"Dairy managers will need to consider
their options and cow responses, as no one 'right answer' will fit
all dairy farms," said Mike Hutjens. "Total milk yield may drop 1 to
2 percent in the United States due to the BST shortage in 2004."
Earlier this year, U.S. dairy producers
learned that Monsanto, the company that supplies BST, would be
cutting back. Producers will be able to purchase only half of their
normal supply during the rest of 2004.
"Manufacturing limitations have led to
the shortage," said Hutjens.
Hutjens recommends that producers and
managers measure their response against the following criteria:
--Economics determines the best
strategy. Get the best return on the BST supply you will have.
--Late-lactation cows may drop 15 to 30
pounds of milk per day when BST injections are stopped. Be ready to
dry these cows off.
--If cows in mid-lactation are removed,
dropping in milk production, but remain in the milking herd, these
cows could become overweight, leading to metabolic disorders and
health risks in the next lactation. Consider a lower nutrient ration
if this strategy is used.
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--Early-lactation cows (labeled use)
may respond with milk increases of 8 to 12 pounds per day.
--Heifers may be a group not to inject
with BST, due to size and growth requirements.
--Look for potentially less responsive
cows -- thin cows, cows with elevated somatic cell counts and cows
with a history of metabolic or health problems.
--Remove BST-injected cows before they
receive three injections, since cows ramp up during the initial
injection period before reaching a full response.
extend the interval between injections -- from 14 days to 18 days,
for example. Cows ramp up with successive treatments, and pounds of
milk can decline between extended injections and not recover to
[University of Illinois news