- Phibro Animal Health Corporation has introduced the new Animate app, a free mobile app for Animate® anionic mineral supplement customers that allows dairy producers to track critical prefresh metrics over time and identify trends by prompting them to enter data including: urine pH, bunk space, stocking density, dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) levels, temperature humidity index (THI), dry matter intake and other factors. The innovative app aggregates this data to project trends in herd productivity and gauges the performance of their pre-partum feeding and management program.
- Seasonality of US lamb production is an issue that causes inefficiencies and market volatility for all segments of this industry. A new white paper pulls together information on the topic so that members of the industry can understand it in more depth and make informed decisions about management alterations to better supply a more consistently available product. “Seasonality of the US Lamb Industry: A Review of Current Information” is now available for download at LambResourceCenter.com in its Production Resources section.
- Newtrient LLC published its inaugural progress report, reporting on its advancements in nutrient management, manure-based products and market-driven solutions. Newtrient’s founding members recognize the environmental benefits that dairy farmers deliver to society — far beyond milk and meat. The opportunity now is to create positive, economic incentives that benefit farmers, communities and society. The full report can be viewed online at http://www.newtrient.com/About/Membership-Report.
A new white paper addresses the seasonality of lamb production so members of the industry can understand it in more depth and make informed decisions about management alterations to better supply a more consistently available product.
“Seasonality of the US Lamb Industry: A Review of Current Information” is now available for download at LambResourceCenter.com in the Production Resources section.
The white paper states that an estimated 80 percent of the US lamb crop is born in the first five months of the calendar year. As a result, there are periods throughout the year when the supply of lamb is inconsistent, which creates industry issues including market price volatility, inadequate supply of market-ready lambs, and irregular supply of carcass size and quality.
Lamb retail sales are greatest during the Christmas and Easter holiday seasons with strong demand for legs and racks, as well as a considerable increase in sales of ground lamb at retail – nearly doubling in four years.
According to the white paper, if surplus lambs in the feedlot during winter and spring cannot be harvested on time, they remain in the feedlot until supplies diminish. These lambs are harvested at much heavier weights than ideal for their frame size. Volatility in carcass size makes it challenging to supply a fresh, consistent product to the consumer.
Last week, FDA held a public meeting to discuss foods produced using animal cell culture technology – mainly lab-grown fake meat products – and which agency should be in charge of regulating. The meat industry believes fake meat should be regulated by USDA.
“Any fair reading of the law places lab-grown meat food products within the primary jurisdiction of the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service,” said Danielle Beck, director of government affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, during the meeting last week.
Speaking at a POLITICO summit this week, FDA administrator Scott Gottlieb said he believes his agency has a role in regulating. “The regulations speak about slaughtered meat,” said Gottlieb. “This is obviously different.”
Next week, July 26, FDA will be holding a public hearing on nutrition and labeling that will include whether non-dairy beverages derived from almonds or soy products should be able to call themselves milk. The American Dairy Coalition (ADC) has rolled out a new initiative to advocate for the proper use of federally standardized terms established for the word “milk” on product labels called the Protecting Milk Integrity Initiative.
Gottlieb says FDA has probably not been enforcing the standard of identity for milk. “There is a reference in the standard of identity to a lactating animal,” said Gottlieb. “An almond doesn’t lactate.”
- Holstein Association USA recognizes David Harvatine of King Ferry, New York, as the 2018 Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder. Havartine is co-owner and dairy manager of Aurora Ridge Dairy, located north of Ithaca, New York, in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. Aurora Ridge Dairy is owned by four partners: Bill Cook, Dan Westfall, Jason Burrows and Harvatine.
- The Washington State Conservation Commission has awarded a $930,305 grant to install and operate a clean water membrane technology system provided by Regenis, an agricultural waste solutions company, to be located at Coldstream Farms in Deming, WA. This state-of-the-art system will generate 12,000 gallons of clean water daily from the 22,000 gallons of cow manure the farm produces through a unique combination of nanofiltration and reverse osmosis. Once treated, the water is suitable for farm animals to drink or even to benefit local salmon runs by increasing streamflow.
