__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

BOTTOM LINE Thursday, August 6, 2020 SECTION E

Sharing ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.

Manage summer feed storage LUIZ FERRARETTO

Hot summer weather can be problematic for dairyfeed ingredients and total mixed rations. It’s vital that feed quality and aerobic stability is maintained during hotweather conditions. Doing so will minimize nutrient losses Ferraretto while optimizing feed intakes, which is often compromised due to heat stress. Fermented forages rich in starch including corn silage and high-moisture corn, as well as diets with inflated levels of moisture or wet byproducts such as wet brewer’s grain, are more vulnerable to poor aerobic stability. Aerobic stability is defined as the length of time a feed ingredient lasts before heating or spoiling when exposed to air. Feeds like those mentioned become especially unstable when exposed to oxygen in combination with humidity and temperatures. Those conditions allow for rapid growth of yeasts, which use nutrients and lactic acid as energy sources. The growth of yeasts sets off a chain reaction that starts with heating and leads to the loss of volatile acids, a rise in pH, the growth of undesired molds

and ultimately instability. For effective summertime feed management, attention should be directed to optimal silage feed-out as well as close monitoring of total-mixed-ration temperatures. Producing aerobically stable silage requires a combination of adequate harvesting and storing management as well as good feed-out practices. With corn-harvesting season approaching, it’s important to review and consider essentials. It’s imperative to sufficiently remove oxygen from silage during the packing and sealing process. Adequate packing density reduces storage losses and improves fermentation. Harvesting coarsely chopped or late-maturity silage — or that which is greater than 40 percent dry matter — should be done with caution. Those practices commonly result in poor packing and lead to more oxygen retention as well as reduced aerobic stability at feed-out. The rate at which oxygen penetrates the silage face at feed-out is directly proportional to packing density. Inoculating silage with heterofermentative microbial inoculants may improve the aerobic stability of corn silage and high-moisture corn. The heterofermentative bacteria most

PDPW

Maintaining aerobic stability is critical to preserving the nutritive value of silages and total mixed rations, and to mitigate reductions in feed intake. commonly used in silage inoculants is Lactobacillus buchneri, which converts lactate to acetate and 1,2-propanediol. Typical fermentation responses to L. buchneri inoculation are presented in Table 1. New combinations of inoculants containing L. buchneri are showing promising research results. For example researchers are investigating the combination of L. buchneri with L. diolivorans because the latter can convert 1,2-propanediol into propionate. Both acetate and propionate have antifungal properties that inhibit yeast and mold growth. But it’s important to remember that many of the issues related to poor

aerobic stability are a result of poor management practices. It’s critical to first correct poor management protocols to maximize the benefits of using a microbial inoculant. Feed-out practices that allow air to infiltrate into the silage face will also reduce aerobic stability. Some commonly observed mal-

(715) 223-2525

New Nemesis 175 w/Loader Just Arrived!

Your North CeNtral WisCoNsiN authorized Versatile dealer siNCe 2011

TRACTORS

Adapted from Kleinschmit and Kung (2006). Difference calculated as Inoculated – Non-inoculated (Control) silage.

Farm King

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN

00 1

differently. It’s a long-lived climate pollutant, a stock gas that keeps building in the atmosphere to increase the existing supply. It hangs over us for 1,000 years – and potentially forever. That’s because there’s too much of it to be absorbed by carbon sinks, oceans, soils and plants. Rather than addressing

that problem, the finger of blame is often pointed at methane instead – particularly that produced by cattle. Research suggests methane is not as loathsome as many believe. It may even be part of the solution to the planet’s stockpile of carbon dioxide. Please see MITLOEHNER, Page E2

