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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

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

Monthly Archives: May 2017

Over the years, June Dairy Month events have been a tradition in most communities. The annual celebration of the contributions of milk and the dairy industry to citizens and communities originated in 1937. During its first two years, 1937 and 1938, it was called

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Our topography and soil types prevent most crop damage during flooding; however, time, temperature and plant growth status are major factors that affect the extent of crop damage after a flood. This may become an issue with a prolonged rainy period. A June or July flood, for example, is often much worse for crop survival than a spring flood. The warmer mid-summer weather increases the rate of damage and death to submerged plants. During spring flooding, temperatures are colder and plants can survive longer under water.

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New crop hay will start hitting the hay auctions in the next few weeks and it will be important for buyers to understand the value of accurate nutrient testing. Plus, now is a good time to review sampling protocols. Even the best nutritionist can’t balance a ration properly if he or she has flawed test information.

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The May USDA Crop Report showed hay stocks as of May 1 at 24.4 million tons, that’s a three percent decline or 750,000 tons less than last May, but remains as the third largest inventory since 2005.

Disappearance from December 1, 2016 – May1, 2017 totaled 71.4 million tons, compared with 69.9 million tons for the same period a year earlier.

With the exception of Nevada, hay stocks in most western States are estimated lower than in 2016. The majority of the eastern States reported higher stocks compared to the previous year due to the mild winter.

May 2017 Iowa hay stocks on farms totaled 630,000 tons, up from 620,000 tons in May of 2016.


The May 10th World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report presents USDA’s initial assessment of U.S. and world crop supply and demand prospects and U.S. prices for 2017/18. The report included the first calendar-year 2018 projections of U.S. livestock, poultry, and dairy products.

Price chart

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Rock Valley Hay Auction for Thursday, May 11, 2017

Receipts:  92 loads    Last Week:  76 loads    Last Year:  75 loads

Compared to last week:   Alfalfa and grass hay sold higher, bedding in good condition sold higher, poor quality bedding sold lower.

Alfalfa:  Premium:  Large Square,s 1 load 120.00; Large Rounds, 7 loads 100.00-122.50. Good:  Large Squares, 3 loads 85.00-95.00; Large Rounds, 8 loads 87.50-95.00.  Fair:  Large Rounds, 10 loads 72.50-80.00.  Utility:  Large Squares, 2 loads 62.50-70.00; Large Rounds, 7 loads 57.50-67.50.

Grass:  Premium:  Large Squares, 1 load 105.00; Large Rounds, 2 loads 110.00-120.00. Good:  Large Squares, 1 load 80.00; Large Rounds, 13 loads 80.00-95.00.  Fair:  Large Squares, 1 load 72.50; Large Rounds, 17 loads 60.00-77.50.  Utility:  Large Rounds, 3 loads 37.50-55.00.

Alfalfa/Grass Mix:  Good:  Large Squares, 1 load 105.00; Large Rounds, 4 loads 82.50-92.50.

Straw:  Large Squares, 2 loads 57.50-60.00.  Large Rounds, 4 loads 50.00-65.00.

Cornstalks:  Large Rounds, 5 loads 20.00-35.00.

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