Feb 15, 2016 3:39 PM
UNH research says a cow's milk quality can be predicted by the weather
DURHAM - Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found that the quality of milk can be predicted by a cow's lactation performance along with the weather.
According to new research from the UNH Agricultural Experiment Station, the quality of colostrum - which is the nutrient-rich milk that newborn dairy calves drink - can be predicted by weather conditions and the mother's previous lactation performance.
Researchers discovered that the more lactations the cow has had in the past, the higher the quality of colostrum will be in the future.
This allows dairy producers to estimate Immunoglobulin G (IgG) content which is the content used to measure colostrum quality without having to physically collect it.
UNH also found that the poorest quality colostrum was produced during the winter, and believe that in warmer temperatures the blood vessels of the cow dilate causing them to be more permeable to IgG good for colostrum production.
The New Hampshire dairy industry impacts state and local economies with more than $141 million in total output, according to nhdairypromo.org.