Dairy Herd Management

Merck Taps Justin Welsh, DVM, to Lead Food Animal Technical Services

8 hours 19 minutes ago
Merck Taps Justin Welsh, DVM, to Lead Food Animal Technical Services

Justin Welsh, DVM, has been named Executive Director of Food Animal Technical Services for Merck Animal Health’s U.S. Food Animal Team. In his new role, Dr. Welsh oversees the technical services and pharmacovigilance groups for the company’s ruminants, swine and poultry businesses.

“I am honored to lead this very talented group of veterinarians and Ph.D. nutritionists who have dedicated their careers to discovering and applying the science required to continuously improve the health and well-being of animals,” said Dr. Welsh. “The Merck Animal Health Food Animal Technical team is committed to focusing our efforts on the needs and well-being of the animals in our customers’ care. By investigating and then applying the latest science and innovation, we can then help our customers, through the science of healthier animals, ensure the safe, humane and efficient production of food.”

Dr. Welsh has more than 25 years of experience in veterinary medicine. Prior to being named Executive Director, he served in the ruminant business unit as an Associate Director of Merck Animal Health Technical Services. His role as associate director was to manage, and work alongside, a team of veterinarians specializing in field research, anti-infectives, herd health, and the application of technology in all phases of beef production. Before joining the company in 2012, he was in rural private practice for 17 years, working in and owning a mixed animal veterinary practice in western Nebraska.

Dr. Welsh holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Kansas State University. He is an active member of numerous industry associations, including the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, Academy of Veterinary Consultants and the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association.

John MadayMon, 04/23/2018 - 16:14 Category Dairy (General) Beef (General) BEEF Industry News Comments News Article Image Caption Dr. Welsh oversees the technical services and pharmacovigilance groups for the company’s ruminants, swine and poultry businesses. Image Credit Merck Animal Health
John Maday

Mexico Signs Pact with EU; Still Talking with US, Canada

10 hours 58 minutes ago
Mexico Signs Pact with EU; Still Talking with US, Canada

(Bloomberg) -- Senior trade officials from the U.S., Canada and Mexico will meet again in Washington in an intensified push to reach a Nafta agreement in the next few weeks.

Talks will pick up on Tuesday, after cabinet-level members vowed on Friday to keep up the momentum following consultations with their technical teams over the weekend. Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said last week that after seven months of discussions, the three sides have entered a concentrated phase where “my negotiating team is practically living in Washington.” Still, major differences remain over key U.S. demands.

Mexico scored a separate commercial victory over the weekend with a deal in principle to update a 17-year-old free-trade agreement with the European Union. Guajardo jetted to Brussels to help close the deal.

Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s minister for foreign affairs, said Friday that North American Free Trade Agreement negotiators have been making good progress on updated rules for cars, which she said will be at the heart of any eventual updated Nafta.

“We have had some very energetic and productive conversations,” Freeland told reporters on the steps of the U.S. Trade Representative’s office following meetings with her counterparts. “We are certainly in a more intense period of negotiations, and we are making good progress.”

Immigration Controls

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said again that he could make Mexican-immigration curbs a condition of a new Nafta deal, highlighting that a deal is still far from certain.Trump in a Twitter post said Mexico “must stop people from going through Mexico and into the U.S,” adding “We may make this a condition of the new NAFTA Agreement. Our Country cannot accept what is happening!”

Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray responded it’s unacceptable to demand that Mexico tie changes to its “sovereign” immigration policy to an updated trade pact.

“Mexico decides its immigration policy in a sovereign manner, and the migration cooperation with the U.S. takes place in such a way that Mexico agrees,” Videgaray said on Twitter.

Cars, Agriculture

This week’s talks are set to be the broadest and biggest since the final official negotiating round in Mexico City in early March, according to a preliminary agenda obtained by Bloomberg. Topics include automotive rules, agriculture, and legal and institutional matters such as dispute settlement mechanisms.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto traveled to Germany over the weekend to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Hannover Messe, a huge industry show where Mexico is the chosen partner country this year. Deepening ties with the EU is part of Mexico’s push to diversify beyond the U.S., the destination for 72 percent of the nation’s $435 billion in exports last year. Pena Nieto said he’s optimistic he’ll have good news to announce from the Nafta talks.

The EU is an attractive target for export expansion for Mexico, in part because many countries in the bloc have consumers with comparable wealth and spending habits to those of the U.S. The EU in recent years also inked a free-trade agreement with Canada, which was implemented in 2017.

Mexico’s negotiations with the EU began almost two years ago, and technical teams will continue to iron out the details, both sides said Saturday. Analysts have speculated that something similar could happen on Nafta, with an agreement in principle coming in the next few weeks while technical teams continue to work on the fine print.

Trump’s negotiators, led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, have been pushing for a deal by early May. That would meet U.S. timelines for having an agreement approved, at the latest, by the lame-duck session that will follow mid-term congressional elections in November, said two people familiar with the negotiations. Guajardo this month said he sees an 80 percent chance of an agreement by the first week of May. Negotiators are also rushing for a deal as Mexico approaches elections on July 1.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is keeping expectations modest, warning that recent signs of progress don’t mean a deal is imminent.

“There’s positive advances that have been made, but it’s not over ’til it’s over,” Trudeau told reporters in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Saturday.


Copyright 2018, Bloomberg

Wes MillsMon, 04/23/2018 - 13:35 Category Trade Canada Mexico Europe Hogs (General) Beef (General) Dairy (General) Comments News Article Image Caption As the European Union negotiates Britain's withdrawal from the EU, negotiators also sign a new deal with Mexico. Image Credit Farm Journal
Wes Mills

January-March Milk Production up 1.5 Percent

13 hours 20 minutes ago
January-March Milk Production up 1.5 Percent

Milk production in the United States during the January - March quarter totaled 54.4 billion pounds, up 1.5 percent from the January - March quarter last year.

The average number of milk cows in the United States during the quarter was 9.41 million head, 9,000 head more than the October - December quarter, and 38,000 head more than the same period last year.

23 Major Dairy State: March Milk Production up 1.5 Percent

Milk production in the 23 major states during March totaled 17.8 billion pounds, up 1.5 percent from March 2017. February revised production at 15.9 billion pounds, was up 1.8 percent from February 2017. The February revision represented a decrease of 12 million pounds or 0.1 percent from last month's preliminary production estimate.

Production per cow in the 23 major States averaged 2,038 pounds for March, 22 pounds above March 2017. This is the highest production per cow for the month of March since the 23 State series began in 2003.

The number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major States was 8.74 million head, 29,000 head more than March 2017, but 2,000 head less than February 2018.

Wyatt BechtelMon, 04/23/2018 - 11:13 Category Dairy (General) Comments Dairy News Article
Wyatt Bechtel

Murphy: An End to Meat Shaming

14 hours 34 minutes ago
Murphy: An End to Meat Shaming

For all our collective faults and shortcomings, our well-documented cluelessness about civics and geography and our willful ignorance about the science and high-tech that fuels the modern lifestyles we take for granted, there’s one thing most of us have become very adept at: shaming other people.

