1) Sheer milk volume alone will not do it. How much is it costing you to achieve high performance?
2) Feed is the biggest expense. Like fuel in vehicles, you must “shop for” the best feed values. In this year following a near USA nationwide long summer drought, feed prices will be high. Consider bread, candy, whey, citrus, etc.
3) Feed testing and ration balancing. A good nutritionist could save you a lot by monthly monitoring your feed volumes and quality and adjusting to your goals. Toxins will be a major challenge this next six months or more. Call us to discuss our Rum-A-Fresh Plus feed additive – it’s an effective toxin binder and flavor enhancer, and can help keep cows on feed.
4) Get some goals and keep at it. The old adage “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time,” is true. Perhaps your goal is to increase milk 5 lbs/cow this year, or to lower SCC to 100,000. Getting 1.5 services per conception is a good motivator.
5) SCC & udder health. These are great “profit makers” or “breakers.” At one million SCC a cow can lose around 1,000-1,500 lbs milk or more per year. At 500 SCC you still lose about 400-500 lbs. Even 100,000 is a 300 lbs loss/cow/year. Do you know how low SCC must be before no losses occur? 50,000. Yes, it seems nearly impossible, but herds on the Udder Program have seen SCC numbers in the 30’s and 40’s. Our “record herd” is 6,000 SCC, and they were at nearly 1 million SCC before they got on the Udder Program, and it took them less than 90 days! Call us for FREE SCC, mastitis & milking consulting.
6) Get cows bred back timely. Open days hurt daily herd milk output and total lifetime milk production per cow. Aim to start breeding 45-65 days after cow is “fresh” (calved in). Work closely with vet and get cows on the Udder Program to help. Each extra breeding per cow is now $100 or more in loss of milk and feed, etc.
7) Limit dry days to avoid cow ketosis, milk fever, etc. Aim for 12.1 month calving interval per cow. A
bove all, to help your herd in these challenging times and beyond, get on Dairy Vita Pak.