Livestock



PRRS resistance discovered in hogs

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) virus was first detected in the U.S. in 1987. Pigs that contract the disease have extreme difficulty reproducing, don’t gain weight and have a high mortality rate. To date, no vaccine has been effective, and the disease costs North American farmers more than $660 million annually. Now, a team of researchers from the University of Missouri, Kansas State University, and Genus plc have bred pigs that are not harmed by the disease.

“Once inside the pigs, PRRS needs some help to spread; it gets that help from a protein called CD163,” said Randall Prather, distinguished professor of animal sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. “We were able to breed a litter of pigs that do not produce this protein, and as a result, the virus doesn’t spread. When we exposed the pigs to PRRS, they did not get sick and continued to gain weight normally.”… Continue reading

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COOL dispute continues

In response to a World Trade Organization (WTO) decision announcing that Canada and Mexico are authorized to apply a total of over $1 billion in retaliatory tariffs to U.S. exports, dairy producers and exporters renewed their call for Congress to take swift action to eliminate the threat to dairy exports.

“The WTO decision makes it crystal clear that Congress must act immediately to prevent retaliation against the U.S. dairy industry and others whose products could be targeted by Canada and Mexico,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “At a time of overall softening in the U.S. farm economy due to a drop-off in export demand, we cannot afford further erosion in income resulting from the unnecessary loss of markets that would result from the WTO sanctions.”

The WTO decision establishes the level of retaliation tariffs that Canada and Mexico will shortly be given final authorization to levy against a wide range of U.S.… Continue reading

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Beef 509 workshop

Understanding what consumers value and look for when purchasing meat can help livestock producers increase their profit potential and become more competitive in the cattle industry.

“The average livestock producer rarely follows the animals through harvest to the finished product,” said John Grimes, beef coordinator for Ohio State University Extension and a member of the OSU Extension Beef Team.

“Understanding how prime, choice and select cuts are determined and what goes into establishing value can help producers make more informed choices in their day-to-day management on their farm operations,” Grimes said.

To help bridge the knowledge gap, beef experts with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences are offering a two-part Beef 509 series Feb. 20 and 27, designed to help producers take advantage of increasing consumer demand for high-quality beef products as well as position themselves for continued long-term success, he said.

“This workshop can offer producers a view beyond the farm gate to the consumer’s plate,” he said.… Continue reading

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Use care with silage to maintain quality and safety

Livestock producers need to take extra care when creating and maintaining stored silage piles to not only ensure they produce quality animal feed but also to lessen the risk of injury or even death from suffocation caused by an accidental silage avalanche.

Creating safe and nutritional silage piles starts with making sure the height is never higher than what your loading or unloading equipment can safely reach, which is typically 12 to14 feet above the silage floor, said Rory Lewandowski, an Ohio State University Extension agriculture and natural resources educator.

While that may sound intuitive, Lewandowski said, numerous silage avalanches have occurred nationwide in recent years that have resulted in several deaths, according to data compiled by Ruthie and Keith Bolsen, nationally known silage safety experts.

“The biggest concern is that we can have these silage avalanches where silage will break off the face of the pile that you are drawing feed from, burying anyone beneath it,” he said.… Continue reading

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Composting options considered for possible avian influenza losses

One of the main challenges posed by the avian flu outbreak that has impacted the U.S. poultry industry in the past year is how to safely and effectively dispose of potentially hundreds of thousands of birds killed as a result of infection and eradication efforts.

“The U.S. strategy is to quickly identify the infected premises, depopulate, properly dispose of carcasses and manure, clean and disinfect the premises, and have 21 days of down time after cleaning before re-population can take place,” said Mohamed El-Gazzar, Ohio State University Extension’s poultry veterinarian. “As you might imagine, the logistics of depopulation and disposal are very challenging, particularly with the large-scale layer complexes, some of which have a capacity of more than 5 million birds.”

In 2015, this strategy has resulted in the culling of 7.5 million turkeys and 42.1 million egg-layer and pullet chickens, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

While the avian flu outbreak has not impacted Ohio poultry, experts with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University have been helping poultry producers learn about the disease, boost biosecurity measures on the farm, and prepare to minimize the flu’s impact if it were to reach the state.… Continue reading

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UPI adds staff

United Producers Inc. (UPI) has hired Donald “Bill” Tom as its Executive Vice President of Livestock Marketing.

