Title: Dairy update
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087054/00034
 Material Information
Title: Dairy update
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Institute of Food and Agricultural Science
Publisher: Institute of Food and Agricultural Science
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Fall 2010
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087054
Volume ID: VID00034
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text



Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS)
Department of Animal Sciences

airy Update

Quarterly Newsletter Vol. 10 No. 4 Fall 2010

The Leaves Don't Change Color in the Fall in Florida. The
License Plates Do.

David R. Bray

Fall is a welcome time of year for the residents and dairy
cows in Florida. 2010 seemed like the hottest summer ever.
Cow cooling was very difficult this summer at our University
of Florida Dairy Unit. We could not evaporate water off the
cows' backs fast enough with our 36" fans. Last year we had a
high conception rate, this summer not so good. Clinical
mastitis was also up, my guess our sand stalls were always
damp and sometimes wet, and our sprinkler controllers
increased water rates so we had wet cows laying in wet stalls
which increased our chances of more mastitis. We have tried
new fan fogger type coolers also, which increased the
humidity also. We should have good data to see what
worked; the data is not analyzed yet but I did not observe any
cows shivering.
What I learned this summer from the Dairy Unit, and
other travels:
1. We need to clean our fans around April Fool's day and
again around the Fourth of July for the most cooling,
especially with 36" fans.
2. Clean out the back of the freestalls in April and fill with
new sand.
3. Use new sand in the summer unless you have new long
flush lanes.
4. If your recycled sand looks like topsoil, it is, so spread it.
5. We need better cooling of our dry cows and springers on
most dairies.
6. Make sure milk cooling equipment is clean and charged.
7. Don't keep dairy chemicals out in the sun, they lose their
8. Lab. Pasteurized Counts are very important and can be
9. All rubber gaskets in the milking system need to be
replaced if they are a couple years old. Hoses and jetter
cups need replacing every 6 months. Pulsator lines,
vacuum supply lines need to be cleaned every 6 months.
10. If your vacuum pumps are glued to the system without a
trap or clean out, add one. If you can't clean the vacuum
line to the pump, you are not going to keep your LPC
counts low. Traps balance tank's collect milk from busted
liners etc.
"Old time solution for cow care in the summer" (Not PC.):
Every fall the license plates change color in Florida, because
all the Yankees come down for the winter. Instead of
spending all this money building barns, spending all this

money to cool cows in the summers, when the Yankees leave
Florida in the spring, just give each one a couple of cows to
take home for the summer and they bring them back to
Florida in the fall when the leaves turn color up there.
Contact Dave Bray at drbray@ufl.edu or call (352) 392-5594
ext. 226.

Natural Service vs. Timed Artificial Insemination: Cost
Effectiveness and Reproductive Performance

Fabio Lima, Carlos Risco, Albert De Vries, Jose Santos, and
William Thatcher

Natural service (NS) and Timed artificial insemination
(TAI) are two breeding programs widely used by dairy
producers as a strategy to minimize poor estrus detection of
high producing lactating dairy cows. The use of NS in the US
has been reported to range from 43% to 75% of the breeding
program used for lactating dairy cows. The use of TAI is also
widespread in the US. NAHMS (2009) reported in 2007 that
58% of dairy farms used TAI programs to manage
reproduction in both heifers and cows.
Recently, a field study conducted in
Florida compared reproductive
performance of lactating dairy cows in a
commercial dairy farm with cows bred
by NS or TAI. A second study using the
data from this field trial was performed
to compare the cost of these two geth t kMl.l
Dairy Check-Of
breeding programs.
Results from the field study showed that 21 days cycle
pregnancy rates, which included a total of 8 and 5 service
opportunities for NS and TAI, respectively, was not different
between the groups (25.7% and 25.0% for NS and TAI,
respectively). The daily rate of pregnancy was 15% greater
(e.g. 1.41% vs. 1.22%) for NS than TAI, which resulted in
fewer median days open (111 vs. 116 days) and a greater
proportion of pregnant cows at 223 days in milk was greater
for NS (Figure 1).
The greater proportion of pregnant cows observed in the
NS group at the end of the study was attributed to
differences in breeding dynamics between groups. In the NS
group, bulls had the potential for daily detection of estrus
and breeding of nonpregnant cows. On the other hand,
because of the TAI resynchronization scheme, nonpregnant
cows in this group required 35 day to be reinseminated, and
thus the number of days to become pregnant increased.
Therefore within this scenario, cows in the TAI group had only

