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JULY 2018

Milk Yields and Health Research

The July 19  The Manager PRO-DAIRY issue, published by Progressive Dairyman, includes articles:

Forage Resources in Drought

Recently some areas of the state received a nice shot of rain while other areas have received zero. Joe Lawrence, PRO-DAIRY Dairy Forage Systems Specialist, has been receiving questions about emergency forages and has updated a resource on Drought and Forages. At this point few options are viable as most commonly used annual forage crops need to be planted by early July to produce a viable crop.

Oats seeded around the beginning of August can produce reasonable results, assuming we get some late summer rain. Kitty O'Neil shared data on late planted summer oats for forage from 2016 in NNY, with yield potential in good as well as drought situations.

  • Seed end of July/beginning of August
  • Harvest at boot stage in 50 to 65 days
  • As with winter grains, nitrogen (N) needs are likely to vary by field manure history. 50 units of N may be warranted if manure history is light.

Winter grains may be an option for some early spring forage but depending on what the spring of 2019 brings, they may or may not be ready for harvest much earlier than first cutting.

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Empire Farm Days Dairy Profit Seminars

The Dairy Profit Seminars have become a regular stop for dairy producers, dairy farm staff and agribusiness professionals at Empire Farm Days. This year’s show is slated for August 7 through 9 at the Rodman Lott & Son Farms near Seneca Falls, NY. The 2018 Dairy Profit Seminars will feature Three Dairy Herd Management Strategies for Challenging Times that will be offered on both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings; Data to Dollars, making more money from your DHI records and milk samples on Tuesday afternoon; and Changing Times, Changing Consumers, telling dairy’s story today on Thursday morning. The Junior Dairy Leader graduation ceremonies will be held Wednesday afternoon.

Labor Efficiency Survey

Labor efficiency and costs are a continued area of discussion among farms. The farm business management team is collecting data this summer for the Labor Allocation Project to understand the wide range in labor efficiency across the industry. This project will track and record labor hours for each area and task on the farm. Participants will receive a report with their labor efficiency numbers and can compare their data to other farms when the full analysis is complete. Data submitted will remain confidential and will only be shared in an aggregate form. Complete the Labor Allocation Project survey by August 3.

If interested, review the instructions and data collection sheets. Two informational webinars will be held. Contact Ashley Howlett at or (607)592-0651 to participate or with questions.

Research, Education & Training Survey

The New York Farm Viability Institute and PRO-DAIRY are conducting a survey of dairy farmers to better understand the research, education and training needs of your business. Your input will help us prioritize our efforts to support your business. The survey can be completed in less than 10 minutes. Email Aileen Randolph, New York Farm Viability Institute, at with questions. It’s important to get as many responses as possible, so please share the link with other farmers. Thanks for participating!

Keeping Cows Cool

PRO-DAIRY's Curt Gooch released a Cooling Cows e-Alert that includes resources on direct evaporative cooling (sprinklers) at the feed bunk, holding areas and return alleys to mitigate heat stress.

Keys to successful sprinkler systems include: ample water supply, up to 50 gallons per cow per day; adequately sized pipe to deliver required water to sprinkler manifold pipes; low pressure within manifold pipes - about 20 psi; nozzles located so that cows backs and upper flanks are soaked to the skin in about two minutes of water application; fans located over feedbunk to remove cow-evaporated moisture from immediately around the hair surface for the balance of a 10 to 15 minute wetting cycle; and an appropriate system controller with proper settings.

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