Weekly Hay Auction Report

Rock Valley Hay Auction for Thursday, Apr 27, 2017

Receipts:  82 loads    Last Week:  71 loads    Last Year:  49 loads

Alfalfa:  Good:  Large Squares, 6 loads 95.00-110.00; Large Rounds, 1 load 102.50. Fair:   Large Squares, 4 loads 75.00-87.50; Large Rounds, 22 loads 67.50-87.50.

Grass:  Premium:  Large Rounds, 2 loads 112.50-115.00.  Good:  Large Squares, 1 load 90.00; Large Rounds, 6 loads 80.00-102.50; Small Squares, 3 loads 90.00-97.50.  Fair: Large Rounds, 24 loads 67.50-77.50; Small Squares, 108 bales at 2.50 per bale. Utility:  Large Rounds, 1 load 47.50.

Alfalfa/Grass Mix:  Good:  Large Squares, 1 load 107.50.  Fair:  Large Squares, 3 loads 82.50-85.00; Large Rounds, 1 load 87.50.

Straw:  Large Squares, 1 load 70.00.  Large Rounds, 1 load 72.50.

Cornstalks:  Large Squares, 1 load 30.00.  Large Rounds, 3 loads 32.50-40.00.

Time To Start Fly Control Strategies

While horn flies and face flies are most commonly found on cattle in pastures, stable flies and house flies are more commonly found on cattle at the dairy. House flies are a nuisance for workers and cattle, often indicating a general sanitation problem. Stable flies, deer flies and horse flies, feed on blood from the back and legs, with stable flies having a long, bayonet-like proboscis that causes a painful sting.

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Weekly Hay Auction Report

Rock Valley Hay Auction for Monday, Apr 24 2017

Receipts:  19 loads    Last Week:  24 loads    Year Ago:   19 Loads

Compared to last week:  Market was mostly steady on light offerings.  This report will not be available until November as this was the last Monday sale until November. Thursday sales continue throughout the year.

Alfalfa:  Good:  Large Squares, 2 loads 100.00-107.50.  Fair:  Large Squares, 1 load 85.00; Large Rounds, 7 loads 70.00-82.50.

Grass:  Good:  Large Squares, 1 load 75.00; Large Rounds, 4 loads 767.50-77.50.  Fair: Large Rounds, 2 loads 57.50-60.00.

Alfalfa/Grass:  Good:  Large Squares, 1 load 77.50.  Fair:  Large Rounds, 1 load 62.50.

Oat Hay:  None.

Straw:  None.

Corn Stalks:  None.

Dairy Slaughter Numbers Up From 2016

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.

Kurt Wierda Elected New Chairman Of Dairy Iowa

I enjoyed the opportunity to be part of the planning for 2017-18 Dairy Iowa steering committee last week. The discussion resulted in three action items that will be meaningful to the dairymen of Iowa. Including: Telling Iowa’s dairy story with social media training; conducting a comparison of benefits to processors building/expanding in the Midwest plus the states of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana; and conducting business planning educational programs. All of these will be planned for the next 12-18 months.

Kurt Wierda from Plymouth Dairy in Le Mars is the new chairman of Dairy Iowa. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position and will not hesitate to “think outside the box” for Iowa’s dairy industry.

A SWOT program will be considered for later in the year to help determine strategies and goals for the future.

In the discussion concerning the annual program scheduled for June 8, I was impressed with the idea of inviting Tom Vilsack to speak and having him meet with processors that day. It shows our dedication to working with the processors and would be a major draw for new attendees.

In addition, the traditional “producer round table” will feature technology including herds using robots.

More information will be coming from Iowa State Dairy Association as the agenda is completed. Mark June 8 on your calendars, it’s shaping up to be a top-notch program!

PEAQ Evaluations Aid Producers In Putting Up Quality Hay

Predictive Equations of Alfalfa Quality (PEAQ) provides an estimate of the quality, measured as Relative Feed Value (RFV), for the first cutting alfalfa standing in the field. Climatic variations impact alfalfa growth and development making it impossible to use a calendar date each spring to best determine when to harvest the first crop. The PEAQ method uses alfalfa stand height and maturity stage to estimate the RFV. It is most appropriate for good stands of pure alfalfa with healthy growth.

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March Milk Production up 1.8 Percent

The National Agricultural 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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Returns To Management For Dairymen Fell In March

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

Consumer Concerns Drive Food Choices

University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences researcher Brenna Ellison, plus Kathleen Brooks, and Taro Mieno of the University of Nebraska completed a study that found for many consumers, buying a gallon of milk is much more complex than finding the preferred fat content and expiration date. They want to know how the cows were treated, what they were fed, whether they received growth hormones or antibiotics, whether the milk is organic, and so on. The recent University of Illinois study ranks which of these production attributes are most important to buyers for four different products: beef, chicken, milk, and eggs.

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