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MARCH 2020

COVID-19 and Your Dairy Webinar
Steps that dairy managers should consider to protect their workforce, their business and their markets

March 20, 2020 | 10-11 am EST

Link to join COVID-19 and Your Dairy

This webinar will be led by Richard Stup, PhD, Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development and Rob Lynch, DVM, Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY. It will cover: why prevention of the coronavirus/COVID-19 is important, steps that employers should take to protect employees, animal health considerations, what to do if service providers are not available, disaster contingency plans, cross-training of employees who can fill other roles, business resources for employers, and pending federal and state legislation related to coronavirus and employees. Take care of yourself!

Novel coronavirus prevention & control for farms

Richard Stup, Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development, has tips for employers regarding novel coronavirus prevention and control on farms.

  1. Talk with your employees about coronavirus, how it spreads, and how to prevent getting infected.
  2. Print the CDC factsheets and posters, post in your workplace and employee housing facilities.
  3. Provide guidance to help employees clean and disinfect employer-provided housing. Follow up with employees and manage the process to be sure that this happens. Set up a regular weekly and daily schedule for cleaning. (CDC guidance for cleaning homes)
  4. Clean and disinfect your workplace. The employee breakroom and bathroom are great places for virus to be transmitted. Clean and disinfect any areas where employees congregate or routinely touch items such as doorknobs and computer keyboards. Set up daily and weekly cleaning schedules.
  5. Provide cleaning supplies such as cleaning solutions, buckets, mops, brushes, etc. for cleaning at work and for those living in employer-provided housing. (CDC list of approved antimicrobial cleaning products)
  6. Review your sick leave policy. The first advice for people who are sick is to stay home except to get medical care. Do you provide paid sick leave for your employees? If you do not, will employees feel financially obligated to come to work even if they are sick?
  7. Communicate with employees that they should stay home if they are sick. Employees sometimes come to work believing they will face punishment or firing if they miss work. Be sure your employees understand that their health and that of their co-workers’ comes first. Communicate and make a plan to cover for sick employees. CDC provides posters in English and Spanish covering symptoms of novel coronavirus.
  8. Prepare your disaster contingency plan. What will you do if 50 percent of your employees become sick and unable to work? Are there neighboring farms who might be able to share resources in an emergency? Who will manage for a few weeks if you or another key manager are unable to leave your house or are hospitalized? Cornell's Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) provides community education resources across the entire disaster cycle of preparedness, response, and recovery.
    Penn State also provides farm disaster preparedness resources.
  9. At minimum, share the guidelines from New York state with your employees and family.

Preliminary Progress Report #2
Dairy Farm Business Summary and Analysis Program

By Jason Karszes and Lauren Hill

The second preliminary Progress of the Farm Report has been released by the Dairy Farm Business Summary. As dairy businesses across the state continue to analyze their financial and business performance utilizing the Dairy Farm Business Summary and Analysis Program, updated progress of the farm reports are provided to review the changes that have occurred from 2018 to 2019. Along with how things changed from 2018, the range across selected factors for 2019 is reported in a business chart format, which reports the averages by 20 percent increments for each category summarized. With 78 farms included in this report, along with the average of all farms, the report includes preliminary data for farms less than and greater than 900 cows.

Highlighted ranges of performance from the 2nd preliminary report, for all farms:

 Lowest 20%
of Measure
 Highest 20%
of Measure

 Milk per Cow   19,922  28,609
 Milk Sold Per Worker Equivalent    770,410  1,714,133
 Feed & Crop Input Expenses per Cwt. $5.92 $8.57
 Operating Costs to Produce Milk $13.32 $18.63
 Total Costs to Produce Milk $17.70 $25.21
 % Return on All Capital, w/o Appreciation  -2.5%   9.0%

If you are interested in analyzing your business performance, please contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office to inquire about what resources are available to assist in this effort.

A new Phosphorus Index for NY, Part 3: Educational tool for the NY-PI 2.0 is now downloadable

By Karl Czymmek and Quirine Ketterings

In December e-Leader, we introduced the new NY Phosphorus Index (NY-PI 2.0) and provided some background. In the January e-Leader, this was followed by a brief explanation of how the NY-PI 2.0 works. Farms that are regulated as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) will need to start using the new NY-PI 2.0 when the CAFO Permit is updated (current permits are due to be renewed in 2022). Farms that are in state or federal cost share programs will need to use the tool based on NRCS determination. As mentioned before, agency discussions are in progress to make sure the roll-out is as smooth as possible. To aid with training and evaluation of various field and BMP scenarios, a new evaluation tool (software program) is now available. It can be downloaded from the Nutrient Management Spear Program website:

Help us plan the rescheduled Northeast Dairy Management Conference

The Northeast Dairy Management Conference program planning committee, including representatives of Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA) and Cornell PRO-DAIRY, are exploring options for future conferences after the March 11-12 conference was postponed. We anticipate offering a live, in-person conference in January 2021. The committee will also consider whether to offer part or all of the previously planned content in an online format. As we explore these options, your input and feedback are valuable. Please complete this online survey to share your thoughts on format, method of delivery and content to help shape this and other future events. Additional information will be shared over the coming weeks about potential opportunities.

