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Produce Quality Milk to Boost Your Bottom Line

Libby Eiholzer, Bilingual Dairy
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: March 19, 2015
Produce Quality Milk to Boost Your Bottom Line

Produce Quality Milk to Boost Your Bottom Line

While milk prices for 2015 are forecasted to be low, that doesnít mean that itís too late for you to do something about protecting your bottom line. Quality milk is always important, but paying special attention to it in lean years will help your business prosper.

There are many ways to make sure that things are running smoothly in your parlor. One good idea is to have qualified personnel come in to test your milking system regularly. Incorrect vacuum levels, poor pulsation and milking units that detach too late can all lead to teat-end damage and increased incidence of mastitis. Following a regular schedule to replace inflations, hoses and other rubber parts is also important.

While we donít tend to see spikes in mastitis during the winter months, mastitis problems in spring and summer months are often caused by damage that teats sustain during the cold weather months. Post-dipping is especially important to help prevent mastitis, but making sure that teats are dry when cows exit the parlor on the coldest days of the year (especially those that have to walk outside) will help to prevent chapped or frozen teats. Using a teat dip with added emollients will also keep teats healthier.

Prevention will take you a long way, but you will almost surely have some mastitis cases to deal with. When you do, sampling cows correctly, culturing them to find the mastitis-causing pathogen and then providing pathogen-based treatment is key to controlling mastitis on your farm. This will help to reduce repeat cases of clinical mastitis, which can add up to a huge cost. If you havenít already, you should work with your herd veterinarian to develop treatment protocols for the different mastitis pathogens so that you can make informed treatment decisions.

ďGarbage in, garbage outĒ says Dr. Rick Watters, Sr. Extension Veterinarian with the Western Laboratory of Quality Milk Production Services (QMPS). Dr. Watters presented at the first session of the Milk Quality Training in January, discussing proper procedures for taking milk and bedding samples. He says that when taking milk or bedding samples to test for mastitis organisms, cleanliness is essential to getting useful data. Dr. Watters outlined the following procedure for collecting milk from an individual cow:

Prepare the cow as you would for milking: predip, wipe and forestrip. Use an alcohol pad to disinfect the teat end, forestrip again, and then fill the milk vial, making sure to hold it at a 45 degree angle with the lid up. Immediately refrigerate if you will be submitting the sample within 24 hours, or freeze if it will be longer. Adhering to all of these guidelines will provide you with a cleaner, more useful sample.

One option to help you keep a closer eye on milk quality is to enroll in QMPSís Bulk Tank Monitoring Program. Participants are entitled to 6 bulk tank milk analyses during a 12 month enrollment period, collected every other month. The samples are conveniently collected through your milk hauler or milk cooperative, and the analyses provide the farm with information on current milk quality and animal health, as well as alert the farm if there are new, recurrent or periodic herd infections. For more information, contact Dr. Paula Ospina at pav@cornell.edu or 607-253-3933.




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calendar of events

Upcoming Events

Beginning Farmer/Hobby Farmer Workshop $5/pp, class size is limited, so pre-register by April 15th!

April 27, 2019
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Canandaigua, NY

This hands-on workshop is for beginning or part-time farmers who would like to improve their farm machinery skills, learn to properly and safely maintain their equipment to protect their investment. If you have been thinking about buying a tractor, new or used, two-wheel or four-wheel drive, compact or utility or more come join us. Topics include: selecting the right size/type tractor for the job; basic maintenance; staying safe around tractors and equipment; attaching implements properly; and information about ROPS and SMV's. There will be time for questions.

Pre-registration requested by April 15, 2019 email Amy with your name, address, and phone number or call 585-394-3977 x 429.
Fee: $5.00/person. Class size is limited.

2019 Pastured Poultry Seminar, lunch included so please register by May 10th! $25/person

May 18, 2019
Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.w/ coffee & donuts with the Program running from 9:00 a.m. - 5 p. m.
Attica, NY

The main speaker this year is Eli Reiff of Mifflinburg Pennsylvania. Eli raises broilers, turkeys, sheep, and beef, all on pasture. Topics to be covered will include the pasture, feed and nutrition, marketing, costs, and much more. As we grow as farm operators and get bigger, we may not pay as much attention to the basics as we should. So those areas are where we will start, and then expand to cover the group's interests.

