East Wisconsin Dairy Herd Improvement
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Eastern Wisconsin
Dairy Herd Improvement Cooperative
718 West First Street, Waldo WI 53093 + 800-439-1317

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Herd Summary Report Page 1

Herd Summary Page 2

Block C
Average MUN by Lactation Group

You must be utilizing the milk urea nitrogen (MUN) testing option (available to all members) and be receiving the MUN Summary Report or Management MUN Summary to have data in this graph. MUN data is very valuable in determining if your cows are efficiently using the protein, energy and nonstructural carbohydrates in their ration. It is also an excellent Quality Control tool for assuring that your milking cows are actually eating the nutrients calculated on their paper ration. 

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Block D
Type Test
Test Day Results
The $ Value of production is the current average daily production multiplied by the MILK PRICE PER CWT. (in the adjacent box).

The MILK PRICE PER CWT is either inputted by the member or provided monthly by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (WDATCP). If the WDATCP values are used, a premium or deduction based on your component values is used. Because of the wide variation in SCC premiums in our member area, no allowance in the milk price is made for an individual herd's SCC value.

The 305 DAY $ VALUE TOTAL HERD is the sum of each individual cows' expected or actual 305 day dollar value for the current lactation, this includes milk, fat, and protein information where available. The milk price used in this calculation is the current Milk Price per CWT (above).

305 DAY $ VALUE AVG. PER COW is calculated by dividing the total herd 305 $ value by the number of cows represented in the rolling herd average number of cows.

AVG. COW ME factors the average cow's projected ME 305 Lactation total times this month's MILK PRICE PER CWT.

TEST DAY MILK TOTALS BULK TANK is calculated by reporting the last three milk pick-ups and calculating a daily average from them.

DHI WGT. - Totals of weights on your last test day adjusted by A/P factors (where applicable). If a cow is tested and her milk is withheld, she should be coded with a "W". This will prevent her milk weight from being included in the DHI WGT. If a cow is coded sick and down in production, she will be given an estimated production. This estimated production is included in DHI WGT. However, if you code her with a "W" also, this estimated production will not be included in this box. This is important since DHI WGT. is used to calculate the TEST DAY MILK TOTALS % OF BULK. Included DHI Milk Wgt. not added to the bulk tank will skew your Test Milk Totals-% Bulk totals.

Test Day Milk Totals - % of Bulk: The % Bulk is the average of the last three shipments divided by the DHI weight. DHI milk pounds are expected to be in the range of 96 to 110% of the bulk tank milk weight. DHI measures milk from all cows, but some of that milk is discarded because of antibiotics, fed to calves, or used for other purposes. Therefore, bulk tank milk is expected to be slightly less than DHI. Bulk tanks can shift, resulting in errors in dipstick calibration and bulk tank pickup may not be synchronized with the completion of milking, resulting in variance.

DAYS IN HERD - This figure represents the number of cow days in your herd since your last test day. Instead of simply the number of cows in your herd multiplied by your test day interval, this figure is adjusted by cows sold or died and heifers freshening since the previous test day.

HERD AVERAGES DIM (Days In Milk): The 12 month rolling average DIM is quite dependent upon herd reproductive performance. The industry goal for HERD AVERAGE DIM is about 170 days. Cows milk less with increasing DIM, and are expected to decline 0.12 to 0.17 pounds per cow per day for each day over 170. Assuming a 50 day dry period, a Herd Average DIM roughly equates to a thirteen month calving interval. If this number is above 180, you may want to scrutinize your herd's reproductive program.

% LST MILK - (% Last Milk) - This is a persistency value and measures the production of all cows milking on this test day and the previous test day. Only cows that were tested both test days are included. Large differences may reflect weather or management changes.

Previous 4 MO. % Bulk: This figure compares the previous four test day DHI WGT. total versus the BULK TANK weights for those dates. See description in Test Day Milk Totals - % of Bulk for desired ranges.

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Block E

This block provides production information from the past year so you can do comparisons and see trends. It is important to compare the most recent month (on the top line) with the same month last year (the bottom line) besides comparing with more recent months. This block holds the data from the last 365 days, up to fifteen tests.

