As of April 21, the Class III Milk price is $24.23. This is an attractive selling price so take advantage of every opportunity to improve milk production NOW as well as looking to maintain it for the future.
Here are five things you can do TODAY to maximize milk in the tank:
1. Bovikalc: Give a Bovikalc bolus at calving to every cow lactation two and older and then give another one 12-24 hours later. Bovikalc given to the top 50% milk producing cows showed a 7% increase in milk production.
2. Keep them Cool: Don’t let a hot spring and summer steal your milk production. Start your cooling system when the temperature is above 72 degrees F. Soak them in the holding pen. Add cooling/shade to the prefresh cows. You will get better feed intake and a better transition.
3. Foot Health: Don’t fall behind on hoof trimming and run the footbath three times a week to keep foot problems to a minimum. Lameness is expensive and loses a lot of milk. Run the prefresh cows and heifers through the footbath three times a week to reduce hairy heel wart problems in the fresh pen.
4. Market Opportunity Cows: Market price for cull cows is good. Fill each slot in your barn with the most profitable cow that you can. Every farm has a magic number of cows per pen before it gets crowded and cows cannot meet their potential. Use COWVAL in DairyComp to help generate lists of opportunity cows.
5. Spend time with your Fresh Cows: Identify sick cows early and maximize recovery. Cows with assisted calvings or twins should be identified and evaluated daily (milk, attitude, manure, uterus). Check every cow’s attitude, manure, temperature, and uterus at day 5 and 10 post-calving. If we miss a cow in the fresh pen, her entire lactation is affected. Many of the items we do on the farm are important for the future of the dairy and don’t show a return on investment very quickly. Take advantage of some of these quick hitters to maximize milk production.