Dairy Nutrition and Reproduction

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Supplement May Enhance Dairy Cattle Health, Breeding Capacity
Illinois Ag News, April 18, 2017

Animal scientist Phil Cardoso knew that milk protein increases when dairy cows are fed the amino acid methionine, but he suspected that the supplement might have additional health benefits.

"I wondered, 'Is that the only thing methionine is doing?'" the University of Illinois assistant professor says. "If I'm eating well, am I just going to put on more muscle, or am I going to be healthier overall? It's good to look at the protein in milk, but I wanted to see if other things are changing, such as reproduction."

Ten steps ensure transition cow success
Hoard's Dairyman, March 13, 2017

Of all the changes that the transition cow endures, negative energy balance is one of the greatest and most difficult to overcome. That scenario sets the perfect stage for the question that University of Illinois’ Phil Cardoso posed attendees of the Illinois Dairy Summit.

What drives negative energy balance?

Did you say milk production? Because if you did, Cardoso would tell you you’re wrong.

Methionine Could Boost Embryonic Survival
Dairy Herd Management, February 28, 2017

Research at the University of Illinois (U of I) has shown that adding methionine to the diets of Holstein cows could enhance a pre-implantation embryo’s chance for survival.

“Methionine is the first limiting amino acid for dairy cattle,” says U of I animal scientist Phil Cardoso. “We know that the lack of methionine limits cows in producing protein in the milk. Now we’re beginning to understand that it affects more than just the milk protein. We want to learn more about the biological effect it has on the cow and, in this case, on the embryo.”

Improve milk quality and economic gain with somatic cell count calculator
AdvanCES in Research, January, 2017

Dairy researchers at the U of I developed a new tool to help dairy producers maximize their profit and improve milk quality. The Dairy Focus Somatic Cell Count Calculator allows producers to analyze their test-day milk numbers and take appropriate action regarding somatic cell count.

"The main goal of the SCC calculator is to help dairy producers make management decisions on the individual-herd level," says U of I animal scientist Phil Cardoso. "This will improve overall health and decrease economic losses due to mastitis. Making these beneficial management decisions may then allow the dairy to improve milk quality and dairy efficiency, all while increasing overall economic gain."

Methionine could be key to improving pregnancy rate in dairy cattle
AdvanCES in Research, January, 2017

Adding methionine to the diets of Holstein cows during a period before and after they give birth may impact the preimplantation embryo in a way that enhances its capacity for survival.

"Methionine is the first limiting amino acid for dairy cattle," says U of I animal scientist Phil Cardoso. "We know that the lack of methionine limits cows in producing protein in the milk. Now we’re beginning to understand that it affects more than just the milk protein. We want to learn more about the biological effect it has on the cow, and in this case, on the embryo."

Calculator can boost dairy profits
Illinois AgriNews, August 31, 2016

URBANA, Ill. — Dairymen have a new tool for making management decisions for their herd.

The Somatic Cell Count Calculator was developed by the Dairy Focus Team at the University of Illinois.

Since dairymen receive a premium for quality milk, reducing the somatic cell count in milk can increase income.

University of Illinois developed tool to maximize dairy profit and control mastitis
Engormix newsletter, August 16, 2016

The main goal of the Dairy Focus Somatic Cell Count Calculator is to assist dairy producers in making management decisions on an individual herd level, which will improve overall health and decrease economic losses due to mastitis. Making these beneficial management decisions may then allow the dairy to improve milk quality and dairy efficiency, all while increasing overall economic gain.

The goal of most dairy producers is to maintain a healthy herd while maximizing economic efficiencies. Mastitis is the most prevalent disease that restricts producers from achieving this goal. In 2014...

Improve milk quality
Agri-View, August 4, 2016

URBANA, Ill. – Dairy researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new tool to help dairy producers maximize profit and improve milk quality. The Dairy Focus Somatic Cell Count Calculator allows producers to analyze test-day milk numbers and take appropriate action regarding somatic cell count.

