QScout Farm Lab Upgraded with Time-Saving Autoloader

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 5.02.52 PMAdvanced Animal Diagnostics (AAD) updated its flagship QScout® Farm Lab with a time-saving autoloader feature that allows dairy employees to run up to 20 individual tests for diagnostic analysis without supervision.

An on-farm, portable diagnostic analyzer, QScout Farm Lab is designed to read a suite of animal health tests and provide producers with results in minutes. For example, the QScout MLD (milk leukocyte differential) test accurately detects subclinical mastitis in individual quarters long before symptoms occur by analyzing ratios of white blood cell types that fight infection. Additional livestock diagnostic tests are in development.

“The autoloader feature frees up labor while the QScout Farm Lab does the analysis and reporting for you, providing employees with accurate data and more time to act on the information,” says AAD Vice President of Marketing Allen Moczygemba. “With reliable results available so quickly, producers can make informed treatment and management decisions within minutes.”

To perform the QScout MLD, an easy-to-collect milk sample is transferred to an MLD test. Up to 20 individual tests can be placed into the QScout Farm Lab autoloader and left unattended during the diagnostic analysis. For each quarter, the screen displays a positive or negative diagnosis for subclinical mastitis in a few minutes per cow. Full data results are downloadable from the unit or online. The original, single-load model – QScout Farm Lab SL – also is available.

“Regardless of which model is right for your business, QScout Farm Lab puts employees in control of animal health and productivity, providing quick, quantitative, quality test results that remove the guesswork from scouting for hidden infections,” says Moczygemba.

In the field, QScout MLD is being used to accurately diagnose subclinical mastitis during early lactation and guide selective dry cow therapy by quarter.

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Dairy, Disease Jamie JohansenQScout Farm Lab Upgraded with Time-Saving Autoloader

Colombia Hopes to Increase Dairy Exports to United States

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

proColombia is making a huge push to develop its dairy industry, with a focus on exports to the United States, announced Proexport Colombia. The country is the fourth largest dairy producer in Latin America, and three of its top food manufacturers are dairy-based, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Proexport, Colombia’s arm for investment, tourism, and exports, announced that it would be focusing on a greater number of dairy products to the U.S. moving forward. Products most likely to be included in the push are cheese, caramel, yogurt, whey and curds.

“There are many possibilities for dairy exports to the United States, and Proexport is dedicated to assisting Colombian companies find the best opportunities for their products,” said Proexport President Maria Claudia Lacouture.

Colombian experts have identified many dairy sector products that are in high demand in the U.S., most notably dairy desserts and Greek yogurt – a growing fad.

Proexport and its partners are also aware of the quality demands of the U.S. import market, such as English-language labels, ingredient specifications, FDA-approved additives and dyes and streamlined producer-consumer processes. The agency is working hard to ensure that companies meet these specifications, holding seminars on opportunities and requirements in the U.S. for dairy industry professionals.

The U.S-Colombia Free Trade Agreement is very conducive to the flow of exports between the two countries. Since the Free Trade Agreement took affect, diary exports are up 11.6 percent. Incidentally, the value of total exports grew by 22 percent, largely due to the immediate entry of yogurt, milk, butter, ice cream and cheese into the market.

In 2013, Colombian farmers produced 6.617 billion liters of milk, about 18.2 million liters per day according to Fedegan.

Agribusiness, Dairy, International Jamie JohansenColombia Hopes to Increase Dairy Exports to United States

Dairy Meetings Explain New Farm Bill Safety Net

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Extension-LogoDairy producers must decide how much safety net they need and then sign up for the 2014 farm bill program before Nov. 28. Producers can learn the options in a series of meetings and a webinar, says Joe Horner, University of Missouri Extension dairy economist.

“There has been lots of information in dairy magazines and online,” Horner says. “Some will want person-to-person contact.”

Five meetings will be in southern Missouri. A webinar for the more scattered northern Missouri producers will be Sept. 29. The meetings start Sept. 29 in Columbia and end Oct. 29 in Hartville. Instructors will be Horner, MU economist Scott Brown and a local agent from the USDA Farm Service Agency. The farm bill’s new Margin Protection Program replaces MILC (Milk Income Loss Contact). Under the former program there was just one decision, to sign up or not. In MPP, producers must decide on margin level and how much insurance they want to buy.

“It sounds complicated, but need not be in most cases,” Horner says. “Main thing is to go to the local FSA office and sign up.”

