Livestock

FDA approves new BRD therapy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Pulmotil, an innovative Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) treatment for groups of cattle in the early stages of a BRD outbreak that provides 14 days of sustained in-feed therapy, a practice that reduces stress associated with cattle handling.

Pulmotil is approved for the control of BRD associated with Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida and Histophilus somni in groups of beef and non-lactating dairy cattle, where active BRD has been diagnosed in at least 10 percent of the animals in the group.

“This approval brings cattle veterinarians and producers a truly new management tool for controlling BRD,” said Jeff Simmons, president, Elanco. “With the introduction of Pulmotil, Elanco continues to bring the beef and dairy industries highly effective treatment solutions that provide more BRD management flexibility.”

BRD is the most common disease among feedlot cattle, accounting for approximately 75% of feedlot morbidity and 50 percent to 70% of feedlot deaths,costing the industry an estimated $800 to $900 million annually in economic losses due to reduced feed efficiency, treatment costs and deaths.… Continue reading

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Select Sires completes Calf Campus

Select Sires Inc. has completed the new Calf Campus facility located near Plain City, Ohio. During the summer of 2011, construction began to develop two state-of-the-art facilities that will foster bull calf health and growth at Select Sires. The bio-secure campus will be home to nearly 150 calves when it is fully occupied. 
 


The new calf facilities will promote vigor and fitness among the bull calves, enhancing the productivity of the bulls at a younger age for semen collection and enabling Select Sires’ customer-owners to have further success for many generations within their herd. Being mindful to environmental concerns, the facilities were created to self-contain all animal waste and water discharge, including a manure storage facility.
 


“This continued research, growth, development and investment from Select Sires demonstrates our commitment to creating a high-quality product for our customer-owners,” said David Thorbahn, president and chief executive officer of Select Sires. “With our latest expansion, Select Sires is anticipating earlier semen release on our most exclusive Program for Genetic Advancement bulls.… Continue reading

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National Cattlemen’s Foundation announces scholarship program

The National Catlemen’s Foundation is announcing an ongoing initiative to strengthen the future of the beef industry. Together with the NCBA and the CME Group, 10 $1,500 scholarships will be awarded to outstanding students who are pursuing careers in the beef industry. The 2012-2013 Beef Industry Scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors or full-time undergraduate students enrolled at two-year or four-year institutions for the 2012-2013 school year.

Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to a career in the beef industry through classes, internships or life experiences. Fields of study for potential scholarship recipients may include education, communications, production, research or other areas related to the beef industry. Interim Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the National Cattlemen’s Foundation John Lacey said the scholarship program is aimed at helping future industry leaders.

“The Beef Industry Scholarships will help ensure a bright future for deserving students and for the beef industry in the United States,” Lacey said.… Continue reading

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Research to reduce gas emissions from animal facilities

By Lingying Zhao, Ohio State University associate professor and Extension agricultural engineer

Mitigate gas emissions from animal facilities

As animal farms evolve toward larger and more concentrated operations, animal barns and manure storages become significant sources of carbon and nitrogen gas emissions. These air emissions include odor, ammonia (NH3), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O).

Ammonia emission results in rising environmental and health concerns. Methane and nitrous oxide emissions are known as greenhouse gases (GHGs) causing climate change concerns. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 27% and 76% of the total anthropogenic methane (CH4) and ammonia (NH3) emit from agricultural animal production activities. To achieve sustainable animal production, effective technologies to mitigate or recover ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions from animal facilities are needed.

In reviewing the existing air emission abatement technologies, impermeable covers and bio-digesters are used to collect and produce methane from manure storages, biofilters are studied to effectively reduce odor emissions from swine buildings and manure storages, and wet scrubbers are developed to recover ammonia emission from animal buildings and manure storages.… Continue reading

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Profitable pork production in 2012?

The pork industry is expected to have a profitable year in 2012. In fact, the level of profitability could be the most favorable during the high-priced feed era, said Chris Hurt, a Purdue University agricultural economist.

“Profits in 2012 are currently forecast to be near $17 per head, which would be the highest since 2006. That was the last year of the low feed-price era when corn prices received by farmers averaged about $2.30 per bushel for the calendar year and estimated hog profits were $27 per head,” he said.