New Nemesis 210 in stock

Used eqUipment For sale

2

What goes around doesn’t always come around. But in the case of the biogenic carbon cycle the old adage holds true. It’s one of the reasons methane should be viewed differently than carbon dioxide from fossil fuels, the most plentiful greenhouse gas. Mitloehner Methane is emitted in several ways, a few of which include  during production and transport of fossil fuels  during decomposition of organic waste in landfills  from livestock and other agricultural practices Ruminant animals such as dairy cattle are often criticized because they emit methane during digestion. Biogenic methane is the methane that comes from animals and decomposing organic matter in landfills; it’s a short-lived climate pollutant. It’s also a flow gas ¬– meaning it cycles through the atmosphere. After 10 years it reacts with a hydroxyl radical to become carbon dioxide and water. As part of the biogenic carbon cycle plants absorb carbon dioxide. Through photosynthesis they harness the sun’s energy to produce carbohydrates such as cellulose. Indigestible by humans, cellulose is a key feed ingredient for cattle and other ruminants. Their rumens break it down, take carbon from it and emit a small portion as methane that goes into the atmosphere. Such is the continuous biogenic carbon cycle. The carbon dioxide that results from the burning of fossil fuels functions much

Luiz Ferraretto is an assistant professor in the department of animal and dairy sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a ruminant-nutrition specialist for UW-Division of Extension. Email ferraretto@wisc.edu to contact him.

Mast Farm Service

1

FRANK MITLOEHNER

er’s grains in the total mixed ration during hot weather may increase the ration’s susceptibility to heating and spoiling. Another preventative option is to add buffered-acid products to the ration; they typically contain buffered acetate, propionate or benzoate. Buffered-acid products have the potential to inhibit yeast proliferation and improve feed stability. Like other approaches to preventing the negative impacts of heat stress, sound harvesting and feed-out practices combined with effective feed-bunk management will work together to keep cows healthy and productive in suboptimal conditions.

4784 Cemetery Ave. • Abbotsford, WI 55405

Table 1. Effect of Lactobacillus buchneri on fermentation profile of corn silage 1,2 Item Control Difference pH 3.70 0.18 Lactate, % of DM 6.59 -1.80 Acetate, % of DM 2.18 1.71 Yeast, log cfu/g 4.18 -2.30 DM recovery, % 95.5 -1.0 Aerobic stability, h 25 478

Dairies help with carbon cycle

practices include uneven silage facing, feeding out too slowly, removing plastic from a section of silage too soon and allowing feed removed from the silage face to sit for long periods of time. Poor aerobic stability of the total mixed ration typically has adverse effects on its nutritive value as well as animal intake. To avoid those issues, monitor temperatures of total mixed ration in the feed bunk throughout the day. If the total mixed ration is becoming hot, determine the cause of the heating. Feeding reduced quantities of total mixed ration more frequently throughout the day could be a good solution to minimize spoilage. That practice also matches a cow’s reduced feed-intake tendencies when she’s experiencing heat stress. It’s also advisable to exclude likely-to-spoil ingredients from the total mixed ration. Including wet brewer’s or wet distill-

84” Grading Scraper and 72” Landscape Rake In Stock.

Tanks & PumPs for sale or renT 1. 2. 3. 4.

MFS 5280, 5000 & 4200 Rental Spreaders.. Call Dryhill 32’, 44’ & 54’ Lagoon Pump’s ....... Call MFS Fill Carts, 27ft ....................... $2,295 2010 Houle 5250, 28L26 tires, steering, very good ......................$29,995 5. Houle 36ft Pump, 1000 PTO, elec. Controls ................................ $9,995 6. Jamesway/VanDale 4100 gal Tank, 23.1L26 tires, as-is ....................... $6,500 7. Dryhill 52’, 8” multi-purpose Lagoon Pump...................................... Call 8. Badger 12500L Tank, very clean & solid. ..........................$7,750 9. Dryhill 52’ Lagoon Pump, “10 discharge, 8” agitation, no gear box. Meet the new Over Achiever! .................................... Call Your Source for Liquid Manure, Coupler & Hose Needs, Retail & Wholesale. Call us for your farm repair needs!

2005 New Holland TM175 MFD, 1980 hrs., 4 remotes, 20.8 R42 rears w/duals, very clean, 1-owner machine..................................................................$54,500 CIH 7120, ‘92, MFD, 750 hrs. on trans. Rebuild, Sharp w/Duals ....................$37,995 2014 Versatile 260 MFD, 3550 hrs., 480/80R46 rears w/duals, very clean...$91,995 SOLD 2014 Versatile 260 MFD, 1800 hrs. + -, 480/80R50 rears w/duals, very clean......................................................................................................Call

