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KY Milk Matters May/June 2021

May June 2021 issue of Kentucky Milk Matters produced by the Kentucky Dairy Development Council

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KY Milk Matters May/June 2021

  1. 1. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 1 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund Milk Matters M a y - J u n e w w w. k y d a i r y. o r g K E N T U C K Y Supported by What to Consider When Using Fans on Your Dairy for Cooling page 6 Kentucky Farm Bureau Update page 11 Swiss Continue to SHINE at EKU’s Stateland Dairy page 14 JUNE is National D A I RY M O N T H
  2. 2. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 2 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund 2020 KDDC Board of Directors & Staff Executive Committee President: Freeman Brundige Vice President: Charles Townsend, DVM Sec./Treasurer: Tom Hastings EC Member: Greg Goode EC Past President: Richard Sparrow Board of Directors District 1: Freeman Brundige 731.446.6248 District 2: Josh Duvall 270.535.6533 District 3: Keith Long 270.670.1388 District 4: Bill Crist Jr. 270.590.3185 District 5: Tony Compton 270.378.0525 District 6: Mark Williams 270.427.0796 District 7: Greg Goode 606.303.2150 District 8: Steve Weaver 270.475.3154 District 9: Jerry Gentry 606.875.2526 District 10: Terry Rowlette 502.376.2292 District 11: Stewart Jones 270.402.4805 District 12: John Kuegel 270.316.0351 Equipment: Tony Cowherd 270.469.0398 Milk Haulers: Mike Owen 270.392.1902 Genetics: Dan Johnson 502.905.8221 Feed: Tom Hastings 270.748.9652 Nutrition: Elizabeth Lunsford Alltech 859.553.0072 Dairy Co-op: Stephen Broyles 859.421.9801 Veterinary: Dr. Charles Townsend 270.726.4041 Finance: Todd Lockett 270.590.9375 Heifer Raiser: Bill Mattingly 270.699.1701 Former Pres.: Richard Sparrow 502.370.6730 Employee & Consultants Executive Director: H.H. Barlow 859.516.1129 kddc@kydairy.org DC-Central: Beth Cox PO Box 144, Mannsville, KY 42758 bethcoxkddc@gmail.com 859.516.1619 • 270-469-4278 DC-Western: Dave Roberts 1334 Carrville Road, Hampton, KY 42047 roberts@kydairy.org 859.516.1409 DC-Southern: Meredith Scales 2617 Harristown Road, Russell Springs, KY 42642 mescales2@gmail.com 859.516.1966 DC-Northern: Jennifer Hickerson PO Box 293, Flemingsburg, KY 41041 j.hickersonkddc@gmail.com 859.516.2458 KDDC 176 Pasadena Drive • Lexington, KY 40503 www.kydairy.org KY Milk Matters produced by Carey Brown President’s Corner Freeman Brundige C urrently, the major topic throughout the dairy industry is reform or refurbishing the pricing policies that are now in place. At the forefront right now is the Class I pricing formula. There are several different proposals and ideas out there, with different levels of support from different regions of the country. We in the southeast have a different set of problems than our fellow dairyman both North and West of us, but we seek a change that will be equally fair to all of us. We at KDDC feel that it is important that changes in pricing policies should be dealt with at this time since the industry as a whole is focused on it. Not addressing these problems now will only lead to more concern later. Each week there seems to be a different plan or scenario out there that we need to study and evaluate, and for us its effect on Kentucky and other southeast dairy farmers. It is an everchanging land scape, but it is of utmost importance to the future of our business that we put great efforts to get the best results we can. As the outlook changes, we will try to keep our Kentucky Dairy farmers informed, and hope they will share their thoughts about what they see as pros and cons of the plans. Your input is always valuable. SAVE THE DATE: JULY 21-22, 2021 BOWLING GREEN, KENTUCKY MULTI STATE VALUE ADDED CONFERENCE 2021: KENTUCKY 2022: NORTH CAROLINE 2023: TENNESSSEE
  3. 3. DEFEAT THE HEAT W I T H Y E A - S A C C ® Heat stress in your dairy herd decreases milk production, lowers reproduction, increases acidosis and causes a long list of other costly issues. For you, that means less profitability, less efficiency and even more work to do. Yea-Sacc is a feed additive specifically designed to help cows combat heat stress by promoting dry matter intake and stabilizing rumen microbes. Defeat the “dip” of summer by joining hundreds of producers who have made the switch to YEA-SACC®. INCREASES INTAKE PROMOTES NUTRIENT UTILIZATION STABILIZES RUMEN PH PROMOTES MILK PRODUCTION + Elizabeth Lunsford Territory Sales Manager elunsford@alltech.com 859.553.0072 Alltech.com AlltechNaturally @Alltech
  4. 4. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 4 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund Executive Director Comments H H Barlow M any challenges and opportunities are ahead of us as we enter a new growing season. At this point, the challenges seem to outweigh the opportunities. At a recent forum, I was asked what the main concerns for Kentucky dairymen are. My immediate answer was two words, “Feed cost”. You could also add many increasing input costs, such as fertilizer, fuel, labor, hauling and interest rates. In addition, many government policies are negatively impacting farmer incomes. What happens in Washington matters, so your voice and vote are important. With all the factors listed, the cost of producing 100 lbs. of milk will be significantly higher this year compared to the last few years. The question becomes, how do we navigate through this season of increased cost. To offset increased cost, the milk price becomes extremely important, more so than ever. The good news at this writing is that all predictions are for higher milk prices. Milk market administrators, Dixie Dairy Reports and most economists are predicting prices to rise 10%-15%. Futures markets for all dairy commodities have been steadily rising the past few weeks. Class III futures went above $20 on May 12. Butter, cheese, whey and powder prices all increased on the CME this week. What is the outlook for these increased prices to continue? To answer that question, we turn to exports and increasing consumption as food service opens up. March exports were the second highest month ever. Of milk produced in March, 18.6% was exported. Production worldwide seems to be flat and dairy demand around the world is growing. With restaurants opening near capacity, higher amounts of cheese and butter are being consumed. Pizza sales are booming, with Dominoes, Papa John’s and Pizza Hut all announcing over 13% growth in sales the first quarter of 2021. Historically, high feed cost usually means strong milk prices. When considering all of these factors, it appears prices will continue to improve and be strong throughout 2021-2022. For dairymen, the question will be, “Are higher milk prices going to be enough to cover the dramatically higher cost of production?”. As always, efficient management practices will be more important than ever to meet the higher cost challenge. Absolute essentials are keeping records, evaluating herd, culling problem cows, knowing your break-even production number and culling open cows. Top producers will all tell you to run your facility to capacity which spreads your overhead cost. All of us have weak links in our operation that can be fixed Again…management, management, management!! Moving past higher cost and milk price discussions, KDDC has a vigorous program to give everyone some new tools to improve production and profits. Our new 4.0 program has begun. Our introductory road show in late March was well attended and the program was excellent. The highlight was two speakers—John Bean from North Carolina and Brian Houin from Ohio. These men have used the technologies of improved reproduction performance and genomic testing to dramatically improve their own herds and their testimonials were inspiring. I heard from several attendees that this program was one of the best ever presented by KDDC. Video copies of the program are available if any producer would like to see it at www.kydairy.org. Several herds have already started genomic testing their animals. KDDC staff have had several training meetings to prepare for implementing the genomic testing. The information created by the test is extensive and reveals how each animal compares to breed benchmarks. This information will be vital in making management decisions regarding breeding, culling and identifying heifers to keep for replacements. On the financial front, several herds are participating in the Cornell Dairy Profit Margin program. Two other financial programs are available to our producers, the Dairy Gauge and the Rockingham program. Letters have been mailed to all producers explaining our MILK 4.0 program and we look forward to our producers signing up. Beef-on-dairy is a national endeavor being implemented in herds across the country. KDDC is sponsoring a beef-on-dairy conference June 29-30 at Bluegrass Stockyards in Lexington. Invitation letters have been mailed to all Kentucky dairymen. The two-day meeting will feature speakers covering these topics: Beef-on-dairy, proper baby calf care, nutrition for crossbred calves and the importance of proper carcass quality for beef processing. The second day will be a tour of calf feeding operations. There will be a $20 registration fee. After that, KDDC will provide all meals and lodging Tuesday night for producers who have distance-travel to attend. Beef-on-dairy is another profit potential for our farmers. We are excited to put on this program and look forward to seeing all of you at this conference. MILK 4.0 is an ambitious endeavor which has many ways to incentivize our producers to become more profitable by concentrating on these new technologies. Thankfully, June Dairy Day events will be held this year. The popular ballgames in Lexington and Bowling Green will take place and a June Dairy Month proclamation event will be held in Frankfort with Ag Commissioner Ryan Quarles. May and June are beautiful in Kentucky and I wish everyone success in spring harvest and planting. Everyone, please plan a late spring cookout and load your burgers with your favorite cheeses!!!