Although a return to profitability is welcome news, there are deeper and more important implications, he said.

“The first is that the pork industry, like most other animal industries, has made the adjustments necessary to live in a world of high-priced feed. The second is that the pork industry probably has turned the corner on high feed prices as we look to 2012 with abundant and cheap feed wheat, prospects for moderation in the rate of growth in corn use for ethanol, the potential for a larger South American soybean crop, and hope for a return to higher U.S.… Continue reading

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Talkin' turkey

A conversation with Jim Chakeres, Executive Vice President of the Ohio Poultry Association

OCJ: You prepare turkey quite often around the holidays. What do you look for when selecting your turkey?

Jim: Thanks for allowing me to talk turkey. I usually prepare 4-5 turkeys each holiday season — two for my family to enjoy and 2 or 3 for different presentations.

Many choices are available to the consumer. Frozen turkeys are most abundant this time of year in local supermarkets. Fresh (not frozen) turkeys are also an excellent choice. Both should yield a plump, juicy and flavorful holiday meal. You need to remember that turkeys take up a lot of space in the refrigerator. A frozen turkey will need to be in the refrigerator several days to thaw, while a fresh turkey may be purchased the day before. Frozen turkeys are also more economical. You may need to order a fresh turkey a couple of weeks in advance.… Continue reading

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Talkin’ turkey

A conversation with Jim Chakeres, Executive Vice President of the Ohio Poultry Association

OCJ: You prepare turkey quite often around the holidays. What do you look for when selecting your turkey?

Jim: Thanks for allowing me to talk turkey. I usually prepare 4-5 turkeys each holiday season — two for my family to enjoy and 2 or 3 for different presentations.

Many choices are available to the consumer. Frozen turkeys are most abundant this time of year in local supermarkets. Fresh (not frozen) turkeys are also an excellent choice. Both should yield a plump, juicy and flavorful holiday meal. You need to remember that turkeys take up a lot of space in the refrigerator. A frozen turkey will need to be in the refrigerator several days to thaw, while a fresh turkey may be purchased the day before. Frozen turkeys are also more economical. You may need to order a fresh turkey a couple of weeks in advance.… Continue reading

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WTO rules on COOL

The World Trade Organization (WTO) announced it has ruled in support of complaints by Canada and Mexico that U.S. Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) violates global trade rules and unjustly harms agricultural commerce. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall issued the following statement.

“This is a strong ruling from the World Trade Organization that proves COOL was not only a disservice to U.S. cattlemen and women but also contained far-reaching implications for two of the most important trade partners for U.S. agriculture. NCBA strongly advises the United States not to appeal this ruling. Instead, we urge U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to work with NCBA and other pro-trade organizations to apply pressure on Congress to bring the United States into WTO compliance across the board. We must act quickly before U.S. farmers and ranchers once again face unnecessary and unfortunate retaliatory tariffs on their products.

“This ruling solidifies our concerns that COOL would have extensive trade implications as NCBA expressed during 2008 Farm Bill deliberations.… Continue reading

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Congress restricts GIPSA

Congress voted Nov. 17 on a $19.8 billion 2012 agricultural spending bill that includes language blocking the U.S. Department of Agriculture from implementing controversial reforms to livestock and poultry marketing. The so-called GIPSA rule, proposed last year by the USDA’s Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyard’s Administration, would have wreaked havoc on the U.S. cattle industry causing livestock producers to lose an estimated $169 million, according to National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall. He said Congress barred USDA from conducting any further work this year on sections of the rule not yet finalized.

“We stand firm behind those members of Congress who were willing to listen and understand the concerns of cattlemen, leading trade organizations, economists, consumers and others. This was a vote in favor of innovative family-owned farms and ranches,” said Woodall.

The agricultural appropriations bill is part of a $1.04 trillion bill adopted by both the U.S.… Continue reading

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Costs squeezing bottom line for dairy producers

With high forage costs and grain prices threatening profit margins for dairy producers, a Purdue Extension agricultural economist says it’s important to keep an eye on the bottom line.

