Animal Ag Bites

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment


  • The American Angus Association hired Ladena Keuhn, a native of north central Missouri, to lead the member-driven organization’s human resource programs and initiatives.
  • USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation have approved $275,000 for three new research grants at three institutions through the Board Research Initiative program. Recipients include: Analysis of Poultry Gasification Parameters for Elimination of Avian Flu Exposed Birds and Manure, University of Iowa; Euthanasia of Recently Hatched Chicks and Poults, University of Georgia; and Euthanasia of Recently Hatched Neonates, Texas A&M University.
  • National Pork Producers Council will hold their Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C. Sept. 14. Producers will lobby congressional lawmakers on issues of importance to the U.S. pork industry, including urging them to vote for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, to weigh in against a rule from the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration related to the buying and selling of livestock and to set up and fund a Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank.
Animal Bites

USDA to Enhance Pork Cutout

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

nppc_logoAccording to the National Pork Producers Council, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is planning to enhance the pork cutout by placing additional product into the ham primal.

The pork carcass cutout is an estimated value for a hog carcass based on current wholesale prices paid for sub-primal pork cuts. By adding individual muscles (insides, outsides and knuckles) to the ham primal, USDA contends the cutout will more accurately reflect today’s marketing environment and capture more product to be included in the weighted average calculation. According to analysis from USDA AMS, the enhanced cutout including insides, outsides, and knuckles is expected to lower the overall carcass cutout value by an average of -$1.41. The change took effect September 12, 2016.

Ag Group, NPPC, Pork, usda

Vilsack on Latest Quarterly Export Forecasts

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

USDA_logoUSDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued the following statement on the first forecast for U.S. agricultural exports for fiscal year 2017 and a revised forecast for fiscal year 2016. Both forecasts indicate U.S. agricultural exports have begun to rally and will continue the record-setting pace that began in 2009.

“These numbers once again demonstrate the resiliency and reliability of U.S. farmers and ranchers in the face of continued challenges. The projected $133 billion in total exports for FY 2017 is up $6 billion from last forecast and would be the sixth-highest total on record. The United States’ agricultural trade surplus is also projected to rise to $19.5 billion, up 40 percent from $13.9 billion in FY 2016. The United States has continued to post an agricultural trade surplus since recordkeeping began in the 1960s.

“The projected growth in exports in 2017 is led by increases in overseas sales of U.S. oilseeds and products, horticultural goods, cotton, livestock, dairy and poultry. And with a rise in global economic growth, global beef demand is expected to strengthen. While USDA continues working to eliminate the remaining restrictions on U.S. beef exports that were instituted by some trading partners as a result of the December 2003 BSE detection, U.S. beef exports have recovered. U.S. beef exports are expected to reach $5.3 billion in 2017, well above the $1.5 billion exported in FY 2004. This progress is due to USDA’s work under the Obama Administration to eliminate BSE-related restrictions in countries around the world, including 16 countries since January 2015.

“China is projected to return as the United States’ top export market in 2017, surpassing Canada as the number one destination for U.S. agricultural goods.

“USDA also revised the forecast for FY 2016 exports to $127 billion, up $2.5 billion from the previous forecast. This would bring total agricultural exports since 2009 to more than $1 trillion, smashing all previous eight-year totals.

“Exports are responsible for 20 percent of U.S. farm income, also driving rural economic activity and supporting more than one million American jobs on and off the farm. The United States has the opportunity to expand those benefits even further through passage of new trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Such agreements are key to a stable and prosperous farm economy, helping boost global demand for U.S. farm and food products, increasing U.S. market share versus our competitors, and ensuring that our farmers and ranchers have stable and predictable markets for the quality goods they produce.”

Ag Group, Beef, Export, Trade, usda

Vermeer Brings More to Haying Lineup

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

rotary rake Vermeer remains busy working to provide just what it is farmers are looking for. They’ve just announced the release of a RR140 retry rake, along with the TD100 and TD190, and the TM1210 and TM1410 trailed mowers.

The RR140 comes at a raking width of 13.9 feet and runs efficiently in wet or dry hay in a variety of crops. The size makes it great for mid-sized operators.

“Our customers have asked us to bring a rotary rake back to our rake product line,” said Vermeer Product Manager, Josh Vrieze. “Rotary rake windrows tend to be lighter and fluffier, which allows air to pass through the windrow for quicker dry down. The 13.9 ft (4.2 m) rake is a good fit for small to mid-size operations.”

The RR140 is a versatile, side-delivery rake featuring 11 arms that are each equipped with four double tines, providing uniform raking actions that gently stir the hay for faster drying but also maintain the nutritional value of the crop. Hydraulic adjustments keep the tines off the ground, minimizing ash content in the windrow.

The TD-Series Tedders were designed for growers requiring speed, convenience, reliability and a great price. The TD100 offers a 10 foot tending width and a 19 foot width on the TD190. Each arrives with tool-less height adjustment and a crank for changing pitch angle in only a few seconds.

