Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team Host “Virtual Chat” to Discuss Latest Information On HPAI In Ruminants

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team is hosting a “Virtual Chat” to discuss the latest information on the mystery illness effecting dairy cows in the Southwest on Tuesday, March 26 at 7 pm.

The knowledge on the illness is growing almost hourly, so this program is on short notice to keep producers and industry consultants informed with the most current, research-based information.

Dr. Jardon graduated from the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine. He completed his Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine (MPVM) and Dairy Production Medicine Residency at UC-Davis.

Jardon has been in private practice and industry for 35 years with particular interest in transition cow diseases. Dr. Jardon worked as a Dairy Technical Consultant with Elanco Animal Health in California for the last eleven years and is currently a Dairy Extension Veterinarian at ISU.

Producers, dairy consultants, and industry reps are encouraged to attend the free virtual chat at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 26. No registration is required.

Please click this URL to start or join.

password: 904903

HPAI Detected in Kansas, Texas Dairy Herds

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state veterinary and public health officials, are investigating an illness among primarily older dairy cows in Texas, Kansas, and New Mexico that is causing decreased lactation, low appetite, and other symptoms.

As of Monday, March 25, unpasteurized, clinical samples of milk from sick cattle collected from two dairy farms in Kansas and one in Texas, as well as an oropharyngeal swab from another dairy in Texas, have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Additional testing was initiated on Friday, March 22, and over the weekend because farms have also reported finding deceased wild birds on their properties. Based on findings from Texas, the detections appear to have been introduced by wild birds. Initial testing by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories has not found changes to the virus that would make it more transmissible to humans, which would indicate that the current risk to the public remains low.

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CME Prices Mostly Trended Downward in March

Commodity prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) trended mostly downward in March according to the Upper Midwest Dairy News. Barrels, blocks, whey, and nonfat dry milk (NFDM) all saw decreases in price, while butter alone saw a price increase compared to last month. Compared to last year’s prices at this time, the same pattern emerges. Barrels, blocks, whey, and NFDM are all down, but butter is up.

The CME barrel price for cheddar cheese on March 19 was $1.50 per pound, down 10¾¢ from February and 45¼¢ below last year. Meanwhile, the CME 40-pound block price for cheddar cheese was $1.45 per pound, down 7¼¢ from last month, and54¢ below last year.
The CME butter price on March 19 was $2.82 per pound, up 4½¢ from last month and 41¢ above last year.
The CME price for NFDM on March 19 was $1.12½ per pound, down 6¾¢ from February, and 4¼¢ below last year.
The CME whey price on March 19 was $0.43 per pound, down 8¢ from last month and 1¾¢ below last year.

Global Dairy Trade Event 352 concluded with the GDT Price Index down 2.8 Percent

Key Results*

AMF index up 2.5%, average price US$6,794/MT (€6,238/MT)
Butter index down 1.4%, average price US$6,408/MT (€5,883/MT)
BMP index not available, average price not available
Ched index down 1.9%, average price US$4,192/MT (€3,849/MT)
LAC index down 4.4%, average price US$778/MT (€714/MT)
MOZZ index down 1.0%, average price US$3,905/MT (€3,585/MT)
SMP index down 4.8%, average price US$2,517/MT (€2,311/MT)
WMP index down 4.2%, average price US$3,143/MT (€2,886/MT)

Full results have been published on

ISU Extension Dairy Team Webinar on April 2 to Focus on Muscle Weakness Genetic Defect in Holstein Calves

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team monthly webinar series continues Tuesday, April 2, from 12 noon to 1 p.m. The program will help Holstein breeders understand the muscle weakness genetic defect in Holstein calves.

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Slaughter Cow Market Soars

Slaughter cow prices are driven by the price of 90 percent lean beef trimmings (90s), which posted a price of $317.36/cwt. the first week of March. This is a record high price for 90s in data back to 1978 and undoubtedly an all-time record weekly price. Dairy cow slaughter is down 15.0 percent and beef cow slaughter is down 11.4 percent year over year according to a recent report from Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Ag Economist.

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I-29 Moo University to Dairy Pest Control: Fun With Flies On April 17

The I-29 Moo University 2024 Dairy Webinar Series continues Wednesday, April 17 from 12 noon to 1 p.m. CST. The webinar will feature a discussion on fly control with Dr. Phillip Jardon, Iowa State Extension Dairy Veterinarian.