Mike Badger, Director of the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association will also be available for a round-table discussion. Plans are to have representatives from Farm Bureau, NYCAMH for farm health and safety, Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce, and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wyoming County, as well as others.

Calling all 9th-12th graders! 4th Annual Precision Agriculture Day at Genesee Community College

May 21, 2019
9:00 am - 1:30 pm Register by Friday May 10th! $15/per person includes lunch
Batavia, NY

Calling all 9th-12th graders!  We have an exciting new program for students interested in technology, science, engineering, and agriculture!
Would you like to:
  • Learn about how Drones collect information
  • Check out some potential career opportunities that have new and ever-changing technology
  • Learn how these technologies can be used in our own backyards in WNY
  • Discover potential and exciting career opportunities

Announcements

Producers Previously Enrolled in the LGM Program Now Eligible for MPP

Dairy Producers Previously Enrolled in the Livestock Gross Margin Program Now Eligible for 2018 Margin Protection Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that dairy producers who elected to participate in the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Cattle Program (LGM-Dairy) now have the opportunity to participate in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) for 2018 coverage. Sign-up will take place March 25 through May 10, 2019.
Eligible producers can enroll during the sign-up period at their local USDA service center. To locate your office, visit farmers.gov.


Smart Farming Team Technical Assistance Grant Application

The Labor Ready Farmer Project is offering grants to provide up to 12 hours of Technical Assistance (TA) consulting services to farms who want to make improvements to their farm's processes in hiring, training, managing or evaluating employees. Applicants will choose from one of the following four areas for TA assistance and identify a specific project. If selected they will be matched with a "Smart Farming Team" of consultants who will provide one on one technical assistance.
  • HIRING EMPLOYEES 101 - GETTING OFF TO A GOOD START
  • ONBOARDING & TRAINING EMPLOYEES QUICKLY AND EFFECTIVELY
  • FINE-TUNING & IMPROVING THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT
  • H2-A READINESS
Please complete this application and send to Nicole Waters, Beginning Farm Project Coordinator for the Cornell Small Farms Program. The form can be submitted by email, mail or in-person at the address listed below. Please feel free to call or email with any questions.

Nicole Waters - Beginning Farmer Project Coordinator
Plant Science Building, Room 15b
Tower Road, Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: 607-255-9911
Email: nw42@cornell.edu

Applications accepted on a rolling basis.



USDA Announces January Income over Feed Cost Margin Triggers First 2019 Dairy Sa

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2019 ? The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced this week that the January 2019 income over feed cost margin was $7.99 per hundredweight, triggering the first payment for eligible dairy producers who purchase the appropriate level of coverage under the new but yet-to-be established Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

DMC, which replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, is a voluntary risk management program for dairy producers that was authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill. DMC offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced last week that sign up for 
DMC will open by mid-June of this year. At the time of sign up, producers who elect a DMC coverage level between $8.00 and $9.50 would be eligible for a payment for January 2019.

For example, a dairy operation with an established production history of 3 million pounds (30,000 cwt.) that elects the $9.50 coverage level for 50 percent of its production could potentially be eligible to receive $1,887.50 for January.

Sample calculation:
$9.50 - $7.99 margin = $1.51 difference
$1.51 times 50 percent of production times 2,500 cwt. (30,000 cwt./12) = $1,887.50

The calculated annual premium for coverage at $9.50 on 50 percent of a 3-million-pound production history for this example would be $2,250.

Sample calculation:
3,000,000 times 50 percent = 1,500,000/100 = 15,000 cwt. times 0.150 premium fee = $2,250

Operations making a one-time election to participate in DMC through 2023 are eligible to receive a 25 percent discount on their premium for the existing margin coverage rates.

"Congress created the Dairy Margin Coverage program to provide an important financial safety net for dairy producers, helping them weather shifting milk and feed prices," FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce said. "This program builds on the previous Margin Protection Program for Dairy, carrying forward many of the program upgrades made last year based on feedback from producers. We're working diligently to implement the DMC program and other FSA programs authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill."

Additional details about DMC and other FSA farm bill program changes can be found at farmers.gov/farmbill.


New Guidance for Mortality Disposal Issued

NYS Department of Ag and Markets has posted guidelines on disposal of livestock carcasses, in response to reports that some rendering companies have halted pickups from farms.

https://nwnyteam.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=761&crumb=dairy|1