Dairy field day wet but informative

Michael E. McCormick, Morgan, Johnny W.  |  11/18/2008 1:16:56 AM

News Release Distributed 11/17/08

Despite pouring rain, more than 100 dairy producers and other industry representatives turned out for a dairy field day at the LSU AgCenter’s Southeast Research Station at Franklinton Nov. 12.

Planned tours of research areas on the station had to be canceled, but the information was still presented, said Dr. Mike McCormick, resident coordinator at the station.

“We have some research plots close to the station, so we may just have to look out the window to see some of what we’re talking about,” he said.

The field day’s featured speakers included Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain along with researchers from the LSU AgCenter and Mississippi State University.

McCormick said nearly one-third of those in attendance were Mississippi producers and extension personnel.

The program focused on feeding dairy cattle for optimum performance and health.

McCormick said three featured research topics were mineral nutrition in dairy cows, enhancing forage quality and bale silage production and the use of legumes to reduce nitrogen fertilizer needs.

Dr. John Anderson, agricultural economist at Mississippi State University, shared the good and bad news of milk and feed commodity price outlooks with the dairy producers.

“We’ve experienced good prices for milk through much of this year, partly because when the dollar is weak, our products are more affordable globally,” Anderson said, “However, there is the potential for a substantial drop in prices in 2009.”

He said the good news is that the input costs of feed, fertilizer and fuel should continue to decrease as well, which will soften the blow of decreased profits.

Anderson said the U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting milk prices will be around $17 per hundredweight in 2009, which is down from $19 in 2007 and $18 in 2008.

Farm equipment and nutrition products were on display in addition to the dairy research and milking facilities and the forage testing lab at the research station, which also demonstrated the dairy feeding equipment there.

Further information on the Louisiana dairy industry is available from McCormick at (985) 839-2322 or memccormick@agcenter.lsu.edu.

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Contact: Mike McCormick at (985) 839-2322 or memccormick@agcenter.lsu.edu  

Writer: Johnny Morgan at (225) 578-8484 or jmorgan@agcenter.lsu.edu
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