Cornell Dairy Executive Program Class XI accepting applications

Enrollment is underway for Class XI of the Cornell Dairy Executive Program. Applications submitted before June 9 will receive a $300 discount towards the first program installment. The Cornell Dairy Executive Program (CDEP) provides professional, cutting-edge management training for progressive dairy producers in New York and across the country.

With input and support from producers and agriservice, this year-long program is designed to enhance understanding of the fast-changing dairy industry. Participants will develop leadership and business management skills to lead their dairy business into the future.

More detailed program information, including program fees, is online at: 

Dairy replacement costs analyzed

The analysis of the costs to raise dairy replacements during the third quarter of 2012 are complete, and the final report is now available on the PRO-DAIRY Web site at  

This is the fourth time that the costs were reviewed on dairy farms located across New York. The average total cost to raise the dairy replacement (not including the value of the animal when born) until they entered the herd for each of these studies was:

•     1993      $1,044

•     2003      $1,429

•     2007      $1,734

•     2012      $2,084

The top five expenses per heifer completing the dairy replacement program are feed, labor, interest, bedding and building ownership. These five expenses represent 80.9% of the total cost to raise the dairy replacement.

Average raising cost per day per heifer was $2.995 with an average calving age of 23.0 months. The average daily costs ranged from almost $6.50 while the calf was on liquid feed; to $2.00 to $2.20 per day from weaning to breeding; to $2.60 to $2.70 from breeding to close-up; and back over $3.50 right before calving. 

 Advanced Dairy Nutrition and Management Shortcourse is June 2

Cornell’s Advanced Dairy Nutrition and Management Shortcourse is scheduled for June 2-5 at Cornell University. The shortcourse is designed to expose experienced nutritionists, allied industry professionals and veterinarians to the latest research and its application within dairy nutrition and management. This shortcourse is taught on even-numbered years by Cornell faculty, Miner Institute staff and guest speakers from other universities. Evening social events are planned to provide networking opportunities for participants.

For more information, visit:

Researchers call attention to corn silage digestibility data

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) has posted the results of its regional 2013 corn silage hybrid trials at

“Most agronomists and animal nutritionists now believe that stover fiber digestibility is one of the most important hybrid characteristics affecting silage quality. Furthermore, some animal nutritionists believe that starch concentrations are no longer adequate in assessing corn silage hybrids for quality but rather starch digestibility of the grain is far more important,” said lead researcher William J. Cox, a Cornell University Crop and Soil Sciences professor.

The NNYADP and Cornell University have evaluated numerous corn hybrids under different management practices including planting date, plant density, row spacing, N rate and timing, harvest date, and harvest cutting height over the last 30 years.  

‘In almost all instances, the selection of the hybrid has had a greater influence on silage quality than have management practices. Consequently, we believe that hybrid selection is the most important management practice affecting corn silage quality in most growing seasons,’ says Cox.

In 2013, Cox and Cornell University Crop and Soil Sciences professor Jerry Cherney collaborated with Northern NY farmers to evaluate 37 hybrids in St. Lawrence County at the Greenwood Dairy Farm in Madrid and 39 hybrids in Jefferson County at Robbins Farms in Sackets Harbor.

Dairy producers in the six-county region (Lewis, Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, and Essex) of Northern NY planted 90,500 acres of corn silage in 2012, representing nearly 20% of the entire New York corn silage crop in 2012 (~475,000 acres).  

The complete 2013 Corn Silage Hybrid Trials report with tables is posted at

Northern New York Agricultural Development Program receives funding

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) has received $600,000 in the recently-passed New York state budget for research to enhance the sustainability and profitability of farm businesses in the state’s six northernmost counties: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence.

Nearly 100 farmers participate as advisory committee members or commodity-focused subcommittee members with the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program; dozens of other farmers participate directly in on-farm research projects.

The Northern New York region has research farms located in Canton, Lake Placid, West Chazy and Willsboro; and research trials on farms throughout the six-county area. The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program currently has 27 research projects underway. More information on the NNYADP is online at

Penn State Extension Dairy Team plans milk quality, forage twilight meetings

The Penn State Extension Dairy team is hosting two twilight meetings in May. The two evenings will focus on farms with excellence forage management and exceptional milk quality.

The meetings are:

• May 13, 7 p.m.: Heron Run Farm, Huntingdon, PA.  The focus of the evening meeting will be on milk quality.

• May 27, 7 p.m. Windy Lane Farm, Tyrone, PA. The focus of this meeting will be on forage quality and alternative forages.

The meetings are free of charge but advanced registration is needed to make sure everyone gets enough ice cream! Plan now to attend. Register online at or call 888-373-7232 at least one day before the event.

