Animal Ag Bites

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  • OK Foods hired two new team members to serve in executive roles. Brent Glasgow will serve as vice president of operations and Amy Szadziewicz will serve as vice president of quality and food safety. Glasgow and Szadziewicz will both join the OK Foods Executive Team.
  • The XXV World’s Poultry Congress (WPC2016) will be held in Beijing September 5-9, 2016. The event is co-hosted by the China Branch of the World’s Poultry Science Association (WPSA-CN) and the Chinese Association of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine (CAAV). It will provide a unique platform for sharing and discussing the latest developments in scientific research and technology transfer for poultry production worldwide.
  • Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted two requests for export assistance to sell 152,119 pounds of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese to customers in Asia. The product has been contracted for delivery in the period from August-October 2016.
Animal Bites

Agriculture’s Relevance at State Fairs

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

zp-nh1Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Is agriculture still relevant at state fairs?”

I won’t disclose my age, but I will say I have never missed a Missouri State Fair. No, I am not a carney. I was there with my dad as he managed FFA shows and exhibits, I have exhibited my own cattle and more recently have attended as media. No matter the exact reason, they were all centered around agriculture. And luckily, our pollers agreed that agriculture does and should play a large role at state fairs across the county. I hope your memories of state fairs are as memorable as mine and you do your part to make sure agriculture isn’t lost at future fairs.

Here are the poll results:

  • Yes, plays a big role – 65%
  • Yes, but minor – 11%
  • No, should play larger role – 16%
  • No need for ag – 5%
  • Don’t know – 0%
  • Other – 3%

Our new ZimmPoll is live and asks the question, How important is immigration/farm labor to election?

One of the hot topics in this year’s presidential election has been immigration. Both sides of the line have mentioned it’s impact, but few can agree on a solution. Farmers and ranchers are in a constant struggle to find farm labor and immigration laws play a big part. Let us know how important immigration and farm labor are in our upcoming presidential election.


USDA to Purchase Surplus Cheese to Assist Dairy Producers

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

USDA_logoThe USDA announced plans to purchase approximately 11 million pounds of cheese from private inventories to assist food banks and pantries across the nation, while reducing a cheese surplus that is at its highest level in 30 years. USDA also announced that it will extend the deadline for dairy producers to enroll in the Margin Protection Program (MPP) for Dairy to Dec. 16, 2016, from the previous deadline of Sept. 30.

The purchase, valued at $20 million, will be provided to families in need across the country through USDA nutrition assistance programs, while assisting the stalled marketplace for dairy producers whose revenues have dropped 35 percent over the past two years.

“We understand that the nation’s dairy producers are experiencing challenges due to market conditions and that food banks continue to see strong demand for assistance,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This commodity purchase is part of a robust, comprehensive safety net that will help reduce a cheese surplus that is at a 30-year high while, at the same time, moving a high-protein food to the tables of those most in need. USDA will continue to look for ways within its authorities to tackle food insecurity and provide for added stability in the marketplace.”
USDA received requests from Congress, the National Farmers Union, the American Farm Bureau and the National Milk Producers Federation to make an immediate dairy purchase. Section 32 of the Agriculture Act of 1935 authorizes USDA to utilize fiscal year 2016 funds to purchase surplus food to benefit food banks and families in need through its nutrition assistance programs.

Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of National Milk Producers Federation provided the following comment about the recent decision from USDA.

“This cheese purchase will provide some assistance to America’s dairy farmers through increased demand for their milk, while also serving the needs of Americans who patronize food banks and other charitable assistance organizations that will distribute the cheese purchased by USDA. We will continue to assess the economic situation facing dairy farmers, and suggest ways to help farmers endure this lengthy period of low prices. We will continue to work with USDA and Congress to find ways to further improve the Margin Protection Program for dairy farmers.”

Ag Group, Cheese, Dairy, dairy farming, usda

HarvXtra Alfalfa Roundup Ready Available Jan 1 Across US

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

harvXtra_logoHarvXtra® Alfalfa with Roundup Ready® Technology from Forage Genetics International, LLC (FGI), the industry’s first genetically enhanced alfalfa developed, is available for planting across the continental United States starting Jan 1, 2017. Limited quantities of HarvXtra® Alfalfa with Roundup Ready® Technology planted in 2015 and 2016 scored high marks from farmers in an independent research trial, preparing the way for broader distribution in 2017.