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  6. 6. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 6 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund What to Consider When Using Fans on Your Dairy for Cooling Morgan Hayes, Ph.D, P.E., Assistant Extension Professor, Biosystems Engineering, University of Kentucky D airy cattle are very susceptible to heat stress, however there are individual responses in how cows experience heat stress. Each cow’s threshold where they begin to experience heat stress and the rate at which heat stress amplifies can be affected by genetics, body size, and milk production. The way cows experience heat stress is also affected by air temperature, humidity, solar radiation and air speed. Typically, when the temperature- humidity index (THI) rises above 68, heat stress starts to affect the most of cow’s behaviors and physiology. Many cows have decreased milk production and increased reproductive issues above this threshold. While the general THI recommendation is useful, each farmer needs to determine for their own animals if this threshold is appropriate. Some high producing herds may need to manage heat stress at cooler conditions while other farms may be able to postpone management until it is warmer. Heat abatement strategies such as shade, soakers, sprinklers, and fans have been shown to be effective in reducing heat stress in dairy cattle. In dairies, the goal is to provide one or more of these strategies to all the cattle. In barns, adding circulation or panel fans can create air speed across the cattle to help cows dissipate heat through their skin. The key to fans is to create an appropriate air speed for cooling. Cows begin to see productive impacts in cooling when air speeds across the cows reach 200 feet per minute, however most farms target air speeds between 400 and 600 feet per minute because research has shown the effectiveness of these air speeds to reduce heat stress throughout the barns. While the air speeds might start at 400-600 feet per minute by the time the air moves over one or two cows it will begin to slow and this range allows much of the area covered by the fan to receive adequate air speeds. Most fans produce air speeds in excess of this target, but the importance is not what air speed is produced at the fan but instead what air speed is felt by the cow, which depends on the placement of the fans. FAN PLACEMENT Circulation or panel fans should be placed so there is a fan every 10 fan diameters (example: a 48-inch or 4-ft diameter fan would cover 40 feet down the length of the barn). This spacing is critical to getting enough air speed to actually provide cooling effect for the cattle. The goal is to angle these fans so the center of the jet of air that comes from one fan hits the ground directly below the next fan. With typical truss heights, these fans are often set up on approximately a 20-degree angle to direct air towards the ground. The picture below illustrates the spacing and the type of angle. Many farms do a good job getting the spacing correct down the length of the barn, but fans are rarely close enough side to side to cover the width of the barn. For the best coverage of the total area, the fans should be placed every 4 to 5 diameters across the width of the barn (example: a 48-inch fan would cover 16-20 feet of width in a barn. Fans are rarely quite this close, often they are closer to 6 to 8 diameters apart or just over the feed alley. Only having high air speeds in some areas may create bunching or only allow dominant cows to receive the heat abatement. If the fans are only placed over feed alleys, the set up will not encourage the cows to lay down.
  7. 7. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 7 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund GETTING THE MOST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK Costs to purchase and operate fans can be a challenge and not all areas on the farm will rate at the same priority level when purchasing fans. Other research has recommended the following approach for prioritizing areas on the farm to add heat abatement: 1. Calving area; 2. Close up dry cows; 3. Holding area; 4. Milking area; 5. Fresh cows; 6. High producers; and 7. Low producers. These priorities are designed to ensure the best milk production is available to the farm over the entire lactation cycle of the cows. When specifically looking at priority of fan locations installed in a naturally ventilated free stall barn is: 1. Over any inner rows of stalls; 2. Over the feed alley; and 3. Over the outer row of stalls. With wider naturally ventilated barns the outside rows tends to receive decent wind speeds, however the center of the barn tends to have more stagnant air. Ensuring that cows which lay in stalls in the center of the barn do not need to get up very often because they are under heat stress will increase milk production. Because there are costs associated with running fans, there are some considerations farms should make in purchasing fans. Many dairies have 3-phase power and a 3-phase fan will be more economical to run. Also, starting all these mixing fans can create significant demand charges. There are a couple ways to start fans with less initial demand, one is using multiple thermostats with different set points in different areas of the barn and another is to delay the start on certain fans so all fans do not start simultaneously. However, the most effective ways to get value from your fans is to perform proper maintenance. FAN MAINTENANCE Creating a maintenance plan for your fans is critical to getting the air speed needed for the cows. One key is to make sure the fans and any protective shrouds are clean. Dirty fans and shutters can create up to a 40% reduction in air flow for the same energy demand. Even one cleaning each summer is better than none, but ideally the fans should be cleaned monthly to reduce the build-up of dirt and grime. Additionally, loose and frayed belts can reduce the rotation speed of the fan blades reducing down the airflow. If a belt is broken or extremely loose and the motor is still turning you are essentially paying to run a motor and not gaining any benefits for your cows. Similarly bent or broken fan blades and worn bearings can reduce fan performance. Most fans run based on one or more thermostats in the barn. It is worthwhile to also check the thermostat and ensure it is operating correctly so you get fan operation when you want it. Dear County Agriculture Development Council Members and agricultural leaders, Growing up on my dad’s tobacco and cattle farm, I saw firsthand how im- portant tobacco was to Kentucky’s economy. When I was a kid, nearly every farm family had a little bit of tobacco. It was a valuable crop that helped me not only pay for my first vehicle, but also helped me pay my way through college. That story is not unique; it’s the same one shared by many of you. When the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement was reached in the late 1990s, Kentucky had tens of thousands of tobacco farms. Now there are fewer than 3,000. In those earlier days, a group of farmers and government leaders saw an opportunity to take half of the funds from the Master Settle- ment Agreement and wisely invest them into the future of Kentucky agricul- ture. Since that time, KADF has done incredibly transformative work and has changed Kentucky agriculture for the better. I can tell you that I have seen these changes first hand, as I’ve visited countless farms across the state in my five years as Commissioner. As you have likely heard by now, the General Assembly made a policy change two weeks ago and passed Senator Paul Hornback’s Senate Bill 3, which moves the administration of the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund from the Governor’s Office to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. The new name of the office will be the Kentucky Office of Agricultural Policy. I am a big believer in the idea that it’s better to get it right than to get it done fast. That’s why in the first two weeks since Senate Bill 3 became law, I have been meeting regularly with KADF staff to listen to their ideas about how things can be improved and how we can stand on the shoulders of the agri- cultural giants who envisioned this fund years ago. As the Commissioner of Agriculture, a Kentucky farm kid, and someone who has seen what the KADF has done over the years, I want to make a promise to you: we are going to keep up the great tradition of excellence with the Kentucky Agricultur- al Development Board and the Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation. However, this is also a great opportunity to kick the tires and see what can be done better going forward. I understand that many folks have questions about this process (including me) and we are working quickly to develop answers as the transition to the Department of Agriculture progresses. For sure, this change is not going to happen overnight. In the meantime, please know that it is business as usual at the Kentucky Ag Development Board and the Ag Finance Board. My office is fully committed to ensuring that these changes are done in a way that does not disrupt the function of the boards, the regularly scheduled meet- ings, or any of the services that staff have provided so well over the past decades. We plan to do all of this in a nonpartisan way, just like Kentucky agriculture expects us to. With hundreds of millions of dollars invested over the lifetime of the fund, Kentucky agriculture has been transformed and it’s important we continue to work together to make life better for Kentucky’s farm families. I look for- ward to continue working with you in our shared mission to further the good work of this fund and build on the record of success that has been achieved for the Commonwealth. I also encourage you to share this letter with those you think may be inter- ested in learning more about this transition. Should you have any questions about the transition or the next steps, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office. Sincerely, Dr. Ryan F. Quarles Commissioner of Agriculture
