Managing the Dry Period for a Successful Lactation

The transition from late gestation to early lactation is challenging for both animals and dairy producers and is an important phase of a cow’s lactation and production cycle. Closely managing cows during this time is crucial to making sure the transition goes smoothly for successful lactation. Extension Dairy & Livestock Agent Tina Kohlman collaborated with agriculture educators from Vernon and Dane Counties to develop, organize, and facilitate a three-part “Managing the Dry Period for a Successful Lactation” webinar series for nearly 75 individuals.  The webinar focused on udder health and development; nutrition; and prevention and control best management practices.

Of the participants responding to post-meeting evaluations:

  • 75 percent of respondents indicated they increased their understanding of the impact of shorter or longer dry periods on the subsequent lactation productivity
  • 94 percent increased their understanding of the importance of calcium metabolism in the mammary gland
  • 87 percent increased their understanding of the lactating mammary gland regulation needed for producing milk increased considerably
  • 86 percent increased their understanding of available dry cow intramammary antimicrobial products and their spectrum of activity
  • 86 percent increased their understanding of the purpose for using dry cow intramammary antimicrobial treatment had increased considerably
  • 90 percent of participants responding indicated they increased their understanding of when it is appropriate to use blanket dry cow therapy versus selective dry cow therapy
  • 100 percent increased their understanding of prevention and control of intramammary infections during the dry period
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