How Are Cows Cooled on Dairy Farms in Florida?

Dairy cows being milked in a milking parlour at the Shenandoah Dairy Farm. Milking, milk production.

While hot and humid conditions cause grief for dairy producers, additional impacts of heat and humidity on the dairy cow are sometimes overlooked. These conditions and their associated losses in productivity pose a growing concern to dairy producers, as more frequent and severe fluctuations in temperature, precipitation, and droughts are predicted to occur in the United States. This new 4-page document discusses heat stress in the dairy industry, the Florida dairy heat stress abatement survey, and heat stress abatement for lactating cows, dry cows, and dairy calves. Written by Bethany Dado-Senn, Geoffrey E. Dahl, and Jimena Laporta, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, April 2019.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an355

The Consequence of Postpartum Uterine Disease on Dairy Cow Fertility

Dairy cows being milked in a milking parlour at the Shenandoah Dairy Farm. Milking, milk production.

This new 4-page document discusses the reproductive consequences of uterine disease in the dairy cow, potential mechanisms, and current treatments. Written by Rachel L. Piersanti and John J. Bromfield, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, March 2019.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an354

Economic Selection Indices: The Best Tool for Dairy Cattle Selection

Dairy cows being milked in a milking parlour at the Shenandoah Dairy Farm.  Milking, milk production.

An economic selection index combines multiple traits into a single value, facilitating the identification of the best animals. This new 3-page document discusses economic selection indices, their changes in the US, and a 2018 update. Written by Francisco Peñagaricano, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, March 2019.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an353

La Ley de Modernizacion para la Seguridad Alimentaria (FSMA): Controles Preventivos para los Alimentos de Animales

Beef cattle feeding in pasture.

La Ley de Modernización de la Seguridad Alimentaria (FSMA) se convirtió en ley en enero de 2011 y se considera la reforma más amplia de las normas de seguridad alimentaria en 70 años. Primero, se establecieron las regulaciones sobre alimentos para el consumo humano luego con la contribución de la industria, la academia, y los consumidores y otras agencias, se modificaron para adaptarse mejor a la producción de alimentos para animales. En Florida, estas nuevas regulaciones se aplican a las instalaciones que fabrican, procesan, empacan o almacenan alimentos o ingredientes para animales. El objetivo principal de estas regulaciones es garantizar alimentos seguros para los animales, las personas que manejan el alimento y las personas que consumen productos derivados de animales. This 4-page document is the Spanish version of The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Animal Food. Written by Francisco Rivera, Chad Carr, and Jason M. Scheffler, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, February 2019.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an352

Antibiotic Use and Resistance for Beef Cattle Producers

Beef cows, field. UF/IFAS: Photos Thomas Wright

Antibiotic-resistant microorganisms cause millions of illnesses and cost billions of dollars in the United States each year. This 5-page fact sheet written by Chad Carr, Matt Hersom, K. C. Jeong, Nicolas DiLorenzo, Jason Scheffler, Victoria Roberts, Gina Faniola, Stephanie Miller, Haley Denney, Nahilia Williams, and Bianca McCracken and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences discusses the use of antibiotics in cattle production operations and answers some common questions about antibiotics and antibiotic-resistant microorganisms.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an351

The Value of Milk Fat

Shenandoah Dairy Farm employees milking cows in the milking parlour. Milk production. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

In the Southeast, milk is priced based on fat and skim milk value, with additional bonuses for somatic cell and bacterial counts. In recent years, butterfat has become more valuable. This 7-page document discusses some of the history behind the changes in milk fat consumption, management factors that influence milk fat content and yield by dairy cattle, and economic implications of changing fat content through the diet in two case scenarios. Written by José E. P. Santos and Albert De Vries, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, January 2019.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an350

Are Cows Comfortable in Modern Dairy Facilities?

A dairy calf. Photo taken 04-01-17.

The main challenge of modern large dairy operations is to achieve high milk yield per cow without sacrificing health and welfare. Properly designed and managed facilities allow calves, heifers, and cows to be comfortable and successfully grow, mature, maintain health, and reach peak performance. This 8-page document discusses facilities, cow comfort, resting behavior, feed and water access and availability, stocking density, and heat stress. Written by Izabella Toledo, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, December 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an349

Methods of Trace Mineral Supplementation

Cattle being fed grain at the Beef Teaching Unit.

The forage cattle consume as the bulk of their diet is often deficient in trace mineral concentrations. Cattle producers can choose from a number of different methods to provide supplemental trace minerals to cattle. This 3-page document discusses several common ways to provide trace mineral supplements as well as their advantages and disadvantages. Written by Matt Hersom and Todd Thrift, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, October 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an348

What Is the Economic Impact of Infertility in Beef Cattle?

Cattle at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna, Florida.

Producers cannot completely control infertility in their cow herds. However, understanding and addressing the factors that affect infertility will help producers implement management practices that can improve fertility and reduce the negative impacts of infertility on the profitability of beef cow-calf operations. This 4-page fact sheet discusses reasons why beef cows fail to become pregnant or wean a calf, identification of infertile beef cows, and economic impacts of reduced fertility and infertility in beef cattle. Written by Chris Prevatt, G. Cliff Lamb, Carl Dahlen, Vitor R. G. Mercadante, and Kalyn Waters, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, revised September 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an208

How to Measure Body Condition Score in Florida Beef Cattle

Beef Cattle at the Straughn Extension Professional Development Center and at the Horse Teaching Unit. Livestock, cows.