Of course, there are those relatively bland attempts at ridiculing people’s (apparent) lack of technical sophistication (“You’re still using a flip phone??”) or awkward fashion sense (“Those shoes are so last year!”).

And as the Poynter Institute’s 2015 white paper on “public shaming” noted, there’s “a certain nobility” in shaming politicians who try to hide public documents or in exposing a corporation that abuses its work force.

That’s the “good” kind of shaming.

But then there’s the toxic kind, whether it’s about body shaming for not having the “ideal” physical appearance, political shaming for having the “wrong” perspective on policies or policymakers or perhaps the most prevalent, and damaging, type of shaming: making “immoral” food choices.

Such attempts at outright humiliation are exemplified in the increasingly virulent condemnation heaped upon anyone who doesn’t embrace the vegan lifestyle in its entirety. As the target of plenty of such abuse, I can testify that it gets pretty raucous and rancid out there in cyberspace.

The Welsh journalist and documentary filmmaker Jon Ronson made exactly that point in his recent book “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.” As he put it, social media shaming has become a social menace.

Let the Pushback Begin
Consider just one of the memes veganistas love to circulate (along with the requisite photo of Der Führer): “When you say it’s okay if you want to be vegan, but you should respect my right to eat meat, that’s like me saying, it’s okay if you want to have Jewish friends, but you should respect my right to kill them.”

Where do you go with that statement? Once you reference Adolph Hitler, all dialogue ceases.

Which is the way most veganistas want it: No debate, no discussion — nothing but doctrinaire condemnation of anyone who uses or consumes any animal products whatsoever.

(One of the more ridiculous posts I read in researching this topic was that of a vegan woman who proudly noted that she refuses to drink Guinness beer, since it’s filtered using a small amount of gelatin derived from fish bladders).

Finally, though, there is beginning to be serious pushback.

As Mike Hale, a columnist for the Monterey Herald, recently wrote, “I’m a sharp-toothed meat-eater happily married to a rabid herbivore. Animal welfare groups have begun to monitor my words, urging me to expound the virtues of vegetarianism while indoctrinating me with anti-meat sentiments. [But] carnivores have grown tired of defending their choices or made to feel as if we need to end our meal with the words ‘Forgive me, father, for I have sinned.’ ”

Amen, brother.

Although you have to search for them, there are many more such statements posted in response to the steady drumbeat of “meat is murdering people and the planet:”

  • Odysseyonline.com: “Listen, if you’re vegan/vegetarian, cool. Why in the world is that a valid excuse for you to tell carnivores that they will live a short life, they're disgusting, they have no morals [and] the whole world hates them? I don’t get why you should be so grossed out by someone eating a burger. Would you like it if someone came up to you and started to humiliate you for what you are consuming, especially out in public?”
  • HuffPost.com: “We can eat meat and still be advocates for animal rights. Most meat eaters want animals to be treated as humanely as possible, and … on the flip side, many fruits and vegetables come from farms that exploit low-wage migrant workers. Are you, veggie or meat eater, eating that produce? We’re talking about human beings, not animals.”
  • Prince.org (dedicated to all thing Prince): “I have some friends who are vegan. I respect their choice, never question, never shame them, never talk down to them. When I invite a huge group of friends over, I will cook a vegan dish, too. Yet they still have to give me dozens of talks about what’s in meat, it’s killing this and that, all these facts about animals, and on and on.”

And on and on, ad nauseum.

I hate to sound preachy, but along with the pushback, we omnivores need to take the high road. Becoming a vegetarian is a fine choice, done for the right reasons. No need to condemn anyone who goes veggie, any more than we’d feel it’s okay to condemn someone who announces they never plan to have children.

Equally important, we need to remember that a diet including animal products is normal and natural; we don’t need to apologize for consuming such foods.

And by all means, we shouldn’t even think about going to the “Hitler was a vegetarian” card.

Editor’s Note: The opinions in this commentary are those of Dan Murphy, a veteran journalist and commentator.

JoAnn AlumbaughMon, 04/23/2018 - 10:00 Category Hogs (General) Beef (General) Dairy (General) Comments News Article Image Caption Carnivores are tired of the "shaming" by vegans and vegetarians. Image Credit Freeimages.com
JoAnn Alumbaugh

Diet Best Way to Deal with Hypocalcemia

15 hours 53 minutes ago
Diet Best Way to Deal with Hypocalcemia

Dry cow diets remain the best way to deal with subclinical hypocalcemia in dairy cows, says Tom Overton and Allison Kerwin. 

Overton is a dairy nutritionist with Cornell University and director of the ProDairy Program there. Kerwin is a Ph.D. candidate studying with him.

“Pre-calving nutritional management is the only way to robustly improve subclinical hypocalcemia,” says Overton. But he adds work done by Kerwin with a calcium binder suggests more study of that approach is warranted.

Most farms have solved their clinical milk fever problems, with most reporting only 1 or 2% of cows afflicted with it. However, some 40 to 80% of cows are subclinically affected for up to a week after calving.  “Some drop in calcium may not be the worst thing in the world, but if cows don’t recover it could become a problem,” says Overton.

These subclinical cows are at risk for a whole host of ailments, including retained placentas, metritis, displaced abomasa, subclinical ketosis, mastitis, decreased milk production and poorer reproduction.

Calcium treatments at calving and routine oral calcium boluses (or drenches) typically don’t work well for preventing subclinical hypocalcemia. “IV calcium can even be detrimental if cows are only subclinical, because they can become hypocalcemic 20 to 40 hours after treatment,” Overton says. Subcutaneous calcium treatment isn’t effective either.

“We also really question blanket treatment with calcium boluses. Not only are they costly but appear to be beneficial only in selected groups of high-risk cows,” he says. Where boluses can be effective is in older cows with body condition scores above 3.5, those that are lame and those in their third or higher parity. First-calf heifers with body condition scores above 3.5 might also benefit.

The best was to control hypocalcemia is with dry cow diets. Some farmers have done it with feeding low potassium (and low sodium) diets. But the best approach is likely a combination of a low potassium and a DCAD-supplemented (dietary cation-anion difference) diet. One approach is to feed a low potassium hay and a partial anion supplement in the close-up or one-group dry cow ration. A second is to feed a low potassium hay and a full anion supplement to the close-up group. In both cases, you’ll also need to supplement magnesium. Overton recommends supplementing calcium as well (0.9 to 1.0% if feeding only low potassium hay; 1.4 to 1.5% if feeding the full anionic diet.)

“Older cows really respond well to the more negative DCAD diets,” says Overton. In one study, cows in the medium DCAD diet produced about 3 ½ lb/day more milk than control cows. Cows on the low DCAD diet responded with 7 lb/day more milk.

But Overton notes that TMR mixing must be consistent and particle size must be such that cows can’t sort feed. He also recommends using proven commercial anion supplements with good palatability.

A second approach has been the use of calcium binders in the dry cow ration. These binders have been available in Europe, but are only now coming to the United States. Kerwin, Overton’s Ph.D. student, tested one product, Zeolite A, in a 60-cow study.

