As you are heading out to the hay fields to check how the alfalfa survived the winter, it is also a good time to re-visit your forage inventory. Although yields turned out to be average last year, with more animals kept around to fill the extra quota we have been given, you may find your haylage inventory to be lower than expected. Keep in mind, you want to have enough left to overlap first cut harvest by at least one month to allow for a good start on fermentation.
Our Optilac program has a great feature that allows us to calculate how long each forage will last based on current feeding rate. All you need to supply us with is how many feet are left, the diameter, and height in the case of a bunk. Make sure to discuss with your rep to avoid any surprises in the next few months!
It is midway through February and we have made it a good ways through winter. What have we learned so far this meeting season? An underlying theme has been the focus of management to a site specific nature. Not all barns/cows/farms/fields are the same & shouldn’t really be treated the same if we are to maximize profitability. There is no ‘silver bullet’ that will correct all issues & deliver exceptional results year after year.
We need to identify what the limiting factors are; is it as simple as poor soil analysis or a lame cow that needs her hoof trimmed? Or is it more detailed - more uniform corn emergence or increased laying time of cows? Whether it’s in the barn or out in the field, there are numerous variables that need to be monitored, managed & recorded for future reference. We need to have an idea what has been done & what are the greatest factors holding us back.
All of this doesn’t necessarily mean more inputs. Sometimes it can mean refocusing those same inputs to where they will give the biggest bang for the buck. Greg Stewart (Maizex) has spoken about increasing population, nitrogen & fungicide applications on corn numerous times this year. Some hybrids were highly responsive to greater inputs & others were not. Does this mean one hybrid is better than the other or one system is better than the other? No, not at all. It does however increase the importance of creating a crop plan to maximize performance. Horst Bohner (OMAFRA) described how different tillage, fungicide & fertility packages all had different results depending on where the plot was grown. Nigel Cook (University of Wisconsin) described how different management techniques need to be utilized together to maximize production & health of the cow. Bottom line - there isn’t one single thing that will guarantee a ‘win’ every year in every situation.
Every producer tries their best to grow the best crop, produce the most milk or beef & manage the risk throughout the year to be profitable. It’s no small task. As I say - it’s the “fun of farming”. If it was simple & easy, everyone would do it. Evaluating your business & identifying the strengths that will drive growth & the weaknesses that will limit progress is an important aspect which can be a significant game changer. At the Farm Supply, we cherish the opportunity to help you identify those opportunities on your farm. We believe that your success will drive our success and as we have been reminded this winter, identifying the areas for improvement can greatly enhance your success and profitability.
New Year, New Goals, New Possibilities!
With a new year, producers are establishing new targets. Whether you’re seeking improved results in a specific area or hoping to find greater efficiency overall, January is a good month to consider your options. Regardless of where you strive to be, you first need to know your starting point. Some producers have focused on completing a Return Over Feed (ROF) analysis to help benchmark where they stand today. An ROF is relatively easy, painless & only takes a few minutes to complete. All you need is your ration, production & component values. With this data we can determine total feed costs/L, purchased feed costs, revenue/L, revenue/cow/day, your dairy efficiency, & other useful ratios.
The true benefit of this program is being able to compare changes in management, cow comfort, feed quality etc. & determine how effective those changes are over time. Producers that complete ROF’s on a regular basis develop a timeline in which they can clearly identify positive trends. Another excellent benefit by completing an ROF, is you can benchmark your herd to current Ontario averages & determine how you compare to similar operations, under similar conditions. Once you establish your current position, you can build a plan to ensure you achieve your primary goals.
Producers interested in completing an ROF do not have to be current feed customers of Campbellford Farm Supply. If you have not done a ROF recently, consider completing an ROF for your operation & experience the advantages of knowing precisely where you’re starting 2016. Contact your local consultant to complete an ROF today.
COOL TEMPS—COLD CALVES?
As temperatures dip lower, we need to consider how livestock, especially young calves, will combat the cooler temperatures. Calves will require deeper bedding, shelter from wind/drafts and an increased supply of feed. Below 10C, calves require more energy to stay warm and continue to grow. The use of clean calf jackets can increase their core temperature by 5-7degrees. If using shavings for bedding, consider long straw, the added depth will allow the calf to nest thus making it easier to stay warm during cold nights. Calves standing with a hunched back, tail tucked between their legs and/or shivering indicate a cold calf.
In cold conditions, calves require more nutrients to maintain their average daily gain. A calf consuming 5L of milk/day at 10C will require almost 8L at -20C just to maintain similar growth. Two options; increase the amount of milk the calves receive or increase the nutrient load of the milk. When making a transition, make the adjustment slowly over the course of a week to ten days. This will ensure the calves don’t get ‘turned off’ of milk or scour. Most Purina milk replacers call for 150grams of powder/850ml of water, if increasing the nutrient load, never go above 175grams of powder/850ml of water. Water should be provided to calves, but not directly after milk. The milk needs time to digest. If water is consumed simultaneously, it will displace the milk resulting in the calf not getting the full benefit of the milk.
Purina has various milk replacers available for every situation. Milk Chow 20-20 BIO is a 20% all milk source protein milk replacer. It contains 20% fat which aids in weight gain for calves in cool environments. The BIO stands for BioMos—a natural additive for suppression of diarrhea in calves. Healthier calves result in better growth and production down the road. Milk replacer is a viable, economical option to ensure your calves receive consistent supply of nutrients leading to quality cows in the future. Speak to your Purina Farm Consultant to see what you can do to ensure warm, healthy animals this winter.
