Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops Enrollment

Program Areas

  • Dairy Management
  • Farm Business Management
  • Field Crops
  • Livestock & Small Farms

Enrollment Benefits

  • Telephone / Email Consultations
  • Ag Focus Newsletter
  • Direct Mailings
  • Educational Meetings & Conferences
  • In-Field Educational Opportunities
  • On-Farm Research Trials

Enrollee Login


Log In To Access:

  • Issues of Ag Focus Newsletters
  • Helpful Diagnostic Tool:
      What's wrong with my crop?

Increasing Milk Production with Energy Efficient Lighting

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

January 2, 2013
Increasing Milk Production with Energy Efficient Lighting

Common light fixtures found on dairy operations are T8 fluorescent, metal halide, high pressure sodium, and more recently, light emitting diode (LED). Each fixture has a unique set of benefits and drawbacks. For instance, fluorescent lights are energy efficient and usually pay for themselves within 2 years of installation. On the other hand, fluorescent fixtures require maintenance, perform poorly under cold or hot conditions, and contain mercury which could be disastrous should a bulb break around lactating cows. High intensity discharge (HID) fixtures provide ample light at ground level when ceiling heights are greater than 12 feet. However, these fixtures require a long pre-heat or start-up time. Finally, LED lights can provide high energy efficiency with a reported 100,000 hour operating life. This is significantly longer than the reported 20,000 hour operating life of fluorescent and HID fixtures. Moreover, LED lights are expected to have lower maintenance costs, contain no mercury, and provide instantaneous reliable light. Though LED fixtures are expensive when compared to the other fixtures.  

These unique attributes can make it confusing to select fixtures best suited for dairy operations. However when considering implementing LDPP, LED fixtures may provide an edge. Consider this: lighting performance is often measured based on lumens/watt. This can be a misleading for dairy producers because lumens represent effective light for the human eye. Dairy cows perceive light differently than humans meaning a light fixture can provide ample lumens/watt, but may not provide light in the appropriate spectrum to stimulate milk yield. For instance, high pressure sodium fixtures provide high lumens/watt; however light output from these fixtures is biased towards longer wavelengths which cows cannot perceive. Fluorescent fixtures provide ample effective light for the cow; however under cold conditions light output of fluorescent fixtures can decrease by more than 40%. Cold conditions would be typical of most barns during the winter months, precisely when supplemental lighting from light fixtures would be required. LED fixtures can provide light in the same spectrum as sunlight and are more reliable under cold conditions. These two considerations suggest LED fixtures may be best suited for implementing LDPP; however this scenario needs to be investigated under barn conditions.
Currently, Pro-Dairy is conducting a study investigating the cost benefits of LED lighting systems and T8 fluorescent lighting systems on dairy operations. This study will account for the initial cost of the fixtures, fixture performance, operating life, expected energy savings, and milk production to determine which lighting system is the most cost effective for dairy producers.











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.

view details

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. 
view details

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. 
view details


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