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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

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

Category Archives: Northwest Iowa Dairy

Rock Valley Hay Auction for Monday, Mar 27, 2017

Receipts:  33 loads    Last Week:  26 loads    Year Ago:   28 Loads

Compared to last week:  Market was mostly steady.  Majority of offerings was bedding materials.

Alfalfa:  Good:  Large Squares, 3 loads 92.50-105.00.  Fair:  Large Squares, 2 loads 77.50-80.00; Large Rounds, 4 loads 65.00-80.00.

Grass:  Premium:  Large Rounds, 1 load 110.00.  Good:  Large Rounds, 5 loads 70.00-82.50. Fair:  Large Rounds, 4 loads 60.00-65.00.

Alfalfa/Grass:  Fair:  Large Squares, 1 load 65.00.

Straw:  Large Rounds, 6 loads 45.00-60.00.

Bean STraw:  Large Rounds, 1 load 40.00.

Corn Stalks:  Large Rounds, 6 load 40.00.

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Check out the great story of Fick’s Brown Swiss farm here in NW Iowa at:

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Rock Valley Hay Auction for Monday, Mar 20, 2017

Receipts:  26 loads    Last Week:  23 loads    Year Ago:   30 Loads

Compared to last week:  Light offerings, with mostly steady market.

Alfalfa:  Good:  Large Squares, 1 load 95.00; Large Rounds, 8 loads 80.00-92.50.

Fair:  Large Squares, 2 loads 70.00-75.00; Large Rounds, 3 loads 70.00-77.50.  Utility:

Large Rounds, 1 load 60.00.

Grass:  Fair:  Large Rounds, 6 loads 72.50-80.00.

Alfalfa/Grass:  Good:  Large Squares, 2 loads 87.50.  Utility:  Large Rounds, 1 load 60.00.

Straw:  Large Rounds, 2 loads 60.00.

Corn Stalks:  Large Rounds, 1 load 40.00.

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While milk production in the USA totaled 16.7 billion pounds or an increase of 2.3 percent above last year when adjusted for the extra day of the leap year, Iowa production stood at 399 million pounds up from 395 million pounds in February 2016.

The report showed February milk cow numbers in Iowa at 216,000, up from 211,000 one year ago. However, milk per cow was down from 1,870 pounds in February 2016 to 1,845 this year. Nationally the average was 1,782 pounds in February, down 33 pounds from the same time in 2016.

The complete report can be found at:

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A warm weather pattern in late February caused soil temperatures across most of Iowa to rise above 40 degrees F.  ISUEO Agronomist Brian Lang notes that this is was likely warm enough long enough for alfalfa and some forage grasses (most ryegrass varieties and the less winterhardy orchardgrass and tall fescue varieties) to break dormancy.  However, when low temperatures recur, alfalfa plants can reharden to a degree, but only to the extent that it still has stored carbohydrates available. Winter injury occurs either with enough warm-cold cycles to use up the carbohydrates, or if the temperature drops so rapidly that the plant does not have time to sufficiently reharden.

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Rock Valley Hay Auction for Thursday, Mar 11, 2017

Receipts:  91 loads    Last Week:  93 loads    Last Year:  94 loads

Compared to last week:   All classes sold lower, corn stalks higher.  Lower quality hay overall this week with light demand.  All sales FOB Rock Valley, Iowa, vicinity.

Alfalfa: Good:  Small Squares, 1 load 120.00; Large Rounds and Squares, 5 loads 80.00-92.50.  Fair:  Large Rounds and Squares, 15 loads 70.00-80.00.  Utility:  Large Rounds and Squares, 26 loads 60.00-70.00, 3 loads very poor 20.00-47.50.

Grass:  Premium:  Large Rounds and Squares, 3 loads 100.00-122.50; Small Squares, 1 load 125.00.  Good:  Large Rounds, 6 loads 65.00-80.00.

Fair:  Large Rounds, 10 loads 57.50-65.00.  Utility:  Large Rounds, 9 loads 35.00-52.50.

Alfalfa/Grass Mix:  Fair:  Large Rounds and Squares, 2 loads 60.00- 62.50; Small Squares, 1 load 70.00.

Straw:  Large Rounds, 2 loads 60.00-65.00

Cornstalks:  Large Rounds, 7 loads 35.00-62.50, mostly 35.00-47.50.

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The current World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) were released today.

The 2017 milk production forecast is raised as milk cow numbers are expected to increase more rapidly. However, growth in milk per cow is reduced on January data. Dairy exports on a fat basis for 2017 are unchanged, while skim-solids basis exports are lowered on expected strong competition in international skim milk powder markets.

Both fat basis and skim-solids basis imports forecasts are unchanged. Skim-solids basis ending stocks are forecast higher for 2017 on higher production of dairy products and weaker exports.

Fat-basis ending stocks are unchanged. Historical milk production and stock estimates reflect recently released revisions. The cheese price forecast for 2017 is reduced as stocks of cheese are high and are expected to pressure prices. The butter price forecast is raised on continued demand strength. The nonfat dry milk price is forecast lower on expectations of slower export growth due to increased competition from global competitors. The whey price forecast is raised reflecting recent market strength.

The Class III price is raised as the higher whey price more than outweighs the reduced cheese price. The Class IV price forecast is lowered, reflecting a weaker nonfat dry milk price which more than offsets a higher forecast butter price.

The all milk price for 2017 is forecast at $17.80 to $18.40 per cwt.