Poultry Industry Eyes Solar-Diesel Hybrids

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

The poultry industry in Saudi Arabia is looking to reduce fuel costs and increase energy efficiency with solar-diesel hybrids. The industry believes it could greatly benefit from using solar-hybrid generators replacing traditional diesel generators. The technology was discussed in Riyadh leading up to the Desert Solar Saudi Arabia conference.

“Hybrid solar-diesel systems are an effective solution to provide power to poultry houses, many of which are not connected to the national electric grid. Solar-based solutions are well adapted to the Kingdom’s sunny Desert Solar Aerialconditions, and they can help reduce the poultry industry’s heavy reliance on diesel fuel,” said Mark Webster, agribusiness and food practice lead at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

As a result of the heavy dependence on diesel fuel, Saudi poultry producers, accounting for nearly 79 percent of the Kingdom’s poultry import, are incurring notably higher energy costs than Brazilian producers due to their heavy dependence on diesel fuel.

“Domestic producers are expected to double national poultry production in the next few years, creating even further pressure on the demand for diesel fuel. A hybrid solar-diesel system will help poultry producers remain competitive against imports by ensuring a secure and affordable source of power to cool their poultry houses,” added Webster.

At present, domestic poultry production accounts for only 40-45 percent of the Saudi market. However, the share is expected to increase to 60-65 percent in the next 5-10 years, due to massive investments in additional production capacities planned by the top Saudi producers. The solar hybrid solution will likely include the combination of existing generators and PV panels – and potentially, battery storage if needed.

For poultry producers in the U.S., the technology could qualify for the REAP program – a USDA program for agriculture producers to lower energy costs and increase energy efficiency through technologies such as renewable energy.

Agribusiness, energy, Poultry Joanna SchroederPoultry Industry Eyes Solar-Diesel Hybrids

Dairy Calf & Heifer Association Unveils New Website

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

dchaThe Dairy Calf and Heifer Association is excited to introduce a new website. As part of the new design, enhanced features and member-only resources will increase opportunities and benefits available to association members.

“Our goal is to make www.calfandheifer.org the industry hub and portal for calf and heifer information,” says Jack Banker, Dairy Calf and Heifer Association president and owner of Banker’s Scenic-View Farms in Black Creek, Wis. “Whether you are a dairy farmer, custom calf and heifer raiser or you raise dairy-beef, this website will be your one-stop location for insights that are important to your business, including connecting with other members.”

To achieve this goal, DCHA will be rolling out phases of the new website over the next year.

Features introduced during the first phase include:
· Resource center – The resource center will have industry news, management tips for all life stages of raising calves, business management insights, as well as the latest association happenings. In-depth educational resources will be available under the members’ only section.
· Member features and classifieds – Association members have the opportunity to create profiles featuring their businesses and management practices. Additionally, members can also place classifieds on a short-term basis to market their services and openings for calves.
· Annual conference – The new website will serve as the primary information source for the DCHA conference including agenda and speaker updates as well as registration.
· Gold Standards (coming soon) – The Gold Standards are becoming the benchmarking standard for raising calves and heifers. Enhanced and more detailed information on these key performance indicators will soon be available.
· Member directory and search (coming soon) – Members of the association will soon have the ability to search for one another in the new members’ only section of the website.

Ag Group, Calves, Cattle, Dairy Jamie JohansenDairy Calf & Heifer Association Unveils New Website

NCBA’s 2015 Record Books Available for Purchase

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

ncba-logoThe National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the largest and oldest national organization representing U.S. cattle producers, has published the 2015 Integrated Resource Management Redbooks. The books provide an effective way for cattle ranchers to record their production records in order to enhance profitability of their operations.

For more than 30 years, these books have assisted cattle producers in effectively and efficiently recording daily production activities. The 2015 Redbook provides more than 100 pages to record calving activity; herd health; pasture use; cattle inventory; body condition; cattle treatment; and more. It also contains an annual calendar; address section; Beef Quality Assurance national guidelines; and proper injection technique information.

