Free record-keeping system will help Pa. dairymen increase productivity

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – A new, easy-to-use record-keeping system designed to increase milk production is being offered free of charge to all Pennsylvania dairy farmers.

The Penn State Dairy Alliance is partnering with the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania, the Dairy Stakeholders, Penn State Cooperative Extension, and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to offer producers a milk production record book that will help them increase productivity per cow, per day.

Important issue. The new record book, called The Milk Production Records for Management Control, is a timely way to address this important issue.

It is designed to help producers measure daily production and identify ways to improve it.

The record book is low-tech and simple to use. The tool works for every farmer in the state, regardless of operation size, management style, or level of production, designers said.

Benchmarks. The book opens with a two-page section featuring benchmark data in four areas that influence milk production: herd health, nutrition, facilities, and human resources management.

Farm managers record their own data beside the benchmark data to identify areas for improvement.

“The benchmarks help producers see their farms’ major strengths and weaknesses so they can take corrective action on the weaknesses,” noted Michael O’Connor, dairy scientist at Penn State.

The benchmarks were developed by Penn State staff who contributed their expertise to the project, O’Connor said.

After producers implement changes in the areas they want to improve upon, they record daily milk production on the charts provided to monitor how these changes affect overall productivity.

In easy reach. The record system is spiral-bound and punched so it’s ready to hang in a spot that’s visible to everyone who works on or services the farm.

“Record-keeping is a simple tool that keeps everyone on the farm focused on a common goal: daily efficiency. By displaying this record, every employee of the dairy team will be aware of current production numbers and future goals.”

The booklet is the result of a meeting sponsored jointly by the Penn State Dairy Alliance, the Pennsylvania Dairy Stakeholders, and the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania held last year.

At that meeting, representatives from all segments of the dairy industry, both state and national, focused on how Pennsylvania could increase productivity and profitability.

O’Connor predicts success of this production monitoring system, if producers take advantage of it.

“If a significant number of producers adopt this simple, management tool, milk production should increase in Pennsylvania.”

Producers who would like to acquire a free copy of The Milk Production Records for Management Control booklet, should contact the Penn State Dairy Alliance at 814-865-4682 or 1-888-373-7232 for details.

Copies are also available through various sales and service representatives.

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