Here in the Northeast, winter has its own list of chores that need to be done to prepare for the cold and the snowfall. Amid winterizing barns either by testing curtains or checking for possible frozen pipe areas, there are some items on the To-Do list that Dairy One can assist in checking off. From animal care to technology help, the various teams within Dairy One can make sure your farm is ready when the snow starts to fall.
Milk and Feed Analysis for Animal Health
One of the easiest items on your list to check off is milk testing with Dairy One. In addition to regular records reconciliation and review, a DHI testing program provides valuable insights into how much milk each cow is making as well as an analysis of each milk component. Working with a DHI Field Technician can help you tailor reports on somatic cell count, which animals need to be bred, and how much milk each one is producing. Additional health tests such as milk pregnancy or testing for Johne’s or BVD can be done with the help of Dairy One too.
Aside from milk testing, Dairy One’s Forage Labs can assist with feed analysis. During the winter months, animals rely heavily on nutrient intake from their feed, and you want to be sure it’s full of everything they need to efficiently use your feed resources while also producing optimal production results. The Forage Lab’s feed analysis reports will help you and your nutritionist ensure that everything necessary is present in what you’re feeding your animals.
Cameras to Keep an Eye on Barns
It’s inevitable that something is going to go wrong at the farm when you’re not there. A roof collapse, stolen equipment, or an employee accident are just some of the incidents that can happen on the farm during winter. If you’re not in the barn when it happens, you may have to rely on witnesses who can be unreliable or inconsistent. A camera system can be that objective extra set of eyes for you.
Dairy One’s Integrated Farming Solutions team can step in to help you install a camera system on your farm. Even when you’re not on the farm, you can still view key places via cameras. A camera in your milk parlor will capture what happens during milking time. Another camera installed in your machine shop can monitor which employees are “borrowing” what pieces of equipment. You can even place one outside to monitor people visiting your barns.
A camera system on your farm can be an extra security blanket for you and your team. While it watches key parts of your operation, you can focus on other tasks while knowing it has your back.
Preparing Fields for Springtime
While your crop fields lay dormant under the snow, it is still time to work them over. Not with equipment, but with data. Working with Agriculture Consulting Services (ACS), farmers can identify and solve crop issues and create plans to improve yield for the next year. During the cold weather months, you can meet with ACS to discuss crop and fertilizer strategies and make a plan for the following planting season.
For New York and Vermont-based farms, ACS can work with owners to create a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan to identify nutrient management concerns and how to address issues that could occur from it. Additionally, for New York State farms, ACS can create a Certified Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) plan which is a requirement for farms with 300 or more animals on it.
Preparing for winter on a farm includes many different tasks. By working with Dairy One, farmers can tick some items off their winter prep list while also improving animal care and health. If you have any questions, you can contact us at (800) 344-2697 for how to start working with a DHI Field Technician, installing a camera system on your farm, or planning out your planting season with ACS.