The column on your far left shows what your test dates were. Next, you can see the total number of cows in your herd (TOT) and the number sampled on each test day (MLK).

Management Level Milk (MLM) or 150-day milk converts milk production to a common base: 150th day of lactation, second lactation, 4.0% fat and 3.3% protein. The AgSource MLM value does not make an adjustment for season as some other DRPCs do. For each pound gain in MLM, expect an eventual 300-350 pound increase in the RHA. MLM is not calculated for cows less than six days or more than 305 days into their lactation.

As a guideline, a shift of two pounds in MLM due to a feeding or other management change is significant. MLM is a faster indicator of changes in your herd and management than rolling herd average. Because of the adjustments, it may be more accurate than Test Day Average Production (below) as an indicator of your progress. It is a very good month to month indicator for comparison of your herd's progress that removes much of the effect of what stage of lactation your herd is in and changes in components.

For a herd on a twelve month calving interval and a 60 day dry period, the %DIM value would average about 83% over the year. In the real world, %DIM will be somewhat higher since you cull cows during lactation and they leave with 100% of their days milking.

The TEST DAY AVERAGE PRODUCTION columns are calculated using the average daily pounds of milk, fat, protein and SCC of the milking cows only. Your average should equate fairly closely to the actual bulk tank average production on test day. Differences might be caused by mastitic cows being held out or cows fresh too recently to be used by Agource(<5 DIM) that have milk going into the tank.

Test Day Average Production and Management Level Milk are the Herd Summary's fastest indicators of which direction your herd is headed. If the Test Day Average Production of Milk goes down and MLM stays constant, it may mean the drop in milk production was made up by an increase in butterfat and protein or that the herd had reproductive problems nine months ago that are causing Average Days In Milk to increase now.

All component values are weighted averages. There are a number of factors that may cause these values to be more or less than milk plant values. Most important is that you may not be sampling from the same cows. You may be selling milk from cows that are too early for DHI testing and you may be holding out high SCC or treated cows that are tested.

AgSource to milk plant variation is reduced with larger herds milked on a regular schedules versus small herds milked at irregular intervals. Another example might be if the vacuum is not adequately adjusted to compensate for having meters on the systems. Butterfat may be lowered under this situation.

Larger herds using different milking personnel may find that some shifts consistently do a better job of udder preparation. These shifts will have consistently higher butterfat levels than milkers who rush preparation.

A very high proportion of AgSource herds use A/P testing (sample one time per day). DHI processing centers use a butterfat correction factor for A/P herds that assumes cows will have higher butterfat tests during a morning milking. This is due to cows lying down more hours at night, raising their rumen pH and consequently producing higher butterfat levels in their milk. It is important to recognize that the A/P corrections are averages and apply for all herds. If you use all night lighting, night feeding and other activities, your herd may not respond in an "average" fashion. For many herds to get the most accurate production and component information, it is a good idea to alternate testing. For example a 3X herd may want to test in the morning one month, the afternoon the next month and in the night on the third month.

Your ROLLING HERD AVERAGES (RHA) is an important indicator of historical progress. Since the RHA is a twelve month running average, it is a measurement of long term performance and is not nearly as accurate a parameter of recent management changes as Management Level Milk (MLM), Test Day Average Production or 305 Day ME Lactation Averages. If you make a major management change, it may be several months before you'll see a significant response in the RHA, where the other listed areas may show a change on your next Herd Summary. If your herd has been on test less than 365 days, the "Code" column will have an "E" in it. This denotes that the herd average is an estimate.

The %DIM (days in milk) column should not be confused with the DIM value in Block D. The Block D DIM value is the average cow's lactation length on this specific test day. The DIM value in the Rolling Herd Average section is calculated by dividing the total 365 days in milk for the herd by the average number of cows for the last 365 day period. This will give you an approximation of how long the average lactation was for cows over the last year.

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Block F

This block is an indicator of the genetic potential of your herd. If your herd is making genetic progress, you should see your highest genetic values in your herd's Service Sires, continuing downward to the Later Lactation cows.