  8. 8. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 8 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund Heat Stress affecting Reproductive Performance in Dairy Cows Dan Johnson, Select Sires M any very good articles have been published in the past concerning ways to reduce the stress of summer heat on dairy cows. Fans and soakers are routinely used over feed bunks to encourage cows to come to the bunk and eat to reduce a drop in feed intake. Soakers are also successfully used in holding pens to prevent cows from overheating while congregating to be milked. Water tanks are cleaned regularly and sized and spaced so that cool, clean water is always available, especially immediately after the cows exit the parlor and the feed bunks. Fly control programs are routinely evaluated to prevent cows from bunching in alleyways and being stressed due to repetitive biting. Dry cows are particularly considered for their heat abatement needs. Entering their lactation is no time to suffer the effect of heat stress and a drop in Body Condition Score. All of these management practices are routinely used on today’s well managed dairy farms. But after each of these management practices are implemented, what additional tools, or practices can be used to deal with heat stress during the long days and nights of summer in the south? For the purposes of this article, we would like to take a look at a couple of tools that can be used to reduce the effects of summer heat stress- specifically on reproduction. While milk production is often the first outward sign of cows suffering from heat stress, the reproductive costs are often not seen for many weeks or months after the heat stress occurred. As temperatures and humidity increase, cows show reduced activity, until cows in heat are often very difficult to detect in estrus- making it very difficult to maintain a successful AI program. After all of the appropriate management steps are implemented to remediate heat stress, what other steps or tools can be utilized to reduce the effects of heat stress in your reproductive program? There are a couple of areas of newer technologies that could play an important role in maintaining an adequate reproductive performance even in the hot humid summer days in our area. One such tool that is gaining widespread usage is cow activity systems. Activity systems have gained wide acceptance in the past 5-10 years at an incredible rate. Activity systems today, are doing for the dairy industry what DHIA did in the 1970’s and ‘80’s. They provide needed management information that is not otherwise readily available. As the technology has continued to evolve and improve, the information has become more accurate, more immediate, more complete and more user friendly. Many systems are available as a total package, and some have a la carte features that allow you to choose if you would like to subscribe to a Fertility (reproductive/ estrus detection) module, a Health module and/or a Nutrition Module. Costs for these systems have come down dramatically for these systems as they have become more widely accepted. If you have not looked into an activity system recently, you should at least investigate the cost and pay back or return on investment for several systems to see what options will fit your needs. Some of the advantages of adding activity systems to your management practices are: 1) Reduced days open, lowered calving interval and increased Pregnancy rates due to increased heat detection capabilities even during times of reduced estrus signs. 2) Reduced lag time between pregnancy/open status diagnosis and re-initiating a synchronization protocol 3) Reduced drug costs due to breeding a higher number of natural heats vs induced heats 4) Reduced dependency on accurate shot compliance for synch protocols. Synch protocols are very effective when properly administered. However, one cow that is not located and misses a shot during a synchronization protocol will almost always fail to become synchronized with her breeding group. 5) Reduced semen usage due to higher conception rates 6) Estrus activity is not missed even during reduced activity during heat stress. In periods of heat stress, cows often only show estrus activity in the coolest part of the day, around 2 or 3 am, when there are fewer workers present to visually detect these heats. Many activity systems can additionally detect illness that are occurring- prior to any visible symptoms being present- allowing for intervention to be performed before the cow goes clinical. Body temps and rumination counts can also be detected on some systems. This allows the dairy producer to monitor health issues and intervene if cooling systems are failing or if health issues arise. This is also a key indicator that a fresh cow is not getting started off nutritionally and metabolically as she should. While the information gained from an activity monitoring system will greatly improve summertime breeding performance, the same benefits are seen during times of field work when all hands are on deck to plant, chop, roll and harvest crops in a timely manner. Your equipment service provider or semen supplier can help you evaluate the costs and payback on activity systems that can help you decide if this is a good option for your dairy. One other area of interest that I would like to touch on that is gaining increased usage to beat the heat is the area of feed additives. Maintaining feed intake during times of hot weather will mostly be controlled by the proper management techniques
  9. 9. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 9 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund Brian Lacefield Named Kentucky Office of Agricultural Policy Director OFFICE RECENTLY ATTACHED TO THE KENTUCKY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE B rian Lacefield, of Versailles, has been named the new director of the Kentucky Office of Agricultural Policy, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles announced today. The Kentucky Office of Agricultural Policy is the new name for the former Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy after Senate Bill 3 shifted responsibilities for the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund from the governor’s office to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. “Brian Lacefield is well-respected in Kentucky’s agricultural community and has years of agribusiness and investment experience that makes him the perfect fit to lead the Kentucky Office of Agricultural Policy,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Brian will be a strong asset for the KDA as we implement Senate Bill 3 and move the management from the Governor’s Office to the Department of Agriculture. I am grateful for his willingness to serve.” “I am honored to be named to this position by Commissioner Quarles,” Lacefield said. “I look forward to working with board members to uphold the great tradition of innovation and excellence at the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund. There is tremendous opportunity to strengthen and diversify our agricultural economy and I am excited to hit the ground running.” Lacefield most recently served as the Kentucky State Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), where he directed and administered FSA programs and managed staff across the state. Prior to joining the Trump administration, Lacefield served in various roles in the agriculture industry, most recently as market president at Trigg County FNB Bank. He has also worked as chief financial officer of Agri-Chem and general manager for Commonwealth Agri-Finance, both divisions of Hopkinsville Elevator Cooperative. He served as vice president of agriculture and commercial banking with Planters Bank and as an area extension specialist with the University of Kentucky Farm Business Management Program. Lacefield has been a board member for the Kentucky Retail Federation, Kentucky Corn Growers, Kentucky FFA Foundation, and the Kentucky Ag Leadership Program. Over the past decade, he has served nonprofits and charitable organizations in his communities including Cadiz Rotary, the United Way of the Pennyrile and the Hopkinsville Farmers Market. “Commissioner Quarles has made a solid appointment in the selection of Brian Lacefield to serve as director for the Kentucky Office of Agricultural Policy,” said Warren Beeler, former executive director of the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy. “Brian has the experience and the passion for this role and will help move Kentucky’s agricultural community forward.” Lacefield is a graduate of Western Kentucky University, where he gained a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness and a master’s degree in agriculture. He also holds a master’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Florida. Lacefield and his wife, Michelle, live in Versailles with their two children, Brianne and Braden. described in my opening paragraph. However, once all of these management practices are put into place, there are additional benefits seen with these products. Preventing feed from heating in the bunk and mixer wagon is an important way to reduce a drop in milk production and feed intake. Additives that control the heating of feed over time have shown great benefits in palatability of the feed as well as maintaining the nutritional integrity of the ration. Other products help cows metabolically reduce their stress from heat. “Gatorade for cows” is a phrase we often hear when producers and nutritionists talk about these products. These products work to help control the body temperature of the cow. Decreased panting and the maintenance of water intake are regularly seen when using these products. Be sure to consult your nutritionist, veterinarian or service consultant if you want more information on this class of management products. Heat and humidity is certainly a challenge to maintaining a healthy, comfortable and productive dairy herd. However, technology continues to evolve to assist in this challenge! Have a successful and safe summer.
