Podcasts hosted by PRO-DAIRY, Cornell Cooperative Extension Dairy Educators and industry partners to inspire and inform on key aspects of dairy farm production.

Troubleshooting Herd Health Issues on Your Dairy

This podcast series focuses on troubleshooting herd health issues on dairy farms. Episodes will discuss specific areas to look at when experiencing issues in different life stages of the dairy cow.  Episodes focus on preweaned calves, transition through weaning, heifer phase, calving pen issues, metabolic disorders of the transition cow, specific fresh cow issues, lactating cow issues from mastitis, issues with reproduction, production, feeding behavior and facilities, hoof health and lameness, and problems during the dry period. 

Preston DeJong takes notes on cows

Series Introduction

Dr. Rob Lynch, PRO-DAIRY Herd Health and Dairy Management Specialist and Betsy Hicks, Cornell Cooperative Extension Regional Dairy Specialist describe the importance of  managing dairy cows to optimize herd health. 

Listen to the Series Introduction

Episode 1: Pre-Weaned Calves (Part 1)

In this episode, CCE Regional Dairy Specialists Alycia Drwencke and Margaret Quaassdorff discuss trouble shooting herd health issues surrounding pre-weaned calf health. This episode will troubleshoot topics that include scours, growth rate, respiratory disease, and facility management.

Listen to Episode 1

Episode 2: Pre-Weaned Calves (Part 2)

In this episode, CCE Regional Dairy Specialists Margaret Quaassdorff and Alycia Drwencke will continue to discuss trouble shooting herd health issues surrounding pre-weaned calf health. This episode will troubleshoot topics that include grouping, using automatic feeders, disbudding, and weaning.

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Episode 3: Weaning Transition

CCE Dairy Specialists Betsy Hicks, Margaret Quaassdorff & Melanie Palmer focus on troubleshooting issues through weaning transition for calves in this episode.  Factors to be discussed include housing & facilities as well as social & behavioral factors.  Nutrition through the transition as well as management of the calves and facilities will also be focused on as areas to troubleshoot. 

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Episode 4: Post Weaned Heifers - Disease and Growth Issues

In this episode, Rob Lynch, DVM, Herd Health and Management Specialist, Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY, and Dave Balbian, Regional Dairy Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension Central New York Dairy, Livestock and Fields Crops Team, discuss how to troubleshoot disease and growth issues that impact post weaned heifers.

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Episode 5: Heifers - Reproduction

In this episode, Dr. Julio Giordano, DVM, PhD, Cornell University, describes how to identify problems that impact heifer reproductive performance.

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Episode 6: Calving

In this episode, CCE Dairy Specialists Casey Havekes and Margaret Quaassdorff, discuss challenges during calving. Margaret describes the stages of normal calving, as well as when to intervene, and Casey discusses the impact a difficult calving may have on the newborn calf. Management strategies that can help the dam and the calf following a difficult calving are also shared during this episode.

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Episode 7: Transition Cow Issues

This episode's discussion centers around how to troubleshoot transition cow problems. Casey Havekes and Margaret Quaassdorff, CCE Regional Dairy Specialists, lead the discussion.

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Episode 8: Mastitis (Part 1)

In this episode, Dr. Matthias Wieland, DVM, Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine and Dr. Rob Lynch, DVM, PRO-DAIRY discuss different techniques for accurately trouble shooting mastitis issues.

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Episode 9: Mastitis (Part 2)

In this episode, Dr. Wieland and Dr. Lynch continue their discussion on methods to identify mastitis problems on your dairy.

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Episode 10: Fresh Cows

CCE Dairy Specialist, Margaret Quaassdorff and PRO-DAIRY veterinarian, Dr. Rob Lynch focus on troubleshooting issues during the post-fresh period.  Topics discussed include tracking fresh cow health and rumination data including using software monitoring systems, evaluating fresh cow pen management and dynamics, as well using tools to troubleshoot fresh cow nutrition and feeding behavior.

