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 PD-Arrow-Small e-Leader 
 June 2017
 In this issue:
  • Comparing Bodily Waste Between Dairy Cows and People
  • What do you read?
  • Missing Protocols?
  • Dairy AdvanCE
  • Dairy Profit Seminars
  • Cornell Dairy Exec Program
  • Save the Date!

Comparing bodily waste between dairy cows and people

By: Karl Czymmek, PRO-DAIRY

A recent court filing claims that a herd of 200 milking cows produces as much waste as 96,000 people. Mike Van Amburgh, Professor, Cornell Department of Animal Science, and I have taught students about the comparison between waste from cows and humans in our animal science classes for many years, and we knew the calculation stated in the lawsuit was much too high. We decided to review the science and determine how the miscalculation was made.

To start, we researched the scientific literature for human excretion rates and used the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein model to predict urine and feces excretion from a cow making 23,000 pounds of milk, which is about the NYS average for 2016. We also calculated the comparison on the basis of N and P excretion. In simple terms, on a wet basis, the average person excretes .4 gallons of waste per day, and a cow producing 23,000 pounds of milk excretes 16.8 gallons of manure per day. This means one cow produces as much manure as 42 people. Therefore 200 cows produce an amount similar to 8,400 people. On an N basis, the comparison is 1 cow to 35 people and on a P basis, 1 cow to 38 people.

When we reviewed the information and references provided in the court document, the source of the error is clear: the authors used an EPA fact sheet that reports a family of 4 generates about 1 pound DRY MATTER of solid waste per day AFTER treatment, and then compared this to the wet weight of urine and feces excreted by a cow. Clearly not an apple to apple comparison. This critical error results in an estimate of one cow compares to 480 people, more than 10 times the actual figure.

To read more, see: What’s Cropping Up: “Setting the Record Straight: Comparing Bodily Waste Between Dairy Cows and People.”

What do you read?

Please help PRO-DAIRY by participating in a short publications survey about what and how you read dairy information and news. We're looking for the best ways to deliver news about applied research and education to you.

Dairy AdvanCE

PRO-DAIRY is proud to be a founding Dairy AdvanCE education provider. Dairy AdvanCE is the nation’s first go-to resource to find, track and report continuing education in dairy. Farmers and allied industry can now find vetted trainings from trusted education providers, track and manage their continuing education credits (CEs), and report their CEs through an official transcript. View past and future accredited trainings, and other top-quality educational offerings from trusted education providers like ours, at

Dairy farmers and active students can subscribe for FREE and allied industry professionals can use a FREE 30-day Trial Subscription. To join or learn more, email, call 800-947-7379, or watch a DairyAdvanCE video.

Contact Us:

For more information about PRO-DAIRY, visit

Julie Berry, Editor  |  Tom Overton, Director  |  Facebook

Diversity and Inclusion are part of Cornell University's heritage.  We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities.

Missing Protocols?

By: Rob Lynch, DVM, PRO-DAIRY

We often think of milking procedures, reproductive management and fresh cow treatments when someone mentions dairy protocols. When looking over written protocols make sure you include these often-overlooked items.

Evacuation & Emergency Response:
Our hope is to never need to use emergency protocols but it is important that everyone on the farm keep safe if they ever need to respond to an emergency.

Animal Mishandling Reporting:

Training all farm employees on proper animal handling goes a long way to avoiding mishandling. Workers should also know how to go about letting management know about any instance of potential inhumane cattle handling. Reviewing this reporting protocol with all employees helps add to the culture good animal care that all dairies are dedicated to.

Updating Protocol Documents Protocol: Yes, a protocol for changing out protocols. This is called change control and a critical component of HACCP plans. It is all too common to see multiple different versions of a protocol on the same farm. Revisions to protocols are inevitable, make sure you have a procedure in place to purge all working versions of those old protocols (keep one in the file cabinet with the treatment sheets as part of your stored records) so employees do not accidently pick up an outdated one. 

Wanted: 30 Great Dairy Leaders

The Cornell Dairy Executive Program is now accepting applications for Class 13, to start on December 3, 2017. This unique, year-long program offers professional educational leadership and management principles for progressive dairy producers and agriservice personnel, focused on increasing their ability to run a successful dairy business and enhancing their understanding of the fast-changing dairy industry.

For full program information, fees, and application instruction, visit the CDEP program website.

2017 Dairy Profit Seminars
at Empire Farm Days

This year’s Empire Farm Days is slated for August 8 through 10 at the Rodman Lott & Son Farms near Seneca Falls, NY.

The 2017 Dairy Profit Seminars will include:

  • Robotics and Maximizing Milk Per Box: Grouping and Feeding;
  • Transitioning to Automatic Milking Systems: What Have We Learned?; and
  • Is your farm a Member of the 7 Pound Club? Leading dairy producers into the next frontier of maximizing pounds of components produced, while maintaining profitability.

The seminars are a collaboration between Cornell’s PRO-DAIRY, Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA) and DairyBusiness & HolsteinWorld magazine. Each session will be held at the Dairy Seminar Center, located on the show grounds. They are free and open to the public.

Save the Date!

Farm Financial Standards Council 2017 Annual Conference Comes to Central New York
July 26-28, 2017
Syracuse, NY

Dedicated to helping farmers by promoting uniform financial reporting and analysis in the ag industry, the Farm Financial Standards Council is holding their Annual Conference. With a diverse agenda covering family farm succession planning, dairy from Texas to New York, accounting changes, and financial guidelines implementation guides, the conference is open to anyone interested in financial analysis, benchmarking, and financial management of farms.

2018 Northeast Dairy Producers Conference
March 7-8, 2018
Holiday Inn, Liverpool, NY

2018 Herd Health and Nutrition Conference
April 10, 2018
Doubletree by Hilton, East Syracuse, NY

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