The preliminary U.S. all milk price for October 2011 was estimated at $19.90 per hundredweight, which is a decrease from September but up about $1.40 from October of 2010. Despite the strong prices, soaring feed costs still threaten dairy producers’ profits.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s milk-to-feed price ratio for October 2011 was estimated at 1.79, down from a revised 1.84 in September 2011,” Nicole Olynk said. “Despite higher milk prices in 2011, rising feed costs have caused the decline in the milk-to-feed price ratio from 2.40 in October of last year.”

Part of the challenge for dairies has been corn and soybean prices. But October soybean and corn prices were down from September, averaging $5.92 per bushel for corn and $11.90 per bushel for soybeans.… Continue reading

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Sheep parasite research

Genetic resistance to a parasitic nematode that infects sheep has been discovered by a team of scientists with the USDA and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

The researchers are the first to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL), genetic locations on chromosomes, for resistance to gastrointestinal nematode parasites in a double-backcross population derived from African native sheep. The parasites, common in tropical regions, cause significant economic and production losses in Africa each year. Sheep infected with parasites suffer from diarrhea, anemia, weight loss and sometimes death.

ARS geneticist Tad Sonstegard and researchers at ILRI in Kenya hope to identify genes that increase tolerance to parasites and improve production of grazing animals. ARS is USDA’s chief intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports USDA’s priority of promoting international food security.

In one study, researchers mapped the regions of the genome that control resistance to gastrointestinal nematode parasites in a sheep population bred by ILRI.… Continue reading

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BEST program to kick off Thanksgiving weekend

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s BEST program will get underway for 2011-2012 with the Heart of It All Show to be held Thanksgiving weekend on November 26 and 27 in Lima, Ohio.  BEST is a youth development program based on a series of sanctioned cattle shows held throughout Ohio. The program is proud to announce its sponsoring partners for the new show season. They are Bob Evans Farms, Burroughs Frazier Farms, Farm Credit Services of Mid-America, Green Oak Farms, M.H. Eby, Inc. and the Ohio Farm Bureau.

 

“BEST sponsors know they are helping develop the next generation of leaders with their support of the BEST program. Their tremendous support has allowed the program to continue to flourish during a time when many other programs are forced to downsize. We truly appreciate their partnership in this important youth development effort,” said Dave Felumlee, OCA President.

 

Complete exhibitor rules governing the BEST program and a show schedule for the season can be found at www.ohiocattle.org.… Continue reading

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Calves shifting to feedlots

Cattle producers are likely to use more corn than previously expected according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest Cattle on Feed report.

The implication of the October 21 report is that feed grains used by cattle in feedlots from the 2011 crop will be more than 5% higher than what was fed from the 2011 crop.

“The real surprise was the higher number of placements in September that resulted in more than one-half million more cattle being fed than a year ago,” said Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt.

Calves can eat corn, but also can add weight with forages. However, according to Hurt, the high number of feedlot placements in September serves as an indication that corn has become “cheap” relative to forages.

“December corn futures fell by $1.75 per bushel in September, which was enough to shift the feedlot outlook from bleak to rosy,” he said. “Managers responded by buying light-weight animals, as placements of calves under 700 pounds were up a remarkable 14%.”… Continue reading

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USDA streamlines programs

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA has streamlined a host of programs and processes in an effort to help farmers, ranchers and businesses continue to drive America’s productive agricultural economy. As USDA approaches its 150th anniversary, the changes — quicker disaster assistance, expedited reviews of pending product applications, and less reporting dates — will help build a better, stronger and more efficient Department. Improvements were announced by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), the Risk Management Agency (RMA), and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

“As USDA continues to find ways to modernize our services, we remain committed to improving the customer experience by streamlining processes, accelerating delivery, and using innovative technologies,” said Vilsack. “The improvements announced today will help businesses respond more quickly to market demands, provide producers with a more responsive farm safety net, and help our customers create jobs. President Obama challenged USDA and other federal agencies to streamline operations, and today USDA is taking a big step toward answering that challenge.”… Continue reading

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OSU students get firsthand look at Dutch dairy industry

By Kyle Sharp

When a group of 10 Ohio State University students and two resident directors — Maurice Eastridge, Ohio State University professor of dairy nutrition, and his wife, Donna — visited the Netherlands this past summer for a Dairy Industry Study Abroad Program, they saw a lot of livestock on the farms they visited. But surprisingly, they saw plenty more almost everywhere they drove throughout the European country.

