CanWest DHI is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2014 Herd Management Score award for Ontario is Larenwood Farms owned and operated by Chris, Grant and Dan McLaren of Drumbo, in Oxford County.
With a score of 985 out of a possible 1,000 points, the McLarens have acheived superior performance across all aspects of herd management. Their 2014 Score was also tops for the entire CanWest region (Ontario to British Columbia), which encompasses 4,000 DHI herds.
The McLarens were excited. “We knew the herd was improving and doing well, but we did not expect to be recognized with the top score. We were surprised and humbled by the news.”
The DHI Herd Management Score allocates points for performance in 6 different
management areas and is an excellent barometer of overall herd performance. It is a great tool for monitoring overall herd performance from year to year and also allows herds to benchmark themselves against others.
The McLarens, with a milking herd of 90 Holsteins, attribute their herd management
success to many things. “There is no silver bullet, it’s a lot of little things adding up,” says Chris. He adds, “Three years ago we moved from a tie-stall to a new free-stall setup with sand bedding and we’ve seen production, udder health and longevity steadily improve.”
An important part of their approach is attending meetings, exchanging ideas with other dairy farmers and partnering with the University of Guelph to run research trials.
CanWest DHI also extends congratulations to Summitholm Holstein of Lynden in
Wentworth County, who were second in the province and Brakke Farm, of Grand Valley in Dufferin County, who ranked third.
CanWest DHI is pleased to announce the introduction of Mobile DHI, a new app designed to provide producers with easy access to herd and cow data.
Available for Android and Apple devices, Mobile DHI can be downloaded free-of-charge from app stores.
The herd and cow information available through Mobile DHI is essentially the same as what is found in paper reports or electronic data files. At the herd level, producers will find their herd average milk production, components, SCC, BCAs, as well as the ability to look at previous test day averages and graphs of some of the key measures.
At the cow level, much of the same production information is available for each cow as well as previous lactation totals. In addition, some cow lifetime information such as age, sire and dam is displayed, as well as basic reproduction information.
Once the Mobile DHI app has been downloaded, producers simply have to contact DHI to enroll (monthly fee applies for data access) and receive details on accessing their herd data, including their own personal identification number (PIN).
CanWest DHI is pleased to announce the introduction of a convenient and cost-effective Ketosis milk test.
Dairy producers and their advisors understand the importance of a successful transition period and early lactation. However, Ketosis continues to be a common problem on many farms. Studies have shown that both subclinical and clinical Ketosis results in lower milk production, higher risk of mastitis and metabolic diseases as well as a negative impact on reproduction, all adding up to significant cost.
For that reason, some will monitor the level of Ketosis in the herd with the use of on farm tests. The new milk test from DHI now provides another testing option to help monitor the level of subclinical Ketosis in the herd.
The Ketoscreen test from DHI uses the regularly collected DHI samples and measures the concentration of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), a ketone body, which when found in high levels is an indication of the risk for Ketosis. Results from the DHI milk test have been shown to correlate well with on farm BHB tests.
As the name implies, the Ketoscreen service is meant to be a herd screening tool that provides an overview and trend of the ketosis status and risk in the herd. Results can be used to help assess and monitor the dry and early lactation periods, with a focus on prevention and reduction of Ketosis. Without regular measuring, it is difficult to monitor and make improvements.