Session I. Motivating for Change

Keynote Speaker:

Title: Achieving Excellence in Dairying
Author: Gordie Jones
Summary: As today’s dairies expand, many of the tasks that were done by the owner are now done by employees. Making these tasks easy and enabling the employee to do the tasks alone are essential. Achieving excellence becomes a mission of motivation! With larger and larger dairies, dairymen often get lost in the details and miss how really simple a large dairy can be.

Title: 14,000 Kg and Beyond – Current Benchmarks and Future Challenges for Dairy Cattle Reproduction
Author: Paul Fricke
Summary: Reproductive efficiency in dairy cattle currently is suboptimal due to poor artificial insemination service rates and poor conception rates. The rate at which cows become pregnant in a dairy herd is called the pregnancy rate and is determined by an interaction between service rate and conception rate. Service rate (the percentage of eligible cows that are inseminated during a 21-day period) is poor due to inadequate estrus detection, poor expression of estrus behavior, and a high incidence of anovular cows during early lactation. Conception rate (the percentage of cows that conceive after a single AI service) is poor in lactating dairy cows due to a high incidence of embryonic loss during early gestation.

Title: Enhancing Profitability through Setting Strategic Feed Efficiency Targets
Author: Mike Hutjens
Summary: Feed or dairy efficiency reflects the amount of fat-corrected milk produced per unit of dry matter consumed with an optimal range of 1.4 to 1.6. Days in milk, age, growth, body weight change, forage quality, and environmental factors will impact feed efficiency values. Dairy managers should monitor feed efficiency as feeding and management changes occur on their farms to evaluate the impact.

Title: Using Feed Efficiency as a Ration Evaluation and Nutrient Management Tool
Author: Mary Beth Hall
Summary: Feed efficiency for dry matter intake or protein can give an idea of how well cows are using a ration. Unless the cow is losing body weight, higher efficiency means more feed is being converted to milk. Feed efficiency can be improved by reducing other demands for energy or nutrients such as excessive walking or standing, heat stress, cold stress, etc. A ration that is not  properly balanced or managed, including a ration that cause ruminal acidosis, decreases feed efficiency. Improving feed efficiency can reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus excreted in the manure.

Session II. Cow Comfort: Designing good Environments for Cows

Keynote Speaker:

Title: Designing Better Environments for Dairy Cattle to Rest
Author: Dan Weary
Summary: Adequate rest is essential to maintain the health, welfare, and productivity of dairy cows. Good stall design is essential to allow cows enough time to rest. Hard flooring or lack of bedding in both free-stalls and tie-stalls reduces the time that cows spend resting and increases the time they stand in the stalls. Cattle spend less time lying down and more time standing with their front legs in free-stalls that are too narrow.

Title: Designing Better Environments for Cows to Walk and Stand
Author: Jeff Rushen
Summary: Lameness is one of the most serious ailments facing dairy cows, and inappropriate flooring has been implicated as a cause. Use of concrete flooring has been associated with increased hoof problems. Increasing both the softness and the degree of surface friction of the floor improves cow mobility and reduces the risk of injury from falls. Softer flooring in front of feed bunks can increase the time cattle spend close to the feeder and may increase feed intake.

Title: Designing Better Environments for Cows to Feed
Author: Marina von Keyserlingk
Summary: Creating comfortable environments for feeding is one important focus of current research within the UBC Animal Welfare Program. Lactating cows spend about one-quarter of their day at the feed bunk. Providing more space at the feed bunk increases feeding time and reduces competition among lactating dairy cows. Providing rubber flooring for the cows to stand on did not affect the amount of time they spent eating, but does increase slightly the time spent standing in this area.

Title: Designing Good Environments and Management for Calves
Author: Anne Marie de Passillé
Summary: Calves can be reared successfully in small groups with computerised milk and grain feeders. Calf growth and health is as good as in individual pens. Automated calf feeders greatly reduce labour and reduce weaning age. Calves do well on high milk intakes: growth, health and feed efficiency is improved. Increasing calves’ milk allowance is simplified by the computerised feeding system. Group rearing of calves with a computerized feeding system works best when calves have had adequate colostrum, groups sizes are small, crosssucking is controlled by allowing calves sufficient time to suck, milk allowance is adequate, and grain intake is encouraged by appropriate weaning techniques.

