Pork Board Provides Update on PEDv

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

nafb-bectonDuring the 2014 National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual meeting, Taylor spoke with Dr. Lisa Becton, Director of Swine Health, Information & Research for the National Pork Board, about PEDv and it’s impact on the U.S. swine industry. They also discuss the research currently being conducting to combat this epidemic.

“It’s been a very challenging few months. PEDv was first identified in the national swine herd in May 2013. Since that time it has spread to 31 different states across the U.S. encompassing the majority of swine producing states. Currently we have about 8,800 cases which counts the producers who submit samples to a diagnostic lab. We have that information, as well as USDA’s coronavirus disease information which keeps track of whats going on in the U.S.”

Dr. Becton said they know it’s still active. The summer was calm with little infection however, going into the winter months they are unsure what is going to happen and is something they are very concerned about.

To date, Dr. Becton said the National Pork Board has funded about 45 different projects focusing on the control of PEDv. “We have learned about the virus itself, how it transfers, how it impacts the pigs, how we can use disinfection and even how it develops immunity in the sow.”

This fast moving virus took producers by surprise, listen to the complete interview to learn more about the virus and what the National Pork Board has to done to educate the producer and consumer. Interview with Dr. Lisa Becton, National Pork Board


2014 NAFB Convention Photos

Ag Group, Animal Health, Audio, Pork, Pork Checkoff, Swine

Congress Passes Key Tax Extenders Legislation

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

ncba-logoThe U.S. Senate voted 76 to 16 to pass a tax extenders package that holds key provisions for small businesses such as section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation. The tax extenders package was previously approved in the U.S. House of Representatives and now heads to the White House for approval. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Bob McCan said this is great news for cattlemen and women.

“America’s cattle producers are primarily family-owned small businesses who need stability in the tax code in order to make sound business decisions,” said McCan, a cattleman from Victoria, Texas. “This tax extenders package encourages economic growth and provides greater certainty in the tax code.”

Kent Bacus, director of legislative affairs for NCBA, said the extension of Section 179, a provision that provides a higher deduction level for some capital expenditures, like machinery and equipment, and the extension of bonus depreciation are key for producers.

“Last year producers were able to expense up to $500,000 on capital investments, but this year that was lowered to $25,000,” said Bacus. “For large equipment purchases and other capital investments, cattle producers need certainty in order to properly plan for their business.”

Unfortunately, the retroactive extension means producers will be operating under an expired tax code in 2015, but it could add the needed pressure to complete a comprehensive tax reform deal in the New Year, said Bacus.

Ag Group, Beef, Government, legislation

DCRC Hosts Successful Annual Meeting

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

DCRC-LogoMore than 200 dairy producers, veterinarians, nutritionists, researchers and allied industry representatives gathered in Salt Lake City, Utah, last month for the 2014 Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council (DCRC) Annual Meeting.

“This year’s event offered our membership many opportunities to learn about the latest in dairy cattle reproduction research and management, as well as network with fellow industry professionals,” says outgoing DCRC President Dr. Neil Michael. “It was an excellent chance for people from all of the industry sectors we serve to connect and share ideas while reinforcing common goals.”

The ambitious agenda included presentations on topics from transition cow management, heat abatement and genetic selection to facilities, animal welfare and employee training. “There truly was something for everyone,” says
Dr. Michael.

The Annual Meeting also honored the winners of the 2014 DCRC Reproduction Awards. In all, 19 dairies from eight U.S. states and four countries are being honored this year for their herd’s exceptional reproductive performance. To be considered for the award program, herd data for all nominees is analyzed by a panel of experts and an independent analytic program. After the assessments were completed, finalists were ranked and selected to receive Platinum, Gold, Silver or Honorable Mention honors.

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Ag Group, Cattle, Dairy, Reproduction

Increase Supplies Put New Crop Cottonseed On Sale

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

cotton-seed-logoA significant increase in new crop cottonseed supplies, coupled with favorable prices, is good news for dairy producers who count on the feedstuff to add a punch of protein, fat and digestible fiber to the ration, experts say.

“Whole cottonseed is for anyone looking to get more milk,” says Steve Heckel, feed sales and nutrition representative of Harmony Country Cooperative in central Wisconsin. “Cottonseed is a good way to get in fat, it is palatable and mostly digestible. I talk to all my customers about it.”

A December USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service crop production report forecasted the 2014 cottonseed yield at 5.258 tons, a projected 25 percent supply increase over 2013, attributed to increased cotton acreage, higher production and good quality.

“Most cotton producing states saw more rain, a milder summer and harvested more bales,” says John Robinson, Texas A&M University professor and Extension specialist of cotton marketing. “Cottonseed supply will be higher and feed demand is not anticipated to change much.”

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Ag Group, Feed, Nutrition

American Gelbvieh Association Welcomes New Staff

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

gelbviehThe American Gelbvieh Association (AGA) is pleased to announce the hiring of Rebecca Mettler of Sarcoxie, Missouri, as editorial content coordinator and Megan Slater of Longmont, Colorado as public relations coordinator.