REVISED CALF & HEIFER LINE UP
Purina has just released a re-aligned calf & heifer lineup. Products from Day 1 to 24 months have been stream lined into 3 categories to make it easier for producers to decide which products best suit their heifer program goals. They are now outlined as ‘Accelerated’, ‘High Performance’, & ‘Economy Performance’.
A few notes on products in our warehouse for you to be aware of
1031 Stature EX Calf Starter: Is now called ‘Stature Accel EX’.
It is the exact same product
1036 Calf Startena EX: is changing from an 18% to 20% to align with the more aggressive growth rates of today’s standard calf rearing program
1134 Freshstart 20: Is now called ‘Stature 20’. It is the exact same product
1147 Freshstart 40: Is now 1143 ‘Stature 37’. It contains no urea, & is medicated with Rumensin. Formulation with a higher amino acid profile allows for overall protein to be lower and more cost efficient
1855 Peak Plus 44: A very popular choice for show heifer programs - high protein, low energy, and very palatable. Stocked year round.
The ‘Economy Performance’ line now boasts some exciting new calf starter and grower products that provide excellent nutrition. We have a new heifer/ far-off dry cow mineral containing a package for the prevention of Digital Dermatitis that should be very appealing to those with animals housed in free stalls.
We are very excited about this new line up that offers something to cover everyone’s needs.
Corn silage season is now upon us. Our chopping day on Sept 2nd had samples ranging from 62% to 76%. Be sure to be keeping an eye on your fields as some are surprising producers at how dry they are. Here are thoughts to keep in mind as you prepare for harvest....
1. Harvest time- should be determined by overall plant moisture and not kernel milk line. If too wet, fermentation will be dominated by undesirable bacteria, which can lead to poor intakes and poor milk production. If too dry, starch digestibility will be lower, and it is harder to pack resulting in heating and molding
2. Chop length- ½” for non-processed. ¾” for processed. Proper length is important to ensure proper compaction to minimize oxygen entrapment.
3.Processor- if you have one, make sure proper upkeep is done so you are not missing kernels. If you are paying a custom operator, be sure to check it is being processed completely. Take a sample of approximately 4 cups of silage- you want to see 2 or less half or whole kernels. Check periodically throughout harvest. Processors are a great investment
4.Bunker- PACK PACK PACK. Pack some more! Tractor packing weight should be 800 times the tonnage delivered to the bunk/ hour. Generally people are short on weight. We have all the supplies you need for covering your bunk- sidewall plastic, oxygen barrier film, silage sheets, sand bags, etc
5.Inoculant- just a given. We have lots of Buchneri 500 and Super-Sile in stock in Campbellford.
Purina`s Return Over Feed (ROF) program is a helpful tool available for you on farm to help measure the profitability on an individual cow basis each day. Information is gathered on what you are feeding & milk being shipped & in return you get information that is helpful for management decisions & benchmarking amongst other herds in Ontario. Although it is a busy time of year outside of the barn, it is important to spend adequate time focusing on the happenings within. Talk to your nutritionist about the ROF program. It only takes a few minutes of your time to provide the necessary info.
If you are in a facility that allows for top dressing, it is a great opportunity to take advantage of a few extra litres in the early lactation cows. Not only is this helpful for filling your incentives but increases persistency and often improves reproductive performance. Here are 3 of our top products from Purina that are floor stocked.
Top Milker 40% - Our most popular and superior product. It contains high quality undegradable protein sources. High in energy with an optimum blend of tallow and protected fat to help maintain energy consumption during transition (and is also helpful during times of heat stress). It also boasts a very high amino acid profile.
Extrupro 32% - Unique blend of extruded particles and a large pellet. The extruded particle allows for the product to have a high amount of fermentable starch. It carries a nice profile of proteins to complement on-farm forages and contains yeast to stimulate bacterial growth.
Top Level- Designed specifically for early lactation/ transition animals. It contains Palm Fat for increased milk fat production, digestible fiber, yeasts, and appetite stimulants to improve DMI and rumen function. It is also formulated with a high DCAD level which improves production in early lactation and helps compensate for loss of electrolytes during heat stress.
PALM FAT - With the continual increase in quota & incentives, I have been getting a lot more questions about Palm Fat. What is it? Palmitic acid (C:16) is a rumen protected vegetable fat that is digested in the small intestine, enters the blood stream & is taken up by the mammary gland to enhance butter fat percent. How do I feed it? Typically fed between 150-200 grams, you can expect to see 0.2-0.4 increase depending on feeding rate. It is considered ‘neutral’ in terms of palatability & can be added to TMR or top dressed. Can I get some? YOU BET! Jeff has ordered a full container load & there is a lot in stock at CFS. It can be added to your supplement, or you can purchase by the bag. We currently have special pricing on for skid lots.
SILEAGE MANAGEMENT - Forages are well on their way & producers will be cutting within the next 2 weeks. After putting all the effort into timely harvesting, make sure you are storing your crop the best you can. Reducing DM loss & spoilage is key to having a superior product at feed out. We have many different inoculants in stock, plastic/net wrap, twine & everything you need to properly seal your bunker (like in the picture shown). Make sure to have your order in ASAP as we are working on deliveries now. Erin
We have carried the ‘Dairyman`s Choice’ probiotic line now for a few years, with many producers consistently taking advantage of the supplement used for lactating cows. I would like to make sure you are all aware of the product they offer for calves. Fed at 10 gm/h/d, the supplement is mixed into the milk/ milk replacer. The 1st week of the calf’s life is the most crucial, but many feed till weaning. The product helps promote and maintain microbial growth in the gut, assists in digestion, and improves starter intake which in turn improves weight gain & feed efficiency. Mike Hutjens, the keynote speaker at the CanWest DHI meeting this year, stated that Dairyman`s Choice for calves is a ‘no brainer’ when it comes to selecting which additives should be used on dairies. Talk to your rep for more information.