Penn State feed management conference planned

    Precision feeding can offer benefits both with healthier livestock and a healthier bottom line. To learn more about effective feed management, the Penn State Extension Dairy team is offering a one-day workshop on May 8 at the Farm and Home Center, 1383 Arcadia Road, Lancaster, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 The “Advanced Topics in Feed Management” conference will examine current topics, so that participants can learn the benefits of precision feeding, providing nutrients to livestock to help reduce the quantity of nitrogen and phosphorus excreted in manure. The conference is specifically designed for certified feed management plan writers, nutritionists, or dairy producers.

Speakers and their topics include:

• Understanding Manure Nutrient Pathways: Helping Nutritionists to See a Bigger Picture - Rob Meinen, Penn State University

• What Dairy Cows Consume Impacts Manure Chemistry and the Environment - Dr. Mark Powell, USDA-ARS Dairy Forage Research Center, Wisconsin

• Metabolizable Protein: Rumen Microbes and Feed - Dr. Ryan Ordway, Balchem Industries, New York.

• Grazing Dairy Cattle: Opportunities for Precision Feeding - Mat Haan, Penn State University

• Feed Management Hot Topics: Updates on research currently being conducted at Penn State, dairy extension staff.

Virginia Ishler, Penn State nutrition management specialist, said,  “Attending the ‘Advanced Topics in Feed Management’ conference will help to sort through why expected results observed in milk urea nitrogen (MUNs) and fecal phosphorus may not always match up with the formulated or actual ration. There is still the art to feeding cows that needs to be coupled with the science.”

For more information or to find out how to register for the conference, please contact Rebecca White at 814-863-3917 or or visit

Dairy leaders tour Pennsylvania dairies

No amount of torrential rain could keep 21 students, who participate in the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program, from attending this year’s farm tour. Each year, students from all across Pennsylvania are encouraged to attend and observe how dairy producers manage their farms differently yet successfully.

The two farms featured as part of this year’s tour, both from Martinsburg, Pa., included Dry Creek Farm, owned by the Smith Family, where they milk 180 cows in a double six parallel parlor and ship milk exclusively to a local fluid milk processor. They also toured the main farm at Kulp’s Dairy Farm, owned by Phil and Larry Kulp. There they milk 2,000 cows and run a double-25 parallel parlor 21 hours a day to help maximize efficiency, capitalizing on the investment of the building and its technology.

The Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania was established in 2010 as a charitable 501(c)(3) organization enabling individuals and corporations to make a lasting impact on the future of Pennsylvania’s dairy industry and its individual dairy farm families. Priorities for the center foundation include youth development, continuing education, consumer outreach and market development.

The “Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow” program was piloted in 2012 to provide dairy management-focused curriculum to high school-aged students. The tour is designed to expose these students and all dairy youth to successful and well-managed dairy farms.

Those interested in contributing to the Center Foundation can do so by visiting and clicking on “Our Foundation” under “About  the CDE.” More information about the Center Foundation can also be requested by calling the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849.

Dairymen’s Association supports CDE Student Leaders

The Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association has joined the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania to offer seven $3,000 Student Leader Scholarships in 2014.

Outstanding students with an interest in the dairy industry can apply to receive the $3,000 “Student Leader” scholarships. To qualify, students must be pursuing a dairy related career and must be an undergraduate enrolled in a qualifying field of study. Five of the scholarships awarded through the Student Leader Program will be designated at Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association Scholarships, while the remaining two will be designated as Center Foundation Scholarships.

 New guidelines and a new application have also been released for the “Student Leader” Scholarship Program, intended to provide recognition, encouragement and financial assistance to outstanding students enrolled in academic programs that support the dairy industry. The guidelines are intended to maintain consistency in the application process and objectivity in the review process.

 Scholarship application forms are available at Go to the “Student & Educator” section and click on scholarships. You may also send an e-mail requesting an application form to, or call Jayne Sebright at 717-346-0849.

Applications for the 2014-2015 academic year must be received by the Center for Dairy Excellence by June 1, 2014. Completed applications should be sent to: Jayne Sebright, Center for Dairy Excellence, 2301 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110.

CDE sets July ‘Open House’ events

Pennsylvania’s Center for Dairy Excellence will host its 2014 “Open House” farm events in July. Dates and locations are:

• Tuesday, July 15 – Misty Mountain Dairy LLC, owned by the Moseman Family, 843 Spring Road
Warfordsburg, Fulton County.

• Wednesday, July 16 – Lloyd B. Zimmerman & Sons, owned by the Zimmerman Family
2413 Snydertown Road, Danville, Montour County.