- The American Feed Industry Association is pleased to announce the addition of Louise Calderwood as its director of regulatory affairs, effective July 2.
- Hiland Dairy Foods Company continuously seeks new ways to recycle, reduce and reuse at its production plants. Hiland Dairy’s most extensive effort to date took years to reach its current magnitude as a closed-loop sustainability initiative at the company’s plant in Chandler, Oklahoma. At last month’s ProFood Live conference in Chicago, Hiland’s initiative received a ProFood World 2017 Sustainability Excellence in Manufacturing Award.
- The USPOULTRY Foundation awarded a $20,345 student recruiting grant to the University of Georgia. The grant was made possible in part from an endowing Foundation gift from the Leland Bagwell Education & Innovation Fund, named in honor of the founder of American Proteins.
- The automated milking trend continues to tick upwards in the U.S. GEA introduced the first fully automated robotic rotary parlor, DairyProQ, and installations quickly gained momentum with two completed at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018, and four on track for completion by end-of-year.
- Idaho Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, University of Montana Professor Dr. Dave Naugle, and Arizona Farm Bureau President Stefanie Smallhouse provided testimony to the Subcommittee on Federal Lands hearing entitled “The Essential Role of Livestock Grazing on Federal Lands and Its Importance to Rural America” during a recent House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing.
- Already bearing the brunt of global trade retaliation against American agriculture, U.S. pork producers now face additional headwinds in the form of a regulatory land grab by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The National Pork Producers Council called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to assert its proper oversight of two emerging issues critical to the future of animal agriculture: laboratory-produced cultured protein and gene editing in livestock production.
- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the government of Japan has finalized technical requirements that will allow U.S. sheep and goat exports into the country for the first time in more than 14 years.
- Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has announced the appointment of 13 members to fill vacancies on the 37-member National Dairy Promotion and Research Board. More information about research and promotion programs is available on the Research and Promotion Programs page on the AMS website.
All categories of agricultural machinery sales are in the plus column so far this year compared to last, according to the latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).
“We view 2018 as a rebuilding year for agriculture; we’ve experienced a steadily improving economy, tax reform provides incentives and machines need to be replaced,” said Curt Blades, AEM senior vice president, AG services. “We’re still concerned with the impact of tariffs and trade wars on continued stability for manufacturers and their customers.”
AEM reports that U.S. sales of self-propelled combines are up 20.5 percent compared to 2017 January-June; U.S. sales of the machines in June grew 4 percent compared to June 2017. January-June U.S. sales of 4-wheel-drive tractors gained 5 percent over 2017 year-to-date sales; June sales jumped 23 percent compared to last year. Total U.S. sales of 2-wheel drive tractors at mid-year grew 6.5 percent over the same time period in 2017; all categories were positive, with strongest gains in the under-40 HP category at 8 percent.
For 2-wheel drive tractors, June U.S. sales in the 100-plus HP category increased 16 percent, under-40 HP tractors grew 15 percent, and 40-100 HP 2-wheel drive tractors gained 4 percent.
The Animal Agriculture Alliance has shared reaction to the most recent gathering of the Animal Rights National Conference, held June 28 through July 1 in Los Angeles.
The event was organized by the Farm Animal Rights Movement and sponsored by Mercy for Animals, The Save Movement, Compassion Over Killing and The Humane League, along with other animal rights extremist groups. According to conference organizers, the Animal Rights National Conference is the world’s largest and longest-running gathering of animal rights activists with the shared belief that “animals have the right to be free from all forms of human exploitation.”
“We believe it is important for everyone in animal agriculture to stay informed of how animal rights extremists plan to target us next,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “That’s why we release reports from major activist conferences every year. If your livelihood depends on animals, whether for food, research, transportation, or any other purpose, you need to review this report and prepare for what strategies and tactics these groups and individuals will use in their increasingly aggressive efforts to take meat, poultry, dairy and eggs off of our plates.”
