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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

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

Monthly Archives: April 2017

Rock Valley Hay Auction for Thursday, Apr 27, 2017

Receipts:  82 loads    Last Week:  71 loads    Last Year:  49 loads

Alfalfa:  Good:  Large Squares, 6 loads 95.00-110.00; Large Rounds, 1 load 102.50. Fair:   Large Squares, 4 loads 75.00-87.50; Large Rounds, 22 loads 67.50-87.50.

Grass:  Premium:  Large Rounds, 2 loads 112.50-115.00.  Good:  Large Squares, 1 load 90.00; Large Rounds, 6 loads 80.00-102.50; Small Squares, 3 loads 90.00-97.50.  Fair:  Large Rounds, 24 loads 67.50-77.50; Small Squares, 108 bales at 2.50 per bale. Utility:  Large Rounds, 1 load 47.50.

Alfalfa/Grass Mix:  Good:  Large Squares, 1 load 107.50.  Fair:  Large Squares, 3 loads 82.50-85.00; Large Rounds, 1 load 87.50.

Straw:  Large Squares, 1 load 70.00.  Large Rounds, 1 load 72.50.

Cornstalks:  Large Squares, 1 load 30.00.  Large Rounds, 3 loads 32.50-40.00.


While horn flies and face flies are most commonly found on cattle in pastures, stable flies and house flies are more commonly found on cattle at the dairy. House flies are a nuisance for workers and cattle, often indicating a general sanitation problem. Stable flies, deer flies and horse flies, feed on blood from the back and legs, with stable flies having a long, bayonet-like proboscis that causes a painful sting.

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The Sioux County Dairy Board has scholarships available for high school seniors and college students. The deadline for both scholarships is May 1, 2017. If you have any questions, please contact


Rock Valley Hay Auction for Monday, Apr 24 2017

Receipts:  19 loads    Last Week:  24 loads    Year Ago:   19 Loads

Compared to last week:  Market was mostly steady on light offerings.  This report will not be available until November as this was the last Monday sale until November. Thursday sales continue throughout the year.

Alfalfa:  Good:  Large Squares, 2 loads 100.00-107.50.  Fair:  Large Squares, 1 load 85.00; Large Rounds, 7 loads 70.00-82.50.

Grass:  Good:  Large Squares, 1 load 75.00; Large Rounds, 4 loads 767.50-77.50.  Fair: Large Rounds, 2 loads 57.50-60.00.

Alfalfa/Grass:  Good:  Large Squares, 1 load 77.50.  Fair:  Large Rounds, 1 load 62.50.

Oat Hay:  None.

Straw:  None.

Corn Stalks:  None.


According to the United States Department of Agriculture report this week, dairy cow culling was up nearly 8,900 head from March of 2016. The USDA reported that 271,000 dairy cows were harvested through federally inspected plants in March. That’s up nearly 18,000 head over February; However, March had three more business days than February.

The Midwest area, including Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska saw 5,700 dairy cows go to slaughter in March, while the first quarter slaughter totaled 18,400 head.


I enjoyed the opportunity to be part of the planning for 2017-18 Dairy Iowa steering committee last week. The discussion resulted in three action items that will be meaningful to the dairymen of Iowa. Including: Telling Iowa’s dairy story with social media training; conducting a comparison of benefits to processors building/expanding in the Midwest plus the states of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana; and conducting business planning educational programs. All of these will be planned for the next 12-18 months.

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Predictive Equations of Alfalfa Quality (PEAQ) provides an estimate of the quality, measured as Relative Feed Value (RFV), for the first cutting alfalfa standing in the field. Climatic variations impact alfalfa growth and development making it impossible to use a calendar date each spring to best determine when to harvest the first crop. The PEAQ method uses alfalfa stand height and maturity stage to estimate the RFV. It is most appropriate for good stands of pure alfalfa with healthy growth.

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