Session III. Dairy Farm Policy

Keynote Speaker:

Title: Regionalization vs. Globalization of the World Dairy Economy: Conflict or Complementarity?
Author: Philippe Jachnik
Summary: This communication addresses the issue of globalization vs. regionalization of the world dairy economy through international trade in dairy products on the one hand, through internationalization of dairy and food companies on the other.

Title: What Happens If There Is Progress On Multilateral Dairy Trade Negotiations???
Author: Tom Cox
Summary: The world dairy sector is heavily distorted by domestic and trade policies. The price support, border protection and surplus disposal policies in key OECD countries benefit their dairy producers by keeping domestic dairy prices above world market levels. Due to high domestic dairy prices, protectionist policies in OECD countries tend to generate surpluses of milk and dairy products. These surpluses are exported with considerable subsidy, depressing world market prices, inhibiting the potential for domestic milk and dairy production in developing countries.

Title: Working to Get Back on Track: An Update on the WTO Agriculture Negotiations
Author: Steve Verheul
Summary: Achieving a level international playing field is Canada’s primary objective in the World Trade Organization (WTO) agriculture negotiations. Canada is seeking the complete  elimination of export subsidies as quickly as possible, the maximum possible reduction or elimination of trade-distorting domestic support, and substantial market access improvements for all agriculture and agri-food products.

Title: Can the Canadian Supply Management System Survive with Some Producers Marketing Milk Only for Export – The Ontario Experience and Perspective
Author: Bob Bishop
Summary: Operationally you cannot have two milk production and distribution systems without creating resentment and conflict that will destroy one or the other system. Accommodating decisions/directions by OMAF, DFAIT, AGCAN, AFRAAT and DFO toward a small group of producers has caused a lengthy legal process, caused trade risk and put the very existence of the supply
management system in jeopardy.

Session IV. Maximizing the Genetic Potential of Your Replacement Heifers

Keynote Speaker:

Title: Accelerated Replacement Heifer Feeding Programs
Author: Mike Hutjens
Summary: A modified accelerated calf feeding program should be implemented on dairy farms. A specific milk replacer and calf starter are needed to achieve optimal frame growth and  performance. Health status must be monitored to ensure healthy calves and minimize stress. An aggressive feeding and management program must be maintained to ensure early growth  advantages are maintained after 12 months of age.

Title: From Birth to Puberty
Author: Michael Murphy
Summary: The calf should weigh over 80 kg at weaning and over 110 kg at three months of age. Special diets can help achieve this. The heifer must increase in body size, volume, as well as  weight for successful calving at 22 –24 months of age. It is possible to achieve this with good quality silage if specific protein needs are met.

Title: Strategies for Optimizing Reproductive Management of Dairy Heifers
Author: Paul Fricke
Summary: The overall goal of a replacement heifer program is to rear heifers to reach a desired age and body weight early so that they initiate puberty, establish pregnancy, and calve easily at a minimal cost. The economic advantages of using AI to breed dairy heifers exceed those realized when using AI exclusively to breed lactating cows. The rate at which heifers become pregnant after reaching puberty is determined by an interaction between service rate and conception rate. The primary reason for synchronizing estrus in dairy heifers is to facilitate use of artificial insemination.
New protocols for synchronization of ovulation and timed AI of dairy heifers are currently being developed.

Title: Milk Quality Programs for Heifers and Transition Cows
Author: Leo Timms
Summary: Mastitis in transition cows and heifers can be a major contributor to herd mastitis problems! The early dry period and last few weeks before calving are high-risk mastitis periods! A mastitis surveillance program based on SCC/ culture must be in place early postpartum! Prevention and treatment strategies must be organism based so cultures are critical! Prevention should focus on controlling or minimizing organism exposure, optimizing teat end health, and maximizing animal immunity.

Session V. Advanced Feeding Technologies

Keynote Speaker:

Title: The Silage Triangle and Important Silage Practices Often Overlooked
Author: Keith Bolsen

Title: Making the Most of Grass-Based Forages in Diet Formulation
Author: Michael Murphy
Summary: NDF (Neutral Detergent Fiber) intake even for high producing dairy cows can be as much as 1.4 or 1.5 % of body weight if the quality of the fiber is accounted for and the ration is fully balanced with regards to rumen degradation. It is necessary to stimulate the entire rumen microbial ecology by supplying different carbohydrates to obtain maximum rumen degradation. It is possible to adapt dynamic principles of outflow and degradation to simple figures for use in the field.

