Proposed by: Robert C Goodling, Jr.

Presenters: Goodling Jr., R. C., Extension Associate, Penn State Extension, University Park, PA 16802
Ishler, V.A., Nutrient Management Specialist/ Dairy Complex Manager, Dept. of Animal Science, the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802
R.D. Weaver, Professor of Agricultural Economics, Dept. of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education, the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802

The past decade has seen widespread, though not universal, adoption of computer use, satellite-based information serves available to farm operators, as well as handheld device access to data entry and monitoring of information. A diverse and wide set of computer based "tools" have also been developed, offered, and adopted by producers. However, within the context of benchmarking to gauge economic performance, substantial opportunity remains ripe for fulfillment. The objective of this project was to work with existing dairy cash flow participants to determine their actual 2013 costs, and the level of implementation of feed management practices. Focus on the feed management practice related to forage quality, specifically corn silage, and the impact on precision feeding and milk urea nitrogen (MUN). The goal is to assess how feed management practices may influence cost of production, milk yield, and environmental implications such as excess nitrogen. To date, initial samples were evaluated for trends and commonalities, including: growing zone trend with percent starch in corn silage and average milk lbs per milking cows; northern soil regions exhibited 5% less starch as a percent of dry matter, and 5-8% lower starch levels, and average of 10 lbs less milk compared to other regions.
Additional records are currently under investigation to evaluate MUN and milk production trends, potential weather impact on crop growth and harvest, and corn hybrid selection.

All Accepted Proposals