Keynote Speaker:

Title: Farm Animal Welfare in a World of Changing Expectations
Author: David Fraser
Summary: Cultural attitudes toward animals have been changing rapidly during the past 50 years. These changes have culminated in some remarkable and very recent developments in farm animal welfare. To prepare for such changes, the animal industries need certain services and resources to be in place.

Session I. Benchmarks for a Successful Dairy Operation

Title: The 100-Day Contract with the Dairy Cow: 30 Days Prepartum to 70 Days Postpartum
Author: James N. Spain
Summary: The dairy cow is undergoing numerous changes in endocrine, nutritional, metabolic, and physiological status as she prepares for calving and initiation of lactation. If the negative energy balance during transition becomes excessive, metabolic diseases such as fatty liver and ketosis can result. Intensive management of the nutrition, feeding system, and environment of the periparturient dairy cow reduces the odds of disease and increases the odds of success.

Title: Troubleshooting Nutritional Disorders
Author: Randy D. Shaver
Summary: Digestive disorders, sub-acute rumen acidosis and displaced abomasum, cause economic loss in dairy herds through treatment costs, production loss, and premature culling. Evaluate ration formulation, feed quality and physical form, feed delivery, bunk management, cow comfort, and animal performance parameters when troubleshooting digestive disorders. Herds with  inadequate feeding and management programs for transition cows are at an increased risk of developing nutritional disorders.

Title: Using Farm Records to Set Benchmarks on the Farm
Author: Sandra Stokes
Summary: Proper data assimilation allows farm information to be used in decision-making. Regular evaluation of key data can allow early intervention to problem areas. Peer discussion groups can provide comparisons of local data for benchmarking herd progress.

Session II. Health

Title: Direct Production Losses and Treatment Costs due to Four Dairy Cattle Diseases
Author: Alfons Weersink
Summary: The direct production losses and treatment costs at the herd level were: $2,421 for bovine viral diarrhea (BVD), $806 for enzootic bovine leucosis (EBL), $2,472 for Johne’s Disease (JD), and $2,304 for neosporosis in the Maritime provinces of Canada. Total costs at the industry level were $1,264,355, $641,061, $842,042, and $1,909,794 for BVD, EBL, JD, and neosporosis, respectively. The distributions for all diseases were positively skewed, implying that the average costs reported above were higher than what most farmers experienced. The largest effect on costs was due to milk yield effects.

Title: Alberta’s Johne’s Disease Control Program
Author: Chunu Mainali
Summary: Johne’s disease is an infectious, progressive and debilitating disease of livestock. An infected herd not only impacts production and trade but may also have potential link with Crohn’s disease in humans. Alberta Johne’s Disease Control Program is comprised of four integrated components: awareness and education; veterinary accreditation; Voluntary Johne’s Herd Status Program; and collaborative research.

Title: Can We Prevent Hoof Problems?
Author: Roger Blowey
Summary: Lameness remains a major problem in dairy cattle worldwide. In the UK the average incidence is around 50 cases per 100 cows per year, with much higher incidences being seen in some free-stall housed cattle. Because of its effect on subsequent fertility and production, the cost of a single case of lameness is estimated to be around £200 ($450 Canadian), although this will vary enormously from case to case depending on severity.

Title: Minimizing Lameness through Genetic Selection
Authors: Gordon Atkins and Jay Shannon
Summary: The cause of lameness is multi-factorial and includes conformation defects, nutrition, environmental stress, injury, and infection. Estimates of heritability for foot and leg disorders range from near zero to greater than 30%. Since bull proofs do not exist for foot disease traits, the next best approach for utilizing genetics to minimize lameness is the use of foot and leg conformation as an indirect selection tool.

Session III. Dairy Policy

Title: Who Benefits from Deregulated Milk Prices: The Missing Link is the Marketing Channel
Author: Ronald W. Cotterill
Summary: As I will show you today in this paper the degree of competition in the market channel structure determines to a large extent who benefit from deregulated milk prices. When one introduces the milk marketing channel to the problem one is faced squarely with a fundamental question of price transmission. What we mean by price transmission is captured by the following question: if one lowers the farm price through milk price deregulation how much of that decreased farm price will be transmitted forward to consumers?

Title: Industry View of Environmental Issues
Author: Carissa Itle
Summary: Producers must become increasingly aware of environmental regulations that can impact their way of doing business. In the U.S., recent federal and state initiatives have aimed at minimizing the environmental impacts of animal agriculture. In addition, many producer groups are developing voluntary, incentive-based programs to educate producers and assist them in making environmental management decisions.

