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Early lactation Sub-Clinical Mastitis

Test for Early Lactation Sub-Clinical Mastitis

Testing for subclinical mastitis should be part of your fresh-cow protocol, says Gary Neubauer, a veterinarian and senior manager of Dairy Technical Services for Zoetis.

“Besides monitoring fresh cows for signs of metritis, ketosis and other disorders, it also is the best time to test for high somatic cell counts (SCC),” he says. “Cows with individual SCC in excess of 200,000 cells/mL may indicate a subclinical mastitis infection.”

Somatic cell counts above 200,000 cells/mL can lead to clinical mastitis, and recent research with thousands of cows shows milk losses from higher cell counts can be substantial.

“Cows with a high SCC at first test (greater than 200,000) can experience an increased loss of 576 pounds of milk, when compared with cows having clinical mastitis in the first 60 days of lactation,” says Mark Kirkpatrick, also a managing veterinarian with Zoetis. Other research also shows cows with mastitis take longer to conceive, have days open, and often face other health issues.

That’s why Neubauer and Kirkpatrick recommend systemically testing every cow for subclinical mastitis shortly after calving. They suggest:

  • Test all fresh cows for SCC on Day 2 or 3 after freshening (or at the earliest opportunity based on management). Options include the California Mastitis Test (CMT) or a digital SCC counter for fast and accurate results.
  • Culture milk samples to identify mastitis-causing pathogens and to develop a herd profile to establish prevention and treatment protocols with your veterinarian.
  • Consider treating cows with SCC greater than 200,000 cells/mL (CMT score of 2 or higher) plus a positive culture. “Ask your veterinarian about mastitis therapies specifically labeled to treat subclinical mastitis infections. Keep in mind that not every cow that tests positive for subclinical mastitis is a candidate for treatment,” says Kirkpatrick.
  • Examine the cow’s health history before treatment and consider:
  • Culture results
  • Parity of the cow
  • Number of previous clinical mastitis cases and what quarter was previously affected
  • Previous SCC test data history, if available
  • Chronicity of mastitis cases
  • Other persistent health issues, such as pneumonia or lameness
  • Production and reproductive records

Read more about Zoetis’ testing protocols, part of Zoetis’ Healthy Start Program,

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Delmarva Dairy Day

2017 Delmarva Dairy Day

Thursday Feb 16, 2017

Hartly Fire Hall, Hartly, DE


9:30 to 10:15 AM     Visit with Exhibitors, Coffee and Pastries


10:15 to 11:45 AM   Milk Quality and Udder Health Workshop – Understanding Udder Physiology

Julio Correal, Animal Productivity Specialist, Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition


11:45 to 12:45 PM   Lunch (with UD ice cream) and visit with Exhibitors


12:45 to 1:30 PM      Low Lignin Alfalfa and Alfalfa Management

Ev Thomas, Oak Point Agronomics, Ltd


1:30 to 2:00 PM       Fertility Management for Corn Silage Crops

                               Ev Thomas, Oak Point Agronomics, Ltd


2:00 to 2:30 PM       Transitioning to Organic Dairying

Nicole Lawrence McNeil, Membership and Development Specialist, Pennsylvania Certified Organic



Contact Info: Dan Severson: (302) 831-2506 ( or Limin Kung, Jr. (302 831-2522 (


Cooperative Extension Education in Agriculture and Home Economics, University of Delaware, Delaware State University and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperating. Distributed in furtherance of Acts of congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. It is the policy of the Delaware Cooperative Extension System that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, disability, age, or national origin.

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Farm Bureau Working on New Milk Price Insurance

By Jim Dickrell January 31, 2017

A new type of dairy revenue insurance, that would offer regional protection against both milk price and production declines, is being worked on by the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Farm Bureau Insurance Services (AFBIS) and academic collaborators including dairy economist Marin Bozic.

The product, known as Dairy-Revenue Protection (Dairy-RP), protects revenue instead of the milk-feed margin.  It is based on the same concepts as crop insurance, and will be submitted for review to USDA’s Risk Management Agency this spring.

To gauge interest, AFBIS is hosting an on-line survey for dairy farmers.  The survey is just 12 questions in length, and takes less than a minute or two to complete. Farmer input will be used to improve the design of the product and for market research. Go here to take the survey.

“Additionally, Farm Bureau believes livestock insurance funding should be enhanced,” says John Newton, AFBF director of market intelligence. “Livestock insurance funding is currently limited to $20 million per fiscal year despite the $130 billion annual value of the livestock sector.”