The values reported are Average Predicted Transmitting Ability (PTA) for milk, fat and protein. PTA is an estimate of genetic superiority, or inferiority, that an animal will transmit to its offspring. High, positive values are critical for increasing production of these traits. Net Merit$ and Cheese Merit$ are based on the future anticipated average milk price for all of the U.S. Cheese Merit$ is calculated similarly to Net Merit$; however, the emphasis on components is higher. This index places more emphasis on protein yield compared to milk volume. Across the U.S., Net Merit$ has the broadest appeal of the indexes. If you are selling your milk to a cheese plant, Cheese Merit$ may be more appropriate for service sire selection.

The values displayed are for animals currently in the herd. If an animal's sire or service sire's NAAB number is provided to AgSource, the sire's PTA values are used in the calculation. If the bull is not yet proven, his Parent Average (PA)values for milk, fat and protein are used. PA values for Net Merit$ and Cheese Merit$ are not available. Consequently,  animals whose sires or service sires are bulls with NAAB numbers that are not yet proven are not be included in the herd's average Net Merit$ and Cheese Merit$ averages. If an animal's sire or service sire is not reported to AgSource, USDA's PTA values for "Unidentified Sires Born In the Last Eight Years" are used for each breed. If the service sire or sire is not reported and it is from a non-major breed that USDA does not report data on, this animal's sire or service sire will not be included in the averages. AgSource members not identifying any sires will find their Average PTA values are the breed's "Unidentified Sires Born In the Last Eight Years" value.

For many dairies, the most limiting factor to raising their genetic level is the use of natural service bulls. Thirty percent of a cow's milk production is based on genetics. Overall, no matter how well managed your herd is, cows can only milk to their genetic potential.

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Block G

This block summarizes trends in herd size and turnover. The number and percent of cows entering the herd reflects your herd's replacement animals. The calculation for each group in the COWS ENTER and COWS LEAVE categories is the total number of animals in each category that entered or left over the past 365 days. Dividing these values by the average total number of cows (dry cows included) calculated for each test day over the past 365 days yields the percent values on the right side of the block..

The number and percent of cows leaving the herd summarizes your culling rate. Culling, or exiting, is the departure of cows from the herd because of sale, slaughter, or death, and therefore, includes all cows that leave the dairy, regardless of their destination or condition at departure. You can compare your herd to the Dairy Records Processing Center average (DRPC AVG) at the bottom of Block G.

While a combination of animals from all three lactation groups may leave the herd, producers should be cautious if an excessive number of these are first or second lactation animals. If a high number of first lactation animals are leaving the herd, you should review your heifer raising programs.

Dairy farm profitability is often improved through the removal of lower producing cows and replacing them with higher producing ones. There is no ideal replacement rate for any herd. A dramatic reduction in calf mortality may lead to an increase in herd culling and a major increase in profitability. Talk to your field technician about using the DairyComp 305 Cow Value Report for monthly individual replacement decisions. Over the long term, reviewing replacement and culling rates contributing to your herd's yearly turnover can help you identify problems while maintaining a profitable herd.

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Block H

The Lactation Group information in this block is broken down into first, second and later lactation cows. A typical Holstein herd's first lactation cows on an ME 305 basis should average 500 pounds of milk higher than older cows. If this is not the case, first look at the sires of this group in Block F. If the sires of first lactation heifers have higher PTAs than other lactating animals, look at your heifer raising and fresh heifer transition management for problems.

The next column "AGE MO" provides the average age at last calving for each group. Pay special attention to the average age of your first lactation group. For a 100 cow herd with a 34% replacement rate having a 24 month average age at first calving, 75 heifers (all ages) are needed to maintain cow numbers. If the average calving age is 30 months, 94 heifers are needed. With the older calving age, each heifer would need an extra three tons of forage to reach freshening. If springing heifers are valued at $1,800 each and forage at $75/ton, the total cost for this herd to have first freshening at 30 versus 24 months is $40,410 annually.

