Researchers at Michigan State University have successfully developed a long day lighting system for Michigan dairy farms.
By: M. Charles Gould and Al Go, Michigan State University Extension
Research over the past 33 years has shown that long-day lighting (LDL) has a significant positive impact on milk production in dairy cows. However, Michigan dairy farmers have been unsuccessful in attaining the full benefits of LDL due to technical difficulties in measuring/maintaining light intensity and appropriately controlling the lighting system.
In cooperation with the Michigan Milk Producers Association, a LDL project, funded by a grant from the Michigan Energy Office, was initiated by researchers from the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department at Michigan State University to address technical difficulties that have prevented LDL from being adopted on Michigan dairy farms. Using light emitting diode (LED) lights, automated sensors, and an automated control system, a LDL system was created at Wing Acres Dairy that successfully resolved technical difficulties encountered in the past by Michigan dairies. The LDL system has been fully operational since January 2014.
The complete LDL system will be showcased at a twilight meeting starting at 8 p.m. at Wing Acres Dairy on Thursday, August 27, 2015. Topics that will be discussed include the LDL design and control system, the impact of LDL on milk production and herd health, the role of energy audits in securing dollars to implement a LDL system, and sources of funding available to implement components of a LDL system. The program agenda, farm location, and registration information can be foundonline. There is no registration fee but you are asked to register in advance.
Funding for this project was made possible by the United States Department of Energy’s State Energy Program through the Michigan Energy Office, Michigan Agency for Energy.