MISCELLANEOUS

Triolet 1200 Solo Mix, Twin Screw, 400 Cu., Rebuilt Planetary On Front Gearbox, Our Rental .....................................................................$12,995 Tyler Terragator New Leader L3020 G-4-12 S.S. Spreader box w/Viper Pro rate control, GPS, needs trans. repair. ..................................................................$9,500 Case IH 3950 Disc, 19 ft., 18” frt blades, 19” rear blades ................................$11,200 Versatile TD500N 27’ disk. .......................................................................Buy or Rent Versatile SD 650 12’ Offset disk...............................................................Buy or Rent Gehl 970 16’ Forage Box on Meyer 12 ton Tandem, solid. ...............................$2,850 H&S 7+4 16’ Forage Box on Knowles 12 ton Tandem, solid ............................$3,250 10X71 Peck Grain Auger w/low profile swing hopper, very little use..................$6,995 Versatile Fury 25’ Speed Disc, Demo Unit.............................................................Sold

MAst FArM serViCe Abbotsford, WI • 715-223-2525

We SHiP PARtS ANYtiMe & ANYWHeRe!

“... good news for the rest of her lactation!” — Bryce Br yce Windeck Windecker er

WINDEX FARM FRANKFORT, NEW YORK Dale, Deb, Bryce and Kayla Windecker 100 Registered Holstein cows BAA 107.6, 7 EX, 47 VG, 28 GP 65 lbs/cow/day SCC 110,000 Certified Organic grazing herd Photos: Bryce, Deb and Dale Windecker with hay equipment. Bryce at 2019 Big E with his bred-and-owned show cow from a top cow family Windex Fremont Dandy EX94. She was nominated Jr. All-American 5-year-old.

“If you can get a cow rolling along when she freshens, it’s good news for the rest of her lactation. That’s why we use Udder Comfort™ on every fresh cow, especially heifers, 2x/day for 5 days after calving,” says Bryce Windecker, cowman in charge of the breeding program at Windex Farm, Frankfort, N.Y. He transfers to Cornell this fall. Bryce explains how his family has used Udder Comfort for 10 years, since before being certified organic in 2017: “This product is better than anything else. It’s real prevention. We use the yellow sprayable Udder Comfort and we like to cover the udder on a fresh animal. “This gets swelling out fast. That’s better for their comfort level and udder quality as a whole, to keep SCC low.”

Quality Udders Make Quality Milk

Maximum Results Minimal Cost 1.888.773.7153 1.613.652.9086 uddercomfort.com Call to locate a distributor near you. For external application to the udder only, after milking, as an essential component of udder management. Always wash and dry teats thoroughly before milking.


E2

| THURSDAY, AUGUST 6, 2020

AGRI-VIEW.COM

M

BOTTOM LINE Thursday, August 6, 2020 E2

Sharing ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.

Dairy Fest events planned After months of social distancing PDPW members have expressed a desire to meet again. Two host farms will open doors for an evening of networking and enjoying entertainment during PDPW Dairy Fest™. Host farms are Travis and Melissa Marti’s Marti Farms near Vesper, Wisconsin; and Vision Aire Farms near Eldorado, Wisconsin, owned by Roger and Sandy Grade, Travis and Janet Clark, and David and Torrie Grade. Each evening attendees will learn from panel members Tim Swenson and Carl Babler as they discuss risk-management tools with facilitator Jim Moriarty.

Wayne Larrivee, “the voice of the Green Bay Packers,” will address attendees, followed by comedian Royal Boehlke. Networking with dairy suppliers and fellow dairy farmers will be integrated throughout each night. Included with each registration is food made available by either a local food truck or a caterer. Registration cost of $20 applies to anyone who doesn’t fit in a back pack. All are welcome. Visit www. pdpw.org or call 800-9477379 for more information and to register. The events will abide by the most current COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Midwest Grooving

PDPW Upcoming Educational Events As dairy’s professional development organization, PDPW is committed to leading the success of the dairy industry through education. The following programs have been developed guided by our mission to share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed. See pdpw.org/programs for full program details and to register.

President

Date(s)

PDPW Program

Location

Aug 11-13

The Dairy Signal™

Online, 12 – 1 pm CDT

Aug 12 Aug 18-20 Aug 19

Aug 25-27 Aug 25

Starting from $1850 Sizes from 8x12 to 14x24 • 20 Color Selections! • Free Delivery Within 50 Miles!

