The present Covid-19 situation is changing the way producers will get the latest information in the dairy industry. As most of you know, our annual Producer meeting had to be cancelled, as well as all the “Dairy Days” and other seminars and conferences that dairy farmers rely on to keep up to date with information. Our role as veterinarians, as well as taking care of your animals, is to help ensure the continuation and integrity of the dairy food supply chain. This puts us in the unique role of being able to share up to date information with our clients when we are doing our farm visits.
Every two weeks (beginning next week), we will present information sheets on topics reviewing or introducing new pertinent management information. The level of knowledge on farms has greatly progressed over the years and the format in our newsletters has been to present information on a general level. The opportunity to discuss this information in detail and to specifically gear this to the particular farm we are visiting, is a very efficient way to educate. Most of this transfer of information will occur at the same time we are completing the veterinary care we were called to do, bringing added value to each veterinary visit.
As an important part of the success of your dairy operation, we will further structure this extension of information and commit to keeping our clients up to date on the latest developments in the industry. There will be added focus on the health and welfare of the animals in food animal operations. The initial series will concentrate on the lameness and comfort aspects that are evaluated in the Cattle Animal Health Assessments. Herd health is more than just pregnancy checking. We have seen some herds that have tried to replace herd visits with DHI pregnancy tests. Unfortunately, this has shown them an increase of days in milk and several aspects of management, especially the replacement rearing, has deteriorated.
There will be preventive and treatment protocols expanded upon for diseases of concern. These will be customised to the particular challenges that are specific to individual farms. Should you have any specific problems that require more immediate attention consultations can be done to address the issue in a more timely manner. Also, any suggestions for topics of interest are welcomed because it is very likely of concern your fellow producers as well.