January 5, 1999 | By: Ellen Brightwell

Dairy farmers and university scientists will discuss various management practices to increase profitability at a conference and follow-up workshop in early March.

The dairy conference will be March 2 at the Cave City Convention Center, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Central Standard Time. A workshop on developing a dairy expansion plan will be March 3 at 9:30 a.m. CST in the Barren County Extension Office.

One dairy conference session will deal with managing the transition cow, according to Bill Crist, Extension dairy specialist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

"Perhaps the most critical phase in a cow's productive time is when she is in transition from dry to milking. Management during this time affects the cow's health and productivity and thus profitability," Crist said.

Conference sessions also will deal with feed bunk management, cow comfort and research on calf nutrition.

"Feed intake is the single most important factor in determining milk production, so feed bunk management is critical for a profitable dairy business," Crist said. "Sometimes making minor changes dramatically improves cow comfort, resulting in cleaner animals that are easier to milk and have less mastitis."

Another session will feature results of calf nutrition research and how nutrition affects calves' health.

Dairy farmers also will hear state and national industry updates and have the chance to visit various educational exhibits at the conference.

The conference registration fee is $15 if mailed before February 23, or $20 at the door.

The March 3 workshop will feature information on what factors to consider in dairy operation expansion decisions. Other sessions will be on expanding the operation to increase the level of milk production per cow, according to Crist.

"A recent study indicated that farmers have to increase milk production some 60 percent every 10 years just to maintain their income," he said. "Our goal with this day-long workshop is to give producers more information about important considerations in such areas as site selection, layout and planning to allow flexibility for future growth."

University scientists will discuss farm expansion goals and give a case study on facility expansion. Other sessions will be on working with contractors, engineers and other resources on planning, financing and regulations.

The farm registration fee for this workshop is $30, which includes one lunch. Additional lunches are $5 per person.

Contact: 

Writer: Ellen Brightwell
(606) 257-1376

Source: Bill Crist
(606) 257-7543