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June is Dairy Month - A day in the life of a dairy cow


Fri, Jun 3rd, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

By Nellie the Holstein, as related to Abby Stocker

Mooooo. (That means "howdy" in cow, in case you didn't know.) My name's Nellie, and I'm a dairy cow at Duschee Hills Dairy just outside Lanesboro, Minnesota. I heard June is Dairy Month and decided that it's high time that you humans got some perspective from me, the cow. After all, without me, the dairy industry wouldn't exist. So sit yourself down and let me tell you about my day.

4 a.m.--time to get up. All of us cows are divided into groups based on our age and how long we've been milking. Milking takes about four hours at our farm. If you think that seems long, try milking 200 cows in a 16-stall parallel milking parlor yourself. Yeah, it takes awhile...especially if you get a couple of slow milkers in there. I always get stuck milking at the same time as my friend Bessie, and she takes forever to milk. But at least I'm in the two-year-old group. We're milked last, so I can sleep in a little before the long wait for Bessie to finish.

7:30 a.m.--milking time! I get my favorite stall (the far end on the left), which means I can look out the window. I like it if I can have the same stall every morning; we cows are fond of routine. Most cows on our farm give anywhere from 50 to 130 pounds of milk per day--that's right, our output is measured by weight. My milk production is pretty average right now at 82 pounds each day. That's 10 gallons! As the months go by, though, I'll gradually give less milk until the farmers let me rest before I calve again.

8 a.m.--milking is done, so my friends and I head over to the free stall barn. I love this place. It's got lots of comfy sand to lay in, plus water and food ready and waiting. The best part is that I can roam around in the barn wherever I want, whenever I want. I can even spend hours socializing with the other cows.

I notice that two new calves have been brought down from the pasture this morning. I can't wait to catch up with their mothers--we haven't seen each other since they went on vacation to the pasture a few months before the calves were born.

9 a.m.--I hear the truck arriving to carry away the milk that my friends and I have given in the last day. It comes every morning. We cows have never quite figured out what the milk goes or where the humans do with all of it, since the calves are all still on the farm. Once, I saw a picture of a human with the words, "Got Milk?" printed underneath. We couldn't quite .....
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June is Dairy Month - Top 10 strategies to improve early lactation performance for higher peak milk yield

Fri, Jun 3rd, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

By Noah Litherland, Dairy Nutritionist, University of Minnesota Extension

Getting cows off to a good start and successful navigation through early lactation is critical to the health and performance of the cow and has significant impact on re ..... 
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My apologies to EAB

Fri, Jun 3rd, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Extension Notes

By Jerrold Tesmer, Extension Educator for Fillmore/Houston counties

With the tornado related concerns last week, I slighted "Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week." I've been drawing some comparisons between EAB and tornados ..... 
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Feedlot Korner

Fri, May 27th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Due to the recent damage on area farms a question has come up for discussion. "What can or can't I bury on my farm?"

As of July 1st, 2011, Section 6, Minnesota Statute 2010, section 17.135 will be in effect:

A permit is not required ..... 
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Recovery after disaster: the family financial toolkit

Fri, May 27th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Extension Notes

By Jerrold Tesmer, Extension Educator for Fillmore/Houston counties

On Sunday evening I surveyed much of the tornado damage across Bristol and Harmony Township. When I arrived at the office Monday morning Phyllis Onstad ..... 
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Farm service agency news

Wed, May 25th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

FSA Reminder:

June 1 Deadline for 2011

DCP/ACRE Sign Up

SAINT PAUL, MINN., May 17, 2011 - USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Minnesota Executive Director Linda Hennen reminds producers that June 1, 2011, is the enrollment deadline ..... 
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Summer hay pricing

Wed, May 25th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Extension Notes

With snow still on the ground I received my first inquiry on, "How to charge for standing hay?"

Merv Freeman was an Extension Farm Management Specialist when I first started working for Extension. A formula he often us ..... 
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Farm service agency news

Wed, May 25th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Hispanic and Women Farmers and Ranchers Claims Process

Linda Hennen, state executive director of USDA Farm Service Agency in Minnesota, announced the establishment of a process to resolve the claims of Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers ..... 
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Flourish summer programs bring ag and culture together

Mon, May 23rd, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

The Dreamery Rural Arts Initiative, a not-for-profit organization based in Fillmore County with a focus on arts in rural spaces, offers two intensive programs that invite participants to explore the arts on a working small-scale farm. Flourish Summe ..... 
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