Canton, N.Y.  The results of Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP)-commissioned research in 2021 provide farm-based data on the importance of proper feeding management for dairy cows during the pre-calving to post-calving period.
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CCE dairy specialist Casey Havekes collects feed samples for the NNYADP transition cow feeding management research project. Photo: A. Bond

This NNYADP project was one of the first to apply the Metabolic Health Index adapted by the Overton Lab at Cornell University to identify cows that may be at higher risk of post-calving health issues. This research establishes a foundation to begin developing a statistically-accurate tool that dairy farmers and farm consultants can use to track the impact of feeding management during a time of increased demand by the cow to support the onset of calving and milk production. The 18-page “Evaluating Transition Cow Health on NNY Dairy Farms and Associations with Feeding Management Practices” report is posted under Research: Dairy at https://www.nnyagdev.org.

Cornell PRO-DAIRY Director Thomas Overton, Ph.D., who partnered with Havekes to develop the research plan, noted, “Prior to this Northern New York Agricultural Development Program project, there had been little to no research done at scale on the impact of feeding management in the dry cow diet on cow health through the transition period.”

Dr. Trevor DeVries, a University of Guelph professor and Canada Research Chair in Dairy Cattle Behavior and Welfare, Guelph, Ontario, Canada; and Dr. Allison Kerwin, dairy field research specialist, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, were project collaborators.

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is a farmer-driven research program, established by the New York State Legislature for the six northernmost counties of New York State.  Funding for the Program is supported through the New York State Assembly and administrated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Learn more at https://www.nnyagdev.org.

At the midpoint of the year, the all-milk price forecast for 2022 is a whopping $26.20 per hundredweight (cwt), according to the June 2022 USDA/ERS Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report.

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