Dry Heat Helps, Dust Doesn't

November 1, 2011 05:23 AM

DonaldVanHofwegenDonald Van Hofwegen

Stanfield, Ariz.
Donald and Ingrid Van Hofwegen milk 2,700 Holsteins in central Arizona.




The times are changing and so are the rules and requirements for air quality and water usage that could be impacting our dairy.

We dairy in an environment that is dry most of the year. That is actually a good thing, because the corrals stay nice and dry. During the summer, when we run the fans and misters, we can cool the air more efficiently.

The big drawback from this is that it can be extremely dusty. Really, the only thing we can do to try to keep the dust down is water the roads around the dairy. We do this every morning and then again in the afternoon. This helps a lot.

My dairy, however, is located off of a dirt road that is highly traveled, so it sometimes seems like an endless battle. Dust monitors are in our area, and they are watched closely. We are doing the best we can to keep the dust to a minimum around the dairy.

With the dry climate, we have a lot of evaporation of our wastewater. Our lagoons have a lot of surface area and we can pump waste`water on our fields for irrigation.

If we have an overabundance of water, we use our evaporating ponds to get rid of it. We don’t have a problem with saturation, because it dries out before it can seep into our water supply.

Our local Farm Bureau is on top of any and all water and air quality restrictions that may be coming. They do a great job of keeping us informed and letting us know what we can do to stay in compliance with any restrictions that could affect us.


Van Hofwegens' October Prices  
Milk (September) (3.5% bf, 3.5% prt) $21.55/cwt. quota
$19.27/cwt. over quota
Cull cows $67/cwt.
Springing heifers $1,650/head
Milk cow hay $285/ton
Rolled corn $284/ton
Cottonseed $320/ton
Bull calves $40/head


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