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
Event Type: 

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
Event Type: 

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
Event Type: 

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.

Dairy Technology Field Day

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 10:30am to 2:30pm
Event Type: 

Dairy technology field day to be held on Wednesday April 14th

Two dairy farms will be featured for tours

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team is hosting a field day focused on dairy technology on the farm. The April 14th field day will feature two farm visits where attendees can see automated feeding and milking system technology in action and learn about calf barn management, ventilation, and feeding calves with a milk taxi.

The first farm visit will be from 10:30 AM to noon at Honey Creek Dairy, 1636 400th St. Strawberry Point, Iowa. Honey Creek Dairy recently installed a Lely Vector automated feeding system as well as three Lely Astronaut automated milking units. Co-owner Dan Venteicher will be on hand to explain how the automated feeding system works and answer questions about the new facilities and equipment.

The second farm visit will be from 1-2:30 PM at the Putz family dairy at 1368 310th Ave. New Vienna, Iowa. Two years ago, the Putz family built a new naturally ventilated calf barn with individual pens and a supplemental positive pressure tube ventilation system. The facility also utilizes a milk taxi system for feeding calves. Brad Putz will be available to discuss how the milk taxi works and answer questions about the facility. A fogger demonstration will be performed on the ventilation system at 1:45 PM.

“Technology is becoming more commonly used on dairy farms as a way to improve labor efficiency and flexibility, boost production, and enhance overall health and management of cows and calves.” said Jenn Bentley, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “This field day will give producers a chance to see new technologies and facilities in person and have their questions answered”.

Attendees are asked to please practice social distancing at the farms. Lunch will be on your own between the two farm visits. There is no fee for the field day, but RSVP’s are appreciated. If you have questions or would like to RSVP, contact Brian Dougherty brian1@iastate.edu 563-239-7070 or Jenn Bentley jbentley@iastate.edu 563-382-2949.

This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2018-70027-28586.