5 opportunities to be bred compared with a potential 8 times
for cows in the NS group up to 223 days in milk. The
increased median number of days to pregnancy observed for
TAI cows can also be attributed to this difference in breeding
opportunities. A greater number of nonpregnant cows in the
NS group had earlier opportunities to be bred than TAI cows
under the same 21-day cycle pregnancy rates; consequently
the final outcome for median time to pregnancy favored the
NS. Therefore, the greater interval between inseminations
reduced the proportion of pregnant cows on the TAI breeding



R 40- ""

I "
tar --r

50 75 100 125 15M 175 200
Day postpartum

Figure 1. Survival curves for proportion of nonpregnant cows
by days in milk (DIM)for cows bred by natural service (NS) or
timed Al (TAI) in the first 223 DIM. Median interval to
pregnancy for NS and TAI groups was 111 (95% confidence
interval [CI] = 104 to 125 days) and 116 DIM (95% CI = 115 to
117 days), respectively. The rate of pregnancy in the 223 DIM
was greater for NS than TAI (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.15;
95% CI= 1.00 to 1.31).

The second study used the reproductive performance
results obtained in the first study as a platform to compare
the cost of NS and TAI. A herd budget accounting for all costs
and revenues was created. The final results showed a net cost
for the NS program of $100.49/cow per year and for the TAI
program of $67.80/cow per year, unadjusted for differences
in voluntary waiting period (VWP) for first insemination and
the minor differences in pregnancy rates. After inclusion of
the differences in VWP and pregnancy rates, the economic
advantage of the TAI program was $9.73/cow per year. Costs
per day of cow eligible for insemination was $1.45 for the NS
program and $1.06 for the TAI program. When marginal feed
cost was increased from $3 to $5/cwt (1 cwt = 45.36 kg), the
advantage of TAI increased to $48.32/cow per year. If higher
milk prices and greater genetic progress were assumed, the
advantage of TAI increased. When semen price increased
from $6 to $22, the NS program had an economic advantage
of $33.29/cow per year. If each NS bull was replaced by an
additional cow, the advantage of the TAI program was
$60.81/cow per year. Using a pregnancy rate for both
programs of 18% and the VWP at 80 days, there was an
advantage of $37.87/cow per year for the TAI program.
The major factor that influenced the greater cost of NS
was the cost of feeding the bulls, which was 38 and 61% of

total bull costs ($163.59) and net cost ($100.49), respectively,
for NS. Semen cost and genetic merit were the variables that
caused the biggest impact on the profitability of TAI.
In conclusion, the slight advantage of NS in reproductive
performance with a greater proportion of pregnant cows
after 223 days in milk was offset by a cost advantage in favor
of the TAI breeding program. The use of NS bulls is not
necessarily a more expensive method for breeding cows to
avoid problems related to estrus detection. An increase in Al
semen cost could result in a cost advantage of the NS
program. However, an increase in marginal feed cost and a
greater genetic advantage from Al sires would increase the
economic advantage of the TAI program.
These studies were published in Journal of Dairy Science
92(11):5456 (2009) and 93(9):4404-4413 (2010). Contact Dr.
Carlos Risco, UF College of Veterinary Medicine, at
riscoc@(ufl.edu or call (352) 294-4320for more information.

