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The Manager - Production Focused

March 2018

Safe, productive and engaged from day one

By Richard Stup

Employees are critical to the survival and success of every business, and they’ve never been harder to find. It’s critical for dairies to bring new employees onboard so that they will be safe, productive and engaged from day one. Starting out right increases the chance that your new employee will perform well, connect with the team, and enjoy a long employment relationship.

Investment decision making in an economic downturn

By Anna Richards

During times of tight margins and economic uncertainty, investing into your business can seem risky, if not impossible. With lenders and consultants telling you to cut expenditures, it’s tempting to put all capital investments on the back burner. Before completely closing the checkbook, however, it’s important to remember that there are certain investments that, when analyzed carefully and structured correctly, can actually improve short term cash flow, and provide an immediate benefit to the business.

Dairy Profit Monitor quarterly report tracks financial performance

By Ashley Howlett

The Dairy Profit Monitor (DPM) is a monthly tool designed to help dairy producers watch their income over feed costs (IOFC) along with other key operating and financial measures. Producers input information from their milk checks, feed and herd management programs, as well as costs and labor hours of the dairy. Producers are able to look at their monthly trends, a rolling average and can also compare to other farms for each month.

Labor allocation – Where is time spent on the dairy?

By Ashley Howlett

As dairy producers have become increasingly aware of the significance of current labor issues, much discussion has revolved around labor costs and increasing minimum wages. Although cost has significant implications in the labor topic, understanding how and where employees spend time may be more important than the cost per hour and value of employees themselves. Labor efficiency can help track how much labor is utilized compared to output, but the scope of labor efficiency is extremely broad and different for many farms.

Baby, it’s cold outside! Winter calf care

By Kathy Barrett and Jerry Bertoldo

The value of consistency, doing the little things right every day, these are always good ideas, but even more so in the current dairy climate. Cold weather calf care is a great example of how recommitting to the basics, and consistently doing things right, pays off in improved calf health and down-the-road cow productivity.

Making pathogen-based mastitis treatment protocols work for many dairies

By Amy Vasques

The financial impact of all cases of mastitis on U.S. dairies amounts to over $2 billion annually, with losses attributed to treatment costs, milk loss, milk withholds and decreases in reproductive efficiency. Research indicates that these costs can be reduced without appreciable negative outcomes by selectively treating non-severe cases, rather than treating all cases with antibiotics.

Dietary management of subclinical hypocalcemia with zeolite A

By Allison Kerwin and Thomas Overton

Researchers at Cornell have identified another dietary tool that nutritionists and dairy producers can use to prevent hypocalcemia. Feeding zeolite A improved calcium status around the time of calving and may have improved reproductive performance, although further study with larger numbers of cows is required to evaluate effects on reproduction and health more fully.