Dairy Notes cow picture

Tip of the Month

Heat Stress Negatively Impacts Reproduction During and After Heat Events

  • Heat stress decreases estrous duration, follicular growth, conception rates, and early embryo survival irrespective of use of AI or natural service.
  • Heat stress 1 to 2 days before AI and during early pregnancy decreases fertility.
  • Some reproductive physiologists estimate negative effects last 6 weeks past heat stress events.
  • Bulls also have decreased fertility associated with heat stress and effects last well past heat stress events.
  • These negative impacts reemphasize the need for fans and sprinklers in barns, at feedbunks, and in holding pens.

corn silage crop

Feeding This Year’s Corn Silage Crop

Preliminary reports indicate that this year’s corn silage crop in some locations across the state may have suffered from the lack of early rains during pollination resulting in spotty or lack of ear development and/or reduced plant growth.

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cow head



Observation is the Key to Being a “Cow Whisperer”

Understanding how dairy cows react to novel situations is important when managing them during their daily activities associated with milking and general management practices.

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cows behind yellow barrier

Water—the Nutrient We Often Take for Granted

Behind oxygen, water is the most important component for life and is consumed in the largest quantity of all the essential nutrients. Understanding the importance of water and how to effectively manage your dairy feeding system to provide adequate water intake is very important for optimum milk production and growth.  Read more

Corn Silage Harvest Reminders 

Corn silage harvest


  • Moisture of the corn plant determines the time to harvest. Harvest at 62 to 65% moisture (35 to 38% DM) (Choppers without kernel processors should be harvested a little wetter– 32 to 35% DM to allow breakage of corn kernels.)
  • Healthy corn plants dry down 0.5 to 1.0%/day.
  • Kernel processers need to be working properly to adequately break up corn kernels and cob. Roller spacing on kernel processors need to be so that no more than 2 or 3 half or whole kernels of corn (cob in 8 pieces) are found in a chopped sample contained in a 32 oz. cup. Spacing between rollers should be such that a dime will not fit between the rollers. Kernel processors do increase power requirements and thus diesel usage. However, for each additional gallon of diesel at $6/gal. used, only 0.05 lbs of milk ($22/cwt) are needed to recoup additional fuel cost with 20 ton/acre corn silage. Extra diesel costs can very quickly be recouped from additional milk volume and thus income.
  • For bunkers and piles, pack the chopped silage with a tractor weighing 800 times the number of wet tons delivered per hour at a speed of 1.5 to 2.5 mph.
  • Cover top of uprights, piles, and bunkers with plastic. For bunkers, line bunker sides with plastic with extra plastic overlapping the walls. Once filled, use the extra plastic to cover part of the top closest to the walls to prevent water seeping under the top cover of plastic and causing spoilage.