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Episode 11: Lactating Cow Production

In this episode, Dr. Rob Lynch, DVM, Herd Health and Dairy Management Specialist, Cornell PRO-DAIRY discusses how to investigate reproductive issues your lactating cows maybe experiencing.

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Episode 12: Milk Production

In this episode, CCE Regional Dairy Specialists Dave Balbian & Betsy Hicks cover issues around production in lactating cows on the dairy.  Factors including nutrition and facilities will be covered, as well as troubleshooting by analyzing herd records.  Culling parameters and strategies will also be discussed to help producers determine the approaches that might work best for their farm. 

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Episode 13: Feed Behavior

In this episode, CCE Dairy Specialist Casey Havekes interviews Trevor DeVries of the University of Guelph on lactating feeding behavior.  Factors that will be discussed include the types of feeding behaviors that producers should watch out for, learned behaviors, and how to manipulate feeding behaviors through feeding management.  Pen management and the effects on feeding behavior will also be a focus in this episode. 

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Episode 14: Facilities and Ventiliation

Facilities and ventilation have a significant impact on the health of dairy animals.  This episode focuses on how to identify when the physical environment is having a negative impact on your dairy cows.  Lindsay Ferlito and Dave Balbian, CCE Regional Dairy Specialists, lead this discussion.

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Episode 15: Lameness

This episode covers how producers can approach hoof health and troubleshooting lameness on their dairies.  CCE Regional Dairy Specialists Lindsay Ferlito & Betsy Hicks will focus on lameness as a scale, causes of lameness, troubleshooting lameness between pens, targeting protocols with treatments, and methods of tracking lameness.  Analysis of records and tying this information with cull rates will also be covered to help producers best manage hoof health. 

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Episode 16: Dry Cows

CCE Dairy Specialist, Casey Havekes, is joined by Dr. Tom Overton, Professor of Animal Science and director of PRO-DAIRY at Cornell University, in this episode to discuss troubleshooting issues during the dry period. Topics discussed include target body condition score at dry off and throughout the dry period, nutritional and feeding management of dry cow diets, dry period length, and non-nutritional factors that play a role in a successful dry period.

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Dialing Into Your Best Dairy

Episodes in this series discuss management practices and tips to reach your herd’s full genetic potential. Over eight episodes PRO-DAIRY and CCE Dairy Specialists discuss life stages of the dairy cow, including raising calves through the milk phase and weaning; managing weaned heifers up to freshening; making decisions about which replacements to keep, including inventory, disease prevention, and culling decisions; feeding and nutrition management during lactation; facilities, time management, and ventilation considerations throughout lactation; and management factors around reproduction, gestation, and the dry period.

a dairy cow

Episode 1: Reaching Your Herd’s Genetic Potential

Available 6.15.20

Dialing into Your Best Dairy: Reaching Your Herd’s Genetic Potential opens with CCE Regional Dairy specialists Betsy Hicks, Lindsay Ferlito, and Margaret Quaassdorff, who share an overview of the series. Dr. Mike Van Amburgh, Professor of Animal Science at Cornell University, provides background on epigenetics and how he came to study the effects management and nutrition play in genetic programming of the calf for her entire life.

Episode 2: Calves - Birth to Weaning

Available 6.22.20

In this episode, CCE Regional Dairy Specialists Alycia Drwencke and Casey Havekes, discuss best management practices for the dairy calf from the time of birth through weaning. Topics include colostrum management, cleanliness, ventilation, housing, plane of nutrition, and weaning strategies.

Episode 3: Heifers and Springers

Available 6.29.20

In this episode, CCE Regional Dairy Specialists Margaret Quaassdorff and Dave Balbian discuss best management practices for dairy heifers from post-weaning to freshening. Topics include heifer health and nutrition, growth and breeding targets, housing facilities and ventilation, and incorporation into the milking herd.

