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In this issue:
  • Corn Silage Harvest Outlook
  • Rainfall Survey
  • Sign Up for CDEP & Dairy Academy
  • DPM Trends
  • Anaerobice Digester Symposium
  • Save the Date!

Corn for Silage Progress and Harvest Outlook

Growing degree day accumulation continued to be below average in August and early September, further slowing the progress of the corn crop in much of the state. Updated 2017 GDD data shows that over the last 50 days we are 130-190 GDD’s behind the average, meaning we need to make up those days in the remainder of the season. Given low daily GDD accumulation in late October and early November, and average accumulation in September and October, it will take approximately three to four weeks to make up the deficiency. This means that corn silking around August 10 would have a projected harvest date around the second week of November. Read the full Harvest Outlook on the PRO-DAIRY website.

Keys for success presented in the August 2 PRO-DAIRY Webinar Managing Forage Quality: A Challenging Growing Season include:

  • Separating fields by those likely to fully mature for silage and those likely to be harvested at an immature stage.
  • Identifying separate storage areas to store mature (dairy quality silage) and immature (non-lactating quality silage).
  • When identifying temporary storage sites consider site drainage, runoff risk, and CAFO guidelines.
  • As always, follow all other best management practices for silage harvest and storage. See: Setting the Stage for Success, Corn Silage Harvest.

PRO-DAIRY e-Alert: Fall Harvest

PRO-DAIRY issued a Fall Harvest e-Alert that included articles:

  • Silage Leachate: Collection systems may need more focus this year; and
  • 2017 Update: Bunker Silo Safety Reminder from the OSHA Work Group.

SURVEY: Impacts and Farmer Responses to 2017 Heavy Rainfalls

March through July of 2017 was a period of above average rainfall in much of New York. Rainfall often came as heavy downpour events, leading to agricultural damage and disease. The purpose of this survey is to gather information on regional impacts and how farmers coped with this situation, so that farmers and those institutions and industries that support farmers will be better prepared in the future.

Management Education Opportunities

Two unique programs for progressive dairy executives will launch this December and we invite you to apply!
Designed for young executives and agriservice personnel, the Academy for Dairy Executives features sessions to enhance understanding of the fast-changing dairy industry and develop leadership and management skills. Application deadline is October 20, 2017.
The Cornell Dairy Executive Program is designed for individuals who have five or more years of dairy experience in a decision making position.  Program content focuses on business planning, financial management, human resource management and risk management. Application deadline is October 15, 2017.

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.

Dairy Profit Monitor Trends

PRO-DAIRY has released Dairy Profit Monitor (DPM) trend graphs to help farms to benchmark changes in their key production and financial measures over time. The graphs include 37 farms that entered at least 9 months of data from July 2016 through June 2017.

  • Pounds of components per cow per day continue to show seasonally lower summer milk production, paired with lower dry matter intakes. Higher component farms are continually above the 6.5 pound threshold, with some close to 7 pounds.
  • The range of net milk price is consistent, however, some premium structures changes among milk buyers has led to a wider range of net milk price beginning in the early 2017.
  • Last year many farms saw positive impacts on feed conversion and income over feed costs from 2015 corn silage quality. As farms have finished feeding that crop, 2016’s forages are likely the cause of the feed conversion dip seen over the last 12 months, with many farms affected by the drought.
  • Feed costs per hundredweight have stayed relatively consistent, however, feed cost per pound of dry matter has declined. The reduction in milk per cow per day has led to a stable feed cost per hundredweight, while price drops and ration changes have caused the cost per pound of feed to decrease. As a result, income over feed costs on a fixed milk price basis remain at a slightly higher level.

While looking through these graphs, the same farm may not always be on the top or bottom for each month. When benchmarking your farm, it’s important to note how you change compared to the average over the 12 months, rather than where you rank. During the course of the year, 104 farms participated in at least one month of data entry in the DPM program. For more information or to enroll, email Ashley Howlett at

Anaerobic Digesters l Renewable Bio-Gas Symposium

Explore opportunities and barriers to the utilization of renewable bio-gas in New York State, with particular emphasis on digester technology and its use in the State’s agricultural sector. The Symposium will be held 9 AM to 4 PM, October 23 at the National Grid Auditorium, Syracuse. It will be led by National Grid and the Advanced Energy Center at Stony Brook and hosted by the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environment and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE), as well as Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY, Stony Brook University, Syracuse University, National Grid and Sustainable Dairy Technologies. Registration cost is $35.00. Additional information is available in a printable flyer.

Hire and Retain the Best

Presented by the Northeast Regional Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge
Join us October 27 at Sunnyside Dairy where professional recruiter Dan Simmons will coach you in ways to attract talent to your farm. Help us plan for the event by registering and completing a brief, confidential survey about hiring on dairy farms.

Save the Date!

Cornell Nutrition Conference
October 17 – 19, 2017

Feeder School
October – December, 2017

Online Reproductive Management Course
October 31 – December 15, 2017

Northeast Dairy Producers Conference
March 7 – 8, 2018

Herd Health & Nutrition Conference
April 10, 2018

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