Previous studies revealed that timing of supplementation can potentially increase milk production. For example, by just changing the time of day that corn silage was offered to cows relative to their pasture allowance, researchers in New Zealand were able to increase milk yield by over 6 lbs. per cow per day. Participating farms are year-round organic operations with more than 25 Jersey and/or Holstein milking cows.
A team of University of Vermont researchers has begun research to identify supplementation strategies on organic dairies to determine how the timing of supplementation can potentially increase milk production.
Research Project Scope
During 2016 and 2017, the team is studying 20 farms to assess a wide range of feeding strategies. The team will collect on-farm data, including pasture, supplement, milk, soil and economic information. In this early phase, participating farms may be "grass-only," those that include only small amounts of supplement in their cows' diets, or farms that feed higher amounts of supplement per cow per day.
In the second phase of the project, the team will focus on 6 farms. This second phase of on-farm research will be implemented with the goal of evaluating supplement timing and supplement type (high quality forage and other concentrates) timing used during the pasture season can impact farm productivity (milk yield, quality, and economics).
Dairy producers participating on this project will receive an End of the Grazing Season Report that includes:
- Monthly milk production and composition
- Fatty Acid Analysis of milk samples
- Cow parameters (including BCS, calculated nutrient balance, herd statistics)
- Estimates of dry matter intake (pasture and supplement intakes)
- Feed nutrient profile (pasture and supplement)
- Pasture quality (botanical composition, and nutrient profile)
- Soil profile
- Financial analysis
- Stipend for participation ($500 per producer)
- Principal Investigator Sabrina Greenwood , Dept. of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Vermont (802) 656-0145 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Juan Alvez, Center for Sustainable Agriculture, University of Vermont Extension (802) 656-6116 or email@example.com
- Sid Bosworth, Dept. of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Vermont Extension, (802) 656-0478 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jennifer Colby, Center for Sustainable Agriculture, University of Vermont Extension (802) 656-0858 or email@example.com
- Heather Darby, Dept. of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Vermont Extension (802) 524-6501 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kimberly Hagen, Center for Sustainable Agriculture, University of Vermont Extension (802) 656-3834 or email@example.com
- Jana Kraft, Dept. of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Vermont (802) 656-5489 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Robert Parsons, Dept. of Community Development & Applied Economics, University of Vermont Extension (802) 656-2109 or email@example.com
- Sara Ziegler, On-farm supervisor
- Dave Ebenstein, Laboratory research technician and sample support
- Miriam Lipschutz, Animal Science Major (Food Systems Minor), Class of 2016
- Mallory Honan, Animal Science Major, Class of 2017
- Samantha Driscoll, Animal Science Major, Class of 2017
Interested in knowing more about the Center's work or do you have a question we haven't answered here? Contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-656-5459 and we'll do our best to help.