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January 14, 2009

Regional dairy meetings aimed to help producers during hard times

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue Dairy Roadshow and Indiana Professional Dairy Producer Regional Meetings will be held at five Indiana locations in January and February.

Feed prices are down, but not enough to offset the drastic decline of milk prices, said Mike Schutz, Purdue Extension dairy management specialist. Margins are going to be particularly tight on dairy farms during the first part of the year, and these meetings will give dairy producers a chance to look at ways of increasing their margins between feed prices and milk prices, he said.

Schutz said that contributing factors to the decreased milk prices include the strengthening U.S. dollar and tighter exports, domestic production trending down and supplies remaining strong.

The meetings will discuss better utilization of commodity feeds, the opportunities for storing commodity feeds on small and medium-sized farms, improving forage and pasture productivity, raising healthier and faster-growing calves and getting cows bred.

The meetings are free for Indiana Professional Dairy Producers, $20 for non-members and $10 for additional attendees of IPDP member farms. The registration fee includes lunch and handouts. Contact Schutz at (765) 494-9478,  to register. Payment will be accepted at the door, but preregistration is requested.

Meetings will begin at 9:30 a.m. and wrap up at 2:30 p.m.  Dates, locations and registration deadlines include:

* Jan. 27 at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds' Ag Hall in Goshen. Registration deadline is Jan. 20.

* Jan. 28 at the Back 40 Junction in Decatur. Registration deadline is Jan. 20.

* Feb. 4 at the Log Inn in Warrenton. Registration deadline is Jan. 27.

* Feb. 5 at the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds' Family Arts Building in Columbus. Registration deadline is Jan. 27.

* Feb. 12 at the Purdue Extension office in Parke County in Rockville. Registration deadline is Jan. 27.

Topics include:

* Feeding and storing distillers grains, Tamilee Nennich, Purdue Extension dairy cattle and nutrient management specialist.

* Board of Animal Health update, Bret Marsh, state veterinarian for the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.

* Meeting the nutrient needs of alfalfa and pasture during times of high input costs, Indiana Forage Council representative.

* Market update, Schutz.

* Indiana Professional Dairy Producers discussion forum, IPDP president and board members.

* Calf management, Sam Leadley, Attica Veterinary Associates calf/heifer management specialist from New York.

* Getting cows bred, Allen Bridges, Purdue Extension reproductive physiologist.

Purdue Extension, Indiana Professional Dairy Producers and the Indiana Forage Council sponsor the regional dairy meetings.

Writer: Julie Douglas, (765) 496-1050,

Source: Mike Schutz, (765) 494-9478,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes,
Agriculture News Page

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