Pa. tour to focus on cow transition

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HARRISBURG, Pa. — The upcoming “Transition Dairy Tour” will showcase the importance of cow transition.

The Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania are holding a tour June 5 to see how three different farms in Central Pa. are getting results from the changes they’ve made to their transition management.

The PDMP ‘Transition Tour’ will begin at the Penn State Dairy where, with a herd size of about 200 cows, they have retrofitted very old facilities to create a transition barn that is as effective as any new facility.

Second stop

The second stop is Willow Behrer Farm in Huntingdon County, where several years ago, Mike and Allen Behrer were confronted with lost production as a result of overcrowding as they reached 800 cows.

With the construction of a new barn to meet their space needs, they were able to create an ideal environment for cows transitioning from calving to milking and are seeing better lactation and reproduction as a result.

A barbecue lunch will be hosted by Agri-King, Inc. at Willow Behrer Farm, before the tour moves on to its third and final stop oat Mowrer Farms. Mike Mowrer shares a somewhat different way of getting to his new transition barn for his 400 cows.

“We identified cow transition as a way to improve our production and profitability when we started a profit team in 1999,” he said. “Since we built this new barn in 2001, our average has increased from 24,000 pounds to 28,000 pounds because our cows are just getting off to such a better start.”

Since space is limited on the tour, registration is open to all dairy producers on a first-come-first-serve basis. Interested dairies are encouraged to go to the Upcoming Events page at www.pdmp.org, or contact registration@pdmp.org, or by phone at 877-326-5993.

Registration for 2014 PDMP member dairies is $25 and $75 for non-PDMP dairies. The bus will depart from Harrisburg and Burnham so that attendees can park and ride from the location most convenient to them.

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