Some good news for Iowa's dairy farmers: the latest USDA milk production report shows continued growth in the dairy herd and in milk output. Last month, February, production was 17.6 billion pounds. While that's down slightly from February 2020, it has to be taken into account that last year was a leap year. Without the extra day, 2021's output for the month of February was actually running 2% higher.

The number of milk cows last month (February) averaged just under 9.5 million head, which is 81,000 more than February 2020, and 3,000 head more than January of this year. The latest outlook by the USDA forecast calls for 2021 to top 2020's milk output by just under 2%. The all milk price is predicted to below last years average by about 3%.

In a related story, new Ag Secretary and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack has stated he wants the USDA to increase public participation in its programs, including nutrition assistance programs. More information can be found here.

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LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.


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