Session I. Reproductive Management

Keynote Speaker:

Title: The Key to a Successful Reproductive Management Program
Author: Ray L. Nebel
Summary: A calving interval of 13.5 months is an achievable goal that will produce higher daily milk yield and higher milk yield over the length of the lactation. Management must set standard operating procedures for all aspects of the reproduction program such as, heat detection, artificial insemination techniques, hormone injection protocol for synchronization program, and treatment of problem cows and policy established by management must be followed by all. Intensive management of the nutrition, feeding system, and environment of the periparturient  dairy cow during the transition period reduces the odds of disease and increases the odds of pregnancy in a timely manner.

Title: Effects of Nutrition on Fertility in Dairy Cows
Author: Maurice P. Boland
Summary: Fertility has declined significantly in lactating dairy cows. There are some effects of nutrition at the endocrine level; these are variable. Nutrition can influence follicular dynamics,  which in turn can alter fertility. Nutrition influences early embryo development and hence the potential to establish fertility. Treatments such as bST have both positive and negative effects on several aspects of fertility. Methods to manipulate follicular growth and oocyte quality may provide some guidance to improve in fertility in the long-term.

Title: Dietary Fatty Acids and Dairy Cow Fertility
Author: Divakar J. Ambrose
Summary: Polyunsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic (C18:2n-6), -linolenic (C18:3n3), eicosapentaenoic (C20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic (C22:6n-3) acids can affect reproductive function and fertility. Linoleic acid is found mainly in oilseeds, whereas -linolenic acid is found predominantly in forages and in some oilseeds (e.g. flaxseed); Eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic  acids are high in fish oils. Dairy cows fed diets high in eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (supplementation with menhaden fish meal) or -linolenic acid (supplementation with  flaxseed) during early pregnancy had reduced PGF2 production and increased pregnancy rates.

Title: Controlled Breeding Programs for Reproductive Management
Author: José Eduardo P. Santos
Summary: Manipulation of the estrous cycle to improve service rate and fertility usually impacts positively on PR. Pharmacological control of the estrous cycle involves synchronization of follicular development, control of corpus luteum (CL) regression, and synchronization of ovulation to improve conception and pregnancy rate. The ability to control the time of ovulation precisely with synchronization of ovulation protocols that combine recruitment of follicle growth associated with CL regression, and ultimately induction of a synchronized ovulation has allowed
for successful timed artificial insemination with adequate pregnancy rate.

Session II. Housing and Cow Comfort

Keynote Speaker:

Title: Nutritional Interactions Related to Dairy Shelter Design & Management
Author: Dan F. McFarland
Summary: The design and management of each animal shelter component (feeding, resting, drinking, floor surface, ventilation) can influence the willingness and ability for dairy cows to consume an adequate amount of dry matter. The design of the feeding area should provide a comfortable feeding experience for cows and convenient management for the caretaker. Good animal shelter and feeding area design can not make up for poor (or varying) feed quality or poor management. Even an engineer can feed a hungry cow!

Title: Interrelationships between Housing and Herd Health
Author: Ken Nordlund
Summary: There are myriad interactions between housing and health, some well understood and others that we likely have not yet recognized. In this paper, discussion will be limited to lameness and udder health.

Title: Auditing Cow Comfort – Video behind Barn Doors
Author: Neil G. Anderson
Summary: Astute producers are leading the way in cow comfort. Cows have feelings. Injury, pain, and fear affect cow behaviour, health, and performance. Cows respond to choices of systems, barn features, and management. Lameness, hock sores, and cleanliness are cow responses. Cows audit their care. Reading their report can be a challenge. Cow responses can be audited. Audits include assessments of cows, barn features, and management. Cow comfort scoring is a risk management tool. Cows have rights.

Title: A System to Evaluate Freestalls
Author: Ken Nordlund
Summary: Freestalls can be evaluated using four critical points of adequate surface cushion, adequate body resting space, lunge room for head thrust and an unobstructed “bob-zone”, and adequate height below and behind the neck rail. Surface cushion is the most important factor in determining stall usage. If the stall allows a full forward lunge, the configuration of the stall  divider has little importance. If side lunge is required, the exact height of the divider rails is critical.

