According to Professional Dairy Producers® (PDPW), the line-up for week fifteen of The Dairy Signal™ will feature two new presenters – Emily Yeiser Stepp, Vice President of The National Dairy FARM Program, National Milk Producers Federation and Tammy Vaassen, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Beef Council.
Developed by fellow dairy farmers from the PDPW Board of Directors, The Dairy Signal is a weekly series of free educational episodes offering insights and resources for fellow dairy farmers and other food system professionals throughout the value chain. The episodes air live from 12:00-1:00 PM CT each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; recorded sessions are available later in the day.
During the 40th episode of the Dairy Signal, Tuesday, July 7, Matt Ruark, Associate Professor of Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, shared the long-term benefits of incorporating cover crops into your cropping system to help improve soil health. Some major benefits of cover crops include: reduced erosion, improved soil quality, and increased soil organic matter and water holding capacity.
Ruark said farmers interested in establishing cover crops should ask themselves about what percent of their corn silage acres can be feasibly planted with cover crops and how will you incorporate these cover crops into your manure system? For university-based cover crop recommendations, visit: Midwest Cover Crops Council.
Dr. Frank Mitloehner, Ph.D., Professor and Air Quality Extension Specialist with the Department of Animal Science at University of California, Davis, conducts research in quantifying the impact animal agriculture has on the environment. He referenced a study that cautioned foregoing meat, dairy and other animal-sourced products. The study notes that humans could not satisfy their nutritional needs because animal-sourced food is so nutrient dense; something very difficult to replace with plant-based products.
Dr. Mitloehner mentioned there is a growing interest about what impact food being consumed will have on the environment and animal welfare. “People are asking questions. You as dairy producers are authentic – nobody knows your dairy or your cows better then you. If you are asked questions, answer them – show empathy and show that you care because the people asking these questions are your customers. This is your lifestyle and business.”
On Thursday’s episode, Dan Basse, Economist and President of AgResource Company, said Class III milk has become the best performer of all the commodities out there – we are now getting back to the 2014 all-time high of $24.50 per hundredweight. As long as the government keeps purchasing product, he predicts the milk markets will continue to perform. He also mentioned the Farmers for Families Food Box program has been deemed a success, with 32 million boxes donated.
Basse advised farmers to think forward to October and beyond and analyze your risk management profiles. You need to be proactive at looking at your margins and take some protective steps.
Each live session will offer attendees the opportunity to engage in open Q&A and interact with the speakers through www.slido.com and entering the code #myPDPW.
Our dairy industry and lives are changing daily and our need for accurate business information is vital. Content on The Dairy Signal will be updated as new information becomes available.
Here is a look at next week’s presenters and topics:
Tuesday, July 14
Topic: Find out how meat processing plants have fared through the coronavirus pandemic, how they are adapting going forward, and what precautions have been taken for both food and worker safety. Episode presenters includes:
· Curt Larson, President and CEO of Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association
· Steve Van Lannen, President and Chief Operating Officer of American Foods Group
Wednesday, July 15
Topic: There’s been some changes with the National Dairy FARM Program. Get the scoop on what these additions are and how they will impact your farm. Episode presenter includes:
· Emily Yeiser Stepp, Vice President of The National Dairy FARM Program, National Milk Producers Federation
Thursday, July 16
Topic: How does the Beef Checkoff impact dairy farmers? Learn how beef and byproducts find their way into the export market while also taking a look at the structure of the beef checkoff program nationally. Episode presenter includes:
· Tammy Vaassen, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Beef Council
“We talk a lot about managing risk and knowing your numbers. Keep in mind one of our greatest risks is the health of the people on our teams, within our families and ourselves – make sure you take care of yourself and take a step away from your business to get a clearer view. Spend some quality time with your loved ones,” advised Shelly Mayer, Executive Director of PDPW and dairy farmer from Slinger, Wis.
All Dairy Signal episodes are free and open to the public, accessible from www.pdpw.org.