I-29 Moo University

A newsletter for dairy producers - May 2016

Pennywise rules

By Jim Paulson, Dairy Extension Educator, University of Minnesota


Pennies per hundredweight trump dollars per cow per year in most years.

What is better for your dairy? Trying to cut expenses by a dollar per cow per year or a nickel per cow per day or a penny per hundredweight? For every hundred cows you milk, you will save $100 for every dollar you cut in production costs per cow. If each of those cows is putting 24,000 pounds of milk in the tank each year, finding one cent per hundredweight in savings will save $240 per 100 cows per year. If you can save $.05 per cow per day in feed costs or other costs, that will add up to $1245 per 100 cows per year. Continue...

2016 Dairy Beef Short Course & Tour at the Central Plains Dairy Expo

More than 70 dairy beef producers, students,agriculture industry personnel, extension staff and media from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota attended the I-29 Moo University - Dairy Beef Short Course & Tour on March 29, 2016 during this year’s Central Plains Dairy Expo in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.


The program began with a tour of the Tom and Katy VanderWal Dairy Beef operation in Brookings,South Dakota. The VanderWal’s raise and finish out dairy steers in their newly constructed hoop barn. Attendees of the tour learned first-hand the efforts it took to construct this facility as well as permitting,Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulations, neighbor relations, manure handling, animal husbandry and the dairy beef market from a producer’s prospective. Continue...

What Are Lenders Thinking About the US Ag Economy?

By Robert Tigner, Nebraska Extension, Red Willow County


The US agricultural economy has had a tough ride in 2015. Recently the Kansas City Federal Reserve (KCFR) reported the 2015 Net Farm Income (NFI) Index at 55 (2004=100) and the operating loan index at 150 (2004=100). The NFI index is at its lowest and the operating index at its highest since 2004. Those data points reflect ongoing KCFR declining credit conditions. Continue...

Branding Methods: Understanding Which are Preferred and Why

By Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship

Branding time elicits different feelings depending on who you talk to. Ask a rancher about branding and you may hear phrases about tradition, family, friends and neighbors, or “It’s a happy time of the year!” However, if you ask someone from the city that did not grow up around cattle, you may hear comments about pain, cruelty, gross, or “That’s awful abuse!” So why the drastic difference in perception of this husbandry practice? How do these different perceptions impact the recommendations that ranchers are suggested to use on their cattle? Continue...

Ag Employees First Day on the Job vs. Employee Retention

Many employers complain, including those in agriculture, that they can’t keep people around. Statements such as “we just get them trained and they leave” are common. If this statement is all too familiar, you may need to take a look at your “onboarding” program. Many have heard that statement that “first impressions are lasting impressions”, this is also true when it comes to retention of employees. Continue...

Calendar of Events

2016
May
18-20 - Minnesota Dairy Health Conference; Bloomington, MN

June
2-4 - Dairy Fest, Swiftel, Brookings, SD
4-5 - Moo at the Zoo; Omaha, NE Henry Doorly Zoo
7-9 - A.I. training; Northeast Iowa Community College; Calmar, IA
11 - Classic Dairy 25th anniversary Open House; Jansen, NE
11 - Dwane, Joan & Jeremy Wanzek Dairy farm tour; Cleveland, ND
11- Dairy Farm Open House Tours; MoDak Dairy, Kransburg, SD
14 - Water Quality: The 1% That Counts Webinar at 10 AM
14 - Dairy Iowa meeting; Waverly, IA
15-16 - Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference; Dubuque, IA
18 - Dairy Farm Open House Tours; Royalwood Farms (Ode Dairy), Brandon, SD

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.