Session III. Dairy Farm Policy

Keynote Speaker:

Title: New Zealand, Canada and the Future of the International Dairy Industry
Author: Wade Armstrong
Summary: Fundamental reforms have led to an increasingly efficient and innovative New Zealand dairy industry with the ability to supply consumers with quality products at low cost. While New Zealand (like Canada) is only a mediumsized producer of milk by world standards, 95% of New Zealand milk production is exported. New Zealand trades more dairy products internationally than any other country.

Title: Farm Level Management in Dairy: Does Policy Affect?
Author: Terry Betker
Summary: Policy impacts on dairies directly and indirectly, formally and informally. The pace of trade reform and related policy change is very gradual. However, change is underway,  evidenced domestically and internationally within the WTO. Shifting from day-to-day or operational planning to more formalized strategic planning will provide the best forum to deal with ongoing policy impacts. Past success is no guarantee of future success. There are numerous strategies that can be used to mitigate the risk that is related to changes in dairy policy. “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” Bertha Calloway

Title: Milk Protein Concentrate Imports: Implications for the North American Dairy Industry
Author: Kenneth W. Bailey
Summary: The TRQ system under the World Trade Agreement has some flaws. Despite the agreement among trading partners to the WTO, the food industry in North America has found creative ways to circumvent tariffs under the TRQ system. The new WTO round should deal with this problem of circumvention by accounting for all trade in milkfat and nonfat solids, and should move away from a product-based TRQ system. In other words, tariffs and quotas should be based on milk components, not tons of finished dairy products.

Title: Future Dairy Policy in Canada
Author: Rick Phillips
Summary: Canadian dairy policy has been relatively successful in obtaining its objectives with respect to producer returns and consumer outcomes. The Canadian domestic market is closer to the long run equilibrium situation economists predict will prevail than the current world market is. Deregulation where it has occurred has resulted in poorer policy outcomes for both producers and consumers. Canadian dairy policies will continue if it is the case that good and practical agricultural policies prevail over misguided economic thinking that doesn’t apply to dairy markets as we know them.

Session IV. Secrets to Success

Keynote Speaker:

Title: Grouping Strategies for Dry and Lactating Dairy Cows – The Southwest Experience
Author: Peter Robinson
Summary: Dairies in the southwest US are highly profitable, at least partly due to their grouping management decisions. Mature cows after dry-off, and heifers within 60 d of calving, are  commonly grouped separately and, within parity groups, are divided into far-off dry and transition dry groups, with the real break commonly found at about 14 days prepartum.

Title: New York versus Western Canadian Dairy Industry: A Personal Experience
Author: Steve Mason
Summary: With over 7,100 milk shippers and 700,000 cows, New York state produces approximately three times as much milk as the four provinces of western Canada. The productivity of New York Holsteins is similar to those in western Canada. At approximately 90 cows per farm, New York state dairies are, on average, larger than those in western Canada although farm sizes range from less than 10 cows to more than 3,000.

Title: Components of a Successful Heat Detection Program
Author: Ray L. Nebel
Summary: Visual heat detection programs have failed to identify the majority of cows in heat. The obvious difficulty in successfully identifying all periods of estrus is their brevity and obscurity. The expression of estrus in cycling cows requires good nutrition, excellent cow comfort, the best hoof health possible, consistency of procedures by all involved, and attention to details. The equal distribution of the onset of standing activity during the day combined with the average estrus duration of 7 hours dictate that observations should occur three to four times daily, approximately six to eight hours apart.

Title: Biosecurity: What Does it Mean?
Author: Gerald W. Ollis
Summary: Biosecurity can apply to many different levels, for example a single premise, a geographical region, an entire country, or parts of several neighboring countries. This presentation will focus on the need for biosecurity in the broadest sense and will not be restricted to a specific farm or business.

Title: Practical Ration Evaluation: Things to Look For To Determine If Your Nutritionist Is Doing a Good Job
Author: Gabriella A. Varga
Summary: Observation of the dairy facility and the cows is a necessary prerequisite prior to ration formulation. Records and benchmarks have to be determined by the nutritionist as part of the pre-work needed for ration balancing. Evaluation of the management abilities and human resources available is critical to determining if the nutritionist’s rations will be implemented
correctly. The expectations of the nutritionist and the goals for the farm need to be agreed upon prior to implementation of a nutritional program.