U of I Somatic Cell Count Calculator
Morning AgClips, July 13, 2016

URBANA, Ill. – Dairy researchers at the University of Illinois developed a new tool to help dairy producers maximize their profit and improve milk quality. The Dairy Focus Somatic Cell Count (SCC) Calculator allows producers to analyze their test day milk numbers and take appropriate action regarding somatic cell count.

"The main goal of the SCC calculator is to assist dairy producers in making management decisions on an individual herd level," says Phil Cardoso, a professor in animal sciences at Illinois. "This will improve overall health and decrease economic losses due to mastitis. Making these beneficial management decisions may then allow the dairy to improve milk quality and dairy efficiency, all while increasing overall economic gain."

Methionine may improve embryo survival rate
Hoard's Dairyman, July, 2016

Research conducted at the University of Illinois showed that adding methionine to the diets of Holstein cows improved the survival rate of preimplantation embryos. Catlle were given methionine, an essential amino acid, during the prepartum and postpartum periods. Half of the embryos collected from cattle fed methionine exhibited a higher concentration of lipid droplets. University of Illinois' Phil Cardoso believes this may provide the embryos with more energy stores and improve survival rates.

Methonine aids embryo survival
Agri-View, June 16, 2016

URBANA, Ill. — Research at the University of Illinois has shown that adding methionine to the diets of Holstein cows during the pre-partum and post-partum periods may impact the pre-implantation embryo in a way that enhances its capacity for survival.

“Methionine is the first limiting amino acid for dairy cattle,” said Phil Cardoso, University of Illinois animal scientist. “We know that the lack of methionine limits cows in producing protein in the milk. Now we’re beginning to understand that it affects more than just the milk protein. We want to learn more about the biological effect it has on the cow, and in this case, on the embryo.”

U of I dairy research seeks to boost feed efficiency, reproductive rates
Farmweek, June 13, 2016

Methionine, an amino acid used in the biosynthesis of protein, could be a key factor to improve reproductive rates in dairy catlle.

That's a key finding of ongoing dairy research at the University of Illinois focused on increasing the survival rate of embryos in dairy cows.

Methionine in cow's diet for better embryos
Dairy Global, June 16, 2016

The amino acid methionine can enhance the survival capacity of embryos, when added to the cow’s diet during the prepartum and postpartum periods.

This was shown by new research from the University of Illinois in the US. Because cows cannot produce methionine, it needs to come from the diet. In the study, researchers began supplementing the diets of 1 group of cows 21 days before they gave birth and continued the supplement through 72 days after birth.

Disease may stunt corn silage quality
Hoard's Dairyman, June, 2016

Corn fungal disseases such as northern leaf blight and gray leaf spot are well known for their effect on harvest yields. Maybe more importantly, they impact quality factors in the ear, leaf, and stem as well. According to Caroline Kalebich and Phil Cardoso of the University of Illinois, using foliar fungicide to treat fungal diseases can improve silage quality in diseased crops.

Spraying fungicide on corn
Morning Ag Clips, June 5, 2016

URBANA, Ill. — Spraying a fungicide on corn in the Midwest has always been a 50/50 proposition related to cost. Half of the time it bumps yield by a couple of bushels and this can sometimes be enough to cover the cost. However, as Todd Gleason reports, if that corn is going into silage, some new work from the University of Illinois says the improvement in feed efficiency for dairy cattle can pay for the fungicide not just once, but maybe twice.

This is simple science to understand, yet it is important to note it seems only to apply to milk production. So, not for beef cattle. Dairy cows fed silage made from corn sprayed with a fungicide give more milk says University of Illinois Dairy Scientist Phil Cardoso.

Lower SCC and antibiotic residue risk
Hoard's Dairyman, May, 2016

High somatic cell counts (SCC) and elevated antibiotic residue go hand in hand, according to researchers at the University of Wisonsin. They found that herds with SCC greater than 700,000 cells/mL were seven times more likely to have antibiotic residue violations than herds with less than 251,000 cells/mL.