SAUDER Animal Shelters

7596 Co. Hwy. G, Stanley, WI 54768 • 715-703-0558

Dairy Fest – a night on the farm, with learning and laughter The Dairy Signal™

A free resource featuring experts in the industry; available and shareable to all from www.pdpw.org.

Dairy Fest – a night on the farm, with learning and laughter The Dairy Signal™

A free resource featuring experts in the industry; available and shareable to all from www.pdpw.org.

Agricultural Community Engagement (ACE®) On-the-Farm Twilight Meeting Agricultural Community Engagement (ACE®) On-the-Farm Twilight Meeting

Agricultural Community Engagement (ACE®) On-the-Farm Twilight Meeting

Sep 1-3

The Dairy Signal™

Silo Relining Barn Wall Resurfacing Basement Wall Resurfacing Sand Blasting

Family Owned Since 1950!

A free resource featuring experts in the industry; available and shareable to all from www.pdpw.org.

Aug 27

Gunite

1-800-801-7070 • Beaver Dam, WI

PDPW Board of Directors Jay Heeg Colby, Wis. 715-507-0030 jcheeg@yahoo.com

Aug 26

• • • •

PDPW: Who we are

Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) is Dairy's Professional Development Organization®. With a vision to lead the success of the dairy industry through education, our mission is to share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.

A free resource featuring experts in the industry; available and shareable to all from www.pdpw.org.

Vice President Katy Schultz Fox Lake, Wis. 920-210-9661 katylschultz@gmail.com

Audio and video recordings also available free

Secretary Dan Scheider Freeport, Ill. 815-812-4012 dnscheider@gmail.com

4:30 pm registration - 9 pm conclude: Travis & Melissa Marti Farm, Vesper, WI Online, 12 – 1 pm CDT

Treasurer Janet Clark Rosendale, Wis. 608-341-6709 vafarmsllc@hotmail.com

Audio and video recordings also available free

Directors Andy Buttles Lancaster, Wis. 608-723-4712 stonefront@tds.net

4:30 pm registration - 9 pm conclude: Vision Aire Farms: Roger & Sandy Grade, Travis & Janet Clark and David & Torrie Clark, Eldorado, WI Online, 12 – 1 pm CDT

Ken Feltz Stevens Point, Wis. 715-570-6390 feltzfarms@hotmail.com John Haag Dane, Wis. 608-576-0812 jahaag5@gmail.com

Audio and video recordings also available free

Corey Hodorff Eden, Wis. 920-602-6449 corey@secondlookholsteins.com

6:00 - 8:30 pm: Lafayette County Highway Dairy Farms; Jean Stauffacher, Jay Stauffacher, 16639 State Road 23, Darlington 6:00 - 8:30 pm: Portage County Feltz Family Farms; Ken & Jackie Feltz and families, 5796 Porter Drive, Stevens Point 6:00 - 8:30 pm: Fond du Lac County Second Look Holsteins; Doug & Linda Hodorff, Corey & Tammy Hodorff and Clint Hodorff, N3832 Hwy. W, Eden Online, 12 – 1 pm CDT

Steven Orth Cleveland, Wis. 920-905-2575 orthlanddairy@gmail.com

PDPW Advisers

Jim Barmore GPS Dairy Consulting Verona, Wis. jmbarmore@gpsdairy.com Paul Fricke UW-Madison Dairy Science Madison, Wis. pmfricke@wisc.edu Kurt Petik Rabo AgriFinance Fond du Lac, Wis. kurt.petik@raboag.com Andrew Skwor MSA Professional Services Baraboo, Wis. askwor@msa-ps.com

Audio and video recordings also available free

www.pdpw.org mail@pdpw.org 800-947-7379

Call 800.947.7379 or visit pdpw.org for more programs and details, and to register.