Tom will provide operational management and coordination for the livestock business units and direct livestock ancillary services. He will work with the senior management team to oversee the implementation of the strategic vision for livestock marketing.

“Along with his leadership experience, understanding of cooperatives and background in agriculture, Bill brings a proven track record of obtaining positive results through teamwork and a dedication to customer success,” said Mike Bumgarner, Chief Operating Officer of United Producers Inc. “We are excited to have Bill join our team and help us continue to meet the needs of our member farmers throughout the Midwest.”

Most recently, Tom worked for Trupointe Cooperative as Vice President of Risk Management, Grain Origination, EH & S and Marketing Solutions. He also has leadership experience with Cargill, Inc. and experience in animal nutrient sales and reproduction and nutrition management.… Continue reading

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Concerns heighten as USDA stockpiles vaccines

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is creating a stockpile of avian influenza vaccines, but an expert suggests careful consideration of the strategy and cautions that the strain of the next outbreak is unknown.

Wild birds are typically the source of the introduction of the virus to backyard and commercial poultry flocks, which makes it very difficult to know the strain and understand the nature of the incoming virus until after the outbreak has occurred in poultry populations, said Suresh Mittal, a professor of comparative pathobiology in Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

In 2015, 15 U.S. states had bird flu outbreaks at poultry farms, which led to the loss of more than 48 million birds and $3 billion in revenue, as well as a pricier Thanksgiving dinner. The virus can infect chickens, turkeys, ducks, pheasants, quail, geese and guinea fowl, as well as wild birds, according to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and testimony at a special hearing of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.… Continue reading

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Scholarship opportunity for students interested in the pork industry

Scholarships

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and CME Group are pleased to announce the 2016 Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship Program

  • Sponsored by CME Group
  • Managed and administered by the National Pork Producer Council

Write yourself a brighter future!

The scholarship program was introduced in 1990 by CME Group and NPPC to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the CME Live Hog futures.  The scholarship was renamed in 2006 to honor the passing of NPPC Board of Director Lois Britt. Britt, a lifetime supporter of agriculture, spent 34 years with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service finishing out her carrier for 15 years with Murphy-Brown LLC doing Public and Government Relations. She was inducted into the NPPC Pork Industry Hall of Fame, the N.C. Pork Council Hall of Fame, and awarded the N.C. 4-H Lifetime Achievement Award as some of her many achievements.

With the marking of the 50th anniversary of the Live Hog futures in 2015, the number of scholarships was raised from four to five awarded. … Continue reading

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Poultry donation highlights effort of Ohio youth exhibitors

Just prior to Thanksgiving, the Ohio Poultry Breeders Association donated a turkey, four chickens and a gift card to complete the holiday meal to one local Columbus family in need for their Thanksgiving feast.

These chickens and turkey represent the Thanksgiving dinner that was purchased during the Ohio State Fair’s Sale of Champions in August, which was in lieu of no poultry shows during this year’s fair due to the threat of avian influenza.

The sponsor of the Thanksgiving dinner was the Ohio Poultry Breeders Association and several buyers participated, including Gerber Poultry, Cooper Farms, Weaver Brothers, Case Farms, Hertzfeld Farms, Trillium Farms, Prairie Star Farms, Hemmelgarn and Sons, Cal Maine Foods, Sauder Amish Eggs, Hillandale Farms, Stoller Farms, Kalmbach Feeds, Wendel Poultry Service, Nature Pure, New Day Farms, Mercer Landmark and Kroger Co.

The Ohio Poultry Association also donated $1,000 to the Ohio Agricultural Clearance Program, a program of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, which directly benefits Ohio’s farmers and provides fresh, Ohio-grown fruits and vegetables and shelf-stable, protein-packed foods (including eggs) to more than 2 million Ohioans who struggle to afford food on their own.… Continue reading

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What is the share for Ohio’s farmers of the cost of Thanksgiving dinner?

The Ohio Farmers Union released a Thanksgiving version of the organization’s popular Farmer’s Share graphic which shows farmers and ranchers receive only about 19 cents of every dollar spent by consumers on their Thanksgiving dinners.