“We’re looking forward to offering HarvXtra® alfalfa benefits to more growers in the coming season,” said Shawn Barnett, FGI general manager. “By modifying lignin content beyond what’s possible with conventional alfalfa breeding techniques, HarvXtra® alfalfa has been proven to change the relationship between forage quality and date of maturity. During its introductory phase last year and into this season, growers have reported seeing improved forage quality and greater cutting flexibility.”

HarvXtra® alfalfa, which is also stacked with Roundup Ready® Technology, offers growers a significant increase in quality when a normal harvest schedule is maintained. Research trials show a 16 percent increase in relative forage quality (RFQ) and 16 percent higher neutral detergent fiber digestibility (NDFd) across cuttings. Alternatively, growers benefit from cutting flexibility, and the ability to delay harvest for 7-10 days for an increased yield potential of up to 26 percent over the life of the stand, without sacrificing forage quality.

“After we started the first cutting this year, it rained every couple of days, taking us more than a week to finish cutting,” said Wisconsin grower Mike Brunmeier. “We cut the HarvXtra® alfalfa last – about 10 days after the first fields were cut – along with a conventional alfalfa field for comparison. The samples we pulled showed that the HarvXtra® had a 42-point advantage in relative forage quality and scored higher than the conventional alfalfa in other feed value areas.”

“We kept everything in the feed ration the same, only replacing the conventional alfalfa with HarvXtra® alfalfa,” explained Pennsylvania farmer Donnie Martin who reported a significant difference in milk weight after feeding his dairy cows a ration that included HarvXtra® alfalfa in 2015. “After the switch, we gained more than 2.5 pounds of milk per cow per day. That extra milk can really add up in a month.”

Agribusiness, Alfalfa, Forage, Livestock, Nutrition

FDA Extends Certain FSMA Compliance Dates

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

FDAThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is moving forward with implementing the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, with the first major compliance dates beginning next month for large food facilities.

While the major provisions of the FSMA rules are being implemented as planned, the FDA issued a final rule that extends and clarifies the compliance dates for certain provisions in four of the seven foundational rules. These changes are part of the FDA’s continuing efforts to make the rules as practical as possible while still protecting public health. The final rule addresses technical issues and better aligns compliance dates across the four rules.

The provisions in the final FSMA rules remain unchanged, and the FDA also issued a new draft guidance to help industry to comply with certain requirements in the Preventive Controls for Human Food rule.

Compliance dates are fast approaching for large food facilities that produce human and animal foods:
– Human food companies other than small and very small businesses will need to come into compliance with the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food rule by September 19, 2016.
– Animal food companies other than small and very small businesses will need to come into compliance with Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) under the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals rule by September 19, 2016, and with preventive controls by September 18, 2017.

The two CGMP and preventive controls rules — together with the five other foundational rules that will be implemented over the next several years to strengthen FDA oversight of produce, imported foods, sanitary transportation and intentional adulteration — will create the preventive and risk-based food safety system mandated by FSMA and reduce foodborne illness.

Ag Group, FDA, Food, food safety, Government

New Look For Cattle Industry’s Leading Vaccine from BIVI

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 8.25.37 AMThe country’s leading combination vaccine, PYRAMID 5 + PRESPONSE SQ, from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., (BIVI) is getting a packaging facelift, complete with disease prevention details and more in-depth administration directions. The new packaging will still be green and gold, but with the addition of easier-to-read instructions and more details on the front of the box to help create a better customer experience.

“PYRAMID 5 + PRESPONSE SQ is the number one combination cattle vaccine sold in the United States,”1,2 said Matt Williams, brand manager for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI). “This new and updated packaging represents the quality product inside that is synonymous with performance. The updated elements range from outer carton design, vial labels and package inserts, all created to better reflect the vaccine’s market leadership position as well as increase compliance for the end-user.”

The new packaging also highlights MetaStim®, an adjuvant system that assists in optimizing the immune response in vaccinated cattle. PYRAMID 5 + PRESPONSE SQ is part of the Herd Health Pays fall rebate program, which runs from Sept. 1 through Oct. 31. Producers can find PYRAMID 5 + PRESPONSE SQ at their local veterinary clinics and dealer stores during this time.

PYRAMID 5 + PRESPONSE SQ provides a single-dose solution to veterinarians and producers looking to protect growing cattle from respiratory pathogens that contribute to bovine respiratory disease complex. For more information on PYRAMID vaccines, ask your veterinarian or BIVI sales representative.