In a recent Dairy Focus at Illinois Newsletter, Phil Cardoso, D.V.M., suggests taking a look at milking protocol and SCC tracking to reduce the chances of antibiotic residues on the farm. He explained that low SCC is a critical control point for antibiotic residue violation.

Methionine could be key to improving pregnancy rate in dairy cattle
College of ACES, May 16, 2016

URBANA, Ill - Research at the University of Illinois has shown that adding methionine to the diets of Holstein cows during the prepartum and postpartum periods may impact the preimplantation embryo in a way that enhances its capacity for survival.

“Methionine is the first limiting amino acid for dairy cattle,” says U of I animal scientist Phil Cardoso. “We know that the lack of methionine limits cows in producing protein in the milk. Now we’re beginning to understand that it affects more than just the milk protein. We want to learn more about the biological effect it has on the cow, and in this case, on the embryo.”

АМІНОКИСЛОТИ ДЛЯ УСПІШНОГО ВІДТВОРЕННЯ СТАДА
Agroexpert, Ukraine, March 2016

[Article in Ukranian on "Amino acids for successful reproduction of the herd." Based on a lecture given by Dr. Cardoso at the Dairy Congress in Kyiv.]

Fungicide applications boost silage quality
Illinois AgriNews, February 29, 2016

FREEPORT, Ill. — Applying fungicide to corn fields can improve the quality of the corn silage.

“Research has shown that when fungicides are applied, you get a higher crop yield because of the physiological effect on the plant, not just on the fungus,” said Phil Cardoso, University of Illinois Extension dairy specialist.

“Trials show when you apply a Quinone outside inhibitor, if there is less than 5 percent disease severity, you get a 1.5-bushel-per-acre increase in yield,” he reported. “If you have more than 5 percent disease in corn, you get 9.6-bushels-per-acre increase.”

Boots on the ground
Dairy Herd Management, December 2015

When Dr. Phil Cardoso left dairy veterinary practice in Brazil to join the ranks of academia in the United States, one of the things he didn’t want to lose was regular contact with dairy producers.

Now the University of Illinois Assistant Professor of Animal Science has an ongoing rapport with scores of Illinois dairy producers, 20 of whom recently participated in an innovative new outreach program called the Dairy Focus Team©.

Bacillus-based feed additive may improve dairy milk efficiency, boost health
FeedNavigator.com, November 23, 2015

Researchers from the University of Illinois in the US studied the effect of the additive, a direct-fed microbial (DFM), on dairy cattle to determine the influence of B. pumilus 8G-134 on pre- and postpartum cows and to see if would improve cases of subclinical ketosis.

The period from three weeks before a cow gives birth to three weeks after tends to be the time a cow can most easily become ill, said Filipe Cardoso, professor in the department of animal science at the University of Illinois. Anything that can be done, through the use of additives or management practices, to improve the health of cows during that window is important.

Improving Dairy Farm Processes
ACES Summer Internship Newsletter 2015

Ashley Anderson and Claire Nkhikhssi conducted research at the Benton Dairy in Indiana. The Benton Dairy houses 3,500 Holstein dairy cows and faces a variety of challenges that the interns investigated over the summer. To investigate if activity can be used as an indicator for sickness in pre-weaned calves, the girls attached a HOBO activity monitor on the ankle of each calf. The activity and health of each calf was monitored for three weeks. Ashley and Claire determined that calves that presented with scours were more restless (i.e., stood up and down more frequently) than healthy calves. Activity monitors could be a very inexpensive and useful tool for monitoring dairy calf health. Additionally, Ashley and Claire developed safety training videos for the farm in English and Spanish about maternity, milking procedures, and healthy farm check-up.

Is fungal disease the silent killer of corn silage?
Progressive Dairyman, August 7, 2015

Fungal disease of corn can cause a multitude of problems including yield loss of the corn, mycotoxin contamination and a decrease in plant quality for animal feed. In 2012, fungal disease caused a 10 percent loss in corn yield, and 24.4 percent of grain harvested was infected with mycotoxins. These diseases can increase lignin content of the plant. Lignin content can be influenced by plant stress as a response to drought, cold or other diseases such as fungal infestation.

