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TheDairySite Newsletter - 11 April 2014

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TheDairySite
Friday 11th April 2014.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley
Editor


MSD Animal Health

Novus International

Getting Cows Fatter: Time is of the Essence

Adding condition to a cow requires feed and time, with many New Zealand farmers not drying off early enough.

This is according to Dr Jane Kay of Dairy New Zealand who is advising Kiwi dairymen to afford their cows more time to gain body condition score (BCS) units.

Autumn is fast approaching in New Zealand and many southern hemisphere herds are being prepared for winter forage grazing.

“The main objective of management in the last third of lactation is to set the cow up for the following lactation,” said Dr Kay. “This requires a focus on body condition score.”

“To optimise milk production, reproduction and health, mature cows should be BCS 5.0 at calving, with first and second calvers at 5.5 BCS1.”

She added that greater susceptibility to infectious and inflammatory disease is reason enough to taper milking and boost feeding to avoid thin cows.

She laid out four ways to do this:

  1. Increase feed allocation to lactating cows
  2. Once-a-day (OAD) milking
  3. Dry off at-risk cows early
  4. Feed dry cows for BCS gain

However, she warned farmers that, at this stage of the season, the first two options were too little too late.

Dr Kay said: “Increasing feed allowance or supplementing lactating cows has only a small effect on BCS gain, because genetic selection over several decades has resulted in cows that partition energy to milk at the expense of BCS.”

Dry cows gain BCS far easier than lactating cows as energy is not being required to produce milk and their activity rates are lower.

However, Dr Kay cautioned farmers that nutritional content of feed and the duration of the dry period have a huge say on BCS going into calving.

Outlining the nutritional demand for a 450 kilo cross-bred cow for a pasture/silage and a pasture and palm kernel extract diet, she said: “If dried off at 90 days pre-calving, she has approximately 50 effective days to gain one BCS unit.

"This means that at eight weeks pre-calving, if she was fed pasture and pasture silage, she will need to eat 9.3 kg DM/day in total.

“In comparison, if this cow is milked for longer and dried off at 60 days pre-calving, at eight weeks she will need to eat 13.7 kg DM/day.”

A dry period – on Dairy NZ’s feed assumptions - must be at least 90 days in order consume enough energy, Dr Kay concluded.

Please note that next week TheDairySite newsletter will be out on Thursday due to Easter


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This Week's Articles and Analysis

How Can Robots Work With Grazed Systems?
Can automatic milking systems in grazing operations be feasible? Dr Bernadette O'Brien and Dr Cathriona Foley, two Teagasc researchers, reveal their current study looking at how to manage grassland and automatic milking.

Rethinking Strategies to Prevent Hypocalcemia
Guarding against hypocalcemia (or milk fever) can spare animals from weakened immune functions and uterine disease and can be achieved through dietary means, urge two Florida experts.

Turning Up the Heat on Hardy Bacteria in Milk
Pasteurization, although good at dealing with many pathogens in milk, does not kill heat resistant or thermoduric bacteria, say US dairy scientists.

How to Feed to Improve Body Condition Score
New Zealand farmers are being urged to strike the right balance between fat and thin cows and warned of the 40 day period when dry cows do not gain body condition.

Company News

Irish President Visits Benchmark Holdings Farm
UK - The President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins and Sabina Higgins have today (Thursday 10 April) visited a leading sustainable farming research and innovation centre, the Food Animal Initiative (FAI), in Oxford, as part of a landmark state visit to the UK.
Old Pond Publishing Joins 5m Publishing
UK - International media business, 5m Publishing - part of Benchmark Holdings plc - has announced their successful acquisition of Suffolk-based agriculture and machinery specialist Old Pond Publishing.
Market Reports

Availability & Usage of Milk by Dairies in England & Wales – February 2014
GB Animal Feed Statistical Notice - February 2014
USDA National Dairy Products Sales Report - 9 April 2014
USDA WASDE - 9 April 2014
Dairy Australia - Hay and Grain Prices - Week Ending 4 April 2014

Global Dairy Industry News

   United States

Control Flies and Vaccinate to Keep Pink Eye Under Wraps
Daily Dairy Trading: Major Price Fall Bubble Bursts for Cheese
USDA Supply, Demand Report: Friendly for Corn, Soybeans; Bearish for Wheat
Cargill Sees Earnings Dip
US Food Prices on Downward Trend
AFIA to Host Historic Feed Industry Conference
Wyckoff's Weekly Livestock Outlook: Markets Lower at Start of Week
Daily Dairy Trading: Barrels Plummet 7.5 cents in Spot Market, Tuesday
Cattle Futures: Market Top Suggested by Friday's Lower Boxed Beef Prices
Cutting First-Crop Alfalfa Offers Risks, Lots of Rewards
NFU Names Senate Ag Appropriations Priorities
Appeal Court Overturns Rule on Country of Origin Labelling Injunction

   Austria

Austrians Link Dairy Robots with Higher Somatic Cell Counts

   European Union

Lords Call for EU Action on Food Waste
Agriculture MEPs Back Move for Promotion of EU Farm Produce
European Parliament. Supports Common Framework for Whole Food Chain

   United Kingdom

Red Tape Cut Without Fall in Farm Standards
Peter Kendall Appointed as New Chair for the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board
Cooperatives Are The Future, Dairy Conference Told
Relentless Tuberculosis To Claim a Quarter of a Dorset Herd
Daily Dairy Trading: Cheese Prices Lift Despite Barrel Slide, Thursday

   Global

How Much is BVD Costing Your Herd?
Overcoming Information Gaps in Africa’s Livestock Sector Essential
Market for Antibiotic Alternatives in Feeds to Exceed US$3 Billion by 2019
Tuberculosis in Wildlife: Lessons From Abroad
World Trade Talks Stall over Definition of Safety Standards
FAO Food Price Index up Sharply for Second Consecutive Month

   Netherlands

Knowledge of Vulnerability in Supply Chain to Detect Food Fraud
West-African Livestock Farming Offers Opportunities for Dutch Industry

   Germany

New Regulations Come into Force to Reduce Antibiotic Use
German Ag Ministers Call for End to Financing Extreme Confinement of Farm Animals

   Ireland

Grazing Management Key to Sync Robots With Pasture Systems

   India

Rapid Growth in Meat, Dairy Output in Gujarat

   Namibia

Namibia Approves US Bovine Semen for Import

   Australia

Fonterra Milk Selected for Australian Local Partnership

   Thailand

Thai Soybean Consumption Expected to Rebound in MY 2013/14, MY 2014/15

Events/Promotions

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