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TheDairySite Newsletter - 23 May 2014

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Friday 23rd May 2014.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Novus International

MSD Animal Health

Is Parlour Training Heifers Worthwhile?

Efforts made to initiate heifers to parlour routine may be wasted, according to a research review by a US livestock expert.

Stress limits performance and the transition into the milking herd represents a huge challenge to cows as physiology, diet, housing, management and levels of human contact change, a Tennessee State University dairy expert has told farmers.

Dr Peter Krawczel has outlined a piece of New Zealand research, listing milking disruption and increased mastitis risk as threats from nervous cluster-kicking cows.

He said that human contact is a major factor and pointed to research showing that animals more comfortable around humans give higher yields and components.

However, he concluded that the benefits are hugely dependent on specific animals, advising that ‘training up’ heifers appears fruitless.

The study in question took the 20 most and least wary heifers from a herd - based on a human avoidance test - and monitored performance after a three stage training programme.

Cows were stratified according to response to humans approaching animal flight zones and introduced to various challenges heifers face entering the milk herd.

Entry from holding pen, introduction to noises and touching within the milking parlour were the first two stages, followed by a more robust exploration of a typical milking environment.

Human avoidance, Dr Krawczel added, is considered to be one of the key methods in testing for fear of humans.

Summarising the AgResearch study, he said: “Overall, training did have some advantages, but these benefits were often dependent on the temperament of the heifer.

“For example, the low-response trained heifers allowed an approaching human to come the closest at the end of the training sessions, but the high-response, trained heifers were the group that voluntarily came the closest to a seated human.”

Conversely, a corpus of research exists making a case for positive handling of heifers to reduce their stress response.

Other benefits can be linked to welfare as confident cows walk steadier and cause less hoof aggravation. 

Concluding his reivew of the New Zealand study, Dr Krawczel concluded: “Regardless of these minor behavioural changes, due to the limited benefit for milking performance the data does not support investing time in training heifers.”

VIV Europe 2014 Digital

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This Week's Articles and Analysis

Scrunizing Supershedders in E.Coli Spread
American government scientists are striving to limit the movement of E. coli O157:H7 - a bacteria of no danger to cattle - through the supply chain where it can lead to severe illness in humans.

Helping Survival and Fertility Through Cross Breeding
Cross breeding Holstein cattle can improve conception rates, health and profit margin, and what's more there are numbers to show just exactly by how much.

Don't Think Weather Worries Are Over
As the US waves goodbye to one of the toughest winters in memory, farmers are reminded that it is summer that can challenge cows most.

Simple Steps A Must For Growing Lucerne
Growing Lucerne need not be a headache if some simple growing rules are applied, a leading UK academic has said.

Company News

Two Merit Awards for Novus at Best of NAMA
US - Novus International was recognized with two merit awards at the Best of NAMA in Jacksonville, Florida in April during the annual convention of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA).
Beat the Cold – Improve Productivity with Termotecnica Pericoli
ITALY - Termotecnica Pericoli is synonymous with heating and environment, climate management, so it is natural that when it comes to calf comfort during cold months, one looks to them for viable solutions, with their newly released new agriTERM with capacities, from 10kW to 100kW designed to suit your specific requirements.
New Europe Business Unit Manager for Vi-COR
EUROPE - Varied Industries Corporation (Vi-COR®) has announced that Mr Bo Hansen has been accepted to the position of Business Unit Manager for Europe.
Market Reports

USDA National Dairy Products Sales Report - 21 May 2014
Dairy Australia - Fortnightly Update 16 May 2014
USDA Milk Production - 19 May 2014
USDA Cattle on Feed - 16 May 2014
Economic Report NAB Post-farmgate Agribusiness Survey - March Quarter 2014

Global Dairy Industry News

   United States

Conference on Agricultural Waste and Environmental Quality Seeks Input
House, Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees Mark up Legislation
Two Per Cent of Cattle Could Be 'SuperShedders'
AMI Helps US Consumers Confused about Antibiotics
Ag Economist Offers Insights to Latest US Farm Bill
Infection or Injury? Simplifying the Lameness Issue
Cattle Futures: June Live Cattle Closed Down Thursday

   United Kingdom

Liver Fluke Affects Nearly 1 in 4 British Cattle
Veterinary Body Splits With Badger Trust on Cull Review
UK Farming Union Presidents Issue Joint Call-to-arms
Brown Appointed New BAFSAM Secretary General
Manage Grass Through Your Boots
Livestock, Pets Linked to Emergence of Zoonotic Diseases
Students Focus on Lucerne For Cattle Nutrition
NFU Asks Members to Report Retailers Breaching GSCOP


Global Freshwater Conservation Gains Momentum Among UN Countries
How Valuable are UN’s Food and Agriculture Business Principles?
El Nino Presents a Mixed Bag For World Agriculture
Use Trade Talks to Address 'Protectionist' EU Dairy Measures
Global Food, Agriculture Sustainable Business Principles Unveiled
US, EU Jointly Fight Antimicrobial Resistance


Amul to Invest $769 million in Next Two Years
Amul to Set up Dairy Plant in Varanasi
Haryana Clears New Agri Policy


Chinese Farm Produce Prices Pick Up
China, Tajikistan Discuss Agricultural Cooperation


Dutch Make Progress in Reducing Antibiotic Usage
Potential of Insects as Resources for Animal Feed


British Company Heralds Cheddar Success With Taiwan


Japanese Cattle Numbers Falling


Cattle Treated for FMD After Buffalo Cause Outbreak


Milking Equipment Not Checked Enough, Farmers Warned


FMD NEWS: FMD Outbreaks in Zimbabwe Affect Cattle

   Russian Federation

Farm Scholars Learn of Russian Dairy Progress

   European Union

Animal Welfare During Transportation on EU Committee Agenda


Irish Farmers Praised for Caring for Animals on Year-round Basis


Philippine Agri-fishery Performance up in Terms of Value


Italian Dairy Leader Sticks Up For Milk


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