Perdue Reviews State of Farm Economy

cindy zimmerman

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue appeared before the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday to update members on the current state of the farm economy and what USDA is doing about it.

Implementation of the 2018 farm bill, the Dairy Margin Program, immigration, trade negotiations with China and the new USMCA, were among the many topics that Secretary Perdue addresses. Importantly, he announced several sign up dates for the new farm bill programs, including June 17 for the dairy program, September 1 for ARC and PLC, and December 1 for conservation reserve.

Listen to Perdue’s opening remarks and questions from committee Chairman Colin Peterson (D-MN) and Minority Leader Mike Conaway (R-TX) – House Ag Committee hearing with Secy Sonny Perdue

Secretary Perdue is scheduled to speak to the 2019 Commodity Classic on Friday.

AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, Audio, usda

Alltech Spotlights Bio-Mos at #CattleCon19

carrie muehling

Bio-Mos® is a unique product derived from a special strain yeast using a proprietary process developed by Alltech, which is incorporated into animal diets to support overall animal performance. Effective during all phases of growth, Bio-Mos is designed to feed the gastrointestinal tract, thereby maximizing performance and profitability.

We learned more about how Bio-Mos works as a replacement for antibiotics from Alltech territory manager Sam Bates at the recent Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show.

Listen to Jamie’s interview with Sam here: Interview with Sam Bates, Alltech

2019 Cattle Industry Convention Photo Album

AgWired Animal, Alltech, Animal Agriculture, Audio, Cattle Industry Conference, Video

Bayer Explores the Future of Food

cindy zimmerman

The Bayer Agvocacy Forum yesterday explored the topic of how plant-based diets and cellular agriculture will impact the future of food.

A diverse group – including a researcher, a professor, a cattleman and a cellular meat company representative – discussed the touchy subject of lab grown “fake meat.”

Listen to the discussion between (LtoR) Lisa Lundy, Associate Professor, University of Florida; Kevin Kester, past president National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; John Reich, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research; and Andrew Noyes with plant-based food maker JUST. Future of Food Plant-Based Diets & Cellular Agriculture

2019 Bayer AgVocacy Forum Photo Album

AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Audio, Bayer, Beef, Food, NCBA

Animal Ag Bites 2/25

carrie muehling

  • The Joint Poultry Industry Safety Award Program is currently accepting applications from poultry industry facilities with outstanding safety programs. The program is open to National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association members with poultry processing plants, further processing facilities, egg processing plants, hatcheries, feed mills and rendering facilities that, through the implementation of innovative and effective programs, have injury and illness rates below the industry average for three consecutive years. Award program rules, regulations and application forms are available by clicking here.
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Jennifer Houston issued the following statement regarding the appointment of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee: “Cattle producers applaud the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s commitment to ensuring the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans process is firmly grounded in the best available science and will ultimately result in nutritional policy that can measurably improve the health of Americans. Members of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee are leading experts in their fields who are tasked with evaluating the latest scientific evidence and then use that to make recommendations on what constitutes a healthy diet. Beef is a high-quality protein with essential nutrients like iron, zinc and B vitamins, and overwhelming scientific evidence consistently shows balanced diets with beef nourish and sustain good health. Cattle and beef producers are committed to providing a wholesome, nutritious food and communicating accurate information about beef, and we look forward to contributing to a transparent, public process.”
  • The National Corn Growers Association partnered with the U.S. Meat Export Federation to update a study on the value of red meat exports to domestic U.S. corn growers. In 2018, the study showed beef and pork exports used a combined total of 14.9 million tons of corn and DDGS, which equates to an additional 459.7 million bushels of corn produced – an increase of 29 percent over the 2015 projections.
AgWired Animal, Animal Bites

Ag Day Essay Contest Winners Announced

cindy zimmerman

The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) has announced the 2019 National Ag Day video and written essay winners, based on the theme “Agriculture: Food for Life. How does our nation lead the way?”