Prior to joining the AGA team, Mettler was a freelance writer for national and regional agricultural publications. Experienced in beef industry association work, Mettler served as DNA coordinator for the Red Angus Association of America in Denton, Texas as well as a membership communications assistant at the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association while attending the University of Missouri (MU) in Columbia, Missouri. Mettler holds bachelor’s degrees in both Agricultural Journalism and Animal Sciences from the University of Missouri.

Mettler was raised on a 400 head commercial cow/calf operation in southwest Missouri and has been involved in the beef industry her entire life. She and her husband, Brant, recently moved back to their home state.

She will be responsible for the editorial content of the Gelbvieh World and The Profit Picture publications and serve as quality assurance for written AGA communications. In the future, she will also be a resource for placing advertising orders.

Slater graduated from Colorado State University (CSU) in May of 2014 with a degree in Animal Science and a minor in Business Administration. While at CSU she was a member of the 2013-2014 CSU Seedstock Merchandising Team. During her time on the team, Slater co-chaired the written promotions committee. Those duties included managing the team website, creating and updating a Facebook page, composing and sending out newsletters, and putting together the annual bull sale catalog.

Through her role as AGA public relations coordinator, Slater will focus primarily on the Gelbvieh message. The AGA membership will benefit from her efforts toward assisting AGA affiliates, handling social media content, compiling the AGA membership E-Newsletter and participating in AGA and industry events.

As an intern for the past five months at AGA, Slater has been responsible for building “How To” tutorials to assist AGA members in transitioning to the new registry system, providing content for AGA’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as other communication efforts.

Ag Group, Beef, Company Announcement

Rabobank: Avian Flu Set to Shake Up Poultry in 2015

John Davis Leave a Comment

Rabobank_logoA new report from Dutch bank Rabobank says avian flu and trade restrictions are set to have some major impacts on the poultry industry worldwide. This company news release says regions affected by avian flu outbreaks, such as Europe and Canada, will suffer from lost export markets, affecting local prices. But non-affected areas, such as the U.S. and Brazil could pick up some export market share.

“A key concern for the coming months is the spread of avian flu, which has become a global issue in recent months. Several avian flu strains are already endemic in several parts of Asia and Mexico, and the disease is increasingly spreading globally via wild birds,” explained Rabobank´s Nan-Dirk Mulder.

Avian flu virus pressure will become a global issue for the industry after new high pathogenic avian flu outbreaks in the EU, Canada, India and Egypt add to existing cases in East Asia and Mexico. Affected regions will therefore continue to suffer from economic damage and temporary lost export markets with lower local prices especially for dark meat. In the longer term, industries need to prepare for ongoing disease pressure, especially in times of bird migration. This will require higher levels of biosecurity and reconsideration of existing business models.

Trade restrictions, namely Russia’s import ban on US and EU poultry meat, will lead to ongoing record high prices and margins in Russia. The outbreaks of avian flu in Northwest Europe have been a big wake-up call for the Russian industry as markets have been highly affected by import restrictions on day old-chicks and hatching eggs as Russia depends on 15% of total hatching egg supply on imports mainly from these countries. Although Russia is now re-opening imports of hatching eggs and day-old chicks from non-affected regions in these countries, a future supply risk for Russia will remain and any outbreak in Northwest Europe can affect future market conditions significantly especially if this happens in the Netherlands.

Overall, the poultry industry is expected to benefit from strong markets and low feed prices.

Agribusiness, International, Poultry

Poultry Industry Perplexed by OSHA Citations

John Davis Leave a Comment

poultrychickenPoultry producers are perplexed by some recent worker safety citations. This news release from the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association says the group, along with the National Chicken Council, take exception to the recent OSHA citation against Wayne Farms for alleged safety violations at its Jack, Alabama, plant involving musculoskeletal disorders and other workplace hazards, pointing out that the complaints originated with the Southern Poverty Law Center, an activist group with a long history of animosity toward the poultry industry.

OSHA’s accusations of wrongdoing lack evidence and are simply unfounded. OSHA incorrectly portrays an undeserved negative image of the entire poultry industry despite its outstanding record of improvement in employee health and safety, particularly over the past three decades.

The poultry industry finds it ironic that OSHA, in effect, is attacking the very same safety guidelines that it developed in cooperation with the poultry industry many years ago. In fact, this past summer OSHA and USDA issued a joint communication supporting “effective efforts by the poultry industry to protect the safety and health of employees.”

The poultry industry’s record of outstanding advancements in reducing ergonomic risks is based on fact. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that poultry processing plants have reduced the rate of workplace illness, including musculoskeletal injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, by 62 percent in the past decade. BLS data further indicate that “Total Recordable Injury and Illness” in poultry plants has dropped from 22.7 percent of employees in 1994, down to just 4.5 percent in 2013!

In the citations, OSHA references a nearly 50-year-old, ambiguous section of federal law, known as the General Duty Clause, which states that employers have a duty to provide a safe workplace. The poultry industry argues it is doing that, and imposing the General Duty Clause should require more than simple observation of job tasks.

