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Clean Milk Benefits People and Calves

Libby Eiholzer, Bilingual Dairy
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

June 5, 2013

Anyone who handles milk on the farm needs to take pains to keep it clean. Whether the milk will be sold for human consumption or fed to calves, it needs to be handled with the utmost care.

Why is this so important? Infections such as salmonella, mycoplasma and E. coli can be transmitted from cow to calf through manure as well as through milk, resulting in a very sick calf. Although milk sold commercially is always pasteurized for human consumption, milk cooperatives put a big emphasis on keeping it clean. Part of the quality bonus that farms can receive is based on milk testing below a certain level for bacteria counts.

So how do we keep it clean? First, by keeping the cow's environment clean: maintaining stalls free from manure and adequately bedded is a must, as well as regularly scraping alleys. Pre and post dipping teats during milking kills bacteria on the teats before milking and protects the teat opening after milking. It is also important to check the wash system in the parlor routinely to make sure that every surface that the milk touches, from the teat to the bulk tank, is being adequately disinfected. Utilizing these practices will help ensure the milk sold by the farm is high quality.

Cool the colostrum and milk fed to calves quickly to prevent bacteria growth- it only takes 30 minutes for the bacteria population to double in a pail of milk at room temperature! After feeding calves, wash all pails, bottles, nipples, etc. thoroughly using detergent, bleach and an acid rinse. All three must be used to avoid leaving a film of milk on the pail, which would create the perfect growing environment for bacteria. Let these tools air dry until the next feeding.

Clean Milk Leche Limpia
Clean the stalls and alleys  Limpie las camas y los pasillos
Clean the teats  Limpie los pezones
Put colostrum in the refrigerator  Ponga el calostro en la refrigeradora
Wash the bottle Lave la botella
Let the pail air dry Deje que la cubeta se seque al aire

For more information on keeping colostrum clean, visit: calffacts

Leche Limpia Beneficia a la Gente y los Becerros

Todas las personas que tocan leche en la granja tienen que hacer lo necesario para mantenerla limpia. Si van a vender la leche por consumo humano o si la van a dar de comer a los becerros, hay que utilizar mucha precaucion.

¿Por qué es tan importante? Infecciones como la salmonela, la micoplasma y E. coli pueden ser transmitidos de la vaca al becerro tras el estiércol y también por la leche, lo que resulta en un becerro muy enfermo. Aunque siempre pasteurizan la leche vendida comercialmente para el consumo humano, las cooperativas ponen una énfasis muy fuerte en mantenerla limpia. Una parte del bono para la calidad que las granjas pueden recibir está basado en que la leche resulta con niveles de bacteria debajo de un cierto nivel.

¿Cómo la mantenemos limpia? Primero por mantener limpio el medioambiente de la vaca: mantener las camas libres de estiércol y con bastante aserrín o arena es necesario, igual que limpiar regularmente los pasillos. Pre y post sellar los pezones durante el ordeño mata las bacterias en los pezones antes de ordeñar y protege la punta del pezón después del ordeño. También es importante revisar regularmente el sistema de lavar en la sala de ordeña para estar seguro que cada superficie que toque la leche, desde la teta hasta el tanque, se está desinfectando adecuadamente. Utilizar estas prácticas puede ayudar a asegurar que la leche vendida por la granja es de alta calidad.

Enfríe rápidamente el calostro y leche que van a dar de comer a los becerros para prevenir el crecimiento de bacteria- ¡la población de bacteria en una cubeta de leche dobla en 30 minutos a temperatura ambiente! Después de alimentar a los becerros, lave todas las cubetas, botellas, pezones, etc. con detergente, cloro y un enjuague acido. Hay que usar los tres para prevenir que una capa de leche se forme en la cubeta, lo que sería el ambiente perfecto para el crecimiento de bacteria. Deje que se sequen al aire estas herramientas hasta usarlos en la próxima alimentación.

Para más información sobre cómo mantener limpio el calostro, vaya al sitio: calffacts











Upcoming Events

Beginning Farmer/Hobby Farmer Workshop $5/pp, class size is limited, so pre-register by April 15th!

April 27, 2019
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Canandaigua, NY

This hands-on workshop is for beginning or part-time farmers who would like to improve their farm machinery skills, learn to properly and safely maintain their equipment to protect their investment. If you have been thinking about buying a tractor, new or used, two-wheel or four-wheel drive, compact or utility or more come join us. Topics include: selecting the right size/type tractor for the job; basic maintenance; staying safe around tractors and equipment; attaching implements properly; and information about ROPS and SMV's. There will be time for questions.