Title: Evaluating Rations from a Whole Farm Perspective
Author: Mary Beth Hall
Summary: To properly evaluate a ration, you need to look at more than the ration formulation on paper. Appraise all things that can affect how well the ration is being used by the cows for  production. Change what you must to make sure that whole farm system supports healthy, productive cows.

Title: Feed Bunk Management to Maximize Feed Intake
Author: Keith Bolsen
Summary: Effective communication and teamwork between the feed caller, feed truck driver, feed mill operator, nutritionist, veterinarian, and even office staff are essential for a successful feed bunk management system on a dairy operation.

Session VI. Transition Cows

Title: Controlling Energy Balance in Early Lactation
Author: Mark McGuire
Summary: The determination of energy balance is normally calculated using energy in minus energy out, which includes many estimates that can impact the result. Cows can use energy reserves in early lactation to support milk production. Cows return to energy balance by 6 to 7 weeks in lactation. High producing cows will consume more feed than lower producing cows to meet their energy needs for greater milk production. Dry matter intake, not milk yield, is the driving force behind energy balance in early lactation. Milk production is not related to body condition score or use of body reserves.

Title: A Fresh Look at Feeding the Transition Cow When Using High Forage Diets
Author: Frank O’Mara
Summary: Cows on high forage diets may be in negative energy balance for several weeks before calving but they suffer a smaller decline in pre-calving dry matter intake than cows on diets including concentrates. If cows are in poor condition score (< 3.0 on a 5 point scale) approaching calving, some supplementary feeding in the close-up dry period is likely to benefit them in terms of milk production because the cow has increased energy reserves to use for milk production. If forage quality in the dry period is moderate or poor, some supplementary feeding in the close-up dry period is like to benefit cows in terms of milk production. There is no evidence that feeding large quantities of a bulky forage like straw in the close-up dry period has any subsequent positive effect on intake or milk production.

Session VII. Managing for Profitability

Keynote Speaker:

Title: Increasing Your Dairy’s Profits with a Proper Milking Routine
Author: Andy Johnson
Summary: Strip 2-3 squirts of milk from each teat. Predip teats and cover at least 90% of teat and make sure the predip is stays on for a minimum of 30 seconds. Wipe teats dry making sure to clean teat wall and teat ends. Attach unit to the cow’s teats 75-90 seconds after stripping. Post dip with effective product and get 90% coverage.

Title: Is a Dry Period Really Necessary?
Author: Mark McGuire
Summary: Most studies evaluating length of dry period are retrospective analyses of data with significant bias possible. New studies have shown that cows given dry periods of less than 40 d are
capable of producing similar milk yields in the next lactation. Cows can produce substantial amounts of milk right up to calving. A lack of a dry period does not alter milk production after calving in cows entering their 3rd or greater lactation. Use of bST improves milk yield in late and early lactation in continuously milked mature cows.

Title: The Environment and Mastitis Control
Author: Andy Johnson

Title: Greenhouse Gas Production from Dairying: Reducing Methane Production
Author: Frank O’Mara
Summary: Methane is 21 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas (GHG), and dairy cows typically produce 118 kg methane/year, which is over twice that produced by other non-lactating cattle. Evaluation of strategies to reduce methane production should consider the effects on total farm greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing productivity per cow will reduce methane emissions per kg of milk and total farm GHG emissions where milk production is fixed, although the effect on total farm emissions needs further clarification. A lower culling rate will reduce farm methane and total GHG emissions.


Title: The Effect of Freestall Maintenance on Cow Comfort
Authors: Michelle Drissler, Marek Gaworski, Cassandra B. Tucker, and Daniel M. Weary

Title: Effect of Forage Source on Requirements of Particle Size of Lactating Dairy Cows
Authors: Wen Z. Yang and Karen A. Beauchemin

Title: Animal Welfare: New Insight through Genomics Research
Authors: D. R. Glimm, J. Rushen, A. M. de Passillé, F. Dong, P. K. Chelikani, and J. J. Kennelly

Title: Increasing the Level of CLA in Milk Fat Has No Effect on the Sensory Characteristics of Milk
Authors: Bell, J.A. and Kennelly, J.J.