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  11. 11. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 11 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund One of the most important issues facing the agriculture industry today is the ability to pass a farm on to the next generation either by inheritance or through selling. It sounds easy enough but often tax laws can make the pro- cess cumbersome and expensive. We have been fortunate in Kentucky to have some specific legislation to help in the matter. The bill that created the Kentucky Selling Farmers Tax Credit (KSFTC) Program passed during the 2019 General Assembly and is a prime example of how Kentucky Farm Bureau’s advocacy efforts can payoff when working with our legislative members. Kentucky Senate President Pro Tempore David Givens was instrumental in getting this legislation through to fruition. The KSFTC Program promotes the continued use of agricultural land for farming purposes by granting tax credits to selling farmers who agree to sell agricultural land and assets to beginning farmers. We are thankful to Senator Givens for his devotion to agriculture and his help in getting this legislation passed. However, there is much work that needs to be done to continue this forward progress when it comes to helping with the passing of farmland along to a new generation of farm families. All too often we see production farmland turn into a housing developments because so many young and beginning farmers just don’t have the capital to make the purchase, and an oversized tax bill only makes the situation worse. There is currently national legislation that has been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate that would eliminate the estate, or “death” tax which would be of considerable help as it relates to this issue. But there is also the discussion of lowering the current estate tax exemption to a level that would be detrimental to many farm families. Lowering the ex- emption below current levels would cause an increased tax burden on many of them looking to take over the family farm after a death. The last thing a family needs to worry about at a time like that is how to transfer their property when losing some or all of it because of an undue tax burden. This isn’t rocket science folks. Simply put, we must have farms to eat, therefore we must do all we can to ensure existing farms can be passed on to the next generation without breaking the bank. Another issue that has surfaced when it comes to inheriting farmland is the announcement of a new proposal to end stepped-up basis when calculating capital gains taxes on inherited income, which would include inherited farm- land. Current stepped-up basis law allows heirs to step up their cost basis in inher- ited property to match the value on the date of the previous owner’s death, meaning that only capital gains above that point could ever be subject to income taxes. Removing stepped-up basis would require the heir of the property to pay tax gains based on the original purchase price of the farmland rather than the market value on the date of inheritance. Farm Bureau opposes this, and we must continue our efforts, at all levels, to ensure sound legislation is passed that would help farm families, not penalize them for wanting to continue a tradition which we all depend upon. Mark Haney, President Kentucky Farm Bureau MILK 4.0 ROADSHOW RECAP Dave Roberts T he kickoff of KDDC’s new MILK 4.0 program took place the 4th week in March at three locations across Kentucky. The program included six speakers, four in person and two via video link. All presentations tied directly to achieving dairy herd improvements contained in all four parts of MILK 4.0. Dr. Jeffrey Bewley began by giving an overview of KDDC’s MILK 4.0. Next John Beam a dairyman from Cherryville North Carolina described the management practices used to increase and maintain the high (PR) pregnancy rate at Beam Dairy LLC. Also shedding light on getting cows bred sooner, Dr. Paul Fricke of the University of Wisconsin-Madison touched on the importance of maintaining correct body condition in the dry period and transitioning fresh cows well. Another part of MILK 4.0 is genomic testing. David Erf of Zoetis described the many traits identified by genomic testing and the variety of ways a dairy producer could use it to increase his herd’s genetic base. Production, fat, and protein are just a few of the genetic traits that are revealed in a genomic test. Now many health traits are included in the Zoetis test. Next Brian Houin, a producer from Plymouth Indiana described how he uses genomic testing to increase his herd’s genetics and manage his replacement heifers more efficiently. Getting those newborn calves off to a go start was covered by Adam Geiger Ph.D.,PAS, Dairy Nutritionist from Zinpro Corporation. Adam emphasized how important getting high quality colostrum in that calf within the first few hours is. The four components of MILK 4.0 are targeted to benefit Kentucky producer’s bottom line. The Pregnancy Rate and Somatic Cell Count components pay premiums when goals are reached which also raises production per cow with less days open. The bookkeeping options offered by MILK 4.0 can help producers manage finances better and benchmark inputs. Last but not lease is our Genomic Testing component. KDDC is in partnership with Zoetis to offer Genomic Testing to all Kentucky producers at a greatly reduced rate. This is the only program like this in the nation. If Kentucky producers sign up for the MILK 4.0 program, they will be able to genomic test a cow or heifer for about $14.00 each. At several of the KDDC MILK 4.0 Roadshow meetings comments were made that “this is a deal that you’d be crazy not to take advantage of” and “MILK 4.0 is really exciting and visionary, this is what we need”. Although MILK 4.0 is a new program quite different from the Old MILK Program KDDC believes that this could have a huge positive impact on the future of Kentucky’s dairy industry. By giving producers the opportunity to greatly improve their genetics, increase production through lower somatic cell counts and higher pregnancy rate, and a financial record keeping system to better benchmark inputs.
  12. 12. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 12 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund Dixie Dairy Report May 2021 Calvin Covington Dairy product prices. April Dairy Products Sales Report (DPSR) prices, for the four dairy products used to calculate federal order class prices, were all higher than March. Strong food service sales are strengthening butter and cheese prices. April butter increased over $0.20/lb. from March to $1.7814/ lb., and is the highest butter price since last July. Based on recent CME trading activity the butter price appears to be softening. Cheese gained over a dime for an April average price of $1.7106/lb. Barrel cheese is reported “tight”, a reason for the current CME barrel price higher than block. Cheese production is at a record high with March production almost 5% greater than last March. Expect, this increased production will put a lid on higher cheese prices. Nonfat dry milk powder (NDM) and dry whey continue several months of price increases. Each advanced over a nickel per lb. from March to April. Good domestic and strong export demand are driving both products. Plus, the NDM inventory is declining, almost 10% lower than last year. The April NDM price of $1.1680/lb. is the highest in over a year. April dry whey at $0.6135/lb. is the highest price since 2014. As shown below, all Class prices are higher than the previous month with the large spread between Class III and IV continuing. More cows and more milk. USDA estimates 9.468 million dairy cows as of March 31. This is the largest dairy cow inventory since 1985, the year of the whole herd buyout. March milk production was 1.8% higher than last March. More milk was due to more cows with March milk per cow up 1%. States with the largest first quarter production increases were: South Dakota + 10.5%, Indiana + 9.4%, Minnesota + 6.0%, and Texas + 3.7%. First quarter production in California and Wisconsin was + 0.7% and + 2.4%, respectively. In some of the areas of the country, additional milk volume