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Observations from 2021 corn silage plot harvest

The six locations of the NY VT Corn Silage Hybrid Evaluation Program were harvested between September 3 and September 17 (with planting dates of May 7 to May 20). As the waiting game begins for samples to be analyzed for forage quality at the laboratory so this data can be analyzed and the report released, observations from our harvest can be beneficial to consider as harvest continues across the region. The trials represent locations from Western NY to NW Vermont with approximately 60 hybrids represented in 2021.

Overall, the combination of heat and moisture in the second half of the season led to the general trend of green healthy-looking plants with drier than expected ears and these observations held true for our plots. This reinforces the need to check both visual plant progress and whole plant DM to understand how the ear is progressing and its overall impact on whole plant DM. Further, a large plant with a dry ear results in a combination known to negatively impact kernel processing performance as demonstrated in a recent study funded by NYFVI, necessitating more attention to processor settings to assure acceptable processing.

Adequate heat and timely precipitation during ear development leads to expectations of higher starch contents (as long as the silage is able to reach proper whole plant DM content) as was observed recently with the 2018 and 2020 growing seasons. In contrast, a notable difference from these recent seasons is the amount of rain observed in early July (leading up to tasseling) and the expectation that this will have an overall negative impact on fiber digestibility.

Additional resources include:

Transition Cow Tuesdays webinar series
Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension are hosting Transition Cow Tuesdays, a transition cow management webinar series, from 12:30 to 1:00 PM EST, Tuesdays from November 2, 2021 through December 14, 2021.

Have you…

  • been working with the farm transition cow program but want to know more about the how, what and why?
  • wanted to improve the transition cow performance of your herd but need to know where to start?
  • wanted to increase the skills you bring to the farm or your farm employer?
  • been wondering where you’ll find the time to attend a course or workshop?

If so, this webinar series is designed for you! The webinars are short, to the point, and just 30 minutes. Grab your lunch and join us. Generous sponsors have enabled us to offer this series free of charge. Registration is required. One registration provides access to all the webinars in the series.

  • NOV 2 - Transition Cow Nutrition, Tom Overton, PhD, Professor of Dairy Management, Chairman of the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University
  • NOV 9 - Feeding the Transition Cow, Dave Balbian, Betsy Hicks, and Margaret Quaassdorff, CCE Regional Dairy Specialists
  • NOV 16 - Selective Dry Cow Therapy, Daryl Nydam, DVM, Faculty Director, Atkinson Center for Sustainability, Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine
  • NOV 23 - Facility Considerations, Lindsay Ferlito, NNY CCE Regional Dairy Specialist
  • NOV 30 - Calving Considerations, Rob Lynch, DVM, Cornell PRO-DAIRY, and Margaret Quaassdorff, NWNY CCE Regional Dairy Specialist
  • DEC 7 - Post Calving Monitoring, Rob Lynch, DVM, Cornell PRO-DAIRY, and Margaret Quaassdorff, NWNY CCE Regional Dairy Specialist
  • DEC 14 - Evaluating Transition Management, Judy Moody, Agricultural Resource Management Specialist, Dairy One

Calf and Heifer Management Online Courses: Register starting October 1
Registration for a new Calf and Heifer Management Online Course is opening in October and the course will be offered in two different formats. The Real-Time Course (offered October 29 to December 31) will operate like our previous online classes with coursework, quizzes, and homework assigned weekly. The On-Demand Course option, which is new, can be started anytime with only recorded lectures and quizzes to complete, but must be completed in six months from the start of enrollment in the course.

The Calf and Heifer Online Course will cover basic calf and heifer management principles. It is led by staff from Cornell University and industry researchers and designed for dairy business on-farm personnel (owner or employee) who are seeking to increase their knowledge of calf and heifer management. Participants should possess a formal or informal background in dairy cattle management, but not necessarily in calf and heifer management. A certificate of completion from Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY is awarded upon completion of the course. Topics include: Calf Nutrition Pre- and Post-Weaning, Replacement Economics, Colostrum Management, Inventory Management, Genetics, Calf Health, and Housing. Registration is $250.00 per person and opens October 1.

Healthy, Hardy Heifers: A fall 2021 virtual series
CCE Regional Ag Teams are offering a new eight-week series on heifer management topics from post-weaning to calving. This series will be offered virtually via Zoom every Friday starting October 1st, 2021 at 12:00 PM EST. Sessions will be about 30 to 45 minutes in length, with a question and answer period at the end.

  • OCT 1 - Series Kick-OffMurilo Carvhalo, Holstein Canada
  • OCT 8 - Transition After Weaning, CCE NCRAT Dairy Specialists
  • OCT 15 - Pre-Breeding Comfort and Nutrition, CCE NCRAT and SCNY Dairy Specialists
  • OCT 22 - Hoof Health, Dr. Dorte Doepfer, UW Madison
  • OCT 29 - Repro Strategies, Dr. Julio Giordano, Cornell
  • NOV 5 - Bred Heifers, Dr. Tom Tylutki, AMTS
  • NOV 12 - Pre-Calving Nutrition, Dr. Mike Van Amburgh, Cornell
  • NOV 19 - Pre-Calving Comfort and Facilities, Dr. Katy Proudfoot, UPEI

This program is offered at no cost thanks to our generous sponsors. Registration is required for Hardy, Healthy Heifers. The Zoom link will arrive in your registration confirmation email. For registration help/questions, contact: Donette Griffith, | 607-391-2662.

