Selenium May Boost Bugs' Immunity

Andy Vance

That same mineral you may be using in your ration may be keeping the bugs in the field from getting sick. The latest research out from USDA’s Ag Research Service suggests that moderate dietary levels of selenium may actually strengthen insect immunity. Typically, high levels of selenium are toxic to pests, but studies with cabbage looper moths and tobacco budworms found that the group raised on artificially high, though not toxic, levels of selenium had a stronger immune response system, therefore lowering the effectiveness of microbial biological control agents used against them.

Education, Government, Nutrition, Production

The Raw Milk Debate Continues

Andy Vance

Ohio has become Ground Zero for the Raw Milk debate. It is, to put it mildly, a passionate debate, with folks on either side clinging valiantly to their beliefs. We’ve been tracking a bill in the Ohio legislature that would change our state’s position on Raw Milk from one of prohibiting sales of Raw Milk to one where the trade of Raw Milk is perfectly legal in a given set of regulatory circumstances.

Dairy Group, Government, Markets, Milk, Nutrition

A New Way to Eliminate BVD?

Andy Vance

USDA’s Ag Research Service is working to combat major diseases in the dairy industry. One of the most challenging has been Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD). The disease has typically been battled by vaccinations, but as we learn from Julia Ridpath, a microbioligist with ARS, this strategy isn’t as effective as it could be due to persistently infected animals. Past-President of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Joe Cornely has the details here: Julia Ridpath on BVD (2:59 mp3)

Audio, Government, Production, Research

Dead Cow Stinking Up The Joint

Andy Vance

West Milford, WV – Just outside this quaint village of 500 folks just south of Clarksburg, residents are concerned about a foul problem. A foul-smelling problem, that is. It seems that along the edge of town runs the West Fork River, and just outside town the river is dammed. Typically, the dam is a great fishing hole for the locals. Rather, it was a great fishing hole. Now it just stinks.

Government, Media