Hoard's Webinar-Economic and User Experience of Automatic Milking Systems

Join Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Field Specialist, Larry Tranel in this Hoard's Dairyman Webinar discussion producer management and economics of robotic milking systems.  In 2017, 15 producers responded to the survey, showing a positive response in switching from previous milking system to AMS systems.  An average of 30% more cows are able to be milked with an average of 50% less labor.  Production increased 17% while SCC dropped 18%.  Feeding and housing efficiencies were gained as well.

Renovating Dairy Barns: Giving them a Second Career

Friday, March 22, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
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Webinar On March 22 Will Focus On Options For Empty Dairy Facilities

The Moo University collaborative will host a webinar for dairymen considering options for their facilities if they sell their cows at 12 noon on Friday, March 22. While there is no registration fee, pre-registration is required on-line at:


Presenters will address three topics of concern for making the enterprise transition.

Brian Dougherty, ISU Extension Ag Engineering Specialist, will cover some important engineering considerations when planning for the conversion of dairy barns to housing for other livestock. Advantages and limitations of different designs will be discussed, and examples of dairy barn conversions will be shown.


 Bill Halfman, UW-Madison Extension Monroe County Agriculture Agent, will discuss the economics of beef feeding enterprises to determine if they are a good fit for their operation and resources plus showcase spreadsheet tools and some benchmark  numbers producers should consider.


Tina Kohlman, UW-Madison Extension Fond du Lac Dairy & Livestock Agent, will present on the economics for farms that are no longer milking but are considering raising pre-weaned calves to utilize their facilities and labor for income generation.

After the presentations there will be a question and answer period for questions from the audience. In addition, the program will be archived for viewing at a later time.

Following registration, a link will be emailed with directions on how to access the webinar. Topical webinars featuring   Extension professionals are part of the on-going educational programs available through I-29 Moo University.

 The I-29 Moo University is a consortium of Extension Dairy Specialists from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Now in its 14th year, the consortium provides resources and education to enhance a sustainable dairy community along the I-29 corridor by focusing on: best management practices, utilization of research-based expertise and resources, and ag-vocating the benefits of a vibrant dairy community. For more information on Renovation Dairy Barns: Giving Them a Second Career, or other I-29 Moo University programs contact your state Extension Dairy Specialist. In Northwest Iowa, contact Fred M. Hall at 712.737.4230 or email at fredhall@iastate.edu.

Automatic Milking Systems Tours Feature Precision Management

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 10:00am to Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 3:30pm
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The number of automatic milking systems used in dairy operations continues to increase with over five percent of farms now milking with robots. The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach dairy team will present a first-hand look at how fellow dairy farmers are managing automatic milking systems in new or retrofit facilities. Areas of focus will be facilities, economics and overall management of automatic milking systems. Nine dairy facilities in northeast and eastern Iowa will be visited as a part of the tour. Two sites will be visited each day on October 23, November 5, November 13, and three sites on November 14.

Dairy Discussions Seminar

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
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Annual Dairy Discussions Seminar on Dec. 1 will focus on “Manure Management Practices and Opportunities in Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)”

Posted: 11 Nov 2020 07:38 AM PST

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team will host its annual Dairy Discussions Seminar on Tuesday, December 1, from 10 a.m. to noon. The program is sponsored this year by EcoEngineers, a renewable energy consulting and auditing firm headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). The program will be virtual due to health concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s focus is on manure management systems, opportunities in renewable natural gas (RNG) to maximize profitability in the dairy industry, and the benefits of co-locating a dairy near a biofuel facility in the Midwest. The presentations will include a case study for an Iowa dairy and the minimum project size to make RNG project economics work.

The key presentations include:

  • “Supporting Dairies in Iowa: How the IEDA can help,” Shelly Peterson, P.E., IEDA
  • “Successful Manure Systems,” Kris Kohl, Ph.D., Iowa State University
  • “Dairy Opportunities in RNG and Location Benefits” Brad Pleima, P.E., EcoEngineers

Shelly Peterson, P.E., is a program manager with the state energy office, housed at the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The energy team supports many emerging energy opportunities in the State of Iowa, including RNG.

Dr. Kris Kohl is the Iowa State University Extension Agricultural Engineer in Northwest Iowa. His expertise includes manure handling and management plans, composting and ag building ventilation.

Brad Pleima, P.E., is a Senior Engineer and Senior Regulatory Consultant at EcoEngineers and has over 17 years of consulting and engineering design experience in water, wastewater, and renewable energy project work. He leads the Asset Development Consulting services at EcoEngineers.

There is no fee to attend the program thanks to the sponsorship of EcoEgineers. To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/dairy-discussions-2020-release  or contact:

Deadline to register is Nov. 30.