The year is coming to a close, and it’s always a time to reflect on accomplishments from the year. At Dairy One there have been lots of changes happening throughout 2023. This retrospective of the year will give you a chance to see what’s new and useful for your farm.
New Services and Products
Each year brings new opportunities to Dairy One customers, and this year, we introduced three services and products to improve farm management and success.
Mycoplasma bovis testing services were added for dairy farm customers. Using a DHI milk sample, the Animal Health Diagnostic Lab can test it for the DNA associated with this type of mastitis. If a sample is positive, then the farmer will pull that cow into the sick pen to prevent the spread of this disease to the entire herd. This test will save dairies not only money but also stop a potential outbreak in a milking herd.
CattleEye is a tool to help identify cows with locomotion problems. It uses a camera enabled with artificial intelligence to score cows as they pass underneath it on their way out of the milking parlor. Cows with locomotion issues may not seem like a large cost to farms, but the bills add up. Using CattleEye will provide farmers with a way to pull the right cows to see the hoof trimmer and a way to track hoof records for each cow.
RealmFive has many different options to help track different farm products. From the level of a manure lagoon to how much feed is left in a bin; these sensors will provide farmers with alerts when something isn’t right. This product is almost like another invisible employee on a farm who reports back on where things stand to prevent problems.
Dairy One Laboratories had another banner year providing analysis and service to a wide range of industries. The Milk Laboratory acquired another instrument to perform milk analysis, which is a huge help as herd sizes grow across the Northeast.
In addition, teams shifted into new lab spaces. The Animal Health Diagnostic Lab switched buildings and added two rooms to complete additional testing services. Their new space also gives them more room to complete milk and blood pregnancy testing, as well as Bovine Viral Diarrhea and Johne’s Disease testing.
After getting a refresh the old space will become a Digestibility Lab in 2024. That will be part of the Forage Laboratory, and we are excited to be offering that service soon to customers.
For all laboratories, Dairy One is working on ways to improve customer communication. For the Forage and Soil Laboratories this year, the teams began testing new ways of responding to calls and emails from individuals. The new system has helped get answers quicker to people while also streamlining the process.
Expanded Milk Testing
The DHI Services team, comprised of DHI Field Technicians, began the year working alongside many farms that were making the switch to BoviSync Herd Management Software. This new technology makes test day a lot easier for Technicians and allows them to update information the evening before test day. That small step has a big impact on how they move their workday.
As dairies continue to build larger facilities and herds, the DHI Technicians have begun to work in large teams to work together on test day. Syncing schedules or planning rotations adds another level to completing a test day in a timely manner. However, it provides many benefits to team members including learning skills from one another and building camaraderie between one another in market regions.
Speaking of regions, we are beginning to branch a little further into the state of Ohio to offer testing services to farms located there. Although Dairy One hasn’t ventured too far in this expansion, the Technicians in that region have enjoyed visiting and testing new dairies.
Agricultural Consulting Services (ACS) had another banner year in 2023. Their field services and environmental consulting continue to have a big impact on farms. From vegetable farms that are scouted to Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in need of regulatory plans, ACS spends many hours on farms helping them be a success.
Looking to 2024, Dairy One will be celebrating 75 years of business. This huge milestone will be marked throughout the year, so stay tuned for fun updates about that!
In closing, we’d like to thank all our customers and employees. Our customers provide us with the opportunity to help them make their operations and businesses a success. Our employees are the ones who show up every day to make everything we offer a possibility. Dairy One continues to expand, but without these two core groups, it would not be hitting important milestones. We wish you a happy holiday season, and here’s to a great 2024!