Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS)
Department of Animal Sciences
Quarterly Newsletter Vol. 10 No. 1 Winter 2010
New Year's Resolutions For 2010
David R. Bray
Happy New Year to you all. It's time again to plan
for a successful New Year on your dairy and give thanks
that 2009 is gone. This time of the year is a good time
for planning, not only for this year, but also for the
future. This means how do we continue to improve the
things we do well and what do we change or eliminate
of the things we don't do well.
1- Try to forget about last year and focus on a positive
2- Take time off. Go on vacation with your family, go
fishing, do something to take your mind off last year
and recharge your mind and body for a successful
3- Revisit your business plan. Make sure you can take
advantage of upswing of the economy, where you
can reallocate your resources to increase your
profits. Continuing with cut-backs may not be the
most profitable plan.
4- Set new performance goals for all the enterprises or
areas of your dairy. These should have employee
inputs also as this is the road map for success.
These will then set the goals for your employees to
strive to meet the whole dairies performance and
5- Implement some sort of employee retraining
program to insure they understand their
responsibilities in this quest for improvement to
reach your goals.
6- These performance goals then are translated to
employee job descriptions and compensation for
their part of meeting the dairy's goals; these are to
be explained at the employee performance review.
7- Do only what you can do well. If you can't raise
calves, use a calf raiser or buy replacements. If you
can't grow crops, buy them or have them custom
grown and or harvested.
8- Go visit other dairies in the country. Go to Extension
and other dairy meetings. You might get some new
ideas and reconnect with people you have not seen
in a while.
9- Replace outdated, worn out milking equipment. The
milking system is the only thing that makes you
money on your dairy.
10- Milk clean dry udders and dip teats.
11- Dig out the back of your freestalls, add new sand.
12- Keep cows as clean, cool and comfortable as
13- Inventory your blind quarters, replace missing leg
bands. Apply new bands to new found blind
quarters, and cull those 2 quartered beauties.
Nothing builds employee satisfaction like milking a
bunch of 2 quartered cows!
14- Hire help with more teeth than tattoos.
15- If you get out of breath tying your shoes, lose
weight or wear boots.
16- Keep a smile on your face, people will wonder what
you are up to.
Contact Dave Bray at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (352) 392-
A Diet Enriched in Linoleic Acid Increases Plasma IGF-I
and First Service Conception Rates in Lactating
L. Badinga, C. Caldari-Torres, and M.C. Perdomo
In dairy cows, concentration of insulin-like growth
factor I (IGF-I) is low immediately after calving, but
increases gradually as liver growth hormone receptor
number increases. The IGF-I
system is active in the
reproductive tract of cows and
is thought to play an important
role in pregnancy
establishment and embryo
survival. With the support of
the Southeast Milk Inc. Dairy
Check-Off, Virtus Nutrition (Fair Southeast Milk, Inc.
Lawn, OH) and Cargill Dairy Check-Off
(Minneapolis, MN), we
conducted a feeding trial to examine the effect of
feeding calcium salts of safflower on plasma IGF-I and
fertility rates in lactating Holstein cows.
Healthy multiparous cows were assigned randomly
to a control (highly saturated rumen bypass Fat, SFA) or
safflower-supplemented (SFL) diet from approximately
4 wk before expected calving date through 7 weeks
postpartum. Cows supplemented with safflower (55%
linoleic acid) had greater plasma IGF-I concentrations at
day 50 postpartum than those receiving a control diet
enriched in highly saturated fatty acids (Figure 1).
Dietary fatty acids
Dietary fatty acids
The greater plasma IGF-I concentrations at 50 days
in milk were associated with higher conception rates to
first insemination (Figure 2). These observations
suggest that cows supplemented with safflower may
have endocrine and uterine environments that are
conducive to optimal embryo development and
successful pregnancy establishment in lactating cows.
Understanding the effect of supplemental linoleic acid
on reproductive efficiency may lead in the long-term to
development of producer-friendly nutritional strategies
to enhance fertility in high producing dairy cows.
