Published Articles

Published Articles2020-06-05T14:55:24-04:00
Research Based Articles
1Jun 2019

Ode to Gramps

By |June 1st, 2019|

"If I have been on your farm in the past three decades, you most likely heard me quote my grandfather on my mother’s side. He was the cow guy in my life: my mentor, my sounding board, my guiding light and my kicker-of-butts when I needed it. He was the king of oneliners, storytelling and the keeper of every corny joke ever told in the history of mankind. He was why I got into cows in the first place. He loved it all his life, and I wanted to love it

15Apr 2019

How I Work: A day in the life of a dairy nutritionist

By |April 15th, 2019|

“No two days in my life are the same. I work with a very diverse group of nutritionists and dairy producers so that no two days repeat themselves. Let me give you a grand overview. I routinely support 45 field nutritionists from roughly Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Osaka, Japan. I help them troubleshoot nutritional, management, financial, facility and health issues in their current customers’ and their potential herds. I am also head of the nutrition department at Renaissance Nutrition, which means I try to keep the rest of the technical staff pointed

15Sep 2017

There can be issues with corn silage replacements

By |September 15th, 2017|

"What makes modern corn silage such a great lactation cow forage? This feed is incredibly consistent, taking some of the variability out of the daily ration, and cows respond favorably to boredom in the ration. Corn silage is one of the highest-tonnage forages available, topping 20 tons per acre with natural rainfall and upward of 30 tons per acre on irrigated ground (approximately 7 to 10.5 tons of dry matter per acre). Corn silage is high in neutral detergent fiber digestibility (60 percent), and in a ton of wet corn silage

8Jul 2017

Methane emissions and their correlation to feed choices – why do we care?

By |July 8th, 2017|

"The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimates that 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to livestock production, of which 37 percent is methane. According to a Cow of the Future Research council, the U.S. dairy industry has set a goal to decrease methane emissions per pound of fluid milk by 25 percent by the year 2020. So how do our feeding choices impact methane production?" Download the Full Article Read Online at Progressive Dairy

15Feb 2017

What does feeding the 2016 silage crop look like?

By |February 15th, 2017|

""Gas and brakes.” Have you ever imagined, as you are feeding forage to your dairy cattle, that you are pressing a “gas pedal” or a “brake pedal”? Kurt Cotanch, “the lab guy” at the Miner Institute in Chazy, New York, likes to metaphorically compare the fast pool of fermentable fiber to the gas pedal, speeding up passage through the rumen, and the pool of slow and indigestible fiber as the brakes." Download the Full Article Read Online at Progressive Dairy

15Aug 2016

Feeding silages containing butyric acid

By |August 15th, 2016|

"This and last year’s cool, wet springs added to the challenge of making high-quality forage. With higher moistures than desired, low sugar content and higher ash levels sometimes resulted in poor fermentation and the production of butyric acid. Butyric acid is a strong acid that overrides the production of the preferred lactic acid, which gives good fermented silage that well-preserved smell." Download the Full Article Read Online at Progressive Dairy

15Jul 2015

100-pound herds: What are the secrets to their success?

By |July 15th, 2015|

"Over the years I’ve had the privilege of working with and visiting a number of herds across the country that were producing 100 pounds of milk or more per cow per day. What are the secrets of these herds with a bulk tank average that mirrors high-group production levels for many herds? The author’s recurring observations, similar to those recently reported by Dr. Nigel Cook for some elite Wisconsin herds, are discussed below." Download the Full Article Read Online at Progressive Dairy

15May 2015

Where are the milk bandits on your farm?

By |May 15th, 2015|

"Several research studies say that for every extra hour our lactating cows lie down in a 24-hour cycle, they produce about 3 extra pounds of milk with similar dry matter intakes. This milk is basically free or at least results in mostly income with very little expense." Download the Full Article Read Online at Progressive Dairy

15Feb 2015

Feeding the 2014 corn silage crop

By |February 15th, 2015|

"The nightmare is over. Many U.S. dairy farms have finally run out of their 2013 corn silage and have begun to feed the 2014 corn silage, and they are seeing much better results with this new harvest. So much so that many farms with 2013 corn silage inventory left have started blending the 2014 corn silage into their feeding programs and are seeing better production and improved components." Download the Full Article Read Online at Progressive Dairy

15Apr 2014

The unforgettable 2013 corn crop

By |April 15th, 2014|

"The 2013 corn crop continues to limit milk production in many parts of the country, mainly because of its heavy bushel test weight. Reports of 60-pound bushel weights are commonplace this year. The starch content of this heavy test-weight corn is slow to ferment in the rumen, which lowers the amount of the volatile fatty acid (VFA) propionate produced as compared to a more typical corn starch year." Download the Full Article Read Online at Progressive Dairy

15Dec 2013

What the forage challenges of 2012 and 2013 taught us

By |December 15th, 2013|

"The 2013 weather continued the forage woes of U.S. dairy producers. The late-March warm-up in the upper Midwest, followed by freezing rain and then a major cold snap in early April, led to winterkill of alfalfa and ryegrass across large sections of central Iowa, through southern Minnesota, central Wisconsin and into central Michigan. This area represents nearly 20 percent of the U.S. dairy cow numbers. Several areas in Pennsylvania and New York also experienced small pockets of winterkill of alfalfa in key dairy areas. This weather severely decreased the acres available

15Nov 2013

Levers of financial performance by JJ Degan

By |November 15th, 2013|

"“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” —William Hewlett, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Company Hewlett suggests that in order to effectively manage something, you need to be able to measure and monitor your progression or regression. Solid accounting practices and financial statements provide the means to measure the profitability of your business. However, all of the accrual accounting practices and fancy financial ratios are meaningless if you don’t know how to use the information to change performance." Download the Full Article Read Online at Progressive Dairy