Dairy

DairyDairy is the leading agricultural industry in New York State, and the state ranks third in the country for milk production. Our five counties in southwestern New York form an especially vibrant dairy region, with over 680 dairy farms of many different sizes and production systems. 

The SWNY Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Program assists dairy farmers by providing business management, forage production, and dairy management support. Our Dairy Management Specialist offers assistance with calf and heifer management, reproductive management, dairy records analysis, herd health, nutrition, and facilities. 





Relevant Event

Stockmanship and Stewardship 2024

October 25, 2024
Hamburg, NY

NYS Ag and Markets Shares USDA Recs to Minimize HPAI at Cattle Exhibitions

Last Modified: May 28, 2024
NYS Ag and Markets Shares USDA Recs to Minimize HPAI at Cattle Exhibitions

While no cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza have been reported in NYS cattle, the state is sharing federal recommendations for testing and interstate movement of cattle to fairs and shows this summer. Included in this article are links to remain abreast of the most current findings, testing requirements, and biosecurity recommendations for HPAI in cattle.


Are your calves eating enough starter at weaning? by Camila Lage

Camila Lage, Dairy Management Specialist
Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

Last Modified: April 9, 2024
Are your calves eating enough starter at weaning? by Camila Lage

Calf-rearing programs on farms have undergone significant changes in recent years. Traditionally, these programs aimed to reduce raising costs of replacement heifers by promoting early starter feed intake, providing calves with an average of 1.2 lb./d of milk solids (~ 4 quarts of whole milk daily), and weaning them at 4-6 weeks of age. However, research has shown that higher nutrition plans during the pre-weaning phase benefit animal health and welfare and can potentially boost future milk production (Soberon et al., 2012). Consequently, the industry has increased milk/milk replacer allowances to an average of at least 1.7 lb./d (~ 6 quarts of whole milk daily) and extended the pre-weaning phase to at least eight weeks of age. While this is a better practice regarding calf health and welfare, it presents a new challenge: preparing calves to transition from liquid to solid diets. This task requires careful planning and execution.


Lessons learned from SWNY calves' transfer of passive immunity project

Camila Lage, Dairy Management Specialist
Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

Last Modified: March 26, 2024
Lessons learned from SWNY calves' transfer of passive immunity project

After almost four months of "stabbing" calf necks to collect blood samples to evaluate the transfer of passive immunity in 10 farms across SWNY, it is time to reflect on the lessons learned. First, I would like to thank all the farms that accepted participation in the project. I appreciate the time we spent together, during which I had the opportunity to meet you for the first time and to get to know you and your farm better. 


Northeast Goat and Sheep Dairy Development Grant is Now Accepting Applications!

Amy Barkley, Livestock Specialist
Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

Last Modified: February 26, 2024
Northeast Goat and Sheep Dairy Development Grant is Now Accepting Applications!

The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center is now accepting applications for their Goat and Sheep Dairy Development Grants, which can be used for both individual business projects and sector enhancement projects. The deadline to apply is June 6.


Do not let cow comfort stand between you and extra milk pounds.

Camila Lage, Dairy Management Specialist
Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

Last Modified: February 21, 2024
Do not let cow comfort stand between you and extra milk pounds.

Once, I heard that the cow has three main jobs: get milked, eat and drink, and lie down to chew her cud, and that a farmer's job is to guarantee her the conditions to do these things well. In scientific terms,  "cow comfort" is to provide cows with physical and emotional wellness, including the ability to walk and exercise freely without risk of injury, gain access to sufficient food and water to satiate their hunger and thirst, seek shelter from weather and climate extremes, and, perhaps most importantly, achieve adequate rest (Cook, 2020).


Lessons learned from "The Psychology of Money" that also apply to dairy industry

Camila Lage, Dairy Management Specialist
Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

Last Modified: January 16, 2024
Lessons learned from

As one of my New Year's resolutions, I am trying to learn more about finances. I am fascinated by human behavior, and because of that, a friend of mine suggested I read the Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel. 

The book explores the behavioral aspects of personal finance and emphasizes the impact of individual history on financial decisions. The author explores different historical facts, like war and recessions, and how they impact the mindset of each generation. Moreover, it elaborates on how hard it is to forecast the future to know how our present decisions will impact our lives and businesses. Despite being challenging, the author believes certain behaviors can put us in the best position possible while making long-term decisions. 

While reading the book, I couldn't help but draw a parallel between the lessons from an investing perspective and the farming world. I believe the book's insights offer valuable perspectives and recommend it to someone looking for a new book. 


Reporting Winter Storm Damage - It's Important!

Katelyn Walley, Business Management Specialist and Team Leader
Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

Last Modified: January 16, 2024
Reporting Winter Storm Damage - It's Important!

Winter's here, and with that comes high winds, heavy snow loads, power outages, and damages that negatively impact your farm business. Katelyn Walley shares the importance of documenting damages and reporting them here, along with key contact information.


Cattle Injection Tips

Amy Barkley, Livestock Specialist
Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

Last Modified: December 14, 2023
Cattle Injection Tips

Giving injections of vitamins, vaccinations, dewormers, and antibiotics is a scientific process. Following label instructions, giving injections in the "injection triangle", and opting for sub-cutaneous (sub Q) injections reduces the risk of muscle lesions and trim loss.


New PRO-DAIRY and CCE Dairy Specialists Podcast - Cornell Cow Convos

Camila Lage, Dairy Management Specialist
Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

Last Modified: November 30, 2023
New PRO-DAIRY and CCE Dairy Specialists Podcast - Cornell Cow Convos

Cornell Cow Convos

This monthly podcast series led by PRO-DAIRY and CCE Dairy Specialists features current, new and emerging topics of interest to the dairy industry right now. New episodes are released on the last Thursday of the month. Our first few episodes include discussions on preventative healthcare for cows, the trend of beef on dairy, what to look forward to in the new year for dairy, and socially grouping or pair-housing calves. This series also features specially selected interviews with dairy farmers and industry experts and invites suggestions from our listeners for future topics.


The 5Q`S of Colostrum Management

Camila Lage, Dairy Management Specialist
Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

Last Modified: November 30, 2023
The 5Q`S of Colostrum Management

Evaluating colostrum management is essential to the heifer program. Colostrum audits can be an alternative to routine monitoring transfer of passive immunity if labor is a constraint to the farm. A snapshot of herd immune status can indicate the farm's current success in colostrum management and suggest whether or not procedures need to be reviewed.


Why all the fuss about pair housing?

Last Modified: November 30, 2023
Why all the fuss about pair housing?

Most pre-weaned dairy calves in the United States and Canada are housed individually. However, current research shows benefits to raising calves in well-managed pairs or small groups with full social contact. Housing calves with at least one companion can improve animal welfare, calf growth, and consumer perception. Although the impact on calf health is less clear, many of the benefits of pair housing are promising for the vitality and sustainability of the dairy industry. A growing number of producers have found when raising dairy calves, two heads (or more) are better than one. 


Confined Spaces: Hazards of Manure Gases

Last Modified: November 13, 2023
Confined Spaces: Hazards of Manure Gases

While new manure handling systems are more efficient and reduce manual labor, farmers and ranchers must understand the hazards associated with working in and around confined spaces where manure is stored. Keep yourself and employees safe this season by understanding the risk of manure gases!







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Upcoming Events

Cornell Seed Growers Field Day

July 2, 2024
Ithaca, NY

Sustainable Poultry Production

July 12, 2024
Hamburg, NY

Mortality Composting Workshop at Bluegill Farms

July 13, 2024 : Mortality Composting Training at Bluegill Farms
Bath, NY

Announcements

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