More farmers are harvesting soybean straw in order to help manage the increased cost of wheat straw.

Straw moves up in the world

The golden stems of cereals have increased so much in value, they are nearing the price of hay

Reading Time: 4 minutes Straw is having a big year. The golden-stemmed bottom half of the wheat plant has always been the low-priced also-ran, compared to wheat kernels and hay. Over the past 15 or so years, wheat straw, along with the stems of other cereals, has played an increasing role in high quality dairy rations. Why it matters: […] Read more

Milking systems, especially, are providing more data on dairy farms.

The uncertain future of dairy data governance

Farmers advised to ask questions when buying new technology

Reading Time: 4 minutes With high-tech robot barns leading the way, and many dairy farmers with older-style milking systems adding sensors, the collection of real-time data about cow care has exploded in the past few years. The rapid increase of sensors and in-barn artificial intelligence (AI) has given rise to new issues previously not considered. Why it matters: Dairy […] Read more

Farmer efficiency targets also help with areas of consumer concern.

Consumer concerns driving livestock production discussion

Working towards trouble-free animals are often areas farmers are already working to improve

Reading Time: 4 minutes Areas of consumer concern like climate change and animal welfare are driving the livestock discussion, but farmers are already regularly improving both areas while they make their farms more efficient. That was the message from recent interviews conducted by Farmtario with a member of the leadership team behind Lactanet’s annual ranking of herd management scores […] Read more

Researcher Gail Carpenter looked at feeding switchgrass to dairy cattle.

Switchgrass can replace straw in dairy rations

However, researchers caution against feeding too much to lactating cows or milk production could drop

Reading Time: 2 minutes Switchgrass has potential as both dairy cow bedding and feed – especially for dry cows. One of its benefits is that it is low in potassium relative to the more commonly used wheat straw. High potassium levels can cause problems for dairy cattle, especially if they are calving during a dry season. Gail Carpenter, a […] Read more

Lorenz Guntensperger in his new tunnel-ventilated dairy barn.

More breeze in the barn makes for happier dairy cows

A new tunnel-ventilated dairy barn design puts the emphasis on air movement

Reading Time: 4 minutes New dairy building designs are popping up across the province, that are shorter, sleeker and looking like they are wearing tinted glasses. Tunnel-ventilated free-stall barns have become more common over the past few years as a new design has come to dominate tunnel ventilation. Why it matters: Cow comfort is key to dairy farm profitability […] Read more


Dairy cattle are increasingly bred to beef bulls as sexed semen and genomics allow better choices on top dairy cattle.

Dairy-to-beef breeding reaches new levels

Genomics cited as key factor in boosting the dairy farming trend

Reading Time: 3 minutes Breeding of Holstein dairy cows to Holstein bulls has hit an all-time-low according to the Canadian Dairy Network — a clear indication of the growing popularity of using sexed semen for top milk-producing herd members and using beef semen on the rest. The trend is not confined to Canada. A recent article published by the […] Read more

Bonnie den Haan explains the bottling procedure at Sheldon Creek Dairy.

Diversifying dairy

Small on-farm dairies are at forefront of introducing milk with more easily-digested proteins

Reading Time: 5 minutes An Ontario dairy farm and processor is the first to bring A2 milk to Ontario customers. Sheldon Creek Dairy at Loretto, Ont. launched its A2 milk venture earlier in 2019, becoming Ontario’s first and only the second dairy in Canada to sell this type of milk. Why it matters: A2 milk was identified decades ago […] Read more

Long term research has had a significant impact on dairy cattle production and efficiency in Canada.

Dairy research cluster gets continued federal funding

The third round of the funding will help to continue dairy research projects across the country

Reading Time: 2 minutes Canada’s agriculture minister attended the annual meeting of Dairy Farmers of Canada and brought with her a large funding announcement. Marie-Claude Bibeau committed the federal government to funding the third round of the Dairy Research Cluster, which brings together researchers across the country in dairy-farmer-directed research to increase efficiency for dairy farmers and improve the […] Read more


Joel Stam, with son Nathaniel, has three collectors running in his new sand-bedded barn.

The quiet manure sucker tries out sand

Lely’s manure vacuum is being tested in Ontario farms with sand bedding

Reading Time: 3 minutes Lely has become known for its robots, small and large, that hum their way around dairy barns. They’re found in feed alleys and shoving manure down slats behind cows, but the latest is the Discovery 120 Collector, that runs up and down an alley among the cows, sucks up the manure and delivers it to […] Read more

A third-party review of Holstein Canada’s cyber security will take a few weeks.

Dairy Farmers of Ontario suspends cattle assessments after Holstein Canada data breach

Holstein Canada manages cattle assessments under the proAction quality assurance program

Reading Time: 1 minute The assessment of dairy cattle under the sector’s quality assurance proAction program has been suspended in Ontario after a data breach at Holstein Canada. Dairy Farmers of Ontario sent a communique to its members about the security issue on July 25. It says that the data breach was because a file transfer protocol (FTP) site […] Read more