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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

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

In the Rolling Plains triple-digit temperatures arrived. The highest temperature reported was 111 degrees in Hardeman County. The hot, dry weather began to weaken crops. Cotton was trying to get established and start growing, but some stands were already weakened. Those cotton producers who could irrigate were, hoping water will last long enough to produce a decent crop. Producers were also irrigating grass and alfalfa fields. Pastures improved some with recent rains, but began to show some stress again as temperatures rose. Livestock producers were able to decrease supplemental feeding of cattle after earlier rains but will have to increase it without rain. Producers were weaning calves early in order to hold on to cows. Motley County reported that ranchers were in the same boat as they were last year with pastures playing out, being forced to sell off calves early and continuing to buy supplemental feed. Total herd numbers were down about 40 percent in some areas. One AgriLife Extension agent predicted that if the drought continued, there would not be a single cow in the county by the end of the summer. The peanut crop looked average. Parker County reported grasshoppers were eating anything green in some areas, and producers were spraying to control the pests. Many urban trees were dropping leaves.

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