The national written essay winner is Grace Brose from Box Elder, South Dakota. She receives a $1,000 prize and travel to Washington, D.C. for recognition at the National Press Club Ag Day event on March 14, where she will have the opportunity to read the winning essay and will join other youth for a panel discussion on issues and challenges in agriculture. Two merit winners in the contest will receive $100 and blog posts featuring their essays. They are Brody Allen Snook of Marseilles, IL and Emily Li of Sugar Land, TX. This year’s Video essay winner, Jacob Kandell of Mason, Ohio, wins a $1,000 prize. The winning entries can be viewed online at

The Ag Day Essay Contest is sponsored by CHS Inc., National Association of Farm Broadcasting, and Farm Progress.

Ag Day, AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision

Animal Ag Bites 2/18

carrie muehling

  • U.S. Poultry & Egg Association recognized five companies that have been exhibiting for 50 or more years at the International Poultry Expo (IPE), part of the 2019 International Production & Processing Expo. The Dupps Company, VAL-CO and Zoetis were recognized for 65 years of exhibiting at IPE. Poultry Times was recognized for 60 years of exhibiting, and Hy-Line International was recognized for 55 years of exhibiting.
  • U.S. Poultry & Egg Association recognized four poultry farm winners and four finalists who received the annual Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award. The award is given annually to recognize exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production.
  • The 2019 International Production & Processing Expo is the largest show on record with approximately 33,000 poultry, meat and feed industry leader attendees from all over the world. In addition, the show has 1,420-plus exhibitors with more than 600,000 square feet of exhibit space.
  • The American Feed Industry Association and Feedstuffs congratulate Famo Feeds of Freeport, Minn., for being named the 2018 Feed Facility of the Year.
  • Megan Niederwerder, Kansas State University assistant professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, is leading a team that is exploring how the currently circulating strain of African swine fever, or ASF, could spread in feed and feed ingredients. A new publication details the dose necessary to transmit the disease when pigs ingest virus-contaminated feed or liquid.
  • Mercaris, a market data and auctions startup that is helping to grow organic and non-GMO agriculture in the U.S., released its monthly market update as the halfway point of the 2018/2019 corn and soybean marketing year approaches. The report analyzes organic broiler slaughter data and organic egg layer inventories following the recent U.S. government shutdown.
  • The newest product in the Arrowquip line is the Portable Q-Catch 86 Series Cattle Handling System. The Portable Chute, Alley & Tub has been completely redesigned for ease of transportation, and to adhere to the latest low-stress cattle handling guidelines.
AgWired Animal, Animal Bites

American Lamb Board New Chair and Annual Report

cindy zimmerman

The American Lamb Board has elected a new chairman and released its 2018 Annual Report.

Dale Thorne, a sheep producer from Michigan, has been elected chairman of the American Lamb Board (ALB). He is serving his second 3-year term on the Board, representing the lamb feeding sector. Thorne has previously served as ALB vice chairman, treasurer and chairman of the Research Committee.

Thorne and his family have a flock of 1,000 Polypay ewes, half of which lamb in the fall and half in the spring. Because he is near Detroit, which is the largest Muslim community in the US, Thorne sees first-hand the value of both traditional and non-traditional markets. The majority of the farm’s lambs are marketed at about 80 pounds. The farm also produces hay for the horse market, and row crops such as corn and soybeans.

In addition, the Lamb Board has released its Fiscal Year 2018 annual report which directs the American Lamb Checkoff.

FY 2018 result highlights include:
Blogger Lambassadors developed 38 new American Lamb recipes and reached over a million consumers
2,353 consumers attended a Lamb Jam event and 54% were new attendees
Lamb flavor research addressing quality factors entered final phases
ALB showcased American Lamb at 24 festivals and events across the US

Click here to see the comlete annual report.

AgWired Animal, American Lamb Board, Animal Agriculture

Poultry Industry Recognizes Leaders, Honorees

carrie muehling

2019 chairman of U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, John Prestage (left), senior vice president of Prestage Farms, Clinton, N.C., was presented with the traditional “working man’s gavel” by outgoing chairman, Tom Hensley, president, Fieldale Farms.

The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) elected new leaders and presented several awards at the International Poultry Expo, part of the 2019 International Production & Processing Expo.

John Prestage, senior vice president, Prestage Farms, Clinton, N.C., was elected chairman of the board of directors. He previously served as vice chairman. Prestage was presented with the time-honored
“working man’s gavel” by Tom Hensley, 2018 chairman.

