Steps Remain for U.S. Beef Exports to China

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

USMEF logoOn this week’s audio report from the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), Thad Lively, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) senior vice president for trade access, provides his insight on the announcement that China has lifted its BSE-related ban on imports of U.S. beef.

In the report, Lively notes that lifting the ban is contingent on a list of requirements China has made in order to resume U.S. beef exports. He also explained that, while the beef industry and the U.S. government are committed to getting U.S. beef back into this important market, meeting the requirements has already been a long process and several important steps still remain.

According to Lively, the biggest hurdle to getting the ban on U.S. exports lifted was the process of convincing China that the U.S. has an effective means for tracing back to the birth premise for any of the meat we export to China.

“This is not something that we have in place in terms of mandatory animal ID, but we certainly are able to provide that level of assurance to the Chinese, and the industry has come together and agreed that it would be possible to put together a system that would allow us to meet Chinas requirements,” he said in the report. “There’s been a huge commitment on the part of the industry, and this current administration, to find solutions to the problems that have kept us out of the Chinese market.”

Learn more in the full audio report here:
USMEF Report, Gaining Access to China

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Audio, Beef, Export, Export, USMEF

Poultry, Egg & Soy Groups Head to Cuba

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

dsc_4120The heads of four national U.S. poultry and egg organizations will lead a delegation representing the poultry, egg and U.S. soybean industries to Cuba for a fact-finding trade mission Sept. 27-30. Last week I traveled to Cuba with an agricultural media delegation and spent our time immersed in Cuban culture and agriculture. I am still regaining my wits and can’t wait to share all my photos and information gathered.

Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council; Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council; Joel Brandenberger, president of the National Turkey Federation, and Anne Alonzo, president and CEO of the American Egg Board, will be among the group on the Cuba mission.

The multi-commodity mission will be the first foray into Cuba funded entirely by the soybean checkoff program since the U.S. began normalizing relations with the country earlier this year.

In March, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that USDA would permit 22 industry-funded agricultural research and promotion programs to use checkoff funds to conduct authorized research and information-exchange activities in Cuba.

Since the U.S. government authorized limited exports of U.S. agricultural products to Cuba in 2000, it has become the fourth-leading export destination for U.S. poultry by volume. Also, the poultry and egg industry consumes more than half of the soybean meal produced in the U.S.

The Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program and the Iowa Soybean Association, funded by the soybean checkoff, are backing the mission, which will focus on assessing the potential for greater U.S. agricultural trade as relations between the U.S. and Cuba continue to develop.

While in Cuba, the delegation will meet with representatives from the Cuban poultry, egg and soybean industries to gain a greater understanding of Cuba’s food distribution system and to discuss issues such as biosecurity, food safety and nutrition.

Ag Group, Cuba, Eggs, International, National Chicken Council, Poultry, Trade

Iowa Avian Flu Incident Team Honored by NASDA

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

iowa agThe National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) has recognized the Iowa Avian Influenza Incident Management Team with the James A. Graham Award for Outstanding Service. NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories.

“Staff throughout our Department and from across state government stepped up and help respond to this terrible animal disease outbreak. This award is an opportunity to highlight the hard work and long hours they all put in to the response and thank them for their service. I am extremely proud of the Iowa team and join my colleagues from across the country in congratulating them on receiving this award,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, who nominated the Iowa team for the award, said.

The award citation read:

“The Iowa IMT leadership worked diligently throughout the entire 2015 H5N2 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak in Iowa.

“This outbreak has been described by USDA APHIS leadership as the largest animal health emergency in US history. The Iowa IMT leadership provided effective, strong, committed, positive and creative leadership throughout the entire emergency response in Iowa. The Iowa IMT leadership worked closely with federal, state, local and industry partners to assist producers in depopulation, disposal and cleaning and disinfection of infected facilities.

“Throughout the disease outbreak they always maintained a focus on helping farmers get back in operation as soon as possible while ensuring strong biosecurity measures were in place to limit further spread of the disease.

“In addition to leading the Iowa response to this disease, Iowa IMT leadership have also conducted extensive training, planning and preparations in our state to better prepare for another incident of HPAI or other animal disease. They have also shared their hard earned experience freely and served as a resource for other states preparing their own animal health emergency response plans.