Herd Health and Nutrition Conference goes virtual

To protect public health as the novel coronavirus outbreak continues, PRO-DAIRY and Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance (NEAFA) are transitioning the Herd Health and Nutrition Conference scheduled for April to a virtual conference from an in-person event. We want to ensure continued delivery of education related to current herd health and nutrition management techniques to our dairy producers and industry partners. Current sponsors and registrants will receive additional details by email this week. For those who have not yet registered, watch the conference website or subscribe for additional details on how to take part in this virtual event.

PRO-DAIRY event and program statuses

Event name  Original dates  Status 
 NE Dairy Management Conference  March 11-12  Postponed – Future plans developing
 Dairy Discovery  March 27-28  Cancelled
 Dairy Environmental Systems Workshop  March 31  Postponed until mid-May
 Dairy Discussion Groups  March and April  Cancelled
 Herd Health and Nutrition Conference   April 6-7  In-person event Cancelled
Transitioning to a virtual event
 Growing Great People:
Training Skills for Dairy Farmers
Become an Effective On-The-Job Trainer
in English and Spanish
 April 14-21  Online training scheduled
April 14 - English | 6:30 to 8:00 PM
April 16 - Spanish | 12:00 to 1:30 PM
In-person workshops will be rescheduled in fall
 NYS Dairy Quiz Bowl Competition  April 25  Postponed until June
 4-H Animal Crackers   May 2   Cancelled

Webinars in English and Spanish

Cornell PRO-DAIRY Dairy Webinar in English

2020 Corn Silage Strategies
New York and Vermont Corn Silage Hybrid Evaluations

March 31, 2020 | 1-2 pm EST
Presenter: Joe Lawrence, PRO-DAIRY Forage Systems Specialist

The impact of weather on the 2020 growing season is yet to be determined. However, there are opportunities to utilize existing information and knowledge gained from recent research projects to implement strategies that will improve the chances of a successful outcome, regardless of the what the season brings. The corn silage hybrid evaluation program evaluates over 70 hybrids from over a dozen companies each year and with this number of hybrids evaluated at multiple locations across New York and Vermont the resulting information provides a useful decision making tool for both hybrid selection and overall management strategies.

Dairy Cow Management Webinars in Spanish
Manejo de Vacas Lecheras Seminarios Web en Español- Días Miércoles

These webinars will be presented entirely in Spanish. No registration needed. Recordings will be posted to the website after. Van a presentar estos seminarios web completamente en español. No hay que registrarse. La grabación del seminario estará disponible en el sitio después.

Webinars are held from 12:30 - 1:00 p.m. on the last Wednesday of the month. Click on the date below to join.
Los seminarios web son a los 12:30 - 1:00p.m. en último miércoles del mes. Haga clic en la fecha abajo para unirse.

Milk Quality Part I - Culturing and Types of Mastitis
Calidad de Leche Parte 1- Sacando muestras y tipos de mastitis

March 25, 2020 (25 de marzo del 2020) | 12:30-1:00 pm EST

Presenter: Dr. Paula Ospina, DVM, PhD

Although mastitis results in changes in milk quality, it is not always caused by the same bugs. This webinar will focus on how you identify different bacteria focusing on the major differences between environmental and contagious causes of mastitis.

Aunque la mastitis siempre resulta en cambios en la calidad de leche, no es siempre causada por las mismas bacterias. Este entrenamiento enfocará en la identificación de bacteria enfocando en las diferencias entre las bacterias contagiosas y las que se encuentran en el medio ambiente causantes de mastitis.

Milk Quality Part II - Treatment Decision Based on Mastitis Type
Calidad de Leche Parte 2- Decisiones de tratamiento basado en el tipo de mastitis

April 29, 2020 (29 de abril del 2020) | 12:30-1:00 pm EST
Presenter: Dr. Paula Ospina, DVM, PhD

Although mastitis results in changes in milk quality, it is not always caused by the same bugs. Treatment and management decisions should reflect these differences. This webinar will focus on the differences in treatment and management practices based on mastitis type (environmental vs. contagious).

Aunque la mastitis siempre resulta en cambios en la calidad de leche, no es siempre causada por las mismas bacterias. Decisiones de tratamiento y manejo deben de tener esto en cuenta. Este entrenamiento enfocará en las diferencias en tratamiento y manejo basado en el tipo de mastitis (del medio ambiente vs. contagiosas).

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For more information about PRO-DAIRY, visit

Julie Berry, Editor | Tom Overton, Director | Facebook

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