Effects of Feeding a Mycotoxin-Adsorbent on Milk Aflatoxin
M1 Concentration and on the Performance and Immune
Response of Dairy Cattle Fed an Aflatoxin Contaminated

Gbola Adesogan, Oscar Queiroz, Charlie Staples, and J. Hun

Milk contaminated with aflatoxin at concentrations
greater than 0.5 parts per billion (ppb) is illegal to sell
because people consuming aflatoxins have a greater risk of
developing cancer. Aflatoxins can enter the milk if the diet
contains feeds with aflatoxins. Clay products can be included
in the diet to bind the aflatoxin and prevent it from being
absorbed from the digestive tract and transferred to the milk.
The objective of this study was to test the effectiveness of a
clay-based feed additive (Calibrin A adsorbent, Amlan
International, Chicago, IL) fed at 2 levels to reduce aflatoxin
transfer to milk from cows fed diets contaminated with
aflatoxins. Eight cows in late lactation were used in an
experiment that allowed all cows to receive each of four
dietary treatments. Treatments were the following: 1)
Control diet; 2) Toxin diet (the Control diet plus 75 ppb of
aflatoxin B1 mixed with ground corn); 3) Low-clay diet, which
was the Toxin diet plus adsorbent fed at 0.2% of dietary dry
matter; and 4) High-clay diet, which was the Toxin diet plus
adsorbent fed at 1% of dietary dry matter. Dietary treatments
did not affect dry matter intake, milk yield, or feed efficiency
of the cows. Feeding the Toxin diet instead of the Control diet
tended to reduce yield of 3.5% fat-correct milk from 46 to 42
Ib/day and reduced milk fat yield from 1.6 to 1.5 Ib/day and
milk protein concentration from 3.36% to 3.28%. However,
yield of 3.5% corrected milk did not differ statistically in cows
fed Control, Low Clay and High Clay diets (46, 45 and 43
Ib/day). Concentrations of aflatoxin M, in the milk of cows
fed the Toxin and Low Clay diets were similar (0.63 and 0.65
ppb) and greater than those of cows fed the High Clay diet
(0.48 ppb), but cows fed the Control diet only had trace levels
(0.03 ppb). Therefore, the High Clay diet kept aflatoxin M,
concentration below the FDA action level but the Low Clay
diet did not. As expected the immune system of cows fed the
aflatoxin without the clay product in the diet was increased
based upon increased blood concentration of haptoglobin

(22.0 vs. 14.4) and p2-integrin (220 vs. 130), which are
immune response markers. Immune response values for cows
fed Clay diets did not differ from cows fed the Control diet.
Feeding either of the Clay diets prevented the increased
immune response and prevented the decrease in milk yield
caused by the Toxin. However, milk aflatoxin M1
concentration was only reduced by feeding the High Clay diet.
Contact Gbola Adesogan at adesogan@ufl.edu or call (352)

Managing Milk Quality and Profit in the Parlor

David R. Bray

The milking parlor is the heart of the dairy operation.
What happens here determines the profits or losses of the
dairy. In order to have an efficient milking operation every
shift of every day, everyone involved must perform their job
to the standard set by the dairy, hopefully with input from
the employees.
The dairy cow is a creature of habit and likes things done
the same every day, from when she is fed, to when she
comes to the parlor and the procedures used to milk her.
While much of the credit for producing high quality milk, or
the blame for not producing high quality milk, is given to the
milking crew, there must be cooperation from the rest of the
labor force. If the bedding crew does not bed the stalls often
enough and the cows lay in dirty stalls, they gets mastitis
there. If the feed crew does not have feed for the cows when
the cows come back from the parlor, they are going to lay
down without eating which makes for lower production. If no
one maintains the milking equipment, such as the pulsators
and vacuum controls, milking time may be increased, teats
could be damaged and mastitis could increase.
Milking procedures. There are many ways to milk cows
successfully. The procedures used depend on the type of
parlor, the labor available and number of cows to be milked
and how often they are milked. The most important thing is
that every cow on each shift should be milked the same every
time! Everyone can agree that all cows milked should be pre-
dipped and have clean dry teats before the units are attached
and post-dipped after milking with a dip cup, not sprayed.
In a well-managed parlor the cows should come in by
themselves with no one going into the holding area unless
there are only a few cows at the end of the herd are left.
Fetching cows only demonstrates how the cows have trained
the milkers, and cows are multiple-lingual: they ignore
cussing in any language.
Once the first cow gets into her stall the prep process
should begin. One of the most common milking regiments is
for the milker to predip and immediately strip cow number
one and continue through cows four or five, depending on
the size of parlor. After these cows are pre-dipped and
stripped, move back to the first cow and completely wipe off
the predip and hang the units on these four or five cows. In
large parlors another milker would start on the next four or
five cows and would dip, dry and hang. This gives order to the
milking parlor and cows are stimulated properly and the
predip has time to kill bacteria and every cow will have at
least 60 seconds from stimulation to application of the unit.