“The team members include Steve Moline, Food Safety and Animal Health Division Director; Dr. David Schmitt, State Veterinarian for Iowa; Dr. Jeff Kaisand, Assistant State Veterinarian for Iowa; and Robin Pruisner, Ag Security Coordinator.”

Ag Group, Animal Health, avian flu, award, Poultry

USPOULTRY Recognizes Clean Water Award Winners

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

USPOULTRY_Blue Sanderson Farms, of Kinston, North Carolina, and Tyson Foods, of Russellville, Arkansas, were recently named the recipients of the 2016 Clean Water Award, presented by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY). The award recognizes poultry facilities that have excelled in their efforts at water reclamation.

Awards were presented during USPOULTRY’s Environmental Management Seminar in Destin, Floria in two categories: full treatment and pretreatment.

“We received many outstanding applications for this year’s Clean Water Awards, and they should all be commended,” said Paul Hill, West Liberty Foods, Ellsworth, Iowa, and chairman of USPOULTRY. “The caliber of the applications received goes to show how seriously our members take water treatment and conserving our earth’s natural resources. Congratulations to this year’s winners.”

The full treatment category honor, which was awarded to the Sanderson Farms broiler processing plant, recognizes an exceptional plant that treats wastewater with an exceptionally high standard of quality, allowing the facility to discharge into a receiving stream or final land application system.

The Sanderson Farms facility processes approximately 250,000 birds per day, generating an average wastewater flow of 1.4 million gallons per day. Numerous wastewater treatment processes are utilized, including biological treatment, oxygenation, clarification and ultra-violent disinfection, as is discharged through a land application system that produces hay and pine trees, which helps to recharge the aquifer that supports facility operations.

The pretreatment category honor, which was awarded to Tyson Food’s further processing facility, recognizes a facility that discharges pretreated effluent to a publicly-owned, full treatment facility for further treatment.

The Tyson Foods plant treats an average of 200,000 thousand gallons of water per day, and recently installed a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system to more efficiently monitor and operate dissolve air flotation (DAF) units, flow meters, tanks, pumps and other equipment remotely. In an effort to save energy, The facility also manages the operation of tank aerators to ensure they are not running simultaneously, which saves energy, and operations are continuously being reviewed in order to expand the facility’s reuse of treated wastewater.

Tyson Foods River Valley Animal Foods of Scranton, Ark. received honorable mention in the full treatment category. Keystone Foods in Gadsden, Ala., and Tyson Foods in Rogers, Ark., received honorable mention in the pre-treatment category.

Ag Group, Agribusiness, award, Chicken, Conservation, sustainability, US Poultry, Water

Dairy Girl Network Introduces New Sponsors

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

dairygirlnetwork1 Dairy Girl Network recently announced the addition of CRV USA and DeLaval in two new partnerships at the Sustaining sponsorship level. Each of these companies have shown a longstanding dedication to women in dairy farming and have helped enable women to serve in leadership roles.

Dairy Girl Network is responsible for the development of programs and events that support female dairy industry professionals by enhancing their lives and creating unique professional opportunities. These new sponsors will allow Dairy Girl Network members to gain valuable connections and resources, and will further enable them to share their experiences while supporting and encouraging fellow dairywomen.

“The fast-growing Dairy Girl Network is poised to reach hundreds, if not thousands, more dairywomen in the years ahead,” comments Laura Daniels, founder and president. “Thanks to CRV and DeLaval, we will strengthen Dairy Girl Network programming and continue the quest to reach more women in isolated areas.”

CRV USA is a world-leading cattle improvement organization that works to help dairy producers build healthy, easy-to-manage, and profitable herds.

“The Dairy Girl Network team is full of energy, brings a unique perspective, and endless resources to dairywomen across the country,” says Amy VanderMark, CRV USA Managing Director. “For many years, CRV has looked for ways to build alliances and support women in our industry. I hope to carry on that tradition by becoming active with the group and supporting the great women I’ve had the pleasure meeting and working alongside—and meeting many more along the way.”

DeLaval milking equipment is a worldwide leader in the industry and offers a diverse portfolio of solutions for dairy farmers.