Late-August twilight meetings scheduled hosted by Ken and Jackie Feltz and families  Aug. 27 – Second Look Holsteins, Eden, hosted by Doug and Linda Hodorff, Corey and Tammy Hodorff, and Clint Hodorff The meetings are open to the public. They’re geared toward community leaders, elected officials, educators, conservation specialists and dairy farmers. There

will be shared discussion on issues such as water, community development, resource management, roads and transportation, and other critical subjects. At each location a farm tour will start at 6 p.m.; it will be followed by ice cream and open discussions, to conclude at 8:30 p.m. The free meetings are held in partnership with

the Wisconsin Counties Association, the Wisconsin Towns Association and the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin. Visit www.pdpw.org or call 800947-7379 for more information. The meetings will abide by the most current COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

translates to carbon neutrality in that sector. And the news is even better. If methFrom E1 ane emissions are reduced, Keeping animal agricul- that contributes to global ture’s methane emissions cooling down the road. The constant through time reason is simple. Less methane now means less carbon dioxide from methane 10 years later. Plants will pull any additional amount they need from the atmosphere’s stockpile, resulting in a cooling effect. It’s already happening. U.S. methane emissions from livestock decreased during the past half-century as herd sizes decreased while output increased. California’s dairy herd peaked in 2008 and has since declined by 7 percent, mean-

ing California dairies have helped cool the climate. In addition they’ve reduced methane emissions by 25 percent using technologies such as manure digesters. That’s put California more than halfway to its 2030 goal of 40 percent methane reduction. The dairies also have reduced their carbon-dioxide emissions by incorporating solar energy, light-emitting-diode lighting, and electrification of feed-mixing and water-pumping operations. Methane mitigation could alleviate the problem of global warming and lead to cooling effects, but only if methane from all sources is reduced. Currently that’s

not the case. At the same time fossil-fuel carbon-dioxide emissions need to be aggressively decreased. Because it’s a stock gas that continues to accumulate and heat the atmosphere, it will eventually overcome the benefit brought about by a methane reduction. Nevertheless reducing methane is a significant short-term opportunity that should be pursued.

PDPW’s annual Agricultural Community Engagement® or ACE On-theFarm Twilight Meetings are planned to be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. three nights in August in Wisconsin.  Aug. 25 – Highway Dairy Farms, Darlington, hosted by siblings Jean and Jay Stauffacher  Aug. 26 – Feltz Family Farms, Stevens Point,

Mitloehner

Twohig Rietbrock Schneider & Halbach “Attorneys for Agriculture” (920) 849 - 4999

Legal, business and planning solutions for Wisconsin’s farms and agribusinesses.

Frank Mitloehner is a professor in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California-Davis and an air-quality specialist with University of California-Extension. Email fmmitloehner@ ucdavis.edu to reach him. In the case of the biogenic carbon cycle, what goes around literally comes around; methane acts differently than carbon dioxide from fossil fuels.

BUNKER SILOS AVAILABLE IN ONE OR MULTIPLE BAY DESIGN • 8-1/2’ or 12’ high bunkers available • Panels are bolted together and moveable

AL’S

CONCRETE PRODUCTS 1-800-982-9263

Serving Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin since 1965.

www.alsconcreteproducts.com

00 1


BOTTOM LINE Thursday, August 6, 2020 E3

Sharing ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.

PEOPLE PERSPECTIVE

Let’s help direct our world T

here are so many events impacting our world today, events that our generation has never before simultaneously experienced. It started with weather events that were either more catastrophic or occurring more frequently. Then out of nowhere came a virus HANK that turned WAGNER our daily routines and markets upside down. And while nations around the globe were still reeling, another attack reared its ugly head. Disagreements about race and religion have always been with us but they seem to becoming more intense. It seems there are people now entering the division not because they want to fight for their beliefs, but to pit opposing sides against one another to create more division. Riots, looting, and the destruction of businesses and historical monuments have become so commonplace

that people are growing accustomed to those news reports rather than surprised. Adding to all the turmoil is the growing skepticism about the world news we receive. Thanks to technology not only are we being bombarded with 24-seven news, we’re less and less sure we’re receiving the full truth. Is there a spin? Have those photos been Photoshopped or otherwise manipulated? Are we being led to draw our own conclusions that aren’t necessarily true? Add in the fact that it’s an election year and all the political hype serves to further magnify what seems to be a continual onslaught of questionable information. So what do we do? Do we throw up our hands and surrender to the giant beast of unwanted challenge? Do we give up our ability to act because it’s too much, too big and too hard? Is most of it out of our control and impossible for any one person to have an impact on anyway? Two things come to mind that can potentially

