MSU Focus on Dairy Production meetings continue

Dairy producers, dairy farm employees, and industry professionals will receive timely updates about topics important to managing today’s dairy farms at the Focus on Dairy Production meetings offered by the Michigan State University Extension Dairy Team. 

Local veterinarians will discuss the importance of colostrum management and calf health and their ultimate impact on the profit potential of the milking herd. Participants also will gain knowledge about the prevalence of the bovine leukemia virus and how to minimize the disease in their dairy herds. During the afternoon portion of the meeting, dairy producers will learn about keys to maximizing milk yield when using increased levels of corn silage in dairy cow diets. Other topics to be highlighted during the afternoon will be animal handling tips for employee training programs and best management practices for manure handling during the winter. 

Remaining meeting dates and locations are:

• Feb. 24 – West Branch

• Feb. 25 – Ithaca

• Feb. 26 – Bad Axe

• March 4 – Falmouth

• April 9 – Stephenson

The meetings take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (local time) at each location.

Complete information and on-line registration are available on the MSU Extension webpage. You may also request a copy of the registration flyer from the Missaukee County MSU Extension office, 231-839-4667. The registration fee is $35 per person. 

For more details, contact me at 231-839-5850 or


Ohio Holstein Breeders Seminars to discuss genomics, Enlight

Ohio Holstein Breeders seminars featuring discussions on genomics will be held at four locations in March, sponsored by Holstein Association USA and Zoetis.

Dates, times, and locations of the seminars are:

• March 4, 11 a.m., Damascus Fire Station, Damascus, Ohio, State Rte. 534

• March 5, 10 a.m., Der Dutchman Restaurant, Walnut Creek, Ohio

• March 10, 10 a.m., Jake’s Restaurant, Wooster, Ohio  

• March 14, 8:30 a.m., Ohio Holstein State Convention, Howard Johnson’s, Lima, Ohio

Speakers will include Daren Sheffield, production records specialist, and Glenn Sageser, regional representative, both with Holstein Association USA; and Zoetis representatives Tom Esselburn, Daniel Weigel and Leesa Beanblossom.

For more information, contact Glenn Sageser, regional representative, Holstein Association USA Inc., 502.321.8670, or email


2015 Indiana Livestock Forage & Grain Forum, IDP annual meeting scheduled

The Indiana Livestock Forage & Grain Forum will be held March 16, at the Indianapolis Convention Center, Indianapolis, Ind.

This year's program will feature: 

• Indiana's Dairy Strategy - Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann will unveil Indiana's new strategic dairy plan strategy

• "Let's Talk Turkey about Economic Development" - focus on how Farbest Turkey brought economic development to southwestern Indiana

• "From the Barns to Bacon:  How Investment in Agriculture Brings Community Value"

• Keynote Speaker - Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, Indiana National Guard - How The Guard, A Feed Company, The Community, and You Can Make A Difference.


The Indiana Dairy Producer's annual meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. This includes announcing the dairy producer of the year awards, a short business meeting and crisis preparedness training.

The crisis preparedness training is sponsored by IDP and the American Dairy Association Indiana Inc.

Whether a crisis is occurs on your farm, a neighbor's farm, or in the media, you will be prepared to respond and recover. The dairy industry crisis plan will allow all farmers, processors, and industry groups to speak with one voice to support each other. Being able to survive a crisis situation is part of what makes a dairy farm a sustainable family business in this information age.

After attending this crisis training you will: 

· Have a written crisis plan

· Have a list of emergency contacts

· Have a crisis PR plan

· Know which crisis events are most likely on your farm

· Have an understanding of the dairy industry's overall crisis plan

· Understand the role of the dairy checkoff in a crisis situation

· Know how to call upon your support system for aid during a crisis

For more information on the training, contact Jackie Barber ( or 317-842-3060).

There is no cost to attend the IDP annual meeting. However, there is a $25 cost to attend the morning forum and lunch.   

Visit to register for the forum. To register for the IDP annual meeting, click here. Check the box indicating you are attending the "optional dairy meeting" during registration.


Ohio: Crop margins, interest rates expected to drive farmland value

While cropland values in Ohio increased in each of the past three years,  several factors, including continued low interest rates, low debt-to-asset ratios and lower profit margins, are likely going to make for a relatively flat land market in 2015, an economist from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences said.

Ohio cropland value rose 8.9% in 2014, with bare cropland averaging $5,650 an acre, said Barry Ward, production business management leader for Ohio State University Extension.

Ward, citing statistics from the Ohio Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, said he expects values to be flat to modestly lower this year depending on relative crop margins and interest rates.

“Projected budgets for Ohio’s primary crops for 2015 show the potential for low margins and pressure to decrease cash rents,” he said. “On the other hand, strong equity positions together with higher property taxes will likely continue to lend support to cash rental rates.”

Lower profit margins in 2014 and 2015 will put downward pressure on rents, Ward said.

“These competing fundamentals suggest a relatively steady to possibly slightly lower rental market outlook for cash rental rates in 2015,” he said. “Rental rates will take their cues from crop margins. The lower the crop price and corresponding profit margin, the more downward pressure on rental rates.”

Ward spoke during the college’s 2014-2015 Agricultural Policy and Outlook series this winter.

Farmers can find enterprise budgets for 2015 at


Ag safety resources available

A clearinghouse of agricultural safety education resources is now available online. The resources were developed following the National Youth Farm and Ranch Safety Symposium, held last fall in Louisville, Ky.

The symposium brought national agricultural and youth organizations together to talk about future directions for youth employment in agriculture, said Dee Jepsen, state safety leader for Ohio State University Extension. A goal of the conference was to initiate a national movement to shape future training programs for youth who work in agricultural operations, she said.

To access resources, visit