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Chicken, Government, Poultry

BRI Celebrates 15 Years in Animal Nutrition

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 9.56.01 AM2014 marks 15 years in business for BioResource International, Inc. (BRI), a global biotechnology company specializing in the research, development and manufacture of high-performance enzyme feed additives for animal nutrition. The company attributes its continued success to the growing demand for its market-leading protease enzyme (Versazyme®), the launch of a new enzyme feed additive (XylamaxTM) and expansion into new markets.

During this past year, BRI expanded its product portfolio with the launch of Xylamax, a high-performance xylanase enzyme scientifically proven to help poultry and swine growers safely and effectively produce more protein, and XylaQuick, a companion qualitative in-feed colorimetric kit for on-site testing. To support the launch of Xylamax and XylaQuick, the company extended its network of strategic partners in high growth markets, including South Asia and Latin America, where BRI has signed distribution agreements with Jubilant Life Sciences and ilender Corp., respectively.

BRI continues to strengthen its position as an industry leader in the research and development of innovative biotechnology solutions for animal nutrition. In 2014, the company was granted new patents for the use of its protease enzyme in sorghum diets for poultry, and for use in swine production. BRI also successfully completed international quality audits resulting in GMP and FAMI-QS certifications for its U.S. manufacturing facility.

“At BRI, I like to talk about our progress in terms of three P’s – People, Products and Processes. Our greatest value can be measured in terms of our people, and they have worked tirelessly this past year to meet the challenges of a high-growth environment,” said Giles Shih, CEO. “We continue to leverage our scientific expertise to develop high-performance enzyme feed additives and launch new products. In terms of processes, we established new business partnerships and completed two international quality certifications.”

BRI’s revenue continues to increase at a compounded annual growth rate in excess of 20%, and production levels will more than double in the four years from 2012-2015. As a result, the company has nearly doubled its staff of PhD-level scientists, and has added new director level positions in Research and Development and Finance.

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Feed, Nutrition

Increase in Entries & Exhibitors at American Royal

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

American royalAs the American Royal closes the books on a very successful 2014 season, it is pleased with the growth of its Livestock Show. Now in its 115th year, the American Royal Livestock Show continues to draw exhibitors showing the best livestock from across the country. This year’s event saw an increase of 8% for the total livestock entered (3,977) and a 7% increase in exhibitors (1,792 from 34 states) who came to the show.

“The roots of the American Royal are in the livestock show. The first American Royal in 1899 was a national Hereford cattle show held in a tent. Today our livestock show includes several breeds of cattle, hogs, lambs and goats. There are more than 25 different shows within our overall event that takes place for two weeks in the American Royal Complex,” says Mariner Kemper, Chairman of the American Royal.

In 2014 the Livestock Show included twelve open breeding cattle shows, eight junior heifer shows, four junior market shows (steer, hog, lamb, & goat), and a junior pedigreed gilt show.

The Livestock show focuses greatly on the purpose of the American Royal by providing scholarships, youth agriculture education, awards, and competitive learning experiences that help instill hard work, leadership skills and agrarian values. The American Royal Junior Shows are highly regarded in the livestock industry and award junior exhibitors between the ages of nine and twenty for their hard work throughout the year in raising their livestock projects.

Agribusiness, Events, Livestock

Meat & Poultry Execs Join to Tell Story of Meat Supply

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

amiThirty C-Suite level executives from meat and poultry companies big and small have added their voices and faces to a new video highlighting facts about today’s amazing meat and poultry industry. The video called “Amazing Meat” shares the numerous benefits of the U.S. meat supply delivered by the industry’s leaders themselves including affordability, nutrition, food safety, animal welfare and more. It was produced by the American Meat Institute (AMI).

“This video is the latest step in our ongoing efforts to show the consumers who we are, what we do and how we do it. Our bountiful, safe and affordable meat supply is something we are fortunately able to rely upon without thinking much about the people or the hard work that made it possible. We are happy in this video to show consumers the people behind the products,” said AMI Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Member Services Janet Riley. In addition to business executives, leading animal welfare expert Temple Grandin, Ph.D., professor of animal science at Colorado State University, makes an appearance in the video to explain the progress that she has observed in animal handling in meat and poultry plants.

The new video also includes a companion brochure. The video and brochure are part of an ongoing effort by AMI to increase transparency and share the facts that are often overlooked or misunderstood. In recent years AMI has developed a series of “Glass Walls” videos featuring leading Dr. Grandin who guides and narrates tours in beef, pork and turkey processing plants to show how the animals are handled throughout processing. Glass Walls videos also show sanitation in meat plants as well as how hamburgers and hot dogs are made.

AMI also debuted a grass roots effort, Communicators Advocating Meat and Poultry (CAMP), to enlist those involved in meat and poultry production to communicate their stories in the community and through social media.

“Ninety-five percent of Americans eat meat and poultry and our products inspire love and devotion amongst consumers — just look at bacon,” said Riley. “We want people to know that they can feel confident that our products are safe, wholesome, nutritious and delicious and we are committed to sharing the facts with anyone who is interested. We also want them to understand that the people behind the products are real people, with families who consume the same meat and poultry products they do.”


Ag Group, AMI, Meat, Poultry, Video