Skip Navigation LinksDairy and Livestock Production

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County provides diverse programming in the areas of Dairy and Livestock production. The main expertise of our staff is in dairy production management, but we also have access to resources and experts for other types of livestock.

In the area of dairy production, we offer resources and expertise in dairy nutrition, dairy facilities design, dairy housing ventilation system design and troubleshooting, production record analysis, general herd management. We utilize resources from Cornell University as well as other land grant agricultural colleges.

We typically offer programs throughout the year for farmers and local agribusiness personnel. These programs include both traditional classroom settings as well as on farm meetings and farm tours. Our Agricultural News provides timely information on dairy production and general farm management. Those interested in other types of livestock may want to check out The Part Time Farmer, a diverse livestock and horticulture publication available from our office.

Contact: Paul Cerosaletti (Dairy and Field Crop Educator)
Janet Aldrich (Alternative Livestock Agriculture)

PDF:  NY Johne's Newsletter Dairy - Oct 2009

PDF:  Mycotoxin Contamination of Corn, Grain & Silage - Dec 2006


Based on the frequency of telephone calls to my office, it seems that corn ear molds are quite prevalent in this year's crop.  This is not surprising for two reasons: 1) much of the crop experienced wet weather at silk emergence - a major factor in Gibberella ear rot infection, and 2) delayed harvest with high moisture corn still in the field favors continued growth of both mycotoxin-producing molds and nontoxic, molds.

The attached pdf slideshow illustrates the predominant molds we are seeing this year.  Gibberella ear rot, caused by the pink-white fungus Gibberella zeae (Fusarium graminearum), is the biggest problem we are encountering.  Deoxynivalenol (DON or vomitoxin) is the major mycotoxin produced by this fungus.  We also occasionally see the estrogenic compound zearalenone (ZON) at levels of concern.  The attached pdf from the University of Missouri does a nice job of succinctly explaining guidelines for feeding moldy corn to various livestock with an emphasis on our most predominant toxin, DON.  The most convenient outlets for mycotoxin testing in New York are provided by the Dairy One Forage Lab ( and Cumberland Valley Analytical Services (

Blue-green molds in the genus Penicillium are also prevalent this year.  While some strains of Penicillium can produce toxic metabolites under certain conditions, standard tests for these compounds are not readily available; furthermore we lack meaningful animal feeding guidelines even if levels of these toxins are confirmed.

Molds may be ugly, but not all of them are mycotoxin producers.  Many species of saprophytic or secondary (often referred to as storage molds) fungi are growing on high moisture corn ears now. A nontoxic, charcoal-gray mold in the genus Cladosporium is particularly prevalent.

Much of the DON and ZON present in grain at harvest will persist through storage and utilization.  To prevent subsequent mold growth and mycotoxin production, it is critical to dry grain in a timely fashion down to 15% moisture, and eventually to 13%, OR to get the grain into high moisture, anaerobic storage.  Corn molds need moisture and oxygen to grow and produce toxin - exclusion of either will stop the molds.

PDF:  Corn Molds - Nov 2009

PDF:  Toxin Guidelines