The IRM Redbooks can be customized with company information and/or logo on orders of 100 books or more at a reduced rate. Please contact Grace Webb at (800) 525-3085 or gwebb@beef.org for more information. Individual 2015 Redbooks will be available for purchase for $6.25 each, plus shipping through NCBA’s website starting October 1, 2014.

Ag Group, Beef, Beef Checkoff, Cattle, NCBA Jamie JohansenNCBA’s 2015 Record Books Available for Purchase

MooMonitor+ Tracks Cow Health & Fertility

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Breeding, fertility and health are critical factors for success on-farm. Dairymaster’s latest product, the much anticipated MooMonitor+ that monitors each individual cow’s health and fertility has arrived. Launched at Dairymaster’s Global Headquarters in Causeway, Co Kerry at an event attended by the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn the MooMonitor+ allows farmers to monitor their entire herd, from their phone.

As herd sizes are increasing, farmers have less time to watch cows for signs of heat. How can a farmer focus on each individual animal? The MooMonitor+ allows farmers detect heats with ease, as well as providing advanced health and wellness monitoring through advanced data analysis.

While the original MooMonitor focused solely on whether a cow was in heat or not, the latest model can now help with animal health, reducing further the revenue lost through illness and missed heats and through networking and cloud computing, literally allows the farmer to monitor his entire herd 24X7 with his phone.

The mobile app allows two way interaction with the system, this removes the need to go back to the computer. When the system detects sick cows it will send an immediate notification direct to your phone.

The new system allows farmers to stay in control with features such as:
– Battery life is up to an amazing 10 years.
– Up to 1000 times improvement in range compared to current systems on the market.
– 4x more data intervals = more real-time information, precisely monitor changes in behaviour and identify illness much faster.
– 210,000 data points of information on each cow every year.

Agribusiness, Dairy, Reproduction Jamie JohansenMooMonitor+ Tracks Cow Health & Fertility

CWT Assists with 2.7 Million Pounds of Cheese

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

CWT-logo6Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 5 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 2.714 million pounds (1,231 metric tons) of Cheddar and Gouda cheese to customers in Asia and the Middle East. The product will be delivered September 2014 through January 2015.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 88.917 million pounds of cheese, 48.188 million pounds of butter and 33.171 million pounds of whole milk powder to 43 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 2.152 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program, in the long-term, helps member cooperatives gain and maintain market share, thus expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them in the rapidly growing world dairy markets. This, in turn, positively impacts U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

CWT will pay export assistance to the bidders only when delivery of the product is verified by the submission of the required documentation.

Ag Group, Cheese, cooperatives, cwt Jamie JohansenCWT Assists with 2.7 Million Pounds of Cheese

When Calves Don’t Ship on Time, it’s Costly

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

What’s a surefire way to help keep stocker calves on feed and shipping to feedlots on time? For a stocker operator from Verden, Oklahoma, it’s about controlling bovine respiratory disease (BRD) as soon as the cattle arrive.

“When you have a calf that’s sick, it takes at least 30 days for that calf to get well and catch up with its penmates,” said Bryan Linn. “When you figure all the lost weight from sick calves, it more than pays for using an antimicrobial on-arrival.”

The Linns help protect their animals with BRD Management Solutions from Zoetis, featuring products with broad-spectrum protection, low-dose volumes and demonstrated, long-lasting protection. Linn has seen big changes since incorporating DRAXXIN® (tulathromycin) Injectable Solution and EXCEDE® (ceftiofur crystalline free acid) Sterile Suspension.

“I don’t really have a sick pen anymore,” Linn said. “We believe the calves are better off out in their natural environment in the open pasture. By using DRAXXIN and EXCEDE, we’re able to keep cattle comfortable and pretty much leave them alone. On top of that, we know our calves will ship on time so we’re not wasting days and money trying to get them caught up.”

Carrie Linn, who manages the operation’s records, continues to see improvements in pull rates and death loss even though cattle numbers are increasing. “Our death loss is down to just 2%, which is a huge improvement for us since starting DRAXXIN,” Carrie Linn said.

As a result, the Linns are able to focus on marketing cattle and making their business profitable.

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Beef, Cattle, Disease, Video Jamie JohansenWhen Calves Don’t Ship on Time, it’s Costly

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