Back to top

Session Descriptions

Monday, October 19, 2020

New Insights in Milk Fat Research and Reviewing Our Progress
Dr. Kevin Harvatine, Penn State University
Steady progress has been made in understanding the regulation of milk fat synthesis since the discovery of bioactive CLA isomers 20 years ago.  Recent understanding of the nutritional and non-nutritional factors that have practical implications in milk fat production will be discussed.

Managing the Diet to Control Ruminal Fatty Acid-Microbial Interactions That Reduce Milk Fat Synthesis
Dr. Tom Jenkins, Clemson University (retired)
In the early 1900’s, fat supplements were recognized for enhancing milk fat. A hundred years later, the opposite view prevailed causing major shifts in the types of fats fed to dairy cows to avoid a decline in milk fat.  The evolution of this change had more to do with how cows were fed than it did with changes in fat sources. This presentation will review where we are today in recognizing how nature of the basal diet fed to dairy cows is a primary determinant of how a given amount and source of an individual fatty acid will affect milk fat.

Use of An On-Farm Application to Maximize Milk Fat Production: What We Have Learned
Dr. Darren McGee, Elanco Animal Health
As the value of milk fat has increased in recent years, consulting nutritionists and producers have adjusted accordingly to identify ways to improve milk fat yield.  A mobile application has been developed to guide an evaluation of farm- and herd-level conditions that influence milk fat production.  This session will discuss the concepts that were leveraged to create the application, describe some of the benefits of using the tool, and share some initial findings from on-farm assessments.

Our Food Industry Today: Issues and Opportunities
Dr. Sara Place, Elanco Animal Health
Demand for animal source foods continues to grow globally; however, animal agriculture is facing increasing pressure regarding environmental sustainability, animal welfare, and technology use. This presentation will cover the major issues that are of high importance to food companies and investors and the opportunities in animal agriculture to address key concerns.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Sponsored Session - Nutraceuticals: An Alternative Strategy for the Use of Antimicrobials
Dr. Michael Ballou, Texas Tech University
Nutraceuticals are a broad group of compounds that can be classified in several ways. Some of the more common classifications are based on the mechanism of action, chemical nature, or the feed source of the compound. In this review, we discuss the general mechanisms of action of common nutraceutical classes that are currently available to be used in ruminants.

Sponsored by Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health

Bacterial Inoculants for Optimizing Silage Quality and Preservation and Enhancing Animal Performance
Dr. Adegbola Adesogan, University of Florida
This talk will discuss the different types of bacterial inoculants used for silage preservation, their modes of action, effects, and prerequisites for efficacy as well as effects on animal performance.

Impact of Daily and Seasonal Rhythms in Maximizing Milk Production
Dr. Kevin Harvatine, Penn State University
There are seasonal patterns to milk and milk composition and daily patterns of intake and milk synthesis.  These rhythms are important for accurately assessing herd production and provide the opportunity to increase milk and milk component yield through simple management interventions.

Relationships between Starch and Physically Effective and Undegraded Fiber in Lactating Dairy Cows
Ms. Katie Smith and Dr. Rick Grant, Miner Institute
Physically effective, undegradable neutral detergent fiber (peuNDF240) combines a measure of fiber indigestibility and particle size into a single measurement that is usefully related with dry matter intake and energy-corrected milk yield. This presentation will review the current work on uNDF240 and peuNDF240 and how these fiber measures interact with dietary starch content and rumen fermentable starch.

Empowering United States Broiler Production for Transformation and Sustainability: A Large USDA Pproject Led by University of Arkansas and Cornell University
Dr. Xingen Lei, Cornell University

Chicken is a major source of animal protein to the public in the United States. The broiler industry contributes over $30 billion to the United States economy annually. However, climate change, resource depletion, environmental pollution, qualified workforce  shortage, and decreased profit are creating serious challenges to the industry. A transdisciplinary team led by Cornell University and the University of Arkansas is assembling and coordinating research, education, and extension effort to promote the future sustainability of the broiler industry.

