The annual meeting of the American Dairy Science Association is currently underway in Denver, Colo. The event is home to presentations on the very latest in dairy research - we've seen research presented regarding a gamut of dairy topics from lameness to crossbreeding to cheese chemistry to animal welfare. The event began on Sunday and concludes this afternoon. The amount of exciting information that will impact the future of the dairy industry has been overwhelming. In fact, our two editors at the event have had quite the time simply trying to navigate the hundreds of rooms, presentations, and posters this week. Be sure to read our August 10 issue on the Farm Flash page to see some research re-caps. We'll also be providing some feature articles in the coming months regarding presented research. Here are some highlights from what research we have taken in so far:
- The challenges and renewed interest of grazing in the Southeast U.S. Also, nutrient management planning for grazing dairy farms. Did you know that grazing farms can be C.A.F.O.s (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) too? Spending two hours indoors each day for milking equals 45 days inside each year - ironically the exact amount required to be considered a C.A.F.O.
- -Detection of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) by use of automatic infrared photography of the orbital region of beef calves. (This one wasn't a dairy-specific paper, but we found it interesting and could see it being used in the future on farms with automatic calf feeding stations.)
- Per unit of Cheddar cheese, Jersey cows have a 20 percent smaller carbon footprint (we'd say hoofprint) when compared to Holsteins.
- Research from Penn State on sidewall plastic from bunker silos. After collecting data from 20 bunker silos (10 with and 10 without sidewall plastic) their research suggests sidewall plastic reduced water seepage, created a better seal, and promoted acetic acid production.
- Animal comfort and cleanliness was successful with use of dried manure solids as a form of bedding in Midwest dairy herds, although herds utilizing deep beds as opposed to mattresses topped with dried solids had better results.