Midwest Dairy Digest: Feb. 22, 2011

Indiana regional dairy meetings planned in March

The Purdue Extension Dairy Team and Indiana Professional Dairy Producers will partner with the Indiana Forage Council to present three more regional dairy meetings in March. All meetings will cover operation efficiency and proper animal care.

“Although milk prices have rebounded somewhat from the extreme lows in 2009, the high grain prices are once again putting dairy operations into a stressful financial situation,” said Purdue Extension dairy specialist Tamilee Nennich. “In addition to the financial stresses, increased scrutiny on animal care also has been a major issue for dairy farms over the last year. The regional meetings will focus on management topics to provide producers with the tools to address some of these important issues on their farms.”

The meetings will run from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at all locations. Dates, locations and contact information are as follows:

* March 1: The Log Inn, 12653 S. 200 E., Warrenton. Contact: Hans Schmitz, 812-385-3491, hschmitz@purdue.edu

* March 2: Family Arts Building, Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds, 750 W. 200 S., Columbus. Contact: Mike Ferree, 812-379-1665, ferreel@purdue.edu

* March 3: Parke County Fairgrounds, U.S. 41 N., Rockville. Contact: Mark Spelbring, 765-569-3176, spelbrin@purdue.edu

At each meeting, Purdue Extension dairy specialist Jonathan Townsend will present “Getting Transition Cows off to a Great Start,” and Nennich and Purdue Extension dairy specialist Mike Schutz will give dairy industry updates.

“In the dairy updates we will discuss somatic cell count regulations and proposed changes,” Nennich said. “We also will update dairy producers on changes in the Indiana confined feeding operation rules.”

Thee meetings will feature Purdue Extension agricultural economist Nicole Olynk‘s presentation titled “Determining Economically Optimal Reproductive Management Programs.”

Registration is free for the first registrant from a membership of the Indiana Professional Dairy Producers. Each additional registration from a farm or family of an IPDP member is $10. Non-IPDP member registration is $20 per person. Registration includes lunch.

Minnesota NMI participants sought

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and USDA are seeking southern Minnesota farmers to participate in the 2011 Nutrient Management Initiative (NMI).

NMI helps farmers fine tune their nutrient application rates.  Participating farmers work with a certified crop adviser and set up test comparisons on their own farm.  Upon completion of the program the farmer and certified crop adviser receive an economic analysis based on the farmer’s actual nutrient costs and yields from replicated strips using a yearly average corn price.  Participating farmers receive $1,200 to reimburse them for the certified crop adviser’s fees and the time spent on the project.

The program is funded through the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, while MDA assists with this program through promotion, data collection and compilation, and education outreach.  Farmers interested in enrolling in the 2011 NMI program should contact their local USDA-NRCS office or Brian Williams by phone at 507-665-6806 or by email at brian.c.williams@state.mn.us.  Sign up information and program results are available on the MDA website at www.mda.state.mn.us/nmi.

ISDA to Award College Scholarships

The Iowa State Dairy Association (ISDA) will award six college scholarships of $500 to Iowa students. The scholarships are available to any level undergraduate student, incoming freshmen through seniors, pursuing a degree in any field.

Candidates must complete the ISDA scholarship application and attach a one-page essay. The essay should state his/her plans for the future and why the scholarship would help the applicant in his/her future endeavors.  The essay should also explain the applicant’s connection to the dairy farm (i.e. what the dairy farm has meant to the applicant and what has been learned from being on the dairy farm).  All applications and essays must be received by April 1, 2011. The ISDA scholarship application can be downloaded from the ISDA Web site (www.iowadairy.org) or contact Jessica Bloomberg, ISDA industry relations manager, to request an application at (515) 971-3620 or jessicab@iowadairy.org.

Return completed application and essay via email to jessicab@iowadairy.org, fax to 515-964-5498 (attention: Jessica Bloomberg), or mailed to: Iowa State Dairy Association, Scholarship Application, 101 NE Trilein Dr., Ankeny, IA 50021.

Applicants must be the child or grandchild of a current ISDA member.  If you are not currently an ISDA member or if you have not yet renewed your membership for 2011, you can find a membership application on the ISDA Web site or contact Jessica Bloomberg to request a membership form.

Anaerobic digester operator training program offered in Wisconsin

An “Anaerobic Digester Operator Training Program,” hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University, will be held April 13-15, at Fond du Lac, Wis.

Topics will include:

Wednesday, April 13 (8 a.m.‐6 p.m.)

Anaerobic digestion process

Factors affecting digestion

Products & environmental benefits

System startup

Process indicators

Operation & sampling schedule


Operator panel

Thursday, April 14 (8 a.m. ‐ 6 p.m.)

Anaerobic digester safety

Safety walkthrough – on farm

Safety self assessment tool

Electrical system safety

Emergency action plan

Vendor panel

Friday, April 15 (8 a.m.‐noon)

Biogas utilization system operation

Regulations & permits

Environmental issues

Carbon aggregation

Program coordinators include:

• Dr. Becky Larson, Assistant Professor, Biowaste, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Biological Systems Engineering Department

• Dana Kirk, Ph. D., Manager, Anaerobic Digester Research and Education Center, Michigan State University

• Cheryl Skjolaas, Agricultural Safety Specialist, Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, University of Wisconsin-Extension

• Jonathan Rivin, Waste Management Specialist, Solid & Hazardous Waste Education Center, UW‐Extension, UW‐Wisconsin—Stevens Point

• Paul Dyk, Dairy and Livestock Agent, UW‐Extension, Fond du Lac County

Cost is $600 for standard registration; $250 for students.

For more information, phone: 920‐929‐3171; or e‐mail: paul.dyk@ces.uwex.edu.