Authors: Derek Nolan and Jeffrey Bewley, PhD 

The DHI  hot sheet is one of the most useful tools for producers, but sometimes it can be hard to determine what to do with the information.  The Hot Sheet Dashboard helps solve this dilemma by determining if there is an economic benefit to discarding a cow’s milk from the tank.  The objective of the dashboard is to provide producers with an economic value of how a cow or group of cows affects the bulk tank somatic cell count. The dashboard does not take into account producers using dump milk as a replacement for milk replacer.  The following is a user guide for this dashboard.

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Producer Inputs

Starting in the upper left hand corner:

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1) Choose which measurement system you use, either US or metric.  The measurement that you have chosen will turn black.  In this case, the producer would be using US measurements.    

2) Using information from a milk check or bulk tank records, fill in the milk weight that is shipped per pickup and the current milk price.

3) Using the hot sheet, record the average weighted somatic cell count at the top of the page.

4)  Choose whether your milk is picked up every day or every other day. 

5) With information provided from the milk processor, enter the somatic cell count levels that the processor will provide bonuses for. Then in the column to the right, list the bonuses that are received with the corresponding somatic cell count.

 

Individual cow information is entered in the bottom left hand corner: 

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1)  Using the hot sheet, enter in the milk yield for the test day of the top ten cows on the hot sheet.

2)  Enter the percent of the bulk tank somatic cell count listed on the right column of the hot sheet.

3)  Finally, determine which cows to milk in the tank and which cows to discard.  The option chosen will turn black.  For example in the figure above, the third, fourth, and tenth cow are going to be milked in the tank and the others will be discarded.

 

Results

The following figures show the results for the dashboard calculations:

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1)  Tank milk shows how the amount of milk in the bulk tank for shipment changes as you decide to discard a cow’s milk from the tank.  Therefore, in this case, from discarding the seven cows above the producer would be shipping just over 400 lbs. less milk per shipment.

2)  SCC shows how the bulk tank somatic cell count changes as cows are discarded from the tank.  When the bar turns green this is when the producer has entered the range of SCC where they can receive a bonus.  As the SCC decreases below the bonus levels entered from above, the producer will receive the bonuses corresponding to the SCC levels entered by the producer.

3)  The discarded milk reflects production, per shipment of milk, of cows that have been discarded and compares it to the sum of the production of all of the cows entered into the dashboard.

4)  The percent of the bulk tank SCC removed from the tank is the sum of the percentages of all of the discarded cows.  Therefore, in this example, the seven discarded cows make up 61% of the bulk tank SCC.    

5) The SCC removed from the tank is the difference of the sum of the percent of the bulk tank SCC removed from the tank and the original somatic cell count.  In this example 302,088 (cells/mL) have been removed from the tank by discarding the seven cows above.

Economic Results

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The figure above depicts the economic opportunity that the producer will be able to receive per shipment.  The dial will be red when there is a negative or no economic opportunity for the producer.  This may mean a SCC to meet the bonus requirements has not been reached, that there is no benefit to discarding cows from the tank, or that the combination of cows chosen needs to be changed.  When the value below the dial is in parenthesis, the producer is losing money.  When the indicator on the dial turns green, the producer is making a profit from the decisions made to discard cows. 

More Information on Hot Sheet Data