[November 1, 2016] – Every dairy farmer wants to maximize milk production, but the pathway to achieving it is unique for each herd. Purina Animal Nutrition conducted an informal survey to discover the management areas dairy farmers are focusing on to reach their goals.
At World Dairy Expo, dairy farmers were asked to vote by placing a ping-pong ball in the management area which best represents their herd’s greatest opportunity to increase milk production. Votes were collected in person at the Purina Animal Nutrition booth and online.
More than 1,000 dairy farmers voted, and three management areas quickly rose to the top:
- Facilities and cow comfort
- Feeding and nutrition
- Calf and heifer raising
Tim Servais, a dairy farmer from Studdard, Wis., who milks 380-cows, cast his vote for feeding and nutrition. He explains, “We recently updated our facilities, and I’ve been pleased with the resulting increase in cow comfort and milk production. Now, I see room for improvement in feeding and nutrition. I’m working closely with my nutritionist to continue my herd’s progress.”
As dairy farmers placed their votes, Purina Animal Nutrition experts were on hand to offer insight on tools available to help define pathways to greater milk production.
Twenty percent of dairy farmers agreed with the vote that Servais cast. The other results show that 20.3 percent felt calf and heifer raising was their next opportunity, 29.1 percent voted for facilities and cow comfort, 13.5 percent herd health and reproduction, 13.5 percent for labor and management, while 3.3 percent felt another factor was their next step to higher milk production.
“Many dairy farmers want to optimize their herd’s performance,” says Kevin Dill, Ph.D., dairy technical services manager with Purina Animal Nutrition. “Purina is here to help dairy farmers focus their efforts on areas where they can make the greatest impact. Then, we can develop a specific action plan.”