DairyCast Industry

Approaches To Forage and Hay

forage and hay
Forage / hay quality and availability is tight this year. Many operations are facing tough decisions on acquiring feed options. If you are faced with using lower quality forage or hay, this post will help in identifying the quality and storage options for fall and winter.
The quality of the hay will vary greatly, depending on the time of year, maturity and weather conditions when the hay was made in addition to how it is stored. While we encourage forage testing as the only real way of knowing the feed value of your hay, very few farmers are following through with this practice.

Seven Actions To Prevent Embezzlement in Agribusinesses


Running a business, even in agriculture, requires having a sense of how the operations are working and keeping an eye on potential trouble spots. When money is involved, the opportunity for theft does exist. Having in place controls and process to keep theft away is an important management responsibility.
Unfortunately, embezzlement is not uncommon and is often difficult to detect. Embezzlement is a crime of opportunity and trust. A person who is trusted is placed in a position that allows him or her complete access to the financial data of the business, typically with minimal or no oversight by the supervisor or owner. The best way to prevent embezzlement is to first, be honest yourself in your activities.
Here are 7 actions to take:
  • Assign designated duties.
  • The owner should review reports.
  • Review your bank statement.
  • Know where your money is going.
  • Establish office policies.
  • Watch your overhead numbers.
  • Be a fair, consistent, honest leader.

What do farmers think about consumers?

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The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance's Survey of Farmers, Ranchers, and Consumers suggests that 93% of farmers and ranchers believe consumer's perception of US modern farming practices are somewhat or not accurate at all. The survey also notes that consumers are firmly divided on the direction of modern agriculture. These and other survey observations were discussed in the Food Dialogues Town Hall, segments of which can be watched on-line.

What do consumers really think about farming?

consumer, farmer, and rancher survey

The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance released a consumer, farmer, and rancher survey that says 42% of consumers believe US is heading in wrong direction. Additionally, it states 93% of farmers believe consumer perception of modern farming is somewhat or not accurate. This sets up a disconnect in the US on food production practices and consumer preferences.

Consumers think about food production constantly, yet know very little about how food is brought to the dinner table. Consumers are firmly divided on the direction of modern agriculture.

Calculating The Cost of Weathered Hay


The value of hay this year is much higher due to the drought in many parts of the country. This calculator can help farmers discover the value of hay, especially weathered hay that may have damage.

From the Cattle Network:
This is a quick tool that can be used to determine if older hay really is the bargain it appears to be. The calculator can also be used to determine the amount of additional hay that is necessary to meet the cow herd winter requirements after accounting for the inedible portion of the hay.

Is Weather Driving Your Cows to Slaughter?

Pushing Cows To Slaughter
Audio via DairyCast.com

Drought and forecasts for little rain and high feed prices pressure producers into herd liquidation.  Darrell Peel, Oklahoma State livestock economist, discusses how and when to move your steers under these conditions.
What are the options available and how to get through the winter?

Highlights of Canadian Dairy Research

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Highlights in Canadian Dairy Cattle Research contains a summary of the 150+ researchers doing scientific work in Canada connected with dairy production. The collection covers animal welfare, the environment, feed, genetics, milk production, and reproduction, and offers to a broader audience access to information normally distributed through research journals.

Storage of Hay for Export

hay storage Hay storage planning and design is a must for those operations that need to sell and export hay.
Highest quality hay is required for the export market. This applies both to processed and feed hay. A good weather-tight hay storage is required to maintain the desired quality. Both structural and functional design are essential to a quality hay storage. This is not to imply that a good quality storage will not benefit any hay producer or user.
This technical article provides information on storage design and layout.

Milk Goes Bad in High Heat!

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The midwest is experiencing high heat and humidity this summer. These high temperatures not only make you feel terrible but your livestock can feel bad too. It is important to keep an eye on the animals and take action before they start to get heat stress.

 

Heat stress can greatly impact cattle producers through decreased milk production and subsequent calf growth, decreased reproductive performance in cows and bulls, and decreased stocker and feeder performance.

This article provides straight forward information on identifying heat stress and tactics to keep animals cool.

Dr. Larry Hollis, cattle vet at K-State, also offers some approaches to reducing heat stress in cattle (audio link).

How Much Food Will Be Needed In 2050?

There have been many articles that compare the population of 2050 and the food requirements needed by that population. Examples include "Making Safe, Abundant Food Supply a Global Reality" and "Food Needs and Population" (additional resources). Dr. Terry Etherton highlights some of the approaches to population estimates and then seeks to translate into the quantity of food that would be needed to feed that 2050 population.
The question emerges, then, of whether there is more accurate approach for estimating projected food needs in 2050?
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