She found that far fewer cows had hypocalcemia at calving if fed the product. Just 30% had low calcium when fed Zeolite A compared to 80 to 90% of the control cows. However, that difference did not translate into greater dry matter intake, body condition score or even milk production.

Butterfat was higher, which resulted in a trend toward more energy-corrected milk. The other positive trend was in reproduction. Half of the treated cows were pregnant by 70 days in milk.  It took half of the control cows another cycle (19 days) to become pregnant. But the difference was not statistically different, she says.

You can listen to an hour-long ProDairy webinar on hypocalcemia here.  

Jim DickrellMon, 04/23/2018 - 08:41 Category Herd Health Dairy Nutrition Dairy (General) Comments Dairy Dairy Nutrition News Article Image Caption “Pre-calving nutritional management is the only way to robustly improve subclinical hypocalcemia,” says Cornell University's Tom Overton. Image Credit Farm Journal, Inc.
Jim Dickrell

AgriTalk After The Bell: Counter-seasonal Milk Rally

3 days 7 hours ago
AgriTalk After The Bell: Counter-seasonal Milk Rally

While current Class III milk futures are not offering “excellent” marketing opportunities, the dollar-plus rally from last month low has been impressive, says analyst Mike North from Commodity Risk Management Group. In both of the last two years, Class III futures were well under current levels. Export demand has been a bright spot for U.S. dairy products this winter after a very dry winter in New Zealand cut supplies coming from that dairy-exporting powerhouse.

North explained to AgriTalk After the Bell host Chip Flory that milk prices are normally under pressure at this time of the year as production spikes with the “spring flush.” This year, production is up, but demand has been strong enough to tug prices higher. North also sees higher production in the weeks ahead with bigger-than-expected cow numbers and cow productivity continuing to climb. As a result, he said that even in the face of less-than-excellent marketing opportunities, some downside price protection is needed for dairy producers.

Carl StutsmanFri, 04/20/2018 - 16:40 Category Podcast Analysis Milk Prices Comments Milk Prices Videos Article AgriTalk After The Bell April 20 2018 Image Caption AgriTalk After the Bell
Image Credit AgriTalk After the Bell
Carl Stutsman

Low Prices Continue to Shift The Dairy Landscape

3 days 8 hours ago
Low Prices Continue to Shift The Dairy Landscape

As producers continue to fight low milk prices, the nationwide dairy landscape continues to change as milk production shifts from smaller to medium sized farms to very large farms.

“We’re seeing a real change in the structure of the dairy industry continues to be dominated by more and more larger producers,” explains Scott Brown, an economist at the University of Missouri. “I recently attended the DFA annual meeting [where they explained] the first 25 percent of their milk comes from about 115 operations and the last 25 percent comes from 7,800. That’s a very different landscape for them as well.”

Brown expects dairy producers to see milk prices rebound from the low prices we experienced at the beginning of 2018, but he doesn’t expect them to improve too much by the end of the year despite strong improvements in cheese prices.

“With now what’s $1.60 cheese in market today, if that continues, I think we’ll see milk prices back to where [they were] in late 2017, so better in the second half of this year,” he says.

Still, as most producers will remember, 2017’s prices weren’t above the breakeven line for most farms.

“I don’t think everyone is going to say that they’re going to find 2018 a breakeven year, even in the second half it’s going to be pretty buried,” Brown says.

Anna-Lisa LacaFri, 04/20/2018 - 15:34 Category Milk Prices Comments Milk Prices Dairy Videos Article Image Caption “We’re seeing a real change in the structure of the dairy industry continues to be dominated by more and more larger producers,” explains Scott Brown, an economist at the University of Missouri. Image Credit Wyatt Bechtel
Anna-Lisa Laca

National Dairy FARM Program, BQA Program Seek Nominations for Award

3 days 10 hours ago
National Dairy FARM Program, BQA Program Seek Nominations for Award

The National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program is partnering with the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program to collect nominations for the first-ever joint FARM/BQA Dairy Award for 2019. The deadline to apply is June 1, 2018.

The awards honor outstanding beef and dairy producers and marketers that demonstrate the best animal care and handling principles as part of their day-to-day operations. This is an opportunity for NMPF member cooperatives and FARM participants to recognize dairy farmers that they believe demonstrate a strong commitment to quality animal care. In 2017, NMPF member Chris Kraft and his family were recognized for the care provided on their two operations in northern Colorado, Badger Creek Farm and Quail Ridge Dairy.

“The FARM Program is excited to continue working with BQA by jointly presenting this award,” said Emily Yeiser Stepp, director of the FARM Animal Care program. “By partnering with BQA, we can grow our pool of nominations and celebrate even more dairy farmers for their commitment to the highest animal care standards.”

The winner of the BQA/FARM Dairy Award is selected by a committee of animal scientists, FARM staff, BQA staff and industry representatives. The winning dairy operation will be chosen based on a set of five criteria:

  • The farm’s collective BQA and FARM practices, accomplishments and goals;
  • Relevant local, regional and national BQA and/or dairy promotion group or cooperative leadership;
  • Promotion and improvement of animal care practices, BQA or FARM program and consumer perception of beef or dairy industries;
  • Effectiveness in promoting and implementing BQA practices; and
  • Completion of the FARM Version 3.0 Animal Care Evaluation and implementation of program requirements.

The award was previously offered solely by BQA, whose awards recognize outstanding members of the beef industry in five categories: Cow-Calf, Feedyard, Dairy, Marketer and Educator.

Any individual, group or organization can nominate a single dairy operation for the award. Individuals and families may not nominate themselves, though they can be involved when preparing the application.

NMPF and its National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Animal Care Program partners with both NCBA and BQA, working closely to create valuable producer resources on stockmanship, dairy beef welfare and quality, and animal care.

Wyatt BechtelFri, 04/20/2018 - 13:40 Category National Milk Producers Federation Beef Checkoff Beef Quality Comments National Milk Producers Federation Dairy Beef Quality News Article Image Caption In 2017, NMPF member Chris Kraft and his family were recognized for the care provided on their two operations in northern Colorado, Badger Creek Farm and Quail Ridge Dairy. Image Credit National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Wyatt Bechtel

Response Training for Livestock Transportation Rollover Accidents

3 days 11 hours ago
Response Training for Livestock Transportation Rollover Accidents

Responding to accidents is never an easy task. Responding to an accident that involves large trucks, people and animals can quickly turn into a chaotic event if the local response team is not prepared or trained to handle such an occurrence. Following several livestock truck rollovers over the last few years in Michigan and adjacent states, Michigan State University Extension along with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Pork Producer Association and local Farm Bureau organizations recognized the need to have a network of trained people across the state to respond to these situations. In order to help local sheriffs/police, fire crews, ambulances, veterinarians and other officials prepare for rollovers of semis pulling livestock trailers, MSU Extension is coordinating a specialized training for livestock transportation rollover accident response.

