July 16, 2015

Provided by the American Dairy Science Association® (ADSA®)
in cooperation with Feedstuffs / Feedstuffs FoodLink

If you received this issue of ADSA Dair-e-news from a friend and would like to receive
your personal copy in the future, please visit


Opinion and editorial content included in the Dair-e-news represent the views of the authors. 
Publication does not represent endorsement of any position by the ADSA.
 Ken Olson, Ph: 630-237-4961, keolson@prodigy.net

             SPECIAL 2015 JAM COVERAGE


We hope that you have found of interest the special coverage of JAM 2015 provided by the ADSA Dair-e-news. Special thanks go to the members of the ADSA Graduate Student Division for their help in covering a wide range of sessions. 

JAM 2015 is in its final day and it has been a very successful meeting with record attendance. Here are a few details about the attendees as of Wednesday afternoon:

- Total attendees: 3,341, including 868 graduate and 241 undergraduate students

- 47 states and 2 territories represented with the top states being Wisconsin 170, Illinois 130, Florida 129 and Texas 126

- 59 countries representing with top countries being Brazil 213, Canada 192. Mexico 80, South Korea 78 and China 75 

Start making your plans to join us for JAM 2016 in Salt Lake City.

News from JAM 2015 

Heating it up with heat stress


The 2015 Joint Annual Meeting in Orlando was a great place to discuss heat stress! If you missed the poster session on Wednesday morning, you missed some great posters surrounding heat stress.

The first poster was from University of California-Davis and assessed heat load in dry-lot cattle: a validation of methodology. The objective was to determine sampling intervals to measure use of heat abatement resources, and respiration rates and to evaluate the relationship between the signs of panting and respiration rate. The researchers discovered that the most accurate and efficient intervals were ≤ 60 minutes for use of heat abatement resources and ≤ 90 minutes for respiration rates.

The second poster was from Cornell University and assessed the use of udder skin temperature as a heat stress indicator in lactating dairy cattle. The objective was to determine the correlations between productive traits and the physiology parameters of rectal temperature, respiration rate, udder skin temperature, and body surface temperature. The researchers found that udder skin temperature and respiration rates were equally correlated with rectal temperature and that udder skin temperature may be a useful indicator of heat stress.

The third poster was from the University of Florida and assessed maternal heat stress impacts on calf passive immunity: effects on intestinal cell apoptosis. The objective was to examine the cellular mechanism of altered passive immunity in neonatal calves after in utero heat stress during late gestation. The investigators discovered that the cows in heat stress had higher rectal temperatures and respiration rates than the cooled cows. They also discovered that late gestation heat stress decreases intestinal apoptosis, which is associated with limited passive immunity.

The fourth poster was from Cornell University and assessed effects of temperature humidity index patterns on fertility, postpartum disease, and culling risk in New York dairy farms. The objective was to use within barn measurements of temperature humidity index to evaluate the impact on pregnancies per AI, postpartum disease incidence risk, and exit risk from the herd. The investigators discovered that a reduction in pregnancies per AI occurred when the temperature humidity index was ≥ 72. Temperature humidity index ≥ 68 increased early lactation disease and an increased temperature humidity index is not associated with a risk of exiting the herd. These four research groups across the United States investigating this hot topic are opening the doors for heat stress discussion and continued research.


Barbara Wadsworth is originally from Hiram, Maine where she grew up on a hobby beef farm and raised replacement Holstein heifers during her ten years in 4-H. She graduated with her B.S. from Purdue University, and her M.S. from the University of Kentucky. She is currently working on her Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky studying lameness detection using precision dairy farming technologies.

Dairy cows make positive contribution to food supply  

The net contributions dairy cows make to the food system in the U.S. are not necessarily well understood by consumers, Juan Tricarico of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, explained at the 2015 JAM.

Tricarico noted that while nutrient conversion efficiency are sometimes used to describe these contributions they are often poorly documented or based on dubious assumptions. As result, a study was conducted to 1) define coefficients to calculate human-edible fractions of major dairy feed ingredients used in the United States, and 2) estimate the share of the dairy ration that is human-edible on a national level using these coefficients. The analysis was performed on a national average dairy ration computed from 350 farm surveys used in the carbon footprint life cycle assessment for fluid milk (available at http://www.lcacommons.gov ).

The national average ration includes weighed rations for calves, open heifers, bred heifers, first calf heifers, springers, lactating cows and dry cows, and accounts for forage grazed during the year. The national average ration includes 33 ingredients and contains 53% forage and 47% concentrate (DM basis). Food, fuel, and fiber industry byproducts (14 ingredients) account for 19% of dairy feed dry matter. Eight major crops account for 80% of dairy feed dry matter (corn 42%, alfalfa 22%, wheat 3.1%, soybean 3.0%, canola 1.8%, sorghum 1.7%, barley 1.4%, and cottonseed 1.4%).

