Keynote Speaker

Title: The Fundamentals of Profitable Milk Production
Author: Randy Shaver
Summary: Consistency of feeding and management practices is extremely important in dairy production. Pay attention to detail and do the little things right to optimize milk production. Sticking to the proven basics of breeding, feeding, and management is the key to profitable milk production.

I: Priming for Production.

Title: Building A Better Cow – Aggressive Heifer Growing Approaches
Author: Mike Hutjens
Summary: Heifer groups are critical for optimal growth and proper management and may require facility additions and/or modifications. Aggressive heifer growth requires higher nutrient levels than in NRC (9). Heifers must be measured quarterly to determine if growth targets are achieved.

Title: Feeding Management during the Transition Phase
Author: Charles C. Stallings
Summary: For successful transition from the dry period to lactation it is important to maintain nutrient intake pre- and post-calving by using digestible rations that are palatable and nutritionally balanced. Control of potassium and sodium intake is important in preventing metabolic disorders. Use feed additives selectively to stimulate intake and/or digestion, prevent fall of blood calcium, and maintain a strong immune system.

Title: Anion, Vitamin E, and Se Supplementation of Diets for Close-Up Dairy Cows
Authors: David K. Beede and Thomas E. Pilbeam
Summary: Supplementation of anions (Cl- and SO4-2 ) in diets of close-up dairy cows has become more common in recent years to aid in control of hypocalcemia and related peripartum health disorders. These anions are helpful to counteract the deleterious effects of high dietary K on Ca status in the peripartum period. Anions are used to decrease the dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) which in turn results in mild systemic metabolic acidosis. This is efficacious to increase blood Ca in response to hypocalcemia. Recent research suggests that SO4-2 is a less powerful acidifier than Cl-. This suggests that perhaps we should re-think which is the most appropriate DCAD equation.

II: Feeding and Management Strategies.

Title: Strategies to Maximize Feed Intake and Milk Yield in Early Lactation
Author: Mike Allen
Summary: Energy intake in early lactation is affected by many different environmental, management, animal, and dietary factors. Maximizing energy intake requires appropriate management through all phases of lactation. Diets must be formulated to balance fermentation acid production.

Title: Reproductive Management – A Nutritionist’s Perspective
Author: Jim Spain
Summary: Nutrition management influences reproduction in the dairy cow. Dry cow nutrition must be carefully managed to prevent metabolic diseases that can adversely affect reproductive performance of the dairy herd. Energy balance during early lactation is the second key nutritional factor that affects reproduction. Protein, vitamins and minerals must also be balanced to support optimal reproductive function of the lactating dairy cow.

Title: Ionophores – Mode of Action and Effects on Milk Yield and Milk Composition
Authors: J.J. Kennelly, L. Doepel, and K. Lien
Summary: Ionophores function primarily in the rumen and positively influence energy and protein metabolism. Ionophore supplementation can have a positive influence on post-partum metabolic disorders. In general, ionophore supplementation results in milk fat depression but has little effect on lactose yield or protein content. Increases in milk yield and/or protein content in some studies demonstrate the potential of ionophore supplementation to positively influence milk yield and composition.

Title: Influence of Monensin on Post-Partum Health and Production
Author: Todd Duffield
Summary: Monensin CRC treatment three weeks prior to calving reduced the incidence and duration of subclinical ketosis in early lactation. Precalving monensin treatment improved cow health by reducing the incidence of abomasal displacement and multiple illnesses. Monensin CRC treatment increased milk production in cows having good and fat body condition prior to calving but had no impact in thin cows. Milk components (milk fat percent and milk protein percent) and reproductive performance were unaffected by monensin CRC treatment.

III: Risk Management.

Title: Environmental Risk and Dairy Farming
Authors: Keith Wilson and Jason Krips
Summary: Unincorporated dairy operations are bound by and must follow environmental statutes.Directors and officers of incorporated dairy farming operations owe a fiduciary duty to the corporation and they must take all Areasonable care@ applicable in the circumstances in regards to environmental matters; Directors and officers of dairy farming corporations can be liable under the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and the federal Fisheries Act for the release of substances harmful to the environment or into water frequented by fish

Title: Legal Issues of Risk Management in Agriculture
Author: Russell A. Flint
Summary: Farmers must be aware of legal risks involving the use of agricultural property, and farm business risks. Farmers who fail to properly control their cattle can face liability. A farmer can be held liable for damages caused by substances which are used in accordance with common farming principles that escape from his property. There are several advantages for a dairy producer to operate his farm as a corporation.

Title: Policy Risk: Implications for Dairy Farm Management
Author: Scott R. Jeffrey
Summary: Given recent and potential future changes in the policy environment, policy risk is an important consideration for dairy producers in western Canada. In general, risk may be considered as an additional Acost@ associated with milk production, and should be treated as such in farm management decision making. Dairy producers in western Canada may have to consider alternative risk management strategies in the future, if there are changes in the current supply management system.

IV: Nutrition.

Title: Digestibility of Forage Fiber – Variation, Measurement, and Relationship to Animal Performance
Authors: Mike Allen and Masahito Oba
Summary: Fiber digestibility may be a key factor for maximizing milk production. Increasing fiber digestibility will increase the energy density of diets, will provide more energy to ruminal microbes which may increase microbial protein synthesis, and result in higher DMI. Although higher fiber digestibility can be expected to benefit all ruminants, it may be particularly beneficial to dairy cows in early lactation. These animals usually cannot consume sufficient energy to support requirements and they mobilize body reserves to sustain milk production.