This event held May 11 and 12 at the Calhoun County Fairgrounds is aimed at helping response teams plan and train to respond to rollover livestock accidents. This training is divided into two days, attendees can attend the day that best suits their needs. Day one of the training focuses on managing the scene of an accident, organizing volunteers and working to ensure public safety and animal welfare. Participants will learn about extrication of trapped animals, management of a rollover accident incident, chain of command, response to injured animals and humane euthanasia techniques. These trained people will build a network of responders and act as advisers to assist first responders and emergency response personnel when these events occur and livestock need to be rescued from overturned trailers.

Day two of the training is focused on helping first responders, paid on-call and volunteer fireman work through responding to an accident involving animals. Some first responders may lack training in handling large livestock and may not be familiar with aspects of farm animal behavior or distressed animals. This training will provide them hands-on training about livestock transport trucks, euthanasia methods and how to inform and coordinate the many different people who need to be notified and involved in the response. Improperly handled livestock, especially those which are loose, can be a risk to responders, the public and a company’s public relations. This training will help responders be prepared for these situations, properly contain the animals and manage the accident scene.

This training will highlight industry experts in this area including Jennifer Woods, a livestock handling specialist with over 25 years of experience in the livestock industry and expertise in animal handling and behavior, livestock emergency response and livestock transportation; Dr. Tim Barman, a veterinarian from Ohio working with Cooper Farms in emergency management response for poultry and swine; and Roger Lennartz, who oversees the emergency management team at Cooper Farms, has personal experience responding to these events and is a volunteer firefighter. Certification of completion will be issued for all program attendees from the main program speaker, Jennifer Woods.  

To register for this comprehensive training that provides extensive education, advice and guidance on managing the scene of a rollover please use the following link: https://events.anr.msu.edu/LivestockRolloverTraining/. Questions about the training can be directed to Beth Ferry at 269-876-2745 or franzeli@msu.edu, Dave Thompson at 517-279-4311 or thom1637@msu.edu, Tom Guthrie at 517-788-4292 or guthri19@msu.edu and Paola Bacigalupo-Sanguesa at 970-888-1356 or paolabs@anr.msu.edu. The cost for attending this training is $75 for the full day training on May 11 and $30 for the half-day training on May 12. Sponsorships are available for first responders and paid on-call and volunteer fireman.  

Wyatt BechtelFri, 04/20/2018 - 12:52 Category Beef (General) Dairy (General) Hogs Animal Welfare Animal Welfare Michigan Comments Michigan Animal Welfare News Article Image Caption People involved in responding, or preparing teams to respond, to accidents involving animals will receive critical information on the proper protocols, training and equipment needed to manage these events.
Image Credit Elkhart County Sheriffs Department
Wyatt Bechtel

Murphy: Generation Snowflake

3 days 15 hours ago
Murphy: Generation Snowflake

After reading a news report from Great Britain about a new form of packaging, I had a negative reaction I’m sure many others — at least in my demographic — would share:

The story in The Telegraph newspaper was headlined, “Millennials so squeamish about handling raw meat it is to be sold in touch-free packs.” According to the story, the UK supermarket chain Sainsburys has introduced touch-free packaging, as the article phrased it, “to help squeamish Millennials who are afraid to touch raw meat before cooking it.”

In a statement, Sainsburys said it was offering the “straight-to-pan plastic pouches,” known in the industry as “doypacks,” after a survey revealed that the prospect of coming into contact with uncooked meat products induced high levels of anxiety among shoppers under the age of 35.

“Customers, particularly younger ones, are quite scared of touching raw meat,” Katherine Hall, Sainsburys product development manager for meat, fish and poultry, told The Sunday Times. “These bags allow people, especially those who are time-poor, to just ‘rip and tip’ the meat straight into the frying pan without touching it.”

Sorry, Ms. Hall, but if being “time-poor” were the driving factor, then shoppers would prefer fully prepared, or at least ready-to-cook products, rather than raw meat, which no matter how it’s packaged, still has to be cooked.

Hall also cited an abiding fear of contamination by bacterial pathogens such as campylobacter, a fear that is apparently so great one woman admitted in a focus group to “coating her chicken with antibacterial spray” before cooking it.

A Disturbing Distance from Food
Granted, every new generation adopts lifestyles that often seem foolish to their elders. Witness the music festivals, psychedelic drugs and sexual experimentation of the hippie era as relics of a ridiculous …

Hey, wait a second. Those were good times!

But in all seriousness, the distance from which too many younger people are removed from food production is worrying.

“A lot of younger people are … not preparing as much food in their home,” Hall said. “If they are not used to it, they may think, ‘Ugh! I’d prefer someone else to do it for me.’ ”

Millennials born after 1980 have been dubbed “Generation Snowflake” for their political correctness, particularly about food animals and as The Telegraph article noted, “Their apparent inability to be reconciled to life’s everyday truths, such as the fact that meat may come from a dead animal.”

Of course, those snowflakes aren’t alone in the modern world with their disdain for handling uncooked meat. As the newspaper story noted, a recent report by the consumer research firm Mintel found that nearly 40% of young people do not want to touch raw meat, compared with about one-quarter of the overall population.

That’s not exactly a night-and-day difference. As part of our 21st century lifestyles, many of us are quite comfortable avoiding any contact with raw foods — or learning anything about them.

Witness a grade schooler at the farmer’s market the other day who happened to spy a bunch of carrots that still had the green tops attached.

“What are these?” she asked her mom in genuine confusion.

Where will that girl’s “food preferences” be in another 10 years?

There’s no doubt that convenience is a powerful dynamic driving food marketing, and Sainsburys’ no-touch packaging strategy has been bolstered by strong sales of chicken that can be purchased and roasted right in the bag.

“We have seen the sales data of those, and we are aware they have done very, very well,” Ruth Mason of the National Farmers’ Union told The Telegraph.  “[But] we know one of the reasons is because consumers do not have to touch a raw bird.”

I guess the ultimate destination of this emerging squeamishness is when we no longer have the time or the inclination to touch, prepare or cook anything we eat.

And to think that back in the ’60s, people were ridiculed for wearing bell bottoms.

Editor’s Note: The opinions in this commentary are those of Dan Murphy, a veteran journalist and commentator.

JoAnn AlumbaughFri, 04/20/2018 - 09:30 Category Hogs (General) Beef (General) Dairy (General) Comments Submitted by Bob Milligan on Mon, 04/23/2018 - 09:21

For those interested in learning more about Millenials, I recommended a well researched book: GENERATION ME - Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitiled - and More Miserable Than Ever Before by Jean M. Twnege, PhD.

Submitted by Sue J. Barnes on Mon, 04/23/2018 - 09:46

It looks that it’s very hard to attenuate but by the wordings of Mr. Donald Trump it looks that USA is going to be the perfect nation and get prices on paper writing from us. So I really like the article because it’s amazing and it also acknowledged me with some expert tips. Thus I’d like to thank “Reuters Staff” for presenting this massive article.