Badinga, Caldari-Torres and Perdomo are in the
UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences. Contact
Lokenga Badinga at email@example.com; or call (352)-
392-1958 Ext 252
Bioenergy from Livestock Manure
Ann C. Wilkie
With increasing interest in manure digesters and
bioenergy production, as well as greater attention being
focused on greenhouse gas emissions from livestock
production, it's more important than ever to learn
about the latest developments in anaerobic digestion of
livestock manures. The AgSTAR Program will hold its
annual national two-day conference at the Hotel
Sierra/KI Convention Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin,
on April 27-28, 2010. This conference is recommended
for livestock producers and others interested or
involved in the design, financing, operation, or
regulatory oversight of animal waste management
systems, or in the development of alternative sources of
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As usual, this year's conference will feature
technical, policy and financial presentations, poster
sessions, networking opportunities, and exhibits of the
latest technologies and services. The conference will
also include a tour of two local dairy farm digesters.
Full conference information will soon be available at the
AgSTAR website, http://www.epa.gov/agstar.
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
manage manure as liquids or slurries. These
technologies produce energy and reduce methane
emissions while achieving other environmental benefits.
For additional information, visit the AgSTAR Program
For questions or information about manure
bioenergy, contact: Dr. Ann C. Wilkie at
firstname.lastname@example.org, (352) 392-8699, or visit the website
http://biogas.ifas.ufl.edu. Ann Wilkie is in the UF/IFAS
Department of Soil and Water Science.
Did your Teat Dip Freeze this Winter?
David R. Bray
The cold weather this winter in the Southeast has
been the coldest and longest in history. One of things
that can freeze are teat dips. When this happens the
salts settle to the bottom of the container. When the
container thaws, you are left with a concentrated active
ingredient in the bottom of the container. If you remove
the dip from the top, you get a diluted dip that's an
ineffective product, and what's on the bottom will often
We use a variety of products in various containers,
and they may come from various parts of the country
and stored from open loading docks to heated
warehouses. Once they get to your dairy they are
stored in various places also.
It is a common practice in colder climates to mix
dips before you use them because they probably froze
before they get to the dairy. There is a good possibility
that your dip may have been frozen if it came south for
the winter. Mixing some containers may be easier said
than done. Drums should be rolled before usage. Many
times the delivery person does this, especially if the dip
originated in cold climates. If mixed this way, care
should be taken not to injure the roller because drums
are heavy. Totes can't be rolled or shaken. If they come
to the dairy mixed, they can be stirred with a stick.
If you have damaged or irritated teats, it may not be the
cold weather; it could be the teat dip that was frozen.
Or if you get a mastitis outbreak, it may be because
your dip has separated and you are using liquid on top
of the concentrated dip.
Other chemicals used for wash up can also freeze
also and should be mixed, again these are caustic
chemicals and care should be used to prevent injury to
Want to know more about teat dip? Contact Dave
Bray at email@example.com or call (352) 392-5594.
Nine Florida Students Competed in 4th Southern
Regional Dairy Challenge
Mary Sowerby and Albert De Vries
A total of 76 students from 16 southern colleges
and universities participated in the fourth annual
Southern Regional Dairy Challenge, held November 19
through 21, 2009, in Russellville, KY. The Southern
Regional Dairy Challenge is an innovative two-day event
designed by professionals from allied industry and
university educators to bring classroom training to life
in the real world for students interested in the dairy
industry. The University of Kentucky, Western Kentucky
University, and Eastern Kentucky University co-hosted
the 2009 contest, drawing participants from Alabama
A&M University, Berry College, Clemson University,
College of the Ozarks, Eastern Kentucky University, Lake
City Community College, University of Florida,
University of Kentucky, Louisiana State University,
Mississippi State University, North Carolina State
University, Santa Fe College, Southern Illinois University,
Virginia Tech, West Virginia University, and Western
Teams of students from the different schools were
formed to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of a
working dairy farm. Afterwards, teams presented their
analysis and prioritized opportunities for improvement
to a panel of expert judges and the dairy owners.
Florida was represented by nine University of
Florida Dairy Science Club members: six from UF -
Candy Munz, Marissa Navarro, Kelley Johnson, Kimberly
Hencken, Patricia Fledderman and Nickolas Jenkins; two
from Santa Fe College Emily Hetherington and David
Kirkland; and one from North Florida Community
College- Lauren Ellison.
ne nine university oj iorcaa uairy sciencee ciuD
members that participated in the 2009 Southern
Regional Dairy Challenge
"The regional Dairy Challenge, while offering a
competitive format, educates undergraduate students
about the dairy industry itself and allows them to apply
the concepts they have learned in the classroom to a
real farm situation and then defend their practical
recommendations," said contest planning committee
co-chair Donna Amaral-Phillips of the University of
Kentucky. "Students learn a great deal in the process."