waters. You are signifimoment and then bent cant, important, valuable down to pick up another starfish that he threw back and needed. You have the power to help others apply into the sea. the serenity prayer and “I made a difference for not become overwhelmed that one!” he said. We need wise, compas- when things seem to swell out of our control. sionate, open-minded, Let’s each remember we level-headed and goodcan all make a difference – hearted people to be inone starfish at a time. CONTRIBUTED volved in current events. If not, the radical people A boy picks up another starfish to throw back into the sea. Hank Wagner is a dairy who lack those traits – or producer and a John Maxchoose to disregard them The boy replied, “The help us answer those queswell Team teacher, mentor, – will determine our cirtions and navigate through tide has gone out; these speaker and coach. To learn cumstances. And I must starfish will die if they’re these incredibly chalmore about nurturing thankbe clear. The people who left here on the beach.” lenging times. The first “But there are hundreds, possess the traits we need fulness, consider reading is something many have maybe thousands, of star- in our world are of all skin Hank’s book “Teachable Moalready heard. It’s a quote ments: Lessons from Africa.” colors, education levels, dating back to 1932, by Re- fish on this beach,” the It’s available online at amoccupations and ages. man said. “Certainly you inhold Niebuhr. It’s often In the meantime we can azon.com and at most book don’t think you’re going referred to as the serenity stores. Contact hwagner@ help our children, famto make a difference, do prayer. frontiernet.net for more inily members and friends you?” “God grant me the seformation. navigate these turbulent The boy paused for a renity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” The second is a wellknown story about a boy and some starfish. An The answer to all your grooming needs. older man was walking along a beach when he noticed a young boy picking up starfish and throwing them back into the sea. “What are you doing” the man asked.

Xperience Clipper

Quiet and cool operation

Plan next year’s profit margins JIM MORIARTY

00 1

It can be difficult to think about next year’s margins when half of this year remains, and results for the first two quarters are still being assessed. As the wild swings of the past four months have proven it’s impossible to predict future milk prices and profit Moriarty margins. Crop yields for 2020 are still to be determined and we have ongoing uncertainty regarding milk price. But even as feed costs decrease and future milk prices hover at or at more than trend averages, there are profit-margin opportunities in 2021 to act on now. Projections for feed prices and costs for fall 2020 and into next year look to be reduced. Planting conditions were clearly more favorable this year compared to 2019. And corn, soybean and alfalfa crops are progressing ahead of schedule. The crop conditions to this point are reflected in reduced futures prices, with corn and soybean prices having decreased 10 percent to 25 percent compared to this time a year ago. Hay prices are still near this past year’s value but this year’s alfalfa conditions are better – enabling more and better-quality haylage to be harvested. To translate reduced feed prices into reduced cost of production in 2021, producers should consider hedging or forward-pricing part of their anticipated feed needs. While the potential for upside price movements for corn, soybeans and related products appears minimal now, weather could still impact yields and increase prices. There may also be cost-of-production gain through increased milk production from better-quality feed. It’s also advisable to evaluate putting a floor under milk revenues for 2021, with hedging options or by insuring with Dairy Revenue Protection. Understandably some may hesitate to take action on milk-price management for next year. Even experts are still trying

to understand how Class III milk went from $16 in February to $12 in May and then to $21 for June. Wide swings are expected to continue as both milk production and dairy-product demand are impacted by COVID-19. Rather than try to predict the price, the key is to identify the milk-price levels that will cover projected

cost of production. Then place a floor price that protects downside risk while still allowing for opportunity for profitable margins. An incremental approach using multiple tools may be the optimal strategy for protecting milk price in 2021. Class III futures

Low vibration housing

Fast speed with 2500 double strokes

NEW from Coburn

800 776 7042 | coburn.com

Please see MORIARTY, Page E4

Wisconsin Farmers and Rural Mutual keep WISCONSIN STRONG. As Wisconsin’s #1 farm insurer, we offer the best coverage for Wisconsin’s agriculture industry.