After unit removal, the teats should be post dipped with a dip
cup to the base of the udder with an approved teat dip. There
are many other milking schemes that are and can be used,
whatever one uses should be consistent. But these
procedures must include milking clean dry udders and teats
and post milking teat dipping.

Milk quality monitoring. Monitor these 5 milk quality
1. Somatic cell count mastitiss)
2. Standard plate count (bacteria count)
3. Antibiotic residues
4. Lab pasteurized count standard plate count on
pasteurized milk ( shelf- life)
5. Preliminary Incubation count (Psychrotrophs: cold loving

How do we monitor progress? Set goals for all things to
be monitored. These goals can be in the job description of
each employee and addressed at evaluations. Once a dairy
has its procedures in place, how does management know if
the job is being properly done at every milking and how do
the milkers know if what they are doing makes a difference?
All jobs done on a dairy are done for a purpose. If this is
explained to the milkers then they should be able to monitor
themselves if given the tools to do so.

Tools for management to monitor progress:
1. Video surveillance of the milking operation, holding pen,
tank room
2. Milk quality reports from milk plants
3. Consistency of milking times, cows milked per hour, etc.
4. Consistency of milk yields. Milk per shifts, per hour, etc.
5. Observations and interactions with milkers in the parlor

Tools for milkers to monitor their progress:
1. Management should post items 2. thru 4. above on a
message board in the parlor area. Every shift can the
milkers then see how they are performing compared to
their goals and compared to other shifts.
2. Check teat dippers both pre and post for sand, dried
manure and bedding. If pre dippers fill up with sand or
bedding, stall management is not as it should be. If post
dip cups are dirty, pre milking prep is inadequate.
3. Check inside of the top of the liners. If full of sand or
manure the pre milking process is not being done. More
towels and effort are needed to get cows clean.
4. Milk filters when changed should be saved and observed
by management and milkers displayed on a pipe or
hung on and kept for a day in a clear sealed plastic bag.
If full of gargot, dirt, bedding etc., everyone can see and
improvements can be made. Filters should be changed
after each herd in large herds, in hot weather every
couple hours to prevent bacteria growing in the filters.

Monitoring bacteria counts:
1. Bacteria counts can come from cows with mastitis,
inadequate cooling, poor wash up, and insufficient hot
water temperature. 1600 F is needed. Poor soap
concentrations and failure to wash or sanitize the tanks
will raise counts.

2. A bulk tank wash and sanitize report can be made to
record who washed and who sanitized and when.
Sometimes the milk truck is late and it's impossible to
wash the tank. This needs to be recorded and saves
trying to find out why you have a high count and
someone needs to talk to the tank truck dispatcher.
3. Checking hot water temperature should be part of the
maintenance schedule.

Summary. It is easy to produce high quality milk if
everyone is trained properly and management and workers
work with each other to achieve the goals set for the dairy. If
you write rules and don't enforce them, they are a waste of
time, paper and labor. Contact Dave Bray at drbrav@ufl.edu
or call (352) 392-5594 ext. 226.

Florida Dairy Producer Don Bennink Named
2010 World Dairy Expo Dairyman of the Year