Despite the high stress created from working with
other students never met before, time deadlines and
giving an oral presentation, the Florida delegation
returned unitedly glad for the opportunity to see new
places, learn new things, experience new challenges
and meet new people both other students and dairy
industry representatives. Several from Florida are now
looking forward to competing in the National Dairy
Challenge to be held in California in April 2010.
NORTH AMERICAN INTERCOLLEGIATE
The Southern Regional is one of four regional
contests under the guidance and support of the North
American Intercollegiate Dairy ChallengeTM. The NAIDC
mission is to facilitate education, communication and an
exchange of ideas among students, agribusiness, dairy
producers and universities that enhances the
development of the dairy industry and its leaders.
Mississippi State University will host the 2010 Southern
Regional Dairy Challenge and UF is scheduled to host
the contest in 2011.
Generous donations from sponsors make the events
possible. To become a Southern Regional sponsor,
contact Albert De Vries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contributing sponsors are recognized on the Dairy
Challenge site www.dairychallenge.org, as well as in
programs and news stories issued throughout the year.
Upcoming Dairy Meetings
Dairy Herd Management Clinics: Using dairy record
information to measure herd performance. Three
workshops are provided by Southeast DHIA:
o Okeechobee Wednesday, January 27. 10:00
am at Okeechobee County Extension Office
(458 Hwy 98 N)
o Branford -Thursday, January 28. 6:00 pm at
The Gathering Cafe (on SR 247 in Branford)
o Quitman, Georgia. Friday, January 29. 10:00 am
at Brooksco Dairy Office (near Quitman, Ga.)
We are currently releasing a new version of PCDART
(version 7.12) that contains enhancements that will
be very useful for large herds to track management
events and results. Dr. Greg Bethard from DRMS in
Raleigh, NC, has agreed to visit and be our
conference leader for some producer sessions in
Florida and South Georgia. This will be a unique
opportunity to learn how these new features can
help your dairy operation!
Please call or email Christina Dore (352-392-
5592, email@example.com) or Dan Webb (352-392-5596,
firstname.lastname@example.org ) for reservations because meals
are being provided.
* 36th Annual Southern Dairy Conference, Atlanta,
GA, January 26-27, 2010. This program is planned
and presented to focus on issues and opportunities
affecting the entire dairy industry of the Southern
United States. The full program, registration
details, and all past proceedings, can be found at
conference information, call (540) 231-4762 or
email Bennet Cassell at email@example.com.
* 21st annual Florida Ruminant Nutrition Symposium,
Gainesville, Florida, February 2-3, 2010. Program
and registration on http://dairv.ifas.ufl.edu/rns/index.shtml.
* February 12 is the Florida State Fair Open Show and
"Gathering of Dairy Friends Breakfast" in Tampa.
* A new Dairy Risk Management course is starting
February 16. The second meeting for the new group
will be March 16. Contact Mary Sowerby, (386)
362-2771, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
* February 22 is the date for the next on-going Dairy
Risk Management meeting, to be held in Mayo
staring at 7 PM. The following meeting is March 22,
again in Mayo starting at 7 PM. Contact Mary
Sowerby, (386) 362-2771, or email@example.com.
* Contemplating a change to your current dairy
production system? Or looking for new ideas to
lower production costs and improve efficiency.
Either way, plan to join the Dairy Alternatives Tour
High Tech or Low, on March 2, 2010 from 9 am to
3 pm (the day after the SMI board meeting). The
tour will include Sunset Dairy in Dixie, GA, where
Claus Haaren's cows have been rotationally grazing
since December 2008. In addition, we'll tour Calvin
Moody and Doyle Weltzbarker's conventional
Brooksco Dairy and the under construction (but
soon to be completed) Westbrook Dairy near
Quitman, GA. Lunch and discussion about both
dairy operations will be held at the Books County
Extension office in Quitman, GA. There will be a $10
registration fee to cover lunch. For more
information and to pre-register please call Mary
Sowerby at (386) 362-2771 on or before Thursday
* 59th annual Florida Beef Cattle Short Course,
Gainesville, Florida, May 5 7, 2010. Program and
registration on http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/beef/index.htm.
Dairy Update is published quarterly by the Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, as an educational and informational service. Please address any
cancellations or comments to Albert De Vries, Editor, Dairy Update, PO Box 110910, Gainesville, FL 32611-0910. Phone: (352) 392-5594. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Past issues are posted on the UF/IFAS Florida Dairy Extension website at http://dairy.ifas.ufl.edu. This issue was published on January 22, 2010.