Click Here for Farmer’s Share Graphic or PDF

“We want to remind Ohioans to be thankful for farmers and remind them that 80 percent of what they pay for food at the grocery are costs added after grain, meat and produce leaves the family farm,” said Joe Logan, OFU President.

Logan said these costs include processing, marketing, wholesaling, distribution and retailing according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

“These added costs take a bite out of all of our family budgets — consumers and farmers alike — at Thanksgiving and throughout the year,” Logan said. “As our American food system has gotten more reliant on industrial agriculture and a relative few huge companies dominating grain and meat markets, family farmers are as squeezed as many American consumers by the cost of what’s on our dinner plates.”… Continue reading

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Turkey prices up due to avian influenza

It might be more costly thanks to an extensive avian flu outbreak earlier this year, but there should be no shortage of turkey for Thanksgiving this year.

Still, other segments of the poultry industry are taking longer to rebound, said a poultry specialist with The Ohio State University.

“The good news is the avian flu hit early enough in the year, and since most whole turkeys you buy at Thanksgiving are hens, there was sufficient time for a lot of the farms to be repopulated,” said Mike Lilburn, professor of animal sciences with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Lilburn is also unit supervisor with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s Poultry Research Center and is a poultry specialist with Ohio State University Extension.

Female turkeys generally take 16 to 18 weeks to grow to 22 to 25 pounds, when they are normally harvested to provide an 18 to 20 pound bird at retail.… Continue reading

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NPB explains steps for antibiotic use

The National Pork Board reiterated the proactive steps the U.S. pork industry has taken to ensure responsible antibiotic use on pig farms. Pork industry leaders say calls by various organizations to end antibiotic use on farms are misguided and would have a negative impact on food safety.

“We understand people are confused about the role of antibiotics in meat production and, unfortunately, recently released reports only add to that confusion,” said Dr. Jennifer Koeman, Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine and Director of Producer and Public Health at National Pork Board. “It’s simple — when you produce healthy livestock, you get safe food. The meat you eat is safe due to Food and Drug Administration rules on antibiotics and U.S. Department of Agriculture testing of meat.”

The National Pork Board is implementing a three-point plan of action focused on five research priorities:

 

  • Establishing a blue ribbon panel on antibiotics, an outcome of the Pork Checkoff’s stewardship plan announced this past June.
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Quest for the best steer

An ideal beef steer is one you can profitably produce again and again, to earn premiums on a value-based grid. That’s the premise Paul Dykstra used in presenting “How to build the perfect steer” at the Angus Means Business National Convention and Trade Show.

Dykstra has worked with feedlots as Beef Cattle Specialist for the Certified Angus Beefbrand for the past 13 years, managed the USDA Meat Animal Research Center’s feedlot before that, and has a current interest in a commercial cowherd in western Nebraska.

People may differ on ideal production strategies for that ideal steer, Dykstra said. Some insist that focus on the feedlot can only come from terminal breeding programs, while others insist the steer must come from a system that also produces replacement heifers.

“We’ll cross back and forth over that line as we look less at how, and more at what we need for a mainstream target like the Certified Angus Beef brand,” he said.… Continue reading

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Extension to Scrapie Comment Period

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service extended the comment period for the proposed rule to amend the regulations of the National Scrapie Eradication Program through Dec. 9. The comment period for the draft revised scrapie program standards is also extended through Dec. 9.

APHIS welcomes all comments on the proposed rule. The proposed rule is available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2007-0127. Comments can also be submitted and reviewed through this link.

Industry is encouraged to offer comments to this proposed rule. The American Sheep Industry Association’s detailed comments are available for review at www.sheepusa.org/IssuesPrograms_AnimalHealth_Scrapie.… Continue reading

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New Canadian Agricultural Minister says Canada will pursue COOL retaliation

Reiterating newly-elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s position, new Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay said the Canadian government will uphold the Conservative party’s decision to pursue trade retaliation against the United States over its Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) law, according to the National Pork Producers Council.

The statute requires meat to be labeled with the country where the animal from which it was derived was born, raised and harvested. It also applies to fish, shellfish, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables and certain nuts.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled that COOL discriminates against Canadian and Mexican livestock sent to the United States to be fed out and processed, violating international trade rules.

“It’s not what we want to do, but if we were forced to do it, it’s something that we would likely have to do,” MacAulay said.

