Cows given a reduced dry period produced less colostrum in the next lactation, according to new research from CornellUniversity. Cows given a 40-day dry period gave an average of 15 pounds of colostrum at the first milking after calving — 4 to 5 pounds less than cows given a 60-day dry period.

However, dry period length did not reduce colostrum quality. Colostrum immunoglobulin G levels averaged 77 milligrams per milliliter for both treatment groups. Fifty milligrams per milliliter is considered acceptable quality.

The study was presented this past summer at the annual meeting of the American Dairy Science Association.