We’re pleased to announce the release of the Summer 2016 issue of Perspectives Magazine, brought to you by Phoenix Feeds & Nutrition.
The impact of summer heat stress on lactating cows is well known. However, less is known about the impact on dry cows. Figure 1 shows monthly average milk production in Florida during the years 2007 to 2010 (bar graphs) and the typical average ambient temperature in Okeechobee, Florida (dashed line). As expected, milk production begins dropping in the spring as ambient temperature rises. However, ambient temperature peaks by July–August but milk production does not begin to rebound until October–November. This delay in production recovery after heat stress is at least partially due to the poor performance of fresh cows in September and October that were dry during the high temperature period of July– August.
Calf rearing on a dairy farm is one of the most important daily tasks on the farm. Customarily, calves tend to be reared individually in pens and hutches or small calf houses. This system has been historically successful for a couple of different reasons. The first is that it provides time for individual observations for each calf, as well as minimizing the risk of cross contamination between calves, especially in cases when you have an ill calf. It is, however, one of the most labor intensive tasks on the farm.
There are two more recent trends in calf rearing that are now gaining steam. Depending on your personal preference, either may appeal to you. Both have shown positive results in the health and growth of calves, which should pay dividends down the road when these cows come into production. We took a look at both methods and break them down for you here.
After the brutally cold, long winter we’ve all just experienced, I don’t think anyone is worried about a little warm weather this summer. Actually, with the rainy and chilly spring, I’m sure most folks are still thinking more about mud and flood season right now. However, this is the time to start thinking about heat stress in your herd and heat abatement techniques that will keep your cows healthy and productive through the hot months ahead. In just a few short months, the full force of summer’s heat and humidity will be upon us, and you’re going to want to be ready.
In this episode, we get to learn more about Vermont’s Lt. Governor Phil Scott. Growing up in Vermont and working on farms Phil is a leader not only in politics but also in business.
Tune in to hear Randy Shanks, V.P. of Nutra Blend, discuss the Drive to Feed Kids initiative.
In the third episode of the Perspectives Podcast, we talk with Attorney, Mike Wool, about the details of farm ownership transfer, how to avoid unnecessary taxes, as well as many other considerations you should think about when preparing to pass the farm on to the next generation.
In the second episode of the Perspectives Podcast, we discuss the sweeping effects that FSMA regulations will have on agricultural businesses in Vermont and beyond. Our guests include Louise Calderwood, government relations director of the Northeast Agribusiness & Feed alliance and former deputy secretary of Agriculture for the state of Vermont; as well as David Santos, co-owner and general manager of Phoenix Feeds and Nutrition. Listen in as we find out who it affects, the origins of FSMA in preventing bioterrorism, and if the new regulations will increase the cost of feed to farmers.
In this first episode, we bring dairy farmer and Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition Vice President, Ben Dykema, of Wilcon Farms in North Ferrisburg, Vt; Jane Clifford, of Clifford Farms, who is the Executive Director at the Green Mountain Dairy Farmers Cooperative Federation, and also part of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition; and Louise Calderwood, a dairy industry consultant, expert on water quality issues, and professor at Sterling College, together to discuss the details of the recently passed H.35 water quality bill in Vermont.
Listen in on our casual conversation with Phil Scott, a small business owner, family man, racecar driver, and public servant. A born and raised Vermonter, he understands the opportunities and challenges faced by small businesses in the state and offers his take on these issues.