This webinar will cover the four main flies that are considered pests on dairies (house flies, stable flies, horn flies, and face flies).  These flies all have some things in common but there are big differences in where they reproduce and where they eat that guide our the control methods used for each.  Come learn how can we use facts about flies to help us limit their populations.

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Heifer Field Days to be Offered in Three Locations in March

Topics will include reproduction and growth management, facilities and economics

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host three heifer field days in late March, focused on reproduction and growth management, facilities and economics.

The field days will be held March 26 in Kalona, March 27 in Postville and March 28 in Sioux Center.

Holstein cattle eating hay, by hiv360/

“Nearly 25 percent of a dairy’s production costs are in raising heifer replacements, thus a considerable amount of feed, time and facilities must be invested to optimize growth for heifers to calve at an appropriate age,” said Fred Hall, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “That is why this topic of raising your ‘dairy best’ heifers can have significant financial and herd benefits.”

Field Day Details:

  • March 26 at the Taylor Bontrager dairy, located at 1881 Johnson Washington Road SW, Kalona, from 1-3:30 p.m. Topics will include facilities and ventilation presented by Kris Kohl, northwest Iowa ag engineer, and heifer reproduction programs presented by Victor Gomez, assistant professor and extension dairy specialist with Kansas State University, and will conclude with a group discussion and facility tour.
  • March 27 at the Brian and Monica Enyart dairy, located at 630 Highway 51 South, Postville, from 1-3:30 p.m. Topics will include facilities and ventilation, presented by Kris Kohl, northwest Iowa ag engineer; heifer reproduction programs presented by Victor Gomez; and a group discussion and facility tour.
  • March 28 at Dordt Agricultural Fellowship Center and heifer barn, 3648 US-75, Sioux Center, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with lunch provided. Topics will include facilities and ventilation, presented by Kris Kohl, northwest Iowa ag engineer; economics of raising heifers presented by Larry Tranel, dairy field specialist; and a foreign animal disease presentation by Lisa Hindle with USDA-Veterinary Services and Dr. Greg Schmitt with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. From 1-4 p.m., a Spanish and English reproduction training will take place for those wanting a better understanding of best management practices when working with artificial insemination programs. Victor Gomez will lead the training.

Those interested in attending one or more field days should register online by March 20 at or call ISU Extension and Outreach in Sioux County at 712-737-4230; Allamakee County at 563-568-6345; or Washington County at 319-653-4811. There is no fee to attend, but an RSVP is requested for meals and materials.

For more information, contact dairy specialist Fred Hall at 712-737-4230 or, Jennifer Bentley at 563-382-2949 or, or Larry Tranel at 563-583-6496 or

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USDA Opens DMC Registration

Last week the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced dairy producers can enroll in DMC between February 28 and April 29, 2024. Payments may begin as soon as March 4, if payments are triggered for January 2024.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has revised the regulations for DMC to allow eligible dairy operations to make a one-time adjustment to established production history. This adjustment will be accomplished by combining previously established supplemental production history with DMC production history for those dairy operations that participated in Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage during a prior coverage year. DMC has also been authorized through calendar year 2024. Congress passed a 2018 Farm Bill extension requiring these regulatory changes to the program.

“FSA is announcing the sign up for 2024 Dairy Margin Coverage. We encourage producers to enroll in this important safety net program. In reviewing 2023 margins and the more than $1.2 billion in Dairy Margin Coverage payments issued to producers, Dairy Margin Coverage is proven to be a program to reduce risk for our dairy producers,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “If 2023 taught us anything, it’s that we honestly have no idea what will happen in the market in any given year. Producers who took advantage of this affordable risk management tool for the 2023 program year, were able to mitigate some financial impacts on their operations. At $0.15 per hundredweight for $9.50 coverage, risk protection through Dairy Margin Coverage is a relatively inexpensive investment in a true sense of security and peace of mind.”

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Iowa Milk Production Down 1 Percent YOY

Milk production in Iowa during January 2024 totaled 498 million pounds, down 1 percent from the previous January according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Milk Production report. The average number of milk cows during January, at 239,000 head, was unchanged from last month but down 1,000 from January 2023. Monthly production per cow averaged 2,085 pounds, down 10 pounds from last January.

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