It is a very exciting March in the dairy industry with the announcement of extra incentive days & quota increase. As such, I have been busy adjusting and fine tuning rations to service our customers. We want you to be able to reach your goals efficiently & profitably. There is lots of palm fat and milk replacers in stock at the store to help as well! Please talk to your rep if you are looking for more information.
Delivering a consistent ration is often overlooked as a potential culprit in milk yield & component variation. The impact of an inconsistent TMR, or variability of proper amounts fed component style can be costly. With the winter months not being as busy, take some time to check your feeding equipment. Are your forages being processed properly? Check for dull blades, worn scrapers, augers, and mixing bars in the TMR. Observe for dead spots when mixing, forage rings around the bottom of augers, and feed left in the mixer after feed out - these are all signs of worn parts. Grain - is your roller/hammer mill processing everything properly? We already know energy is an issue this year - you don’t want your cows to miss out on anything. Every TMR company has a particular mixing order, recommended mixing times, and capacity. Purina has compiled a fact sheet with all this info, ask your rep for a copy. Erin
Purina has been working with the Cow Signals company & founder Joep Driessen for 2 years now & has found the program to be very successful. With the goal of getting your cows to last 2 more lactations by keeping them healthier & happier - it leads to a more profitable animal for you too! CFS has been honoured to speak at the Victoria County Holstein clubs AGM already this year & will be at the Peterborough County’s Holstein club meeting for young adults to talk about Cow Signals. Joep will also be at CDX for the 3rd time, speaking both days to producers. Be sure to listen in on his talks if you are there. If you are interested in attending a Cow Signals meeting, or hosting one on your farm, contact your rep. Erin
New Corn Silage Effect
Every fall I have many discussions with my customers about trying to fill their quota and incentives to maximize income. There is a good article in Hoards Dairyman about "Why New Corn Silage” doesn’t feed as well. A good study was done over 11 months looking at how digestibility changes in forages the longer they are ensiled. The summary of the article is that forages need 6 months to finish fermenting. That means for the first 6 months the forage is changing every bite that the cow eats! We all know that keeping the rumen microbes stable is ideal, but how do we do that when forages are constantly changing? I have a few producers that have enough storage and inventory, so that they are always feeding fully fermented feed to minimize the effect of unfermented silage. This way they are able to fill the fall incentives with the higher milk production and butterfat that they get when the rumen is stable.
Purina`s Opti-Lac Ration Program focuses on Rumen Health. It has the ability to adjust the ration with the length of time the feed has fermented to help with the slump in production and butterfat generally seen in the fall.
As the corn silage season is coming to an end, most producers are very happy with the high yields. I have sent away some samples and so far the quality of silage is equally impressive. Most samples are coming back at 1.70 NEL. The normal range is from 1.58 to 1.72 NEL. Late planted corn will be lower in quality.
As all of you have probably heard, DFO has increased quota by 3 % starting December 1st, 2014. Now is a good time to take feed samples and update your ration. Feed prices have dropped significantly in the past month, so having an updated ration with lower feed costs combined with a nice quota increase will certainly increase your Return over Feed and profitability. Feeding Milk Replacer will also help you to ship as many litres of milk as possible to increase your bottom line.
As I write this article for the month, I can`t stop wondering how the corn crop is going to mature for dry corn, high moisture corn & in some situations, corn silage. I was listening to the Cropline yesterday & they mentioned something that hit a cord with me. Agronomists are comparing the crop year of 2014 to 1992! That is scary! Most of you will remember 1992. The year where most corn simply did not have enough heat units to mature. All corn in 1992 had very low bushel weights & energy values which caused producers to feed a lot more corn to keep the energy up in the cow’s diet. I think they might be right when I look at the 2 week forecast which isn’t going to bring us record amounts of heat. Most producers generally have a plan for their corn silage & HMC needs, but this year a back up plan must be in place. Some tough decisions might need to be made at corn silage time as to what fields do I take for silage & what fields for HMC or even leaving immature corn in the field. Most producers have excellent inventories built up on high quality haylages & hays so we might be able to feed more haylages this year & depend less on corn. I hope I am wrong, but I think being prepared will make us much more profitable! It will be interesting! Good luck!
Dairy farmers are busy trying to get crops in which keeps them away from the barn. Since you are busy in the fields, I thought I would send a gentle reminder to clean the fans in the barn before the upcoming heat & humidity. Doing this will help to improve Dry Matter Intake.
Spring is a great time of year, isn’t it? The snow is finally, I say, finally going away! The birds are singing in the mornings, the sun is much brighter and warmer, and we can actually see brown dirt again in the fields that I haven’t seen since November! One of the things that I do not like about spring is the effects on calf health. In the last 2 weeks, I am seeing at a lot of producers that are feeding calves whole milk and are having a lot of health issues such as scours and pneumonia. In my experience, spring and fall always seems to be an issue with calf health. If you are feeding whole milk and are having problems, just try a few bags of Purina Milk Chow with Deccox! It is available with 22% protein and 26% protein for producers that are looking for that superior frame and stature! With the addition of Deccox, it helps prevent Coccidiosis in young calves that can`t consume enough calf starter to achieve full protection. You only have 1 chance to produce that cow that stands above the rest! Enjoy the Spring.