As currently designed, Dairy-RP insurance contracts would be quarterly, and could be purchased up to 15 months out. Dairy farmers would have three choices to make:

• A milk price blend between Class III and Class IV

• Number of cows to cover

• Coverage level (up to 90%)

To keep things somewhat simple, production per cow would be based on state-level milk production as reported by USDA. Indemnities would increase if production per cow at the state level decreases during the coverage period, or would decrease if state level production per cow increases during the period. “Indemnities would be paid to the dairy farmer if actual revenue falls below the revenue guarantee,” says Newton.

Dairy-RP premiums would be designed to be actuarially sound pre-subsidy. Based on milk prices from 2008 to 2016 and assuming subsidies similar to those in crop insurance, research by Marin Bozic suggests that the average premiums would be 9¢/cwt three months out, 21¢/cwt six months out, 28¢/cwt nine months out and 36¢/cwt 12 months out.

Bozic’s research shows a variety of hedging strategies with Dairy-RP could provide considerable risk management opportunities. One strategy would have resulted in Dairy-RP indemnities in eight of the 32 three-month quarters since the beginning of 2008, including three quarters in 2009, three quarters in 2015, and twice in 2016. In 2009, those indemnities could have approached $5/cwt; in 2016, about $1/cwt. If a farm had Dairy-RP coverage for the entire eight years, its milk revenue would have averaged $16.67/cwt versus $16.27 without it.

“When the market moves milk prices higher, the availability of a tool like Dairy-RP would provide farmers an opportunity to manage risk and lock-in that higher milk revenue,” says Newton.

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Crop Insurance FAQ

Date: January 26, 2017
Location: Delaware Department of Agriculture
2320 South DuPont Hwy, Dover, DE 19901
Time: 1:00 – 3:30 pm
This session will feature a panel of local, licensed crop insurance agents
and claims adjusters who will share answers to frequently asked
questions regarding crop insurance on all covered crops in Delaware.
The crop insurance signup deadline is March 15th for most crops. This
session is the perfect opportunity to begin sorting out your policy
Admittance to the session is free. Parking is available in DDA parking
For more information, please contact Laurie Wolinski at
or Farmers First Services at
Sponsored by Delaware Cooperative Extension along with the USDA
Targeted States Partnership Crop Insurance Grant and its collaborators.

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UD Extension names new poultry agent

NEWARK, Del. — University of Delaware Cooperative Extension has announced its hire of Georgie Cartanza as the new poultry Extension agent.

The statewide position will be based from UD’s Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel’s Research and Education Center in Georgetown, and the hire was effective Dec. 1.

“This opportunity at the University of Delaware puts me in a different position to really serve the industry that has served me so well and provided for my family,” Cartanza said.

“I am very excited to have Georgie Cartanza join the UD Extension team as Extension agent in poultry,” said Michelle Rodgers, UD associate dean and director of Cooperative Extension “Georgie brings personal and professional knowledge and expertise to the position enhanced with passion and commitment for the poultry industry in Delmarva, making her an excellent fit for this position.”

Cartanza’s experience in the industry is extensive. A graduate of Delaware State University with a bachelor of science degree in general agriculture, Cartanza was recruited straight out of college by Perdue Farms, where she enjoyed an eight and a half year career — three and a half years as a flock supervisor and five as a regional supervisor.

Later Cartanza joined Mountaire Farms, serving three years in their housing department.

Ten years ago, while working at Mountaire, Cartanza invested in her own poultry farm, and built four houses on family property in Dover. In April 2015, she made the decision to convert conventionally grown poultry and become a certified organic poultry farmer.

Poultry is the mainstay of Delaware agriculture and the Delmarva region. As Delaware Cooperative Extension’s state poultry agent, Cartanza will deliver the latest university research and best management practices to approximately 1,500 family farms in the region.

Cartanza’s Extension responsibilities include providing numerous educational workshops and webinars on topics such as poultry housing, energy and ventilation management, poultry health, animal welfare, and mortality and litter management.

Her efforts will cross state lines, often working in partnership with industry professionals and Maryland Extension poultry experts, particularly with outreach and matters concerning environmental innovation and nutrient management best practices.

Her experiences as a poultry farmer also motivates Cartanza to educate the public about her profession.

“My hopes are through research and Extension outreach I’ll be able to help people change their perceptions about our industry, but also help the people working in our industry to be more productive and competitive,” she said.

From her earliest college days, Cartanza’s goal was to help farmers. “The poultry industry has taught me so much. I have had tremendous mentors and people who helped me so much, so it’s prepared me to be a good candidate for this position and help as many people as I can,” she said.

– See more at:

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Ice Water to Revive a Calf

An Icy Tip to Revive a Cold Newborn Calf

Calving doesn’t stop in the winter months. It’s extra important to make sure newborn calves have good vitality during the winter’s frigid temperatures. Shivering, shaking and making standing attempts are how newborn calves maintain body heat, but they don’t always want to do that right away. According to Dr. Sheila McGuirk, ice water is a handy way to get a struggling calf on the road to warmth.