Session V. Forage Management

Keynote Speaker:

Title: How to Maintain Forage Quality during Harvest and Storage
Author: C. Alan Rotz
Summary: Rapid field curing is important and a good conditioner can help. Spread hay in wide swaths to further speed drying, but avoid very thin swaths to reduce raking loss. Bale hay at about 18% moisture in low-density bales, but use a lower moisture content for high-density large bales. Use good silo management (rapid filling, good packing and a tight cover) to maintain ensiled forage quality. When using silage bags or bale silage, check for punctures periodically to assure that a tight seal is maintained.

Title: Does Crop Health Management Improve Cereal Silage Production in Alberta?
Author: George Clayton
Summary: Integrated Crop Management (ICM) concepts focus on integrating all approaches to crop health, which are driven by the economic and ecological limits of the system. Higher seeding rates result in plant populations that create competitive barley stands and higher silage yield. Diversify crop rotations, either through barley variety or use of other crop types, to meet the production and management needs of the farmer. Normal date of silage harvest with low rates of herbicide can enhance wild oat management, but early-harvested silage can be a very effective wild oat management tool without herbicides.

Title: Corn Silage and Whole Sunflowers – Energy from the Prairie Sun to Your Cows
Author: Douglas Yungblut
Summary: Modern high producing dairy cows face a potentially serious energy deficit in early lactation. There are several ways of addressing this deficit, one of the best being to increase the energy density of the ration. Corn silage has the potential to be a high energy forage, but grain development is important to maximize the energy content of corn silage. The best way to ensure grain development is to select hybrids with the correct maturity. Proper storage and feed-out are critical in ensuring that the cows get the full value from a silage crop. Feeding fat is an excellent way to increase the energy density of dairy rations.

Title: Forage: How Much do Dairy Cows need in a Time of Scarcity?
Author: Karen Beauchemin
Summary: Lack of available good quality forages may prompt some producers to reduce the proportion of forage in the diet. It is possible to maintain high levels of production and animal health with low forage diets, however a higher level of management is required to be successful. Much more care must be taken in formulating low forage diets, particularly with barley diets. To prevent ruminal acidosis, starch content of the diet should not exceed 33%. In most cases, this corresponds to 21 to 23% forage NDF. Lower levels of forage fiber can be fed, but starch content must also be adjusted downward. Maintaining adequate forage particle size is critical in low forage diets.

Session VI. Managing Metabolic Disorders

Keynote Speaker:

Title: Herd-Based Biological Testing for Metabolic Disorders
Author: Garrett R. Oetzel
Summary: Herd-based testing can be used as part of an overall diagnostic scheme for solving herd problems. Biological test results do not stand alone, but must be corroborated by other herd data. Tests must be interpreted in light of the biology they evaluate; some are interpreted as the proportion of cows above or below a threshold, and others are interpreted as means. Minimum sample sizes are about 12 cows for proportional outcomes and 8 cows for mean outcomes.

Title: Transition Cow Management to Reduce Metabolic Diseases and Improve Reproductive Management
Author: José Eduardo P. Santos
Summary: Improvements in fertility in lactating dairy cows can be achieved by feeding management during the transition period aimed at reducing the incidence of metabolic disorder that might directly or indirectly impact reproductive function.

Title: Subacute Ruminal Acidosis in Dairy Cattle
Author: Garrett R. Oetzel
Summary: Ruminal acidosis is as much an important economic and health issue for dairy herds as it is for beef feedlots. Ruminal acidosis is the result of total intake of fermentable  carbohydrate and cannot be predicted by low fiber density alone. Cows possess a number of complex mechanisms to keep their ruminal pH above the biologic threshold of about 5.5. Cows self-correct low ruminal pH by eating less; lower production results. The clinical effects of subacute ruminal acidosis are delayed from the time of the acidotic insult. Milk fat depression is not a consistent feature of ruminal acidosis. Forage particle length and grain particle size are important determinants of the risk for subacute ruminal acidosis. High dry matter intake and over-eating following periods of feed deprivation are often over-looked as important causes of subacute ruminal acidosis.