A Christmas present to the Campbellford office was the addition of a brand new Koster tester. Dry Matter Intake (DMI) is consistently changing and a small detail that is often overlooked. A new project I am working on in 2014 is to follow moisture changes on farm to see how big these changes really are. We have been working with a customer, getting weekly TMR samples and tracking the moisture. The red line indicates what the moisture of the ration is according to the samples we took from the bunkers to balance in Optilac. As you know there are many factors that can positively or negatively affect forage moistures- but I am sure we all know what the big one has been so far this year- SNOW! Stay tuned for updates as we continue our weekly monitoring.
There has been a lot of interest in Purinas new Cow Signals Training from our producers lately. We are in the planning stages of running some more sessions for producers that are interested. We can do freestall sessions and tiestall sessions separately. Call your consultant if you are interested in attending or hosting a session with a small group of producers. Cow Signals makes you look outside the box to increase production and cow comfort!
Congrats goes out to the East Central Holstein Tour that was very well attended!
Most of you have probably heard by now of ‘Cow Signals’, whether it be through the Purina ads in the The Milk Producer, Ontario Dairy Farmer, your consultant, or most recently at Stratford’s CDX (Canadian Dairy XPO). Started by Vet Dr. Joep Driessen of the Netherlands, it is a concept based on looking at cattle’s observations & their surroundings. Cows put out signals every moment of everyday, you just need to know how to read the signals - and Purina consultants have been trained to do just that! Speak to your consultant to learn more about how we can help you on your farm, or if you would like to participate in a workshop. Purina is the only company in Canada trained, and we look forward to working with you.
"Happy Cows- Happy Producers”.
So far this winter we have seen a lot of snow and more of our fair share of ice! I was speaking with Barry Robinson from Mapleseed last week about the excessive ice laying in the alfalfa fields. My question to him was do you anticipate a lot of winter kill with all the ice we have had recently? His answer was right in line with what I was thinking. In years where we are certain that there will be a lot of winterkill, we end up with no winterkill and years where we think there will be no winterkill we have severe winterkill! It seems to be a combination of a lot of factors, including when spring is close and we get a lot of freezing and thawing which causes the plant to break. All we can do at this point is keep your fingers crossed that alfalfa hangs in there for another year! I was told many years ago that a good maple syrup year will mean a hard season on alfalfa due to the freezing and thawing. We will see!
It looks like another year is about to slip by. How the time flies when you are having fun! It looks like the fall harvest is winding down with excellent yields and quality. Too bad the price had to drop or we would all be in the sunny south for the winter with a big bank account! LOL
On the dairy side, milk seems to be rolling out the door in good amounts, good BF and protein. Anyone that needs a ration updated, please give us a call.
I would like to thank all our loyal customers that have supported us over the years. Your business is very much appreciated! In the New Year, we will be getting our ROF meetings going again that have been so successful in the past.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
We all know that every year brings new challenges in the dairy business! Well this year is no different. Most producers have an abundance of feed inventory and many of you are selling the excess with the excellent yields we have enjoyed this season. I always figured that extra feed inventory is money in the bank!
On the ration side, I am finding the forages this year are running low in sugar which is causing low sugar TMR levels. This can affect milk and protein production. I have a few producers that are adding sugar to the supplement to increase TMR sugar levels with good results for the past year. Call me if you want your ration updated.
Most producers this year are finding milk and component levels are running above average. Some producers are up 34 to 35 litres per cow with 4 % BF! That will look really nice when an ROF is done. Talking about ROF, it is that time of year, when we usually start up our very popular ROF meetings. If you have any topics that you would like discussed, please talk to your consultant about it. Let us know if you would like an ROF done on your herd.
Finally, it is that time of year when seed orders are taken. We have lots of good plot data on silage, grain corn and soybeans
We recently had our annual Corn Silage day and as usual the moistures were all over the map. The lowest was around 61% moisture and the highest being around 79%. Many samples came back drier than they looked, possibly from the spell of dry hot weather that we had at the end of August, causing the cob to pull moisture from the stalk to finish. Make sure to check fields regularly so the silage doesn’t get too dry on you. It looks like a great crop out there! There are also challenges out there like we all know (who ever said farming was easy!). I am seeing more rootworm than I ever have. Bird damage is higher than normal. (We have to feed the wildlife too you know!) I have already noticed a fair bit of molds in fields, which will increase the Mycotoxins in the silage. I would say this is a must year to inoculate your silage to stop Vomitoxin growth while it is in storage. Make sure to order your Lallemand inoculant from us! It is simply the best inoculant on the market today. Many producers that are currently using it will attest to that. Happy harvesting and be careful out there!
Inoculants are a great way to preserve the feeding value of your forage. We carry two products - Biotal Super-Sile and Biotal Buchneri 500 which are $63.75 and $130.00 respectively per pouch. They each treat 50 MT of forage for a cost per MT of $ 1.27 or $ 2.60. The Super-Sile product contains lactic acid producing bacteria that help to improve the digestibility of forage and reduce the DM loss by encouraging rapid pH reduction. The Biotal 500 product with Buchneri has all of the same benefits as the Super-Sile, plus it has 2 specific strains of bacteria. One has been selected for a fast pH drop to stabilize the forage. The other strain has been selected for its ability to reduce yeast and mold spoilage. This results in less waste and better hygienic feed quality for improved stability at feed out. You spend a lot of time, effort and money to harvest your forages. Inoculants are a relatively inexpensive way to preserve and protect them.
