Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952 Page: 87
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DAIRY PRODUCTION 87
the rumen of animals to which it was fed. From 60 to 70 percent of
the SO2 consumed is eliminated by the kidneys. The retained sulfur
can be used in synthesizing the protein of milk.
The Pennsylvania station also fed bulls grass silage at the rate of
4 pounds per day per 100 pounds of body weight, without adversely
affecting the quality of their semen. At the current prices of feed
the bulls fed only hay and silage were maintained at an average cost
of $15.50 per month, whereas those fed hay and grain cost $19.50 per
Pearl millet, if pastured when it is not over 8 to 10 inches high, is
one of the best early supplemental pastures for the southern dairyman,
according to the Mississippi station. The Georgia trials favor Starr
Merker grass produced a better quality and higher tonnage silage in
trials at the Puerto Rico station than either guinea or para grass.
Earlier trials there showed that immature sugarcane or sugarcane
tops were superior to either of these grasses for silage.
The New Hampshire station studied the problem of feeding hay of
low vitamin D content to dairy cows. The vitamin D content of the
first cutting of Ladino and bromegrass hay was appreciably increased
by irradiation with an ultraviolet light. Timothy and red clover, however,
did not respond to this treatment. It was comparatively easy to
double the vitamin D content of the second cutting of grass hays, but
irradiation had little effect on second cuttings of ladino and clover hay.
Reproductive troubles in dairy cattle were at one time thought to
be caused primarily by pathological bacteria. Now it is known that
protozoa and certain virus infections may also cause abortion or failure
to breed regularly. Research concerning these types of reproductive
disorders were discussed under the veterinary section (p. 65).
Only breeding troubles that it is thought are caused by nutritional
deficiencies or endocrine imbalances, or those possibly genetic in nature
will be discussed here.
A new test for pregnancy has been announced by the Oregon station.
Many cows remain unbred for weeks and possibly months because of
silent heat periods, loss of calf in early pregnancy, or for other reasons.
The Oregon station developed a simple test that farmers can use without
technical assistance to determine within 95 percent accuracy when
a cow is pregnant. If this test is substantiated in further trials, the
station expects to recommend it to dairy farmers in an effort to reduce
a loss of about $5,000,000 now suffered in Oregon annually as a result
of delayed conception in dairy cows.
The Pennsylvania station has developed a very accurate technique
for determining the concentration of spermatozoa per milliliter of
semen by the use of a colorimeter. The value of this technique is at
once evident since the New York (Cornell) station has recently shown
that the conception rate in cows drops rapidly when sperm concentration
falls below 5 million per milliliter. Louisiana's findings were
quite similar to those of New York.
According to the New York (Cornell) station progesterone administered
at the beginning of estrus shortens the estrus period and causes
ovula-tion to occur earlier than normal.
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952, book, January 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5990/m1/89/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.