Title: Trace Minerals in Production and Reproduction in Dairy Cows
Author: Maurice P. Boland
Summary: Fertility in dairy cows has declined significantly in the past 30-50 years. Factors that control the health of the follicle and oocyte are poorly understood. Trace minerals have a significant role to play in many aspects of production including fertility. Improvement in reproductive activity in males and females has been associated with supplementation of minerals, particularly when given in the organic state.

Session VIII. Managing for Profitability

Keynote Speaker:

Title: Do We Need Two Close Up Dry Cow Groups?
Author: Gabriella A. Varga
Summary: Nutrition and management during the transition period are essential in determining the profitability of the cow for the rest of her lactation. Dry cows need to be fed high quality consistent sources of feed. Feeding a one group TMR reduces labor input, allows easier management of feed delivery. The cost associated with feeding one ration throughout the entire dry period is easily offset when considering the costs associated with the treatment and lost production for one case of ketosis. Cow comfort and exercise are critical in assuring an excellent transition program for the high producing dairy cow

Title: Photoperiod Management of Dairy Cattle for Performance and Health
Author: Geoffrey E. Dahl
Summary: Lactating cows should be under long day photoperiod of 16 to 18 hours of light to increase milk production. In late pregnancy expose cows to short day photoperiod of less than 10
hours of light to maximize production and improve health status in the transition period.

Title: Whole Farm Impacts of Automatic Milking Systems
Author: C. Alan Rotz
Summary: A comprehensive assessment is needed when considering the purchase of an automatic milking system because many aspects of the farm are impacted beyond the obvious effects on milking equipment and labor requirements. An automatic milking system normally cannot be justified on an economic basis, but the long-term costs and returns can be similar to  conventional parlor systems when herd size is well matched to milking capacity. The decision to adopt automatic milking is normally driven by noneconomic issues such as the producer’s interest in new technology and the desire or need to alleviate the daily milking routine.

Title: Robotic Milking: The Future?
Author: Bart Geleynse
Summary: Some of the challenges that users of the technology face are capital cost, technical support, lifestyle, regulations, cull rates, milk quality and udder health. The benefits include lifestyle, low stress cow environment, labour issues, milk production, quality, and udder health. Robotics in one form or another will define dairies of the future.

Title: Milking Frequency Effects in Early Lactation
Author: Geoffrey E. Dahl
Summary: As little as 21 days of 4X milking early in lactation can increase yield throughout lactation. Prolactin increases at milking may be the mechanism to enhance mammary cell growth and thus milk yield. Frequent milking early in lactation can improve yields throughout that lactation with little additional cost.


Title: Conception Rates to Timed A.I. and to A.I. at Detected Estrus
Author: Divakar J. Ambrose, Pavol Zalkovic and Phyllis Day

Title: Effect of Dietary Energy and Protein Density on Body Composition in Dairy Heifers during the Peripubertal Period
Author: Chelikani, P. K., J. D. Ambrose, and J. J. Kennelly

Title: Effect of Canola Oil Supplementation on Nutrient Digestion and Milk Composition
Author: Chelikani, P. K., J. A. Bell, and J. J. Kennelly

Title: Leptin: A Multifunctional Signal from Fat
Author: Chelikani, P. K., D. R. Glimm, and J. J. Kennelly


Session I: Managing Reproduction — A Key to Profitable Dairy Farming

Title: Reproductive Health Programs
Author: James D. Ferguson
Summary:  Artificial insemination, reliance on human labour for estrus detection, and increased herd size combined with identification of the economic benefits of shorter calving intervals and specific therapies for specific reproductive pathologies furnished an environment conducive to marketing reproductive health programs for dairy herds (39). Scheduled fertility programs were offered by institutions and veterinary practices by the mid 1950’s (39) and are similar to programs employed on many farms today. Reproductive programs were promoted to reduce days open and the risk of culling problem cows. It was a reasonable inference that such programs would be cost effective for producers. Early comparisons demonstrated herds, or groups of cows with scheduled reproductive programs, had shorter calving intervals and fewer culls for reproductive failure when compared to herds not subscribing to such programs (2, 13).

