Workshop offers insight on understanding heifer growth and performance based on local data

presenter addressing group

Rich Toebe summarized his results from measuring over 2000 heifers in Delaware County for a crowd of just over forty people last Thursday for the Understanding your Heifer’s Growth and Performance program hosted at the Delhi Fire Hall on February 1st.  He identified the most common challenges being faced by Delaware County farms.  Participants were able to follow along with their farm’s growth charts.

Mike Van Amburgh of Cornell Department of Animal Science identified the most common disrupters of heifer raising systems on dairy farms.  He covered nutrition at various stages, benchmarks to achieve to meet the physiological needs of the cow as well as financial performance of the business; and the real costs of calving in undersized, including the impact on milk production.

Julio Giordano, Asst. Professor at Cornell for Dairy Cattle Biology and Management, provided a refresher on heifer reproductive physiology and shared the most common challenges to a successful heifer reproductive program.  He then shared various breeding protocols that result in calving at an earlier age specific to the type of challenge the farm is facing.   

Rob Lynch of Cornell Pro Dairy finished the program speaking about management strategies that maximize heifer performance and revenue.   Mike broke the heifer growth period into three:  pre-weaned calves, post weaned calves, and the reproductive stage.  He then covered nutritional and breeding strategies to optimize performance and economic return in each of these three stages.

~ This event was sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension Delaware County and the Watershed Agricultural Council 

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