is causing hauling challenges. Dairy Market News reports finding enough milk truck drivers a growing concern. While most of the nation continues to add cows and produce more milk, the opposite is occurring in the Southeast States. First quarter milk production in the ten Southeast States was 5.7% lower than last year with all states reporting lower production. Lower production in the Southeast is due to fewer cows, about 20,000 head less than last year. The Southeast dairy herd is currently estimated at 409,000. In 2015, the Southeast had 500,000 dairy cows. Florida, Georgia, and Virginia, which account for about two-thirds of Southeast milk production, were down 8.5%, 3.4%, and 4.0%, respectively, for the first quarter. North Carolina had the lowest first quarter decline, down 0.4%. Challenging first quarter for fluid milk sales. Class I producer milk in all federal orders was 3.6% lower for the first quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter of last year. (Note: In our opinion Class I producer milk provides a quicker and a more producer-oriented measure of fluid milk sales.) In the three southeastern federal orders the decline is greater at 5.2%. All but one of the eleven (11) federal orders saw first quarter declines in Class I producer milk. The one exception was the Northeast order with Class I slightly higher than a year earlier. The largest Class I decline was in the Central order with a drop of 8.1%, followed by Florida which was down 7.7%. We can speculate government restrictions kept normal winter travel from northern to southern states lower this year. This may partially account for slightly higher fluid sales in the Northeast, but lower in Florida and the Southeast. Higher retail fluid milk prices do not appear to be a reason for lower fluid sales. Nationwide, whole milk retail prices only averaged about $0.07/gallon higher during the first quarter of this year compared to a year ago. While in the Miami and Atlanta markets, average first quarter retail whole milk prices FEDERAL ORDER CLASS PRICES (2021 YTD) CLASS JAN FEB MAR APR MAY ($/cwt. 3.5% fat) Class I $15.14 $15.54 $15.20 $15.51 $17.10 Class II $14.18 $14.00 $15.07 $15.56 Class III $16.04 $15.75 $16.15 $17.67 Clas IV $13.75 $13.19 $14.18 $15.42 AVERAGE DAILY CLASS I PRODUCER MILK – FIRST QUARTER 2021 VS. 2020 FEDERAL ORDER 2019 2020 2021 CHANGE (million lbs. per day) (%) Appalachian 10.8 10.9 10.7 -1.9% Florida 6.2 6.1 5.7 -7.7% Southeast 10.0 9.5 8.8 -7.2% 3 Orders Total 27.0 26.5 25.2 -5.2% All Federal Orders 125.5 124.7 120.1 -3.7%
  13. 13. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 13 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund Milk Prices FMMO 5 www.malouisville.com May 2021 Class 1 Advanced Price (@3.5%BF) $20.50 June 2021 Class 1 Advanced Price (@3.5%BF) $21.69 FMMO 7 www.fmmmatlanta.com May 2021 Class 1 Advanced Price (@3.5%BF) $ 20.90 June 2021 Class 1 Advanced Price (@3.5%BF) $22.09 PROJECTED* BLEND PRICES – Base Zones – SOUTHEASTERN FEDERAL ORDERS MONTH APPALACHIAN FLORIDA SOUTHEAST ($/cwt. at 3.5% butterfat - base zone) February 2021 $17.56 $19.54 $17.72 March $17.94 $20.11 $17.92 April $18.39 $20.43 $18.79 May $19.41 $21.32 $19.67 June $20.18 $22.34 $20.64 July $20.45 $22.36 $20.72 * Projections in bold are about $0.25/gallon and $0.50/gallon lower than last year, respectively. Sales growth of plant- based beverages, sold alongside fluid milk in the dairy case, may account for some of the fluid sales loss. The April 9, 2021 Cheese Reporter reports sales of these plant-based products was $2.5 billion in 2020, an increase of 20% from 2019 to 2020. The article further reported these plant-based beverages account for 15% of milk category sales in all stores, and 45% in natural food stores Dairy industry important to Southeast. Even though Southeast milk production is on a downhill slope, it is still economically important to the Southeast. USDA’s 2020 Milk Production, Disposition and Income Summary reports cash receipts from 2020 milk sales in the Southeast States almost $1.7 billion. The following table shows the cash receipts for each Southeast state. Blend prices continue to advance. As shown below, April blend prices in the three southeastern orders, are projected higher than March. Blend prices are projected to add about a $1.00/cwt. each in May and June before starting to level off. Our projections are higher than last month, but still not as high as current futures prices indicate. This is due to a strong milk supply and anticipating food service sales to moderate. Even though blend prices are moving higher, gross margins are declining. Using the USDA gross margin formula, average 2021 first quarter gross margin is $3.37/cwt. lower than a year ago. 2020 CASH RECEIPTS FROM MILK SALES – SOUTHEAST STATES STATE ($) STATE ($) Alabama $8,052,000 Mississippi $24,897,000 Florida $486,492,000 North Carolina $167,132,000 Georgia $349,272,000 South Carolina $35,898,000 Kentucky $174,097,000 Tennessee $100,768,000 Louisiana $24,366,000 Virginia $297,667,000
  14. 14. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 14 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund Swiss Continue to SHINE at EKU’s Stateland Dairy Jennifer Hickerson T he Swiss experience at Stateland Dairy continues to flourish under the supervision of long-time farm manager Chad Powers and his team at Meadowbrook Farms located in Richmond, Kentucky. The story of the addition of the Brown Swiss line into EKU’s herd is unique to say the least, one where the pieces fell into place by chance creating a one-of-a-kind distinctive opportunity to build a Swiss legacy.. THE PIECES Sunshine Genetics was founded in 1983 by Dr. Dan Hornickel and Dr. Chris Keim two veterinarians that shared a fascination for elite dairy cattle and new technology. Dr Greg Schueller joined the veterinary practice in 2009 where the IVF program began under his direction. In 2019, as part of our annual fall trip to the World Dairy Expo, KDDC was fortunate to visit this state-of-the-art facility that at that time housed around 205 animals, including “Twiggy” the last show animal of Dr Keim. The Brown Swiss Association was established in 1880, registers about 10,000 animals per year and serves about 1800 combined adult and junior members. It is governed by a board of directors elected by and from the membership. BSCBA Mission Statement: To promote and expand the Brown Swiss breed with programs that assist the membership and industry to compete favorably in the marketplace now and in the future. Originating in the Swiss Alps, Brown Swiss adapt well to high altitudes and hot or cold climates, while producing large volumes of milk, ideal for cheese-making. Their unique ability to yield high components with an ideal fat-to-protein ratio sets them apart from other dairy breeds. Correct feet and legs, well- attached udders and dairy strength contribute to their exceptional productive life, allowing them to thrive in any modern dairy set-up. Style, balance, and fancy frames also make Brown Swiss easy winners at county, state, national and international shows. Today’s U.S. breeders have built upon the breed’s rich heritage to develop a worldwide demand for their cattle in both the show ring and commercial dairy herd. Allen Bassler owner of Old Mill Farms, Virginia, a Brown Swiss enthusiast that developed his interest for the Brown Swiss at an early age during his 4-H years. A highly respected breeder having bred and shown a significant number of award-winning cows whose offspring’s still grace the show and sale rings across the globe. One of those being the famously recognized far and wide as one of the greatest cows in the dairy industry, Snickerdoodle. Allen also bred many sires that have contributed to the growth and improvement of the Brown Swiss breed throughout the years. Richard Sparrow of Fairdale Farms is a Brown Swiss breeder who has a passion for the Brown Swiss cow and has been involved with the Kentucky National Show and Sale in some aspect since purchasing his first Brown Swiss calf. Richard purchased his first brown Swiss calf in 1962. Richard along with his sons have been involved in managing the show and sale for several years that normally takes place every year at the state fairgrounds in Louisville.