Title: Achieving a Sound Reproductive Health Management Program
Author: Jack H. Britt
Summary: In order to have a sound reproductive management program, one must have definable goals for herd reproductive performance. Simple, achievable goals should provide the basis for the strategic herd health plan, and these goals should be consistent with profitable dairying.

Title: Improving Heat Detection in Tie-Stall and Free-Stall Environments
Author: Jack H. Britt
Summary: Catching cows in heat and breeding them at the right time using the correct artificial insemination procedures are necessary steps for successful reproductive management of a dairy herd. Regrettably, these steps can be neglected for days, weeks or even months before the economic consequences become apparent. Thus, the greatest challenge that one faces in motivating personnel to do a better job in these areas is persuading them that poor habits in catching heats and breeding cows lead to higher costs and lower incomes.

Title: An Economic Approach to Reproductive Programs in Dairy Herds
Authors: James D. Ferguson and David T. Galligan
Summary: Reproduction efficiency is an important management component that directly and indirectly influences the economic efficiency of a dairy operation (4,10) Direct effects are realized through controlling semen costs and by increasing the likelihood of an animal(s) remaining in the herd for future lactation(s). Indirect effects include the increased percentage of cow life spent in profitable milk (early lactation), increased rate of birth of herd replacements, increased rate of genetic gain through reduction in generation interval, and improved return on other cow interventions through reduced competitive risk.

Title: Constant Ration Density: the TMR Concept
Authors: Gordon Jones and Steve Stewart
Summary: A dairy cow has two types of digestive mechanisms: 1) a microbial system to digest fibrous material, and 2) a chemical system similar to humans and swine. A productive, economically efficient, healthy cow must by definition have a healthy rumen. Therefore, we must feed the rumen microbes first and the pig behind the rumen secondarily. It is of little value to feed or be concerned about post-ruminal digestion if rumen microbes are under severe stress.

Concurrent Session A1: Creating a Productive Environment

Title: Building for Cow Comfort
Authors: John Feddes, Barry Robinson and Robert Borg
Summary: The dairy cow’s environment has a profound affect on her productivity, health, and longevity. Free-stall surfaces are the number one factor that influence cow comfort. However, air quality is also important. Proper ventilation dries the barn in the winter and cools it in the summer. Barns and their equipment last longer if ventilation is adequate as surfaces remain dry.

Title: Manure Management: Turning a Potential Environmental Problem into a Valuable Resource
Authors: Rob Janzen and William McGill
Summary: Treating manure as a waste can lead to pollution, but treating manure as a resource protects the environment and may enhance profitability. Although the nitrogen and protein in manure estimated to be produced by confined animals (1991) has a value of $167 million, manure nutrients in Alberta tend to be wasted. Composting technology decreases the mass of manure to be distributed and produces material with value potentially greater than its nutrient content. Development of markets and of systems to supply markets will permit the potential value of manure and manure-derived products to be captured.

Concurrent Session A2 : Health and Management

Title: Udder Health is a Management Decision
Author: Richard Vanderwal
Summary: Udder health management is a focussed strategy built on specific milk quality goals. The level of mastitis in a herd is a dynamic interaction between the rate of new infections and the duration of existing infections. The keys to reducing the duration of new infections is to analyze antibiotic and supportive therapy rationale and options. The objective is to make management decisions on the basis of herd records and an understanding of the udder defense systems.

Title: Metabolic Diseases – The Symptoms of a Greater Problem?
Author: Steve Radostits
Summary: Most metabolic diseases occur during the period commencing at calving and ending at the peak of lactation. Therefore the feeding and management of the close-up dry cow and the fresh cow are the key to prevention. The dry cow period is not a rest phase, but rather a preparatory phase. Prepare for a trouble free, PROFITABLE, lactation by implementing carefully balanced far-away and close-up dry cow rations. Feed cows according to milk production AND body condition. Do not attempt to make body condition adjustments during the dry period.

Title: Identifying Limiting Nutritional Constraints to Profitability
Author: Michael F. Hutjens
Summary: Dairy managers should partition their feed costs to determine if all areas are price competitive compared to herds in their area at comparable production. Dry matter intake will be the key management factor to maximizing profitability including the role of forage quality, factors that limits consumption, and dry matter intake management factors. Purchased feeds should be portioned correctly to maximize profit responses based on milk yield and forage quality. Service is critical to profitability and must be evaluated.

