Keynote: The Information Superhighway

Title: Getting Your Learners License
Author: Mark Varner
Summary: The Information Superhighway can be thought of as a global network of smaller interconnected computer networks and associated software technologies. Effective use of the Information Superhighway requires utilization of various computer software technologies. The six main technologies are electronic mail (e-mail), telnet, ftp, news groups, Gopher and World Wide Web (Web).

Session I: Positioning for Production

Title: Optimal Body Condition Score at Calving For Production and Health 
Author: Jim Spain
Summary: Changes in body condition score can and should be used to assess the level and change of body fat stores and as an indicator of energy balance. The ideal body condition score will support maximum peak milk production during the negative energy balance of lactation. High producing cows will lose body condition during early lactation, but large losses are associated with lower milk production and lower conception rates. Early lactation cows experience a period on negative energy balance after calving. Severity of negative energy balance can be estimated by monitoring body condition score changes.

Title: Close-Up Dry Period: Feeding Management for a Smooth Transition
Author: Ric Grummer
Summary: Cows will typically experience a 30 to 35% reduction in feed intake during the final two to three weeks prior to calving. Feed and manage cows to maximize feed intake during the transition period. Over conditioned cows are likely to have poor appetites, but do not feed restrict during the dry period. Avoid poor quality forages, unpalatable feeds, and legumes high in potassium during the transition period. Increase concentrate feeding during the transition period to stimulate intake, foster development of rumen papillae, acclimate rumen microorganisms, and reduce fatty acid mobilization from fat stores.

Title: Managing the Feeding System for Optimal Dry Matter Intake
Author: Jim Spain
Summary: Milk production is highly and positively related with dry matter intake. Optimal rumen fermentation must be maintained through proper diet formulation, mixing, and feeding for the cow to reach maximum dry matter intake. High fiber, low energy forages are a primary factor limiting dry matter intake on many dairy farms. Feeding system management to assure adequate access to the diet is also a key controlling point in reaching maximum dry matter intakes.

Ttitle: The Link Between Nutrition, Acidosis, Laminitis and Environment
Author: James E. Nocek
Summary: The link between nutrition, acidosis, and laminitis is the association with nutritional effects on causing metabolic acidosis (decreased rumen pH) and altered hemodynamics of the peripheral microvasculature resulting in hoof deterioration. The severity of laminitis depends on the duration and frequency of metabolic insults (i.e., slug feeding highly fermentable grain once daily).

Session II: Peaking with Persistency

Title: Matching Protein Delivery to Milk Production
Author: William Chalupa and Charles J. Sniffen
Summary: Metabolizable protein and amino acids are provided by ruminal escape feed protein and bacterial protein. Bacterial protein production is regulated by the amount and rumen fermentability of feed carbohydrate. During silage fermentation, some soluble non-cell wall components are metabolized to organic acids. Formation of organic acids has little effect on feed energy values, but can affect protein nutrition because bacteria do not grow on organic acids. Silage based rations may need to contain higher levels of crude protein with greater bypass.

Title: Fuel for Milk: Delivering Carbohydrate to the Rumen and Intestine At the Right Price
Author: James E. Nocek
Summary: The diversity in efficiency of carbohydrate use by microorganisms can significantly influence their growth rate. Grain processing can increase rumen availability of starch by 50% or more. To the level that nonstructural carbohydrate can be added to the diet, increasing the rumen availability of starch is more cost effective in providing essential amino acids (lysine and methionine) through microbial synthesis than supplementation of traditional high protein UIP sources.

Title: Strategies for Successful Fat Supplementation
Author: Ric Grummer
Summary: Many studies indicate that cows do not reduce body weight loss or increase milk yield when fed fat immediately after calving. Oilseeds should be the initial source of supplemental fat.
It is unlikely that too much oil will be fed from oilseeds if feeding guidelines for protein and/or fiber are adhered to. Feed additional fat beyond oilseeds only if body condition scores average less than 3.5 at dry off and body condition replenishment cannot be accomplished through additional grain feeding. Tallow is an acceptable second source of supplemental fat for dairy cows, however, milk fat percentage may be reduced when corn silage or grass is the predominant forage source.

Session III: The Information Super Highway

Title: Surfing the Net
Author: Mark Varner
Summary: Surfing the Net is not only easy, but there is also substantial dairy-related content available. Canadian content leads the world in many ways for this rapidly changing area. The Net should be considered as an important informational resource for all dairy producers and their public/private sector advisors.

Session IV: Keys to Success in Managing 150 Cow Herds: An International Perspective and Implications for Western Canadian Producers United States; Australia; EU; Canada

Title: Positioning Your Dairy Farm Business for a Profitable Future – A US Perspective
Author: Terry R. Smith
Summary: US dairy producers are facing the challenges associated with operating their businesses in a nearly de-regulated dairy economy. Understanding the importance of production, capital and labor efficiency, and economies of size are crucial to positioning a dairy farm business for the future. Some key performance measures and their relationship to dairy profitability help to better understand the opportunities for improving dairy farm profitability from both a short and long run perspective.