Title: The Next Round of WTO Negotiations: What Is In It For Dairy?
Author: James Rude
Summary: A new round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations are underway with a schedule of tasks to be completed by 2005. To date, good progress has been made, but in order to meet the deadline for completion the U.S. Administration has to receive negotiating authority from Congress. Border measures, such as tariffs, are the biggest obstacle to liberalized trade in dairy products. Most large developed countries use a system of two-tiered tariffs to protect their markets. The system only allows limited access at preferential tariffs, while over-quota tariffs are often prohibitive.

Keynote Speaker:

Title: A Blueprint for Evaluating Feeding Programs
Author: Michael F. Hutjens
Summary: Dairy managers and cows make feeding changes on the farm. Some changes are intentional (such as reformulation of rations) while others “happen” (such as heat stress). The skilled manager, feed consultant, and veterinarian are continually evaluating and “reading” cows. Monitoring milk yield and components reflect nutrient balance. Feed particle size is critical for health and optimal production. Blood, milk, and urine measurements can identify metabolic risks. Feeding program economics are key to profitability.

Session IV. Reproduction

Title: The Future of Dairy Reproductive Management
Author: Matthew C. Lucy
Summary: Reproductive efficiency of modern dairy herds is declining. Greater milk production of modern dairy cows only explains a small percentage of the reproductive decline. Other factors including housing and reproductive management as well as the physiology and genetics of modern dairy cows are probably more important. Reproductive efficiency of modern dairy cows can be improved through attention to detail when using current reproductive methods, genetic selection of sires whose daughters have superior fertility, pharmacological control of reproduction, and the use of automated management systems.

Title: Managing Postpartum Reproductive Issues
Author: W. Ronald Butler
Summary: Negative energy balance during early lactation is the major nutritional link to low fertility in lactating dairy cows. Negative energy balance delays recovery of postpartum reproductive function and exerts carryover effects that reduce fertility during the breeding period. Animal health components (liver, uterus, mammary gland) affect reproductive performance. Feeding, nutrition, and health of lactating cows for improved reproductive performance begins in the transition period and continues through early lactation.

Title: Essentiality of Specific Fatty Acids in Reproductive Performance of High Producing Dairy Cows
Author: James N. Spain
Summary: High levels of milk produced by today’s dairy cows create a challenge in meeting the animals’ energy requirements during early lactation. The resulting negative energy balance impairs reproduction. Supplemental fats have been used to increase energy density of the diet with the intent of reducing the magnitude of the early lactation energy imbalance. Fats may play a more important role associated with reproduction through the function of essential fatty acids. It may be possible to use fat sources to supply specific essential fatty acids that will enhance reproductive performance of high producing dairy cows.

Title: Stress and Its Effects on Fertility of the Dairy Cow
Author: Hilary Dobson
Summary: It is important to identify the incidence of major stressors on each individual farm – these will vary from farm to farm. Some every-day events are stressful for cows. Lameness and bad calvings have significant effects on fertility. Mastitis is also painful and has a major economic impact. Try solving one problem at a time. Financial considerations will probably dictate your emphasis.

Session V. Forages – From Field to Milk

Title: The Importance of Forage Quality for Milk Production and Health
Author: Sandra Stokes
Summary: Forages are the foundation behind dairy rations and forage quality affects herd health and production performance. Quality forage supplies on the dairy don’t just happen. They are the result of a planned and executed forage management program.

Title: Choosing the Right Corn Hybrid for Silage
Author: William P. Weiss
Summary: Potential differences between corn silage hybrids in net dollar returns can be estimated using yield, NDF concentration, and in vitro NDF digestibility data obtained from yield trial summaries. Higher economic value should be assigned to hybrids with increased concentrations of NDF and energy. These are important nutrients in corn silage and are likely to differ between hybrids. Any differences in economic value of the hybrids must be compared to potential differences in production costs.

Title: Cereal Silage Options for Western Canada
Author: James H. Helm
Summary: Cereal crops provide producers with a lot of options that allow the producer to balance silage yield, quality, harvesting and storage. Producers must look at species, varieties and mixtures as ways of controlling silage quality. In monocrops, the stage of harvest should be at the soft-dough stage. In mixtures, the later maturing component at the soft-dough stage will give
highest yield and energy and if harvested when the earliest component is at the soft-dough stage, protein content will increase. Disease factors are important considerations. Rotate your crops and
varieties to guard against the build up of new diseases or disease races.

Title: Rumen Acidosis in Dairy cattle: Bunk Management Considerations
Author: Randy D. Shaver
Summary: Bunk management is a risk factor for sub-acute rumen acidosis (SARA). A myriad of errors in feed delivery and bunk management can occur on commercial dairies. Bunk management practices that promote feed sorting and slug feeding must be controlled to minimize the incidence of SARA. Cow comfort, her environment, and the formulated diet need to be
evaluated in conjunction with bunk management practices when investigating laminitis problem herds.