A junior high school job was a golden opportunity for
2010 World Dairy Expo Dairyman of the Year, Don Bennink, of
North Florida Holsteins in Bell, Fla. Though there was no farm
in the family while Bennink was growing up in western New
York, he worked for others and began building a herd of his
own while a youth. After obtaining a degree from Cornell, he
rented a farm with a 35 tie-stall barn in his home county.
Supported by a small Farmers Home Administration loan and
the cattle already owned, he accumulated, during the next
seventeen years, the capital base to move the herd to Florida
in 1980.
Today, the successful dairy breeder
and his partners boast a herd of 4,000
milking age Registered Holsteins, the '
single largest dairy in the state and one
of the largest Registered Holstein herds
in the country. Bennink has led the
innovation of dairy cattle comfort with
tunnel ventilation to enhance production
and herd health.
The 100 percent registered herd boasts a rolling average
of 24,330 pounds of milk with almost 800 pounds of fat and
650 pounds of protein. The farm has developed over 750
cows classified as Excellent and consistently ranks on
cooperative quality honor rolls and receives premier breeder
and exhibitor recognition.
As an innovator, Bennink is sought for his efficiency and
genetics advice in many countries. He has been an early
adaptor of monitoring technology and environmental
protection practices, including research trials of drugs and
feed additives with the University of Florida School of
Veterinary Medicine.
In the board room, the Dairyman of the Year has
supported the cattle industry and his local community serving
on cooperative, college and governmental boards and
councils. He is a host to foreign and domestic visitors
continually promoting superior U.S. genetics.
The 2010 Dairyman of the Year award is sponsored by:
Animart, Dairy Herd Management, Intervet/Schering Plough
Animal Health and Southeast Milk, Inc.
(Taken from Expo Daily Edition, September 30, 2010)

Effect of a Bacterial Inoculant on the Quality of and Nutrient
Losses from Corn Silage Produced in Farm-Scale Silos

Oscar Queiroz, Gbola Adesogan, Kathy Arriola and
Maria Queiroz

Many previous studies have shown that applying
inoculants containing Lactobacillus buchneri to corn silage
reduced counts of yeasts that cause spoilage and increased
the bunk life of the silage. However, most of such studies
were conducted in mini silos, therefore little information
exists on the efficacy of such inoculants in farm scale silos.
This project aimed to determine effects of applying an
inoculant containing Lactobacillus buchneri bacteria on the
fermentation, aerobic stability, and nutrient losses from corn
silage produced in farm-scale silos. Corn forage was
harvested at 34% DM and treated without (Control) or with
an inoculant (Buchneri 500, Llallemand Animal Nutrition)
containing Lactobacillus buchneri and Pediococcus
pentosaceus. Forty-five tons of inoculant-treated and
untreated forage was packed into 12-ft-wide Ag bags and
ensiled for 166 days. Four bags were prepared for the control
treatment and four additional bags for the inoculant
treatment. Silage was removed from the bags at the rate of
1000 Ib/d for 35 d. On each day, spoiled silage (darker,
heating, or moldy silage) was separated from good silage and
weighed. Inoculant treatment decreased the quantity (1,200
versus 2,923 Ib DM) and percentage (3.4 versus 7.8) of
spoiled silage in the bags by over 50%. Inoculation reduced
daily losses of crude protein in spoiled silage from 2 to 0.5
Ib/day), reduced total energy losses from 1.84 to 0.43
Mcal/day), and reduced neutral detergent fiber losses from 9
to 3 Ib/day. Inoculation reduced lactic acid concentration
from 0.86 to 0.69% and increased acetic acid concentration
from 0.73 to 1.15%. This implies that inoculant treatment
shifted the fermentation in a way that made acetic acid the
dominant fermentation product. Because acetic acid inhibits
the growth of spoilage causing yeasts, inoculation reduced
the population of yeasts by 44% and this led to a 30%
increase in the bunk life of the silage. Therefore, applying the
inoculant inhibited the growth of yeasts, and substantially
reduced the amount of spoilage and the associated energy
and nutrient losses. Contact Gbola Adesogan at
adesoqan@ ufl.edu or call (352) 392-7527.

