In this issue
by Beth Ellen Doran, ISUE Beef Field Specialist
Beef producers have heard a lot about Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and
its ramifications. What hasn't been specifically outlined is what changes,
if any, need to be made and how beef producers are to implement these
changes on their farms.
COOL is a voluntary USDA program passed as part of last year's Farm Bill.
It applies to a number of agricultural commodities, including beef, veal,
pork, fish, perishable agricultural commodities and peanuts. This voluntary
system will be replaced with a mandatory system on Sept. 30, 2004.
feedlots will be asking for country of origin confirmation on calves they
purchase because packers need verification on all animals in the fall of
2004. USDA has not yet specified what record system to use, and livestock
producers are uncertain of their roles and responsibilities in the process.
To learn about
COOL, ISU Extension is sponsoring a satellite program from 10 a.m. to noon
on June 10. Bill Sessions, USDA-AMS, will explain COOL, time frame for
implementation and answer questions. John Lawrence, Iowa Beef Center
Director, and ISU Extension veterinarian Jim McKean will discuss
expectations of and implications for Iowa livestock producers and options
for meeting COOL requirements.
Cost of the
program is $10 per person. Questions may be asked during the program.
Please contact your local County Extension Office to determine a site near
you and to pre-register.
Settling Field Day
- Kris Kohl, ISU Extension Ag Engineer, will hold a solids settling field
day on June 19 from 1-3 p.m. The field day will be at the Percy and Keith
Zylstra Feedlot, 5123 210th St., Ashton, IA. In case of rain, the field
day will be June 20, 1-3 p.m. at the same location. The feedlot is located
two miles north of Ashton on Highway 60 on the west side of the highway.
afternoon, the Zylstra's will show the forms and engineering design they are
using and will actually be pouring concrete to create the solids settling
basin for their open beef feedlot. Kris Kohl will explain the minimum
environmental requirements for all open beef feedlots.
are encouraged to contact the Osceola County Extension Office at
712-754-3648 to help us plan for meeting supplies. There will be a $5 per
person fee taken at the field day to cover the cost of plastic boots,
publications and refreshments.
by Dave Stender, ISUE Swine Field Specialist
A series of
informational meetings have been scheduled to provide pork producers with
Iowa’s new requirements. Information updates will include complying with
current requirements, filling out manure management plans, new construction,
odor monitoring and balancing nutrients for crop uptake.
include Eldon McAfee, Attorney with Beving, Swanson & Forrest; Jeff Lorimor
with ISU Bio Systems; and Wendy Powers with ISU Animal Science. The
meetings will last approximately two hours and are free to all pork
producers who attend.
regional meetings will be held on June 11 from 1 to 3 pm at the Carrollton
Inn in Carroll and from 7 to 9 pm at NW Iowa Community College in Sheldon.
Day-to-Day Dairy Management--- Whose Monkeys are These Anyway!!??
by Chris Mondak. ISUE Dairy Field Specialist
Do you ever have a day
at your dairy when you have so much to do and so many “fires to put out”
that you feel like you have the weight of a thousand monkeys on your back?
This is the scenario that Dr. Jim Bennett, DVM, used to capture the
attention of producers, professionals, and ag-business representatives at
the Northwest Iowa Dairy Days program, March 5- 7.
Drawing from his years
of experience serving dairy clients and helping them trouble-shoot typical
dairy problems, Dr. Bennett proposes that every dairy – whether it has 50
cows or 5000 cows – can benefit from applying basic concepts of
organization, goal setting, process description for essential tasks, and
simple monitoring-feedback schemes.
Here is a summary of his
A dairy should have a structure - Make an Organizational Chart and
identify responsibilities of everyone on the chart.
- It defines who is the
boss and the role and assignment of all people who work at the dairy- both
family and non-family.
- It establishes the
flow of communication.
- It establishes who
has what jobs, and helps prevent one person from becoming overloaded with
too many “monkeys” – (tasks).
A dairy should have a defined set of processes that describe how
essential tasks get done.
- Written processes can
be simply stated as flow charts, lists, or diagrams. They are dynamic –
can adjust to changing situations.
- Most problems stem
from one of two critical process problems: the wrong process is being
used, or the right process is being performed wrong.
- When essential
processes are performed correctly and consistently by all workers or
family members, the desired outcomes of quality milk, healthy cows, and
happy employees can be achieved.
A dairy should have a set of goals in general, and goals for each
worker or team.
- Defines what people
at dairy are working towards; and what they should have as an outcome or
product of their work each day.
- Goals should be
specific. For example “having a profitable reproductive program” is not a
specific goal. Instead, define the reproductive goals specifically as
“Average Days Open< 125”, or “Heat Detection Rate >55%”, or “Pregnancy
Rate > 19%”.
