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NEWS RELEASE

August 2001


AGRICULTURE, VETERINARY MEDICINE AND NATURAL RESOURCES NEWS FROM IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY

WATER QUALITY'S EFFECTS ON DAIRY COW PERFORMANCE
Dairy cows that give lots of milk need lots of water. Some can drink up to 75 gallons per day. A team of Iowa State researchers studied the importance of water quality for dairy cows. They collected and evaluated water samples from 125 dairy farms in northwest Iowa and 40 in northeast Iowa. "In general, water quality was acceptable," said animal scientist Marjorie Faust. "Most water-quality traits appeared to have little impact on cows' performance, reproduction and health. However, we did find that high nitrate levels can affect milk yield and the timing of calvings." On farms testing high for nitrate, cows gave less milk and had longer intervals between calvings than cows on farms with less nitrate in the water. "How water quality affects milk quality wasn't part of our study, but based on levels of nitrate we saw, we wouldn't expect measurable quantities to appear in milk," Faust said. The researchers often hear concerns about sulfates from dairy farmers, but the study found that high sulfate levels in water had little relationship to milk production. Contact Faust, (515) 294-2793 after Aug. 27, or Brian Meyer, Agriculture Communications, (515) 294-0706.


ARE RURAL COMMUNITIES PREPARED FOR THE FUTURE?
Find out what Iowa communities are doing to take charge of their futures at "Iowa Communities 2010: Harvesting the Vision: A Rural Summit," Aug. 27-28, at Iowa State University. State and local leaders will discuss what it takes for communities to be competitive places to work and live. Population diversity, telecommunications, biotechnology, tourism, wages, education, protection of natural resources and other topics will be considered. The keynote speaker is Karl Stauber, president of the Northwest Area Foundation and a nationally known expert on rural issues. Registration and program information are on the Web at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/. Contact Paul Lasley, Sociology, (515) 294-0937; Steve Padgitt, Extension to Communities, (515) 294-8397; Brian Meyer, Agriculture Communications, (515) 294-0706; or Del Marks, Continuing Education and Communication Services, (515) 294-9807.


NICHE AND VALUE ADDED MARKETS CONFERENCE SET FOR SEPT. 18
"Niche and Value Added Marketing: What's in it for You?" is a one-day program to help pork producers, processors, distributors, lenders and others understand value added marketing. Participants will discuss the challenges and opportunities that producers, processors and retailers face in providing differentiated pork products to consumers. The conference is expected to draw participants from Iowa and surrounding states. It is sponsored by the Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC) and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State. Cost is $50 per person when registration and fee are received by Sept. 12. IPIC director John Mabry said more than 20 speakers will present information in plenary and breakout sessions on topics ranging from liability and labeling to capital access. Contact Mabry, (515) 294-4103; Fred Kirschenmann, Leopold Center, (515) 294-3711; or Sherry Hoyer, IPIC Communications, (515) 294-4496.

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