Prediction of the Future Florida Mailbox Price:
October 2010 September 2011

Albert De Vries

In the Summer 2010 issue of Dairy Update I described
how the realized Florida mailbox price closely follows the
Class III price announced monthly by USDA.
The mailbox price is defined as the net price received by
dairy farmers for milk, including all payments received for
milk sold and deducting costs associated with marketing the
milk, including hauling. Beginning with January 1995, the
Dairy Programs section of the USDA-Agricultural Marketing
Service, through its Federal milk order market administrator

offices, began collecting and publishing mailbox milk prices.
Typically, mailbox prices are released by USDA about 3.5
months following the month for which the prices apply.
The Class III futures markets provide daily settle prices
for monthly contracts up to 24 months into the future. These
settle prices are the unbiased predictors of what the market
(the traders) believes will be the announced Class III price for
that month in the future. These contracts are traded almost
every day, so these settle prices change often. The close
relationship between the realized Florida mailbox prices and
the announced Class III prices, and the availability of Class III
futures prices, provide an opportunity to predict the future
Florida mailbox prices.
Economists of the University of Wisconsin developed a
formula to predict the Florida mailbox price from the Class III
prices. The formula is: Florida mailbox price = 0.888 x (Class III
price) -0.541 (Q1) -1.511 (Q2) -0.092 (Q3) -0.000 (Q4) +6.208
where Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 are 0 or 1 depending on whether
the price pertains to quarters 1, 2, 3 or 4. For the Class III
price, we use the Class III futures settle price for months into
the future. The formula was developed by regressing the
Florida mailbox price on the Class III price from 2001-01-01 to
2010-03-01. The inclusion of the 4 quarters implies that the
difference between the Class III price and the Florida mailbox
price is the smallest in the spring (Q2) and the greatest in the
fall (Q4).
Using the Class III future settle prices of October 5, 2010
and the formula, we predict the Florida mailbox price for
October 2010 to July 2011 as follows:

Month Year Class III settle Predicted Florida
price* mailbox price
October 2010 16.63 20.98
November 2010 16.11 20.51
December 2010 15.20 19.71
January 2011 14.45 18.50
February 2011 13.84 17.96
March 2011 13.81 17.93
April 2011 13.89 17.02
May 2011 13.90 17.03
June 2011 14.00 17.12
July 2011 14.40 18.90
August 2011 14.74 19.21
September 2011 14.99 19.43
Class III settle price as of October 5, 2010.

For more information, contact Albert De Vries,
devries@ufl.edu or (352) 392-5594 ext 227.

Effect of Days to Conception in the Previous Lactation on the
Risk of Death and Live Culling Around Calving

Pablo Pinedo and Albert De Vries

Extended days open may increase the risk of
overconditioning of cows toward the end of their lactation
because milk yield is then typically lower while feed intake is
less reduced. These cows may have an increased risk of death
or live culling around the subsequent calving because of

related metabolic problems. This combination of disease
conditions in the obese cow has been termed the "fat cow
syndrome". Just how much days open affects the risk of
death and culling around the next calving was unclear.
Therefore, the objective of this study was to quantify the
effect of days to conception (days open) in the previous
parity on the risk of death and live culling (excluding the
disposal reasons "dairy purposes" and "death") in the
proximity of a subsequent calving in Holstein cows enrolled in
the Dairy Herd Improvement program.
After edits, 2,075,834 observations of cows calving
between 2001 and 2007 in herds located in 36 US states
primarily east of the Mississippi river were available. The
period at risk included the time between 14 days before
expected calving to 60 days after calving. We also looked at
the risk of death or culling at the end of the gestation period
because the calving event may not have been reported if
death or culling occurred just before or during calving,
Days open were categorized in 6 periods: 0 to 45, 46 to
90, 91to 150, 151to 210, 211 to 300, and 301 to 600 days
after calving in the previous parity. Other variables of interest
included parity, length of the dry period before calving,
relative last test-day milk yield before dry off before calving,
season of calving, and the cow's relative 305-d mature
equivalent (305ME) milk yield before calving.
Means for the risk of death between 14 days before and
60 days after subsequent calving were 2.5, 2.5, 2.9, 3.6, 4.4,
and 5.8% for increasing categories of days open (figure 1).
Similarly, for the same categories, means for the risk of live
culling were 4.5, 5.0, 5.4, 6.1, 6.9, and 8.1% across all parities
(figure 2). The effect of days open on the risk of death was
slightly greater for third-parity cows, for long dry periods, for
cows with low test-day milk yield before dry off before
calving, for spring calvings, and for intermediate relative
305ME milk yield before calving. Similar trends for these
interactions were found for the risk of live culling, except for
relative 305ME milk yield before calving, where the effect of
days open was more pronounced for high producing cows.
Thus, increased days open in the previous parity were
associated with a greater risk of death and live culling around
calving. We found an increase in the risk of death and live
culling as a result of extra days open for 90% of the herds
included in our study.

e 10


1 to 46 to 91 to 151 to
45 90 150 210
Days Open

211 to 301 to
300 600

a Parity2 o Parity3 Parity4+

Figure 1. Risk (%) of death around calving for 6 categories of
days open in the previous parity depending on parity number.

