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.

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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

Agriculture’s Relevance at State Fairs

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

zp-nh1Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Is agriculture still relevant at state fairs?”

I won’t disclose my age, but I will say I have never missed a Missouri State Fair. No, I am not a carney. I was there with my dad as he managed FFA shows and exhibits, I have exhibited my own cattle and more recently have attended as media. No matter the exact reason, they were all centered around agriculture. And luckily, our pollers agreed that agriculture does and should play a large role at state fairs across the county. I hope your memories of state fairs are as memorable as mine and you do your part to make sure agriculture isn’t lost at future fairs.

Here are the poll results:

  • Yes, plays a big role – 65%
  • Yes, but minor – 11%
  • No, should play larger role – 16%
  • No need for ag – 5%
  • Don’t know – 0%
  • Other – 3%

Our new ZimmPoll is live and asks the question, How important is immigration/farm labor to election?

One of the hot topics in this year’s presidential election has been immigration. Both sides of the line have mentioned it’s impact, but few can agree on a solution. Farmers and ranchers are in a constant struggle to find farm labor and immigration laws play a big part. Let us know how important immigration and farm labor are in our upcoming presidential election.


USDA to Purchase Surplus Cheese to Assist Dairy Producers

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

USDA_logoThe USDA announced plans to purchase approximately 11 million pounds of cheese from private inventories to assist food banks and pantries across the nation, while reducing a cheese surplus that is at its highest level in 30 years. USDA also announced that it will extend the deadline for dairy producers to enroll in the Margin Protection Program (MPP) for Dairy to Dec. 16, 2016, from the previous deadline of Sept. 30.

The purchase, valued at $20 million, will be provided to families in need across the country through USDA nutrition assistance programs, while assisting the stalled marketplace for dairy producers whose revenues have dropped 35 percent over the past two years.

“We understand that the nation’s dairy producers are experiencing challenges due to market conditions and that food banks continue to see strong demand for assistance,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This commodity purchase is part of a robust, comprehensive safety net that will help reduce a cheese surplus that is at a 30-year high while, at the same time, moving a high-protein food to the tables of those most in need. USDA will continue to look for ways within its authorities to tackle food insecurity and provide for added stability in the marketplace.”
USDA received requests from Congress, the National Farmers Union, the American Farm Bureau and the National Milk Producers Federation to make an immediate dairy purchase. Section 32 of the Agriculture Act of 1935 authorizes USDA to utilize fiscal year 2016 funds to purchase surplus food to benefit food banks and families in need through its nutrition assistance programs.

Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of National Milk Producers Federation provided the following comment about the recent decision from USDA.

“This cheese purchase will provide some assistance to America’s dairy farmers through increased demand for their milk, while also serving the needs of Americans who patronize food banks and other charitable assistance organizations that will distribute the cheese purchased by USDA. We will continue to assess the economic situation facing dairy farmers, and suggest ways to help farmers endure this lengthy period of low prices. We will continue to work with USDA and Congress to find ways to further improve the Margin Protection Program for dairy farmers.”

Ag Group, Cheese, Dairy, dairy farming, usda

HarvXtra Alfalfa Roundup Ready Available Jan 1 Across US

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

harvXtra_logoHarvXtra® Alfalfa with Roundup Ready® Technology from Forage Genetics International, LLC (FGI), the industry’s first genetically enhanced alfalfa developed, is available for planting across the continental United States starting Jan 1, 2017. Limited quantities of HarvXtra® Alfalfa with Roundup Ready® Technology planted in 2015 and 2016 scored high marks from farmers in an independent research trial, preparing the way for broader distribution in 2017.

“We’re looking forward to offering HarvXtra® alfalfa benefits to more growers in the coming season,” said Shawn Barnett, FGI general manager. “By modifying lignin content beyond what’s possible with conventional alfalfa breeding techniques, HarvXtra® alfalfa has been proven to change the relationship between forage quality and date of maturity. During its introductory phase last year and into this season, growers have reported seeing improved forage quality and greater cutting flexibility.”

HarvXtra® alfalfa, which is also stacked with Roundup Ready® Technology, offers growers a significant increase in quality when a normal harvest schedule is maintained. Research trials show a 16 percent increase in relative forage quality (RFQ) and 16 percent higher neutral detergent fiber digestibility (NDFd) across cuttings. Alternatively, growers benefit from cutting flexibility, and the ability to delay harvest for 7-10 days for an increased yield potential of up to 26 percent over the life of the stand, without sacrificing forage quality.

“After we started the first cutting this year, it rained every couple of days, taking us more than a week to finish cutting,” said Wisconsin grower Mike Brunmeier. “We cut the HarvXtra® alfalfa last – about 10 days after the first fields were cut – along with a conventional alfalfa field for comparison. The samples we pulled showed that the HarvXtra® had a 42-point advantage in relative forage quality and scored higher than the conventional alfalfa in other feed value areas.”

“We kept everything in the feed ration the same, only replacing the conventional alfalfa with HarvXtra® alfalfa,” explained Pennsylvania farmer Donnie Martin who reported a significant difference in milk weight after feeding his dairy cows a ration that included HarvXtra® alfalfa in 2015. “After the switch, we gained more than 2.5 pounds of milk per cow per day. That extra milk can really add up in a month.”

Agribusiness, Alfalfa, Forage, Livestock, Nutrition

FDA Extends Certain FSMA Compliance Dates

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

FDAThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is moving forward with implementing the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, with the first major compliance dates beginning next month for large food facilities.

While the major provisions of the FSMA rules are being implemented as planned, the FDA issued a final rule that extends and clarifies the compliance dates for certain provisions in four of the seven foundational rules. These changes are part of the FDA’s continuing efforts to make the rules as practical as possible while still protecting public health. The final rule addresses technical issues and better aligns compliance dates across the four rules.

The provisions in the final FSMA rules remain unchanged, and the FDA also issued a new draft guidance to help industry to comply with certain requirements in the Preventive Controls for Human Food rule.

Compliance dates are fast approaching for large food facilities that produce human and animal foods:
– Human food companies other than small and very small businesses will need to come into compliance with the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food rule by September 19, 2016.
– Animal food companies other than small and very small businesses will need to come into compliance with Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) under the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals rule by September 19, 2016, and with preventive controls by September 18, 2017.

The two CGMP and preventive controls rules — together with the five other foundational rules that will be implemented over the next several years to strengthen FDA oversight of produce, imported foods, sanitary transportation and intentional adulteration — will create the preventive and risk-based food safety system mandated by FSMA and reduce foodborne illness.

Ag Group, FDA, Food, food safety, Government