Title: Positioning Your Dairy Farm Business for a Profitable Future – An Australasian Perspective
Author: Ian J. Lean
Summary: Australasian dairy production is favored by excellent climates, temperate pastures and, in parts, access to low-cost commodities resulting in a lower cost of production. The challenge facing the smaller farm worldwide is to expand or improve performance in the face of falling prices for milk. Farms that survive will perform better than their peers by managing rather than doing, by improving nutritional management of the herds, and by adapting to change. For Canada to gain a larger portion of the international market Canadian dairy products will need to be unique or of superior quality.

Title: Positioning Your Dairy Farm Business for a Profitable Future – A European Union Perspective
Author: Myles Rath
Summary: The European Union has a very large dairy industry and is a major exporter of subsidized dairy products onto the world market. The existence of producer quotas within the EU has prevented the expansion of milk output since 1984. Failure to control costs in a quota situation is a major reason for low dairy margins. High milk yield per cow does not always lead to high margins in a quota situation and optimizing milk output from forage is one of the keys to profitable dairying. Heavy reliance on grazed grass for milk production seems to limit milk yield per cow due to limits on grass dry matter intake. Efficient grassland management is a very demanding skill and is very difficult to implement.

Title: Positioning Your Dairy Farm Business for a Profitable Future – A Western Canadian Perspective
Author: Timothy J. Richards
Summary: Large producers can reduce costs through increasing their utilization of fixed labor and equipment capacity. A high level of dept causes some large producers to have both higher operating costs and total production costs. The “optimal” herd size in Alberta using the 1989-1991 AMPS Costs of Production Survey data is 140 cows to achieve the lowest operating costs.

Session V: Reproduction

Title: Facts and Fallacies About the Uterus After Calving
Author: Donald J. Klingborg
Summary: Unbelievable. That single word best describes the structure and function of what is one of the most complex organs in the body. The uterus is simply unbelievable. It accepts a substance foreign to itself (the calf), blocks the normal body defenses designed to destroy foreign “invaders”, and nourishes, protects, and sustains the developing calf while the uterus grows from a diameter of about one inch to 24 inches or more.

Title: Neosporosis and Abortion in Dairy Cattle
Author: Mark Anderson, Bradd Barr, Joan Rowe, Karen Sverlow, Andrea Packham and Patricia Conrad
Summary: Fetal infections by the protozoa parasite, Neospora sp., is a newly recognized cause of abortion and congenital infection in cattle. This infection is the most common cause of abortion seen in many dairies throughout the world. Diagnosis of the infection is assisted by examinations of aborted fetuses and serologic testing of cows. At the present time there is no treatment or prevention for the infection and the life cycle of the parasite is not known. Cattle can be chronically infected with Neospora and can pass the infection onto their offspring during pregnancy.

Session VI: Nutrition and Immunity

Title: Potential Therapeutic Uses of Bovine Somatotropin in Cattle
Author: Robert J. Collier and John L. Vicini
Summary: Somatotropin is best known for its role in regulating milk production in cattle. However, this hormone has beneficial effects on other tissues which may provide therapeutic and prophylactic uses for it in the future.

Title: Supplemental Vitamin C May Enhance Immune Function in Dairy Cows
Author: Darren MacLeod, Lech Ozimek and John J. Kennelly
Summary: Ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate is a rumen stable source of ascorbic acid for ruminants. Ascorbic acid supplementation bolsters the immune response of calves. Antioxidant vitamins improve the immune response of dairy cattle.

Session VII: New Technology

Title: Bovine Somatotropin and Monensin: Emerging Technologies
Author: Ian J. Lean, L. Wade and S.D. Beckett
Summary: Both somatotropin (bST) and monensin will increase milk production, bST by acting on metabolism and monensin acting primarily to modify rumen fermentation. Both products can reduce the risk of ketosis. The bST by altering body composition in a prior lactation and monensin by a number of changes in rumen function, which can profoundly reduce ketone concentrations.  Somatotropin generally has a negative effect on fertility of dairy cows, but monensin appears to have had little overall effect in trials to date.

Title: Using DNA Technology to Alter Milk Composition
Author: David R. Glimm, Lech Ozimek, and John J. Kennelly
Summary: Advances in dairy breeding depend on our ability to combine the knowledge of science and technology with the wisdom of nature. Genotyping technology should be immediately transferred to the dairy breeding community. Routine genetic screening should be initiated, first for the major milk protein genes, and then later for other genes of economic importance as they are identified. The recently developed molecular technology of differential display can be applied to identify for the first time genes controlling traits of economic importance.

