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



Title: Dairy Cattle Breeding – Are We Heading in the Right Direction?
Author: Ted Burnside
Summary: Young dairy sires being entered into progeny test programs in 1997 will set the standards for dairy improvement by the year 2000 as they achieve their first progeny tests. AI centres are maturing and consolidating into breeding companies today. Can we expect them to be as aware of the needs of the dairy farmer as they have been in the past, and will they be able to cater to individual concerns as well as they have in the past?

1. Feeding and Management

Title: Management of Dairy Replacement Calves from Weaning to Calving
Author: James D. Quigley
Summary: Raising heifers from weaning to calving involves proper planning, nutrition, and management. Rates of body weight (BW) gain are important to ensure that heifers are large enough to breed by 13 to 14 months of age at 340 to 380 kg. However, excess rates of BW gain – especially prior to puberty – can permanently reduce milk production. Heifers should be managed and fed to maintain 0.77 to 0.82 kg of BW gain daily. Body condition near calving should be 3.5 to 4.0. Ration quality – especially forage quality – is key to ensuring adequate rates of BW gain and achieving calving goals.

Title: Feeding and Managing High-Yielding Dairy Cows
Author: Carl E. Coppock
Summary: In mild to cold weather, nutrition is likely the most widely limiting constraint to higher milk production. By-products/co-products provide a major source of feed nutrients for dairy cattle, though there are few free lunches. The majority of high-yielding cows are fed via the TMR system because of its inherent advantages. Milking 3X is successful where managers recognize the need for additional feed and rapid flow through the milking operation.

Title: The Effects of Forage Quality on Performance and Cost of Feeding Lactating Dairy Cows
Authors: Jim Linn and Carla Kuehn
Summary: Forage quality can impact dairy producers through their effects on milk production, feed costs, and cow health. High quality legume/grass forages of 125 relative feed value (RFV) or higher with over 20% of their weight in particle lengths of 3.8 cm or greater are needed in lactating cow diets. Forages of lower quality are consumed slower and in less quantity, and thus provide less nutrients to the animal. Diets containing 21% NDF from high quality forages will return more milk production and reduce off-farm feed costs.

Title: Managing Dairy Feed, Manure, and Fertilizer in Nutrient Cycles
Author: Douglas Beegle
Summary: Nutrient management is not a once and done activity, it is an on-going cyclical process of assessment, management option selection, planning, implementation, and then back to assessment. Nutrient Management plans are not one size fits all plans. They must be tailored to the individual situation on each farm. Dairy farms with low animal density need to manage manure for maximum efficiency to reduce fertilizer purchases. Dairy farms with high animal density need to manage manure for maximum on-farm utilization of manure in an environmentally safe manner.

Title: Using Composted Dairy Manure
Author: Douglas Beegle
Summary: Composting is the aerobic, or oxygen requiring, decomposition of organic materials by microorganisms. In the composting process microorganisms use the organic matter containing carbon compounds, nutrients, and water as a source of energy and nutrition for growth thus breaking down the organic matter. In the process water vapor, heat from microbial respiration, and carbon dioxide gas are given off and the finished compost is a more stable product made up of microbial residues and the more resistant organic compounds from the raw materials.

2. Basic Nutrition

Title: Balancing Carbohydrates for Optimal Rumen Function and Animal Health
Author: Sandra R. Stokes
Summary: Carbohydrates are the primary sources of energy in the diet of dairy cows, consisting of both structural (fiber) and non-structural (starch) components. Inadequacies of either carbohydrate component (fiber or starch) can instigate severe metabolic problems (displaced abomasum, ketosis) causing long-term consequences (laminitis). Factors influencing rate and extent of ruminal carbohydrate digestion include both nutrition and feeding management. Balance rations to achieve uniform rumen fermentation and minimize acidotic conditions.

