Dairy Herd Management


Dairy Farm Management Teams

A team of professionals meets monthly, quarterly or as often as farm prefers.  As goals, actions and responsibilities are decided, county agent works to keep process progressing and help family reach their goals.

Grow Wisconsin Dairy Team –  To help dairy producers continue to look forward to improve operations and profitability, the Grow Wiscon­sin Dairy Team is creating a Dairy Farm Management Team program for Wisconsin dairy farmers. The team approach will help dairy farmers fortify their man­agement tools for increasing profits. This is a dairy pro­ducer program and a farm manage­ment resource.

Dairy Management Team FAQs

Dairy Management Team Program Information

Application (PDF)


Feeding and Nutrition

Cow College Opportunities to Improve Starch Digestibility on Dairy Farms (pdf)

Results of UW-Madison Corn Shredlage Feeding Trial 11-2012 (pdf)

Feeding Cull Potatoes – Many growers are facing increased feed costs and shortages of decent quality forages.  This year it appears that there is a greater supply of cull potatoes that usual in the state. Cull potatoes may be an economical feed source that some beef farmers can use to feed their cattle.  Potatoes are high in starch and can be used as a grain substitute in growing and finishing rations and also as an  energy source to compliment low quality forages for beef cows and or growing replacement heifers.  Ken Schroeder, Exension Agent in Portage County, has written a fact sheet on the use of cull potatoes in beef and dairy rations and tips for successful storage of cull potatoes on the farm.  This fact sheet is available at this link:
Feeding Cull Potatoes to Dairy and Beef Cattle (pdf)

Feeding Cabbage Waste  – One way farmers can feed quality ingredients at bargain prices is to use food waste in the ration.  During sauerkraut production, leftover cabbage leaves and cores (called cabbage waste) can be fed in dairy cow and heifer diets.
Cabbage waste fact sheet2 (pdf)

Feed Comparative Values Calculated from Protein (UIP), TDN, Fat, Calcium and Phosphorus – Feeding is one of the biggest parts of animal production.  Use this spreadsheet to look for competitive values of commodities and deliver programs on nutrition for dairy workers.
Feedval4 Feed Comparative (2011) (xls)

Tiling Mangers to Improve Dry Matter Intake and Clean Ability – Over the years concrete mangers deteriorate leaving rocks and gravel exposed.  Cows tend to lick over the rough areas and a build up of feed tends to smooth out the feeding surface.  This feed becomes rotten and the area becomes hard to clean, thus wasting expensive feed and reducing dry matter intake.  Dairy producers have tried fixing this problem with concrete patches, plastic liners and laying tile on top of existing concrete.  Patches tend to break up again, plastic liners get water and feed underneath them and then smell and become hard to clean because they are hard to seal to the concrete.  Laying ceramic tile in a layer of sand mix concrete is a cost effective way to solve the problem and using recycled tile from the ReStore reduces the installation cost.  – more – Tiling Mangers to Improve Dry Matter Intake and Clean Ability.
Tiling Mangers to Improve Dry Matter Intake and Ability to Clean (pdf)


Calf Care Management

Calf Management is taught in the Dairy Worker Skills program.  Calf health is presented to 4-H youth and producers.

Dehorning-Disbudding Dairy Calves Factsheet


Heifer Management

Understanding Genomic Results, S. Nellis, K. Kester, P. Hoffman and K. Weigel, UW-Madison Department of Dairy Science, posted February 14, 2013 (pdf)

Dairy Heifer Genomics101, S. Nellis, K. Kester, P. Hoffman and K. Weigel, UW-Madison Department of Dairy Science, posted February 14, 2013 (pdf)


UthanasiaGuidelines for Captive Bolt Uthanasia for Cattle and Calves


Files to Download

Cow Cull Spreadsheet (xls)
Cost Comparison of Dairy Herd Diseases Spreadsheet (xls)
Custom Manure Applicators (pdf)
DNA Testing – Can you use it? (pdf)
Dairy Cattle Feeding Issues with High Moisture Corn, Snaplage, and Dry Shelled Corn (pdf)
Fall Grain Rye Factsheet – Fall Forage Rye for Dairy Heifers and Dry Cows (pdf)


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