Body condition score (BCS) is both a good indicator of the past nutritional status of a cow and a way to determine future nutritional needs. The BCS technique is easy to learn and can help with management decisions. This new 5-page fact sheet discusses reasons to measure BCS, ways to evaluate BCS, and important assessment times. Written by Matt Hersom and Todd Thrift, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, August 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an347

Economic Evaluation of Dairy Cow Stocking Density

Dairy cows feeding at the Shenandoah Dairy Farm. Cow, feed, milk production. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

What is the optimal number of dairy cows in a pen after their transition period? This 4-page document discusses the economically optimal stocking density for lactating dairy cows, measured as maximum profit per stall. It also introduces a spreadsheet that can be used to calculate the effects of various inputs on the economically optimal stocking density. Written by Albert De Vries, Haile Dechassa, and Henk Hogeveen, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, August 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an346

Riesgos Comunes a Considerar Durante la Manufactura de Alimentos para Caballos

Horses feeding at the Horse Teaching Unit in Gainesville. UF/IFAS photo by Eric Zamora

El decreto de Modernización de la Seguridad Alimentaria (FSMA por sus siglas en inglés) fue firmado en Enero del 2011. Dicho documento intenta cambiar el enfoque de la seguridad alimentaria hacia prevención en lugar de reacción ante eventos relacionados con alimentos. Determinar si un peligro requiere un control preventivo depende de la frecuencia y la gravedad del peligro, el cual varía de acuerdo a la instalación y la especie alimentada. This 5-page fact sheet is the Spanish version of EDIS document AN344, Common Hazards to Consider During Manufacturing of Feeds for Horses. Written by Ana Margarita Arias, Taylor N. Langford, Carissa Wickens, Lori Warren, and Jason M. Scheffler, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, July 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an345

Common Hazards to Consider During Manufacturing of Feeds for Horses

Horses feeding at the Horse Teaching Unit in Gainesville. UF/IFAS photo by Eric Zamora

Horses are uniquely sensitive to fumonisin and ionophores compared to other livestock species. Facilities, particularly mixed-species feed facilities, need to ensure CGMPs, SOPs, and possibly preventive controls are implemented to address those concerns in addition to more general hazards. This 5-page fact sheet discusses common biological, chemical, and physical hazards in horse feeds as well as methods of prevention. Written by Jason M. Scheffler, Taylor N. Langford, Carissa Wickens, and Lori Warren, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, June 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an344

Common Hazards to Consider During Manufacturing of Feed for Beef and Dairy Cattle

Dairy cows feeding at the Shenandoah Dairy Farm. Cow, feed, milk production. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

This 6-page document provides a list of common hazards to consider in the manufacturing of cattle feeds. It discusses the importance of preventing hazards, methods of prevention, and common physical, biological, and chemical hazards. Written by Taylor Langford, Matthew Hersom, Luiz Ferraretto, Antonio Faciola, Chad Carr, and Jason Scheffler, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, March 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an343

Economic Feasibility of Cooling Dry Cows: Findings and Spreadsheet

A cow in a stockade at a small dairy farm.

The negative effects of heat stress in lactating cows are well known, but only recent studies have explored those effects along with the full benefits of cooling dry cows. Recent work at the University of Florida has demonstrated the benefits of dry cow cooling on calf performance and cow health in the next lactation. This 5-page fact sheet discusses the economic losses from milk production due to heat stress, investment, utilities, maintenance, and feasibility analysis. Written by Fernanda Ferreira, Geoffrey Dahl, and Albert De Vries, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, March 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an342

The Florida Bull Test 2016-2017

Closeup of a bull.

The 17th annual Florida Bull Test Sale was held on January 21, 2017 at the conclusion of the 2016-2017 Florida Bull Test. The test evaluated the performance potential and breeding soundness of bulls consigned to the program at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC). This new 9-page fact sheet discusses test procedures, assessment of feed efficiency, test rules and regulations, health requirements, and test results. Written by Luara B. Canal, G. Cliff Lamb, and Nicolas DiLorenzo, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, February 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an341

Effective Use of Genomics in Commercial Dairy Farms

Closeup of a bull.

Genomic selection refers to selection decisions based on genomic-estimated breeding values. These genomic breeding values are calculated using genetic markers across the entire genome. This technology has revolutionized dairy cattle breeding globally. This new 4-page fact sheet discusses the effects of genomics on dairy sire selection. Written by Francisco Peñagaricano, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, February 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an340

How Much Does Bad Hay Cost a Beef Cattle Producer?

Hay bales in a field.

Everyone likes a good bargain, but when it comes to hay, low price often equates to low nutritional value. Because hay is often sold on a large round-bale basis, savings from the good bargain can decrease substantially if there is a negative impact on the cow herd nutritional program. This 4-page fact sheet discusses intake limitations, energy limitations, protein limitations, examples of hay quality, and bad hay’s impact on cow body condition. Written by Matt Hersom and Todd Thrift, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, February 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an339

Economic Value of Genetic Merit of Dairy Semen

Closeup of a bull.

Attempts to calculate the economic value of semen have been made since at least the 1970s. The basic calculations have since become available (Dechow 2016). This new 3-page fact sheet reviews these calculations, adds a few other considerations, and offers estimates of the worth of the genetics of dairy semen. Written by Albert De Vries, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, January 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an338

Basic Concepts of Dairy Sire Selection

Closeup of a bull.

Sire selection is one of the most important decisions that a dairy producer makes. It represents a great opportunity to improve the profitability of the dairy production enterprise. This new 3-page fact sheet reviews some key concepts that should be considered in order to make proper selection decisions and discusses alternative methods for selecting sires based on multiple traits. Written by Francisco Peñagaricano, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, January 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an337