“We are seeing more and more customers who understand and appreciate the value of a tedder,” said Vrieze. “By using a tedder, a producer can achieve quicker dry down, and the faster they can get their hay off the field, the higher quality forage they’ll be able to harvest.”

trailed mower The new trailed mowers will provide features that reduce operator stress and a quicker mowing time. The TM1210 and TM1210 have even more convenient features than ever before.

“We know there are currently many operations that rely on Vermeer trailed mowers to put up large amounts of hay, so we decided to take a look and see where we could take things to the next level for them,” said Vermeer Product Manager, Josh Vrieze. “Not only are we bringing the largest trailed mower to the market to date, but we are bringing mowers with proven features and heavy-duty components that are built to last.”

While both machines maintain a 9.1 ft (2.8 m) transport width, the TM1210 cuts at 17.7 ft (5.4 m) and the TM1410 can mow up to 20.8 ft (6.3 m). The 10-series trailed mowers are equipped with a Q3® Cutter Bar featuring the Quick-Clip® Blade Retention System and Quick-Change™ Shear Ring that simplify changing blades and repairing sheared discs. The patent pending 2-point Quick-Hitch can make hooking up the machine a one-person process. To achieve a high quality cut, the nitrogen charged accumulator suspension system makes it easy for operators to adjust for various crops and conditions, while maintaining proper cutter bar balance and pitch.

The mower features a 3 year cutter-bar warranty to offer operators peace of mind. Learn more at

Agribusiness, Equipment, Hay

Balchem Animal Nutrition & Health’s Real Science Initiative

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

balchemBalchem Corporation announced the second year offering of the grant-based research program, the Real Science Initiative. The program will offer funding to university and related research institutes to support new research projects in animal nutrition, performance and health. Grant pre-proposals must be submitted by October 1, 2016.

Balchem’s focus on research is well known in the animal agriculture industry, with a long history of directing and supporting both university and on-farm research initiatives. The principle of “Real Science” is fundamental, as Balchem concentrates on the areas of feed efficiency and animal health to improve overall animal performance, productivity and health.

“This is the second time Balchem has offered the Real Science Initiative, designed to foster innovative research by developing partnerships throughout the global research community,” noted Dr. Barbara Barton, Research and Product Development Manager with Balchem Animal Nutrition & Health. “In 2013, Balchem awarded nearly $150,000 in research grants for important animal nutrition research that had an impact in the industry. We believe this year’s program will have even more impact.”

Potential areas of research may include:
– New applications of existing products, new product concepts, or new delivery technologies that will result in improved efficacy of nutrient utilization in livestock production.
– Increase the understanding of the linkage between nutrition and the immune system to facilitate the design of dietary regimes that will reduce disease susceptibility in livestock and optimize the production of safe and nutritious food products.
– Increase the understanding of ruminal nitrogen metabolism and metabolizable amino acid requirements to improve protein efficiency in ruminants.
– Increase the understanding of choline metabolism, including interactions between choline and other nutrients involved in one carbon metabolism in transition and lactating cows.

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Education, Research

Cargill Survey on U.S., Brazilian Consumers & Beef

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

400247Cargill surveys comparing consumer attitudes in the two largest beef-producing countries – the United States and Brazil – reveals several important trends in purchasing preference that are influenced by how beef is raised and fed.

Cargill Animal Nutrition’s ‘Feed for Thought’ survey of more than 2,000 people in the U.S. and Brazil, found that the majority of U.S. consumers (54 percent) and Brazilian consumers (69 percent) are more likely to purchase beef raised without antibiotics. Only 35 percent in both countries are willing to pay more for it.

“I expect that as American Millennials age, we will need to work toward continuously heightening our efforts in the area of transparency, while always working to address consumer food trends with a nutritious and affordable food supply,” said Randy Krotz, CEO of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. “Animal feed companies and farmers must continue to find alternatives to meet consumer demand and should be prepared to serve a customer base that scrutinizes where their food comes from and how it’s made.”

Cargill’s beef business in the U.S. recently reduced shared-class antibiotics – those used for both animal and human health – by 20 percent at its four cattle feed yards, as well as at four alliance partner feed yards, representing a total of approximately 1.2 million animals annually.

Cargill Animal Nutrition sits at the heart of the food supply chain, playing an important role in sourcing the right ingredients and using its global research, technology and innovation expertise to produce feed that meets distinct nutrition requirements for animals to be cared for in a manner that its customers expect.

Read More

Agribusiness, Antibiotics, Beef, Cargill, consumer, Food, food safety, Nutrition

New Balers From Vermeer

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Vermeer‘s success stems from founder Gary Vermeer’s philosophy; find a need and fill that need with a product built to last.  With a long history of helping growers put up hay efficiently, the company is now introducing the new 504R Signature baler and the 604 Pro silage baler.  These balers continue to offer the convenience, ease of use and durability Vermeer is known for.

