The Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach Dairy Team will host its annual Dairy Directions Series Dec. 10 in Sac City and Dec. 11 in Pocahontas.
The series will focus on replacement heifers, risk management, cooling dairy cows and updates on the dairy market outlook and ISU dairy herd.
“After five years of milk prices generally below the cost of production for many dairy producers, the recent spike in milk prices is breathing new life into the industry,” said Fred Hall, Northwest Iowa Dairy Specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “However, controlling input cost is the key to squeezing out every penny of margin.”
Hall said that this includes growing only the heifers a producer will need for replacements and making sure they are from the top cows in the herd. It also means keeping the herd comfortable – cooling the herd to prevent heat stress.
“We are just beginning to understand the effect of heat-stressed dry cows on the calf they are carrying and how that effects the calf’s future production,” Hall said. “And while most dairy producers are aware of the new risk management tools available, it is important to remember that they need to fit into the whole enterprise risk management strategy. Our presenters will dive into these topics and give their insights on how to use these strategies to increase margins on a dairy.”
Both days will feature the same program from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., so dairy producers and agribusiness personnel can select the date and location that works best for them – either the ISU Extension and Outreach Sac County office in Sac City on Dec. 10 or the ISU Extension and Outreach Pocahontas County office in Pocahontas on Dec. 11. Registration will open at 9:30 a.m. each day.
There is no charge to attend either program thanks to sponsorship from Dairy Gross Margin, LLC; however, pre-registration is requested to plan adequately for meals and materials. To register for the Dec. 10 Sac City session, call 712-662-7131; for the Dec. 11 Pocahontas session, call 712-335-3103. Any other questions can be directed to Dairy Specialist Fred Hall at 712-737-4230.