Dietary Sugars for Optimizing Rumen Function and Dairy Cow Performance
Dr. Mary Beth de Ondarza, Paradox Nutrition
Typical rations without supplemental sugars contain about 1.5 to 3% sugar.  Adding more dietary sugar often reduces rumen ammonia, suggesting that rapidly digestible sugars help the rumen microbes capture and use nitrogen. Fiber digestion, microbial protein synthesis, and rumen pH can increase with additional dietary sugars when balanced appropriately with dietary starch to positively impact dairy cow performance.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Daily Rollercoaster of Blood and Milk Metrics
Dr. Dave Barbano and Dr. Jessica McArt, Cornell University
We often measure blood β-hydroxybutyrate and non-esterified fatty acids in early lactation cows to diagnose excessive energy deficit on the individual cow and herd levels. In this presentation, we will discuss diurnal variation in these blood metrics and how this variation differs between hyperketonemic and non-hyperketonemic cows. Although blood measurements are a useful diagnostic method, estimates of blood and milk constituents by Fourier-transform mid-infrared analysis of milk offer a promising tool to monitor energy deficit. We will cover diurnal variation of milk constituents and discuss how monitoring of excessive energy deficit through milk has the ability to provide a more stable depiction of a cow’s transition into lactation.

From Membrane Biophysics to the Farm: Application of Fatty Acid and Monoglyceride Chemistry to Animal Health
Dr. Charlie Elrod, Natural Biologics, Inc.
The use of antibiotics in food animal production is under growing societal and regulatory pressure, consequently new technologies must be found to support animal health in their absence.  Due to their chemical structure, medium chain fatty acids and monoglycerides are effective antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory feed additives with the added benefit of being available to support metabolism.  While their use is growing in swine and transboundary disease mitigation, applications in ruminant production should be explored.

Modeling the Effect of Social Environment on Dry Matter Intake: Time Budget Behaviors and Stocking Density
Dr. Michael Miller, Trouw Nutrition
This talk will cover the development of a mathematical model to account for management decisions on dry matter intake, milk production, and behavior of lactating cows. This preliminary model can be used for evaluation of social environment and its effect on performance.

Advances in Calf Nutrient Requirement Determination
Mr. Rodrigo Molano, Cornell University
As feeding programs evolve to offer more liquid feed and better meet the calf’s biological potential for growth, a better understanding and quantification of calves’ nutrient requirements is necessary. This work describes new equations and coefficients for the estimation of energy, protein and amino acid requirements and utilization in the milk-fed dairy calf.

Gut Health Challenges: How Do We Feed to Improve Intestinal Integrity and Growth in Calves?
Dr. Sarah Morrison, Miner Institute
During the preweaning and weaning periods there is heightened susceptibility to disease and gastrointestinal disfunction, specifically in the small intestine.  Diarrhea in young calves reduces dry matter intake, body weight gain, and feed efficiency.  Understanding feeding practices that promote improved health and productivity of dairy replacement animals is critical for future success in the herd.

The Effects of Dietary Organic Acid and Plant Botanical Supplementation on Growth Performance in Post-weaned Holstein Calves Experiencing Heat Stress
Ms. Ananda Portela Fontoura, Cornell University

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Graduate Student Research Spotlights: Exploratory Analysis of Haylage Quality Variability at Harvest
Mr. Jorge Barrientos-Blanco, Cornell University (PhD Candidate)
There are many factors during grass and alfalfa production and ensiling that influence variability in haylage quality. Better management of forage quality variability can improve the accuracy and precision of delivering diets to dairy cattle. This summer 2020, we collected haylage samples at harvest from alfalfa-grass mixtures on seven New York dairy farms. The objective of our study is to identify the production factors that influence the variability in haylage quality at harvest. In the second phase of the trial, we will connect the variability at harvest to the silage variability at feedout, TMR variability, and changes in milk production.

Graduate Student Research Spotlights: Evaluating Nutritive Value of Alfalfa with Meadow Fescue Varieties for Optimal Quality in Dairy Production Systems
Ms. Rink Tacoma-Fogal, Cornell University (PhD Student)
Dairy forage production in New York State is unique because over 85% of alfalfa sown in the state is done in combination with a perennial grass. Introducing a grass species into the alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) stand can increase the neutral detergent fiber digestibility (NDFD), an important forage quality to support high milk production yields. Meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis) (MF) has recently been reintroduced into the United States, offering an opportunity for a high-quality grass to be mixed with alfalfa stands intended for dairy cow forage. The objective of this study was to achieve the highest possible quality for the grass, whilst maintaining a 20-30% grass mixture. Nineteen meadow fescue varieties, almost all developed in Europe, were sown in pure stands and evaluated for forage quality and the rate of change in quality during spring growth. Meadow fescue varieties also were sown with alfalfa on a range of dairy farms throughout New York State to evaluate their compatibility with alfalfa and to assess differences in nutritive value among varieties in the various regions.

