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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 Thursday, Feb 16, 2017

Receipts:  97 loads    Last Week:  98 loads    Last Year:  100 loads

Compared to last week:   Market was 5.00 to 10.00 lower for all types of hay

and qualities.  All sales FOB Rock Valley, Iowa, vicinity.

One load Small Squares equals approximately 5 tons; Large Squares and Large Rounds range from 10-25 tons per load.

Alfalfa:  Premium:  Small Squares, 1 load 150.00.  Good:  Large Squares, 4 loads 90.00-95.00; Large Rounds, 7 loads 85.00-87.50.  Fair:  Large Squares, 8 loads 65.00-82.50; Large Rounds, 23 loads 60.00-80.00.  Utility:  Large Squares, 1 load 50.00; Large Rounds, 1 load 55.00.

Grass:  Premium:  Large Squares, 2 loads 80.00-87.50; Large Rounds, 10 loads 80.00-90.00.  Good:  Large Squares, 2 loads 65.00-70.00; Large Rounds, 17 loads 57.50-77.50.  Fair:  Large Rounds, 1 load 47.50.

Alfalfa/Grass Mix:  Good:  Large Squares, 1 load 80.00; Large Rounds, 3 loads 82.50-97.50.  Fair:  Large Rounds, 2 loads 60.00-67.50.  Utility:  Large Rounds 1 load 35.00.

Oat Hay:  Large Rounds, 1 load 72.50.

Straw:  Large Squares, 1 load 65.00.  Large Rounds, 6 loads 40.00-70.00, mostly 65.00-70.00.

Cornstalks:  Large Rounds, 5 loads 35.00-42.50.


As I have been traveling in NW Iowa, I’m seeing standing water in fields and am wondering what how unusual warm temperatures will effect the stands. ISUEO Agronomist Brian Lang send out this link- it has lots of good information:

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There is some fear President Trump’s stance on immigration could heavily impact the availability of immigrants, it seems a new Senate bill will also be cause for concern. The new bill called the ‘Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act’ is sponsored by senators Tom Cotton (R-AK) and David Perdue (R-GA). The pair of senators say the bill aims to “reduce the influx of workers drastically in hopes to reserve jobs for low skilled American workers.”

If passed, the bill would make getting a visa harder, placing restrictions and caps on some visa categories and eliminating others all together. Proponents of the bill say it will provide opportunity for Americans who can’t currently find jobs. Those who oppose the bill are concerned with the bill as many well-paying jobs in the agriculture industry already go unfilled year after year.

“One thing is clear, jobs on the farm are not desirable to most American workers regardless of wage and benefits,” officials from the American Dairy Coalition say. “This bill restricts the ability of farmers to have access to a safe, legal workforce.”

The Coalition is urging dairy producers to contact their Senators to express concern with the bill.


An article in Feedstuffs noted that the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program has opened participation in its third component: FARM Environmental Stewardship (ES).

The ES module joins the FARM Program’s two other pillars, FARM Animal Care and FARM Antibiotic Stewardship. The voluntary FARM Environmental Stewardship program helps dairy producers augment their environmental management efforts by identifying ways to improve their on-farm sustainability.

Continue reading this article ›

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Cherokee Ag Show is on Tuesday, Feb. 14.  I will be part of “meet the expert” at the ISU Extension booth.  Joel DeJong will be conducting PPAT from 9:30-11:30, so during that time I will be there to answer questions the general public might have about the dairy industry. The show will be at Western Iowa Tech Community College located at 200 Victory Dr., Cherokee.  If you are coming from the north or west on Hwy 59 or 3 it is on the north end of town.  Turn right at Holzhauer Motors and it is directly west.  You can’t miss it.  Parking to the south or west.

Come ask me a bee question if you are into bees!

The value of U.S. dairy product exports in 2016 was $4.8 billion, a 10 percent reduction from 2015. Mexico, Canada, and China remained the top three markets in terms of dairy export value, accounting for nearly half of the total value of dairy product exports in 2016.

Hoard’s Dairyman Intel had a great article today that puts it in perspective:

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The milk production forecast for 2017 is raised from last month. Improved returns in 2017 are expected to result in a slightly higher forecast cow inventory during the late part of 2017. Milk output per cow is also raised as improved returns are expected to support continued improvements in the quality of dairy rations. Beginning stocks on both a fat and skim-solids basis are raised from last month on December 31 storage data; stocks at the end of 2017 are raised, reflecting increased beginning inventories and higher dairy product production in 2017. Fat-basis imports are reduced as domestic butterfat is expected to be more competitive with the EU; skim-solids imports are unchanged. Fat basis exports are unchanged and skim-solids basis exports are raised slightly. Skim-solids imports are virtually unchanged as weaker exports of nonfat dry milk (NDM) are offset with stronger whey sales. For 2016, milk production, output per cow, trade, and stock estimates are updated based on data through December.
Cheese and butter price forecasts are lowered as product production is expected to reflect higher forecast milk production and beginning stocks are relatively high. The nonfat dry milk price forecast is unchanged, but the whey price is raised from last month on the strength of domestic and international demand.
The Class III price is raised as the higher whey price more than offsets the lower cheese price forecast.
The Class IV price is reduced as the butter price forecast is lowered. The all milk price is forecast higher at $17.70 to $18.40 per cwt.