Title: Balancing Dietary Protein to Maximize Protein Recovery in Milk
Authors: Helene Lapierre, Doris Pellerin and Jean-Francois Bernier
Summary: To improve dietary nitrogen utilization we want to: reduce ammonia absorption with an adequate balance of the degradable vs undegradable portion of the protein in the feedstuff, in relation to the degradability of the energy (carbohydrates), and increase amino acid utilization towards protein synthesis to the detriment of oxidation of amino acids: this can be maximized with an adequate balance of amino acids being absorbed. To reach an adequate balance of amino acids being absorbed, the utilization of rumen protected amino acids might be economically interesting, but only after sources of lysine and methionine have been utilized to the fullest extent.

Title: B-Vitamins: Current Recommendations are Inadequate for Optimal Production
Author: Christine L. Girard
Summary: The dairy cows requirements for B-complex vitamins is greater than that needed to prevent deficiency symptoms. Early-lactation dairy cows in negative energy balance can benefit from niacin supplementation. Herds with a high incidence of hoof lesions could benefit from long-term biotin supplementation. Folic acid supplementation can increase milk production and, under some dietary conditions, may also increase milk protein content.

3. Applied Nutrition

Title: Balancing Rations for Forage Quality
Author: Carl E. Coppock
Summary: For dairy cattle, ample effective fiber is a physiological imperative for good health and longevity. To formulate energy dense rations necessary for high yields requires minimal effective fiber which places one on the edge of the canyon of acidosis. The two best forage subsitutes are whole cottonseed and cottonseed hulls. Both alfalfa and corn silage are forages with very special nutritional properties, but high production can be achieved with neither of them, though it is much easier with either or both of them.

Title: Alternative Fiber Sources for Dairy Cattle: Uses and Limitations
Author: Rick Grant
Summary: Fibrous co-products can be used to successfully replace either dietary concentrate or forage. Fibrous co-products reduce the incidence of ruminal acidosis when they replace starchy concentrates. When fibrous coproducts replace dietary forage, the effective fiber content of the total ration must remain adequate to prevent acidosis-related problems that may reduce performance. Guidelines are suggested for optimal feeding of alternative fiber sources for lactating dairy cows.

Title: Johne’s Disease: A Cloud on the Horizon?
Author: Gerald W. Ollis
Summary: Johne’s disease is a progressive, debilitating disease of all ruminant animals for which there is no treatment. It is caused by Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, which has been implicated as a cause of Crohn’s disease in humans. Like all infectious microorganisms, the rate of spread of M. paratuberculosis is directly related to the number of infected animals in a herd. Johne’s disease is a disease of adult animals that was contracted in the first few months of life. This disease can be controlled, but it requires commitment and persistence over a period of time.

4. Managing Breeding and Reproduction for Profit

Title: Techniques to Maximize Conception Rates
Author: Jeffrey S. Stevenson
Summary: Factors governing reduced reproductive performance in dairy cattle are numerous and often difficult to diagnose. In general, those factors resulting from fertilization failure (e.g., semen handling and AI techniques) are more easily resolved by technician retraining than those related to early embryonic death. Although it may be difficult to diagnose various causes of embryonic death; they are usually related to some source of stress experienced by the lactating cows. Artificial insemination breeding programs are successful when high rates of heat detection and conception are achieved.

Title: Breeding Cows from Hormonal Scheduling Programs
Authors: Zola “Bud” Keister, Sue DeNise, Dennis Armstrong, Myron Brown and Roy Ax

Title: Management of Dairy Cows to Minimize Reproductive Problems after Parturition
Author: Jeffrey S. Stevenson

Title: Successful Embryo Transfers from Heifers Near Puberty: Opportunities for the Future
Authors: Janice Oyarzo, Ross Tappan, David Selner, Mary Bellin, and Roy Ax
Summary: Young Holstein dairy heifers just a few months prior to puberty (peripuberal) can be used as embryo transfer (ET) donors. The hormonal therapy and ET did not adversely affect milk production, reproductive performance, or udder conformational traits. This enables their first sons and daughters to be reaching puberty when the donor heifers acquire their production phenotypes as 2-year-olds. These animals can serve as an additional resource for attaining genetic gain within a dairy herd.

