Mar 232009



February 20, 2009

Penn State Dairy Alliance

Contact: Michele Moyer

324 Henning Building, University Park, PA 16802

888-373-7232 or



Free webinar series will explore managing

dairy feed costs during difficult economic times


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State Dairy Alliance is offering a
free online series to help dairy producers better manage feed costs
during the current economic downturn.


There are very few industries right now that are not
experiencing some economic hardships. The dairy industry is no
exception. The good news is the economy will get better, the bad news
is how long will it take? “Unfortunately, there are no simple answers
or solutions to the current downward trend of the milk price,” notes
Virginia Ishler, nutrient management specialist with Penn State Dairy
Alliance. “The highest expenses that dairy producers pay out are
related to feed. However, there is a limit to how much feed costs can
be reduced without having a negative affect on animal performance,
which could be costly in the future.”


Ishler and members of the Penn State Dairy Extension Risk
Management Team have created an Income Over Feed Cost Tool that will
help producers and their nutritionists monitor income over feed costs
(IOFC) monthly. “By monitoring IOFC you are in essence also monitoring
animal intakes, milk income, and feed costs. This provides some
powerful information for making smart decisions and looking forward to
long-term strategies,” notes Ishler.


“Managing Feed Costs on Your Dairy,” a two-part, free webinar
series will be presented by Penn State Cooperative Extension in
partnership with Dairy Alliance. The focus of the programs will be how
to manage risk using IOFC as a tool to make smart decisions and how to
implement feeding strategies to help control costs. The series is
designed for dairy producers, their managers, nutritionists, and


Part 1 of the series – Managing Risk During Difficult Times:
Milk Futures, Feed Costs, and Nutritional Strategies – will be held
March 17 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Ken Bailey, professor of Ag Economics
at Penn State, will focus on the current economic state of the dairy
industry and offer predictions for 2009. What can we do in the
short-term and in the long-term? How can producers use Income Over Feed
Costs (IOFC) to make smart decisions when it comes to feeding their
cows? Participants will learn more about Penn State’s IOFC tool and how
to get started using it to better manage their feed costs. Presenters
will also include Virginia Ishler, nutrient management specialist with
Penn State Dairy Alliance, and manager of the Penn State Dairy Research
Facility; and Erica Cowan, program specialist, Penn State Dairy


Part 2 of the series is Using Income Over Feed Costs as a Tool
to Control Costs. For participants’ convenience, this session will be
repeated three times: March 20, 24, and 27, from 10:30 a.m. to noon
each day. This program will provide an in-depth overview on how to
calculate income over feed costs. In addition, feeding strategies will
be evaluated as a means for improving animal performance and/or
bringing feed costs more into line (based on IOFC). An explanation will
be provided on how to get started using the free online Penn State
Income Over Feed Cost Tool. Presenters will include Tim Beck, Penn
State extension educator; Keith Dickinson, Penn State extension
educator; Gabriella Varga, professor of Animal Science, Penn State;
Virginia Ishler, and Erica Cowan.


A computer with a high-speed internet connection and speakers is required to use the training website. The
webinars may be viewed at various county extension offices by producers
who do not have access to a high-speed internet connection on their
computer. To take advantage of this opportunity, contact your local
Extension office in advance of your visit to check on computer
availability. For more information, visit: or call the Dairy Alliance office toll-free at 888-373-7232.


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Dairy Alliance is a Penn State Cooperative Extension initiative.



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