In descending order, by date published.
Precision dairy farming is the use of technologies to measure physiological, behavioral, and production indicators of individual animals to improve management strategies and farm performance.
In developing individual farm mastitis control and treatment strategies, it is often necessary to characterize the types of bacteria that are present on your farm. To answer this question, a microbiological analysis, or milk culture, must be performed on milk samples collected from cows showing clinical or subclinical signs of mastitis. Results of the milk cultures will help identify which bacteria are causing the mastitis. In turn, this information can be used to alter mastitis control, prevention, and treatment options to fit your herd's conditions.
Researchers at the University of Kentucky combined existing disease detection systems to produce a fresh cow examination system that may help producers detect diseases earlier by monitoring subtle changes every day during a cow's fresh period. Compiling daily information about each animal will enable producers to notice changes in health that may otherwise have been overlooked. These records may help producers detect illnesses early, thus reducing the long-term effects (reduced milk production or fertility) and costs (re-treatment, milk loss, or death) of a disease. Learning what diseases are common on a particular farm can focus producers' efforts towards preventive measures specific to their operation. Preventing disease, rather than treating, can save producers time and money and can improve overall cow well-being.
Many different kinds of technologies exist in the market today. The sheer number of various technologies and the information produced by them can be overwhelming and confusing. Information about these technologies exists but can often times be hard to find or difficult to understand. Unfamiliarity with technologies and how they work can become an obstacle to overcome, especially when comparing and contrasting technologies. This fact-sheet will list several of these technologies and how they accomplish their goals.
Departments: Animal and Food Sciences
Size: 22 kb
Departments: Animal and Food Sciences
Size: 227 kb
DHIA (Dairy Herd Improvement Association) records are an essential part of dairy herd management for many progressive dairy operations. However, for producers new to DHIA, interpreting the meaning of all this information can be a bit overwhelming. Even producers who have been DHIA members for many years may not fully understand all the value that DHIA records can provide for SCC management. What follows is a description and interpretation of SCC-related information available to dairy producers on DHIA test reports.
Kentucky dairy producers are adopting compost-bedded pack barns (CBP) as dairy cattle housing at a rapid rate. When properly managed, as an alternative dairy housing system, CBPs may decrease somatic cell count (SCC), increase production, and reduce lameness. Because the system is relatively new, however, many questions remain regarding best management practices and key factors for success. University of Kentucky dairy scientists and agricultural engineers conducted a comprehensive observational study of Kentucky CBPs from October 2010 to March 2011. The goal of this research was to determine key management concepts that determine success or failure in the compost-bedded pack system.
Cow comfort generally refers to minimizing animal stress in order to maximize milk production and animal well-being. Lying behavior plays a critical role in the production, profitability, and well-being of dairy cattle. The potential economic impact of increased production, reduced lameness, improved milk quality, reduced culling rates, and increased longevity are immense.
Precision dairy farming involves the use of technologies to measure physiological, behavioral, and production indicators on individual animals. The primary goals of precision dairy farming are to 1) maximize individual animal performance, 2) detect diseases early, and 3) minimize the use of medication through preventive health measures.
When it comes to minimizing mastitis and lowering somatic cell counts, the area where you have the most control is your milking procedures. Understanding and following proper milking procedures is a critical step to maintaining maximum milk quality.
As we move into a new era of lower acceptable somatic cell count levels, the prevention and control of mastitis takes on increased importance. For many years, the contagious mastitis pathogens including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae and Mycoplasma bovis were the focus of control measures primarily implemented in the milking parlor to stop the spread of these organisms from cow to cow. These contagious organisms often cause high individual somatic cell counts and ultimately high bulk tank somatic cell counts. As these high somatic cell count cows have been culled due to milk marketing regulations and more dairymen have adopted NMC recommended milking procedures, the contagious pathogens are decreasing.
The compost bedded pack barn is a housing system for lactating dairy cows. It consists of a large, open resting area, usually bedded with sawdust or dry, fine wood shavings and manure composted into place and mechanically stirred on a regular basis.
With proper facilities and education, entreprenuers can successfully produce value-added dairy products on-farm.
Staphylococcus aureus is an important bacterial cause of contagious mastitis on dairy farms worldwide. More importantly, it is often at the root of chronically high somatic cell counts, recurrent clinical mastitis, and damaged mammary gland tissue. It is considered to be a contagious udder pathogen that spreads within and between cows during milking. Because it is often subclinical (milk looks normal but with a potentially high somatic cell count), infected animals pose a risk of infection to herd mates during each milking.
Nearly all climate science experts agree that global warming is occurring and that it is caused primarily by human activity. Regardless of what you may read on blogs or in the media, there is no meaningful scientific controversy on these points. The future impacts of global warming are difficult to predict, but the changes caused by greenhouse gases are expected to increasingly affect Kentucky agriculture.
Departments: Agricultural Economics, Animal and Food Sciences, Entomology, Forestry and Natural Resources, Horticulture, Plant and Soil Sciences, Plant Pathology
Series: Interdepartmental (ID series)
Size: 250 kb
Authors: Jeffrey Bewley
A properly managed and designed freestall barn can support high levels of milk production and animal well-being. Mismanaged or poorly designed freestalls can contribute to mastitis, lameness, hock abrasions, and injuries. Through years of experience observing and studying cow behavior in freestall barns, farmers, researchers, and engineers have refined recommendations for freestall design and management. In addition, as cow size has increased so has the amount of resting space required within a freestall, effectively changing the recommendations for freestall dimensions.
Choosing the environment in which lactating dairy cows will spend the majority of their time is an important decision for dairy producers. This choice has considerable influence on productivity, health, milk quality, reproduction, animal well-being, and farm profitability. Innovative dairy producers have introduced a variation on the loose-housing system, generally referred to as a compost-bedded pack barn. Its key component is a large, open resting area, usually bedded with sawdust or dry, fine wood shavings.