Cornell Nutrition Conference – New Insights from Michigan State Transition Cow Research, Dr. Barry Bradford, Michigan State University

Posted: März 21, 2023

Podcast Topic

On this third episode of the New Revelations in Transition Cow Nutrition from the 2022 Cornell Nutrition Conference four-part mini-series to discuss animal nutrition requirements are remarks from Dr. Barry Bradford of Michigan State University and topical insights from Dr. Clay Zimmerman of Balchem.


Dr. Barry Bradford, Michigan State University

Episode 65: Cornell Nutrition Conference -New Insights from Michigan State Transition Cow Research, Dr. Barry Bradford, Michigan State University


Bringing forward recent research on transition cow studies, Dr. Bradford began the conversation by highlighting the 2022 Michigan State University study that aimed to understand metabolic physiology better. 3:30

While the focus is usually on refining nutritional strategies, Dr. Bradford suggested the bigger question is how dairy farmers will leverage efficiency and productivity in the future. 4:31

Focusing much of his professional career on better understanding nutrient requirements and capabilities in dairy cattle, Dr. Bradford remains dedicated to helping the industry understand ways to achieve the next five pounds of milk sustainably. When limiting cow health problems, Dr. Bradford shifted his focus to analyze epidemiological studies on lactation sustainability and the impact of conditions during milk production. 6:15

Influencing the microbiome continues to be a metric for achieving higher production levels, but what are other strategies? Dr. Bradford shared that choline continues to impact phospholipid synthesis and transportation to the mammary gland positively. He added that the focus of choline in transition cows directly affected liver health and suggested analyzing choline concentration in early lactation stages. 12:27

Within the study, Dr. Bradford mentioned research showed active choline cells became less responsive to inflammatory stimuli. He mentioned that choline concentration not only increased mRNA, but overall he saw an 80% increase in colostrum yield from the supplemented study. 25:27

Just a week into lactation, Dr. Bradford’s research showed cows produced nearly 100 pounds of milk daily. But what were some additional effects of choline on the cows? While there weren’t any negative impacts on productivity, Dr. Bradford mentioned the study showed baseline research on the anti-inflammatory significance and body circulation through plasma TNF. 33:31

Dr. Bradford added they also looked at carryover effects of lipid protein (LP) in days 22 to 84, sharing they saw milk yield peak with added LP and choline supplementation. He shared that the LP carryover yielded another five pounds per day and remained steady for another two months post-challenge. 43:33

Wrapping up the conversation, Dr. Zimmerman summarized key strategies Dr. Bradford shared and mentioned the value in protecting choline during transitional periods to not only impact herd health but increase milk yield overall. 54:55

If you would like to review Dr. Bradford’s webinar from the 2022 Cornell Mini Symposium, you can view all four webinar series at

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