I-29 Moo University

A newsletter for dairy producers & industry ~ July 2019

Are Your Dairy Cows Ready for Summer?

By Emily Wilmes, University of Minnesota Extension Educator-Livestock

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Heat stress abatement on dairy farms is crucial in the summertime, and now is the time to think about it.

So what’s the big deal with heat stress? Well, it can have a huge economic impact. The three main heat stress symptoms driving economic loss are:

Decreased dry matter intake. Dairy cattle will significantly decrease dry matter intake during heat stress in an attempt to reduce heat production from the digestion and metabolism of nutrients. It is important to develop a nutrient dense ration during periods of heat stress.

Low milk production. Milk production can be significantly reduced during heat stress. When cows experience days where the temperature-humidity index, or THI, is between 65 and 73, milk yield loss averages 5 pounds per cow per day. According to this projection, during a summer in which the THI reaches these levels for 30 days, lost milk income from a 150-cow herd can add up to as much as $3375 per year, based on $15.00 per cwt. Read more...

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Water Importance in Lactating Dairy Cows

By Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist

When considering the importance of water in lactating cow diets we need to remember that milk is 87 percent water, and its consumption is directly correlated with milk production and feed intake. Water also makes up anywhere from 55 percent to 70 percent of the body weight of a lactating dairy cow, depending upon the phase of the lactation cycle. Read more...

Understanding a cow's drinking behavior is critical to maximize water consumption. Studies have reported that a lactating cow consumes 30 to 60% of its daily water needs shortly after milking.

Financial Impairment on the Farm Webinar offered July 30

Tuesday, July 30th, 12pm

This is an online event.

The I-29 Moo University consortium of Extension dairy specialists from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota will host a Financial Impairment on the Farm webinar from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. on July 30, 2019. The webinar is free and open to all those involved in production agriculture, specifically producers and agri-business personnel.

The program will focus on issues producers face during times of financial impairment with emphasis placed on mediation, reorganization options and Chapter 12 Bankruptcy.

Donald Swanson, attorney with Koley Jessen in Omaha, and Kristine Tidgren, Director for the Center of Ag Law and Taxation and an adjunct assistant professor at Iowa State University, will facilitate the discussion.

“Don Swanson has devoted his career to helping clients with financial impairment, bankruptcy issues and mediation, and Kristine Tidgren works with these issues every day,” said Fred M. Hall, Northwest Iowa Dairy Specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “The program will be informational and answer questions for many local ag producers and businesses alike.”

There is no fee to participate in the webinar; however, pre-registration is required. To register, visit https://bit.ly/2KvTvoe. After registering, information on accessing the webinar will be provided to attendees.

The webinar will also be archived for viewing at a later date on the I-29 Moo University Consortium webpage at https://dairy.unl.edu/i-29-moo-university.

For more information on this and other programs, contact Fred M. Hall, ISU Extension at 712-737-4230 or fredhall@iastate.edu .

Planning for Profitabilty Workshop

Two Locations:

July 31, 9 am to 2 pm; Printer’s Garden & Pumpkins, Decorah, IA

August 1, 9 am to 2 pm; Forster Community Center, Rock Rapids, IA

A one-day program designed for dairy managers and others involved in production agriculture. Topics will focus on insights into options to increase profitability; how lenders are adjusting what they will require when reviewing loan requests; how a risk management strategy benefits a dairy operation and a review of the milk market.

Presenters include:

· Cash vs. accrual Accounting and how it will be affected by changes in the tax laws: Tom Thaden, NW Iowa Farm Business Association

· Ag Lenders Panel Discussion: Troy Vander Stouwe, Iowa State Bank, Orange City, IA; Brad Bruxvort, First State Bank Southwest, Edgerton, MN; Dale Vanderberg, Peoples Bank, Sioux Center; Chris Kayton, Farm Credit Service, Omaha.

· Using FINBIN and DHIA data to predict financial success on dairies, Jim Salfer & Jolene Hadrich, University of Minnesota;

· The value of a risk management strategy for dairy producers, Cassandra Monger, Compeer Financial, Waite Park, MN

· Dairy Market Outlook, Fred M. Hall, Iowa State University Extension Dairy Specialist, Orange City, IA

There is no fee, but registration is required either on-line at:


or by calling 712.737.4230 to attend the Rock Rapids location or

for the Decorah location by calling 563.382.2949.

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USDA Making Payments for Dairy Margin Coverage Program

USDA Press Release:

Published Thursday, Jul. 11, 2019

Income-over-feed margin for May triggers fifth payment for 2019

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) opened enrollment for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program on June 17 and has started issuing payments to producers who purchased coverage. Producers can enroll through Sept. 20, 2019.

“Times have been especially tough for dairy farmers, and while we hope producers’ margins will increase, the Dairy Margin Coverage program is providing support at a critical time for many in the industry,” said Bill Northey, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “With lower premiums and higher levels of assistance than previous programs, DMC is already proving to be a good option for a lot of dairy producers across the country. USDA is committed to efficiently implementing the safety net programs in the 2018 Farm Bill and helping producers deal with the challenges of the ever-changing farm economy.” Read more...

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.

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Calendar of Events

NOTE: All event times are listed as CST.



16-18: Dairy Experience Forum, St. Paul, MN. To learn more or register, click here.

30: Financial Impairment on the Farm Webinar: 12:00 noon. Click Here to Register for the Free Webiner.

31: Profitability Workshop: 9 am to 2 pm; Printer’s Garden & Pumpkins, Decorah, IA. To register click here or call 563.382.2949.


1: Profitability Workshop: 9 am to 2 pm; Forster Community Center, Rock Rapids, IA. To register click here or call 712.737.423.

7: SDSU Forage Field Day; Beresford, SD. Click here to learn more and to register.

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.