Meeting the challenges of the dairy industry
College of ACES, April 21, 2015

Sitting in a classroom, soaking up great knowledge and wisdom from an instructor is something our students do a great deal. Applying that knowledge to real-life situations in order to address serious challenges and problems, and then sharing their findings with the experts, presents our students with unique learning opportunities, as well as testing their ability to think critically and make knowledgeable presentations. Recently several Animal Sciences students did just that when they participated in the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge contest in Syracuse, New York.

Cardoso and Brazilian colleagues using enzymes to improve feedstuff for dairy cows
College of ACES, March 16, 2015

With the assistance of an International Seed Grant from the Office of International Programs, Dr. Phil Cardoso, assistant professor in the Department of Animal Sciences, has furthered his work to improve the digestibility of corn for dairy cattle while also providing a life-changing opportunity for a Brazilian PhD student, Naina Lopes.

U of I research focuses on strengths, weaknesses of dairies
FarmWeek, January 26, 2015

The U of I Dairy Focus Team, led by Phil Cardoso, U of I Extension dairy educator, last year evaluated 20 dairies around the state and interviewed the operator at each location.

The goal was to improve local farms through education and identify strengths and weaknesses of farms in every region of the state.

"We came up with suggestions after the analysis," Cardoso said last week at the Illinois Dairy Summit in Freeport. "Farmers can compare themselves with other farms in their region and across the state."

Q&A: How to Improve Transition Period Efficiency
The Peak Report, Volume 13, Number 1

Efficiency is how to get from point A to point B in the best way possible. It is not the same as effectiveness. In general, efficiency is a measurable concept that’s quantitatively determined by the ratio of output to input. To measure it, the goal is to gather the right efficiency-related information that impacts profitability.

Interview with Dr. Phil Cardoso, DVM, PhD (video)
TransitionCow.net, July 18, 2014

During the 4-State Dairy Nutrition & Management Conference on June 11, 2014, we interviewed Dr. Phil Cardoso, DVM, PhD, Dairy Research and Extension at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for some valuable insight on his presentation on Transitioning with Efficiency.

Dairy team focuses on profitability, efficiency
FarmWeek, January 27, 2014

The University of Illinois recently formed the Dairy Focus Team, which currently is seeking dairy farmers around the state who are willing to open their doors to the team for a free evaluation of the operation.

The Dairy Focus Team is composed of eight University of Illinois graduate students, U of I faculty, undergraduate students and industry professionals.

The initiative blends teaching, research and Extension components as the team attempts to help each farmer through recommendations, according to Phil Cardoso, U of I dairy specialist.

Kaskaskia College Hosts 2014 Dairy Summit
The Shoppers Weekly (Southern Illinois), January 27, 2014

Kaskaskia College hosted the 2014 Illinois Dairy Summit in its Lifelong Learning Center on Thursday, January 23. The theme for this year’s summit was “Focusing on Profitability” and featured seminars from Jim Fraley of the Illinois Milk Producers Association, Mike Hutjens, Professor Emeritus of Animal Science from the University of Illinois, Phil Cardoso, Assistant Professor of Dairy Research and Extension from the University of Illinois, Dave Fischer, Dairy Summit Coordinator, and Clint Harre, Dairy farmer and KC Alum.

Reduced energy diets mean fewer days to pregnancy for dairy cows (pages 10-11)
College of ACES, 2014

For producers in the dairy business, every day after calving before a cow can get pregnant again translates into dollars per day lost or gained.

Researchers at the University of Illinois interested in how nutrition affects reproductive performance in dairy cattle have determined that cows fed a reduced-energy diet not only got pregnant again sooner, but were also healthier and produced the same amount of milk as those fed a high-energy diet.