Managing Performance online course registration open
Agricultural Supervisory Leadership Certificate Program

Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development has opened registration for Managing Performance, a six-week online course, offered as part of the Agricultural Supervisory Leadership Certificate program. Materials will release November 10, 2021 and live weekly Zoom discussions will be held from 3 to 4 PM EST each Tuesday from November 16 through December 21. Participation in the live sessions is highly encouraged and provides a valued opportunity for peer to peer learning and networking. Cost is $275. Course topics will include:

  • Understand motivation
  • Harness the power of performance feedback and coaching
  • Build clear and effective workplace communications
  • Set safety expectations
  • Conduct effective performance improvements

Supervisors are critical to the success of farm businesses. They have a major impact both on employees’ daily work experiences and on the production performance of the business. The Agricultural Supervisory Leadership certificate helps farm supervisors and managers learn and apply human resource management practices and leadership skills that foster rewarding workplaces and drive business results. Confident managers who thoughtfully apply leadership and management skills improve employee performance, develop teams, reduce employee turnover, and increase employee engagement. The courses within the certificate program will offer extensive practice and engagement activities to build confidence and skill sets.

Each course includes up to six weeks of instruction on topics that will build your leadership and management skills. Instruction includes a combination of prerecorded lectures, reading assignments, written exercises, live discussion sessions and quizzes. For those looking to learn more on a particular topic, supplemental videos and articles may be recommended by the instructor. To get the most out of the course, students should plan to spend two to four hours each week on combined course activities.

For questions, contact Rachel McCarthy, Supervisory Leadership Certificate Program Coordinator, at

NY HERO Act in Effect NOW:
Employers Required to Activate Plans and Prevention Measures
SOURCE: The Ag Workforce Journal
On September 6, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the designation of COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease under New York State’s HERO Act. This means that all NY employers, including farms, are required to activate their airborne infectious disease plans. Employers should immediately: review and update their plans, provide a verbal review of the plan with all employees, provide written copies to employees, and post a copy of the plan in the workplace. These plans include prevention measures such as: “stay at home” policy, daily health screening, face coverings, physical distancing, etc. See this article from National Law Review: COVID-19 Designated as an Airborne Infectious Disease under New York State’s HERO Act. See this post for details about getting your plan in place.

Failure to comply with the NY HERO Act carries possible fines of $50/day for failing to adopt a plan and $1,000+/day for failing to comply with an adopted plan, according to the National Law Review. The Act also contains very strict measures against employer retaliation against an employee who complains about a lack of workplace safety measures. See the last two paragraphs of the model plan for agriculture.

A release from NYFB included this detail: The purpose of the HERO Act is to protect employees against workplace exposure during airborne infectious disease outbreaks. Under this new law, the New York Department of Labor has worked with the New York State Department of Health, to develop a new Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standard, a Model Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan and industry-specific model plans for the prevention of airborne infectious disease, including an agriculture specific plan. Employers have a choice between adopting the applicable policy template policy and plan provided by NYSDOL or they may establish an alternative plan that meets or exceeds the standard’s minimum requirements. Visit for industry-specific plans and additional resources.

Also, a reminder to agricultural employers in New York State from NYS DOL: COVID19 Paid Leave benefits are still in effect. COVID-19 paid leave benefits do not have an expiration date. Employers may not make workers use existing sick leave or other leave accruals, in lieu of providing COVID leave benefits. Employers must provide these quarantine benefits regardless of vaccination status. For more information, please click here.

NY farm employer and employee survey underway
New York dairy farms are now receiving their pre-notification letters and survey packets
Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development is seeking to understand what is happening with New York farm labor during this time of great change in markets, regulations and technology. Objectives of the New York Farm Labor in Transition research project are to:
  1. Identify what human resource management practices are most effective at achieving high performance and labor efficiency.
  2. Describe New York farm employee hours, compensation, quality of work life and satisfaction with working conditions and relations.
  3. Describe how labor markets and regulations are affecting labor usage, enterprise selection, and business plans for New York farms.
  4. Identify what labor-saving technologies farms are adopting and how they best fit in an overall human resource management strategy.

How to participate:
Watch your mail for the letter and survey packet, then follow the enclosed instructions to participate by mail, or use the online survey option. If you don’t receive a mailing in the next few weeks, and you a operate a New York farm with hired employees, then reach out to Julie Berry ( to request a survey packet. Include your name, farm name, mailing address, phone, and email.

Support for this research is provided by: Unites States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Farm Credit East, Northeast Dairy Producers Association, Dairy Farmers of America, and Upstate Niagara Cooperative.

​Asian longhorned tick fact sheets available

The Northeastern Vector Borne Disease Center (of Excellence) has published two Asian Longhorned Tick fact sheet/infographics targeting farm workers and livestock producers for awareness and prevention of tick bites.
Asian longhorned tick populations are expanding rapidly across the eastern US. Questions? Contact Emily Mader ( at the NEVBD Center.

​Safety alert from American Association of Bovine Practitioners
Animal products containing ivermectin SHOULD NOT be used in people. These products can cause serious health effects, including death. Ivermectin has not been shown to be a safe or effective way to prevent or treat COVID-19. If you are worried about COVID-19, please talk to your doctor. More information from the US Food and Drug Administration includes:

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Julie Berry, Editor | Tom Overton, Director | Facebook

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