One of the biggest frustrations that Mike Van Amburgh hears from producers after they implement an intensive feeding program is that it didn’t change their age at first calving.

But it takes more than an intensive feeding program to improve age at first calving. In order to do that, producers also must develop a complete system for heifer growth — to keep building on the gains they’ve achieved with an intensive feeding program, he says.

That means making changes throughout the entire heifer program, Van Amburgh, dairy nutritionist from Cornell University, told attendees at the Professional Dairy Heifer Growers Association in late March.