The Bob Veal Calf Concern
Jerry Bertoldo, Dairy
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops
March 1, 2013
Bull calves in the dairy business are most often a topic that producers would rather not think about. The financial returns from selling them are usually low. There are unavoidable labor costs in their care. The sooner they leave the farm the better is the usual mantra. Too many of these critters become bob veal - early slaughtered calves with minimal economic value. Farmers are reluctant to put more time and effort into insuring a strong and healthy calf that has a good chance of entering a veal raising operation. This means holding on to these calves for some extra days risking the chance of scours or worse yet death. Veal managers do not want light, less vigorous and very young bull calves for fear of high loss rates as well. Experience tells them that larger and more active calves will do better and result in lower mortality rates and better feed conversion.
There has been another issue creeping onto the scene, that of antibiotic residues in bob veal. Few people are bold enough to think that treating a young calf directly with injectable antibiotics will not result in detectable tissue levels if that animal enters the food chain within a few days. The problem is generally not from injectable products, but from oral scour medications, medicated milk replacers and more rarely colostrum containing antibiotics. Neomycin has been the most common culprit.
Neomycin and tetracycline have both been included in some scour medications and milk replacers for many years. Labeling of these scour treatments can be misleading as to withdrawal times. Medicated milk replacers do not contain treatment levels of these antibiotics, but are formulated for use in heifer calves not calves destined for bob veal. Colostrum from cows treated with oil based dry treatments is most likely to carry residues of significance to the newborn calf. Dry treating less than the labeled days pre-calving, double tubing or treating a slack quarter can result in higher than expected first milking antibiotic levels.
Holding out milk on fresh cows according to the labeled recommendations on dry treatment and not feeding it to bull calves is an extra measure of safety. The vast majority of colostrum will not cause an issue, however. Feeding heifer colostrum to bull calves is a failsafe way of preventing colostrum based problems provided that the practice of dry treating springers is not in place.
Twilight Pasture Walk - Sweet Grass Meats Farm
September 10, 2014Join us at Sweet Grass Meats for a tour of their beef and sheep grazing operation and to learn more about how they market grass-fed lamb, beef and pastured pork through an on-farm store and regional buyers club. Network with other graziers, and join in the discussions on multi-species grass-fed production.
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Calf & Heifer Congress 2014 - "Birth to Breeding"
December 10 - December 11, 2014The Calf & Heifer Congress 2014 - "Birth to Breeding" is the fourth in a series of dairy replacement conferences presented by Cornell University Extension and the Cornell PRO-DAIRY Program.
Dr. Jerry Bertoldo Receives Achievement Award from NACAAThe National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) recently recognized Dr. Jerry Bertoldo with their Achievement Award. The Achievement Award is presented to those agricultural agents that have been working in their field for less than 10 years but in that short time have made significant contributions to their profession. Fitting for a history buff like Jerry, the award was presented in the ballroom of the historic Old Battle House Hotel during the NACAA Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference on July 21 in Mobile, Alabama.
Dr. Bertoldo, DVM, has taken the lead with dairy discussion groups, Hispanic dairy worker training and group feeding and housing of dairy calves technology since joining Cornell Cooperative Extension as a Dairy Specialist on the North West New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crop Team in 2004.
Jerry crafted the concept and secured funding to establish a dairy training program for Spanish speaking workers that documents and translates standard operating procedures and provides on-farm training to workers on large dairies across a 10-county region. Dr. Bertoldo serves on the instructional staff for the Wyoming County Dairy Institute helping to develop course outlines and providing both lecture and hands on training through eleven different workforce development modules for the dairy industry workers.
Calf rearing performance had stagnated on northeast dairies. In recent years, Dr. Bertoldo worked with leaders from across the world to bring group housing with free choice feeding technology, being employed in Europe, to New York dairies. He organized workshops, demonstrations, symposiums and tours leading to widespread adoption which yielded more robust growth and reduced the labor once required to care for calves. Most recently he has assumed leadership for the statewide Dairy Calf Congress, held annually to share advancements in calf raising technology.
Dr. Bertoldo's leadership has established discussion groups for young dairy managers and calf managers in Western New York. These discussion groups provide a forum for dairy farm owners and managers to share information, discover new ideas and reinforce tried and true management practices. The groups have visited one another's farms and taken tours to other areas to expand their knowledge base.
Jerry Bertoldo exhibits the enthusiasm, ingenuity and tenacity required of an effective extension educator. His easy going manner and broad knowledge of dairy science make him a sought after resource by the local farm community. He is a team worker and leader as demonstrated when he mentors new staff, who join the team here in Northwest New York and his officer roles with NYSACAA.
The members of the NWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops congratulate Jerry on receiving the NACAA Achievement Award. We are proud to be part of a team of extension leaders like Jerry.
2014 Cornell Field Crop Guidelines AvailableThe 2014 edition of the Cornell Integrated Field Crop Management Guidelines is available. The Cornell Guide for Integrated Field Crop Management provides up-to-date field crop production and pest management information for New York State. It has been designed as a practical guide for field crop producers, crop consultants, pesticide dealers, and others who advise field crop producers. Crops included in this Guide include field corn, forages, small grains, and soybeans. The cost of this guide is $25 plus shipping. You can order this publication, or other Cornell Guidelines, through Cornell Copperative Extension offices or from the Cornell Store at Cornell University at 800-624-4080.
Social Media, New Tools for ExtensionRapid communication is critical to the success of the agricultural industry. Many farmers use phone, email, and traditional websites every day. However social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Maps, and blogs are just beginning to be used to share timely information in order broaden the reach of Extension. The NWNY Team is active on a number of these sites. We are on Facebook and new content is posted every week keeping farmers, industry, and the general public informed of current conditions in the field, national issues that impact western New York farms, and informational resources. Google Maps is currently being used to communicate the progress of 15 on-farm research locations in western New York through weekly photo and video uploads. Google Maps also has large potential as an Extension tool, including helping farmers to network in the region in the emerging malting barley industry, precision agriculture adaption, and local hay marketing. The team is also exploring the use of YouTube and Twitter to better serve the region in addition to updating the team's webpage and blogging.
Google Map for the Winter Small Grain Nitrogen Rate Trial: Map