Concurrent Session B1: Forages — The Foundation of Your Feeding Program

Title: Growing Quality Forages under Variable Environmental Conditions
Author: Dwayne R. Buxton
Summary: Forage age and maturity generally have a larger influence on forage quality than environmental factors. Plant environment, however, cause deviations in forage quality even when harvested at the same maturity. Temperature usually has greater influence on forage quality than other environmental factors. Although increasing temperature normally hastens maturity, the primary effect may be through its effect on the leaf/stem ratio with high temperatures promoting stem over leaf growth. Digestibility of both leaves and stems is lowered by warm temperatures because of resulting high cell-wall [estimated by neutral detergent fiber (NDF)] and low soluble sugar concentrations.

Title: Maintaining Forage Quality by Intensive Pasture Management
Author: E. Ann Clark
Summary: Variation in the nutritional value of pasture herbage has been identified as a key limitation to consistent, high levels of dairy cow performance on pasture. One solution is to adjust supplemental feeding, but another approach would seek to moderate or stabilize nutrition through improved grazing management, or what is termed management intensive grazing (MIG) in modern parlance.

Title: Maintaining and Enhancing Forage Quality During Harvest and Storage
Author: C. Alan Rotz
Summary: To maintain forage quality during harvest, rapid field drying is essential. Mechanical and chemical treatments can provide effective tools for speeding drying, but neither process can compensate for poor drying weather and/or thick dense swaths. Swath manipulation with a tedder or inverter can speed drying, but increased costs and losses caused by the operation may be greater than the average benefit received. Baling of moist hay can also reduce field curing time and harvest losses, but an effective treatment is needed to prevent excessive storage losses.

Title: Silage Additives – Profit Makers or Profit Takers?
Author: Limin Kung, Jr.
Summary: Silage additives are not substitutes for good management. Microbial inoculants can improve the nutritive value of silage, but not all inoculants are of equal value. Use of enzymes as silage additives has not resulted in consistent improvements in silage quality. Anhydrous ammonia and propionic acid can improve the aerobic stability of silages.

Title: Evaluating Alternative Technologies in Forage Production
Author: C. Alan Rotz
Summary: A computer simulation model of forage production and use provides a tool for evaluating forage technologies. The model, DAFOSYM, simulates alfalfa and corn growth, harvest, storage, feeding and use on a dairy farm. Forage losses and quality changes along with the use and costs of machines, structures, labour, fuel, chemicals, etc. are used to determine the profitability of forage systems. Simulation over many years of weather provides a long term evaluation of the performance and economics of alternative forage technology.

Concurrent Session B2: Marketing and Promotion

Title: Strategies for Successful Breeding and Marketing of Genetics in Domestic and Export Markets
Author: Richard Vanderwal
Summary: The Canadian Holstein today is less of a distinct bloodline, and more of a distinct philosophy. Top genetics exist in other countries, and we participate with them in creating global breed improvement strategies.Genetic Indices of sires and cows are important genetic tools, and need to be utilized in breeding decisions. However, the need for breeders to use their cow sense is increasingly important when we consider the use of changing management tools in the population, and the impacts they will have on the assumptions that underlie genetic evaluation models. Value-added cattle should be the result of a well-thought out breeding program. Our challenge today is to evaluate the cows in the barn in terms of profitable breeding goals, and to develop strategies to supply market demands.

Title: Investment in Advertising and Research in the Canadian Dairy Industry
Authors: Ellen Goddard and Apelu Tielu
Summary: The Canadian dairy industry has operated under supply management since the early 1970’s. Industrial milk quotas are administered at a national level, while fluid milk quotas are administered at a provincial level. Under supply management it is not possible for a producer to enter the industry or expand operations without purchasing existing quota. The industry has made planning and investment decisions regarding its long term livelihood under assumptions that supply management would continue unchanged, until recently. Changes to the supply management system agreed to as part of Canada’s obligation to the GATT have begun to take effect as of January 1995. These changes may radically affect industry investment decisions in activities such as promotion or research.

