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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

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

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

https://blodgettcommunication.com/2017/03/20/over-a-century-of-tradition-with-ficks-swiss/

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Researchers at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have identified a more sensitive test for detecting the early stages of Johne’s (paratuberculosis), a fatal disease that plagues dairy herds and causes an estimated annual loss of up to $250 million to the US dairy industry.

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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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Rock Valley Hay Auction Report for Monday, Mar 13, 2017

Receipts:  23 loads    Last Week:  29 loads    Year Ago:   94 Loads

Compared to last week:  Market continues to sell at weaker prices levels, with light buyer interest.   Blizzard like conditions on Sunday brought 3-4 inches of snow with high winds to the area.

Alfalfa:  Fair:  Large Squares, 1 load 80.00; Large Rounds, 2 loads 75.00.  Utility:  Large Squares, 3 loads 37.50-55.00; Large Rounds, 7 loads 57.50-67.50.

Grass:  Good:  Small Squares, 1 load 90.00. Utility:  Large Rounds, 3 loads 40.00-60.00.

Straw:  Large Rounds, 4 loads 60.00-72.50.

Corn Stalks:  Large Rounds, 2 loads 37.50-45.00.

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Practical Farmers of Iowa has planned a series of spring field days focused on cover crop issues in grazing and row crop systems. Farmers and community members are invited to see cover crops in action on a farm, and learn about cover crop basics as well as practices used to maximize the financial return from cover crops.

All field days in the series run from noon to 3 p.m., and are free and open to everyone. Each field day starts with a complimentary lunch. RSVPs are requested for the meal. Please contact Alisha Bower at (515) 232-5661 or alisha@practicalfarmers.org.

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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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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.