Title: Producing CLA-Enriched Milk Using Dairy Nutrition: Research Summary
Authors: Khorasani, G.R, N. Beswick, J.A. Bell, and J.J. Kennelly

Title: Gene Expression Profiling to Discover Genes Controlling Feed Intake in Dairy Cattle
Authors: D.R. Glimm, F. Dong, P.K. Chelikani, E.K. Okine, G.R. Khorasani, and J.J. Kennelly

Title: Tissue Distribution of Leptin and Leptin Receptor Gene Expression in Holstein Cattle
Authors: P.K. Chelikani, D.R. Glimm, F. Dong, and J.J. Kennelly

Title: Bioproduct Development: Combining the Wisdom of Nature with the Power of Biotechnology to Enhance the Healthfulness of Milk
Authors: D.R. Glimm, F. Dong, G.R. Khorasani, and J.J. Kennelly

Title: Evaluation of the Relative Efficacy of Feeding Processed (Ground) Oilseeds versus Feeding Extracted Oil for CLA Production
Authors: Kennelly, J. J., N. Beswick, and G.R. Khorasani


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


Keynote Speaker:

Title: Integrated Dairy Farm Management
Author: Barbara Dartt
Summary: Small business owners are required to fill each of the three key roles necessary in any business: worker/technician, manager and leader/entrepreneur. Because many dairy producers are production oriented, they spend a majority of their time in the technician role, neglecting management and leadership roles. Transitioning to an emphasis on strategic planning is difficult, but can pay many dividends including improved quality-of-life, profitability and sustainability.

Session I. Management, Nutrition and Health

Title: Transition Cow Programs — The Good, The Bad, And How to Keep Them from Getting Ugly
Author: Thomas R. Overton
Summary: Transition cow management underpins production and profitability on dairy farms. Aggressive monitoring programs for fresh cows prevent cascades of metabolic disorders and improve profitability. We must “manage metabolism” of transition cows by maximizing dry matter intake and ruminal fermentation to optimize glucose supply and minimize problems with metabolism of nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) by the liver

Title: Protein and Energy Needs of the Transition Cow
Author: Gabriella A. Varga
Summary: Dry matter intake may be decreased 10 to 30% during the period three weeks prior to calving. The last 3 weeks prior to calving it is recommended that energy density should be in the range of 1.5 to 1.6 Mcal NEl/kg DM, CP in the range of 13-14%, NFC between 33 to 38% and NDF >32%. More information is needed regarding the metabolizable protein and energy needs of the fetus, placenta, fetal fluids, uterus and mammary gland during the dry period.

Title: Impact of Rumensin on the Health of the Transition Dairy Cow
Author: Todd Duffield
Summary: Rumensinâ administered in the transition period improves energy balance in early lactation. Improved energy balance reduces the risk of energy associated disease such as ketosis, abomasal displacement and retained placenta. The Rumensinâ controlled release capsule (CRC) has been studied more extensively than feed delivered monensin for its impact on health.  The Rumensinâ CRC ensures a consistent daily dose of monensin that is independent of variable feed intake fluctuations both before and after calving.

Keynote Speaker:

Title: Reproductive Management of Cows in High-Producing Herds
Author: Jeffrey S. Stevenson
Summary: Challenges facing high milk-producing cows limit their reproductive efficiency: interrelationships among body condition, DM intake, transition from the dry period to lactation, onset of normal estrous cycles, detection of estrus, and embryonic survival. Attention is required to details associated with diet formulation; feed bunk management; cow comfort in free stalls, holding pen, and milking parlor during extremes of temperature and humidity; proper hoof care; milking management and mastitis prevention; control of ovulation and estrus; and early nonpregnancy diagnosis.

Session II. Heifer Feeding and Management

Title: Growth Standards and Nutrient Requirements for Dairy Heifers – Weaning to Calving
Author: Robert E. James
Summary: Age and size at first calving has a large bearing on lifetime production and profit. Holstein heifers should calve the first time by 22 to 24 months of age weighing 550 – 600 kg. In addition to body size at calving, rate of growth during various times of the rearing period can have an impact on mammary development, and lifetime performance.

Title: The Advantages of “Accelerated Growth” in Heifer Rearing
Author: Mike Van Amburgh
Summary: Profitability of the heifer enterprise is an integration of our understanding of the biology of heifer growth and the management necessary to accomplish appropriate growth in the most timely and cost effective manner. The concept of accelerated growth has been receiving additional attention. Our definition of the concept involves a systematic approach to redefining nutrient requirements from birth and setting specific targets and goals from the day of birth that appear to more closely resemble “normal growth”.

