Big Programs are Coming!

October and the fall season always remind us to begin preparations for change, and the start of a new agriculture meeting season!  Much planning and preparation has been done this past month for the upcoming meeting season!  And we are excited about it!  Programming includes those related to calf management, farm business succession, animal well-being, confined animal feeding operations, and more!

UW-Extension is known for the unbiased, university-based knowledge we share with farmers, agri-business professionals, and the consumer.  Part of that knowledge base is derived by our local farmers!  Extension Dairy & Livestock Agent Tina Kohlman is in the process of compiling and analyzing state-wide data from 30 plus dairy farms on the cost of raising dairy calves on automated calf feeding systems.  Based on the 2013 cost of production analysis, it cost approximately $5.51 per calf per day for the first 60 days of life to raise on a traditional feeding management system, but little is known on feeding systems that incorporated automation.  The goal of the field survey is to differentiate the differences in labor and management regarding traditional and automated calf feeding systems.  This information will establish financial benchmarks for those already utilizing an automated calf feeding system, and information for those seeking to switch to the system.  Once analyzed, the study will be shared this winter via meetings, seminars, articles, and fact sheets.  Stay tuned!

Article By: Tina Kohlman

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