Dairy News and Views Podcast Keeps Iowa Producers Informed

Listen to dairy team experts as they discuss important topics in the industry amid COVID-19

Dairy producers across Iowa have a new way of receiving information, thanks to a new podcast launched by dairy specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

“Dairy News & Views from Iowa State University” began recording in April, featuring timely topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic and dairy production in general.

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Finding The New Normal

Prior to COVID increased national dairy herd and increased production pointed to lower milk prices in the future. Generally, product stocks were increasing. However, with the CARES and HEROS aid programs, government purchases have begun to lower cheese stocks. Post COVID EU is purchasing powder and storing, begging if this will negatively affect world price when they start selling.

The flip side, is for seven months exports topped year-earlier levels according to the most recent USDEC report. In March, U.S. suppliers shipped 190,456 tons of milk powders, cheese, whey products, lactose and butterfat, two percent more than the year before. This is the highest figure since May 2018. On a solids basis, exports were up three percent. Meanwhile, the value of all exports was the most since August 2014 – $592 million, 10 percent more than a year ago.

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Producing Less Milk: A Not Often Considered Concept By Producers

Over the past two months dairy producers have seen clouds on the horizon, but nobody could have predicted the storm we are now facing. COVID-19 changed everything.

Increased cow numbers and production per cow signaled lower milk prices for the future, but the disruption caused by COVID-19 bottle-necked the pipeline and sent prices over the cliff. Processors saw buyers walk away from contracts, storage fill, and employees fall sick or not show up due to fears of catching the virus. They finally had to slow down the flow of raw milk coming into their plants. Letters went out to producers calling for production reductions, from seven to 20 percent. Now, producers are left asking how to reduce pounds they ship without destroying their “factories.”

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Safety for Producers During COVID-19

If you are wondering how to protect your farm, here are some ideas:

Access to the dairy farm by non-essential persons should be limited.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Wash your hands before you eat and after working in the milking parlor or other areas of the dairy.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, both on and off the dairy.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Ask the dairy manager or owner to keep the restrooms stocked with disinfectants and soap.
  • Always wear milking gloves.
  • Constantly change milking gloves.
  • When you get home after working in the dairy, always take a shower and wash your work clothes.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  •  Keep the bathrooms and kitchen area in your workplace clean and disinfected.
  • Social distancing should be practiced such as when there is a need to get supplies from a farm and feed store.

Jorge Delgado Alltech’s dairy employee training expert, put together fact sheets in Spanish and English that can help all employees understand the virus and what they can do to help prevent it on the farm.

Spanish

Covid19 Protecting your Dairy Spanish EMAIL

English

COVID-19 Fact Sheet for Dairy Employees_Jorge Delgado

Foreign Animal Disease workshop planned Jan. 27 in Sioux Center

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Iowa State University will host a workshop at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 27 at Terrace View, 230 St. Andrews Way, Sioux Center. Check-in begins at 8:15 a.m.

The workshop will focus on how to prepare for a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak and steps that can be taken to protect dairies from foreign animal diseases and also diseases already found in the United States. The workshop is free and includes lunch.

Danelle Bickett-Weddle, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, encourages dairy producers, processors, haulers, veterinarians, Extension personnel and emergency managers to attend.

Dairy Goat Management program to be held Dec. 14 in Orange City and Elkader

The Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach Dairy Team will host “Fine-Tuning Your Dairy Goat Management” as a part of their annual Dairy Directions program on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Orange City and the Keystone AEA in Elkader.

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Plymouth County Fair to Turn Round Barn into Dairy Destination

This county fair in northwest Iowa will offer hands-on, goggles-on dairy experience for all ages

LE MARS, IA – The Plymouth County Fair will feature a variety of educational dairy and agricultural exhibits for this year’s fair, which runs from July 24-28 in Le Mars.

One of the highlights will be the Mobile Dairy Classroom, a 40-foot mobile milking exhibit provided by the Southwest Dairy Farmers organization.

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