Title: New Product Development: An Analysis of the Processing Sector Investment in Research and the Success of the Products Developed.
Author: Lech Ozimek
Summary: An analysis of the food processing sector investment in Research and Development (R&D) and the success of the products developed shows that between 1984 and 1989, the annual number of new product introductions increased from 5,617 to 9,200 (2). From this volume only one product in ten ever makes it as far as consumer-testing, and only 10% of those ever make it to market. Therefore, it may be predicted that the market success of the products developed is in the range of 1%.

Title: Imitation Dairy Products: Are They Poised to Siphon the Profit out of the Dairy Industry?
Author: Earl Jenstad
Summary: The dairy industry has successfully preserved the purity and image of dairy products for several decades through legislation, standards of composition, quality, and safety assurance measures including the prohibition of imitation dairy products. The agreement to remove interprovincial barriers to trade, the GATT and NAFTA are causing us to redefine and restructure the rules of doing business.

Title: Yellow Gold – A Fresh Look at an Old Friend
Author: M. Tom Clandinin
Summary: The general public and health professionals hold a wide range of unfounded beliefs about diet fats. For example, many believe dairy fats are unhealthy. There is little evidence to suggest that reduction of palmitic acid in the diet of the normal individual will reduce his/her development of atherosclerosis. There is considerable evidence indicating that plasma cholesterol levels are genetically determined. The dairy industry should consider how to invest in developing NEW INFORMATION on old products and NEW PRODUCTS for high value added purposes.

Session II: A Vision for Dairy Production and Processing in Western Canada — What Will We Be Doing in 2010?

Title: The Canadian Dairy Industry in 2010 – A Producer’s Perspective
Author: Bruce Beattie
Summary: Dairy is seen by most governments as an essential part of a country’s economy. There are a number of good reasons for the special status that dairy farming has gained in the minds of governments, particularly in western society. Within our culture milk is considered to be an essential part of a healthy diet, and obviously with good reason given the size and health of our young generation. As well, dairy farms provide for a strong social fabric, allowing viable farms on smaller areas, therefore boosting rural culture and social structure. These are principles that should not be lost by governments intent on economic reforms.

Session III: Nutrition and Management

Title: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Changing to a TMR Feeding System
Author: Michael F. Hutjens
Summary: Adding TMR technology to existing facilities can return $46 per cow per year and pay off the entire investment in three years depending on herd size, milk increase, and initial investment based on a Wisconsin model with US inputs. A Missouri model indicated that a herd size of 100 cows or larger is needed to economically justify a new TMR system including feed storage and handling. Excellent success with TMR occurs if lead factors, commodity feeding, optimum grouping strategies, topdressing in tie stall barns, and bunk management occurs.

Title: Barley – As a Grain and Forage Source for Ruminants
Authors: John Kennelly, Erasmus Okine, and Reza Khorasani
Summary: Barley is the primary feed grain for ruminants in western Canada. Identification of barley varieties with the most desirable nutritional characteristics for ruminants is warranted. Animal nutritionists need to work closely with plant breeders to identify appropriate selection criteria.

Title: Commodity Feeds for Dairy Herds in Western Canada
Author: David Gibson
Summary: Commodity feeding versus traditional “complete” feeds appears to save between $25 to $30/tonne. However, partial budget analysis on a 200 cow operation shows a real savings of approximately $8/tonne. Feed program flexibility can be enhanced with commodity feeding, but it does require more nutritional advice to ensure its success. As less is purchased from a feedmill, the need for a nutritional consultant increases. Only producers milking at least 200 cows, and who enjoy and have the time to source commodities should consider commodity feeding.

Title: Dry Matter Intake and Milk Production
Author: Gordon Jones
Summary: Central to any discussion of dairy nutrition is a full grasp of the concept of dry matter intake (DMI). Dry matter intake is calculated by measuring the quantity of total feed intake per animal per day on a moisture-free basis. Several physiologic and management factors impact level of DMI and will be discussed later in more detail. However, one must be aware that DMI both drives milk production and is driven by milk production; i.e., the higher the DMI the higher the milk production and the higher the milk production the higher the DMI.