Title: Sire Selection to Maximize Profits. The Total Economic Value Index
Author: E.B. “Ted” Burnside
Summary: Canadian dairy farmers are very fortunate to have substantial sire progeny proving systems in Canada that are well supervised and executed. Canada also has excellent milk recording and conformation evaluation systems, along with effective and expanding farmer-recorded evaluations on utility traits, and very accurate sire and cow evaluation systems that are built on top of the accurate record systems. This has not happened by chance nor over a very short period of time. As one who has spent a lifetime working on this system, helping breeders derive more accuracy and profitability from their selection decisions, I am very pleased with what has evolved in Canada.

5. Nutrition and Health

Title: Dietary Cation-Anion Balance in Dairy Cow Nutrition
Author: Elliot Block
Summary: Dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) is a relatively new topic in dairy cattle nutrition and is making its way into many ration formulations as another specification, just as degradable protein has. The value of DCAD is easy to calculate as only two cations (sodium Na+ and potassium, K+) and two anions (chloride, Cl – and sulfate, SO4- are used. The equation is milliequivalents (Na+ and K+) – (Cl-+ SO4=) per kilogram of dry matter.

Title: Peas as a Protein and Energy Source for Ruminants
Author: Rick R. Corbett
Summary: Peas contain high levels of protein and starch and are a good source of protein and energy for ruminant animals. Cattle find peas very palatable. The protein in peas is rapidly degraded in the rumen. Peas do not require processing as they do not survive chewing intact. There does not appear to be an upper limit on the amount of peas that can be included in rations that are balanced for undegradable intake (by-pass) protein.

Title: Optimizing Cereal Silage Quality
Authors: G. Reza Khorasani and John J. Kennelly
Summary: The economic value of cereal silage is dependent on the level of animal production it will support. The nutritive value of cereal silage depends on its contribution to the energy and protein needs of the animal. Crude protein and NDF are good indicators of the stage of maturity of cereal forage at harvest. Acid detergent fiber may not be a good indicator of the net energy in cereal silages. Diets should be formulated to contain the highest possible concentration of NDF from forage, but still meet the requirement for energy density.

Title: Particle Size and Ration Uniformity: Is it Important to the Cow?
Author: Sandra R. Stokes
Summary: Adequate particle length is necessary for sustaining stable rumen conditions. Ration uniformity is important to ensure that all cows receive a balanced ration, especially when multiple independent groups are fed from one mix source. Feeding management can alter ration potential and influence animal performance. A primary goal of any dairy feed program should be a uniform mix with minimal physical destruction of feedstuffs. Field factors affecting the final ration characteristics include mixer design and mixing management.

Title: Raising Replacement Heifers from Birth to Weaning
Author: James D Quigley, III
Summary: Raising calves from birth to weaning requires considerable management and attention to detail. Four critical areas are most important to successful calf raising: colostrum management, liquid feeding, calf starter and ruminal development, and housing. Colostrum quality, quantity fed, and timing of colostrum feeding determine the acquisition of passive immunity and resistance to disease prior to weaning. Liquid feeding (milk, milk replacer, or alternative liquid sources) provides nutrients for maintenance and limited body weight gain prior to weaning.

6. Maintaining Healthy Cows

Title: Economics of Mastitis Control
Author: Wayne H. Howard
Summary: Somatic cell count (SCC) scores for individual cows are more accurate than bulk tank SCC scores for monitoring udder health and milk loss due to mastitis. Comparing the costs and benefits of recommended mastitis control practices indicates that teat dipping after milking, washing, and drying udders before milking, and regular milking machine maintenance are economical. Using a sanitizer in the washing solution and having a service company change inflations is not economical. Dry cow treatment has mixed results: treating all quarters of all cows is economical, but the difference between benefits and costs is even greater when treating selected cows only. However, the selection criteria is not known.

Title: Can Somatic Cell Counts Get Too Low?
Author: Leo L. Timms
Summary: Somatic cells are white blood cells which function to fight infection and repair tissue damage. Somatic cell levels or numbers in the mammary gland do not reflect the pool of cells which can be recruited from the blood to fight infections. Therefore, a low somatic cell count does not mean that cow’s are more susceptible to mastitis. The key to mastitis prevention is healthy cows with healthy cells that can be recruited quickly to fight mastitis battles in the udder when needed.