“Supporting Dairy Girl Network programs has perfect alignment with our values and ambitions,” states Fernando Cuccioli, DeLaval North America President. “As a leading company in the dairy industry, a key factor of DeLaval’s success is the diversity of our workforce including more and more female professionals to our already large pool of talent.”

Ag Group, Communications, Company Announcement, Dairy, Dairy Business, dairy farming

AnimalAgCast Talks Pork Board’s Antibiotic Initiatives

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

AgWired-Animal Ag Cast On this week’s AnimalAgCast, Lizzy Schultz sat down with Dr. Dave Pyburn, Vice President of Science and Technology for the National Pork Board, to discuss the organization’s ongoing commitment to antibiotic stewardship.

Antibiotics have become a major point of interest in the livestock industry following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s decision to enact Guidance for Industry #209 and #213, which will prohibit the use of medically important antibiotics for growth purposes in livestock and require increased collaboration between veterinarians and producers for the therapeutic use of medically important antibiotics.

The swine industry has made a long-held commitment to antibiotic stewardship, and pork producers across America have always prioritized the judicious use of antibiotics on their operations. The National Pork Board has significantly expanded upon their ongoing commitment to antibiotic stewardship by spending the last 18 months developing and implementing a new comprehensive education, research and communication strategy to help make this commitment to antibiotic stewardship known to all, and to work in collaboration with federal agencies, such as USDA, FDA and CDC, to look for ways for continual improvement of responsible antibiotic use.

“These new initiatives are not new commitments to antibiotic stewardship, that is something we have had for a number of years, they are instead commitments to being more transparent about the ways we use antibiotics,” said Dr. Pyrburn during the podcast. “We want to make sure we’re letting folks know that when we use antibiotics on the farm, we are using them judiciously and there are reasons that we are using them. We want to let everybody know how we make these decisions on the farm and how they’re done with scientific background.”

Learn more in this week’s AnimalAgCast:
AnimalAgCast with Dr. Dave Pyburn, National Pork Board

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Animal AgCast

Lepto Vaccine Licensed for Use in Pregnant Mares

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

Zoetis_Logo Zoetis recently announced Lepto EQ Innovator, the only equine leptospirosis vaccine against L. pomona, has received additional approval for use in broodmares during all three trimesters of pregnancy.

“Leptospires can cause late-term abortion in mares,” said Jacquelin Boggs, DVM, MS, ACVIM, senior veterinarian, Equine Technical Services at Zoetis. “The expanded label claim allows the equine breeding community the flexibility to use Lepto EQ Innovator to fit their breeding program’s needs and help elevate antibody titer levels when most needed.”

A recent study has shown that 13% of bacterial abortions are caused by L. pomona, the most common leptospiral serovar found in horses. Aborting mares have been reported to shed leptospires in their urine for periods up to three months. They have also been shown to transmit Leptospira to exposed animals. Some horses aborting due to leptospiral infection develop uveitis several weeks to months later, and aborted fetus’ are another source of exposure to other horses on the property.

Zoetis has conducted intensive safety and efficacy trials for Lepto EQ Innovator. Results have shown 0% urinary shedding in vaccinated horses challenged with L. pomona, and 99.8% of vaccinated horses were reaction-free with no adverse events.

“The additional field safety study in first and third trimester mares was conducted following the launch of Lepto EQ Innovator to provide veterinarians and horse owners confidence in the vaccine across all phases of pregnancy,” said Dr. Boggs. “Additionally, the study highlights the ongoing dedication from Zoetis to provide the equine industry a product they can have confidence in.”

Find information about whether or not your horse is at risk for leptospirosis, and learn more about this potentially deadly disease, by visiting here.

Ag Group, Animal Health, Equine, Horses, Vaccine, Zoetis

China Lifts Ban on U.S. Beef

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

ncba-200 An announcement from the Chinese Government has indicated that the nation will begin accepting U.S. beef from animals under 30 months of age for the first time in 13 years.

“This is great news for U.S. beef producers,” said Kent Bacus, director of international trade for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “While these initial reports are positive, we must continue technical negotiations and undergo the process of formally approving export certificates. China is already the world’s second largest buyer of beef, and with a growing middle class, the export opportunities for U.S. cattlemen and women are tremendous.”

