Cornell Research Seeks to Better Understand, Offset Effects of Heat Stress on Dairy Cows

Dr. Joseph McFadden leads project supported by FFAR and corporate
supporters including Phibro Animal Health

TEANECK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#teamphibro–Summer is right around the corner. For dairy cows, summer heat isn’t
just uncomfortable — it’s also detrimental to their immune system,
fertility and productivity. A team of Cornell University researchers,
led by Dr. Joseph McFadden, is conducting a project to learn more about
the ramifications of heat stress in order to help U.S. dairy producers
better mitigate it through nutritional solutions and other innovations.

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) asserts that
heat-stressed dairy cows cost the American dairy industry $1.5 billion
each year. The organization recently awarded a grant to develop
innovative ways to reduce the impact of heat stress on dairy cows and
improve their ability to withstand extreme heat. The grant was funded in
part by Phibro Animal Health Corporation, AB Vista, Adisseo, Balchem
Corporation, Berg + Schmidt, Elanco and Vetagro S.p.A. The group
invested $736,000, which was matched by FFAR to fund the $1.47 million

“As a leader in research associated with the negative impact of heat
stress on dairy cow production, Phibro’s Research and Technical Team
looks forward to working with Dr. McFadden and his team to develop
innovative ways to reduce the impact of heat stress on dairy herds,”
says Derek McLean, Ph.D., senior director, collaborative research,
Phibro Animal Health. “It’s collaboration like this that will help U.S.
dairy producers continue to produce quality milk and dairy products
despite environmental variations.”

Overcoming Barriers

As principal investigator, McFadden will lead a team in exploring the
relationship among dairy cattle gut health, intestinal permeability,
liver health, immunity and milk production. In doing so, the team will
seek nutrition-based solutions to improve a dairy cow’s ability to
withstand heat stress.

McFadden received a B.S. degree with Distinction in Research from the
Department of Animal Science at Cornell University, along with an M.S.
degree in Dairy Science from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. from
Virginia Tech. His most recent research efforts have challenged current
fatty acid and methyl donor feeding practices in dairy cattle. His work
has been made possible by state, federal and industry support, which he
says furthers his goal of helping dairy cows better adapt to different
forms of stress including extreme heat while maintaining health and milk
production — a timely goal, given the challenges facing the dairy
industry today.

“The resilience of agricultural production systems, like dairy, will
unequivocally determine whether food security can overcome climate
change and world population growth,” McFadden says. “The global demand
for dairy will certainly increase, but heat-stressed cows are
inefficient milk producers. We need to give producers the technologies
and strategies that they need in order to provide the world with
high-quality and nutrient-rich dairy products.”

About Phibro Animal Health Corporation

Phibro Animal Health Corporation is a diversified global developer,
manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of animal health and mineral
nutrition products for livestock, helping veterinarians and farmers
produce healthy, affordable food while using fewer natural resources.
For more information, visit pahc.com.


Bree DeVerger
Mobile: +1.217.592.6502
[email protected]


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