Episode 4: Don’t be a Heifer Hoarder

Available 7.6.20

In this episode we discuss culling policy and inventory management with Rob Lynch, DVM, Dairy Herd Health and Management Specialist, PRO-DAIRY, Margaret Quaassdorff, CCE Regional Dairy Specialist and Lindsey Worden, Holstein USA.

Episode 5: Nutrition and Feeding for the Lactating Cow

    Available 7.13.20

    This episode features CCE Dairy Specialists Margaret Quaassdorff, Dave Balbian, and Melanie Palmer while they discuss dialing in lactating cows’ nutrition, goals as a feeder of lactating cows, and recommendations from Miner Institute to create the perfect dining experience for our cows.

    Episode 6: Managing the Lactating Cows’ Environment

    Available 7.20.20

    In this episode CCE Regional Dairy Specialists Dave Balbian, Betsy Hicks, and Margaret Quaassdorff cover best management practices for lactating dairy cows including ventilation, heat abatement, management through lactation, and time budgets. They also interview a producer on factors to keep in mind for facility design, and the changes he saw in his herd after implementing herd management and facility design strategies.

    Episode 7: Reproduction, Gestation and the Dry Period

    Available 7.27.20

    This episode is hosted by CCE Regional Dairy Specialists Alycia Drwencke, Casey Havekes, and Lindsay Ferlito. They discuss management practices during the breeding, gestation and dry cow phases. Topics include feeding and nutrition, body condition score, breeding, time budgets, and behavioral considerations.

    Episode 8: Pulling it All Together

    Available 8.3.20

    Dialing into Your Best Dairy concludes with an interview of the owners of Selz-Pralle Dairy, the herd that contains the U.S. milk production record holder Selz-Pralle Aftershock 3,918 that produced 78,170 pounds of milk in a single 365-day lactation. The Pralles have a whole herd of cows that deserve appreciation, and they share some of their management strategies to achieve exceptional results. CCE Regional Dairy Specialists Betsy Hicks, Lindsay Ferlito, and Margaret Quaassdorff, wrap up the series in this episode and share where to find contact information and more resources on topics covered in the series.

    • Episode 8: Pulling it All Together – Management for Record Setting Cows

    Corn Silage Harvest Considerations

    Presented by Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY and Cornell Cooperative Extension

    One can argue that IOFC (income over feed cost) begins when forage is delivered to the feed center-in this case the bunk. This podcast series delves into the practical considerations for corn silage harvest. We start with a recap of the growing season in the first episode. In subsequent episodes we focus on the key practices for harvest, storage and preservation.

    corn on a stalk

    Episode 1 - Corn Silage 2020 Season Recap

    Ron Kuck, Dairy Educator, CCE Cayuga County and Joe Lawrence, Forage Management Specialist, Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY kick off this podcast series by discussing the 2020 growing season. They discuss the impact weather has had on the growing season and what to consider when assessing fields, staging harvest, whole plant DM in decision making, storage planning and what to do if you’re short of space.

    Episode 2 - Timing and Processing

    Casey Havekes, CCE Regional Dairy Specialist, CCE NNY Team, interviews Margaret Quaassdorff, Regional Dairy Specialist, CCE NWNY Team and Joe Lawrence, Forage Management Specialist, Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY. Margaret and Joe discuss the importance of timing and whole plant dry mater, theoretical length of cut, and kernel processing.

    Episode 3 - Monitoring and Preserving Quality

    Betsy Hicks, Regional Dairy Specialist, CCE SCNY Dairy Team and John Winchell, Territory Sales Representative, Alltech discuss why and how to take corn silage samples at harvest and feed out, mycotoxin considerations, best practices for inoculant use and maximizing the fermentation process.

    Episode 4 - Filling and Packing

    Devon Shelmidine from Sheland Farms in Jefferson County, NY, Ron Kuck, Dairy Educator, CCE Cayuga County and Joe Lawrence, Forage Management Specialist, Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY discuss the nitty gritty of getting corn silage into the bunk, packed and covered to maximize forage quality.