Incentive Days Are Here!
Producers will be working with extra incentive days August through November. With present milk prices, feeding calves milk replacer provides a 2:1 return on investment. With consistent nutrition provided to your calves, a decreased risk of disease transmission and an improved mixability product, Purina's milk replacer line is a great economical opportunity and management strategy that could work in your herd. Don`t forget about Purina`s 22:18 Milk Chow with Deccox. It is the only milk replacer in Ontario registered with Deccox to provide that extra Cocci control.
Cool-Aid…A new Solution for Heat Stress in Dairy Cattle
Purina has just introduced a new product called Cool-Aid. It is a natural plant extract that works similar to Gatorade in athletes. It works by moderating the core body temperature in lactating cows and also lowering rumen PH to help with the typical Dry Matter Intake drop that we often see in the mid summer heat with high humidity. Data shows that an increase of 0.9 degrees in body temperature results in a decrease in conception rates of 12.8%! Cool –Aid was fed in the US last year with great success. Cows showed better expression of heats and higher first service conception rates. Purina's ROF data shows that producers generally drop by $1.00 on their ROF/cow /day in a typical summer due to heat stress. Cool- Aid should be fed from mid June to the end of August. We can add it to your Purina pellet or in your CFS supplement or Complete Feed made at our mill.
Bottom Line…Reduce that typical summer time drop in milk yield and BF% and increase your conception rates at the same time! Sounds like a must try product to me! Call your feed rep for more info.
I am finding most producers are over producing milk right now. That's a good problem, I guess. Some producers are talking about lowering the overall protein level in the TMR's. That is a bad idea for a whole pile of reasons. That is a short term fix for a long term problem. Lowering protein will lower production for sure, but let's think about spring & then summer and then fall incentives! Summer time heat & humidity always lower milk yield and BF%, so you will not be sending as many kg of BF out the door this spring & summer. With the ROF club running, producers are working hard to keep the ROF up all year long. Therefore cutting production now will lower your ROF from now until next winter. Not a good idea! To compound the problem, DFO now has the SNF ratio that you must keep which is hard to do in the summer time heat. Cutting protein in your TMR now will also affect your breeding program later on! I would recommend drying up cows early if possible or selling some meat cows. Most producers are low on feed inventories this year, so that will help stretch your feed until your new forages are off.
It`s that season where it seems there are meetings, farm shows, and Ag tours happening every week, easily filling your schedules during these winter months. We usually host a day meeting where we bring in speakers to talk to you, but we decided to try a new concept this year. Running with our ROF club, we have taken our meeting ‘out of the classroom' and are asking what you would like to learn! We had a very successful meeting held at Emdrdale Holsteins that focused around transition cows- nutrition, management, and disease prevention. We`d like to thank the Stockdale family for opening their farm to fellow producers and Dr. Rob Walsh for providing very insightful information. I think everyone left that day with a new piece of information. With feed costs high and inventories tight, ROF`s are becoming a more important tool. Speak to your sales rep for more information on the ROF program.
The Canadian Dairy XPO was a new highly anticipated dairy show held in Stratford, and I`m sure all that attended can say it was quite an impressive event! We took a bus of producers to Stratford, where we took in the first day of the show, and visited a couple of farms on the following day. If you didn`t attend this year, plan to attend next year. We will be doing a bus trip again!
There is always a discussion around the proper moisture level in a TMR….too dry or too wet. There is lots of research that recommends that there is a proper moisture level. With storage methods being very diverse from bunk silos to upright silos to Agbags to wrapped baleage, TMR moisture levels can be all over the map. I find Dry Matter Intake and milk production are highest when the TMR moistures are around 45 to 50%. Below 45% moisture, the TMR is too dry leading to sorting that can increase acidosis, lower butterfat and lead to sore feet. This is compounded when forage particles are too long. TMR`s that are high in moisture lead to lower Dry Matter Intake due to the filling effect it has on the rumen which can cause lower milk production. What is the moisture level on your TMR!
Well, it looks like another Canadian winter is upon us again. The weather is cooling down, all the cattle are inside for the winter, the feed is well fermented in storage, the milk incentives are over and milk production is flowing like crazy for most producers! A lot of producers have made the comment that they have never sent as much milk out the door as this year. Its funny how things all come together when the incentives are over and the feeds are well fermented. I guess we cannot have it all! It would be nice once in a while though!
We are in the planning stages for our ROF meetings in the New Year. If anyone has an idea for the meeting, please let your consultant know. Everyone is invited, so talk to your neighbors and friends about what it can do for them.
Transition cows are generally a part of the herd that can usually use some improvement. It is easy to overlook these cows when we are in the fields doing crop work, but they are, one of the most important. Cows that get off to a poor start in lactation are usually low in production, last to get bred and vulnerable to all sorts of diseases. Purina has many Transition Cow products, but my favourite is TC Enhancer Net. We have many producers currently using it with great success. It is highly palatable & contains sources of digestible fibre and varied sources of sugars and starches to stimulate rumen function. Feeding rate is 3.5 kg/day pre-calving and 2.5 kg/day post calving. It is a must try product to get your cows off to a good start.