Find your local agent and request a quote at www.RuralMutual.com/agent


E4 | Thursday, August 6, 2020

M

AGRI-VIEW.COM

PDPW Keep soil ‘bank accounts’ healthy TOM STEINBACH

Most of us receive monthly statements from our banks or credit unions and it’s always comforting to see our balances increase. It would be great if farmers could receive a monthly statement showing the status of soil Steinbach health on the fields that are farmed. The health of soils is perhaps equal to or even more important to long-term success than a bank-account statement. There are many methods used to keep track of soil health – yields, soil testing, visual observation upon planting, compaction testing, earthworms in a shovelful, infiltration testing and assessing the amount of topsoil collecting in a drainage ditch. I live next to a sod farm so the ditches generally stay cloudy. I suspect there’s a fair amount of soil loss due to the nature of the low-lying fields. But the more-significant cause is probably tied to the soil taken off during the sod-cutting operation. Unlike sod, conventional grain or cash-crop harvesting doesn’t take off much soil. The soil losses in those cases are mainly due to wind, water or ice flow – or perhaps tile blowouts.

OCONOMOWOC WATERSHED PROTECTION PROGRAM‌

The Oconomowoc Watershed Protection Program’s aim is to help plant covers to protect fields in late fall through spring, planting many tons of seed into standing beans and corn and experimenting with different seeding rates. In recent years there’s been a lot of focus on cover crops. “Healthy soils are always covered in green,” proclaims one publication. In Wisconsin we know how difficult that can be to accomplish. And in the past three years elevated precipitation totals haven’t made it any easier. In the Oconomowoc Watershed, since 2017 the Oconomowoc Watershed Protection Program and program partner Farmers for Lake Country have been working with farmers. The aim is to help plant covers that protect fields in late fall through spring. Using a helicopter we’ve planted many tons of seed into standing beans and corn. We’ve experimented with different seeding rates and timing, with more successes than failures. We’ve been able to establish thousands of acres in green cover be-

ginning in early October, where in previous years there would have been no protective cover until late June of the following year. Starting in 2019 we experimented with frost-planting into corn stubble in March and have tried some planting into green covers in May. We’re learning more with each trial. We’ve also partnered with farmers to add wheat into the typical corn-bean rotation. And we’ve started incentivizing landowners and farmers to keep perennial cover on critical fields for the long term to provide cover while still allowing for cuttings for forage or bedding. One of the most challenging time frames is May and June; plants are young, canopies haven’t yet closed and there’s still a lot of exposed soil. We’ve found that to be a time with greater risks of erosion as early sum-

elevateD Dual rail suspenDeD freestalls

suspenDeD freestalls

The Toughest Toughest Freestalls The Freestalls on on the the Market Market -- Guaranteed Guaranteed Not Not to toBend Bend 10 gauge tubing; lunge 2 3/8”area outside diameter, Hi Tensil Galvanized Steel • •Provides superior Heavystronger 1.9”- 9 than gaugeour topcompetitors rail with extra heavy 1/4” thick clamp, 61/4 lbs • •Much beam systems 40”mounts Extra Heavy iron drilled for 8 lags or bolts • •No2 -stall in thegalvanized concrete angle or sand • brackets, Fully adjustable Various types of mounting ElevatedinDual Raillife System available • •Stall system stays high andlike dry,the resulting longer Brisket Board Adapter Clamps available, fastens to bottom of Freestall Loop • •Installation labor savings All Freudenthal arerow made with Pipe Manufactured in USA • •Head to head andStalls single options available Our Stallsthe areweight unmatched Quality,heaviest Durability,available and Workmanship • •Compare of thisinsystem, on the market today

Legend Soft Bed Mat • Simple low maintenance • No thin top cover to break down and tear • Specialized urethane foam underlay which does not pack over time like crumb filled beds • Fully molded and reinforced top mat for stability and added hygiene • Simple and fast installation • 5 Year Warranty