Average MUN information is provided with average PEAK LBS. MILK for each group. The peak pounds of milk are dependent on testing frequency for accuracy. For example, a herd on a regular monthly testing plan will have more accurate peak milk production information than a herd testing every three months. A rule of thumb used to be that one pound increase in PEAK LBS. MILK will result in an extra 225 pounds of milk during the lactation. However, with energy dense TMRs, frequent milkings and BST, this peak milk to lactation production relationship may not be as strong today as in the past.

The rest of this block contains lactation group persistency factors presented by stage of lactation. Today's dairy cows have flatter lactation curves with higher levels of persistency. If several cows in a mid or late-lactation group are moved from a high group TMR to a low cost one, the percent of last test (%LST) value may drop significantly. If this occurs, evaluate ration cost savings versus the opportunity cost of lost milk sales. Numerous cows with longer than 305 day lactations will adversely affect LATE (241+ DAYS) production levels.

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Block I

All breeding dates and pregnancy confirmations need to be recorded with AgSource to make Block I an effective measurement tool for managing reproductive performance.

This block contains an analysis of the reproductive performance of your herd. PRE-BREEDING, ACTIVE-BREEDING and PREGNANT group information is divided between COWS and HEIFERSDRY PERIODS are evaluated for average days dry as well as percentages of short and long dry periods. Target goals for reproductive information for both groups are provided.

The PRE-BREEDING group is defined as cows up to 45 days post calving and heifers between 12 and 18 months old. If an animal in either group is bred, she moves into the ACTIVE-BREEDING group. The CURRENT animals are those in the herd today while the HISTORY row contains animals currently in the herd and those that were sold or died in the last 365 days.

The ACTIVE-BREEDING group for cows' details the number of animals, average days from calving to first breeding, percent of first breedings after 90 days in milk and the percent of heats detected. The heifer group includes the number of animals, average age to first breeding, the percent first bred after 15 months and the percent heats detected. ACTIVE-BREEDING cows are defined as those fresh and open greater than 45 days, or those with a heat date or breeding date but not recorded pregnant. ACTIVE HEIFERS are defined as those 18 months old or bred but not recorded pregnant. For average days to first breeding, the industry goal is approximately 75 days, but the average AgSource Holstein herd now averages 97 days. The primary factors in determining average days to first breeding are the voluntary waiting period (VWP), heat detection efficiency or use of a timed breeding program.

The PREGNANT group includes cows and heifers recorded pregnant or those with a last breeding recorded at least 90 days ago. The CURRENT animals are those still in the herd while the HISTORY animals includes all animals in the herd over the last year. If a bred cow was culled and did not have a breeding date reported for over 90 days before she left, she drops into the PREGNANT History group. She will remain in the group for twelve months after she was sold. If an animal is coded "39" with AgSource, she is taken out of the CURRENT and HISTORY pregnant groups.

The PREGNANT groups analyze services per conception (SERV. PER CONC), projected calving intervals for cows (PROJ. CALV.) or age at first calving for heifers, days open (AVG. DAYS OPEN) and percent heats detected. A reasonable target for average services per conception, pregnant cows, in higher producing herds is about 2.2. An average days open of 100 days is required to maintain a 12.5 month calving interval, but AgSource's Holstein herds average 146.5 days open. Lowering the VWP to approximately 45 days may help achieve a shorter calving interval. The %>120 D.O. or percent of cows open more than 120 days is an important value. If this number is significantly above 15%, seriously consider a timed breeding or other major reproductive management change.

In heifers, the target age at first calving is 24 months; however, the average age for AgSource herds is 27 months.

The DRY PERIOD analysis section provides average dry period lengths (AV. DAYS). Perhaps more important is the information on dry periods that are either very short (less than 40 days) or very long (greater than 71 days). The average AgSource herd has about 15.4% of cows <40 days dry and about 25.5%> than 70 days dry. Short dry periods may result in lower milk production (especially if due to abortion) while long dry periods result in high feed costs for maintaining unproductive dry cows. If a cow is recorded as having aborted before ending her current lactation, her dry days for this lactation are zero. She will go into the section of dry days that are % 0-39 DAYS. Her days dry will also be calculated into the herd's average days dry section as zero.

