Hometown Farmer: Dykshorn Dairy

If you visit a modern dairy farm you might be surprised by the technology you'll see.

"It's like any other technology," said Stephanie Dykshorn. "Medical technology has come leaps and bounds in the last 10 or 20 years and agriculture is no different."

You'll see a lot of technology at the Dykshorn Dairy near Ireton, Iowa.

From inside the milking parlor to on the cows themselves, with computer chips attached to their ears that can tell you just about everything.

"Maybe she won't have a temperature or she won't be acting funny, but she'll give less milk for some reason," said Dykshorn.

But there are things technology can't change, cows have to eat after all.

And for cows, eating's more expensive this year because of the drought last year.

The Dykshorns grow a lot of their own feed, but low yields because of last year's drought mean they're having to buy more feed this year.

And that can be expensive.

"We're able to change up some of the components of our feed so that it can be cost effective, and yet meet the nutritional needs of all of our cows," said Dykshorn.

But you can only change up the diet so much.

"We can make feed very cost effective, but we're not going to be able to get the milk production that we need to be able to survive, so you have to take all of that into account," said Dykshorn.

They way the Dykshorn's are feeding their dairy cows is just one of the ways farmers are still dealing with one of the hottest, driest years Siouxland has ever seen.

If you know of any farmers you think would be great on "Proud to be a Hometown Farmer," you can nominate them by sending Jake an email at: