Record Crowd Attends Missouri Dairy Forum
A record crowd of almost 400 people attended the two day Missouri Dairy Forum held recently at the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield, Missouri.
A new meeting location, fine program and great weather contributed to a very successful Forum. The Forum brought together seven Missouri dairy groups including the Missouri Dairy Association (MDA), Missouri Holstein Association, Missouri Brown Swiss Association, Missouri Guernsey Breeders Association, Missouri Jersey Cattle Club, Missouri Dairy Growth Council and the Sho-Mo Dairy Heifer Growers Association.
The program covered everything from flies to cows to policy including presentations from two national dairy leaders.
Randy Mooney, chairman of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), presented NMPF’s “Foundation for the Future” and Holstein USA CEO John Meyer addressed the Holstein USA Region 7 meeting held during the Forum.
In addition, Dr. Don Bliss of MidAmerica Ag Research of Verona, Wisconsin, sponsored by Intervet Schering Plough Animal Health, presented “Using Science to Dictate Deworming Dollars” with two key points including:
• Deworming strategy for lactating cows should include deworming at freshening to prevent milk production loss during the first 100 days when cows are at greatest risk. A late fall deworming for all cattle in the herd prevents a carryover of parasite burdens from one season to the other. Young cattle on pasture should be strategically dewormed twice in the spring 25-30 days apart starting 25-30 days after turn-out or after spring green-up first occurs.
• Data collected over the past five years with thousands of fecal samples demonstrates that Safe-Guard/Panacur (fenbendazole) is 95-98% effective whether given as an oral drench or mixed in the feed, mineral, cube, paste, blocks or in liquid feed. If a pour-on dewormer is used, take post-treatment fecal samples to make sure "parasite" resistance is not a problem.
Following Bliss was Randy Cragoe, a private consultant from South Dakota, sponsored by Alltech. Cragoe spoke on “Driving Rumen Efficiency-a Road Map for Dairy Performance” and made these points:
• “Dairy producers need to know what their dairies are doing on a daily basis with regards to inputs and outputs and how the parameters that affect these inputs and outputs are influenced by levels of management and control,” said Cragoe.
• “Dairymen of the future must establish benchmarks of production and efficiency based not on levels of production but rather on inputs and outputs that reflect maximum efficiencies of that production.
• “Dairy producers, once they have a handle on levels of efficiency on their dairies, must use tools that help them establish these benchmarks specific to their dairies that will identify sources of variation that impact efficiency on a daily basis.
“These benchmarks and the identification, cost, and potential return on the sources of variation that occur on a daily basis will become the major determinants of decision making that involve purchasing, management, and optimized levels of production that are specific and unique to that dairy while at the same time reducing the level of risk in making those decisions,” concluded Cragoe.
Also on the program were Dr. Scott Poock, DVM, University of Missouri Extension Veterinarian and Doug VanGundy, BCE, Director of Specialty Products Development for Central Life Sciences.
Poock presented “Why is Milk Quality Important to the Cow, the Producer, and the Consumer” sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health. “The impact of milk quality extends beyond somatic cell bonuses and decreased milk production,” said Poock. “It has a tremendous influence on reproduction, flavor & shelf life. Consumer perceptions on milk quality will ultimately drive how we do business!”
VanGundy noted the dairy industry has good information on what effect internal parasites have on milk production due to the work from major pharmaceutical companies. “However; we have very little research on what external parasites i.e. flies have on milk production but I believe the Miner Institute’s study on the effect of Clarify on fly populations has valuable data in that respect,” said VanGundy.
MDA President Larry Purdom presented MDA’s “Friend of the Missouri Dairy Farmer” award to Gary Aggus of Hiland Dairy Foods Company in Springfield during the Forum.
During MDA’s election of officers, Purdom was reelected MDA president along with Kenny Lenz, vice president, Bunceton; Kevin Frankenbach, secretary, Hannibal and Larry Schmidt, treasurer, Laredo.
The Forum concluded with annual/board meetings of the seven dairy organizations.