This year’s conference speakers focused heavily on the “reproductive rights” of animals, an apparent new focus area for the movement. The 2018 Animal Rights National Conference Report, which includes personal accounts of speaker presentations and general observations, is available to Alliance members in the Resource Library on the Alliance website. The Alliance also has reports from previous animal rights conferences accessible to members on the Alliance website.
- Sixteen culinary experts from across the country got a taste of the beef industry during the Pasture to Plate Beef Tour, sponsored by state beef councils in California, Colorado, Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas. Invited to the beef checkoff-funded event were the culinary chairs responsible for the 28 International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes across the country. The non-profit Art Institutes operate the largest system of culinary schools in the United States.
- Media pre-registration for the 2018 Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting, which will be held August 1-4 in Denver, is open. Click here to access the registration page.
- A jury verdict against a North Carolina hog farm in favor of plaintiffs who lodged unwarranted nuisance claims sets a dangerous precedent for American livestock agriculture, according to Jim Heimerl, president of the National Pork Producers Council and a hog farmer from Johnstown, Ohio. The following statement can be attributed to Heimerl: “For the second time in as many months, a North Carolina verdict has come back in favor of plaintiffs after a jury was prevented from visiting the farm subjected to baseless claims. We are deeply troubled by this decision against a farm that has operated responsibly and in compliance with state laws since 1985 and that maintains the highest standards of environmental and community stewardship. American hog farmers already face serious headwinds, including export market uncertainty caused by ongoing trade disputes. We can’t allow trial-lawyer abuse of our legal system to continue as it threatens the livelihood of livestock farming families, undermines the rural economy and unnecessarily increases food prices for consumers.”
Well, here’s news that probably won’t upset too many people I know. I’m actually amazed that this didn’t happen much sooner. Of course this had to happen during a pretty much vacation week for the ZimmComm Team and many, many other folks.
Here’s some industry reaction on the announcement. I think you can sum it up that everyone is pretty happy about it.
National Corn Growers Association (NCGA)
Quote from Kevin Skunes, president and North Dakota Farmer:
“It’s no secret corn farmers have been frustrated with Scott Pruitt’s ongoing actions over the past year that have seriously undermined the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
Quote from Emily Skor, CEO:
“Administrator Pruitt’s tenure as administrator of the EPA put a heavy strain on this administration’s relationship with supporters, farmers, and biofuel producers across the heartland.
Renewable Fuels Association
Quote from Bob Dinneen, CEO:
“For the past year, Scott Pruitt had been waging war against the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the biofuels industry, and the millions of farmers and rural Americans who helped Donald Trump get elected.
National Biodiesel Board
Kurt Kovarik, Vice President of Federal Affairs:
“The EPA plays an important role in implementing policies that have a great impact on our industry. For that reason, we look forward to working with Mr. Wheeler and hope he will act more in line with President Trump’s support for America’s farmers, biofuels producers and the Renewable Fuel Standard.”
“America has to understand and appreciate what it has in agriculture.
American consumers walk out of the grocery store with still more money in their pocket and their paychecks and their incomes than virtually anybody else in the world.
That creates great flexibility in our economy directly connected to American agriculture.
It also provides the opportunity for every single one of us who are not farmers to be able to choose alternative opportunities for ourselves and our families.
We have transferred the responsibility of feeding our families to a relatively small percentage of our population called the American farmer.”
What will be on your grill for the 4th of July? Chances are it probably costs a little less than it did last year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).
Farm Bureau’s informal annual survey reveals the average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people is $55.07, or $5.51 per person – that’s down about one percent from 2017. The All-American cookout menu includes hot dogs and buns, cheeseburgers and buns, pork spare ribs, deli potato salad, baked beans, corn chips, lemonade, chocolate milk, ketchup, mustard and watermelon for dessert.
While lower prices are good news for consumers, it’s not so much for farmers. “This is a very tough time for farmers and ranchers due to low prices across the board. It is appropriate that this very painful situation hitting farmers be reflected at the retail level as well,” said AFBF Director of Market Intelligence Dr. John Newton.
A total of 96 Farm Bureau members in 28 states served as “volunteer shoppers,” checking retail prices for summer cookout foods at their local grocery stores for this informal survey.