McGuirk says a calf with good vitality score will meet the following criteria:

·       The calf should start moving its head within minutes of birth

·       The calf should be able to sit up sternal within five minutes

·       The calf should start attempting to stand within 15 minutes

·       The calf should be standing within an hour.

If those vitality marks aren’t met, the calf is at risk for hypothermia, she says. Most farmers have trained their employees to rub newborn calves down with a clean dry towel to stimulate body temperature regulation, but have you ever considered dousing the calf with ice water?

According to McGuirk, ice water is a tremendous tool to stimulate a calf that isn’t breathing. To use this European technique on your farm, you will need ice cubes, access to clean water, a clean bucket and a syringe.

There are two ways to use this technique. The first is to pour 250 ccs of ice water on the head of the struggling calf. Alternately, McGuirk says squirting some ice water into the calf’s ear works even better. She recommends producers use a 60-cc syringe to squirt just that much ice water in the ear of the calf.

“It’s a very abrupt stimulus,” she says. “They shake their head and when they shake their head they want to breathe.”

McGuirk says this technique won’t drop the calf’s body temperature, but it will start to breathe. Once a calf is breathing, it will start shivering – shaking and bringing its body temperature back up to normal.

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Farm Family

CLAYTON — The Dulin family farm in Clayton got its start back in the early 1920s when their landlord came down from Philadelphia with an offer. The landlord approached Elwood and Gladys Dulin, who had been sharecropping on his land and said “I want you to buy this farm.”

Elwood considered the prospect of buying the then-683-acre operation and told him that there was no way he could afford it. But the man insisted and told Elwood that he could afford it and he was going to make sure of it.

“So my grandparents agreed to buy the farm as owner-financed,” said Lee Dulin Jr., a current partner in Dulin Brothers, LLC. “My grandma used to say that Grandpa would stay up nights wondering how he’d come up with the money to pay for it.”


Despite those sleepless nights, Elwood and Gladys, through hard work and dedication, successfully ran the farm and raised a small family on it. They had three sons — Donald, Lee and Norman — who they passed the farm on to when they retired in 1960. Then their kids had kids of their own who had kids of their own, all of whom play a part in running the family farm. The rest, as they say, is history.

Recently, the Dulin Brothers, LLC was recognized at the Kent County Farm Bureau’s banquet held on Sept. 26 in Felton as the 2016 Kent County Farm Family of the Year. U.S. Sen. Thomas Carper and Rep. John Carney turned up at the event and spoke briefly to thank the Kent County farmers for their hard work every day. The family farm is comprised of about 350 head of cattle, 150 of which are milked while the rest are kept as stock and replacement, a poultry house with a capacity of 150,000 pullets and 2,200 tillable acres of grain.

“We grow corn, soybeans, wheat and barley,” said Lee Jr. “We get pullets at one-day old and keep them until they are 17 weeks old when we ship them off to other farms as layer hens. Also, we milk twice per day.”

The family way

The farm has come a long way from its humble beginnings.

“The 683 acres back in the 20s sold for about $11,000 — that’s quite a bit of difference in land prices from then until now,” said Lee Jr.

“When my dad and my uncles took over in the 60s the were still working almost 700 acres and they only milked about 30 to 40 cows. But as we added partners. equipment, got bigger and our families all helped out. We were able to do more so we started growing.”

The family was selected as Farm Family of the Year because it is a family-oriented farm with every member playing a vital part of the operation from picking beans and selling sweet corn to the delivery day of chickens.

“My son Lee III, who works at Delaware State University, comes by every night to help breed cows. My daughter helps with the taxes, my son-in-law runs our grain cart. I can’t go down the list because there are so many family members helping that I don’t want to leave anyone out,” Mr. Dulin said. “All of our kids and grandkids contribute in one way or another. It’s just a family thing.”

When it comes to making big decisions, a process that bedevils many family-held businesses, Lee Jr. says things go pretty smoothly.

“If someone has an idea, we’ll start talking about it. Some ideas work, and some don’t, but we decide what to do as a group,” said Lee Jr. “My dad, Lee Sr., passed away back in 1967, but my uncles Donald and Norman, who are older now, did what I think is a remarkable job of letting the next generation take over. Some people have trouble letting younger people make decisions — they didn’t.”

Norman, who’s 85, and Donald, who’s 80, still keep themselves busy on the farm though.

“Uncle Norman is kind of like our parts guy. He will always run in to town and get parts for whatever we are working on and Uncle Donald walks the chicken house every morning and helps milk in the afternoon,” Mr. Dulin said.

“He’s usually out working at 5 a.m. He’ll head home for a bit during the middle of the day and come back out and stay out until 7 p.m. I actually think helping us is what helps keep them going.”

