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Dairy Herd Management Tools

This page has been created to provide management tools in the form of worksheets that may be helpful to the dairyman.

Most worksheets are in Excel format and you can download and use them or open on the website and use. In addition there are some links to websites which have useful tools.

The "tools" have been broken down into 8 categories - Expansion Projections, Economic Evaluators, Nutrition, Reproduction, Heifer Programs, Udder Health, Silage and General.

Your computer's macro security settings may cause a prompt to appear warning you about macros in some of these tools. You can accept the tool by clicking on OK or change your macro security setting so this prompt does not occur in future.

Below is a brief description of the tool beside each link.

EXPANSION PROJECTIONS
Planning on expansion requires a number of calculations. This worksheet allows you to put in your cull rate, age at first calving, calving interval and other information and will give you a 10 year projection as to the expected number of cattle purchases or sales are needed over and above normal herd activities to meet your goals for herd size. It also will give an estimate of the quota needed for the additional animals.
Click Here

This worksheet from Wisconsin allows you to evaluate milking center costs and performance.
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Changing to 3 times per day milking (3X) has a increase in milk but also associated additional costs. This worksheet allows you to see the impact of these costs and returns. It gives you the option to change various factors to see the impact.
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This Labour Worksheet allows you to determine where time is spent on a dairy farm. The tab called 'Labour Wksht' is a page to print and fill in. Directions are on the back. The 'Labour Calc' tab allows you to input the values you cane up with and it will calculate the time spent on cows, heifers, forages, grains and management. If you use the section on the right side to track tractor (any motorized vehicle) use, it will also give you an good estimate as to where the fuel in being used.
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OMAF also has a number of financial tools for various uses.
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NUTRITION
How much value does a feed have compared to it's cost? This worksheet uses "Petersen's equations" in an easy to use format to allow you to compare the value of a grain or a forage against the current prices of Soybean meal and corn or corn silage.
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Penn State has developed this evaluation tool that goes with the Penn State Particle Separator. After you have determined the weights on each of the trays, this worksheet will help you analyze what the results mean.
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REPRODUCTION
Pregnancy rate (PR) is one of the best measures of reproductive performance. Research has been done to calculate the advantage of improving your PR. Your herd's PR is available from any Dairy COMP product or by asking your DHI fieldstaff. This worksheet allows you to see the expected gain for your herd if you improve your PR.
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To maintain consistent milk flow we need to have a certain number of calvings each month. This worksheet considers your reproduction and abortion values to give an estimate of the numbers of breedings needed each month to meet your goal.
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Another tool that has good value is the Projected Herd Inventory List from Dairy Comp Scout or 305. If you have been providing breeding and pregnancy dates to DHI, it will give projected # of animals expected to calve by month for the next 8 months. This can be a useful tool to plan cattle purchases/sales with respect to your quota situation. This report is also available from your DHI fieldstaff.

Are there other ways to measure reproduction? While PR is the best, this calculator will allow you to see if there are other areas that need to be addressed. Even if the average PR is okay, there are individuals that need attention. This worksheet may help you identify them.
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Canadian Dairy Network (CDN) has two calculators to assist a dairyman with Inbreeding or Indexing questions. They can be found in the legend on the left side of the page.
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HEIFER PROGRAMS
This is a quick way to see the graph of your heifer's growth against the "standard". The value of a graph is that trends show up that may not be seen by a series of numbers. Identifying these trends can improve efficiency. In addition, it will prompt you of any animals that should be bred because of size.
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The number of heifers needed to replace cows that are culled is dependent on two things: age at 1st calving and cull rate. Having a lower cull rate or a younger age at 1st calving will invariably leave more heifers to sell, usually at higher prices than cull cows. This worksheet shows the numbers needed as well as the financial impact in terms of cattle sales per year.
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UDDER HEALTH
There is value to understanding how much mastitis is costing and where your losses are occurring. This worksheet estimates the various losses based on your Linear Score and treatment procedures.
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SILAGE AND STORAGE COSTS
This calculator from Alberta agriculture will compare the costs of various hay crop storage systems, taking into account costs to harvest and storage losses.
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This worksheet from Wisconsin calculates the density of silage in various storages based on weight and volume removed. The user can enter weight removed and dimensions of storage.
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What kind of storage costs and losses can you expect from various management styles and systems. Keith Bolson and workers at Kansas State University have developed this worksheet that takes into account all the variables and shows you expected costs and results from various scenarios.
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GENERAL
These calculators from Alberta agriculture will calculate the volume of grain in either rectangular or round bins. You enter the dimensions and what crop it is and the calculator will give you the answer.
Rectangular Bin

Round Bin

This calculator from Alberta agriculture will let you determine how much silage you have on hand in an existing bunker silo.
Click Here

Dairy Herd Management Magazine has a resource center for dairymen with articles and worksheets. Topic areas are Heifers, Reproduction, Nutrition and Forages. The resource center is on the right of the screen under the heading "Featured Sections". To visit this website, Click Here

University of Wisconsin has a website with a number of tools and calculators related to forage production. To visit this site, Click Here