Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference goes virtual on June 10

Learn the latest information in dairy nutrition and management by attending the virtual 2020 Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference on June 10. It will be the same great program as in the past, but in a virtual setting. All presentations will be recorded and available to participants for 60 days after the conference.

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March Production And Cow Numbers Up In Iowa

Milk production in Iowa during March 2020 totaled 460 million pounds, up 1 percent from the previous March according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Milk Production report. The average number of milk cows during March, at 218,000 head, was up 1,000 from last month but down 1,000 from last year. Monthly production per cow averaged 2,110 pounds, up 35 pounds from last March.

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Global Dairy Trade Event 258 concluded with the GDT Price Index down 4.2 percent

Key Results

AMF index down 7.0%, average price US$4,083/MT
Butter index down 3.6%, average price US$4,117/MT
BMP not offered
Ched index up 1.9%, average price US$4,480/MT
LAC index up 12.0%, average price US$1,078/MT
RenCas index down 3.0%, average price US$9,409/MT
SMP index down 4.9%, average price US$2,380/MT
SWP not offered
WMP index down 3.9%, average price US$2,707/MT

Full results have been published on

Got Extra Milk: What about direct to consumer sales? Raw Milk or Processed

There are always a few questions that surface about the direct sale of milk and dairy products to consumers, with either raw milk or processed (pasteurized, etc.) Dr. Leo Timms notes the number of calls and inquiries has exponentially grown the past two months with food chain logistics of getting milk moved to appropriate markets, less exports as well as decreased service industries (restaurants and schools) but more being sold at retail stores and markets. With some plants full and milk at the farm level possibly being dumped in manure storage or field applied (regulations apply here so contact you DNR and extension people). Thoughts to direct marketing to consumers is getting attention not only to market that milk but capture more retail value. But there are MAJOR RULES and laws to this also.

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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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COVID-19 Legislation Webinar For Iowa Producers

Forgive me for putting a webinar on the long list of things you are already doing, but I wanted you to be aware of a webinar the Center for Ag Law and Taxation is doing this Friday, April 17, over the noon hour.  In this free webinar, Charles Brown and Kristine Tidgren from Iowa State University Extension will provide an update for producers on COVID-19 legislation and resources applicable to their farming business. During the one-hour session, they will discuss:

  • Economic Impact Payments
  • IRS Tax Return and Payment Delays
  • Paycheck Protection Program and other loan options
  • CARES Act Tax Changes
  • Agricultural-Specific Provisions in the CARES Act
  • New Sick Leave and Family Leave Requirements
  • Other Possible Relief Provisions

The webpage for the webinar is:

The direct link to register is:

Date and time: Friday, April 17, 12-1pm Central Time


The webinar will be recorded and archived on the CALT and Ag Decision Maker websites.

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.


Covid19 Protecting your Dairy Spanish EMAIL


COVID-19 Fact Sheet for Dairy Employees_Jorge Delgado

Dairy Situation Outlook Webinar Scheduled On March 25


Dairy farmers and industry professionals are invited to hear Dr. Marin Bozic address the current dairy situation during a free webinar at 12 noon on Wednesday, March 25. The webinar will last one hour and will include questions at the end.

Bozic is an Assistant Professor in Dairy Foods Marketing Economics in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota.

While registration is free, on-line pre-registration is required at:

A link to the webinar will be sent to your email after you register. The webinar is hosted by the I-29 Moo University and Minnesota Milk.

Update Regarding COVID-19 For Producers

Mitch Schultz from ISDA release this information on Wednesday. At this point in the COVID-19 response, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and county public health officials are continuing to “contact trace.” This means that if someone is infected with COVID-19, public health will identify everyone that the person had prolonged face-to-face contact with while they had symptoms. This is an individual, case-by-case assessment of the people most at risk.

Hypothetically, if someone came to work sick and then tested positive for COVID-19, the coworkers that had direct, high-risk contact (for more than 2 minutes within 6 feet) with the sick person, will receive voluntary home confinement orders from the IDPH. An entire farm or packing plant will not be quarantined, like what may occur during a foreign animal disease outbreak.

If an operation experiences staffing shortages that impede its ability to properly care for its animals, the business manager should contact the IDPH. Public health officials may make an exception for “high-risk” exposures if workers are asymptomatic and follow proper biosecurity protocols.

There will be a tipping point where IDPH will no longer be able to keep up with contact tracing and issuance of individual isolation orders. IDPH cannot predict when this will occur. Once it happens, the goal is for Iowans is to self-initiate social isolation and stay home when they are sick to protect others. IDPH strongly encourages employers to implement workplace leave policies that support the “no-contact goal” to slow, and ultimately stop, the spread of COVID-19.

At this time, the CDC and the World Health Organization do not believe animals play a role in the transmission of COVID-19, but we always encourage animal owners to practice good biosecurity. This includes washing your hands frequently. If you are sick, try to limit contact with animals until we learn more about COVID-19. If possible, find someone else to care for the animal(s) until you are feeling better.

This is a good reminder of the importance of emergency preparedness. You should have a plan to care for your animals if any situation, including a disease-outbreak or natural disaster, temporarily disrupts daily activities. You should prioritize and cross-train critical functions and have a plan for where you can pull or re-assign additional staff, if needed.

It is most important for the agriculture industry to have flexible leave policies in place and make sure workers understand they need to stay home when they are ill. Many of these concerns can be alleviated by proper handwashing and encouraging sick workers to stay home.

This situation is evolving by the minute and changes may be made to these procedures as more information comes in.

Pasteurized milk and dairy products are safe.

The FDA has confirmed that heat treatment kills other coronaviruses, so pasteurization is expected to also inactivate this virus. In addition, there is no evidence that this strain of coronavirus is present in domestic livestock such as cattle. The virus is spread through aerosol transmission and close human contact, not through food products.



The Iowa DOT has confirmed that the governor’s proclamation does apply to the movement of milk and dairy products

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