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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.

2019 Iowa Dairy Days

Monday, January 21, 2019 - 9:30am to Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 3:00pm
Event Type: 

Local Dairy Days Feature Profitable Dairy Practices

Producers learn successful herd management strategies based on current research


Ames, Iowa - Iowa dairy producers have the opportunity to learn about emerging dairy industry issues during 2019 Dairy Days events hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists. The program is scheduled at seven eastern Iowa locations between Jan. 21 and Feb. 7.

“The ISU Extension and Outreach dairy team conducts this workshop to provide the latest research to Iowa’s dairy producers,” said Jennifer Bentley, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Our goal is to help producers make sound herd management decisions that are backed by current and relevant information.”

Topics covered at 2019 Dairy Days will include:

  • Early Season Crop Scouting for Corn and Alfalfa
  • Silage Inoculants – What They Do and Why they are Needed
  • Robotic Milking Update – Management and Economics
  • Hygiene – How Clean is your Calf Kitchen?
  • Heifer Economics – How Many and How Much?


“This day-long program offers producers an opportunity to hear up-to-date information. They can also talk with our speakers for answers to their specific situations,” said Bentley.

Dairy Days will be offered at seven Iowa locations:  Jan. 21 in Riceville, Jan. 22 in Fayette, Jan. 23 in Waverly, Feb. 4 in Bloomfield, Feb. 5. in Kalona, Feb. 6 in Holy Cross and Feb. 7 in Ryan. Registration starts at 9:30 am and the program will conclude by 2:30 p.m.

A $15 registration fee covers the noon meal and proceedings costs. Pre-registration is requested by the Friday before each event to reserve a meal. Online registration is available. Vouchers for the event may be available at your local agri-service providers or veterinarian’s office.

For more information contact your local county ISU Extension and Outreach county office or your local dairy specialist, Jennifer Bentley at 563-382-2949 or Larry Tranel at 563-583-6496


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

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.

2019 Dairy Beef Short Course Focus Is The Bull Calf

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 10:00am to 3:15pm
Event Type: 

Topics for the 2019 Dairy Beef Short Course will focus on how dairy beef bull calves should be viewed as more than a by-product of the industry. As dairy and beef producers continue to experience economic struggles, increasing the value of bull calves can add value for dairymen, feeders and processors. The short course is scheduled for Tuesday, March 26 in rooms 1 and 2 at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It is in conjunction with the Central Plains Dairy Expo.

While parking and entry to the dairy Expo is free, there is a $20 registration fee to attend the Dairy Beef Short Course. The fee includes educational materials, refreshments and lunch. The deadline for registrations are March 20. Registrations can be made on-line at:

The program agenda includes:

  • “Realizing Full Value in Holstein Steers”, Dr. Daniel Schaefer, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • “Considerations for Choosing Beef Genetics To Use In Dairy Herds”, Warren Rusche, SDSU
  • “Dairy Cattle Impact on Beef Supply and Marketing Opportunities”, Dr. Brenda Boetel, University of Wisconsin
  • “Enhancing the Value of Your Dairy Beef Bull Calf to Meet Health Concerns”, Russ Daly, DVM, SDSU

In addition, a special feature will be a roundtable discussion “Building a Carcass for the Future”. The panel includes:

  • Jerry Wulf, Wulf Cattle, Morris MN
  • Kent Pruismann, Rock River Feeders, Sioux Center, IA
  • Erik Loe, Nutritional Consultant for Midwest PMS, Sioux Center, IA
  • Duane Broek, Select Sires Representative, Watertown, SD

The program will begin promptly at 10 am and will conclude at 3:15 pm.

The short course in hosted by the I-29 Moo University consortium, a collaboration of the Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota Extension dairy specialists. For more information, contact your state Extension Specialist. In Northwest Iowa, contact Fred M. Hall at 712.737.4230 or email at; in South Dakota, contact Tracey Erickson at 605.882.5140 or email at or Warren Rusche at 605.688.5452 or email at .


Business and Financial Management

cow looking through barnThis page provides information on managing financial and business decisions needed on a dairy farm. Resources focus on the following topics: economics of organic dairies, millionaire model dairy, contracting corn silage, dairy grazing economics, managing dairy farm finances, sharemilking, 15 measures of dairy farm competitiveness, and much more!


Iowa Dairy Industry

brown cow in head gateThe Iowa dairy industry has historically been important in Iowa and remains so yet today as the fifth largest sector of Iowa agriculture. Each cow in Iowa generates $23,445 of economic impact and value to a community. Iowa's dairy industry is important and this page provides a few resources on economic impact and production averages.