The meeting times and locations are:
Sept. 29, 2-2:30 p.m., FCS Financial, 2800 Woodard Drive, Columbia.
Oct. 14, 10 a.m.-noon, MU Extension Center, Jackson, Mo.
Oct. 15, 1-3 p.m., Park Casino, 101 S. Lincoln, Monett, Mo.
Oct. 16, 10 a.m.-noon, Park Casino, 101 S. Lincoln, Monett.
Oct. 28, 10 a.m.-noon, Springfield (Mo.) Livestock Marketing Center, 6821 W. Independence Drive, Springfield.
Oct. 29, 10 a.m.-noon, Laclede Electric Cooperative meeting room, 5900 Highway 5, Hartville, Mo.

The webinar will be during the lunch hour on Sept. 29. Go to Horner’s website for sign-up details. Every producer should sign up, unless they are just opposed to government programs, Horner says. With current milk prices, it may not seem like time to buy insurance.

“Just remember the low milk prices in 2009 and 2012,” he says. “Margin insurance would have been very helpful then.”

The first step at the FSA office will be to establish a milk production basis for the last three years. That data is in year-end summaries from the milk marketing co-op. The final step is deciding how much risk the farm can withstand.

“Don’t avoid signing up before the deadline,” Horner says. “Go in well ahead of Thanksgiving.”

"farm bill", Ag Group, Dairy, Education Jamie JohansenDairy Meetings Explain New Farm Bill Safety Net

NCBA Behind House Passing Jobs Bill

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

ncba-logoThe House passed The Jobs for America Act (H.R. 4) by a vote of 253 to 163. Bob McCan, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president and Victoria, Texas, cattleman said this was a positive move for cattle producers and a solid step toward stabilizing the economy.

“The Jobs bill passed by the House contains a number of priorities for our producer members including some key tax provisions,” said McCan. “The passage of this legislation brings our producers one step closer to having the certainty they need to make financial preparations and needed investments in this tax year.”

Included in the Act is the America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act and other provisions directed toward the Internal Revenue Service, which makes section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation permanent. The bill also contains the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, requiring Congress to take an up-or-down vote on all new major rules that would have an economic impact of more than $100 million annually before they can be enforced. And critical for many public lands and western ranchers is the inclusion of the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act addressing catastrophic wildfire and forest mismanagement.

“Many of the provisions contained in this bill are critical for the cattle industry; legislation that extends certainty in the tax code, reins in the regulatory train wreck our members face from administration agencies like the EPA and aims to better manage our public lands and resources,” said McCan. “We appreciate the efforts of the House in bringing this bill to the floor and urge the Senate to take action.”

The full Jobs Bill and more information can be found here.

Ag Group, Government, NCBA Jamie JohansenNCBA Behind House Passing Jobs Bill

Growing Hereford Demand Leads to Many Increases

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Hereford LogoFiscal year 2014 was a year of expansion and growth for the Hereford breed as commercial producers continue to find value and predictability in utilizing Hereford genetics.

“Record sale prices for bulls and females and increases in registrations, transfers and cows on inventory indicate the market is vibrant for Hereford genetics,” says Craig Huffhines, AHA executive vice president. “We’re excited about the increasing demand of Hereford genetics in the marketplace as well as the potential possible, as the current trend in the industry is expansion. As a breed, we are focused to produce the cattle that will meet the needs of the commercial industry.”

A total of 188 Hereford production sales were reported by American Hereford Association (AHA) field representatives during the fiscal year, which ended Aug. 31. Bull sales averaged $5,089, up nearly $400 per head, and females $4,637, up nearly $440 per head.

The second largest cattle breed in the U.S., Hereford reported 71,444 registrations (a 5.2% increase) and 40,295 transfers (a 12.1% increase) with 107,277 cows on inventory, up nearly 7%. The Association has 3,641 active adult members (a 4% increase) and 2,670 active junior members (a 7% increase).

Hereford semen use in the commercial industry is also increasing. According to the National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB), domestic Hereford semen sales increased 7% compared to last year. Hereford domestic semen sales have steadily increased since 2006, a testament to the increasing demand for Hereford genetics in the commercial industry.

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Agribusiness, Beef, Breeds, Cattle, Hereford Jamie JohansenGrowing Hereford Demand Leads to Many Increases

Will Low Crop Prices Impact Next Season?

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Would you buy an Apple Watch?”

Apple never ceases to amaze us with the new products they come up with. It doesn’t look like many of you will be rushing out to buy their newest techie gadget. I think I fall into the ‘not yet’ category. I don’t see how it can benefit me at the moment, but I certainly won’t rule it out.

Here are the poll results:

  • Absolutely! – 21%
  • Never – 42%
  • Not yet – 27%
  • A what? – 10%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, How will low crop prices impact next year?

