Dairy Cow Performance

Dairy Cow Performance

With your Southeast Regional Ag Report, I'm Trevor Williams.

Healthy, productive cows are the ultimate goal for any livestock operation — especially on the nation’s dairy farms where markets can be unpredictable and margins tight. Here in the Southeast, Georiga and Florida are home to just under 200 dairys.

In this segment from Holstein Association USA, we learn how genomic technology is advancing the dairy industry today, and how producers can select the best cows to meet their breeding and profitability goals.

Sophisticated science and DNA technology are shaping progress in the U.S. dairy industry today.

Genomic testing has come a long way since its humble beginnings more than a decade ago, says Eric Olstad (OLE-stahd) of Zoetis…tape

*“It’s really been tested in the marketplace and it’s really kind of shown itself to be an effective tool. The early adopters have seen that, so now as it is spreading more through the industry, we are seeing more adaptation from clients, regardless of herd size, that really want to get more precision-like in their female breeding program and what progress they are making.”*

When margins are tight, each and every cow makes a difference in overall herd productivity, and profitability. Animal health, wellness and longevity are key, Olstad says

*“You have X amount of room on your farm, whether it’s 100 cows or 10,000 cows. So, what kind of cow are you going to milk, you know? What’s the age of your cow? We can certainly get more milk out of cows that are second-calf and third-calf. So, how do we look at the make-up of that herd, not just genetically, but from the lifecycle. Can we harvest more pounds of milk, per stall or per animal unit, because we can now have an older cow that is also disease resistant.”*

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