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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

Monthly Archives: February 2012

The cost of hay fed in a round bale is typically lower on a per ton basis than small square bales. A quick check of Texas hay markets shows that small square alfalfa bales are going for$375 per ton and large round bales for $300 per ton. The lower price coupled with the convenience of feeding are likely factors horse owners consider when feeding round bales.

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Back in October I talked about a Department of Labor (DOL) proposal that would hit at the heart of farms and ranches everywhere. However the Department of Labor seems to have taken a step back after a backlash of comments on the proposed rule. But the fight is far from over.

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Beth Turlington notes that last fall, the Wichita County Master Gardeners began asking homeowners to tell us what survived in their landscapes during the heat and drought.  We also asked about watering practices, if mulch was used, sun exposure, and what soil type plants were growing in.

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Dr. Judy Capper, Washington State University wrote and interesting column in the recent Beef Issues Quarterly that questions if livestock really compete with humans for food.

Jonathan Foley at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of the Environment  suggests we can feed up to 10 billion people in 2050 by improving crop yields, reducing deforestation and reducing meat and dairy consumption. These are logical suggestions, yet the proposal that meat and dairy consumption should be reduced is likely to be the most-debated, particularly as livestock industry stakeholders may regard this as yet another attack on animal agriculture.

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The CME Daily Livestock Report notes that Canadian cattle supplies have been shrinking since 2005 and, in the short term beef supplies will likely be even tighter as producers try to hold back heifers and rebuild the herd. Probably the most surprising information from the statistics Canada released on Monday was that the number of beef cows on January 1, 2012 was down 1% from the previous year.

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This week the 2012-2013 Wichita County Horseman’s Directory hit the local stores. Nearly 1,500 copies are distributed by the Wichita Extension Horse Committee (WEHC) on a bi-annual basis. The publication is iconic in the area horse community and can be found on pickup dashboards and glove compartments as well as office desks and on the “phonebook” shelf. And maybe the best part is it is free to the public.

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Farm Credit lending cooperatives in Texas have committed more than $32,000 to assist the state’s grain growers. The donation will help promote and conduct a referendum that, if approved, would establish an indemnity fund to help protect grain producers in the event of financial failure by an elevator or a storage facility.

 

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