  15. 15. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 15 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund Cowherd Equipment & Rental Inc. Cowherd Equipment & Rental, Inc. Cowherd Equipment & Rental, Inc. 1483 Old Summersville Rd. 1483 Old Summersville Rd. Campbellsville, KY 42718 Campbellsville, KY 42718 Office 270-465-2679 Office 270-465-2679 Tony 270-469-0398 Tony 270-469-0398 Vince 270-469-5095 Vince 270-469-5095 Cowherd Equipment & Rental, In For More Information: Cowherd Equipment & Rent 1483 Old Summersville Campbellsville, KY 427 Office 270-465-2679 Tony 270-469-0398 Vince 270-469-5095 Penta 4030 Tire Scraper J&D Head Locks Hagedorn Manure Spr Silage Defacer Penta 4930 Cowherd Equipment & Rental, Inc. For More Information: Cowherd Equipment & Rental, Inc. 1483 Old Summersville Rd. Campbellsville, KY 42718 Office 270-465-2679 Tony 270-469-0398 Vince 270-469-5095 Penta 4030 Tire Scraper J&D Head Locks Hagedorn 5440 Manure Spreader Silage Defacer Penta 4930 Cowherd Eq Penta 4030 Ti J&D Head Locks Silage Defacer Roto-Mix Mixers Tire Scraper Hagedorn 5440 Manure Spreader Penta 4030 J&D Head Locks Fairdale Farm LLC is a family partnership located in Owenton, Ky of the Sparrow Family, comprised of Richard, Renelle, Kirby, Ben, Callie, Hallie, Joe, Angela, Archie, and Wylie. The current home to Fairdale was built in 2012 where the herd produces a RHA Milk of 32,067, Fat 1,212 and Protein of 990. That essence of quality of production spills over into the showring as that is one of the main passions of the Sparrow’s. Now Fairdale is home to the last 8 Grand Champions of the Kentucky State Fair , they have also owned the Supreme Champion of the North American International Livestock Exposition, intermediate champion at World Dairy Expo, and was named Premier Exhibitor at the Eastern National. They have also bred or owned over 40 All American Nominations and had the opportunity to be owners of the national Total Performance Winner for the breed. As proud as they are of all that the cows have accomplished , the real win is in seeing the next generation growing up around cows! Chad Powers, a graduate of Virginia Tech began at EKU in 2010 as farm manager. Chad a native from Virginia started his dairy show career with leasing a Brown Swiss calf from Allen Bassler as a 4-H project. That was the first step of years to come of being around the breed and involvement in dairy. The appreciation and love for the breed only grew from that point developing into a deeply rooted passion for the Brown Swiss. Powers having extensive experience in the management and breeding of elite registered dairy cattle brought a diverse set of skills with him when coming to Stateland Dairy. Willy Campbell, a long-time dairy showman and Swiss breeder from Northern Kentucky while spending much of his career around the showrings has a partiality for elite cattle, especially in the Brown Swiss breed. Willie is a past KDDC Consultant and still enjoys working with the breed. Eastern Kentucky University, Meadowbrook Farm home to Stateland Dairy has a rich history of excellence and awards. Stateland Dairy was founded in 1912. It has been in continuous operation since. The facility has been relocated four times and has occupied the current location at Meadowbrook since 1996. The state-of-the-art facility houses approximately 105 total animals. Approximately 70 head are of lactating age at any one time. All animals are registered Holsteins and Brown Swiss. Many of the Holsteins can be traced back to 5 cows purchased in the 1920’s. In 2018 the dairy transitioned from a herringbone parlor to a Lely robot unit being the first university farm
  16. 16. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 16 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund in the Commonwealth to acquire a robotic milking system. Dr. Laurie Rincker, the associate professor in EKU’s Department of Agriculture at the time of the embryo donation helped facilitate the process. Current associate professor Dr. Andrea Sexton has continued that support of the dairy program. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • In 2010, Sunshine Genetics a renowned Embryo Transfer Service organization known worldwide for their embryo technology services and elite bovine genetics, located in Wisconsin, found themselves in a position of having an abundance of high-quality embryos on hand. After some discussion, the decision to donate the embryos were made. That left the question of how and to where. Sunshine reached out to the Brown Swiss Association and the suggestion of donating the embryos to university dairy farms was made. With both Sparrow and Bassler being affiliated with the association, Sparrow a Kentucky director and Bassler a past director having a connection to the farm manager, Chad Powers, EKU became a prospect. The association contacted EKU as one of the universities to see if they would be interested in receiving a donation of bovine embryos. Dr. Laurie Rincker, associate professor in EKU’S Department of Agriculture at that time was supportive of the idea and was instrumental in facilitating the donation. It was during this time that the eventual goal for the dairy to became fifty percent Holsteins and fifty percent Brown Swiss originated. They have almost obtained that goal today with having 105 animals while 45% of those are Brown Swiss and 55% being Holsteins. The embryos once received were implanted in both Holsteins at the farm and other cattle that was made available through the help of Willy Campbell. One of the first born was a cow by the name of Sun-Made Valentina ET, a Wonderment daughter. As Valentina grew it was evident that she possessed that special quality about her that every dairy showman wants to walk in the ring with. In 2016, with the support of the Dr. Rincker and EKU faculty under the care and supervision of Powers it was decided that EKU would take the trip to the World Dairy Expo in Madison with Valentina. A trip that most universities do not get to do with an animal from their herd. Valentina made the trip to Madison for the World Dairy Expo show with Kentucky’s Fairdale Farms. EKU’s Dairy Herd Management class attended providing Valentina, Powers and EKU a fan section at the World Dairy Expo show. Valentina placed 7th in the Milking Yearling Class a truly magnificent accomplishment for a university dairy. That same year Valentina continued gracing the shavings at the Southeastern National Brown Swiss Show in Louisville winning her class. She was one of six cows nationally nominated for All-American honors. It was a great accomplishment that normally does not get bestowed upon a university when she was named honorable mention All-American cow. Five years later, after years of sound breeding management under farm manager Chad Powers and building upon the donation of embryos received from Sunshine Genetics along with the support of Dr. Andrea Sexton, Associate Professor in the Department of Agriculture, the current administration and all the team members of the farm crew, the journey of the embryo donations continue. During a routine visit by CPC nutritionist Joe Sparrow at the Meadowbrook dairy, farm manager Chad Powers having seen Payva’s potential after freshening in with her second calf and producing 128 pounds on the robot at 40 days it was evident that she was a class act. Upon the suggestion of Joe to include her into the Kentucky National Show and Sale on April 9,2021, another historic milestone was accomplished by the university’s Meadowbrook Farm. They made their first ever consignment to a purebred Brown Swiss sale. Eastern Goliath Payva 1726, a senior 3-year- old was consigned to the Kentucky National Show and Sale which was held in Louisville, KY. Eastern Goliath Payva 1726
  17. 17. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 17 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund Eastern Golaith Payva 1726 was named the grand champion of the show by judge Jeff Core of Salvisa, Kentucky. At the Brown Swiss sale following the show Payva was top seller of the day when bidding ceased at $11,000.00 with Kentucky resident Jeff Jones being the successful bidder. As EKU’s dairy continues down the road with their genetic progress developing consistent, productive, and outstanding cow families we look forward to seeing the continuation of excellence from them with future achievements.