Two coefficients were calculated to estimate human-edible fractions of each ingredient. The first coefficient was calculated as 1 minus NDF content. The non-NDF fraction was considered human-edible if it does not contain toxic compounds, and ingredients containing more than 30% NDF were excluded, Tricarico said. The second coefficient was calculated by multiplying the first coefficient by the proportion of total ingredient production currently demanded by the U.S. food industry. This coefficient incorporates current consumer demand, preferences and eating habits.

The research showed the amount of human-edible dairy feed is either 20 or 0.9% of ration DM when using coefficients 1 or 2, respectively.

Dairy cows make a net positive contribution to food supply in the U.S. by converting significant amounts of otherwise unusable plant matter in feed into food, Tricarico concluded.

Crop, grazing land requirements to meet demand in 2050

As part of the larger Food Forward Sustainability Project, researchers J.R. Knapp of Fox Hollow Consulting and R.A. Cady of Elanco Animal Health have estimated the quantity of feed required to produce animal products and meet global consumer demands in 2050 under different production scenarios using population-based models. 

The objectives of this study were 1) to determine how much crops and crop residues were available globally in 2010 in support of animal feed production and might be available in 2050 under reasonable estimates of increasing crop yields, 2) compare them to feed requirements, and 3) to evaluate the impact on land requirements for feed production. Data from USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service and FAO were utilized to estimate yields and utilization of major grain and oilseed crops. Proportions of crops used in feed, food, seed, and other uses were assumed to be the same in 2050 as in 2010. Crop residues were estimated from crop yields and represent the maximum potentially available feed, but do not account for use in bedding, soil amendment, etc.

The researchers said that while production and utilization of grain, oilseed, and byproducts for feed in 2010 appears to be lower than feed requirements, it is likely underestimated due to under-reporting of grain byproducts by FAO and neither data source fully accounting for secondary byproducts or animal protein byproducts. These results indicate that continued innovation supporting sustainable intensification in livestock and poultry agriculture and increasing crop yields can produce adequate amounts of food and feed in 2050 without increasing crop lands. Also, increasing crop yields have the potential to provide more crop residues for feeding ruminant livestock that could increase the efficiency of feed use and reduce pressure on grazing lands.

Without innovation in animal and plant agriculture, 36 to 58% more land would be required in 2050 to produce food and feed, they said.

Global look at environmental footprint of livestock production 

Global livestock production is projected to double by 2050 and the majority of this growth will be occurring in the developing world.

Much of the growth in the global livestock sector will occur in areas that are currently forested (i.e., parts of South America and South East Asia), it has been well established that significant reductions of carbon sequestering forests will have large effects on global climate change, Dr. Frank Mitloehner of the University of California-Davis explained at the 2015 JAM.

Mitloehner said livestock production in most countries of the developed world (e.g., U.S. and Europe) have a relatively small greenhouse gas (GHG) contribution within the countries' overall carbon portfolios, dwarfed by large transportation, energy and other industry sectors.

In contrast, livestock production in the developing world, he said, can be a dominant contributor to a country's GHG portfolio, due to the developing world's significantly smaller transportation and energy sectors. The fact that land-use changes associated with livestock (i.e., forested land converted to pasture or cropland used for feed production) are a significant source of anthropogenic GHGs in Latin America and other parts of the developing world is apparent.

The Food & Agriculture Organization attributes almost half of the climate-change impact associated with livestock to the change of land-use patterns but the U.S. and most other developed countries have not experienced significant land-use change practices around livestock production within the last few decades, sometimes centuries, Mitloehner said.

Intensification of livestock production provides large opportunities for climate change mitigation and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation, thus becoming a long-term solution to a more sustainable livestock production, noted Mitloehner.  He explained that overall, growing demands for animal protein could strongly increase GHG emissions from agriculture but that knowledge exists to improve efficiencies in livestock production, which dramatically reduces GHG per unit of production.

What is called for is a sustainable intensification in animal agriculture, coupled with technology transfers from developed to developing countries, to supply a growing demand for animal protein using sustainable and modern production practices, Mitloehner said.


Thanks to our Corporate Sustaining members for their ongoing support of ADSA and the Journal of Dairy Science®.

Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition

Adisseo North America


Akey, Inc.

Elanco Animal Health

Pfizer Animal Health

Varied Industries Corp.

SoyPLUS / SoyChlor

Diamond V Mills Inc

Kent Feeds

Grande Cheese Co.

Danisco USA Inc

Land O'Lakes Inc

Kraft Foods

GEA Farm Technologies (Westfalia/Surge)

Prince Agri Products

Novus International

BioZyme Inc.

Ag Processing Inc.

Darling International Research

Performance Products, Inc.

MIN-AD, Inc.

Quali Tech

Zook Nutrition & Management

Swedish Univ. of Agri. Sciences


For information on
Corporate membership
please Click here


American Dairy Science Association
1800 South Oak St, Suite 100
Champaign, IL 61820