We have been in quite a few BMR fields and we have been very impressed with how it has withstood the drought and yielded right up there with the other silage corns. This has been the primary objection we have encountered regarding the product and that issue has been clearly resolved on the Mycogen product! So agronomics is not the issue. The best stalks at chipper day were BMR. The real question is, can I use it on my farm and can the person who does my ration be able to utilize it properly? We have heard in the past that BMR feels softer, heavier in my bucket and I am feeding less corn (at $320/tonne). The real question is, can it make me money? The answer is clearly yes, with the qualifier being the ability to properly balance it in the feed program. So now that silage is off, be thinking about next year and whether I want to use BMR in my ration. The only challenge for this year is going to be SUPPLY OF SEED! The popularity of the product in the rest of the province and the drought in the seed production area has greatly impacted seed availability for BMR. If you want it– please order it soon.
We are seeing high levels of toxin all over our area and at these levels it can have a huge impact on your bottom line. If you need it tested, call your consultant or one of our stores.
As producers crank up production to meet quota incentives, we are always looking at ways to get extra milk sold. Milk-replacer prices have dropped recently and Purina has introduced a new product that is a 22% CP and 18% fat that has Deccox. All producers that have tried this product are really happy with calf performance and the coccidiosis control that comes with it. A first for the industry! So now, you can ship the extra milk to meet incentives and have the healthiest calves you have ever had! Please give us a call to try this product!
Where is the rain? This is two years in a row that I have come back from holidays and we are in a drought situation! Not good! Looks like I will have to do my rain dance again!
(don't be laughing)
Meanwhile in the barn, most herds have had a drop in BF %. That is typical in the summer heat. Do anything to keep Dry Matter Intake up. We also have some additives, if needed, to keep BF % up. Palm Fat can help in some cases. It also condenses the energy fraction of the ration to help weight loss in the summer heat that helps with summer time breeding.
P.S. Anyone that wants to do my rain dance with me, don't be afraid to call me @705-872-7569
Many dairy producers have experienced how Vomitoxin can affect their herds. We are going to be doing a field trial with Bayer this year on Proline. It is a fungicide that is sprayed at tassel that can reduce Vomitoxin levels by 48% in Corn Silage. That is a very significant decrease when levels can get as high as 3ppm. Call me if you want to discuss how you can reduce vomitoxin on your farm!
Haylage samples are returning from the lab as expected…lower protein and higher ADF and NDF. Many producers lost significant amounts of alfalfa from winter kill and that will hurt farm profitability for the year. With the rains we have had recently, hopefully we will get a good quality 2nd and 3rd cut. I was recently talking to a well known nutritionist from the States and he made the comment that only Canadians have enough patience and determination to do haylage each and every year! They like their high Corn Silage diets. I am starting to wonder about it myself! Ja
Our first ROF club meeting was a big success on March 22. It was a beautiful sunny warm day and I know some producers missed the meeting because they were in the fields planting crops. (Who would have thunk it.) The afternoon was spent at the new Tummon Robot Milker barn in Hastings County (nice barn). A lot of questions were asked which raised a lot of discussion among producers. The feedback from the meeting was very good, so we are already planning for next season which will start up again in the late fall. These meetings are open to anyone, so if you have a friend or relative that is interested for next season please bring them along. The crop season is upon us! This is the first season we have switched some corn seed to higher heat units in season. Anyone interested in putting in plots, let us know so we can get the plot seed to you.
Thanks to those producers who were able to make our dairy meeting. We try to pick topics that are relevant to you and the issues you currently have on farm. This year's topics touched on High Forage Diets. High forage diets are diets that are over 65% forage. I recently did a ration for one of Shawn's customers that ended up at 74.8% forage! Yes, 74.8% forage, that is not a typo! He feeds half conventional NK 29T corn silage and half high protein baleage along with HMC. He cut the corn silage high, leaving extra stubble on the ground. The ration actually was low in fibre and high in total fat. We needed to add some dry hay to the TMR to get fibre levels where they needed to be. We also had to restrict the distillers in the ration due to the high fat levels. The total cost to feed a cow in this herd was only $4.16. That includes all forages and grains. That is an incredibly cheap ration! That is a profitable ration! What is your cost per cow per day? What is your percent forage in the diet?
If you were unable to attend the Dairy Meeting, talk to Erin, Jake, Ken, or Shawn to find out about all the helpful information you missed! They may have some extra information packages with them.
That should be the winter season, one area that we should review is our calf nutrition program. A young calf on a cold night in a hutch (-10C) requires almost 50% more energy compared to the same calf at 17C just to maintain its weight. Consumption of feeds becomes more crucial in the winter in order to keep calves growing. If you are using a milk replacer ensure it is a high fat, high protein and all milk product such as our new Purina 22 -18 with deccox. Many customers have commented that the new product mixes very well and consumption has been excellent. This is not the time of year to be taking chances with low energy calf starters. Intake is the key and the foundation of good intake is palatability. Purina is Ontario's leader in calf nutrition and CFS has the calf feeds that fit your farm. Talk to us about Stature and Startena ? solid calf feeds for cold weather.
On the dairy side, vomitoxin levels have again raised their ugly head. Some producers have elevated levels that can cause some serious problems. Please let us know if you suspect that your levels might be high. It is a simple test that we send to Purina Lab. Dairyman's Choice or Integral can usually control the high levels at a reasonable cost. If you let the problem persist, breeding or production can be severely affected.