  18. 18. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 18 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund Wildcat Wisdom Donna Amaral-Phillips UK Dairy Extension Group Take Time to Protect Your Golden Crop—Corn Silage!!! T his year, your corn silage crop may be worth its weight in gold! With the prices of corn grain, soybean meal and other grain sources at all- time highs, the nutritive value of corn silage has been calculated to be worth over $80/ton on an as fed basis; over double the nutritive value calculated when corn and bean prices were in more historical price ranges. Forage- related management practices centered around harvest can help protect and optimize the feeding value of this crop and will be paramount to the economic situations on dairies feeding this valuable crop. Corn Silage Excellent Source of Energy Corn silage is often referred to as the king of the forages. This high-yielding crop is an efficient utilizer of nutrients in manure and since it is harvested one time per growing season, quality can be more consistent compared to forage harvested multiple times in a growing season. The corn kernels in silage are responsible for 60 to 70% of the crop’s energy content. During normal growing years, half of the harvested plant weight is considered “forage” and the other half of the weight comes from the corn grain. Thus, corn silage can supply a source of needed fiber as well as starch and oil in the diets of dairy cows Growing Conditions Impact Yield and Quality Growing conditions, specifically the amount and timing of rainfall, impact yield, fiber digestibility (energy value derived from the forage component and a determinate of feed intake), and ear development. The amount of moisture pre-tasseling sets the height and fiber digestibility of the corn plant. In years with above average moisture pre-tasseling, the spacing between internodes is longer, thus the plant grows taller, but fiber digestibility is reduced. The opposite effects are seen under drier conditions pre-tasseling. Research suggests that moisture, not heat units, is more influential on fiber digestibility. Decreases in digestibility can explain some of the differences seen in milk production between years even when ear development is normal. The growing environment post-tasseling seems to have little effect on fiber digestibility, but impacts ear development and silage starch content. Both lack of needed moisture and excessive heat can negatively impact kernel development. The highest demands by the corn plant for water (estimated at 0.32 inches/day) occur around the time of tasseling, silk formation and blister stage of ear development. Excessive heat can dry out silks and pollen, resulting in abortion of fertilization of ovules that could have become kernels of corn. Growing conditions do impact feeding programs for lactating dairy cows and must be accounted for when developing rations. But, farmers have very little control over moisture patterns, unless grown under irrigation during the growing season. What is under one’s control is harvest-related management practices for this valuable forage-grain resource. √ Advanced Preparations Important Spend time getting equipment ready before harvest time is a cornerstone of harvesting at the optimum time. General maintenance, such as greasing equipment, sharpening knives, and adjusting rollers of kernel processors, needs to be done well in advance of anticipated chopping date. Check for excessive wear on rollers and roller teeth of kernel processors and replace if needed. Rollers and roller teeth have a finite lifespan related to hours of use. Advanced planning is important for timely harvest at the proper moisture content. Prepare silos so they are ready to be filled. Make sure that plastic supplies are available to cover the silo (or filling of bags) so the task can be completed very shortly after harvest. √ If Using Custom Chopping Services, Re-Contact Custom Operator Continuous communication with the person providing custom chopping services is critical to keep them updated on the growing progress of the crop and for you to know when to expect your silage to be chopped. Prepare silos and other equipment ahead of the harvest window so that it is ready when the custom harvester arrives. √ When Should I Start Harvesting? Harvesting at the correct moisture promotes favorable fermentation in the silage crop and decreases storage losses. Thus, the moisture content of the chopped plant should be the determining factor for when to harvest. Silage should contain between 35 to 38% dry matter (62 to 65% moisture) and the crop should be harvested as quickly as possible. Agronomists generally estimate that a healthy corn plant dries down 0.5 to 1.0% per day. During “normal” growing conditions, corn is harvested approximately 40 to 45 days after tasseling. Moisture content is related somewhat to the stage of maturity
  19. 19. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 19 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund of the corn grain. Corn is harvested for silage at a ½ to ¾ milk line. However, weather and growing conditions can change the optimum stage of maturity for harvest. An experiment showed that the stage of maturity of the corn plant only correctly predicted harvest moisture content 68 to 85% of the time. Thus, the strong recommendation is to actually measure the moisture or dry matter content of representative chopped corn plants. The moisture content of fresh corn plants can be determined by chopping a small amount and using a microwave or Koster tester to determine moisture content. A small digital scale that measures in grams helps obtain more accurate results. Some estimate the moisture or dry matter content of corn silage using the grab method where one squeezes a handful of chopped material as tightly as possible for 90 seconds. When one releases their grip, the ball of material expands slowly and if no dampness appears on your hand, the material contains 30 to 40% dry matter. However, this method only allows a general estimation of the moisture content of the chopped silage. In the past, the appearance of brown leaves was used as a factor in determining the optimum harvest window. With today’s corn genetics, corn plants stay green longer and this target is not an appropriate benchmark. In research studies, harvesting corn silage at 40% dry matter or greater resulted in decreased milk yields of 4.4 lbs milk/ cow/day. At a dry matter of 35%, effluent from silos should be minimized. Silage that is put up too wet results in a butyric acid type fermentation which decreases feed intake and can result in ketosis in early lactation cows. Silage that is too dry will have more and larger air pockets which results in a poorer fermentation and less beneficial acids for cows to use to make milk and meat. Over the years, some have tried added water to dry silage at the silo or blower using a garden hose. To increase the moisture content 1% unit (i.e. 60 to 61%), requires 5 to 7 gallons of water per ton of silage. At normal unloading speeds, inadequate amounts of water often are added and do not change the moisture content appreciatively to make a difference. It’s best to monitor the moisture content, and harvest at proper and best moisture content. To prevent silage from becoming too dry if harvest time is extended or plant diseases will result in rapid dry down of the plant (i.e. fungal diseases), one may want to start harvest at a slightly wetter moisture content. √ Adjust Kernel Processors to Optimize Use of Starch by Cows To optimize starch digestion by the cow and provide adequate effective fiber, the recommendation is to cut silage to ¾ inch theoretical length with an initial roller clearance of 1 to 2 mm (clearance of a dime). To test on farm whether adequate kernel damage is occurring, collect multiple silage samples using a 32 oz. cup. Pick out and count the number of whole and half kernels. No more than 2 or 3 half or whole corn kernels should remain after sorting the contents of the 32 oz. cup and corn cobs should be broken into 8 pieces. If kernel breakage is not adequate, the roller clearance should be decreased. Achieving this degree of kernel breakage does require more horsepower and fuel usage, but results in better use of nutrients by cows; an area we need to consider always, but even more importantly during tight profit margins. √ Choppers without Kernel Processors For choppers without kernel processors, silage should be chopped to a ½ inch theoretical length and harvested a little wetter 32 to 35% dry matter and usually less mature to help break up the corn kernels as chopping occurs. √ Manage Storage Structures for Best Silage Quality For Bunkers and Piles: Packing tractor weight should equal 800 times the number of tons of forage delivered hourly. Pack with a tractor at a speed of 1.5 to 2.5 mph. Spread silage in 4 in. thick layers over pile in a wedge configuration. Do not turn around on surface. Packing is complete when surface is covered with tire tracks and is smooth. Prior to filling, line sides of bunker walls with plastic with extra plastic overlapping the walls. Once filling is complete take the excess plastic overlapping the walls and cover the top. Place another piece of plastic over the top of the silo. These pieces of plastic should overlap by 3 to 4 feet and the overlap weighted down with double the amount of weight as the remaining plastic. Tires that touch or sand bags should be used to weight down plastic such that the plastic stays in contact with the silage surface. For drive-over piles, side slopes should not exceed a 3:1 slope. This allows for water to drain off the pile and for safer packing with equipment. When covered, plastic should extend 4 to 6 feet off the forage surface around all 4 sides and be weighted down with a 6 to 12 inch layer of sand, soil, or sandbags. Bags: Make sure bagger is working properly to allow for effective packing of silage. Place bags on solid surface, ideally concrete or asphalt, to minimize mud at feedout. Mud decreases feed quality and increases the possibility of unwelcome bacterial contamination of feed. Ends of the bags should be closed and sealed using dirt or other such products. Check often for holes in the plastic and when found reseal with tape. Uprights: Fill as quickly as possible. After filing is complete, silos should be leveled and covered with plastic. Limit access by raccoons and other varmints that can cause damage to silage surfaces resulting in increased spoilage. During silo filling and for at least 3 weeks after, special care should be taken when working around or entering these silos as silo gases accumulate. Even after this time frame, run the forage blower for 15 to 20 minutes with the door closest to the top of the silo open before entering the silo.
  20. 20. All trademarks are the property of Zoetis Services LLC or a related company or a licensor unless otherwise noted. © 2020 Zoetis Services LLC. All rights reserved. CLR-00214R1 CHOOSE A HEALTHIER, MORE PROFITABLE HERD. YOUR HEIFER CALVES ARE YOUR LEGACY. PREDICT HOW HEALTHY THEY AND THEIR NEXT GENERATIONS WILL BE BY PROACTIVELY TESTING THEM WITH CLARIFIDE® PLUS. CLARIFIDE® Plus provides unique genomic predictions that include cow and calf wellness traits and novel fertility traits. These traits are incorporated into a powerful economic index — the Dairy Wellness Profit Index® (DWP$®) — allowing producers to have the unprecedented ability to choose and plan for a healthier and more profitable herd. To learn how CLARIFIDE Plus can help make your life easier by selecting heifers to help build a healthier herd, contact your Zoetis representative or visit CLARIFIDEPlus.com. CLARIFIDEPlus.com DWP$ -75 DWP$ 215 DWP$ 645 DWP$ 382 DAIRY WELLNESS MAKES A DIFFERENCE™ Values are representative of possible economic values related to Holstein cattle with CLARIFIDE Plus. Higher values are desired.
