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Four-State Dairy Conference To Address Key Issues

Four-State Dairy Conference To Address Key Issues

Dairy farmers and other industry professional who are interested in milk production are invited to attend the annual Four-State Dairy Conference at Dubuque, Iowa, on June 8 and 9. The latest information on issues concerning the industry will be covered.

The latest research information on important issues concerning the dairy industry will be presented at the 2011 Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference on June 8 and 9 at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa. This conference is a collaborative effort of the Extension services of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa.

"We expect more than 400 professionals to participate, along with 40 commercial booths," says Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois professor emeritus in that school's Department of Animal Sciences. "This conference will provide timely research findings for farmers and other dairy industry professionals, as well as the latest information about new technology and products."

Conference topics and speakers will include:

• Feeding high forage rations – Larry Chase of Cornell University

• Evaluating and improving starch digestibility – Pat Hoffman of the University of Wisconsin

• Pushing the limits of production - Panel featuring Mike Hutjens of the University of Illinois and dairy producers Dana Allen and Ron Olson

• Predicting and identifying illness through changes in cow behavior – Trevor DeVries of the University of Guelph

• Cow comfort drives transition cow successes – Ken Nordlund, University of Wisconsin

• Antioxidant nutrients and their role in health and disease – Matt Waldron, University of Missouri

• Controlling variation with on-farm precision feeding applications – Noah Litherland, University of Minnesota

• Other topics including robotic milkers, automatic calf feeders, ventilating calf barns, feeding strategies to minimize heat stress, and heifer bunk management

The seminar will begin at 8 a.m. on June 8 with a morning pre-conference symposium sponsored by Prince Agri Products. To register online or obtain a downloadable brochure, go to or contact  Wisconsin Agri-Service Association at 608-223-1111.

Weaker milk prices coming in 2011, dairy profits will be squeezed

Profitability for dairy farmers will be one of the main topics of discussion. With high corn, hay and forage costs, lower milk prices will squeeze returns over feed costs. Shrinking margins will encourage tighter cow culling and trim grain and protein concentrate feeding.

More milk cows will boost 2011 milk production in the United States. Roger Hoskin, USDA dairy economist, expects milk per cow to also rise, but it will be at a slower pace. "We've most likely already seen our peak prices for the year."

"High feed prices and softening milk prices may ultimately blunt the expansion in dairy cow numbers," he says. "But through the first part of this year, strong export demand for all products and recovering domestic demand have supported milk prices. That has offset the higher feed prices for most dairy farmers."

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