After Lee Sr. died, Lee Jr.’s mother stayed on the farm with him and his siblings. In 1980, Lee Jr., his brother and his cousin were taken in to the partnership and in 2014 they turned the partnership into Dulin Brothers, LLC.

Mr. Dulin hopes one day the farm will pass down to the next generation in line as well, but he says keeping kids interested in farming can be tricky at times.

“We try to keep our kids and grandkids interested by just including them in everything we do,” he said. “There are so many things out there these days for kids to do, it’s harder to keep them interested in farming.”

A gamble

He says this is partly because the uncertain financial nature of farming can be difficult to navigate at times and because the work makes for a heavy schedule.

“Farming is really a gamble. You plant the seed, spend the money and just hope it rains,” he said. “In the fall when your kids are playing football and hockey, if you’re a dairy farmer, you’re milking at that time so you don’t get to go to their games. That’s part of it too.”

He is confident about the future though, because there are many young grandkids that still have plenty of time to decide whether they’d like to take and active role in managing the farm. Also, it seems as though heading out into the world and trying their hand at a different profession before returning to the family farm is a well-established tradition with the Dulins.

“Both my brother and cousin worked away from the farm for a few years and ended up deciding to come back,” Mr. Dulin said.

“I have a grandson in junior high school who is really interested in the farm and my brothers’ grandchildren are like 5 and 8 so they’re still too young to know yet.”

Whatever happens, he says that the farm will stay a family operation and they will continue to carry on the legacy started by Elwood and Gladys almost 100 years ago.

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Estate Planning

Farm Succession Planning Education Series
Farm Succession Planning is a business and risk management practice that is critical to the
agricultural industry and to the health of families and farm businesses. These sessions will
present farmers with the knowledge to begin or continue the process of succession planning.
Families are encouraged to attend the workshop together.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 – 7pm Farm Transfer Communication Webinar The Farm Whisperer by David
University of Delaware Paradee Center 69 Transportation Circle, Dover, DE 19901
Please arrive 15 minutes early.
For more information and to pre‐register, contact Extension agents:
Dan Severson ‐ or (302) 831-2506
Laurie Wolinski ‐ or (302) 831-2538

It is the policy of the Delaware Cooperative Extension System that no person shall be subjected to
discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, disability, age or national origin.

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Antibiotic Use

Putting Antibiotic Use in Perspective

By JoAnn Alumbaugh, Editor, PORK Network 

It’s gratifying to find a beacon of reality among the rhetoric about antibiotic resistance, but you (and consumers) really have to search for it.

The Center for Accountability in Science explains, “Though farms use a lot of antibiotics, many are never or rarely prescribed to humans. Thirty percent of antibiotics used on farms are from a class called ionophores, which can be deadly to humans and some animals… There’s no firm evidence that antibiotic resistance in humans is linked to antibiotic use in farm animals.”

Though Denmark has very strict limits on antibiotic use in livestock, the Center says “consumption of meat may currently be considered an insignificant source for the human infections” of food-borne illnesses like E. coli. Three recent studies show that only .27% of antibiotic-resistant E.coli infections can be linked to meat, while 99.73% of those infections are associated with antibiotic use in humans.”

Failure to Finish Prescriptions is a Problem

Dr. Joseph Perrone, who served as an adviser to the World Health Organization, says, “It’s not just over-prescription that poses a problem. Even when antibiotics are prescribed appropriately, too often patients fail to finish the full course of antibiotics once they begin to feel better—or when they’re sick of dealing with the drugs’ side effects such as nausea and vomiting. Failure to finish the full dose means that some of the bacteria may survive. In some cases, the body’s natural defenses will kick in and fight the remaining bacteria. For others, the remaining bacteria can develop resistance to the antibiotic prescribed.”

Examples published in Emerging Infectious Disease, illustrate patient perceptions about antibiotics in patient care: 27% believed taking antibiotics during a cold made them better; and 48% expected antibiotics when seeking medical care associated with a cold. Rather than risk having a patient go to a different doctor, some doctors will go ahead a prescribe an antibiotic, even when they know that’s not what the patient needs.

“Antibiotics are important for an animal’s health and well-being,” says Dr. Justin Bergeron with the University of Minnesota Center for Animal Health and Food Safety. “When humans are sick, we need to take the appropriate medication to get better. Animals have the same need.”

Truthful Information Needed

Both animal and human health experts are diligent in helping disseminate a balanced understanding of the antibiotics issue to consumers.

But it’s not enough.

Every time you talk with your non-farming friends, health-care providers, children’s teachers, or anyone else, share the facts about antibiotic resistance. Begin a dialogue. Help them realize it’s everyone’s obligation to use antibiotics responsibly to protect and maintain the health of both human and animal populations.

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