Pre-registration requested by April 15, 2019 email Amy with your name, address, and phone number or call 585-394-3977 x 429.
Fee: $5.00/person. Class size is limited.

2019 Pastured Poultry Seminar, lunch included so please register by May 10th! $25/person

May 18, 2019
Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.w/ coffee & donuts with the Program running from 9:00 a.m. - 5 p. m.
Attica, NY

The main speaker this year is Eli Reiff of Mifflinburg Pennsylvania. Eli raises broilers, turkeys, sheep, and beef, all on pasture. Topics to be covered will include the pasture, feed and nutrition, marketing, costs, and much more. As we grow as farm operators and get bigger, we may not pay as much attention to the basics as we should. So those areas are where we will start, and then expand to cover the group's interests.

Mike Badger, Director of the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association will also be available for a round-table discussion. Plans are to have representatives from Farm Bureau, NYCAMH for farm health and safety, Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce, and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wyoming County, as well as others.

Calling all 9th-12th graders! 4th Annual Precision Agriculture Day at Genesee Community College

May 21, 2019
9:00 am - 1:30 pm Register by Friday May 10th! $15/per person includes lunch
Batavia, NY

Calling all 9th-12th graders!  We have an exciting new program for students interested in technology, science, engineering, and agriculture!
Would you like to:
  • Learn about how Drones collect information
  • Check out some potential career opportunities that have new and ever-changing technology
  • Learn how these technologies can be used in our own backyards in WNY
  • Discover potential and exciting career opportunities


Producers Previously Enrolled in the LGM Program Now Eligible for MPP

Dairy Producers Previously Enrolled in the Livestock Gross Margin Program Now Eligible for 2018 Margin Protection Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that dairy producers who elected to participate in the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Cattle Program (LGM-Dairy) now have the opportunity to participate in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) for 2018 coverage. Sign-up will take place March 25 through May 10, 2019.
Eligible producers can enroll during the sign-up period at their local USDA service center. To locate your office, visit

Smart Farming Team Technical Assistance Grant Application

The Labor Ready Farmer Project is offering grants to provide up to 12 hours of Technical Assistance (TA) consulting services to farms who want to make improvements to their farm's processes in hiring, training, managing or evaluating employees. Applicants will choose from one of the following four areas for TA assistance and identify a specific project. If selected they will be matched with a "Smart Farming Team" of consultants who will provide one on one technical assistance.
Please complete this application and send to Nicole Waters, Beginning Farm Project Coordinator for the Cornell Small Farms Program. The form can be submitted by email, mail or in-person at the address listed below. Please feel free to call or email with any questions.

Nicole Waters - Beginning Farmer Project Coordinator
Plant Science Building, Room 15b
Tower Road, Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: 607-255-9911

Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

USDA Announces January Income over Feed Cost Margin Triggers First 2019 Dairy Sa

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2019 ? The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced this week that the January 2019 income over feed cost margin was $7.99 per hundredweight, triggering the first payment for eligible dairy producers who purchase the appropriate level of coverage under the new but yet-to-be established Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

DMC, which replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, is a voluntary risk management program for dairy producers that was authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill. DMC offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced last week that sign up for 
DMC will open by mid-June of this year. At the time of sign up, producers who elect a DMC coverage level between $8.00 and $9.50 would be eligible for a payment for January 2019.

For example, a dairy operation with an established production history of 3 million pounds (30,000 cwt.) that elects the $9.50 coverage level for 50 percent of its production could potentially be eligible to receive $1,887.50 for January.

Sample calculation:
$9.50 - $7.99 margin = $1.51 difference
$1.51 times 50 percent of production times 2,500 cwt. (30,000 cwt./12) = $1,887.50

The calculated annual premium for coverage at $9.50 on 50 percent of a 3-million-pound production history for this example would be $2,250.

Sample calculation:
3,000,000 times 50 percent = 1,500,000/100 = 15,000 cwt. times 0.150 premium fee = $2,250

Operations making a one-time election to participate in DMC through 2023 are eligible to receive a 25 percent discount on their premium for the existing margin coverage rates.

"Congress created the Dairy Margin Coverage program to provide an important financial safety net for dairy producers, helping them weather shifting milk and feed prices," FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce said. "This program builds on the previous Margin Protection Program for Dairy, carrying forward many of the program upgrades made last year based on feedback from producers. We're working diligently to implement the DMC program and other FSA programs authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill."

Additional details about DMC and other FSA farm bill program changes can be found at

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