Session I. Reproductive Management

Keynote Speaker:

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

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

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

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

Session II. Housing and Cow Comfort

Keynote Speaker:

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

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

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

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

Session III. Dairy Farm Policy

Keynote Speaker:

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

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

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

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

Session IV. Secrets to Success

Keynote Speaker:

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

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

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

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

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

Session V. Forage Management

Keynote Speaker:

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

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

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

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

Session VI. Managing Metabolic Disorders

Keynote Speaker:

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

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

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

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

Session VIII. Managing for Profitability

Keynote Speaker:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Session I. Management and Health

Title: Designing and Managing Facilities to Maximize Dry Matter Intake
Author: Mike Brouk

Title: Trouble-Shooting Nutritional Problems
Author: David Reid

Title: Nutritional Management Practices Worth Adopting from California
Author: Peter Robinson 

Title: Balancing Rations for Milk Components
Author: Bill Chalupa 

Keynote Speaker:

Title: Balancing the Animal’s Nutritional Needs with Environmental Stewardship
Author: Larry Satter

Session II. Health and Nutrition

Title: Improving Milking Efficiency
Author: David Reid

Title: Johne’s Disease: Diagnosis and Control
Author: Don Sockett

Title: Managing Postpartum Health and Cystic Ovarian Disease
Author: Augustine Peter

Session III. Nutrition for a Healthy Cow

Title: Maintaining a Healthy Rumen – An Overview
Author: Lyle Rode

Title: Managing Rumen Fermentation in Barley-Based Diets: Balance Between High Production and Acidosis
Author: Karen Beauchemin

Title: Potassium and Other Macrominerals for the Lactating Cow
Author: Bill Sanchez

Title: Protein and Energy Nutrition of the Transition Cow
Author: Lorraine Doepel 

Title: Controlling Postpartum Disorders with Good Nutritional Practices
Author: Bob Van Saun 

Session IV. Optimizing Reproductive Performance

Title: Maximizing Fertility in the Dairy Herd
Author: Ray Nebel

Title: Strategies to Improve Reproductive Management of Dairy Cows
Author: Bill Thatcher

Title: Timing of AI – Have We Been Wrong All Those Years?
Author: Ray Nebel

Title: Effects of Dietary Fat Supplementation on Reproduction in Lactating Dairy Cows
Author: Bill Thatcher 

Title: Abortions in Dairy Cows: New Insights and Economic Impact
Author: Augustine Peter

Session V. Nutrition and Management

Title: Profitable Culling and Replacement Strategies
Author: Brian Radke

Title: Eating and Feeding Behavior of Dairy Cows: Dietary Influences and Impact on Production
Author: David Christensen

Title: Manipulating Milk Protein Production and Level in Lactating Dairy Cows
Author: Peter Robinson

Title: Processing Barley Grain and High Moisture Barley – How Much is Enough?
Author: Rick Corbett 

Title: The Use of Peas in Dairy Rations
Author: David Christensen

Session VI. A Forum on Future Dairy Policy: Implications for Production and Trade

Title: Future Dairy Policy: A Policymaker’s Perspective
Author: Nelson Coyle

Title: Future Dairy Policy in Europe
Author: Alison Burrell

Title: Future Dairy Policy in the US
Author: Scott Brown

Title: Future Dairy Policy in Canada: Implications for Production and Trade
Author: Michele Veeman

Keynote Speaker:

Title: Contract Growing Dairy Heifers: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
Author: Mike Brouk

Session VIII. Building Your Feeding Program on Quality Forage

Title: Optimizing Yield and Quality of Cereal Forage
Author: Vern Baron

Title: Corn Silage as a Companion Forage: Pros and Cons
Author: Larry Satter

Title: The Fundamentals of Making Good Quality Silage
Author: Tim McAllister

Title: Blood Profiles as Indicators of Nutritional Status
Author: Bob Van Saun 


Title: Advances in Bovine Embryo Transfer- Using DNA Analysis to Select the Sex and Genotypes of Calves
Author: Brian Shea

Title: Tail Docking Dairy Cattle
Authors: Cassandra Tucker and Dan Weary

Title: Cow Comfort And Free-Stall Design
Authors: Dan Weary and Cassandra Tucker

Title: Plane of Nutrition Affects Growth and Reproduction In Prepubertal Dairy Heifers
Authors: Chelikani, P.K., Ambrose J.D., Glimm, D.R. and Kennelly, J.J.