Dairy-Grazing Studies To Be Shown At Field Day

US - Milk producers interested in pasture-based dairies have a special tour at the annual field day, September 10, at the University of Missouri (MU)Southwest Research Centre in Lawrence County.
calendar icon 31 August 2010
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Upgrades in the dairy herd and milking barn have been made in the last year, said Stacey Hamilton, MU Extension dairy specialist. "New equipment has been installed in the milking parlor, with an electronic ID system as cows enter the parlor and a three-way sorting system as they exit."

On the tour, Chris Davis, MU dairy herdsman, will tell how the new equipment makes research easier. The new computer-driven tools improve speed and accuracy of data collection on milk production.

On the grazing paddocks, Ms Hamilton will describe studies comparing perennial ryegrass and novel endophyte fescue. "This is continuing research to develop a simplified whole-farm grazing system that produces more milk," he said.

On the third stop, Ted Probert, MU Extension specialist, Hartville, Montana, will talk about dairy cow genetics. The MU grazing dairy breeding program is moving toward a milking herd of half American dairy genetics and half New Zealand genetics.

"Comparisons will be made on fertility, milk production and even grazing patterns. It's not that we are promoting New Zealand genetics," Ms Hamilton said. "There is no Midwest research to compare the two breeds, or the advantages of crossbreeding the two. We need Midwest data.

"Our study will compare overall production between US and New Zealand breeds to see which performs best in our grazing environment."

Dairy is one of five tours offered at the field day. Others include beef, agronomy, horticulture and viticulture. There will be an "Ask the Experts" panel. Producers can bring samples of plants, weeds, disease damage or insects to be identified.

Registration starts at 8:30 am, with tours at 9 am. Exhibits will be in the machine shed and large equipment will be on the midway behind the headquarters.

Free lunch tickets will be given to the first 1,000 who register. All tours end at 1 pm at the start of the annual meeting of the Ozark Electric Cooperative under the big top across the road.

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