Corn and soybean prices have dropped dramatically this year with record crops but the question is how much will that impact plans for next season. Will farmers plant less, buy less, or just plan that prices will go back up next year?

ZimmPoll Jamie JohansenWill Low Crop Prices Impact Next Season?

Manage Forage Quality to Support Dairy Cow Health & Production

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

27688_Prince_LogoMark_RGB_BigEach new harvest season can bring changes in forage quality which can have a negative impact on dairy cow health and productivity. Because nutritive value, mold, yeast and mycotoxins can vary considerably from season to season and from bunker to bunker, producers are encouraged to proactively manage this transition.

“Variations in mold and yeast content lead to variations in fermentation profiles of ensiled feed, which in turn impacts feed quality,” says Jamie Jarrett, Ph.D., a dairy technology manager for Prince Agri Products Inc. “Management practices for harvesting and processing forages, in addition to managing forages at feedout, can lead to significant changes in mold and yeast counts, nutrient content and digestibility. Ensiled forages tend to be a major contribution to the diet of the dairy cow, and proper cow health is a key issue in times of mold and yeast challenges.”

Dr. Jarrett notes that a responsive immune system plays an important role in helping protect dairy cows as new crop forages are introduced this fall. “An immunocompromised cow does not have the ability to endure the same level of molds and yeast in feed as a cow with an optimally functioning immune system,” she explains. “Because of unforeseen challenges that may arise, lactating cows require a fundamental level of immune responsiveness to avoid health challenges and maximize milk production during the forage transition.”

Completely avoiding mold and yeast in a dairy ration is not practical, Dr. Jarrett says, but understanding and managing those inputs will allow producers and nutritionists to better manage the risk. Her recommendations include:

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Agribusiness, Animal Health, Forage, Nutrition, Prince Agri Products Jamie JohansenManage Forage Quality to Support Dairy Cow Health & Production

FAPRI: Sources for Feed Could Get Even Cheaper

John Davis Leave a Comment

FAPRI logoGood news for livestock producers and the price of feed. Earlier this month, we told you how a new report from the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri said that livestock producers had seen some some high prices for their animals this year, but those prices were expected to taper a bit in the next couple of years. A new report from FAPRI shows that even larger crop estimates are expected to push down the prices of a couple of the most popular feeds, corn and soybeans.

- Larger corn and soybean crops translate into lower projected 2014/15 prices for many grains and oilseeds. Corn prices drop to $3.50 per bushel, soybeans to $9.92 per bushel… In all … cases, these projected prices are close to the midpoint of the price ranges reported in the September USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

– Larger crops in 2014/15 also result in larger beginning stocks and total crop supplies in 2015/16. As a result, corn and soybean prices for next year’s crop are lower than projected in August. Corn prices average $3.80 per bushel in 2015/16, and soybean prices drop to $9.04 per bushel.

– Prices recover as markets adjust. Corn prices average $4.10 per bushel, soybeans average $10.21 per bushel … over the 2016‐18 period.

The latest FAPRI report makes no mention of what livestock prices might do.

corn, Feed John DavisFAPRI: Sources for Feed Could Get Even Cheaper

Missouri Cattlemen Pleased with Right to Farm

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

mo-right-to-farmThe recount is complete for Amendment 1, the Missouri Farming Rights Amendment, and the very close Aug. 5 election results have been upheld.

“It changed slightly but the original result does stand,” said Mike Deering, Missouri Cattlemen’s Association executive vice president. “Amendment One has passed in the state of Missouri, forever guaranteeing Missouri farmers and ranchers the right to do just that – farm and ranch.”

The recount picked up a few more no votes on the amendment with passage by less than 2400 votes out of nearly a million cast.

Interview with Mike Deering, Missouri Cattlemen's Association
Ag Group, Audio, Cattle Cindy ZimmermanMissouri Cattlemen Pleased with Right to Farm

Last Addition of New Holland Pavilion Progress Newsletter

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 10.07.29 AMThe final addition of the New Holland Pavilion Progress newsletter is here. The World Dairy Expo is right around the corner and the New Holland Pavilions are right on schedule.

During the first wee of September, the World Dairy Expo Building Committee completed their final walk through. There they saw that the water spigots and electrical outlets were ready to go and the stalling had begun.

Wash racks are complete with two different tie pipes for various livestock species and the pre-function area has brick and awning from the old barns. As we continue to present day, last minute finishing touches are being added including landscaping.

Be sure to see these state-of-the-art facilities in just a few weeks at the 2014 Designer Dairy World Dairy Expo.

Ag Group, Dairy, World Dairy Expo Jamie JohansenLast Addition of New Holland Pavilion Progress Newsletter