Less could be more for prepartum nutrition
Dairy Herd Management Nutrition e-Network, December 20, 2013

Feeding a controlled-energy diet in the close-up period is a strategy that is gaining currency. And a study published in last September's Journal of Dairy Science backs it up. Researchers from the University of Illinois did a statistical analysis of seven studies that looked at the association between prepartum energy intake and reproductive performance. On average, cows fed a controlled-energy diet (with less than or equal to the recommended amount) during the close-up period became pregnant about 10 days sooner than cows fed a high-energy diet. Perhaps it is because cows fed a controlled-energy diet prepartum eat more after calving than cows fed a high-energy diet. "We want the cow to eat as much as possible just after calving because then she is going to be healthier," says U of I animal sciences researcher Phil Cardoso.

For cows, less energy can mean better performance
Iowa Farmer Today, August 24, 2013

With little research on how nutrition affects reproductive performance in dairy cows, it is generally believed a cow needs a higher energy intake before calving. Research by University of Illinois scientists challenges this accepted wisdom.

Las dietas de energía controlada durante el preparto mejoran la eficiencia reproductiva en las vacas de leche (Controlled energy diets during the prepartum improve reproductive efficiency in dairy cows)
CEVA ReproNews, September, 2013

Durante el periodo de transición el animal sufre un balance energético negativo (BEN) debido a la elevada demanda energética de los últimos días de gestación e inicio de la lactación siguiente y al descenso de la ingestión de materia seca peri- parto. Se ha observado que el BEN reduce la secreción pulsátil de LH y la respuesta ovárica a dicha hormona, lo cual explicaría los efectos descritos por diversos autores sobre la reproducción. Estudios recientes señalan que animales con BEN tienen un mayor riesgo de padecer anestro, producen ovocitos de peor calidad y tienen menor tasa de concepción.

Benefits of controlled diets for dairy cows
Progressive Dairyman, August 16, 2013

Cows fed a controlled-energy diet versus a high-energy diet in the three to four weeks before calving tend to have fewer health problems, similar milk production and better reproduction, said Dr. Phil Cardoso of the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois.

He explained this during his presentation, “3-R Transition Period: Recovery, Reproduction and Results” at the Four State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference held June 12-13 in Dubuque, Iowa.

Even for cows, less can be more
College of ACES, August 13, 2013

URBANA, Ill. – With little research on how nutrition affects reproductive performance in dairy cows, it is generally believed that a cow needs a higher energy intake before calving. Research by University of Illinois scientists challenges this accepted wisdom.

Dry Period Diet Affects Lactation Performance
Feedstuffs, April 8, 2013

Metabolic disorders during early lactation are linked to energy intake during the dry period, and controversy arises about whether controlling energy intake during the dry period will compromise cow performance after parturition, researchers A. Pineda, F. Cardoso and J.K. Drackley of the University of Illinois said in a presentation at last month's midwestern section meetings of the American Dairy Science Assn. and American Society of Animal Science.

Dairy Focus Lab strengthens U of I ties with industry and the community
Department of Animal Sciences, March 21, 2013

URBANA – The University of Illinois has launched a website that is intended to serve as a tool for communicating with the dairy industry and the community at large.

The site, dairyfocus.illinois.edu, presents the work of the Dairy Focus Lab, which was created in 2012. Research at Dairy Focus is conducted at the Dairy Cattle Research Unit and Teaching Center and at commercial dairy farms in Illinois. It is grounded in two major areas: 1) mechanisms of metabolic adaptation from gestation to lactation in dairy cows (transition period), and 2) impact of nutrition on metabolism, reproduction, and health in dairy cows.

New dairy specialist focuses on efficiency
Farmweek, January 28, 2013

Dairy farmers in Illinois who have questions or concerns about production issues now can consult with “Dr. Phil” for answers. Phil Cardoso, a veterinarian who was introduced last week at the Dairy Summit in Bloomington as “Dr. Phil,” is the new University of Illinois Extension dairy research specialist.