Successful symposium: lactation management in dairy cows

Published on
October 17, 2022

On 12 October, the Adaptation Physiology Group organized a WIAS symposium on ‘Lactation management in dairy cows’. The program included discussion on the optimal lactation length and calving interval of dairy cows, with perspectives from farm economics, cow physiology and animal welfare. The symposium was followed by the PhD defense of Junnan Ma.

During the symposium, speakers Prof Henk Hogeveen and Dr Wilma Steeneveld addressed economic consequences of lactation length and argued for short calving intervals, while continuing insemination of cows that fail to conceive. Prof Chris Knight envisaged a cow that would have such a persistent lactation, that only one calf and one lactation would suffice. Dr Hilde Aardema explained influences of the negative energy balance on fertility. Dr Ariette van Knegsel presented results from the ‘Customised lactation length project’. The PhD project of Junnan Ma was part of this larger project, as well as the PhD project of Eline Burgers, who obtained her PhD on 30 September this year.

The symposium was well attended, both live and online from various countries. Apart from WUR staff, students and industry, researchers on extended lactation projects in other European countries joined in. The symposium was followed by the PhD defense of Junnan Ma, on consequences of lactation length management for fertility and health of cows, where 3 of the speakers were opponents.