Because tourism is a big part of the Dutch tradition and people like to see the animals, Dutch farmers keep their animals out on pasture more than their U.S. counterparts. Right up to the city limits or even in the city, there would be animals out grazing, Maurice Eastridge said.

The students found it fascinating.

“I was very shocked to see sheep and cows grazing nearly along every road as we traveled throughout Holland,” said Brooke Barley, a junior human nutrition major from Canton.… Continue reading

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New edition of veterinarian Johne’s disease handbooks available

Dairy and beef producers and their veterinarians who want to help prevent or control Johne’s disease in their herds often ask where they should start with the process. The answer: Begin by conducting an on-farm risk assessment, then develop and follow a management plan specific to the farm.

Three recently updated handbooks—“Handbook for Veterinarians and Dairy Producers,” “Handbook for Veterinarians and Beef Producers” and “How to do Risk Assessments and Develop Management Plans for Johne’s Disease”—are available for dairy and beef producers and their veterinarians who are serious about addressing Johne’s disease and stopping the financial drain of this devastating disease. This fourth edition of the handbooks reflect the USDA’s updated Program Standards for the Voluntary Bovine Johne’s Disease Control Program and are significantly more user friendly.

“The team in charge of developing the 2011 edition of the handbooks brainstormed long and hard to develop easy-to-comprehend and easy-to-complete information and forms, and I think all three handbooks are homeruns,” said Elisabeth Patton, chairman of U.S.… Continue reading

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New edition of veterinarian Johne's disease handbooks available

Dairy and beef producers and their veterinarians who want to help prevent or control Johne’s disease in their herds often ask where they should start with the process. The answer: Begin by conducting an on-farm risk assessment, then develop and follow a management plan specific to the farm.

Three recently updated handbooks—“Handbook for Veterinarians and Dairy Producers,” “Handbook for Veterinarians and Beef Producers” and “How to do Risk Assessments and Develop Management Plans for Johne’s Disease”—are available for dairy and beef producers and their veterinarians who are serious about addressing Johne’s disease and stopping the financial drain of this devastating disease. This fourth edition of the handbooks reflect the USDA’s updated Program Standards for the Voluntary Bovine Johne’s Disease Control Program and are significantly more user friendly.

“The team in charge of developing the 2011 edition of the handbooks brainstormed long and hard to develop easy-to-comprehend and easy-to-complete information and forms, and I think all three handbooks are homeruns,” said Elisabeth Patton, chairman of U.S.… Continue reading

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Dairy producers considering distillers grains

Dairy producers looking for a high-quality heifer feed that often costs less than traditional corn and soybean feed grains should consider distillers grains, said a Purdue Extension dairy nutrition specialist.

Distillers grains, a co-product of ethanol production, are high in both protein and energy. Although distillers grains have typically been fed to lactating cows because of their demand for protein, recent Purdue University studies show that distillers grains are a viable feed option for young heifers, though other research has shown distillers grains can be introduced as early as the calf starter diet and are a viable feed option for young heifers.

In a time when grain prices are high, distillers grains also can provide a more economical feedstuff.

“We’ve seen similar growth performance whether producers are feeding distillers grains or more traditional feeds, such as corn and soybeans,” Tamilee Nennich said. “We also found that it doesn’t matter if an animal is being fed in a feedlot and has a diet based on harvested forages or if that animal is grazing.… Continue reading

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Select Sires seeking interns

Select Sires Inc. has announced plans to offer two summer internships at its headquarters facility in Plain City, Ohio, during the summer of 2012. Positions are available within the sales and marketing department, with applications due by January 1, 2012.
 


“Both practical work experience within the industry and networking are extremely important in helping college students prepare for full-time employment upon graduation,” said Dave Thorbahn, Select Sires president and C.E.O. “That’s why Select Sires offers hands-on internship opportunities each year. These internships help introduce students to the industry side of agriculture, while they contribute to the day-to-day operation of the Select Sires federation.”
 


College students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in dairy science, animal science, agricultural economics, agricultural communications or related agricultural fields may apply for these internships.

Applicants must be familiar with cattle pedigree information. Previous dairy judging team experience is an advantage. While important for all internships, strong writing and computer skills are a requirement for students working in corporate communications.… Continue reading

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