I-29 Moo University

A newsletter for dairy producers & industry~November 2019

Calendar of Events

NOTE: All event times are listed as CST.



20: Dairy Field Day at Tri County Dairy near Viborg, SD; 12:30-3:30. There is no cost to attend. Click here to register.


3: Dairy Discussions, Orange City, IA, Utilizing Crossbreeding and Genomics Technology on Dairies, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Register by calling 712-737-4230

4-5: Iowa State Dairy Association Annual Meeting, Ames, IA; Click Here for more Info

10: Dairy Directions Series, Sac City, IA; Replacement Heifer Management, Cooling Dairy Cows & Risk Management Strategies, 10:00 am - 2:30 pm; Register Here or by calling 712-662-7131

10: Beef Quality Assurance Transportation Training, Sioux Falls Regional Livestock, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. For more information Click Here.

11: Dairy Directions Series, Pocahontas, IA; Replacement Heifer Management, Cooling Dairy Cows & Risk Management Strategies, 10:00 am -2:30 pm, Register Here or by calling 712-335-3103

14: Dairy Directions Series, Fine Tuning Your Dairy Goat Management; Sioux County Extension Office, Orange City, IA; 9:30 am -3:00 pm, Register Here or by calling 712-737-4230



6-10: I-29 Moo University Winter Workshop series & Mid-west Dairy Updates; 6th -Perham, MN; 7th - Brookings, SD; 8th - Pipestone, MN; 9th - Orange City, IA; and 10th - Wayne, NE- Save the Dates



24th: I-29 Moo University Dairy Beef Short Course; Sioux Falls, SD. Agenda & registration details coming soon!

24-26: Central Plains Dairy Expo: Click here for more information

Plan for winter forage needs

By Jim Salfer, University of Minnesota Regional Dairy Education

This has been an interesting growing year, to say the least.

  • There are large areas of winterkill throughout the Midwest.
  • Hay prices have remained high, in spite of low milk prices.
  • The amount and quality of hay this year has been variable; and
  • Corn silage tonnage will be lower than average.

It's common for hay prices to climb in late winter and spring due, in part, to an increase in demand caused by livestock producers not anticipating their forage needs. To maximize your profits, it is important to plan for the amount and quality of forage your farm will need. Forward planning minimizes the risk of running out of forage and having to buy at inopportune times. Continue reading...

Siouxland Ag Lenders Report Things Looking Up…kinda

By Fred M Hall, Northwest Iowa Extension Dairy Specialist

The popular media is having a “hayday” with the uptick in farm bankruptcies; up 24 percent over 12 months ending in September 2019; and Dean Foods Co., the biggest US milk company filing for bankruptcy protection this week. According to a Farm Bureau Federation report, Iowa had a total of 24 Chapter 12 Farm Bankruptcies during that time period and increase of 10 from the previous 12 months.

The third annual Siouxland Ag Lenders seminar last week brought together 71 ag professionals, representing 20 banks, 14 dairy businesses and six academics and USDA specialists from five states. Their responses to a questionnaire painted a scene that shows “light at the end of the tunnel”. Those attendees responding to the evaluation represented over 238,000 milking cows and 639,000 acres producing feed for those cows. Click here to continue reading.

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Employee Turnover: It Is Important in Agriculture Also

By Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist

Lots of conversations in agriculture lately focuses around labor or the lack of a labor pool of employees. This is the case not only for dairy farms, but also within the entire agriculture industry. In self-reflection, it does raise the question, “Is it me or my operation, is there simply a lack of employees, or is it both?” To examine these questions, we first need to understand how to calculate turnover rates.

There are two types of turnover, voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary turnover is when employees choose to leave a place of employment of their own free will. Involuntary turnover is when employees are either laid off or terminated as result of a decision of the employer. It is important to note that voluntary turnover is often the rate used to compare employers and is also a direct reflection of employee job satisfaction. Involuntary turnover on the other hand, especially lay-offs, is more a reflection of the overall long-term business management, especially where lay-offs are concerned. But don’t be fooled, employee job satisfaction can also impact a business long-term and its viability. Continue reading...

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Coping with Farm & Rural Stress

Farming is one of the most stressful occupations in the United States. This is particularly true for dairy farmers as they are experiencing an extended period of low milk prices.

Below are some resources available when dealing with stress.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255; texting: Text HOME to 741741
Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline: 833-600-2670
Ted Matthews, Rural Mental Health Counselor, no cost, no paperwork; 320-266-2390
Nebraska Rural Response Hotline: 800-464-0258

South Dakota Ag Mediation Program: 605-773-5436 or 605-280-4745

South Dakota Rural Help Line:800-664-1349

South Dakota Suicide Prevention Hotline: 605-339-8599

Iowa Concern Hotline & Resources: 800-447-1985

Illinois Agriculture Mediation Program: 618-549-1200, ext. 1001

Rural Services of Indiana, Inc.: 574-299-9460

Kansas Ag Mediation Services: 800-321-3276

Missouri Agricultural Mediation Program: 573-751-5520

New York State Ag Mediation Program: 518-687-2240 or 866-669-7267

New York Farm Net: 800-547-3276

North Dakota Mediation Service: 844-642-4752 or 701-328-4158

North Dakota 211 Help Line Mental Health Association in North Dakota: 800-472-2911

North Dakota Agricultural Mediation Services: 800-642-4757 or 701-328-2061

Wisconsin Farm Center Hotline: 800-942-2474

Disaster Resources Available with Recent Weather Events

Available resources include

South Dakota Department of Agriculture website (sdda.sd.gov)

  • Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP)

  • Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP)

  • Emergency Conservation Program (ECP)

  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

  • Emergency Loans

  • Farm Stress Help

University of Nebraska Lincoln website (flood.unl.edu)

  • Cattle producers post flood checklist
  • University of Nebraska feeding assistance program
  • Dealing with flooded hay and grain
  • Disposal of flood soaked grains and forages
  • Emergency disposal of livestock carcasses
  • Flood-related diseases in poultry and livestock
  • Hay donations

Many more resources available at the websites listed above.

About Us

The I-29 Moo University is represented by dairy extension educators and allied partners from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.