Session VI. Integrated Nutrient Management

Title: Nutrient Cycling and Attempts to Reduce Nutrient Losses from Farms in Maryland
Author: Richard A. Kohn
Summary: Nutrient management regulations are increasingly focused on mandating nutrient management plans and preventing runoff from manure storage and animal holding areas. Although most regulations have focused on manure management and fertilizer application, the most cost effective means to reduce nutrient pollution and comply with regulations is to improve production per cow and feed closer to requirements.

Session VII. Milking Management and Calf Feeding

Title: Increasing Milking Frequency
Author: Mark Varner
Summary: Milk yield increases by a fixed amount due to increased milking frequency, and not by some percentage of previous milk yields. Six times-a-day milking frequency from calving through six weeks postpartum results in not only increased production during the period of high frequency milking, but also in a significant carry-over during the remainder of lactation while milked three times-a-day.

Title: Passive Immunity in Newborn Calves
Author: James Quigley
Summary: The neonatal immune system at birth is naïve to the wide variety and types of pathogens present in the environment. Consumption of colostrum to provide circulating IgG prior to the cessation of macromolecular transport (“closure”) is essential to ensure healthy calves. There are a tremendous number of factors that may influence the absorption of IgG by calves; therefore, blanket recommendations for feeding one amount of colostrum to all calves is inappropriate.

Session IX. Management and Facilities

Title: A Case Study Farm; Visiting Ralph Rumen
Author: Michael F. Hutjens
Summary: Developing a plan when evaluating a feed program allows individuals to find weak areas in the dairy operation. Evaluating the milk production records (yield, components, and trends) provides an “early look” at potential problems. Observing cow behavior will rule in and out key problems. Obtaining input from other sources on the farm including the veterinarian, feed dealer/consultant, and foot trimmer will add to the plan and strategies.

Title: Planning for the Future: How Modernization Can Increase Your Farm’s Profitability
Author: Roger W. Palmer
Summary: The role of the dairy manager is to plan strategically and to direct resources in a way that leads to a profitable and sustainable dairy enterprise. Management is the process of decision-making and has three major functions: planning, implementation and control.

Title: Cow Facilities and Effects on Performance
Author: John F. Smith
Summary: Maximizing access to feed and water is a critical design factor. Selecting cow housing is a critical decision. Avoid just looking at initial investment cost of freestall barns. Stress should be minimized in the milking facility by limiting the time cows are away from feed and water. Avoid building bottlenecks into the dairy design that limit your ability to correctly group cows. Design your dairy to manage heat stress in the holding pen and cow housing.

Title: Dairying Together as a Family
Author: Bernard L. Erven
Summary: Dairying together as a family is challenging. It also has the potential of being extremely rewarding. Understanding the family business environment starts the process of success
with family labor. Several family business characteristics appear negative. The challenge is to take advantage of the significant strengths of family businesses while dealing with their inherent weaknesses.


Title: Efficacy of ECF Dipstick Test for Determination of Nonpregnancy in Dairy Cattle
Authors: J.D. Ambrose, B. Radke, P.A. Day, M. MacLean

Title: Feeding Behaviour of Dairy Cattle
Authors: L. Baird, T. DeVries, M. von Keyserlingk, D.Weary, J. Shelford, K. Beauchemin.

Title: Sole Lesions and Lameness in Dairy Cattle
Authors: Erin Bell, Frances Flower & Daniel Weary

Title: An Economic Analysis of Productive Efficiency in Alberta Dairy Production
Authors: Heather-Anne R. Grant and Scott R. Jeffrey

Title: Rumen Undegradable Protein from Grass
Authors: P. Groenenboom, J. Shelford, and S. Bittman

Title: Interregional Dairy Cost Efficiency Comparison: The Case of Alberta and Ontario
Authors: Getu Hailu, Scott Jeffrey and Jim Unterschultz

Title: Effects of Neck Rail Position on Dairy Cattle Behavior
Authors: Cassandra B. Tucker and Daniel M. Weary

Title: Dairy and Animal Science Electronic Executive Summaries (DASEE)
Author: Mark Varner

Title: Optimizing Particle Size of Dairy Cow Diets with the Penn State Particle Separator
Authors: Wen Z. Yang and Karen A. Beauchemin

Title: Bacteria Counts In Sand and Sawdust Bedding
Authors: Gosia Zdanowicz, Jim Shelford, Dan Weary, Cassandra Tucker


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

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

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

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

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

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

Concurrent Session A1: Creating a Productive Environment

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

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

Concurrent Session A2 : Health and Management

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Concurrent Session B2: Marketing and Promotion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Session III: Nutrition and Management

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

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

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

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