One of the most important areas where innovation has changed the dairy industry is the science and management of feeding the dairy cow. At the 20th PDPW Business Conference, March 13-14 in Madison two of the great minds in dairy cow nutrition will present the latest science and its practical application on the farm.
Dr. Trevor DeVries, associate professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Guelph, Kemptville Campus, Ontario, Canada, specializes in understanding the links between dairy cow behavior, nutrition and welfare.
"My group's fundamental research explores the expression, development and learning of feeding behavior in dairy cattle, as well as the physiological consequences of that behavior," he says. "Applied research projects address practical approaches to improving the housing, management, and feeding of dairy cattle in effort to improve production, health, and welfare."
In a session titled, "Bunkering Down: Reducing Between-Cow Variation in Nutrition Intake through Feed Bunk Management," DeVries will share what the latest research shows regarding feed bunk management strategies that encourage feed access and reduced feed sorting, as well as help dairy cows maximize the potential of their rations.
In addition, this highly regarded researcher will present another session on "Ill Behavior: Predicting and Identifying Illness through Changes in Cow Behavior." This session will zero in on cow behaviors associated with different illnesses—including metabolic and infectious transition disease, lameness, mastitis and other issues that can affect efficiency and productivity.
Dr. Mike Hutjens has built a distinguished career as a researcher and presenter. Specializing in dairy feeding and nutrition for 40 years, Hutjens has authored 21 technical journal articles and abstracts as well as developed three computer programs.
PDPW Business Conference attendees will have the opportunity to hear Hutjens present "Pushing for Profits in Your Dairy Business." This session will look at various feeding and management strategies to maintain profits during a time of changing milk prices and feed costs. Benchmark values will be provided to measure your farm and find hidden profits, including group strategies, building the milk check and feed bunk management ideas.
Producer panelists Terry Van Maanen, Winding Meadows Dairy Inc., Rock Valley, Iowa, and Doug Fairbanks, Anamosa, Iowa, will add to the Hutjens session and share insight and decisions in "pushing for profits" on their farms.
For more information on the 2012 PDPW Business Conference, and to register, visit www.pdpw.org or call 800-947-7379.