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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

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

Category Archives: Market Forecasts and Outlooks

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.


National Agriculture Statistics Service reports milk production in the 23 major States during March totaled 17.5 billion pounds, up 1.8 percent from March 2016. February revised production at 15.6 billion pounds, was down 1.2 percent from February 2016. However, production was 2.3 percent above last year after adjusting for the leap year. The February revision represented a decrease of 27 million pounds or 0.2 percent from last month’s preliminary production estimate.

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In his March Dairy Budget report UNL Educator Robert Tigner notes returns to management for milk produced in the Central milk market order declined 42 cents/cwt in March 2017 but were still positive at $1.57/cwt. The largest decline was in income with a drop of protein income. As you may know the protein price dropped during March, -1.31555/cwt of 20,000 pound cows, but the PPD increased by $0.48/cwt. Feed costs were slightly lower but less than 1 cents/cwt. The Central Order March butterfat price was virtually the same as Februarys, down less than 1 cents per pound.

His detailed report can found by clicking Copy of March-dairy budget


“Building margins in agriculture isn’t just about trimming expenses– its about spending money were it will yield the largest returns” says Tarrant County AgriLife Extension Agriculture Agent Fred M. Hall. “And this group of professionals will help any producer learn to selectively maximize their returns on the dollars they spend on fertilizer.” Hall continued. The program will be held on Friday, December 2 at the Tarrant County Resource Connection conference room located at 1100 Campus Drive in Fort Worth.

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As issues arise in livestock, grain, forage and equine industries, I compile the best information and send it our to local producers. If you are interested in receiving the update by email, please subscribe here:

I will continue to publish the Ag News blog. The updates contain additional weather information, calendar and more in-depth articles.


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With changes in market opportunities, weather, and rainfall, local farmers are exploring opportunities to reduce risk through crop diversification. The Central Texas Small Grain and Canola Field Day scheduled for Wednesday, April 22 at the Stiles Research Farm in Thrall will provide an in-depth study of bareley, canola and wheat. Sign-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the presentations at 9 a.m. The program will include lunch and three pesticide applicator continuing education units.

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An overview of the sugarcane aphid in sorghum and cattle marketing considerations are only a couple of the topics to be featured at the 2015 Blackland Income Growth Conference Feb. 3-4 at the Extraco Events Center in Waco.

According to event coordinators, the conference will offer sessions on a variety of commodities – beef, grain, horticulture, cotton, forage, wildlife and more.

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