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Growing the future

The University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is an engine of scientific discovery, with researchers working across the spectrum of agricultural and life sciences. Academically, the college offers research-based, hands-on teaching of undergraduates; world-class graduate programs rich in research and project assistantships; and short courses, workshops and other programs. Our outreach activities bring the work of the college to Wisconsin businesses, organizations and communities throughout the state. Learn more about CALS.

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Any action taken today to reduce production needs to be taken with care and analyzed systematically so that farmers will be in a position to take full advantage of future market opportunities when the market bounces back.

CALS Faces

Victor Cabrera

The current dairy market situation—with reduced demand for dairy products—has caused excess product to build up at some processing plants. Some dairy farmers have been instructed to cut the amount of milk they ship to plants. To do so, they are disposing of extra product, including by feeding excess milk to calves, heifers and lactating cows, or in some cases dumping milk into manure lagoons or spreading it on fields. There are also ways to dial back milk production, including reducing milking frequency and adjusting diets. Oftentimes a combination of strategies is needed, notes Victor Cabrera, professor and extension dairy farm management specialist in the Department of Dairy Science. Cabrera helped develop decision support tools, available at http://DairyMGT.info, to help farmers quantify the impacts of the various management strategies they can adopt.

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