A dairy should set up a simple system to monitor results and give
feedback to the members or workers so they know when goals are/are not being
- Set up a simple
monitoring system and post it. For example, if one of the dairy’s goals is
a SCC of 200,000, this can be monitored by posting the daily or weekly
herd SCC levels. All family members and workers then have immediate
feedback about the progress.
- Monitoring progress
towards goals gives useful feedback: if goals aren’t met, owner/managers
& employees can re-evaluate and change processes. If goals are being met,
owners and employees have an opportunity to modify processes for ways to
meet the goals better (or cheaper).
- Allows producers to
benchmark against each other and constantly learn.
If you would like to
obtain a copy of the Dr. Bennett’s presentation and the NW Iowa Dairy Days
Proceedings, contact the Sioux County Extension Office, 712-737-4230, or
Chris Mondak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Dairy Events
June 9 Sioux County Dairywomen’s Peer Group;
Orange City Pizza Ranch, 11:30 – 1:30pm.
June 16 Sioux County Dairy Banquet; Sioux
Center Community Center, serving 6:15 – 7pm; program starts at 7:30pm.
June 23 Sioux County Dairywomen’s Peer Group;
Sioux Center Pizza Ranch, 7- 8:30pm.
June 24 Osceola- O’Brien County area
Dairywomen’s Peer Group Tour at Plymouth Dairy, 11:30 – 1:30pm.
July 1 Quality Milk & Mastitis Control
Workshop- Updates on Methods and Products. Two locations and times:
Boyden- Demco Community Center, Noon- 3pm. Cherokee County Extension
office, 7pm – 10pm.
Quantifying Soil Erosion
By Todd Vagts, ISUE Field Crops Specialist
A short drive though
the countryside reveals once again the problem northwest IA has with soil
erosion. I thought in late April the area might be spared the heavy and
continuous rains that cause excessive erosion on hillsides, but as May rain
kept falling, soils became saturated and excess water moved downhill, taking
soil with it. Often, erosion events appear small and insignificant, but
when they happen one or more times per year for successive years, serious
and long-term damage is inflicted on the soil and water resources. Research
in Iowa has shown that long-term erosion that reduces the thickness of the A
soil horizon (top layer) reduces corn grain yield potential.
Soil is lost through
three major erosive actions: sheet, rill and gully erosion. I think the
predominant and probably most overlooked erosion is Rill erosion; which is
characterized by small “rills” that are less visible and easily removed with
tillage. Once the visible signs of rill erosion are covered up, the short
and long-term consequence is soon forgotten. But let’s take a moment to
characterize just how much soil is being lost by rill erosion. A quick
mathematical equation can be employed to quantify the destructive nature of
Where A = Average
width; B = Depth; C = Length; D = Soil Unit Wt. (85 lb/ft3)
Using the above equation in a simple example yields the following soil
loss. An 80-acre field (1320 ft x 2640 ft) with one long-sloping hillside
with crop rows that run up the hill. After one heavy spring rainfall just
after planting, water runs down each row marker, creating an (average)
2-inch wide by 2-inch deep rill. Although the size of each rill seems small
and insignificant, the total soil lost in each row marker would be 76 ft3
or 3.2 tons.
Here are some simple and easy to implement conservation
Plant corn directly into soybean stubble
Plant soybeans using no-till – or high residue
Contour plow and plant
Install and maintain filter strips where water drains
Visit this ISU Web
http://extension.agron.iastate.edu/soilmgmt for an interactive analysis
of your current conservation practices.
Ellen Doran, ISUE Beef Field Specialist
are invited to a twilight grazing field day on June 17 from 7-9:30 p.m. at
the ISU Demonstration and Research Farm, near Calumet. The farm is located
one mile south of Calumet on Highway 59 and 1/4 mile east on County Road
Barnhart, ISU Extension Forage Agronomist, will take participants on tour of
small forage plots at the farm. Steve will discuss the characteristics of
various forage plants, including ease of establishment, suitability for
grazing and haying, hardiness and anti-quality factors. He will also
explain which forages are more suitable for various drainage conditions.
Miller, ISU Extension Horse Specialist, will discuss various grazing systems
(continuous, rotational and highly intensive) and emphasize stocking rates,
fencing and grazing precautions. She will also explain the role of forages
in the horse diet, balancing rations that include forages, and evaluating
hays for horses.
Pre-registration ($10/person) is required by June 13 at the Lyon County
Extension Office. Checks should be made payable to Lyon County Extension
and mailed to Lyon County Extension, P.O. Box 348, Rock Rapids IA 51246.
Please indicate the names and number of people attending.
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