Research Evaluates Water Quality Factors and Fiber Digestion in Dairy Cows: This Week’s Industry News

Want to keep up with the latest news for farmers? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the agriculture industry.

Farmer-Driven Research Evaluates Water Quality Factors and Fiber Digestion in Dairy Cows
Eighteen farms in the Northern New York region participated in research funded by the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program evaluating the impact of water quality on fiber digestion in dairy cows. Researchers with the W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute in Chazy, New York, sampled and analyzed water from participating farms for such factors as minerals, pH, hardness, sulfates, nitrates, and bacteria. Previous research conducted in South Dakota has indicated that low water quality, defined as water having mineral, bacterial or other compound levels above a prescribe ‘normal’ range, could decrease fiber digestion. None of the water samples collected for the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program project were of poor quality.

The results of the fiber digestion analyses in Northern New York indicated a slight positive correlation between sodium and nitrate levels and fiber digestion; a slight negative correlation was found with magnesium and potassium. For example, the digestibility of conventional corn silage was significantly reduced as magnesium levels in water samples increased, while an increase in sodium level showed a moderate increase in the fiber digestibility of some forages, including grass silage.

NOFA-VT & UNH Extension Offer Farmers an Educational Series
Farmers and Agricultural Professionals are invited to a four-session series to build farmers’ skills in managing their labor force. Beginning January 30, this series will be held in two different locations: Lebanon, New Hampshire and Portsmouth, New Hamphire. Please see below for locations and dates:

January 30, February 6, 13 and 27
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Kilton Public Library, West Lebanon, NH
Register here.

January 31, February 7, 14 and 21, 2017
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
NH Urban Forestry Center, Portsmouth, NH
Register here

Each workshop costs $25 per person, per session (includes lunch). Email Seth Wilner for more information or call 603-863-9200.

ORIGO Debuts New Corporate Tag Line
ORIGO, a manufacturer of fat supplements for the dairy, swine and poultry markets, announced the introduction of its new corporate tag line – Powering Livestock Performance. The new tag line will begin appearing on ORIGO’s advertising, website and packaging and will be featured on the company’s new trade show display panels currently in development.

A cow gets a drink at the Miner Institute dairy farm in Chazy, NY. Photo: W. H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute