Dairy: Risk assessment program for Johne’s disease can yield other benefits

Best to deal with the disease now, while prevalence is low, argues the province’s veterinarian. And risk assessments already done have helped get to the bottom of other problems as well


When Ontario’s dairy farmers complete the risk assessment as part of a new Johne’s disease education and management assistance program starting in January, they’ll learn a lot more about calf management.

“There are other problems that can be fixed with a Johne’s risk assessment,” says Dr. Ann Godkin, Ontario agriculture ministry veterinarian specializing in disease prevention. And that’s just one of the reasons she says farmers should participate in the voluntary Johne’s Disease Education and Management Assistance program.

Dairy: Jury still out on the benefits of crossbreeding purebred dairy cows

Some dairy farmers are enthusiastic about the results of crossbreeding Holsteins with Norwegian cattle. Others see purebreds as more attractive


Up and coming dairyman Martin Buhler loves the 40 or so Red Norwegian-cross-Holstein cows in the 200-cow milking string on his family’s farm near Crysler in eastern Ontario.

Buhler, who is 23, says the crossbreds cycle 10 days after calving and conceive 90 days after giving birth, compared to 120-130 days for Holsteins in the herd. They produce more components, if not as much milk, and are smaller and better tempered than their purebred Holstein counterparts.

Dairy: Coming to a dairy farm near you – the Canadian Quality Milk Program

Those already working to introduce this on-farm safety program say that, though there are some costs and time involved, it’s manageable and will bring benefits to their farm and the industry

by Susan Mann

Quinte-area dairy farmer Geraldine Leavitt doesn’t expect either to save money or increase her farm’s revenue by being certified on the Canadian Quality Milk (CQM) program.

Dairy: Coming soon: a standardized system for identifying foot problems in cattle

Appropriate assessment at the chute side and standardized reporting can help cut the incidence of lameness, which now costs farmers an average of $300-$500 per cow


What do a korn, tyloma and interdigital hyperplasia all have in common? They are three different names for the same hoof problem – a piece of flesh protruding from between a cow’s toes.

But the days when certain foot problems had several different names are numbered. At their recent annual meeting, members of the Ontario
Hoof Trimmers Guild agreed to adopt a standardized system for identifying foot problems in cattle; the Foot Atlas system and lesion identification chart.

Dairy: Coming soon – A lottery for new dairy quota

Starting this fall, prospective new dairy farmers in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes will be able to apply for assistance in obtaining quota. But the number of winning applicants will not be large


Dairy goat farmer Fred Vos will fulfil a life-long dream to milk cows if he’s picked for a new entrant quota assistance program that debuts this fall in Ontario and four other eastern Canadian provinces.

“I just really feel that’s my calling,” says the 40-year-old Hagersville-area farmer, who has wanted to milk cows since he was 10 or 11 years old.

Dairy: Revised dairy code proposes a ban on tail docking

The draft code, now consideration by the National Farm Animal Care Council, also requires pain control for dehorning and castration


Do you leave tails undocked, and use anesthetics and analgesics when dehorning and castrating cattle? If so, you are already on the right side of a revised Dairy Code of Practice under consideration by the National Farm Animal Care Council.

The draft revision of the Code, which was last updated in 1989, proposes to ban tail docking of cows and heifers and require that pain control measures be put into place when dehorning and castration takes place.

Dairy: Dairy industry working group proposes help in fighting Johne’s disease

The 12-year management assistance program, which is expected to cost $24 million, will provide advice on farm prevention practices for every dairy farmer in Ontario


A dairy industry working group has proposed a province-wide management assistance program, where every dairy farmer across Ontario would discuss farm prevention practices against Johne’s disease with a trained veterinarian.

Dairy: CQM certification starts to make its presence felt on Ontario dairy farms

The first dairy farm in the province has completed Canadian Quality Milk certification and 4,000 others are expected to follow in the next four years


In early August, Ian and Janet Harrop completed the first Canadian Quality Milk (CQM) certification in Ontario. The program is expected to be rolled out to about 4,000 dairy farms across the province in the next four years and other producers can learn from the couple’s experience.

The Harrops milk 100 cows in a freestall flush barn at Harrcroft Acres Ltd. north of Fergus in Wellington County. Harrcroft Acres is a partnership of brothers Ian and Roger Harrop and their families. Ian is a director of Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO).

Dairy: The September price increase: Needed to cover production costs, or a market killer?

That’s the debate surrounding an unscheduled price increase of $1.45 a hectolitre, defended by Dairy Farmers of Canada, but opposed by the restaurateurs and some industry experts


Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is coming under heavy fire after requesting, and receiving, an unscheduled milk price increase on Sept. 1.

Several prominent agri-food industry spokespersons say that there will be grave consequences for Canada’s dairy industry. But Bruce Saunders, DFC’s vice-president and Dairy Farmers of Ontario chair, plans to stay the course, saying: “We will cover our cost of production, and let that fall where it may.”  

Dairy: Dairy farmers get a $1.45 price increase for industrial milk

It’s about half what Dairy Farmers of Ontario wanted, but restaurant owners say even that is too much


Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) got about half of the milk price increase it wanted to cover skyrocketing costs.

In June, DFC made a special request to the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC) for an immediate $3.50 a hectolitre increase for industrial milk to help cover farmers’ costs for fuel, feed and other inputs.

Instead, starting Sept. 1, farmers will get an additional $1.45 per hectolitre for the milk they ship that is used to make processed products such as butter, cheese and yogurt. This amounts to a blend price increase for farmers in eastern Canada of an additional
93 cents per hectolitre for all milk they ship.