When it comes to drying off cows today, it’s a case of “too much of a good thing.” Cows still milking heavily at the end of lactation have a hard time switching gears when they enter the dry period.
Attendees of a recent Iowa State University dairy extension webinar learned the modern realities of milk production make it almost impossible to achieve the dry-off goal issued by the National Mastitis Council, which is 33 pounds of milk per cow per day or less.
University of Minnesota dairy researcher Luciano Caixeta said the 33-pound threshold is a standard in need of an update. The assistant professor in the Department of Production Medicine in the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine said it now excludes approximately 93% of dairy cows at dry-off. The median production at dry-off in Minnesota herds currently sits at about 62 pounds per cow per day.
March 24, 2023