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FACILITIES & EQUIPMENT

Whether using a tie stall, freestall, dry lot or pasture, here are some tips for cow comfort and maintaining farm facilities and equipment.

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Cold temperatures can have many effects on a dairy farm. Frozen manure or waterers and frigid temperatures for workers can be management nightmares. Despite the winter weather, completely closing up the barn can have a very negative impact on the herd.

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Whenever anyone says they just “love” snow, I always think, “They never had to get cows milked through a snowstorm.” I am not a total curmudgeon about seeing a few snowflakes, and I do think snow scenes can be pretty, but the reality is: Snow robs many hours each year because farmers have to deal with the snow as an additional chore during an already busy day.

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Weather this time of year can change in a hurry. So how many of you, as dairy producers, have heeded the warning and taken the time to prepare for the upcoming winter?

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From low temperatures to fluctuating above and below freezing, and from high humidity to condensation, winter can present a unique set of challenges when it comes to managing a barn.

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Many herds enter the cooler fall and winter months with existing claw lesions that formed during the summer weather. This is when accurate hoof health records really prove their worth by providing a profile of seasonal trends and peak times for infectious pressure specific to your herd.

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Understanding the many components that make up a milking vacuum system and recognizing how vacuum function integrates with the entire milking system is key to achieving an optimal milk harvest.

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