Greg Hinton, Rose Acre Farms, Seymour, Indiana, was named vice chairman. Mike Levengood, Perdue Foods, Salisbury, Maryland, was named treasurer. Mikell Fries, Claxton Poultry, Claxton, Georgia, was named secretary. Tom Hensley, Fieldale Farms, Baldwin, Georgia, is immediate past chairman.

USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation recognized Dr. Kenneth Anderson as the 2019 recipient of the annual Charles Beard Research Excellence Award. Tommy Bagwell, former chairman & CEO of American Proteins, received the Harold E. Ford Lifetime Achievement Award. Mike Robach, retired vice president, Corporate Food Safety, Quality & Regulatory for Cargill, was named USPOULTRY’s Workhorse of the Year.

AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Poultry

Animal Ag Bites 2/11

carrie muehling

  • The American Feed Industry Association and Feedstuffs announced four category winners for the 2018 Feed Facility of the Year program. AFIA congratulates Famo Feeds of Freeport, Minn., as the winner of the commercial dry livestock feed plant category; Koch Foods of Morton, Miss., as the winner of the integrator category; Quality Liquid Feeds of Clovis, N.M., as the winner of the liquid feed plant category; and Trouw Nutrition of Highland, Ill., as the winner of the premix manufacturing plant category.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Center for Public Policy released new Cost/Benefit Principles that will help guide its decision-making process on various policy proposals regarding climate change.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program, has announced the winners of its 2019 Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Awards at the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention in New Orleans, La. You can read more on each of the award winners’ operations at
  • Linda Davis, a cattlewoman from Cimarron, N.M., has received the respected 2019 Swan Family Leadership Award for her decades of service to the cattle and beef industry. The award was made at the Best of Beef Breakfast Feb. 1 during the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show in New Orleans, La.
  • CattleFax has introduced its annual Cow-Calf Survey. Information requested in the survey provides participants and the rest of the industry with valuable information regarding industry benchmarks and trends. The survey can be accessed here. The deadline to complete the survey is Feb. 28, 2019.
  • CattleFax elected a new slate of officers at this year’s annual business meeting Jan. 31, 2019, in New Orleans, La., held in conjunction with the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show. The new CattleFax president is Don Quincey of Chiefland, Fla., a 5th generation rancher and cattle feeder in Florida and past president of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association.
AgWired Animal, Animal Bites

New Holland Roll-Belt Balers on Display at NCBA Trade Show

chuck zimmerman

During the NCBA Trade Show I visited with New Holland which was just releasing new and improved Roll-Belt Round Balers. Improvements came from a recent Penn State University study on “Bale Density Effects on Baleage Quality.” I talked to Curt Hoffman, New Holland and Jessica Williamson, Extension Forage Specialist, Penn State. Jessica was one of the authors of the Penn State study.

A recent study completed by Penn State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences confirms round bale density leads to improved cattle nutrition and producer return on investment. In the study, New Holland Roll-Belt™ round balers produced the highest-density bales in all tests compared to three leading competitors.

“This research affirms the many benefits of denser bales we have discovered through years in the field,” says Curt Hoffman, hay and forage crop packaging and marketing manager for New Holland, North America. “Not only does higher bale density improve feed quality and lower costs, it improves producer ROI through a variety of efficiency gains.”

The study found that denser bales had greater total acid production and stayed cooler through the fermentation process. This increases the whole-bale bunk life of round bales through reduced spoilage, allowing for the feeding of larger-diameter bales to the same number and size of cattle without waste. Penn State observed up to 25 more hours of bunk life due to higher bale density.

“What research has shown in the past is that with any fermented forage or any ensiled forage, typically the denser you can pack that forage, the better fermentation you’re going to have,” says Jessica A. Williamson, Ph.D., extension forage specialist for Penn State University. “[Better fermentation] overall is going to give you a better-quality product to feed your animals.”

Higher density equates to up to 39 percent fewer bales, resulting in less twine or net wrap used as well as plastic silage film, reduced labor, and less overall baling and bale-moving time in the field.

Learn more in my interview with Curt and Jessica here: Interview with New Holland

2019 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show Photo Album

Official Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show virtual newsroom

Ag Group, AgWired Animal, Audio, Cattle Industry Conference, New Holland