Getting cows and heifers pregnant sooner increases your number of replacement animals while at the same time reducing the number of replacements you need to maintain your herd's size. This combination may add an extra source of income from selling replacement animals. Improving your herd's reproductive performance also means you will have a higher proportion of your cows in early lactation. This means more milk in your tank.

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Block J

This section illustrates the reason milking animals that left your herd over the past 12 months. The numbers next to the horizontal bars are the percent of animals culled in that category. These numbers are the percent of the ALL LEAVE % in Block G. If  Died is the reason 20% of your cows left the herd, this does not mean your herd's death rate is 20%. If the ALL LEAVE % in Block G is 40%, this means that 20% of the cows that left you herd died. In this case, the death rate is 20% of 40% or 8%.

Like all other sections of the Herd Summary, the information is only as good as the data that is entered. Some thought needs to go into recording reasons for why cows left. For example, if a cow with poor feet and legs never showed a standing heat and wound up staying open and eventually was culled when she dropped below 50 pounds/day of milk, you have three reasons for culling her. However, the root cause of her not staying in your herd was her Feet / Legs and this is what should be inputted as her reason for leaving.

This table, along with Block G, provide invaluable information about the level and reasons for turnover in your herd.

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Block K
The graph in Block K provides a quick and accurate answer for the question, "How is my herd doing now compared to where we were?" Many people attempt to answer this question by looking at the Rolling Herd Average (RHA) in Block E. Unfortunately, RHAs are calculated over twelve months and consequently have a long lag time with lots of momentum built up from months earlier. This makes them unsuitable for answering if a management change made a month or two ago was effective or if your cows are doing better this month than last month.

Mature Equivalent 305 Day Projections (used in this graph) are much more responsive to current management changes than Rolling Herd Averages but give a longer term view of your herd's status than Management Level Milk or Average Daily Milk Production.

The current month's test is always on the far right and is at $0. The desired outcome is for the bars to be negative in preceding months and progressing upwards to the $0. If previous month's values are positive (above the $0) and they are dropping to $0, this indicates problems. Milk price is constant over the period covered in the graph and the ME 305$ value takes into account changes in the herd's fat and protein levels at the twelve month average market price for those components.

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Block L

The herd's average days open is represented by the bars. This value is the same as in Block I and is the average days open of pregnant cows currently in the herd. Pregnant cows include animals recorded pregnant or those with the last breeding recorded 90 days or more ago. Data from thirteen months is represented in the graph. The goal of 100 days open is delineated by the red line. An average days open of 100 days is required to maintain a 12.5 month calving interval.

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Block M
Days in Milk at First Breeding

Averages can be misleading. This graph provides valuable information by illustrating the distribution of days after freshening when cows were first bred.  The industry goal Average Days to First Breeding is usually about 75 days; however the AgSource Holstein average is 99.7 days.

Rather than have an average composed of early and late first bred animals, your goal should be to have a very high proportion of your cows bred the first time between 50 and 100 days.  Developing a structured heat detection program can help attain this goal, however to be most effective, consider using a timed breeding program utilizing CIDRs (available from your DHI Field Technician).

Please Note:  All breedings must be reported to your Field Technician to maximize the value of this graph.

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Block N

This graph illustrates new infections on a monthly basis over the last thirteen months. New infections are defined as any animal having a LSCR of 4.0 or greater. This correlates to an SCC of 200,000 or higher. An animal can become a "new" infection multiple times in the same lactation (on this graph) if she has a test day below LSCR 4 and then goes over 4 again.

Monitoring new infection rates is one of the fastest indicators of the direction of your mastitis control. Progress curing chronic mastitis can be very slow and watching your entire herd's SCC level may cause you to miss changes. However, if the rate of new infections changes, this can have dramatic effects on future herd SCC levels.

If you are receiving the Udder Health Management Summary or the Udder Health Management Cow List, this section will have data, otherwise it is blank.

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Copyright © 2009 DiMan Systems Last modified: Jan 24 2013