News Article Image Caption Millennials are given many characterizations - the newest that they can't stand handling meat. Image Credit iStock
JoAnn Alumbaugh

Dairy Firm Arla Launches $493.5 Million Cost-cutting After Brexit Hit

3 days 15 hours ago
Dairy Firm Arla Launches $493.5 Million Cost-cutting After Brexit Hit

Arla Foods, one of the world’s biggest dairy companies, said a weaker pound after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union prompted it to start a cost-cutting program to save 400 million euros ($493.5 million) by the end of 2020.

The move comes as a result of the company’s exposure to the British currency and unfavorable developments in commodity markets, Arla said in a news release.

The company, headquartered in Denmark, increased sales by 8 percent last year to 10.3 billion euros, with a quarter of that in Britain, but took a currency hit of about 150 million euro mostly due to a weaker pound.

The company also has large exposure to the Swedish krona which has weakened against the euro in each of the past five years.

Chief Executive Peder Tuborgh said the company’s profitability had been hit by “the currency impact of Brexit on our actual performance and the impact of the reversal in commodity prices on fat and protein on our relative performance against our international peers.”

The firm - owned by 11,200 farmers in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Britain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium - is competing with food giants such as Danone and Nestle .

Arla Foods is the biggest dairy company in Britain, where it is known for its butter, cheese and skyr products.

Under the program, Arla expects to return around 300 million euros to farmers while additional savings will be reinvested in the company, it said.

The programme will result in job cuts among Arla’s nearly 19,000 employees, although the exact number was still unclear.

($1 = 0.8105 euros)

Wyatt BechtelFri, 04/20/2018 - 09:22 Category CoOps Processors Europe United Kingdom Comments CoOps Processors Dairy Europe United Kingdom News Article
Wyatt Bechtel

Consumers Not Enthused By Cricket Flour

4 days 11 hours ago
Consumers Not Enthused By Cricket Flour

Despite various claims about how eating insects might help reduce the carbon footprint of food production, consumers remain less than enthused.

A recent story published on the news site Independent.co.uk claims entomophagy (the practice of eating insects) claims insect popularity is on the rise. Specifically, the author claims giving up meat and eating bugs can help save the planet.

Not so fast. Consumers responding to the April Food Demand Survey (FooDS), conducted by Oklahoma State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics, were rather skeptical. Asking about cricket flour, the FooDS survey found only about one-third of participants said they would try cookies made with the product.

Cricket flour is reportedly one of the novel protein sources PepsiCo is testing for use as an ingredient in snack foods such as Cheetos and Quaker Granola Bars.

In the FooDS survey, half of the participants answered the questions about cricket flour after viewing pictures, while the other half of participants answered the same questions without pictures.

About one-third of the participants who were given text-only description of cricket flour said they would try them once, while 57% said they would not try them. Of the group shown a picture of the cookie made with cricket flour along with the description, 42% said they would try them at least once, and 48% not at all.

Less attractive was the idea of cricket flour in a milkshake. Among the group shown a picture of the milkshake, about 39% said they would try it at least once. Of those only given a text description, only about one-third said they would try it.

Sara BrownThu, 04/19/2018 - 12:56 Category Beef (General) Hogs (General) retail beef Dairy (General) Comments Submitted by wal55 on Mon, 04/23/2018 - 02:44

nice share - https://walmartoneemployeelogin.com/

News Article Image Caption Cricket flour is one of the novel protein sources PepsiCo is testing for use as an ingredient in snack foods such as Cheetos and Quaker Granola Bars. Image Credit Farm Journal
Sara Brown

Trump, Japan's Abe Agree to Intensify Trade Talks

4 days 11 hours ago
Trump, Japan's Abe Agree to Intensify Trade Talks

U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday they had agreed to intensify trade consultations between the two longtime allies, with an aim to expand investment and trade between their countries.

“President Trump and I agreed to start talks for free, fair and reciprocal trade deals,” Abe said at a joint news conference with Trump.

Trump reaffirmed his desire at the news conference to address trade imbalances with Japan, saying he preferred one-on-one talks to negotiate a bilateral deal aimed at trimming the U.S. trade deficit.

Japanese stocks rallied to a seven-week high, partly due to relief that Trump did not mention the value of the yen or criticize Japan’s monetary policy.

While the leaders said they had agreed to have top advisers pursue talks, Abe made clear that differences remained in each country’s approach.

“On the U.S. side, they are interested in a bilateral deal,” Abe told reporters. “Our country’s position is that TPP is the best for both of our countries,” he added, referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

The TPP was sought by former Democratic President Barack Obama. Trump abandoned it during his first weeks in office, saying it was not a good deal for the United States.

“I don’t want to go back into TPP, but if they offered us a deal that I can’t refuse on behalf of the United States, I would do it,” Trump said.

“But I like bilateral better. I think it’s better for our country. I think it’s better for our workers, and I much would prefer a bilateral deal, a deal directly with Japan,” he added.

The next task is for U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japan’s Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi to lead talks on trade and reach a conclusion that is agreeable to both sides.

The director the White House’s National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, said on Tuesday the U.S. government wants Japan to open up its politically sensitive agriculture market, but this is a move Japan is likely to resist.

Trump last month imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports that have been in place for about three weeks.

He said the tariffs had brought many countries to the negotiating able and that he may take them off of steel and aluminum imported from Japan if the two countries can come to a trade agreement.

The Trump administration granted temporary tariff exemptions to several other U.S. allies but not Japan. Just after the tariffs took effect, South Korea agreed to a permanent steel exemption in exchange for a new quota that effectively cuts its steel shipments by 30 percent.

Abe said that Japanese steel and aluminum did not “exert any negative influence” on U.S. security.

“It’s our position that the quality of Japanese products is high and many of these products are difficult to be replaced with. They are greatly contributing to U.S. industries and employment,” Abe said.

Wyatt BechtelThu, 04/19/2018 - 12:37 Category Trade retail beef Pork Japan Trade Comments Japan Trade News Article Image Caption U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands as they hold a joint press conference at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., April 18, 2018.
Image Credit REUTERS/Joe Skipper
Wyatt Bechtel

Dairy Calf and Heifer Association Conference Takes the Gold

4 days 13 hours ago
Dairy Calf and Heifer Association Conference Takes the Gold

The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) annual conference offered a diverse lineup of speakers and producer panels, unveiled new industry insights and provided unmatched networking. More than 500 dairy calf and heifer growers, dairy farmers and allied industry professionals who represent more than 1.5 million cattle, attended the 2018 DCHA conference, April 10-12 in Milwaukee, Wis. Attendees traveled from 34 states and 14 countries.

“This year’s DCHA conference set the bar for calf and heifer raisers to take their individual programs to the next step on the podium,” said Lane Sollenberger, DCHA president and general manager of Dream Farms in Newburg, Pa. “The information shared by keynote speakers and producer panels paired with exceptional farm and industry tours, educational breakout sessions, trade show and unmatched networking have elevated the level of education and expertise shared at the conference.”

