August 2000


College and Tech School Scholarships are available for Minnesota DHIA members, DHIA employees, and their children. Call us at 763-682-1091 for details or an application, or logon to the National DHIA web site www.dhia.org (under "Reference Documents"). Deadline for completed applications is 9/29/2000.


JUNE TURN TIME IS A RECORD LOW 2.0 DAYS!

The Minnesota Dairy Herd Improvement Association set a record in June when our average turn around time dropped to 2.0 days. We know how important it is to get your results to you as soon as possible, because the sooner you have them the sooner you can make the vital management decisions that face you each and every day. Thanks to the 120 Field Reps across Minnesota, and to our milk labs at Sauk Centre and Zumbrota, and to our partners at Agri Tech Analytics and Valley Ag Software for making this milestone possible. Stay tuned for more speed in 2001!


BRUCE DOKKEBAKKEN PRESENTED THE MARTIN A. WILSON AWARD

Each year the National Dairy Herd Improvement Association recognizes one DHI employee with a history of outstanding service by presenting them with the Martin A. Wilson Award. This year the award was presented to Minnesota DHIA general manager, Bruce Dokkebakken.

Bruce began his DHI career 25 years ago as a Field Representative in Scott County, MN. In 1979, he moved to Iowa and became the first General Manager of the Iowa DHIA and the Illinois DHIA. During his eleven years in that position, he helped them grow and mature as Dairy Lab Services. Bruce received the G.W. Harpestad Leadership Award, the only non-dairy farmer recipient to receive the award. He also served as Chair of the dairy industry's NCDHIP Rules Committee in 1988.

In 1990, Bruce re-joined the Minnesota DHIA as Director of Member Relations. In that role, he was the primary force in the development of the program that field reps now use on the farm and made it possible for computers to be taken to the barn on test day. He was also the creator of the AP verified program, which was a big step forward in efficiency for DHIA field reps, and led to AP becoming the most popular testing program in the US.

In 1998, Bruce became the General Manager of Minnesota DHIA. His first goal is, and always has been, to provide a high quality, dependable service to the dairy farmer. He continues to be an innovator and a manager with a vision. Bruce currently serves as the Chair of the National DHIA Managers group, Chair of the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding's Expert Committee on Data Flowing to USDA, and as Secretary Treasurer of Quality Certification Services. We applaud you, Bruce!


THE NUMBERS


STATISTIC OF THE MONTH: 305 ME

The 305 Mature Equivalent statistic (305 ME) adjusts the current partial lactation record for the cow to what she would be producing at lactation 3+ as a mature cow. Calculated on a twice a day milking 305-day basis, averages are adjusted for age and season of calving. The 305 ME for first lactation animals should be higher or equal to cows in second or later lactations, if genetic progress is being made. You can find the 305 ME in the upper lefthand corner of the new Herd Summary report.


HELEN SMITH HONORED AS OUSTANDING FIELD REP

Helen Smith has been testing cows for nearly 30 years now. She is currently testing 34 herds with 2,717 cows in her unit. For the past year, her average days between tests was 31 days or just under 12 tests per herd per year. Her herds averaged 2.6 days from sample date until reports were ready for mailing.

Over the years, Helen has willingly pitched in and helped out numerous times when neighbors or other field reps needed relief. In doing so, she has added many miles to her vehicles and many extra hours to her day. Her eagerness to help overflows into her work. If there are ever any questions, she searches out an answer.

Helen has always been willing to try the new options that Minnesota DHIA offers. Switching to computers and farm management software was a huge change, but her desire to serve and persistence got her through. She now actively promotes on-farm software and currently has 6 Scout herds. Another new option, Milk Urea Nitorgen (MUN), has become a big hit for her with 48% of her herd's cows now on the MUN option. That is well above the state average. We appreciate all the extra touches, Helen. Thank you!


FEEDING MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR HOT WEATHER by Jim Linn, U of MN

Cows do best when the air temperature is between 41 F and 77 F. When it gets hotter than that, cows' efforts to maintain normal body temperatures may result in reduced feed intake, 10% to 25% lower milk production, decreased milk fat percentage, decreased fertility, depressed immune system, higher maintenance requirements, and overall less efficient milk production.