A WTO arbitration panel now is determining the level of retaliation; Canada and Mexico have asked for a combined $3.1 billion.… Continue reading

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Feeding winter hay on pasture fields

As we approach winter I have a question for you. Where do you feed your livestock?

When the grass runs out do you bring them to a barn or facility to feed them? Do you leave them out on pasture and bring the feed to them?

The reason for my questions is that experienced graziers spend the fall planning their winter feeding programs — planning to the point of not only what they will feed but also where they will feed the animals.

I do not know the exact percentage, but it should be safe to say that many forage based livestock producers use round bales of hay as their primary stored winter feed. Hay is stored in some central location and then moved to the field for feeding. Quite a few of these producers feed round bales in rings out in the pasture field. Depending on the number of animals to be fed, producers will move bales out to these rings two or three at a time.… Continue reading

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NFU highlights concerns with FMD in Namibia

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson urged the Obama administration to oppose a proposed rule that would make Namibia an eligible country to export meat to the United States. Namibia just this year experienced an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).

“The fear over FMD is warranted,” said Johnson in comments submitted to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). “An outbreak would have devastating consequences on our domestic livestock industry. NFU calls upon the administration to defend U.S. farmers and ranchers by opposing imports of live animals and processed or frozen animal products from countries or regions with a history of FMD.”

Johnson noted that in 2006, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) proposed to add Namibia to the list of regions that are considered free of FMD with the exception of north of the country’s Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF).

“Earlier this year Namibia had an outbreak of FMD north of the VCF,” Johnson said.… Continue reading

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Presenting: DairyPalooza 2015

Roll out the red carpet, grab some popcorn, and settle in for the premiere of the DairyPalooza moo-vie. In honor of five years of DairyPalooza, our generous sponsors and the Ohio 4-H Foundation have teamed up to create a feature film for DairyPalooza just in time for the release of our 2016 event dates.

The DairyPalooza movie boasts a cast of hundreds (with no stunt animals), with interviews from attendees, volunteers, and sponsors. DairyPalooza is directed by a team of experts who, for five years, have helped line up A-Cow-demy Award-winning educational sessions for the benefit of Cloverbuds, youth, and adults alike.

In 2015, we were able to expand our DairyPalooza to two events, DairyPalooza Northeast and DairyPalooza West. Both events are featured in our video.

There’s no need to purchase a ticket, but prepare to be dazzled by the sets, the human and animal interaction, the hands-on plot, and the enthusiasm and commitment of everyone involved.… Continue reading

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OSU dairy judging team sweeps three national shows

There is a new undisputed national championship team at The Ohio State University.

The Agricultural Technical Institute dairy cattle judging team swept the three major national competitions this year with its Nov. 8 win at the North American International Livestock Competition in Louisville, Kentucky.

Team members won by an impressive 67-point margin in Louisville, topping the 64-point margin by which they won the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin, on Sept. 28. Hannah Dye, a dairy science major from Beloit, Ohio, was first place overall with 710 points. Teammates Tanner Topp (dairy science, New Bremen, Ohio) and Kaleb Kliner (agronomy, West Salem, Ohio) were second and fourth, respectively. Rounding out the four-person team was John Paulin, a hydraulics and power equipment major from Nova, Ohio.

The team’s first big win of the season was at the Pennsylvania-All American Contest in Harrisburg on Sept. 14.

“I cannot remember any year where a team (at the two-year college level) participated in three judging contests and was first place in each contest and high in oral reasons,” said Royce Thornton, chair of the Agricultural and Engineering Technologies Division and coordinator of Ohio State ATI’s dairy programs.… Continue reading

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Interstate shipping options opening up new opportunities for livestock producers

J.B. King has been raising hogs for 50 years. On his first date with his wife, Charlene, the young couple hauled a load of hogs to the Lancaster Depot. They clearly loved raising hogs, but when pork prices crashed in 1999, they had to find another way to maintain a profitable operation on their Athens County farm.

“The crash of the hog market brought us to where we are now. We had been in the club business for a while and then we started selling pork instead of selling pigs in 2000,” J.B. said. “We had been selling to neighbors and we expanded that.”

Since then, King Family Farm has been raising high quality, specialty pork, beef and poultry and directly marketing their products to the local community. It was challenging at first, but they found ways to make it work.

“We use all non-GMO feed. Everything is outside and we use no drugs.… Continue reading

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