Missouri Dairy Business Update
MU Southwest Center Grazing Dairy - November Update
By Dr. Stacey Hamilton, University of Missouri Extension
The SWC dairy culled down to 63 milking cows in late August due to the renovation of the entire farm for future research trials. These will be the cows we freshen in next spring. The cull cows were mostly pregnant and in our window but we kept only the best since we are limited on our total herd size. In addition, we have 33 heifers that will calve in next February. Milk shipped this year should approach 14,500 lbs. per cow.
Of the 95 that will calve in next spring, 59 are due to calve February 2-7 and 10 are due in the next 2 weeks with rest freshening in early March.
The dairy has been grazing winter annuals up to the past few days but are now on stored feed with milk production at 35 lbs per cow. Currently, there are no plans to graze the newly established fescues, although we might flash graze through them. The goals as of now are to put condition on the cows and manage the newly established forages correctly for next year. Cows will be dried off around December 16. This should give our early freshening cows a 45-50 dry period.
Research projects for next year include the fescue variety trial, fescue preference and persistence trial, intake and allocations as well as monitoring the heifers that will start milking for the first that were fed either accelerated or traditional milk replacer as baby calves.