Iowa farmers enjoy warmer temperatures - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa farmers enjoy warmer temperatures


As a sixth generation dairy farmer, Dane Lang of Brooklyn said he knows all too well so much depends on what is beyond his control.

"No one expected milk prices to crash as quickly as it did, and no one expected milk prices to stay depressed as long as it did," Lang said.

The family business survived a time when milk prices bottomed out in 2009 while many other farms did not.

Lang said business has since been on the mend and here in the beginning of 2012, he has seen a boost from Mother Nature.

"The way we operate here on a daily basis, is solely dependent on what the weather is doing," he said.

The unseasonal weather has meant good news for dairy farmers who have seen record production in the month of February.

The United States Department of Agriculture reports a productive start to the year for the 23 major milk producing states. Iowa farmers have seen a six percent increase this February compared to 2011.

Industry experts said mild temperatures are part of the reason.

"The feed quality could be just as much as an impact from last year to this year, as well, but the weather definitely plays a big impact on how wells cows produce milk," Lang said.

While record temperatures have been welcomed during the winter months, Lang said above normal temperatures in the spring and summer hurt milk production.

"Cows are not like people where we can kind of withstand higher temperatures. Cows can't," Lang said.

This means for farmers like Lang, news of a good start to 2012 is tempered by the uncertainty that lies ahead.

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