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Management Systems to Improve the Economic and Environmental Sustainability of Dairy Enterprises (Rev. NC-1119)
Department of Animal and Food Sciences
Provide producers with an understanding of the risk factors that affect the costs of raising dairy heifers such that the cost of raising heifers is reduced
Precise description of the biological processes to reduce calf morbidity and mortality to improve longevity, performance and profitability of the enterprise
Decision aids for prescribed feeding and growth systems for dairy heifers
Unique N and P nutritional regimens for dairy heifers incorporated into prediction equations (NRC)
Enterprise-level economic analyses of alternative management, nutrition (e.g., dietary supplements and byproduct feeds) and feeding systems
Provide management and nutritional recommendations for transition and lactating cows to be integrated into whole-herd analyses and decision support models;
Develop decision support systems for dairy producers and their advisors to aid in making profitable and environmentally sustainable on-farm decisions;
Improve understanding of events leading to lameness with the goal of preventing a portion of lameness in cows and heifers
Outcomes or projected Impacts:
Producer adoption of project outcomes and best management practices related to the dairy heifer and cow enterprise to yield more profit and reduce nutrient excretion to the environment
2011 Project Description
Compost bedded pack barns are a relatively new facility option for dairy producers. When managed properly, these facilities provide an economical, animal-friendly environment for dairy cows. We have worked together to provide information and technical support to producers managing these facilities to assist in barn construction and management.
During the winter of 2010/2011, with Randi Black (AFS Graduate Student) and Flavio Damasceno (BAE Graduate Student), we conducted an extensive field research project to characterize and describe 43 compost bedded pack barns in Kentucky including animal, compost, and building design factors. During these visits, we were also able to provide personalized advice based on our current knowledge.
We are in the process of summarizing this research to be incorporated into a series of extension factsheets and manuscripts for publication in animal science and agricultural engineering journals. We have presented information about compost bedded pack barn management at local extension meetings, the Kentuckiana Dairy Exchange, the American Dairy Science Association meeting, and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers meeting. Dr. Taraba and I were recently invited to present this work at the Dairy Practices Council meeting. We have been able to assist many producers in improving the performance of their compost bedded pack barns and consulted with additional producers in designing new facilities.
The compost bedded pack barn work has resulted in an increased understanding of the compost bedded pack barn and associated best management practices. Technology research provides new insight into the utility of automated temperature monitoring. The results of recent survey work focused on milk quality can provide valuable information for extension professionals to utilize in efforts to increase milk production in Kentucky by demonstrating actual practices employed by top dairy producers. This effort is part of a concentrated program to establish the University of Kentucky as a center of excellence for dairy facilities.
Given existing challenges with milk quality, animal health and well-being, financial capital availability, and waste management among Southeast dairy farms, compost bedded pack barn may likely play a key role in sustainability and survival of the dairy industry in this region because of the role this system can play in addressing each of these issues. The economic impact of a compost bedded pack barn for an average (85 cows) dairy is estimated at an additional income of $18,000 annually with a potential capital investment savings of $60,000 per farm compared to freestall housing. With approximately 65 dairies in Kentucky now managing compost barns, the economic impact is $1,080,000 annually with $3,900,000 in capital savings.
Russell, R.A. and J.M. Bewley. 2011. Producer assessment of dairy extension programming in Kentucky. J. Dairy Sci. 94: 2637-2647.
Bewley, J.M. 2011. Opportunities and challenges associated with the use of technology in extension programming. Abstract 45. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting. New Orleans, Louisiana.
Bewley, J.M. 2011. Extension programming in Kentucky to address somatic cell count challenges and opportunities. Abstract 170. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting. New Orleans, Louisiana.
Chaney, E.A. and J.M. Bewley. 2011. Advice from the experts: processor assessment of planning considerations for an on-farm dairy processing enterprise. Abstract M108. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting. New Orleans, Louisiana.
Black, R.A., J.L. Taraba, G.B. Day, F. A. Damasceno, and J.M. Bewley. 2011. An overview of compost bedded pack management in Kentucky. Abstract M112. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting. New Orleans, Louisiana.
Sterrett, A.E. and J.M. Bewley. 2011. Characterization of management practices utilized by low somatic cell count Kentucky dairy herds. Abstract M160. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting. New Orleans, Louisiana.
Smith, W.A., J.M. Bewley, and W.J. Silvia. 2011. Evaluation of three-dimensional accelerometers to monitor motion changes relative to estrus behavior. Abstract M163. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting. New Orleans, Louisiana.
Smith, W.A., J.M. Bewley, and W.J. Silvia. 2011. Potential for estrus detection in dairy cattle using reticular temperature monitors. Abstract 87. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting. New Orleans, Louisiana.
Cornett, M.C., D.L. Ray, and J.M. Bewley. 2011. Impact of water intake on dairy cattle reticulorumen temperature. Abstract 161. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting. New Orleans, Louisiana. Reiter, T.A. and J.M. Bewley. 2011. Impact and control of claw lesions in dairy cattle. Abstract 153. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting. New Orleans, Louisiana.
Bewley, J.M. 2010. When It Comes to Solving SCC Crimes, If You Don't Culture, You Don't Know. Kentucky Dairy Notes (November).
Black, R.A., J.L. Taraba, G.B. Day, F. A. Damasceno, M. C. Newman. K. A. Akers, and J.M. Bewley. 2011. Relationships among temperature, moisture, bacterial counts, and animal hygiene in compost bedded pack barns. Abstract 234. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting. New Orleans, Louisiana.
Bewley, J.M. 2011. Stochastic modeling of the economic and biological risks associated with Precision Dairy Farming investment decisions. Abstract 68. American Dairy Science Association: Midwest Section Annual Meeting. Des Moines, IA.
Reiter, T.A. and J.M. Bewley. 2011. Prevention of Hoof Disorders Using Footbaths. Kentucky Dairy Notes (August).
Sterrett, A.E. and J.M. Bewley. 2011. What can you learn from Kentucky dairy producers with low SCC Kentucky Dairy Notes. (June).
Bewley, J.M. 2011. Is it time to look at your somatic cell count dashboard Kentucky Dairy Notes. (May).
Bewley, J.M. 2011. Do your cows have enough room to rest in your freestalls Kentucky Dairy Notes. (February).
Taraba, J.L., J.M. Bewley, G. Day, R.A. Black, and F. Damasceno. 2010. Winter Management of Dairy Compost Bedded Pack Barns. Kentucky Dairy Notes (December).