Title: Heifer Management Programs for Large and Small Operations
Author: Robert E. James
Summary: The dairy heifer grower must produce a higher quality product (the heifer) at a lower cost than the producer. Cost control is achieved with close attention to feeding, labor efficiency and effective health programs. Quality is assured when the grower can document desired growth through effective performance monitoring programs and records.

Title: Calf Management: Improving Calf Welfare and Production
Author: Daniel M Weary
Summary: Calves kept with the cow for 2 weeks gain weight at more than 3 times the rate of conventionally reared (i.e. early-separated and fed milk at 10% body weight / day) calves. Calves fed as much as they want (ad libitum) drink about twice as much milk but gain weight at twice the rate of conventionally fed calves. Ad libitum teat-fed calves can be successfully reared in small  groups.

Session III. Housing, Equipment and Management

Title: Cow Flow: Impact of Management Changes on Group and Herd Size
Author: Barbara Dartt
Summary: Anticipating fluctuations in milking herd size is a key step to both projecting cash flow streams and managing quota. Accurately budgeting cash flow streams is important when determining the financial feasibility of an expansion. Purchasing large numbers of springing heifers or milking cows without associated youngstock means that additional cattle will need to be purchased to maintain herd size for at least two years. Accurately budgeting the timing and magnitude of these purchases is important to the financial feasibility of an expansion.

Title: Pricing Feed Ingredients on the Basis of their Nutritional Value
Author: Normand R. St-Pierre
Summary: In many instances, nutritionists, feed manufacturers, dairy producers and their advisor need an estimate of what a feed is worth on a nutritional basis to facilitate the formulation of balanced diets and the purchase of appropriate and price competitive feedstuffs. Up until now, all methods used shared common flaws. We derived a maximum likelihood method that uses composition and prices of all feedstuffs traded in a given market to estimate unit costs of nutrients and break-even prices of feedstuffs.

Title: Lighting – A Natural Way to Increase Milk Production
Author: P.A. (Paul) Wasney
Summary: Research in Canada, USA and elsewhere suggests that cows may produce more milk when lighting intensity (expressed in foot candles (FC)), in the housing facility for the milking herd is bright (16 – 20 FC), stays on for a continuous period of 16 – 18 hours, and is well distributed throughout the area. Typical increases in milk productivity can range from 5 to 16 per cent. Ongoing research also indicates cows need a daily dark interval of at least 4 hours and therefore continuous 24 hour lighting is not necessary or else the effect of improved lighting may be lost.

Title: Stall Design: Enhancing Cow Comfort
Author: Daniel M. Weary
Summary: Research on cow comfort examines cow preferences, stall usage, and  other factors including injuries and udder health. For example, cows prefer to lie down on softer surfaces, they spend more time lying down on softer surfaces, and use of softer surfaces reduces injuries to both front and hind legs. New Canadian research is beginning to provide a sound, scientific basis for recommended stall design.

Title: Healthy Livers Make for Healthy Cows
Author: Thomas R. Overton
Summary: Transition cows must exquisitely coordinate their metabolism to meet tremendous increases in nutrient demand during early lactation. These include adaptations in whole-body glucose metabolism and liver-specific adaptations relative to utilization of individual substrates for glucose synthesis. Mobilization of nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) from body fat during the transition period appears to present challenges to the capacity of liver to synthesize glucose, either directly or indirectly through impaired capacity of liver to detoxify ammonia to urea.

Session IV. Human and Animal Health

Title: Changing Consumer Demand for Dairy Products
Author: Katherine Loughlin
Summary: The consumer of the 21st century continues to evolve in terms of shopping, cooking and eating preferences and habits. This presentation will explore the impact of demographics and the changing consumer tastes and habits with reference to the potential impact on the dairy industry.

Title: Opportunities for Genetic Selection to Increase Milk Quality
Author: Dorian J. Garrick
Summary: The value of milk to the producer depends upon its true value and the payment system adopted by the industry. Altering the composition of milk by genetic means can be achieved by selection, crossbreeding and transgenic approaches. The impact of within-breed selection on the quality of milk is affected by the relative emphasis placed on milk quality compared to other attributes that comprise the selection objective.