Legend grooved roLL • Proven for Extreme Durability • 5mm Stainless Cable Inlay • Guaranteed NEVER to Stretch • Grooved Top For Traction • Can Be Used With Automatic & Skid Steer Scrapers • 10 Year Warranty

mer storms move through. “Planting green” into a mat of terminated cover is likely the most significant step we can take to address those early-growing-season conditions. Other aspects of soil health also come into play, including any measures that promote better soil structure and water infiltration. Many soil-health field days are being held regarding the topic. We invite everyone to take advantage of the knowledge gained from the pioneering efforts of others. The Oconomowoc Watershed is merely a small part of all the acreage in which farmers work. But more and more watershed programs are being developed; there may be resources each producer can take advantage of for funding and expertise. Healthy soils are key to strong yields and longterm success for the farmer. Farming with soil health in mind also promotes clean rivers and creeks downstream. Keep those soil bank accounts healthy and strong. And keep ditches clear of silt so soils stay where they’re needed most – for the long term. Tom Steinbach of Tall Pines Conservancy is director of the Oconomowoc Watershed Protection Program in Wisconsin. Visit oconomowocwatershed.com or tallpinesconservancy.org or email tom@ tallpinesconservancy.org for more information.

Moriarty From E3

prices are currently in the low- to mid-$16 range for 2021. That is well less than the $21 price in June 2020 but significantly better than prices for most of the period from 2015 through 2018 – and obviously stronger than the $12 experienced in May this year. With feed prices decreasing, Class III prices in the $16 range could be a breakeven to positive profit margin for most dairy farms. Dairy Margin Coverage at a $9.50-margin level for as much as 5 million pounds of annual production should be a first step in 2021 milk-price risk management. Dairy Revenue Protection and/or options using the Chicago Mercantile Exchange would be an additional tool with which to set price floors. If first-quarter 2021 futures don’t yet meet a producer’s

targets, he or she should look to the increased futures prices in the second and third quarters for a starting point. Incrementally layering in coverage of expected milk production could also help obtain additional coverage while looking for better price movements. It’s certainly a challenge to focus on 2021 while disruptions are still occurring in 2020. But it’s important to plan ahead. There’s a significant opportunity to set the foundation for profitable margins for the coming year. Future milk prices are favorable relative to the past four to five years, and feed costs are at relatively reduced levels. Action now can set the stage for profits next year while also protecting against the unexpected. Jim Moriarty is a dairy director with Compeer Financial, a Vision Sponsor of PDPW. Email Jim.Moriarty@afs.compeer.com to reach him.

SCIENCE ON THE FARM FOR KIDS

Dangerous world creates adaptations LARRY SCHECKEL

For Agri-View‌

Question: How do animals protect themselves from danger? Answer: Animals have developed numerous remarkable defenses to keep

from being devoured by their enemies. Grazing animals will feed in herds; deer, buffalo and zebra are in that category. They will scatter when attacked, confusing their pursuers. Some animals change their behavior. An opossum will play dead; some beetles and millipedes will also fake death. The meadowlark pretends it has a broken wing. Many anScheckel imals have keen senses of hearing, smell and sight; they survive by running or flying away. The crow is one of the best at sensing danger. Some creatures have horns or antlers they will use to fend off predators. There is a whole category of animals such as garden snails, tortoises, crabs and clams that are covered by hard shells. Clams close their shells. The tortoise or turtle can pull in its head and legs for greater protection. Porcupines and starfish have needles or spines to ward off enemies. The sting of poison protects wasps, scorpions, centipedes and some snakes. Animals can change their colors to match their surroundings. The arctic fox has grey fur in spring and summer. But as fall and winter approaches the fur changes to a white to blend in with snow. The chameleon and iguana change skin color to match their background. Camouflage is a powerful tool in the animal kingdom. Tigers, raccoons and bears have extremely sharp claws and teeth that discourage others from messing with them. The daddy long-legs spider has a long thin body that looks like a stick or twig. Its color blends in with trees and branches. Leaf insects are hard to spot as they merge in with green leaves. A few creatures don’t taste good to their foe. Many of those have bright colors to tell their enemies they aren’t worth eating. Sea slugs are a prime example. Squids emit a black ink to hide themselves in the water. The skunk smells bad. Some animals don’t hang around in the same place. Some migrate while others hibernate. Some stay close to home and can dart underground when danger lurks. Gopher and prairie dogs are examples. Animals that find ways to protect themselves and live long enough to have families will survive. Creatures that don’t find such means will be killed off by their enemies. It’s a cruel world out there. When all the animals of any kind are easily killed by their enemies – or by cold, heat or lack of food – that type of 00 animal becomes extinct. 1

Profile for Madison.com

PDPW Dairy's Bottom Line -- August 2020  

PDPW Dairy's Bottom Line -- August 2020  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded