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Colostrum, more than just IgG

Jackson Wright, Dairy
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

January 3, 2012

Colostrum is different from milk as it contains a mixture of both lacteal secretions and proteins found in blood serum. Colostrum production is under hormonal control and is influence by estrogen, progesterone, corticosteroids, growth hormones, and prolactin. During late gestation high levels of estrogen and progesterone initiate colostrum production. At parturition, the spike in corticosteroids and drop in progesterone facilitate the transition to normal milk production. In general, the first six milkings after parturition are considered colostrum due to differences in milk composition.

These differences in milk composition include higher levels of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. In addition, high levels of fat and lactose provide the energy necessary for the calf to regulate its own body temperature. This is critical, as research has suggested that without this energy source calves fat stores would only last about 18 hours. Moreover, colostrum represents the first time the newborn calf will obtain nutrients through digestion instead of from the placenta or maternal blood supply. In addition to energy, the high levels of vitamins and minerals in colostrum may be necessary to initiate the calf's metabolism and facilitate the development of its own digestive system. More interestingly, researchers have discovered that colostrum contains high levels of numerous growth hormones which include insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II), epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor (TGF), insulin, cortisol, relaxin and thyroxine. Most notably IGF-I and II have been shown to be important for both mammary development and maturation of the digestive system, and may influence the long-term thrift and performance of the animal. Finally, because colostrum is fluid this helps hydrate the neonate and the warmth helps the calf overcome the initial shock of entering the world.

Combined these factors show how high quality colostrum is more than just IgGs and feeding this first meal as soon as possible following parturition can influence the long-term thrift of the animal and improve performance as she transitions into the lactating herd.











calendar of events

Upcoming Events

Weed Resistance Management Demonstration and Plot Tour

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 23, 2019
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Waterloo, NY

Come join us on July 23 in Seneca County at Quinten Good's farm for a demonstration and walking tour of 16 different pre- and post-emergence treatments in soybean and 12 different treatments and combinations in corn.
  • Tall waterhemp and marestail are two weeds that are resistant to glyphosate and ALS herbicide modes of action in the WNY and Finger Lakes regions.
  • Each year the number of acres with resistant weed populations expands.
  • For herbicides to be an effective tool in weed management, we have to know what chemistries & application timings are most effective against these resistant weeds.

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Income and Real Property Tax Primer-A Learning Circle for Women Non-Operating Land Owners of Ag Land

July 24, 2019
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Portageville, NY

For many of us taxes can be a mystery, let's have a conversation with the experts about the tax considerations agricultural landowners need to think about. 
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Pasture Walk with the Finger Lakes Graziers-Cancelled!

July 29, 2019
12:45 - 4 pm

The Finger Lakes Graziers pasture walk has been cancelled due to some scheduling conflicts. 
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RMA Announces Additional One-time Changes to Prevented Planting Provisions

June 29, 2019

RMA Announces Additional One-time Changes to Prevented Planting Provisions
for 2019 Crop Year

In response to delayed and prevented planting resulting from above average rainfall and wetness, the USDA Risk Management Agency has made a one-time change to the 2019 crop year prevented planting rules that effectively allows silage corn, if planted as a cover crop following local agricultural expert guidelines, to be acceptable as a post-prevented planting cover crop. Under this one-time rule change, producers are allowed to produce this crop while retaining their prevented planting payment. This change couples with previously announced one-time changes to the prevented planting rules - including expanded acceptable uses for post-prevented planting cover crops and a change in the cover crop haying and grazing start date rule - serve to help those struggling to meet their forage needs due to the weather.

Read the full article from the New York Crop Insurance Education Program.

The USDA-RMA states that "For crop insurance purposes, a cover crop is a crop generally recognized by agricultural experts as agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement." PRO-DAIRY specialists Joe Lawrence and Karl Czymmek and Dr. Quirine Ketterings, Professor and Director of Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program have released a letter stating "Corn on Prevented Planting acres meets these objectives."

New Guidance for Mortality Disposal Issued

NYS Department of Ag and Markets has posted guidelines on disposal of livestock carcasses, in response to reports that some rendering companies have halted pickups from farms.|1