Title: Production of Low Fat Milk by Diet Induced Milk Fat Depression
Author: J. Mikko Griinari
Summary: Biohydrogenation theory may represent the unifying theory that explains the basis of diet induced milk fat depression (MFD). Simple feeding strategy to depress milk fat, involving dietary supplementation with one or several CLA isomers, is available. Optimal feeding strategies using CLAs to induce MFD are yet to be defined.

Title: Conjugated Linoleic Acid Enriched Milk: A Designer Milk with Potential
Author: John A. Bell
Summary: Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a naturally occurring component of ruminant milk fat with potent cancer-fighting properties. The concentration of CLA in bovine milk is strongly influenced by diet. Manipulation of the animal’s diet can result in a 10 fold increase in the concentration of CLA in milk. Consumption of CLA enriched milk could provide considerable benefits for human health.

Title: Is Antibiotic Use in Dairy Cattle Causing Antibiotic Resistance?
Author: T. A. McAllister
Summary: Antibiotics are important tools for managing disease in dairy cattle. Because of microbial evolution, use of antibiotics will invariably result in some degree of microbial resistance to antibiotics. Prudent use of antibiotics can reduce the risk and extent of microbial resistance. Antibiotics should not be used as a substitute for good management practices.

Keynote Speaker:

Title: Potential Of Biotech Crops as Livestock Feed
Author: Gary F. Hartnell
Summary: The ability to introduce DNA directly into crop plants enables a selective plant improvement process that promises to continue to enhance agricultural productivity as well as being environmentally sustainable. While biotechnology provides an important tool to help address many of these challenges, this tool must be effectively integrated with the best current agricultural practices that encompass the most productive and environmentally appropriate technologies around the world.

Session V. Environmental Stewardship

Title: Economic Factors Affecting Nutrient Balance on Dairy Farms
Author: Normand R. St-Pierre
Summary: The contribution of nutrition and management to reduction in nitrogen excretion while maintaining the total national supply of milk can be funneled through one or more of the five following routes: From a better definition and targeting of optimum allocation of inputs (i.e., operate at optimum), From increased animal productivity (reduction of 8% in national N excretion from a 25% increase in cow milk production), From an improved knowledge of the biology included (reduction of 8% in N excretion), From feeding larger herds with larger and more numerous pens (reduction of 8% in N excretion from feeding 6 groups vs. a one-group TMR), and From technical shifts (e.g., protected amino acids).

Title: Nutrient Management on Dairy Farms – Development and Application of the Cornell University Nutrient Management Planning System – a Case Study
Author: Mike Van Amburgh
Summary: With expanded knowledge and an increase in herd size to maintain profitability and economic sustainability, environmental sustainability has become as important an issue as profitability. With a greater emphasis on environmental issues, decisions become much more global, and the amount of information that needs to be accounted for can be overwhelming.

Title: Efficient Nutrient Management for Quality Forages
Author: Loraine Bailey
Summary: The highest yields and the best quality forages are produced on soils with high productivity capacity when plant nutrient, soil water and soil chemistry are optimum for plant growth and development. Legumes and grasses are heavy users of plant nutrients. Consequently, effective fertilizer management is a critical component in forage production, not only to improve financial returns, but also to maintain soil quality and reduce the likelihood of damage to the environment.

Title: Using Dairy Slurry for Sustainable Crop Production: Short Term and Long Term Effects
Author: Shabtai Bittman
Use manure as the main source of nutrients for your grass crops. Test manure for mineral N content with the Agros or Nova Meter. Apply manure with surface banding equipment such as the sleighfoot or Aerway SSD applicators. Apply manure at about two thirds of recommended rates of mineral N according to the Agros meter. Conduct test strips with contrasting rates of manure and/or fertilizer to compare response. Soil sample fields in Oct. for residual levels of nitrate, phosphorus and potassium.

Session VI. Future Dairy Policy, Home and Abroad

Title: Trade Liberalization and the Canadian Dairy Sector
Author: Danny G. Le Roy
Summary: The price and quantity supplied of raw milk in Canada is determined using a supply management system rather than the free interaction of supply and demand. The ability of the supply management system to realize dairy policy goals depends on: over-quota tariffs remaining high; minimum access levels remaining small; restrictions on raw milk supply. The next round of multilateral trade negotiations will expand minimum access and reduce tariffs.

Title: The Future of the Dairy Industry in Canada
Author: Robert Romain
Summary: There is now a strong
and irreversible trend towards increased market liberalization, i.e. the reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers. Policies that isolate the domestic market from international competition will increasingly be challenged. In fact, supply management in the dairy sector has already been challenged by the United States and New-Zealand. The decision of the WTO Panel was partly in favour of the complaining parties and adjustments to the marketing system had to be made.

Title: Future U.S. Dairy Policy: The Next Farm Bill
Author: Robert Cropp
Summary: For better than 50 years two federal programs have impacted farm level milk prices, the federal dairy price support program, which is national in scope, and federal milk marketing orders, which are voluntary and apply to about 70% of U.S Grade A milk supply. The two programs work together to provide some price stability and to enhance farm level milk prices.

Title: Recent Pre- and Post-Farm Gate Developments in the New Zealand Dairy Industry
Author: Dorian J. Garrick
Summary: The current system of dairy production in New Zealand is characterised by seasonal supply from a pasture-based diet. Most milk is processed and exported as commodity products to world markets. Dairy farm returns are subject to cost-price squeeze, necessitating many actions to maintain or increase profitability. Dairy companies and factories have merged to obtain economies of scale. Two companies now process over 95% of the milk.

Session VIII. Reproduction

Title: Synchronization of Estrus and Ovulation in Dairy Cows
Author: Jeffrey S. Stevenson
Summary: Management of the estrous cycle is now more practical than it was a decade ago because of our understanding of ovarian follicular waves. With availability of three gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) products and at least three prostaglandin products, the cycle can be controlled for timed artificial inseminations (TAI) with little loss in conception rate compared to inseminations made after detected estrus. Various systems are effective for programming first inseminations with or without some heat detection.

Title: Computerized Heat Detection
Author: John P. Kastelic
Summary: Conception rates are highest when cows are inseminated from 5 to 16 h after the first mount. The efficiency of visual detection of estrus is < 50% in most dairy herds and 5 to 30% of inseminations occur in cows that are not in estrus. Walking activity increases around the time of estrus and can be measured with a pedometer. Pedometers will detect 70 to 80% of cows that are in estrus. Pressure-sensing devices can provide efficient and accurate monitoring of mounting activity in cattle.

Session IX. Manure Management

Title: Impact of Intensive Livestock Operations on Water Quality
Author: Jim J. Miller
Summary: Estimates of manure production from 1992 census data showed that Alberta produced the largest quantity of cattle and hog manure, and British Columbia the largest amount of  poultry manure in Canada. Updated estimates based on 1999 and 2000 census data revealed that Alberta still produced the highest quantity of cattle manure, but Manitoba produced the most hog manure, and British Columbia the largest amount of poultry (layers) manure. Nutrients, soluble salts, pathogens, heavy metals and organic chemicals in the manure have the potential to pose a threat to water quality if the soil is used as an infinite sink.

Title: Odours from Intensive Livestock Operations
Author: Sean M. McGinn
Summary: Odour intensity associated with livestock facilities consists of a multitude of organic and inorganic compounds. Odorous organic compounds result from incomplete anaerobic  breakdown of manure; urea in urine is quickly lost as ammonia. Dispersion greatly reduces exposure to high concentrations but odour can still linger out to 1 km from a livestock facility. Management strategies can reduce odour and enhance the value of manure as a crop fertilizer

Title: Composting: An Alternative Approach to Manure Management
Author: Jerry Leonard
Summary: Composting is an environmentally viable option for dairy manure management, and may be carried out in a variety of ways ranging from simple, low cost, passive piles to  sophisticated, automatically controlled in-vessel systems.


Title: Cows with Cystic Ovaries Conceive Normally to Ovsynch and Timed A.I.
Author: Divakar J. Ambrose

Title: Pregnancy Rates after CIDR-Based Timed A.I. Using Gnrh or Estradiol Cypionate in Dairy Heifers
Authors: Divakar J. Ambrose, John P. Kastelic, Raja Rajamahendran

Title: Producing Conjugated Linoleic Acid Enriched Milk Through Practical Dairy Nutrition.
Authors: J.A. Bell and J.J. Kennelly

Title: Prediction Of Fertility Of Young Sires Using In Vitro Tests
Authors: G. Giritharan, P. Madan, K.M. Cheng, R. Rajamahendran

Title: Effects of Physically Effective Fibre on Chewing and Ruminal pH
Authors: Wen Z. Yang and Karen A. Beauchemin


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.