Title: Enzyme Enhancers: the Key to Unlocking the Energy from Feed
Author: J.A. Shelford, K.-J. Cheng and G.M. Kamande
Summary: An agent has been discovered that will enhance milk production 2.5 to 3.5 kg/cow/day through increased efficiency of feed utilization. Economic return from using such an agent ranges from 4:1 to 7.5:1.

Title: Nutrition Turns On Genes to Enhance Efficiency and Productivity
Author: Erasmus K. Okine, Feng-Qi Zhao and John J. Kennelly
Summary: As feed nutrients are transformed and modified by microorganisms present in the rumen, the supply of nutrients to the mammary gland and other tissues may differ markedly from that present in the diet. Nutrients reaching the gut, liver, mammary gland, and other tissues turn-on genes that in turn produce proteins that control the nutrients available for lactation, reproduction, and body reserves. Our understanding of how nutrients influence gene expression is limited. As we gain a better understanding of the complex relationship between nutrition and gene expression we will be able to more accurately and efficiently deliver nutrients to achieve our target level of milk production.

Session VIII: Nutrition and Environment

Title: Rumen-Protected Amino Acids Improve Milk Production and Milk Protein Yield
Author: Lyle M. Rode and Limin Kung Jr
Summary: Rumen-protected amino acids (RPAA) can be an effective substitute for dietary protein. RPAA can increase milk protein yield . RPAA technology is suitable as part of an environmentally responsible production system.

Title: Impact of Nutrition on Manure Management
Author: William Chalupa and James D. Ferguson
Summary: 20 to 35% of feed nitrogen is captured as milk protein. 65 to 80% of feed nitrogen is excreted in manure. Ration balancing can reduce nitrogen excretion. Ration formulation strategies mainly affect urine nitrogen.

Session IX: Planning for the Future An Economic Perspective

Title: Establishing Indices of Genetic Merit Using Hedonic Pricing: An Application to Dairy bulls in Alberta
Author: Timothy J. Richards and Scott R. Jeffrey
Summary: Market prices for semen can be used to determine the economic value of each trait reported in bull proofs. An increase of one point in a bull’s milk proof increases the marginal value of a bull by $0.70 per dose, whereas an increase in the protein proof has a marginal value of $7.00. Allowing for the positive marginal values to “Final Class” and “Capacity”, improvements in “Feet and Legs” and “Mammary System” have negative values.

Title: Factors Influencing Costs of Milk Production in Alberta
Author: Scott R. Jeffrey and Timothy J. Richards
Summary: Relative economic efficiency will have a significant influence on any reallocation of dairy production resulting from changes in the policy environment. Alberta producers are, on average, relatively efficient in their use of productive inputs (i.e., technical efficiency). Continuing to strive to get the most milk from productive inputs (i.e., being technically efficient) will help to keep Alberta producers competitive with dairy producers in other regions into the future.

Session XI: Mastitis Prevention and Treatment

Title: Quality Milk Production: Milking Practices and Procedures
Author: Andrew P. Johnson
Summary: Milking practices are the key to quality milk production. Quality milk production will be the key ingredient to the future dairy industry. Milking practices must be consistent by all people milking cows. Keep it simple and always milk a clean, dry, and well stimulated teat. Keeping cows clean, dry, and comfortable are essential ways to produce quality milk.

Title: Clinical Mastitis – To Treat or Not To Treat
Author: Stephen C. Nickerson
Summary: Strep. agalactiae is easily cured by approved antibiotic infusion products. Therapy of Staph. aureus mastitis greatly improves with extended or combination therapy. Extra-label treatment requires a valid veterinary/patient/client relationship. Oxytocin is effective in alleviating clinical symptoms of coliform mastitis. Antibiotics are more effective against Gram-positive than Gram-negative organisms.

Session XII: Replacement Heifers Feeding, Management, and Mastitis Prevention

Title: Replacement Heifers: the Key to Future Profits
Author: Andrew P. Johnson
Summary: Heifers are your future dairy herd and to reach their potential they must be properly managed. The sooner the heifers reach the milking herd, the sooner they can make a profit on your dairy. Nutrition and environment are the two areas that impact heifer performance the most. Optimizing heifer growth will help your farm compete today and in the future with all other dairies. Heifer management is an essential part of any farm.

Title: Mastitis Control in Replacement Heifers
Author: Stephen C. Nickerson
Summary: Mastitis is prevalent in breeding age and pregnant dairy heifers. Most infections are caused by Staph. aureus and other staphylococci. Antibiotic infusions during pregnancy or two months prepartum are >90% effective. Successfully treated heifers produce 10% more milk in early lactation. Fly control reduces prevalence of heifer mastitis.