Idaho Dairy Group Hires Business Director

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

UnitedDairymenOfIdahoBizDevDirectorBrendenFitzgeraldBrenden Fitzgerald joins the Idaho Dairy Products Commission and the United Dairymen of Idaho as senior director of business development and processor relations. In his role, Fitzgerald will build and manage relationships with dairy processors, as well as work with retail and restaurant partners on a local and national level.

“Brenden’s experience in developing sales strategies, working with diverse clients and partners, and activating local and national marketplace initiatives and promotions lends itself to the new direction of Idaho’s dairy promotion organization,” noted Karianne Fallow, CEO of United Dairymen of Idaho. “His experience and expertise lends itself nicely to the success of Idaho’s dairy farmers.”

Brenden most recently served as food service key account manager for PepsiCo-Pepsi Beverage Co. in Boise, Idaho. Previously, Brenden worked in similar roles for Pepsi Bottling Ventures and Nagel Beverage Co.

A native of Idaho, Fitzgerald earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a Master of Business Administration from Willamette University. He is active with the Bogus Basin Ski Education Foundation board of directors and enjoys outdoor recreation. He lives in Boise with his wife and three children.

Ag Group, Company Announcement, Dairy

World Ag Expo Names 2015 Top 10 New Products

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Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 2.36.44 PMResults are in for World Ag Expo’s Top-10 New Products competition. The winners will be showcased February 10-12, 2015 during the 48th annual World Ag Expo in Tulare, California. A group of judges made up of farmers, ranchers and industry professionals selected the Top-10 New Products.

The winners are:
Macros Plastics Inc.
Deep Root Irrigation LLC
GEA Farm Technologies, Inc.
Simple Pump
Nikkel Iron Works Corp.
Curry ToolWorks Corp.
PolyExcel, LLC
Dairy Records Management Systems

The International Agri-Center is home to World Ag Expo, February 10-12, 2015 in Tulare, California. An estimated annual average of 100,000 individuals from 70 countries attends World Ag Expo each year. The Expo is the largest annual agricultural show of its kind with 1,400 exhibitors displaying cutting-edge agricultural technology and equipment on 2.6 million square feet of show grounds.

Ag Group, Equipment, Events

Citizens Abuzz Over Bee Data Collection Project

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

beesCitizen scientists around the world are busy as bees for a University of Florida study. A global movement called “citizen science” is gaining traction, as scientists give lay people protocols so they can collect valid data.

In this case, participants build and monitor artificial nesting habitats suitable for solitary bees and wasps. Many bees and wasps live in social colonies. Solitary ones keep to themselves and nest in tunnels. Among methods used to build homes for the bees and wasps, participants drilled holes in wood, rock, cement or clay while others provided bamboo stems or other hollow tubes.

Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers used social media and websites to enroll and train citizen scientists for the project. Between April 2012 and July 2014, 655 people from 30 Florida counties, 39 states and 11 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Spain and Switzerland, registered for the Native Buzz in the project.

Results showed citizen scientists can build and monitor artificial nesting habitats for bees and wasps, a process that helps entomologists collect bee and wasp nesting data from a large geographic range.

“For me, the biggest takeaway was the level of public interest in this project,” said Jason Graham, a former UF doctoral student in entomology and nematology. While at UF, Graham worked in the lab of Jamie Ellis, a UF/IFAS associate professor in entomology and nematology and a bee expert. “People hear about the decline of pollinators, and they want to help in some way. This project provides them with a way to help and also learn more about the diversity of bees and wasps in their own backyard.”

Ag Group, bees, Research

Rabobank: Dairy Prices Continue Fall, Trend is Global

John Davis Leave a Comment

raboU.S. dairy prices are continuing their fall, and it could be a while until they recover. Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research (FAR) and Advisory Group‘s latest quarterly report shows the trend is global.

The report also finds international dairy markets continue to suffer from low prices, though the rate of decline in the price of dairy commodities has slowed compared to that seen in Q3 2014.

Exceptional milk production growth in export regions in the last nine months has outstripped weak local consumption, boosting supply in the international market and forcing prices to fall. However, low prices have succeeded in clearing huge volumes, with trade growth up 15 percent year on year. While Rabobank believes that there are signs of price stabilization, climbing off the market floor may take some time.

“Low prices were required to help clear a market still dealing with exceptionally strong supply growth, a rising U.S. dollar, a weak economic environment and reduced buying from China and Russia,” says Rabobank analyst Tim Hunt.

The report goes on to say that China’s buy of dairy in the the international market is nearly half of what it was than this time last year. The Russian ban on imports from key suppliers has also pushed global prices down by 30 to 50 percent from peak prices.

Agribusiness, Dairy, Finance

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

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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