S 4

2 0

I to 46 to 91 to 151 to
45 90 150 210
Days Open

211 to

301 to

0 Parity 2 O Parity 3 M Parity 4+

Figure 2. Risk (%) of culling around calving for 6 categories of
days open in the previous parity depending on parity number.

What is the economic effect of these risks? An
involuntary live cull just after calving costs approximately
$1000. A death just after calving costs approximately $1500.
Most of this is opportunity cost of lost future income.
The risk of death around calving increased approximately
0.008% per extra day open in the first parity. For the second
and greater parities, the risks of death around calving
increased by 0.013% and 0.014%, respectively. The expected
costs due to increased death risk are therefore $0.12, $0.20,
and $0.20 per extra day open, respectively.
The risk of live culling increased approximately 0.010%,
0.013% and 0.012% per extra day open in the first, second,
and greater parities. Because live culling is a bit less costly
than death (I assumed a $500 cull income), the expected
costs due to increased live culling risk are therefore $0.10,
$0.13, and $0.12 per extra day open.
Together, an extra day open in the first parity costs
approximately $0.22 and for older cows it is $0.33 due to
extra death and culling alone. These costs are in addition to
other costs that determine the total cost per day open such
as reduced milk yield, extra labor etc. Total cost per day open
are typically estimated to be from $0 (early in lactation) to
more than $6 per day open (late in lactation) but cost due to
extra death and culling have usually not been included.
This study was published in Journal of Dairy Science
93(3):68 (2010). Contact Albert De Vries, devries@ufl.edu or
(352) 392-5594 ext 227.

Knowledge is Power

Mary Sowerby

Feed commodity prices have been on the way up, while
milk futures prices are perilously plateaued. Meanwhile, fuel
prices may play an over-riding effect on all other commodity
prices. Although all these issues may seem out of your
control, as the saying goes, "Knowledge is power."

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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 ext 227. E-mail:
devries@ufl.edu. Past issues are posted on the UF/IFAS Florida Dairy Extension website at http://dairy.ifas.ufl.edu. This issue was published on October 11, 2010.

On Tuesday, October 19, at 7:00 p.m. in the Lafayette
County Extension Office, 176 SW Community Circle, Mayo, a
two-fold meeting will be held.
1. Fresh from the Southern Outlook Meeting held
September 27-29 in Atlanta, Dr. John VanSickle, from the
UF Food and Resource Economics Department, will be
sharing the outlooks on feed and livestock commodities,
along with the overall view of how these could affect
your bottom-line.
2. A discussion will be held on how this information can be
useful to you for potential advance purchasing or other
risk management strategies.
In addition, for those interested in the futures market for risk
management, we will discuss using Dr. VanSickle's FACTsim
program (which gives participants the opportunities to make
mock trades on the futures market with real time data, but
not real money) with dairy farm data to practice "pulling
triggers" to buy and sell commodities and determine farm
financial results.
If you are interested in coming to this program, but live
too far from Mayo to attend, please contact Mary Sowerby at
(386) 362-2771, or email meso@ufl.edu, by Tuesday, October
21, to see if more local arrangements can be made by

Dairy Extension Agenda

* Knowledge is Power meeting, October 19, at 7:00 pm in
Mayo, FL. See elsewhere in this newsletter. Contact Mary
Sowerby (meso@ufl.edu or (386) 362-2771).

* Southeast Dairy Herd Management Conference,
November 3-4 in Macon, GA. Program on
http://dairy.ifas.ufl.edu Contact Steve Nickerson at

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