July 13, 2015

Putting Dairy Cows Out to Pasture: An Environmental Plus

Editors Note: This article was written by Ann Perry, Agricultural Research Service Information Staff, and comes to us from the ARS’ Agricultural Research Magazine. Every year, a hefty dairy cow tucked away in a snug barn produces more than 20,000 pounds of milk, along with an impressive amount of manure and an array of gases. New modeling work […]

July 6, 2015

Estimating Cattle Age With Dentition

Did you know that cattle don’t get all their permanent teeth until they’re 5 years old? The lower front teeth, known as incisors, come in over a period of years, 2 pair at a time, starting with the two center teeth. This means that you can tell the age of your animals by how many […]

May 11, 2015

Need a Great Milking Parlor? Burn Down Your Old One!

No, we’re not serious. Do NOT burn down your barn. BUT, if you’re considering starting your own dairy, or you’re in the market for improving an old one, here are some great suggestions from someone whose barn DID burn down.

March 23, 2015

Moving to Mobile Milking Parlors

There are plenty of reasons not to have a mobile milking parlor, especially if you just lived through winter in the northeast. Open air milking is for the birds when it’s -20 out. But what if it made sense? Because you live in a more temperate climate, or you’ve gone seasonal, or you’ve got a […]

March 2, 2015

Dairy Your Way

Maybe you’re not going to change anything, but maybe you’re curious. Or maybe you’re feeling like the road you’re going down is no fun any more. A change might be in order. As part of a SARE-funded project, a group from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan developed a booklet, Dairy Your Way, that breaks down options […]

November 17, 2014

Dairy Farming Without Grain

In response to increasing demand for grass-fed dairy products from cows fed only forages, some organic milk buyers are now paying a premium for this “Grassmilk”. In addition, many dairy farms direct marketing raw milk or farmstead cheeses are interested in zero grain dairying. But zero grain dairy farming is very challenging, so there are […]

November 3, 2014

Breeding Matters Part IV: Culling for Fertility

You can breed however you’d like. To be truly successful, breed for fertility, and breed for your farm. Morgan delves deeper into how.

October 13, 2014

Line Breeding is Good For Profit

A couple months ago I wrote an article for On Pasture called Breeding Matters. I briefly alluded to Line Breeding as a method of getting greater consistency and uniformity of type in one’s herd or flock. Many graziers I talk to essentially say, “So why should I care how my cattle are bred, or my […]

August 4, 2014

Grass-fed Beef and Milk Is Healthier

When a scientist says something works, or is better, it’s based on what research has demonstrated, or at least what it has demonstrated up to that point in time.  So when the Union of Concerned Scientists says that you can safely claim that grass-fed beef and milk is better than their conventionally raised counterparts, you can take […]

July 7, 2014

Breeding Matters

Like many of us in the business of grass-farming for livestock production, I have been preoccupied by a persistent question; Nature vs. Nurture, Breeding vs. Management, Genetics vs. Environment, all takes on the same dichotomy. Of course the answer is unequivocally, “YES.” The functionality of an animal for our particular purposes is absolutely the sum […]

May 19, 2014

Making the Most of Grass-Fed Milk

We thought you’d all enjoy this video because it looks at the benefits of grass-based dairying from the perspective of the producers and their cows and the chefs using their products. What can you use from their inspiration to make your operation easier to operate and more profitable? How can you use this information to market your own product?

April 21, 2014

4 Rules + 1 For Being A Successful Dairy Farmer

No matter what you raise on pasture, you can always learn something from a farmer like Lyle Edwards who has pushed through hard times and worked to create a good life for his livestock and his family.

March 24, 2014

The Cost of Thin Cows

Skinny cows may look better in bikinis, but in the beef business that’s not really how we measure success. Economic losses from thin cows can be substantial.  As the graph below shows, the thinner the cow, the less likely she is to become pregnant.  While weaning weight may not always be a good measure of […]

March 17, 2014

Ron’s Nurse Cows

Using nurse cows can be a money saving way to raise and feed dairy calves. Here are some tips for making it work at your place.

March 17, 2014

Twenty years of grazing profitably, inside and outside the box

Ron Holter is one of the smartest farmers you could meet. He thinks things through to create the life he wants. Now his dairy cows eat no grain, aren’t high producing, and he has time to take a nap just about every day. Here’s how he makes a good living in spite of (or because of) all this.

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