Research funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has identified steps dairy farms can take to reduce winter season respiratory illness in dairy calves.
Respiratory illness in calves can negatively impact weight gain, age at their first calving, first lactation milk production, farm revenue and costs.
Research conducted by Cornell Cooperative Extension analyzed temperature, humidity, dew point, wind chill, airflow, bedding, and calf age, weight, and health scoring on 27 farms in northern NY in late November 2016 to early January 2017. Participating farms received individualized recommendations related to environment and management factors such as the type of housing system, bedding, and the number of calves per calf pen. The overall project results and recommendations are posted online. Project leader Kimberley Morrill, Ph.D. will present an update on this research at the 2018 American Dairy Science Association meeting.
The farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program provides research and technical assistance to farmers in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Funding for the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is supported by the New York State Senate and administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
Photo: Sarah Murray checks calves bedded in deep straw and wear calf coats at Murcrest Farms in Northern New York, courtesy Northern New York Agricultural Development Program.