Vermeer 504The 504R comes with a camless wide pickup backed by a 3 year warranty.  It features 80 main drive chains, stronger bearings, higher load rating and more torque power.

“The combination of the camless wide pickup and rotor are what initially set this baler apart,” said Vermeer Product Manager, Josh Vrieze. “With fewer wear points than previous models, these two components quietly work together to create faster bale starts and square-shouldered, good-looking bales, all while minimizing the number of parts that may need to be replaced.

This baler is designed for the operator who primarily bales dry hay but also wants to be able to put up a healthy dose of wet hay.  This makes the 504R Signature the ultimate fit for most hay operations requiring 5 ft x 4 ft bales.”

Vermeer balerThe 604 Pro is for operators who need durability for silage bailing and the flexibility to put up dry bales as well.  The Pro balers have a reputation for baling wet or dray in very dense packages. They come with a camless wide pickup that doesn’t need cam tracks or follower bearings.  Four endless belts increase longevity and eliminate lace maintenance.  Large float tires mean a smoother ride.

“Features such as Hydroflexcontrol and the Xtracut17 precutting system have been very effective in baling wet hay and we are now excited to offer those features in another baler size,” said Josh Vrieze.

“Now, the custom operator who needs the ability to precut forage, make multiple size bales, bale wet or dry hay, can do it all with one baler,” continues Vrieze. “The bale density is what sets the Pro balers apart. We have seen operators unroll a 6 ft x 4 ft bale and roll it back up with the 504 Pro in a 5 ft x 4 ft package. The denser the bales, the less storage space, transportation and plastic/netwrap an operator should expect.”

Agribusiness, Hay

American Gelbvieh Association Relocates Headquarters

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

gelbviehThe American Gelbvieh Association (AGA) has relocated its headquarters office to Broomfield, Colorado. This relocation took place the first week in August.

The AGA’s new and current physical and mailing address is 350 Interlocken Blvd., Suite 200, Broomfield, Colorado 80021. The new location is just two miles from the old location on Dover Street in Westminster, Colorado. The relocation was made possible by a strategically planned sale of the Westminster office building.

“Leadership at the American Gelbvieh Association continues to make sound financial and business decisions. The relocation of the AGA headquarters reduces overhead costs and allows the AGA to capitalize on a smart investment made when the building at 10900 Dover Street was purchased back in 1991. A strong financial position for the AGA is key to flourishing in a rapidly changing, competitive environment,” said Myron Edelman, AGA executive director. “Together with the American Gelbvieh Foundation, the AGA will be able to strictly manage the financial asset of the building sale principle to ensure the long-term financial security for a bright future at the AGA,” he continued.

Ag Group, Beef, Cattle, Gelbvieh

Enviro Groups Hamper Endangered Species Conservation

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

PLCAccording to the Public Lands Council (PLC) and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the Center for Biological Diversity along with other radical environmental groups threatened to sue the Department of Interior and Fish and Wildlife Service to force action on 417 proposed listings under the Endangered Species Act, all stemming from a massive lawsuit settlement brokered behind closed doors and without stakeholders at the table.

Ethan Lane, Executive Director of the PLC and NCBA Federal Lands, said the behavior of these groups has hampered species recovery by placing arbitrary listing-decision deadlines that leave no time for sound research and science-based decisions.

“This is precisely why the Endangered Species Act is broken,” said Lane. “Groups like the Center for Biological Diversity are attempting to force their agenda on FWS through litigation abuse. Substantive ESA reform is needed now to allow FWS the autonomy necessary to prioritize species conservation according to need, rather than political agenda.”

During the nearly 40 years since the ESA was passed, the Act has a recovery rate of less than two percent and has over 2,000 domestic species listed.

“Attention should be placed on creating real recovery goals and delisting species when they are no longer considered endangered, rather than overwhelming the agency with paperwork,” said Lane.

Ag Group, Beef, Conservation, environment, Government, Land, NCBA, PLC

Animal Ag Bites

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment


  • OK Foods hired two new team members to serve in executive roles. Brent Glasgow will serve as vice president of operations and Amy Szadziewicz will serve as vice president of quality and food safety. Glasgow and Szadziewicz will both join the OK Foods Executive Team.
  • The XXV World’s Poultry Congress (WPC2016) will be held in Beijing September 5-9, 2016. The event is co-hosted by the China Branch of the World’s Poultry Science Association (WPSA-CN) and the Chinese Association of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine (CAAV). It will provide a unique platform for sharing and discussing the latest developments in scientific research and technology transfer for poultry production worldwide.
  • Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted two requests for export assistance to sell 152,119 pounds of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese to customers in Asia. The product has been contracted for delivery in the period from August-October 2016.
Animal Bites