What can you do to minimize these responses? The most important thing is to provide a cool, comfortable environment. Once you have the environment as comfortable as possible, some alterations in the feeding program can help entice cows to eat during heat stress.

1. Increase the number of feedings. This has two advantages. First, the feed will be fresher, encouraging consumption. Second, cows are curious, so if the feeding area is comfortable they will come to the manger more frequently with increased feedings. The number of feedings to obtain benefits is not known, but it is probably at least three per day.

2. Time feeding right. During hot weather, cows eat mostly at night and after milkings. Have fresh feed in the mangers after milking. Feed most of the fresh feed at night. Sunset and about an hour before sunrise are good times.

3. Feed a TMR. A TMR with forages mixed in helps reduce the cow's tendency to selectively consume concentrates rather than forages. A well-balanced TMR allows you to optimize fiber in the ration while encouraging DMI and minimizing rumen fermentation fluctuations and pH declines.

4. Add water. Water softens fiber feeds and reduces dustiness and dryness of the diet, increasing palatability and DMI. A 3% to 5% addition of water is recommended when ration DM is above 60%.

5. Keep mangers/bunks clean. Remove refused feed every day. Check and clean any moldy and/or heating feed from the corners and edges of feeding areas at least three times a week, more often if feeding animal protein and fats. A decaying feed smell may reduce DMI even when fresh feed is offered.


NEW HERD & SOFTWARE NUMBERS UPDATE

> In the first six months of this year, 70 new herds joined Minnesota DHIA.

> Currently, 1 in 7 members have the on-farm version of Dairy Comp or Scout.

> The number of on-farm software users is fast approaching 500.


WHY NOT TRY A COOL SOFTWARE PROGRAM TO HELP BEAT THE HEAT?

Thinking about trying SCOUT Dairy Management Software? Why not join the hundreds of other dairy producers who have already discovered the countless benefits this program has to offer?

For example, SCOUT can help increase your herd's profitability by providing you with timely, accurate individual cow and herd information. You could have more than 30 reports and production graphs at your fingertips. SCOUT also allows for toll-free downloads of lab data for fast access to your herd's information, and it can help make test day easier, reduce paperwork and let you produce current vet lists. At just $16 a month, this powerful management tool is a great value.

Both SCOUT and Dairy Comp 305 are sold and supported by your Minnesota DHIA staff. For more information, ask your field rep or call 1-800-827-3442 today!

The average Minnesota DHIA using Scout or Dairy Comp 305 software produces more than 2000 pounds more milk per cow per year than DHIA herds without the software.


COWS FOR SALE

Mark DeBoer would like to sell his entire herd of Holstein cattle. He has 40 cows in milk and 20 springers. Call him for more details at 507-967-2319.

The Bisek's of Scott County are selling their herd of Holstein cattle, including 33 milking cows and youngstock. For more info, call them at 612-758-4019.

Courtney Carlson of Clay County is selling his herd of 50 grade Holsteins. Please call Courtney or Charles at 218-483-4145 for more information.

Mike Steinhagen has 7 springing heifers for sale, due in August. Call Mike for more details at 952-442-2581.

Gabe & Barb Gieske of Sauk Centre are having a Herd Dispersal Auction on Friday, August 11. Start time is 12:30 pm. They will be selling a total of 79 Holstein cattle, including 43 milking cows. For more information, call 320-352-3360.

Karl Germscheid of Le Sueur County plans to sell his herd of Holstein cows. They will be available in August. For more information, call him at 507-357-4500.

Cows For Sale is a service of Minnesota DHIA. For a fraction of the price of advertising in a newspaper or listing with an auction service, you can list your dairy animals with us for 60 days. Members can advertise for just $2.50 per animal with a maximum of $50 per herd. For more information, talk to your Field Rep on sample day or call us at 800-827-3442.


Contact Minnesota DHIA at 1-800-827-3442