Conference highlights include:

  • Farm and industry tours: The conference kicked off with industry tours at Milk Products or STgenetics. Attendees learned about the latest in genomic testing and sexing technology in bovine genetics at STgenetics in Fond du Lac, Wis. Milk Products, Chilton, Wis. provided a behind-the-scenes tour of their milk replacer manufacturing facility. The tour wrapped up at Vir-Clar Farms in Fond du Lac, Wis., where members learned about individual calf care and cleanliness from Katie Grinstead, calf manager.
  • Educational sessions: During the two-day conference, members learned about a variety of hot topics including calf immunity, group housing, ventilation systems, managing employees, feed center management, feedlot management, cattle transportation and more.
  • Industry tradeshow: More than 70 innovative calf- and heifer-focused companies highlighted the latest products, technology and information at their booths.
  • Keynote speaker: Ty Bennett inspired and engaged attendees with his approach to leadership and business growth.
  • Annual meeting: DCHA celebrated another successful year and welcomed a new officer team: President TJ McClure, Garden City, Kan., Vice President Elizabeth Quinn, Schaghticoke, N.Y., and Secretary/Treasurer Tamilee Nennich, Freeport, Minn. Rachel O’Leary, Janesville, Wis., and Marina Sweet, Columbus, Ohio, were recognized as 2018 scholarship winners.

Full conference summary and proceedings are available at: http://bit.ly/2HdsUvb

The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (www.calfandheifer.org) was founded in 1996 based on the mission to help dairy producers, calf managers and those professionally focused on the growth and management of dairy calves and heifers. With a national membership of producers, allied industries and research leaders, DCHA seeks to provide the industry’s standards for profitability, performance and leadership, serving as a catalyst to help members improve the vitality and viability of their individual efforts and that of their business.

Wyatt BechtelThu, 04/19/2018 - 11:27 Category Dairy Calves Replacements Calf Comments Replacements Dairy Calves News Article Image Caption More than 1.5 million cattle from 34 states and 14 countries represented at annual event.
Image Credit Dairy Calf and Heifer Association
Wyatt Bechtel

Cornell Research: Moderate Cost for No Antibiotics in Dairy

4 days 14 hours ago
Cornell Research: Moderate Cost for No Antibiotics in Dairy

Dairy farmers use antibiotics to keep their herds healthy and production high. At the same time, these treatments threaten to harm public health through the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. While the full impact of such antibiotics on humans is not completely understood, a new Cornell University study has pinpointed the financial toll that eliminating antibiotic use would have on dairy farms, a finding that could help guide regulatory policy.

The Farm Cost of Decreasing Antimicrobial Use in Dairy Production,” published in PLOS One, shows the cost of forgoing antibiotics on dairy farms would average out to $61 per cow annually.

“If consumers or policymakers wanted to implement antibiotic-free dairy production, it wouldn’t be a high cost for farmers, but it is feasible the farmers would ask to be compensated,” said Guillaume Lhermie, lead author and postdoctoral associate in the College of Veterinary Medicine. “We wanted to see what we would win and what we would lose with this kind of regulation.”

The paper is part of a larger project, funded by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future’s Academic Venture Fund, in which an interdisciplinary team is analyzing the impact of regulations that aim to curtail antimicrobial use in animal agriculture. The goal is to create a sustainable model that protects human and animal health, as well as the livelihoods of farmers.

Because this issue has so many moving parts, the team is taking a systems approach that involves researchers in epidemiology, development sociology, and agricultural and health economics.

“This antimicrobial resistant question is not only a basic science question,” said Yrjö Gröhn, the James Law Professor of Epidemiology and principal investigator (PI). “You have to include these social concepts and people’s behaviors and economics if you really want to solve it and have an impact in society.”

To examine the effect of limiting the use of antibiotics in dairy production, Gröhn and Loren Tauer, professor at Cornell’s Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, modeled a dairy herd of 1,000 cows, factoring in an average level of the nine most frequent bacterial dairy diseases found in Western countries. The researchers then calculated the net costs of prohibiting antimicrobial use, as well as scenarios involving different treatment prices and milk withdrawal periods. They determined the cost of prohibiting antimicrobial use would in many cases be relatively minor – $61 per cow annually – as long as regulations did not threaten the sustainability of milk production. The researchers intend to extend this model to include pork, poultry and beef production.

Gröhn stressed that, in addition to such financial impacts, the team was also taking animal welfare into consideration.

“You simply cannot decide not to treat animals for disease,” he said. “That is unethical.”

As the project moves forward, the team will zero in on the health consequences and the benefit-cost analysis of antibiotic use in animal agriculture.

“I think the real motivation for this study is, as a society, we face difficult tradeoffs. This sounds almost too literal, but the old saying, ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’? There’s no such thing as a free hamburger,” said Donald Kenkel, the Joan K. and Irwin M. Jacobs Professor in Policy Analysis and Management and co-PI.

“So we have to make this difficult choice,” Kenkel said. “We are worried about human health, we’re worried about animal health and we’re worried about agricultural productivity. How do we make tradeoffs when policies that might be good for animal health and agricultural productivity might harm human health? That’s what the benefit-cost analysis is trying to come up with, a way to quantify those tradeoffs.”

The project aims to educate policymakers so they can make informed decisions about the sustainability of antibiotic use.

Find the full report from PLOS One.

John MadayThu, 04/19/2018 - 09:53 Category Antibiotic Resistance Herd Health Comments Submitted by mps on Sat, 04/21/2018 - 11:39

I have been hearing this idea talked about for 40 years, seams like this supper bug would have been identified buy now

Antibiotic Resistance Dairy News Article Image Caption Cornell University study has pinpointed the financial toll that eliminating antibiotic use would have on dairy farms. Image Credit Farm Journal
John Maday

Bridging The Gap Between the Environment, Human and Animal Health

4 days 14 hours ago
Bridging The Gap Between the Environment, Human and Animal Health

The “One Health Initiative” concept has been around for more than a decade. It looks at how the environment, human and animal health all connect.

The Beef Checkoff Promotional Board, along with some of its subcontractors, are taking the initiative a step further, studying disease transmission, antibiotic and antimicrobial resistance across the food chain.

AgDay national reporter Betsy Jibben talks with Joan Ruskamp, a feedlot owner and cattle producer in Dodge, Nebraska and Dr. Eric Moore, a veterinarian who is the co-chair of the Antibiotics Council of National Institute of Animal Agriculture.

Betsy JibbenThu, 04/19/2018 - 09:49 Category Beef (General) Beef Checkoff Cattle retail beef Fed Cattle Midwest (U.S.) Nebraska Antibiotic Resistance Vaccination Herd Health Comments Antibiotic Resistance Beef Checkoff Videos Article 4/19/18 Beef Checkoff Promotional Board's One Health Initiative
Betsy Jibben

Cold Weather May Cap U.S. Corn Acres, But What About Yield?

5 days 7 hours ago
Cold Weather May Cap U.S. Corn Acres, But What About Yield?

Unless yields soar to never-before-seen highs, the United States this summer will certainly harvest the smallest corn crop in three years since the production volume may not be padded by a boost in plantings.

When the government’s corn planting intentions came in at an unexpectedly low 88 million acres last month, some market participants figured the actual acreage could eventually be higher since it was still early and U.S. farmers “love to plant corn.”