Graduate Student Research Spotlights: Associations Between Haptoglobin and Cow and Herd Level Outcomes
Ms. Allison Kerwin, Cornell University (PhD Candidate)
Haptoglobin is an inflammation marker which is virtually non-existent in healthy cows but increases over 100-fold at the onset of an inflammation event. Previous studies have reported an association between elevated haptoglobin concentrations in early lactation with metritis, decreased milk production, and decreased risk of conception. In a large transition cow field study, we measured haptoglobin concentrations in primiparous and multiparous cows and established critical thresholds for predicting health disorders, determined the association between elevated haptoglobin concentrations and milk production and reproductive performance, and identified herd-alarm for haptoglobin that are associated with herd-level changes in health, milk, and reproductive performance outcomes.

Graduate Student Research Spotlights: Resolving the Postpartum Kinetics of Colostrum IgG & Novel Gut Absorption Biomarkers to Optimize Colostrum Feeding
Ms. Kasey Schalich, Cornell University (PhD Candidate)
Decades of research have demonstrated that it is essential for calves to absorb sufficient immunoglobulin G (IgG) from colostrum [i.e. transfer of passive immunity (TPI)] to prevent disease and death. However, even when following current feeding recommendations, failure of TPI still occurs at high rates in U.S. dairy calves. In examining post-partum Holstein mammary gland IgG secretion kinetics, we found that 75% of colostrum IgG is secreted after the first milking, yet under mainstream management practices this IgG is generally not collected or fed to calves. Considering maternal-neonate co-evolution, our finding forced us to reconsider when gut closure happens by directly mapping the spatio-temporal expression of the intestine IgG receptor. Collectively, our results recommend a new physiological paradigm for optimized colostrum management to maximize TPI success, reduce antibiotic use, improve gut health and enhance the future productivity of calves.

Charlie Sniffen Graduate Research Presentation: Impact of Energy on Amino Acid Requirements of Lactating Cows
Mr. Andrew LaPierre, Cornell University (PhD Candidate)
Improved milk protein output and nitrogen use efficiency have been demonstrated in recent literature where cattle were given greater levels of glucogenic nutrients.  This work evaluates this concept using optimal essential amino acid supplies relative to metabolizable energy and the formulation strategies from CNCPS v.7.

Sponsored by Kemin Animal Nutrition & Health

Trimethylamine N-oxide in Humans and Dairy Cows: Should We Be Concerned?
Dr. Joe McFadden, Cornell University
The gastrointestinal degradation of choline, betaine, and carnitine results in the formation of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) in humans and dairy cows. In humans, TMAO has emerged as an associative biomarker for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes; however, conflicting data is emerging. This presentation will explore the role of TMAO, the effect of diet on the gut microbiome in relation to TMAO formation, and new work focused on the effects or lack thereof in dairy cows.

Update on DCAD for Dry and Lactating Cows
Dr. Tom Overton, Cornell University
This presentation will update our understanding of the role in dietary cation anion difference (DCAD) in dairy cattle nutrition during both the prepartum and postpartum periods.  During the prepartum period, decreasing the DCAD improves calcium metabolism and decreases hypocalcemia as evidenced by a number of studies and recent meta analyses.  During the postpartum period, increasing the dietary DCAD appears to improve milk and milk component yield; however, in many cases it may be difficult to separate the effect of DCAD with increased ruminal buffering capacity based upon the supplements used to increase the dietary DCAD.

Milk Urea Nitrogen: Precision, Accuracy and Individual Animal Variability
Dr. Kristan Reed, Cornell University
MUN can be a useful metric for managing diets and assessing environmental impacts but it is difficult to interpret without knowledge of the expected variability or measurement error. I will discuss results from some recent work we did in collaboration with the Barbano lab to define expected variation in MIR analysis of MUN from individual cow milk samples.

Reducing Feed Costs While Maintaining Milk and Milk Component Production
Dr. Larry Chase, Cornell University