  21. 21. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 21 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund Meet Your Mobile Dairy Classroom Instructor M eet Haley Fisher, Southland Dairy Farmers Mobile Dairy Classroom Instructor serving the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Fisher has been employed with Southland Dairy Farmers since February of 2019. Receiving an Agriculture degree from Murray State University and a Master’s Certification in Organizational Leadership from Western Kentucky University her dairy roots run deep, as she grew up on her family’s dairy farm, in Cave City, KY. The Mobile Dairy Classroom features an educational milking parlor with a live cow, which is used to highlight the value of dairy and healthy nutrition by demonstrating the basic milking process and promoting dairy and milk from farm to table. A typical week for Fisher is traveling with her cow to schools and events across the entire state to teach and promote on the importance of dairy farming and nutrition. The Mobile Dairy Classroom is open to all schools and events for free, courtesy of supporting Kentucky dairy producers. Haley is continuously booking and you can visit www. southlanddairyfarmers.com to request your free visit. Classified Ads Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMPs). Livestock manure management and water quality BMPs. Ky Division of Water permitting and compliance. Ben Koostra - Professional Engineer and NRCS Technical Service Provider - Lexington - 859-559-4662 ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• John Deere 468 - net $14,500 Meyer 510 TMR mixers - New-In STOCK Cloverdale 500 T -TMR mixers -New - in Stock Stoltzfus 10 ton Litter spreader $30,000 Gehl R150 skid loader $19,500 Caterpillar 242B skid loader-$17,500 New Holland 790 choppers-@$7500 John Deere 8200 drill $5500 Gehl 8335 feeder wagon $7500 New Idea 363- manure spreader $8500 Artex SB 200- vertical beater- for rental Kemco Bale Wrapper new $29,000 Stoltzfus lime - litter- fert cu 50 $19,500 JD 5085E- loader - 4wd- canopy $34,000 Farmco feeder wagons-15 in stock-call www.redbarnandassociates.com Charlie B. Edgington • 859-608-9745 To place a classified ad, contact any of the KDDC Dairy Consultants or Carey Brown at (859) 948-1256
  22. 22. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 22 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund Sharing Dairy Resources with Kentucky’s Health Professionals T he Dairy Alliance participated in the Kentucky Public Health Association’s Educational Conference, which was hosted virtually this year due to the pandemic. Conference attendees work in health departments across Kentucky at the city- and county-level, the state’s department of public health, and at universities across Kentucky and are seeking up-to-date resources. The Dairy Alliance’s Tracey True held a live-chat with these virtual attendees, answering their questions in real-time and pointing them towards available resources, with topics that range from how to manage lactose intolerance in healthy eating, ways to include dairy in plant-based diets, and choosing dairy as an affordable source of 3 of the 4 nutrients of public health concern. For those entering the virtual booth outside of the live chat, the booth also included links to educational resources, research studies, and videos that would prove useful for public health professionals. During the conference, the virtual booth was visited 212 times and the educational documents were viewed 276 times, with many of the approximately 335 attendees receiving helpful resources for how to include more dairy in the diet. Preparing Advocates for Effective Communication in a Virtual World T he Dairy Alliance continues to prepare dairy advocates for sharing dairy’s story with media outlets through video calls instead of traditional in-person interviews and demos. The Dairy Alliance held a virtual dairy advocate training this spring, “Effective Communication in a Virtual World: Creating Relationships in a World Without Handshakes.” Attended by pediatricians, dietitians, and food bank professionals from across The Dairy Alliance’s 8 state coverage, advocates from Kentucky were Michael Halligan, CEO of God's Pantry Food Bank, and Stephanie Fawbush Grimes, a registered dietitian focused on millennials’ health. The training began with a webinar hosted by Dr. Chris Cifelli, Vice President of Nutrition Research at National Dairy Council, titled “Role of Dairy Foods in a Healthy, Sustainable Eating Pattern.” Dr. Cifelli discussed the growing body of scientific evidence supporting the consumption of dairy foods as well as how dairy foods are integral to sustainability efforts. Following the webinar, communications trainer Teri Goudie lead a 4-hour training, teaching participants the basics of remote media interviews and communications and how to be prepared to present to any audience in virtual and remote settings. Following this event, these advocates now have the knowledge of how to continue communicating to their audience a healthy lifestyle in a new form of connecting. Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP) Is Here! This recently released USDA product (DRP) is designed to protect dairy farmers from the decline in quarterly revenue from milk sales. Contact us today for more information about protecting one of the biggest risks to your operation. In Business Since 1972 1-800-353-6108 www.shelbyinsuranceagency.com sia@iglou.com We are an equal opportunity provider
  23. 23. May - June 2021 • KDDC • Page 23 KDDC is supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund Allied Sponsors PLATINUM AgCentral Alltech Bel Cheese Bluegrass Dairy & Food Burkmann Feeds Cowherd Equipment CPC Commodities Kentucky Department of Agriculture Kentucky Farm Bureau Kentucky Soybean Board Prairie Farms Shaker Equipment Sales GOLD Farm Credit Services Givens & Houchins Inc. Mid-South Dairy Records Owen Transport Select Sires Mid-America SILVER Day and Day Feed Givens & Houchins Inc. Grain Processing Corporation KAEB Services Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association Luttrull Feed Nutra Blend Owen Transport South Central Bank Southwest Dairy Museum BRONZE Bagdad Rolling Mills Bank of Jamestown Central Farmers Supply Hartland Animal Hospital Kentucky Corn Growers Association Limestone & Cooper Mammoth Cave Dairy Auction QMI Quality Mgt Inc. Nutra Blend Wilson Trucking Special Thanks to Our Sponsors
  24. 24. 176 Pasadena Drive Lexington, KY 40503 859.516.1129 ph www.kydairy.org Non-Profit US Postage PAID JUN 14 Shelbyville District Dairy Show JUN 18 Morehead District Dairy Show JUN 19 Marion Co. Dairy Day and Dairy Show JUN 24 Liberty District Dairy Show JUN 24 Dairy Night at Lexington Legends, 5:30 P.M. JUN 25 Dairy Judging 101 Workshop, Fitting Contest, and Showmanship Contest 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM E.T. Casey Co Fairgrounds JUN 29-30 KDDC Beef on Dairy Conference, Bluegrass Stockyard, Lexington, KY JUL 06 Young Dairy Producer Luncheon Meeting, Hopkinsville, KY 12:00 Noon C.T. JUL 07 Young Dairy Producer Luncheon Meeting, Glasgow, KY 12:00 Noon C.T. JUL 08 Young Dairy Producer Luncheon Meeting, Columbia, KY 12:00 Noon C.T. JUL 08 Southern Kentucky District Dairy Show, Munfordville JUL 09 Young Dairy Producer Luncheon Meeting, Lebanon, KY 12: 00 Noon E.T. JUL 15 KDDC Board Meeting, Adair Co. Extension Office, 10:00 A.M. C.T. JUL 21 Tollesboro District Dairy Show JUL 21-22 KDDC Dairy Value-Added Conference, Bowling Green, KY JUL 23-24 Bowling Green Junior Livestock Expo, Bowling Green, KY AUG 19-29 Kentucky State Fair, Louisville, KY SEP 09 CPC Fall Field, Fountain Run, KY 9:00 A.M. C.T. SEP 16 KDDC Board Meeting, Barren Co. Extension Office, 10:00 A.M. C.T. Calendar of Events

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May June 2021 issue of Kentucky Milk Matters produced by the Kentucky Dairy Development Council

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