But neither the futures market nor the weather – in particular – are supporting that idea. Winter never loosened its grasp across the core U.S. Corn Belt, and 2018 is vying for the title of coldest Midwestern April on record since 1895.

As of Sunday, only 3 percent of the corn crop had been planted compared with an average of 5 percent. While it is too early to consider this delayed, very little – if any – progress will be made in the top producing states this week. Soils remain largely too cold and the Upper Midwest is bracing for yet another winter storm on Wednesday.

If U.S. producers plant fewer than 88 million corn acres in 2018, it would be the smallest area since 2009, and this outcome is still in play. But yield remains a wide-open ballgame.


When corn planting progress is notably below average by the middle of May, market watchers start to genuinely worry that plantings will fall below the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s March target, and with good reason.

In the last two decades, there were 10 instances in which May 15 planting progress was below the long-term average of 75 percent. Final corn plantings came in below USDA’s March intentions in eight of those 10 years. (tmsnrt.rs/2JUUhHV)

This means that if 2018 progress still lags by mid-May, the 88 million-acre scenario may be the most generous.

One of the two slower planting years with rising corn acres was last year, but both the increase in acres and the planting delays were relatively minor. The other was 2009, and final plantings came in 1.4 million acres higher than the March projection.

In 2009, corn planting was severely delayed in parts of the Eastern Corn Belt and Northern Plains due to persistently cold and wet conditions. But in the five weeks from the end of April to the start of June 2009, CBOT December corn futures steadily climbed more than 20 percent from the lows, peaking at $4.73-1/2 a bushel on June 2.

This likely encouraged some farmers in the affected areas to stay the course, while inspiring other farmers, especially in fringe states, to expand on their original corn plans. The Chicago futures market was also suggesting better corn profitability relative to soybeans in the spring of 2009, which is not the case in 2018. (tmsnrt.rs/2JVCuQT)

Futures have ultimately drifted lower since USDA’s planting report, which was initially friendly for price. December corn settled at $4.06 a bushel on Tuesday, down 1 percent since March 29, even though many planters will remain idle for at least the next several days across the Corn Belt.


Anyone trying to talk about U.S. corn yield in mid-April might risk some ridicule from the market. Luckily, there is no need to throw around reckless numbers right now since yield penalties are not guaranteed from late planting.

But summer weather becomes more important. Most recently, the generally favorable conditions during the summer of 2014 pushed corn yield to a record high, despite the lag in planting.

Seasons in which mid-May planting is close to average have statistically featured the most consistent results, with yields performing better than expected. (tmsnrt.rs/2ETOGy5)

Interestingly, crops that were planted quicker than normal, such as 2010 or 2012, might actually have more downside risk. This is somewhat ironic since early planting is perceived to be advantageous because the crop can pollinate before the hottest stretch of the summer.

Planting is fast when temperatures are warm and soils are relatively dry. But that weather pattern – if observed during the spring – is highly susceptible to persisting during the U.S. summer. This is exactly what happened in 2010 and especially in 2012, both of which were poor harvests.

If U.S. farmers plant the full 88 million-acre intention, national yield would have to break 180 bushels per acre in order to tie with last year’s 14.6 billion-bushel crop. The current production record of 15.1 billion bushels was set in 2016.

(The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a market analyst for Reuters)

Wyatt BechtelWed, 04/18/2018 - 16:38 Category Dairy (General) Beef (General) Hogs (General) Retail (General) Corn Comments Submitted by Roberts Leonard on Fri, 04/20/2018 - 04:56

Clean agriculture is a trend now. I always look for clean fruits for children to eat. Farmers also need to learn to integrate with the times wings io

Corn News Article
Wyatt Bechtel

Farm Bill Clears House Committee on Partisan Vote

5 days 9 hours ago
Farm Bill Clears House Committee on Partisan Vote

The House Agriculture Committee has long prided itself on bipartisanship, but partisan lines were sharply drawn as the panel approved a Republican-drawn farm bill Wednesday on a 26-20, party line vote.

"This is a flawed bill. This is the fault of a bad and non-transparent process." -- House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN)

“"Mr. Chairman, this is a flawed bill,” Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) said in his opening salvo of the hearing in comments directed at Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) “This is the fault of a bad and non-transparent process. When I was chairman, we marked the bill up in subcommittee. We didn't do that this time. I oppose it and I urge my colleagues on my committee to oppose it as well."

Democratic dissent on the farm bill proposal centers on work requirements for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Peterson told AgriTalk Radio earlier this week that he would offer no amendments to the bill and would simply oppose the entire bill.

Republicans on the committee moved a package of 15 amendments to the farm bill during the hearing on topics ranging from crop insurance to biotechnology to broadband. The amendments include a provision put forward by Rodney Davis (R-IL) that would not allow producers to enroll in both the Agriculture Risk Coverage program and the Margin Protection Plan.

The farm bill now moves to the full House which is expected to vote on the measure next month. The Senate Agriculture Committee has not yet introduced their version of a farm bill for consideration.

John HerathWed, 04/18/2018 - 15:00 Category Farm Bill Corn Soybeans Cotton Margin Protection Program Hogs (General) Comments Farm Bill Margin Protection Program Videos Article 4/19/18 House Markup of the 2018 Farm Bill Image Caption Republicans passed the farm bill out of the House Agriculture Committee over objections from Democrats. Image Credit MGN Image
John Herath

Power Take-Off Safety

5 days 11 hours ago
Power Take-Off Safety

power take-off (PTO) shaft transfers mechanical power from a tractor to an implement (shown above). Some PTO-driven equipment is operated from the tractor seat, but many types of farm equipment, such as elevators, grain augers, silage blowers, and so on, are operated in a stationary position, enabling an operator to leave the tractor and move in the vicinity of the implement.

A PTO shaft rotates at a speed of either 540 rpm (9 rotations per second) or 1,000 rpm (16.6 rotations per second). At these speeds, a person’s limb can be pulled into and wrapped around a PTO stub or driveline shaft several times before the person, even a person with extremely fast reflexes, can react. The fast rotation speed, operator error, and lack of proper guarding make PTOs a persistent hazard on farms and ranches.

Injuries that can be sustained from PTO incidents include severe contusion, cuts, spinal and neck injuries, dislocations, broken bones, and scalping. Some incidents can result in fatalities.

PTO Hazards

The main PTO hazards involve the PTO stub and driveline.

PTO Stub

The tractor’s stub output shaft, referred to as a PTO stub, transfers power from the tractor through a drive shaft to the implement or PTO-driven machine. The PTO stub rotates at rate of 540 or 1,000 rpm, and most incidents involving the PTO stub are entanglement incidents.

Entanglement incidents can occur when the operator is unaware that the PTO clutch is engaged, when the operator does not understand the dangers of the spinning PTO stub, or when the operator deliberately works close to an unguarded stub shaft that is in motion. Clothing, such as a pant leg, shoelace, thread from a jacket, and so on, is easily caught by the spinning shaft. Once caught, both the clothing and the wearer can quickly wrap around the stub shaft.

