hotel will be provided. There is no
additional fee to participate in the tour.
For questions or issues about manure management,
contact Ann Wilkie. Dr. Ann Wilkie is in the Department of
Soil and Water Science, University of Florida. She can be
reached by e-mail at acwilkieiufl.edu, or call her at (352)
EFFECT OF DOUBLING THE RATE OF INOCULANT
APPLICATION, OR APPLYING MOLASSES ON THE
QUALITY OF CORN SILAGE
A. T. Adesogan and M. Huisden
This Milk Check-Off funded project was designed to
determine whether doubling the rate of applying two
inoculants can improve silage quality. This is because some
producers have been advised to double inoculant application
rates to overcome the adverse effects of climate on silage
fermentation in Florida.
Since the concentration of sugars
which are key fermentation substrates
is low in some corn hybrids, a second
objective was to determine if addition
of sugars from molasses at ensiling
would improve silage quality.
Monsanto corn hybrid Dekalb 69-
70 was harvested at 40% DM and
ensiled for 135 days in mini-silos after suth"C'"ekNmc.
treatment with nothing (Control),
molasses (3% DM), Lallemands' Buchneri 500 inoculant or
Pioneer's 11C33 inoculant. Both of these inoculants are
special 'combo' inoculants because unlike most others they
contain some bacteria for improving the fermentation as well
as Lactobacillus buchneri for reducing aerobic spoilage. The
inoculants were applied at the normal rate and at double the
The main benefit of molasses application was that it
tended to reduced protein degradation. However this benefit
was outweighed by greater yeast counts and hence poorer
aerobic stability in molasses-treated silages. Therefore
applying molasses at the tested level or higher levels is
discouraged because these practices will likely increase yeast
growth and spoilage.
Silages treated with the combo inoculants had lower dry
matter losses and lower yeast counts than untreated silages.
They were also more stable than untreated or molasses-treated
silages. However, doubling the rate of inoculant application
did not improve the fermentation or aerobic stability compared
to using the normal rate. This study therefore indicates that
combo inoculants can be used to improve silage quality and
aerobic stability. However, the study disproves suggestions
that doubling inoculant application rates will improve their
efficacy in Florida. Producers should be strongly discouraged
from embracing this practice because it is expensive and
ineffective. Producers should always be cautious when
choosing inoculants; only use those with a proven research
record that have at least 100,000 colony forming units (cfu) of
live bacteria per gram or 90 billion live bacteria per ton.
For more information, contact Dr. Adegbola Adesogan by
email at adesoganiaanimal.ufl.edu, or (352) 392-7527.
CORN SILAGE / FORAGES FIELD DAY:
THURSDAY, MAY 25, 2006
The 2006 Corn Silage / Forage Field Day will be held at
the UF/IFAS Plant Science and Education Unit, Citra, Florida,
on Thursday May 25. The Field Day includes presentations
on forages, forage management, and feed quality, as well as,
exhibits and field demonstrations. For more information,
contact Jerry Wasdin, wasdin(,animal.ufl.edu, phone (352)
392-1120, or visit the UF/IFAS Dairy Extension website at
NEW PROCEEDINGS POSTED ON
Albert de Vries
The proceedings of the 17t Florida Ruminant Nutrition
Symposium and the 3rd Florida & Georgia Dairy Road Show
are now on-line at the Florida Dairy Extension website
(http://dairv.ifas.ufl.edu). These events were held in February
and March of 2006.
Albert de Vries
The Department of Animal Sciences might see some
significant changes in the near future. Dr. Glen Hembry
announced last fall that his last day as Chair will be June 30,
2006. A search and screening committee was formed by IFAS
administration to help recruit a new Department Chair.
Applications are currently being collected.
Secondly, the research, teaching, and extension programs
offered by the Department were recently reviewed by a
committee of professors from other land grant universities and
a representative from USDA-CSREES. This review was
initiated by IFAS administration. The committee's
recommendations might lead to changes that will strengthen
and focus the Department's programs. It remains unclear if
the vacated positions in dairy nutrition extension and dairy
youth extension will be filled again. Brent Broaddus currently
provides leadership in dairy youth extension.
OPTIMIZATION OF BREEDING AND CULLING
DECISIONS IN DAIRY CATTLE
Albert de Vries
A major component of my research program is to help
dairy producers make economically optimal breeding and
culling decisions. The optimal voluntary waiting period
(when to start breeding cows) has received quite some press
lately due to the observation that cows are more fertile later in
lactation, timed-AI programs are not cheap, and some cows
have highly persistent lactation curves. Another question is
how long to continue breeding cows that have failed to
Related to the optimization of breeding decisions is the
optimization of culling decisions. The difficulty in making
optimal culling decisions lies in combining expected milk
yield with chances of pregnancy, age, stage of lactation, and
season, among others. Ideally, all cows in the herd are ranked
daily based on their future profitability, also called retention
pay off (RPO$).
Accurate cash flow projections for individual cows are
essential to answer these questions. A major component of
cash flow projections are the prediction of milk yield in the
remainder of the current lactation for individual cows. We are
currently working with USDA-AIPL to use their Best
Prediction method to predict daily milk yield in the remainder
of the lactation based on test day data in the lactation in
progress. Best Prediction is also used in the calculation of the
quarterly sire summaries by USDA-AIPL. Some other
essential components of cash flow projections are feed costs,
chances of pregnancy, and heifer and milk prices.
The cash flow approach is also going to be used to
optimize early dry-off decisions, for example when parlor
capacity is limited or when dry cows can be fed relatively
cheaply compared to lactating cows. Ideally, we like to
answer these questions for individual cows and provide
quantitative estimates of the value of the optimal decision, but
also provide economic estimates when rules of thumb are
used, such as one voluntary waiting period for the whole herd.
Eventually dairy producers will have access to user-friendly
programs that help them make these optimal decisions.
Optimal culling decisions were discussed during the 3rd FL &
GA Dairy Road Show (paper at http://dairy.ifas.ufl.edu/drs).
Optimization of breeding decisions will be discussed at the
43rd Florida Dairy Production Conference to be held on May
2, 2006 (see elsewhere in this newsletter). For more
information, email devries(iufl.edu.
COW:4338 LACT:3 DIM:237 MILK:49.4
1 STATUS: bred DAYS BRED: 32 RPO$: 15
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800
Days after calving
Example of test day milk yields and predicted milk yield in the
remainder of the lactation by Best Prediction for cow 4388.
Dairy Update is published quarterly by the Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, as an educational and informational service. Please address any
questions or comments to Albert de Vries, Editor, Dairy Update, PO Box 110910, Gainesville, FL 32611-0910. Phone: (352) 392-7563. E-mail: devriesiTufl.edu.
Past issues are posted on the UF/IFAS Florida Dairy Extension website: http://dairv.ifas.ufl.edu. This issue was printed on April 5, 2006.