Officials from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will now begin working with China’s Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine to approve the certificates and protocols for exports.

“Our cattle producers are the best in the world at producing high quality beef,” said Bacus. “To continue to grow demand for our product, our industry relies on fair trade based on sound science. This latest announcement by China is welcome news and further highlights the benefits of trade in the Pacific, opportunities that will only be expanded by passage of the Trans Pacific Partnership.”

USMEF logoPhilip Seng, president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), also commented on the decision.

“While this is an important first step in the process of resuming beef exports to China, USMEF understands that China must still negotiate with USDA the conditions that will apply to U.S. beef exports entering this market,” he said. “USMEF looks forward to learning more details about the remaining steps necessary for the market to officially open and for U.S. suppliers to begin shipping product.”

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Beef, Export, Export, NCBA

Ag Women Star in RFD-TV FarmHer Series

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

farmher-rfdRFD-TV’s FarmHer series started airing this month on the rural television network, spotlighting women in agriculture around the country. RFD-TV and FarmHer formed a partnership earlier this year to bring a positive image of farm woman to television and the first program in the series aired on September 9.

farmher-barbaraThis week’s episode, which premieres at 8:30 central time tomorrow (September 23), features Barbara Mazurek of southwest Texas who raises Boer goats, angora goats, and cattle – at the ripe young age of 80.

Barbara was a school teacher for 38 years and kept her family ranch operating after her husband died in a farming accident in 1993. “When I retired from school teaching…it was just in me to keep going ranching and I love it. And I will ranch as long as I can put one foot in front of the other,” she says.

Barbara loves the outdoor life and working with animals. “I just like seeing what I produce grow and being able to market it and make a living from it,” she said.

Listen to this interview with Barbara, watch the RFD-TV episode and be inspired! Interview with Barbara Mazurek, Texas rancher

Ag Group, Audio, Media

Keeping Mycotoxin Threats in Mind This Harvest

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

1200021474389218406-jpeg-html As the U.S. prepares for a record corn and wheat harvest this season, Alltech mycotoxin expert Dr. Max Hawkins has a warning: Quantity should not distract producers from being vigilant regarding quality and the potential for mycotoxin risk.

Hawkins recently noted that the wet weather experienced across the northern Great Plains during the spring wheat harvest led to increased crop stress and Fusarium head blight.

Much of the U.S. Corn Belt also experienced above average temperatures and moisture through August, which has created the right environment for mold and subsequent mycotoxin issues.

Alltech recently collected more than 100 TMR samples from the U.S. and analyzed them using the Alltech 37+® mycotoxin analytical services laboratory. Of the samples, nearly 18 percent contained 6–7 mycotoxins, 42 percent had 4–5 mycotoxins, 35 percent had 2–3 mycotoxins, and less than 2 percent had either one mycotoxin or none. Type B trichothecenes and fusaric acid were most prevalent mycotoxins, appearing in 83 percent and 92 percent of the samples respectively.

The toxicity of Fusaric Acid is significantly enhanced when feed is co-contaminated with type B trichothecene or DON. When both mycotoxins are present, the sample group has a risk equivalent quantity of 187 for beef cattle and 211 for dairy cows. For the dairy cows, this level of risk could represent a 0.5-liter loss in milk production per cow per day.

Derek Wawack, a member of the Alltech Mycotoxin Management team in Wisconsin, said that he has been fielding an increasing number of calls, emails and texts about fungal infections.

“Within just the last couple weeks, these fungal infections have really started to show as the summer has progressed,” said Wawack. “Stress from dry to overly-wet conditions, then cooler weather, has allowed these molds to begin growing on the ears.”

He recommends carrying out a 37+ analysis early and monitoring throughout feed out to stay ahead of any major problems.

“Years where we have seen high levels of both Fusarium and Penicillium in the field have typically led to high mycotoxin levels in storage,” said Wawack. “The results have been drastic production losses, loose manure, edema, bloat, conception problems, abortions, bloodshot eyes, bleeding from the ears and nasal passages and even high mortality rates, along with false positive antibiotic tests within milk from the Penicillium mold.”

More information on managing the threat from mycotoxins can be found here.

Alltech, Animal Health, Health, Nutrition