Title: Factors Which Influence Forage Quality and Effectiveness in Dairy Rations
Author: Joe W. West
Summary: Different forage species vary greatly in their digestibility and intake potential. Compared with legumes, grasses often have greater fiber digestibility, but are slower to digest and may limit intake. Increasing maturity reduces digestibility and intake potential for forages, and the effect is greater for grasses than for legumes. Environment affects forage quality, and forages grown under high temperatures are usually of lower digestibility than those grown in cool conditions. Poor quality forage can not be overcome by simply adding more grain (energy) to the diet. Good quality forage provides the basics for sound ration formulation.

Title: Effective Fiber in Barley-Based Diets
Authors: Karen A. Beauchemin and Lyle M. Rode
Summary: Maintaining high ruminal digestion is critical for barley grain to maximize total tract digestion of feed. However, extensive processing also increases the degree of acidity in the rumen. It is important to maintain a balance between over-processing (acidosis, metabolic diseases) and under-processing (reduced digestibility and animal performance). The concentration of neutral detergent fiber from forage sources necessary to maintain 3.5% milk fat in diets based on barley is higher than that for diets based on corn. Extensive processing of barley grain and fine chopping of forages increases the need for forage fiber in the diet to avoid milk fat depression.

Title: Enzymes to Enhance Utilization of Feed in Dairy Cows
Authors: Lyle M. Rode and Karen A. Beauchemin
Summary: Fibrolytic enzymes can be a highly effective means of increasing milk production and diet digestibility in dairy cows consuming a wide range of feedstuffs. Enzymes with similar in vitro activity can differ greatly in their effectiveness when fed to cattle. Method of application is critical to successful use of enzyme technology.  Feed enzymes are more effective when a liquid preparation is sprayed on feed than when included in the diet in a dry formulation. Feed enzymes are more effective when applied to dry forage or concentrates than when applied to wet feeds.

Title: Balancing Minerals and Vitamins for Production, Reproduction and Health
Author: Tim Brown
Summary: Laboratory analyses of feedstuffs for mineral content are essential for balancing minerals in the diet. When selecting sources of supplemental minerals, only those of high bioavailability should be considered. The feeding of minerals in excess of established requirements should be avoided except in certain situations where more of a particular element has proven to provide benefits to the animal.

V: Getting the Most out of Feed Resources.

Title: Calf Management – Birth to Weaning
Author: Tim Brown
Summary: Minimizing calving difficulty provides calves that are more vigorous and easier to raise. Four liters of high quality colostrum within the first 12 hours of life are essential to survival.
Powdered milk replacers differ with regard to ingredient quality. Only those made of high quality ingredients should be fed. Providing clean water and high quality dry starter feed every day will increase growth rates and make weaning less traumatic.

Title: Profitable Forage Management Strategies
Author: Jim Spain

Title: Cost Effectiveness of Feed Additives
Author: Mike Hutjens
Summary: Additives must be cost effective before being included in dairy rations. The role of an additive must be defined and evaluated on individual farms. The additive must be included in the ration at an optimal level.

Title: Buffers – What and When to Use
Author: Joe W. West
Summary: Buffers are effective in maintaining rumen pH and elevating milk fat percentage. In early lactation, buffers can improve dry matter intake and milk yield. Buffers are most effective in diets based on corn silage and which are high in very fermentable carbohydrates. Diets based on alfalfa benefit little from buffering. Low content of forage, small forage particle size, very wet diets, diets high in fermented forages, and diets high in by-products with small particle size favor the use of buffers.

Title: Making Effective Use of Production Management Records
Author: Jim Spain
Summary: Complete and accurate production records should be used to make management decisions. A weak link analysis allows farm managers to prioritize management attention on those most critical weaknesses. Establish Management Action Plans (M.A.P.S.) to implement change. Management lists can be used to isolate cows into management groups that require special attention.

VI: Health and Production.

Title: Fine-Tuning Mastitis Control Programs
Author: Ken E. Leslie
Summary: Implementation of commonly recommended mastitis control practices will dramatically decrease the prevalence of contagious pathogens, but not necessarily reduce clinical mastitis caused by infections with environmental organisms. Udder health management that fulfills the three basic principles of eliminating existing infections, preventing new infections and monitoring udder health status are highly successful. A new udder health management program involving ten steps is now recommended as a comprehensive approach to mastitis control.

Title: Body Energy Management
Author: Dave K. Beede
Summary: Dairy cows must have adequate body energy reserves at the beginning of lactation to maximize milk production and become pregnant. Proper management of body energy begins in the previous lactation, through the dry period. Under-conditioned cows at dry-off must deposit body reserves during the dry period and should be provided the dietary energy to accomplish this via higher energy density diets and (or) by higher dry matter intake. Over-conditioned cows at dry-off and at parturition are more prone to metabolic disorders and suboptimal subsequent lactational performance.

Title: Preventing Abomasal Displacements
Author: Randy Shaver
Summary: Because of intake depression prior to calving and slow intake ascent post-calving, the transition period is the major risk period for abomasal displacements. Feeding and management practices that prevent other calving-related disorders reduce the risk of abomasal displacements. Cows that have excess body condition at calving are at increased risk of ketosis and abomasal displacements. Both excessive and minimal feeding of concentrates pre-calving may increase the risk of abomasal displacements.

Title: Manure Scoring as a Management Tool
Author: Charles C. Stallings
Summary: Manure scoring is not likely to become as popular as body condition scoring as a management tool. There are many factors that can impact on manure visual appearance, not all of which are nutritional. However, there are some things that can be said about observing changes in manure. Cows fed for production are likely to have feces that are more fluid in appearance than feces from cows fed higher fiber rations, although, fecal dry matter may be greater. High levels of ruminally degradable protein supplements can result in feces appearing more fluid, probably a result of increased water consumption in an effort to excrete excess nitrogen via the urine.