BROOKINGS – Dairy producers in the U.S. are facing challenging times, and the most difficult is the price of feed, compared to the price of milk.
"Market globalization has resulted in higher price volatility for inputs and outputs," said Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension dairy specialist.
"With today's prices, dairy producers cannot afford to contract their milk price and allow corn, corn silage and soybean meal prices to float freely. Producers must consider how to manage current and future production economics."
To develop concepts that may help dairy producers manage these challenges, the SDSU Dairy Science Department has announced a public "Options and Ideas" meeting on Tuesday, July 31, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Dairy producers and the public are invited to an open discussion in the SDSU Alfred Dairy Science Hall. No formal presentation is planned in order to allow adequate time for discussion.
"Our goal is to invite producers to brainstorm and offer input on future research priorities," Garcia said.
"With producer input, we can better understand these challenges based on producer experiences and allocate resources where they will have the greatest positive impact on dairy producers.
"Although we may not be able to find solutions to the current problems during this meeting, brainstorming will allow us to regain focus and better cope with the challenges ahead," he said.
Garcia said likely topics for the discussion will include:
• How to cope with the current feed prices.
• Review of current USDA-FSA Livestock Indemnity programs due to drought stress.
• Animal stress. South Dakota is among the states with the highest above-normal temperatures in August.
• Use of drought-stressed crops in dairy rations.
• Sharing of ideas to minimize adverse actions due to drought.
• Need for crop insurance for alfalfa growers as acres are being torn up for cash crops.
• Shortage of dairy-quality alfalfa alternatives.
For more information, contact Garcia at 688-5488.