Last week, the Subcommittee on Deparment Operations, Oversight, Dairy, Nutrition, and Forestry met at Winona, Minnesota to discuss the Upper Midwest Dairy industry.
The National Milk Producers Federation has joined a number of farm groups in sending a message to the White House on WTO talks. Will these talks ever get anywhere? Who knows. But at least we know they’re “talking.”
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.
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.
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)
Amid debate over illegal immigration and spending priorities, Congress has put the brakes on further Animal Identification funding to USDA, at least until they have more information on which to resume funding.
Here’s a technical story that I’m going to depend on the release writer from the Agricultural Research Service to explain in their words.
A recent story for the USDA’s Radio News Service says that dairy operators are about to pull back on production increases as prices fall. The report is done by Gary Crawford who interviewed USDA Outlook Chairman, Gerry Bange.
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.