Silo safety will be the topic of the next session of the Technology Tuesdays webinar series offered by the Penn State Extension Dairy Team. Scheduled Sept. 13, “Silo Safety” will explain how producers can keep employees and others on the farm safe around silos. “This is a good time for all farm workers, managers and their advisors to stop and consider the hazards involve with working around silage and silos,” notes Dr. Robert Graves, agricultural engineer, Penn State Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. “Review this webinar with your workers and identify the possible inhalation and physical hazards involved with silage making and storage on your farm and learn procedures to eliminate or avoid injury. Make working safely the first goal of all your farm SOPs.”

During the webinar, Dr. Ken Griswold, a specialist with Kemin Industries , will share his personal story of being exposed to silo gas and the treatment that followed. Davis Hill, senior extension associate in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, will discuss rescue-related issues around silos and other confined spaces.

The Technology Tuesdays webinar series is offered free of charge to dairy producers, their employees, and agri-business professionals. The webinar format permits participants to enjoy an educational program, in real-time, from the comfort and convenience of their office computer or laptop. This year’s series will focus on cow-centered housing and other dairy-related topics, such as silo safety. All dates and topics are listed below. Each session is held from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., Eastern Time.

• Oct. 11 – Cow-Centered Housing Series: Introduction to Cow-Centered Housing. Dr. Dave Wolfgang, Penn State Extension veterinarian, will discuss why we need to be interested in animal well-being and how we can measure it. John Tyson, Penn State Extension engineer, will introduce a risk management worksheet to help evaluate dairy facilities.

• Nov. 8 – Cow-Centered Housing Series: Aerial Environment – Fresh Air and Plenty of It. Ventilation systems, properly designed and managed to maintain desirable moisture gas and pollutant levels during all seasons, are essential to the health performance and well-being of dairy cows. Presented by Dan McFarland, Penn State Extension engineer, and Dr. Robert Graves, professor, Penn State Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.


• Dec. 13 – Solar Energy. What are the options out there for use of solar energy technology that could be used by today’s dairies. Presenters to be announced.

• Jan. 10 – Cow-Centered Housing Series: Feed and Water System Design and Management. Dry matter intake and water consumption are essential in maximizing production of the dairy herd. Proper design and management is needed to ensure consistent access to high quality feed and water. Program led by Tom McCarty, Penn State Extension educator, and John Tyson, Penn State Extension engineer.
• Feb. 14 – Hot Weather Management in Freestall and Tie Stall Dairies. Now is the time to start considering modifications to housing to address upcoming summer heat events and their impact on milk production and herd health. Presented by Dan F. McFarland and John Tyson, Penn State Extension engineers.

• March 13 – Cow-Centered Housing Series: Design and Management of Quality Resting Areas. Clean, dry and comfortable describe the essential elements of a proper resting surface for dairy cows. Guidelines for the design and management of freestalls, tie stalls, and bedded pens will be discussed. Program led by Dan McFarland, Penn State Extension engineer.

• May 8 – Cow-Centered Housing Series: The Relationship between Flooring, Footing and Lameness. Lameness is a critical animal well-being issue. The design and treatment of both the flooring and the resting area have a direct influence on the overall foot health of the dairy herd. Program lead by Dr. Ernest Hovingh, Penn State Extension veterinarian.

Although there is no fee to participate, advance registration is required no later than noon the day preceding the first session you wish to attend. To register, contact the Penn State Extension Dairy Team at (888) 373-7232 or register online .

Participants must have a high-speed Internet connection and speakers on their computer in order to see and hear the presentation.

This webinar series qualifies for SmartStart credits through AgChoice Farm Credit , as follows:
• Participate in 2-4 webinars – 1 SmartStart credit.
• Participate in 5-6 webinars – 2 SmartStart credits.
• Participate in 7-8 webinars – 3 SmartStart credits. PD

—From Penn State Extension Dairy Team news release