Well, the results are in! The BMR yield results are looking better than ever! This past season a lot of producers purchased BMR to take a look at it in the field and to see what it does in the barn, where the proof is in the pudding. We did some silage weigh off trials this season and BMR won most of them against some high heat unit varieties. Some varieties were 300 heat units higher than the BMR F2F387! There seems to be a lot of confusion and misconceptions about BMR, probably because it is a relatively new crop in this area. I recently toured western Ont. and most dairy producers there would not grow anything else but BMR.I would be happy to talk to anyone interested in growing it next year. It would make you, your cows and your banker happy too! Jake
Looks like the 2011 Corn Silage harvest is upon us. Ranges of moisture were all over the map as expected due to the stretched out planting season. Just a reminder to all the BMR customers that moistures between 60% to 68% are very important due to the high digestibility of the BMR, higher moistures than this makes the BMR even more digestible and very soluble. Also keep length of cut in mind, it needs to be longer than normal and processing it would be ideal. Using our high quality inoculants puts the icing on the cake. Happy and safe harvesting!
With Silage harvest getting started and High Moisture Corn following shortly, the benefits of using a good Inoculant can pay big dividends. Reducing storage losses and reducing feed out spoilage and heating are two of the main benefits. Using Buchneri on your high moisture corn and adding Supersile with the Buchneri to your Corn Silage will improve fermentation and provide consistent quality feed. It is not as expensive as you think!
Well, it is Aug 15 and I think another summer has passed us by. Some people will say it was a nice hot summer, but the milk cows say something else. Milk and B.F. have both been hurt this summer and most producers are struggling to fill incentives and quota. Now that cooler weather is ahead of us, the cows need a properly balanced ration to get back on track. With protein prices where they are today, there is no room for error with an unbalanced ration. Call today to get your feed sampled and a ration done. Our Opti-Lac program is a superior software program that focuses on rumen health.
It is also grass seed season. 4S417 alfalfa from Mycogen continues to impress me. It is there new Hybrid Alfalfa that yields.
The announcement of extra incentive days throughout the summer months means extra money in your pocket- so why not take full advantage of it. Most will be looking to ship as much milk as possible, with the pressure of summer heat on milk production and butterfat, utilizing milk replacer allows producers to ship their maximum amount of saleable milk. Purina offers a full line of milk replacers to satisfy all needs, take note of their two new releases featuring Deccox-M to protect your calves against coccidiosis right from week 1.
Although I am sure that everyone is busy trying to get the seeds in the ground, given the late spring we are having, I just wanted to remind you that haylage is just around the corner (can you believe it). I always thought that haylage was a crop that basically determined your profitability for the entire year on the dairy farm. As you know, protein prices are not cheap today, so it is so important to get the haylage in storage in the best possible condition. Silage inoculants have come a long way in the last 5 years as far as lowering ph very quickly to ensure Lactic Acid production is maximized to get a good fermentation. They also now control heating and secondary fermentation at the back end of the process when the silage is taken out of storage to maximize Dry Matter Intake. I realize that it is hard to physically see the results of inoculants right away, but we have more and more producers using our Lalimand Inoculants and they are seeing the results in increased milk!
Jake recently attended the Bovine Practitioners Conference in Guelph which covers everything from far-off dry cows to close-up dry cows to peak milk nutrition to new ventilation methods to barn air conditioning. All the scientific research you can think of was covered in this conference.
The greatest amount of time was used covering ways to increase Dry Matter Intake in close-up dry cows and fresh cows. You say that is nothing new?and you are right! It still is all about ways to increase DMI to get us to the next production level! The other big topic was Digestible NDF Research. Schools are working hard to incorporate dNDF in the new ration software models to be able to increase production. There is also a push to develop crops that increase dNDF and to lower the lignin levels that are not digestible, that just take space in the rumen.
It now looks like it is going to be a compressed spring on the crop side, that requires long work hours. Please work safe and have a good spring!
There has been much talk at meetings this winter about the importance of proper colostrum delivery to calves. The most important points to remember are Quickly and Quality. Feeding 4L to large breed calves within the first hour will result in the best absorption- did you know that after 6 hrs the calf can only absorb 50% of the immunoglobulins? Quick delivery also reduces the amount of bacteria growth that can occur, allowing the calf a chance to have a clean first meal.
Quality is key, as the point of feeding colostrum is to get immunoglobulins into the calves system as soon as possible. As calves are born without immune systems, providing them with the best defense ASAP is very important to keep a calf healthy and get them off to a proper start to develop into a profitable cow for your herd.
Our stores offer you the colostrum replacer ?Immu-Start? which is often used when you are short colostrum on the first milking and as a disease control measure. ?Jump Start? is a colostrum supplement to be used in addition to the regular feeding. The paste comes in a tube, providing that extra boost to calves when colostrum quality is an issue or used as a proactive measure. Our team would be happy to answer any questions you have about calf feeding and management. Thank You
There seems to be a lot of talk these days about the current quota situation and lack of ability to buy quota. There is also talk about if you cannot buy quota, then just continue to fill quota with the barn stalls full. The second part scares me a little. Everyone in the service industry tries to make the dairy industry more efficient. If producers decide to give up some of those efficiencies to keep the stalls full, we have now lowered our overall profitability on the farm. What I am trying to say is it is ok to have some empty stalls. The bottom line is to send as much milk out the milkhouse door as possible with the least number of cows to produce it! Extra cows are not cheap to feed, so why have them on the farm?
Thanks to those producers who attended our crop and dairy meetings. We had an excellent turn-out on a bad weather day. If there is any topic you think should be discussed at our meetings, please talk to us about it. These meeting are your meetings!
It is that time of year when we hopefully have a little extra time on our hands to do some catch-up. It is also the time of year for meetings!
Purina has a very successful Return Over Feed Program (ROFP) that takes only minutes to complete and gives you plenty of information. Please call me at 705-872-7569 to do your ROFP.
If you still have not booked your crop inputs for next year, we still have a good selection of products left. Looks like crop prices are going to be strong for a while.