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Beef, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cattle, Dairy, Vaccine

World Dairy Expo Entry ID Requirement Change

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

50th LogoThe deadline to enter cattle for the 50th World Dairy Expo® Dairy Cattle Show is approaching. To avoid late fees, cattle entries must be postmarked or submitted online by midnight (CDT) on Wednesday, August 31, 2016. Entry information, a complete schedule of events, rules and other updates can be found in the Premium Book or online.

Due to a backlog in official USDA AIN 840 tags, the requirement to submit official AIN and CCIA ID at the time of animal entry has been relaxed for the 2016 show. If exhibitors do not currently have an AIN or CCIA number for their animals, they can submit entries by selecting “pending” on the paper or electronic entry form.

Although the official USDA AIN or Canadian CCIA RFID number is no longer required at the time of entry, it must be listed on the health papers with a corresponding tag placed in the animal’s ear at the time of arrival on grounds. Acceptable forms of ID include a USDA AIN 840 tag or a Canadian CCIA 124 RFID tag. Cattle who were previously tagged (and born before March 11, 2015) with a USDA 900, 982, or 985 RFID tag will be grandfathered in under ADT and are eligible to enter the WDE grounds.

For an additional fee, online and paper entries will be accepted through September 11. Entries will continue to be accepted between September 12 and the show, via mail or onsite, with applicable late fees.

Ag Group, Cattle, Dairy, World Dairy Expo

USMEF Showcases Return of U.S. Beef, Pork to South Africa

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 8.46.34 AMThe U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) matched red meat exporters with buyers during the first USMEF South Africa Seminar and Buyers Reception. Funding support for the networking and educational event, held Aug. 18 in Johannesburg, was provided by the USDA Market Access Program, the Beef Checkoff Program and the Pork Checkoff.

Along with one-on-one business meetings and updates on current market conditions, USMEF staff provided technical advice and assistance to traders with an interest in putting more U.S. beef and pork in South Africa’s processing, retail and foodservice sectors. Focus was also put on food safety and the quality and consistency of U.S. red meat products, as well as the availability of U.S. beef livers, kidneys and other beef variety meats.

“This was an opportunity to not only build and establish relationships, the event also provided valuable information for buyers in South Africa and helped reacquaint them with high-quality U.S. beef and pork,” said Dan Halstrom, USMEF senior vice president of marketing.

“South Africa’s retail market is a combination of modern supermarkets and the more traditional wholesale markets,” said Halstrom. “The degree of modern retail development in South Africa far exceeds the rest of Africa, and the pace of growth continues to be strong. The potential in retail, along with foodservice and further processing, provide promising future opportunities for U.S. beef and pork.”

Ag Group, Beef, Export, Pork, USMEF

AnimalAgCast Featuring Missouri FFA President

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

AgWired-Animal Ag Cast In the latest installment of the AnimalAgCast, AgWired’s Jamie Johansen was at Missouri State Fair and spoke with Colton Spencer, Missouri FFA Association President.

Colton hails from Aurora, MO, and has proven himself as an agricultural ambassador through both his work in FFA and his successful career showing Gelbvieh cattle. His work as State FFA President has allowed him to represent the beef industry nationwide and spread the word about agriculture to industry representatives nationwide.

“As an FFA officer you have a constant opportunity to make an impact and make new contacts and conversations about agriculture, both in the industry and outside of the industry. When I’m in official dress and I see consumers in the grocery store, that’s an opportunity to have some great conversations and make a significant impact,” he said during the podcast.

Listen to Colton’s full interview in this week’s AnimalAgCast:
AnimalAgCast with Colton Spencer, 2016-2017 Missouri FFA President

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Animal AgCast

Wooden Breast Fillet Research Completed

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

USPOULTRY_BlueA research project funded by the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association (USPOULTRY) and the USPOULTRY Foundation was recently completed at the USDA-ARS U.S. National Poultry Research Center in Athens, Georgia. During the project, researchers focused on detecting wooden breast fillets with imaging technology, and this project is part of the Association’s comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing.

A complete report, along with information on other Association research, may be obtained by going to USPOULTRY’s website, which may be accessed here.

A brief summary of the completed project is shown below:

Researchers at the USDA-ARS in Athens, Ga., led by Dr. Brian Bowker, recently completed a research project focused on the application of imaging technology to detect the wooden breast condition in breast fillets. Multiple imaging technologies were utilized to differentiate normal breast fillets from affected breast fillets. Breast fillets affected with wooden breast could be detected with greater than 95 percent accuracy. These results point to the feasibility of adapting imaging technology to detect wooden breast in an online processing plant setting.

For a detailed summary of the project, click here.

Ag Group, Chicken, Meat, Poultry, Research, US Poultry