PTO Driveline

PTO driveline or implement input driveline (IID) is the part of the implement drive shaft that connects to the tractor. When unguarded, the entire shaft of the driveline is considered a wrap-point hazard. Some drivelines have guards covering the straight part of the shaft, leaving the universal joints, PTO coupling, and the rear connector, or implement input connection (IIC), as wrap-point hazards. Clothing can catch on and wrap around the driveline. When clothing is caught on the driveline, the tension on the clothing from the driveline pulls the person toward and around the shaft. When a person caught in the driveline instinctively tries to pull away from wrap hazard, he or she actually creates a tighter wrap.

Driveline Separation

In addition to injuries caused by entanglement incidents with the PTO stub and driveline, injuries can occur when shafts separate while the tractor’s PTO is engaged. The IID shaft telescopes, meaning that one part of the shaft slides into another. The sliding sleeve on the shaft allows for easy hitching of PTO-powered machines to tractors and allows telescopic movement when the machine turns or is operated on uneven ground. If the IID is attached to a tractor by only the PTO stub, the tractor can pull apart the IID shaft. If this occurs and the PTO is engaged, the tractor shaft can swing wildly, striking anyone in range and possibly breaking a locking pin, allowing the shaft to become a projectile. This type of incident is not common, but it is more likely to occur with three-point hitched equipment that is not properly mounted or aligned.

Safety Recommendations

The first line of defense to prevent a PTO entanglement incident is to make sure that your tractor and machinery have the proper shields.

PTO Master Shield


(PTO Master Shield. Source: Pennsylvania State University. Agricultural Safety and Health)

The above photo shows a master shield that covers and extends over the tractor PTO stub on three sides. The master shield provides protection from the PTO stub and front joint of the drive shaft when the PTO stub is connected to the tractor.

Before operating PTO-powered machinery, always make sure that the master shield for the tractor PTO stub and front joint is secured properly. Replace a damaged master shield immediately.

Driveline Shield


(PTO Master Shield and Driveline Shield. Source: University of Georgia. College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences)

A PTO driveline shield (shown above) is constructed of plastic or metal and completely encloses the shaft. The bell-shaped ends cover the universal joints on the shaft. The shield is mounted on bearings so that it rotates with the shaft but stops spinning when a person touches it.

Check the driveline shield by spinning it to make sure that it rotates freely. If the shield is damaged or does not rotate independently, it does not provide protection and must be replaced.

Additional Safety Precautions

In addition to having the proper shields in place, taking the following precautions can reduce your risk of a PTO incident:

  • Never step over a rotating shaft.
  • Do not wear loose fitting clothing around PTO-driven equipment.
  • Tie back long hair or secure it under a hat before operating equipment.
  • Ensure that safety decals, such as "Rotating Driveline: Contact can cause death," are readily visible. Replace decals that are obscured or incomplete.
  • Always disengage the PTO and shut off the tractor before dismounting the tractor.
  • Never work on machinery or equipment while the engine is running or is energized.
  • Keep universal joints in phase.
  • Do not switch drivelines between machines.
  • To reduce driveline stress and separation, position the tractor’s drawbar appropriately for each piece of machinery.
  • Reduce PTO shaft abuse by avoiding tight turns, reducing excessive telescoping, engaging power to the shaft gradually, and avoiding over-tightening the slip clutch on PTO-driven machines.
  • Examine the driveline for protruding pins or bolts and debris such as mud that has dried onto the driveline shield. Clothing snags easily on such protrusions, resulting in entanglement incidents.
  • As part of the preoperation inspection, if the driveline shield is equipped with a tether, ensure that the tether is attached and in good condition and that the driveline shield rotates freely on its bearings.

Click HERE to view a video by the Alabama Cooperative Extension that explains how to install and maintain a shaft cover on a tractor PTO.

Click HERE to view and order safety decals for your PTO driveline from the Agricultural Driveline Manufacturers Association (ADMA).


Use the following format to cite this article:


Power take-off safety. (2012) Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/66324/power-take-off-safety.

Sara BrownWed, 04/18/2018 - 13:16 Category Safety Hogs (General) Beef (General) Human Resources Planting Hay FARM BUSINESS Dairy (General) Comments News Article Image Caption Train employees to be smart about PTO dangers. Image Credit Wyatt Bechtel
Sara Brown

France's Danone Buoyed by Chinese Demand for Baby Formula

5 days 11 hours ago
France's Danone Buoyed by Chinese Demand for Baby Formula

French food group Danone achieved better than expected first-quarter sales growth of nearly 5 percent, helped by Chinese demand for its baby formula products, cementing guidance for higher profit and sales this year and beyond.

Along with consumer goods rivals such as Nestle and Unilever, Danone has come under investor pressure to improve results and it needs to deliver on 2020 profit margin and sales growth targets set last year.

Wednesday's numbers lifted Danone's share price 2.5 percent by 1028 GMT, making it the biggest gainer on France's benchmark CAC-40 index.

The world’s largest yoghurt maker, with brands including Actimel and Activia, also flagged improving dairy sales in Europe and noted signs of growth in North America, where Danone is integrating U.S. organic food group WhiteWave.

Danone reported first-quarter underlying sales up 4.9 percent to 6.085 billion euros ($7.53 billion), its biggest percentage rise since the fourth quarter of 2014. It also beat a company-compiled median forecast from 22 analyst estimates of 3.9 percent like-for-like sales growth.

“We are reaffirming our confidence in the agility of our model to navigate a volatile environment to deliver our 2018 guidance and to accelerate towards our 2020 ambition,” Chief Executive Emmanuel Faber said in a statement.

Danone, which is targeting an operating margin above 16 percent and like-for-like sales growth of 4-5 percent by 2020, reiterated its expectation of a double-digit rise in 2018 underlying earnings per share (EPS) excluding the impact of the sale of a stake in Japan’s Yakult.

China Upturn

“While FY 2018 guidance is unchanged at this stage, we expect FY 2018 EPS consensus to rise by around 2-3 pct as exceptional growth in premium infant milk formula channels in China proceeds unabated,” said Investec Securities analysts.

In recent years Danone’s growth has been slower than that of its rivals, largely because of weakness in its European dairy business, while regulatory issues have weighed on its baby food and waters operations in China.

The picture in China has begun to change, however. There has been strong demand for baby formula products thanks to a sharp rise in birth rates tied to the end of the one-child policy, growth of urbanization and affluent middle class.

Danone benefited from continued strong Chinese demand for its high-end baby formulas, such as Aptamil and Nutrilon, and its strategy of developing direct distribution in the country.

Finance chief Cecile Cabanis said Danone expects that trend to continue in the second quarter but cautioned that a “normalization” of Chinese demand is expected in the second half of the year.

Danone shares, which rose 16 percent in 2017, have retreated by about 4 percent so far this year.

Wyatt BechtelWed, 04/18/2018 - 13:12 Category Processors China France Comments Processors France China News Article Image Caption The logo of French food group Danone is seen at the company's headquarters in Paris, France, December 20, 2017.
Image Credit REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Wyatt Bechtel
19 minutes 16 seconds ago
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