Purina has done a lot of work in the area of Milk Urea Nitrogen(MUN) in the recent years. With DHI doing NIR testing of MUN more producers are using this service. Early MUN work associated high protein diets with high MUN levels, although this was not consistent with findings in all studies or all cows in the same trial. There are plenty of reasons that MUN levels can fluctuate
(a) Time of sampling vs. time of feeding (some cows can vary from 12 to 20 on the same diet, solely due to time of sampling, (this can be an issue with herds on AM/PM testing)
This further emphasizes the point that at least two tests should be done on the herd prior to taking any corrective action with the nutritional program.
We have a full article on the subject that we can give out to interested producers.
As all of you know, protein prices have taken a significant increase. I guess we can thank USDA and China for that. A couple of analysts have predicted $7.00 Chicago corn and $14.00 soybeans! That is really bad news for the dairy producer and really good news for the crop producers. It is a tough world out there!!
Dairy farmers have always had a difficult task every season picking corn silage varieties. It is not getting any easier!! Not only do you need to pick a variety, but now we have a large assortment of traits to choose from, always having cost in mind and what works for you in your system.
My thoughts on Corn silage are (here we go) for dairy producer is to give what the cow needs and wants to maximize your profits!
I would pick a variety in this order (a) Net Energy Lactation Value-the higher the better?more energy in the silage so we do not need to feed as much dry or HMC. (b)NDF Digestibility-the higher the better?the cows simply eat more forage (cheapest feed on farm) so we can decrease grain feeding and have a healthy and happy rumen.(c)Yield-Remember ?feed what the cow wants and needs. High yielding varieties generally have a lower Net Energy Value (not what cow the wants or needs)(d)Traits?Now you pick the traits you need and prefer!!!
Every Seed Company works very hard to breed new traits and varieties for the farmer. My favourite Corn Silage varieties are?(here we go again) NK Line-up (a) N27B?top notch NEL with high NDF Digestibility and yield. Available with all traits if needed. (b)N29A?Good quality feed with high end yield, good value for your dollar!!
Mycogen Line-up?With 1 year under our belt, we are very impressed with the very high NDF Digestibility, NEL and yield with BMR. Years ago BMR was knocked for the yield drag that it carried. Mycogen has worked very long and hard to decrease yield drag to 10% now?field plots in this area have proven that.
I have several rations using BMR and found that we can reduce feeding HMC or Dry Corn by 2 kg/cow/day and increase production with it. An average 50 cow herd using BMR can save $7300/yr?The Ultimate Corn Silage!!! With two Seed Companies, we have something for everyone.
Research shows that mycotoxins are mostly soil borne, so once the soil is infected, the infection is there to stay. Our only defense at this time is to use Buchneri 40788 in forages and High Moisture Grains to stop or minimize mycotoxin growth in storage. We all know that open cows can be very expensive!!!
Enough with the heat and humidity already!! The cows have had a difficult summer coping generally dropping BF by 2 to 3 pts and milk by 2 to 3 litres.With the additional quota and fall incentives, it is important to fill your quota. If you want some feed samples taken or ration fine tuning done, give us a call.
Vomitoxin has again raised its ugly head. Recent TMR samples have shown a sharp increase in Vomitoxin levels. High Vomitoxin levels play havoc on reproduction. We carry several products to lessen the severity of the effects of high vomitoxin. Inoculants on corn silage and high moisture corn stop the multiplying of vomitoxins in storage, as it is much cheaper to be proactive than reactive.
Summer has officially arrived, and with it another heat wave of hot, humid weather. A drop in milk components over the summer is as common as the loss of dry matter intake (DMI) and milk production.
Temperatures as low as 23C with almost 100 percent humidity will begin to induce heat stress. So why the big drop in milk? As the mercury rises cows respond in several ways, but their first and most significant response is to eat less!
LOWER DMI=LOWER MILK PRODUCTION
There is typically a 1 to 2 day delay from when DMI drops until a drop in milk production is seen therefore it is not uncommon for milk to continue dropping after the worst of the heat stress has passed.
-Always provide plenty of clean fresh water (high producing lactating cows will drink more than 200 litres of water /day)
-Keep fans on at night to help cool cows completely
-Feed during the coolest time of the day to stimulate DMI
-Ensure TMR stays cool
-Balance for actual DMI, not predicted DMI
-Increase energy with fats not starches
-Decreased DMI =slower passage rate?proper balance of nutrients to maximize digestion is key
-Higher levels of potassium and magnesium are necessary because of higher losses (panting, urine, sweat).
Look for signs along the road on the BMR corn. So far it is some of the best corn out there. Hard to tell any volume loss but we will have some good numbers soon. The reason we will have them soon is that corn Silage this year might mean August. The general take is 45 days after tassel. Depending on when you planted your silage corn get the harvester ready for August. Another note on silage is that we are now carrying the innoculant Bucheri 40788 from Lallimand. Our dairy team will be around to show you the numbers on how well it works. We have had a few of our customers using it and with complete satisfaction.
Some of the new crop haylage/baleage have been sent away and the early results indicate that the protein is lower and NDF is higher than normal this year. This is probably due to the above average amount of grass in the stand. Most producers? yields are half to three quarters normal. Mother Nature truly is the boss!!!
Please call if you need haylage/baleage samples sent away to rebalance your ration.
We are continuing to see great results from Dairyman`s Choice yeast products in milk rations, dry cow rations and heifer rations.
We are also seeing nice results in 4H calves fed Dairyman`s Choice. Call to discuss your 4H calf needs!