cows in field

Recent ODairy Discussions – January, 2021

By Liz Bawden, NODPA Board Co-President

A farmer wanted to draw some good maps of his farm and asked the group for their suggestions on computer applications that would help with this. Producers offered lots of suggestions, including: A9Cad at and QCad at , a mapping program by Penn State found at, a mapping tool for grazing and pasture management called Pasture Map at, a mapping and organizational tool called AgSquared geared more toward vegetable farmers at Cornell Small Farms Project has produced two videos on how to use Google Earth for farmers: these can be found at and . And a 3-D design program that works well for building design called Sketch Up (( was also recommended. Another producer suggested working with NRCS who will make detailed maps of your farm to help plan additions, manure storage, wastewater irrigation, and barnyard improvements.

A veterinarian asked the group, “In addition to the basics: avoidance of overcrowding, strict cleanliness and good nutrition, what therapies have you used with success to control and treat coccidiosis in calves?” Producers responded with some suggestions that worked for them. For calves on milk, one producer recommended using Dr Paul’s Calf Start (a product containing humates and garlic) added to the milk as a preventative or treatment. He suggested “feeding a lower preventative rate for the first 3 weeks of life, and then as needed. For the last 3 days prior to weaning, a double dose is fed to flush out the GI tract of any pathogens/toxins. This helps tremendously in mitigating the "post-weaning slump", often caused by coccidia, that can hit organic calves....especially grain-free animals. After weaning, similar results are achieved by offering dry Menneffee Humates free-choice.” Another producer treats it with a homemade garlic tincture.

An experienced producer had a third lactation cow that did not let her milk down for three days; after trying all the usual techniques, she asked the group for ideas. A helpful vet suggested putting on a rectal sleeve and reaching in to massage her cervix to bring about an oxytocin release. Other suggestions included putting the calf on her, washing with warm cloths like a compress, homeopathic ignatia, beer, and one brave soul that sucks on the teat herself to get a letdown response. Xylazine, a tranquilizer and on the NOP approved list, was also recommended as a “classic facilitator of fresh heifers”.