Title: Understanding Herd Lameness – A Worthwhile Investment. Recognizing the Problem and its Cause
Author: Paul R. Greenough
Summary: The incidence of lameness in dairy cows is increasing, the underlying cause being the introduction of new technologies related to nutrition and management. The hidden cost of lameness is considerable. Producers must learn to recognize the various disease problems and understand the many different factors that contribute to the appearance of these diseases.

7. Creating the Right Environment

Title: Custom Rearing of Replacement Heifers
Author: Jack Rodenburg
Summary: Custom heifer raising is not common in Ontario. There are only a handful of commercial custom heifer feeding operations and even fewer that have been established long enough to qualify as successful businesses. Most agreements involve small numbers and part time labor utilizing otherwise empty facilities. Many are seasonal and based on nonworkable pasture land on a neighboring cash crop operation. Despite its unpopularity, custom agreements for heifer raising can have major benefits for both the dairy producer and the custom feeder.

Title: Cow Comfort and Herd Health: A Nutritionist’s Perspective
Author: Rick Grant
Summary: Critical components of the cow’s environment determine cow comfort. These include such factors as free stalls, floors, ventilation, self-locking stanchions, and bedding. Cow comfort can directly impact herd health and thus directly and indirectly affect the cow’s ability to express intense feeding behavior. From a nutritionist’s perspective, achieving maximum feed intake is critical to a successful feeding program and optimal productivity. Therefore, ensuring cow comfort and herd health must be considered in any completely effective feeding management program.

Title: Getting the Management Information You Need – When You Need It
Authors: Steve Mason and John J. Kennelly
Summary: The development of the World Wide Web has made it possible for anyone with a modem-equipped computer to access information anywhere in the world on demand. The key to unlocking the potential of the Web is the development of fully-indexed and hyperlinked information systems which will allow the user to find the specific information required with a minimum of time and effort. DairyNet will provide dairy managers and advisors with a comprehensive, authoritative, and accurate source of dairy management information.

Title: Adapting Bovine Behavior to Improve Performance
Author: Temple Grandin

Title: Harvesting More Milk by Fine Tuning Your Milking Equipment
Author: Leo Timms

8. Managing Expansion for Profit

Title: Setting the Stage for Expansion – An Environmental Assessment
Author: Scott R. Jeffrey
Summary: Dairy expansion should be considered within the context of achieving business goals; that is, will expansion allow the producer to achieve his/her goals. This requires rigorous analysis of environmental and organizational factors. There are many ways to expand, some of which include further specialization in combination with dairy herd expansion. There is no single answer as to the best type of expansion or the optimal herd size for every producer. Successful dairy expansion requires good management. Expansion is not a substitute for good management in terms of improved performance.

Title: Dairy Expansion and Human Resource Management
Authors: Wayne H. Howard and Lorne Owen
Summary: Expanding dairy operations requires additional labour, which in turn requires a human resource management plan. Components of a good HRM plan include an organization chart for the operation, job descriptions, and compensation plans with pay grids. Most of all, an expanding operation requires leadership and supervisory skills.

Title: Keeping Expansion Costs under Control 
Author: Jack Rodenburg
Summary: In the next decade, the profile of the Canadian dairy industry and of the rural community it supports will change dramatically. For many individuals, these changes will result in the retirement of both the operator and the farmstead from the industry. For others, the challenges represent a call to use their entrepreneurial skills to respond to opportunities and secure a place in the future.

Title: Financial Structure, Firm-Growth, and Survival
Authors: Frank Novak and Scott Jeffrey
Summary: Expansion decisions must consider the combined effects of business risk and financial risk on growth and survival. Leverage can enhance growth, but it will also enhance variability in returns to equity owners of the business. Debt financed expansion designed to increase profitability through economies of size may actually destabilize returns enough to increase the risk of failure. Choice of financial structure (financial risk) is at least as important a decision as subsequent management opportunities to improve returns or reduce business risk.