Leveraging CowManager Insights, Luckwaldt Agriculture

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Located in Woodville, Wisconsin, Luckwaldt Agriculture Inc. is owned and operated by Dan and Mary Luckwaldt. Milking just under 1,400 head, the herd averages 92 pounds of milk per cow with  4.5% fat and 3.4% protein test, and 145,000 SCC. Calves are raised to six months of age and then relocated to a heifer grower in Kansas, returning to the farm two months prior to calving. The farm works 2,300 acres of crop land, of which 600 acres are owned. Roughly 800 acres of hay are put up annually, with an additional 1,200 acres put into corn. The remaining acreage is in a rotation of rye and soybeans.

The Luckwaldts began using CowManager® two years ago in an effort to reduce their hormone usage and labor needed to administer injections. The monitoring system continues to be a valuable partner as they look to extend their herd’s overall productive life.

“CowManager has allowed us to focus on individual cows in a pen, maximizing our time and minimizing pen disturbances,” says herdsman, Patrick Kusilek. “We are using more therapeutics now and have been able to increase the average age of the herd by one month.” 

Ten years ago, the Luckwaldts transitioned the herd to a double ovsynch program for all first services with a second prostaglandin injection on the second ovsynch. “The goal is to get cows pregnant as fast as possible after our 70-day voluntary waiting period,” notes Kusilek. Since utilizing the CowManager system, the farm has seen an 8% increase in services from observed heats and a 3% increase in conception rate, as well as significant savings from reduced hormone usage.

The Luckwaldts began utilizing genomic testing in 2016, allowing them to identify elite animals in their herd and focus their breeding program on those superior cows and heifers. The top Dairy Wellness Profit Index® (DWP$®) animals in the herd are bred to gender SELECTED semen with the rest of the herd serviced to beef genetics or receiving embryos.

As the farm evolves, Kusilek sees their utilization of CowManager evolving as well. “We are trying to maximize the potential of the herd while taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. All the while trying to be good stewards of the land and cattle. Eventually, we would like to utilize CowManager for almost all breedings on the farm.”

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