Dairy Herd Management

Not Many Bright Spots in Dairy Replacement Market

1 hour 53 minutes ago
Not Many Bright Spots in Dairy Replacement Market The price picture remains bleak for springing dairy heifers and baby heifer calves throughout most of the country. Prices remained mostly unchanged to down this month, with springers as low as $500 per head and calves bottoming out at $15-20 per head. In most markets, Holstein bull calves actually are bringing slightly more than heifers. The lone uptick was in Pennsylvania, where springers jumped about $100 per head for the second consecutive month.                  Springing Heifers  Heifer Calves Location (sale date) Supreme/Top Approved/Medium 90-120 pounds Turlock, Calif. (11-16-18) $1,100-1,275   $950-1,075 - Stratford, Wis. (11-15-18) $600-850   $ 500-575 $  20-70 Sulphur Springs, Texas (11-1-18)                           $810-1,040        $  600-800       $  35-80 New Holland, Pa. (11-28-18) $1,000-1,150  $ 700-1,000       $  15-25 Wyatt Bechtel Sun, 12/09/2018 - 11:50 Category Dairy (General) Dairy Calves Replacements Comments Dairy Calves News Article Image Caption . Image Credit Wyatt Bechtel
Wyatt Bechtel

Lawmakers Question U.S. Position on Antibiotic Use in Livestock

23 hours 59 minutes ago
Lawmakers Question U.S. Position on Antibiotic Use in Livestock A delegation of U.S. government officials is poised to begin meetings in South Korea next week to hash out international guidelines for countering the overuse of antibiotics in farm animals. But the draft is already causing an uproar because it appears to be weaker than current U.S. policy, which allows such drugs to prevent or treat diseases in livestock but not for growth promotion. On Friday, four U.S. senators and one House member, all of them Democrats, raised concerns about the draft in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, whose employees are participating in the negotiations. “We urge you to ensure that the U.S. opposes the use of medically important antibiotics in animals for growth promotion without exception when this committee meets next week,” says the letter, which is signed by Senators Dianne Feinstein, Elizabeth Warren, Richard Blumenthal and Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Rosa DeLauro. The U.S. is leading the antibiotics working group at Codex Alimentarius, an international commission that seeks to protect consumers and fair trade by adopting food standards, codes of practice and other guidelines. The Codex Intergovernmental Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance is meeting in Korea starting Dec. 10. The draft of the group’s nonbinding recommendations includes what critics describe as a loophole to allow “medically important” antibiotics to be used on livestock for growth promotion -- a practice now banned by the Food and Drug Administration. Both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the FDA say that such antibiotics shouldn’t be used for growth promotion. In a Dec. 3 letter to an advocacy group, William Flynn, deputy director for science policy at the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, acknowledged that the wording of the draft had “created some confusion and uncertainty around the concept that medically important antimicrobials should not be used for growth promotion.” Flynn wrote that his agency supports “efforts to eliminate such uses worldwide.” The FDA didn’t respond to requests to make Flynn available for an interview. Overuse of antibiotics in animals and humans has caused the medicines to lose effectiveness, prompting calls to curb non-essential uses. The extent that antibiotic use in farm animals affects human health remains open to debate, as does how best to address the problem of overuse. In 2017, the FDA banned the use of medically important antibiotics to promote growth. Under the new policy, such drugs require a veterinary prescription and can be used only to treat, control or prevent disease. The draft proposal for Codex says that “responsible and prudent administration” of medically important antibiotics in livestock doesn’t include using it for growth promotion, unless a risk analysis is “undertaken” by an appropriate national regulatory authority. Critics have labeled this exception a loophole. In addition, in the latest set of proposals, the U.S. suggested making a change that would require only that such an analysis be “guided” by a regulator, said Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumer Reports, a consumer advocacy group. “Basically it’s saying, ‘Let the companies do it,’” Hansen said. “It’s just crazy.” A similar word change was proposed by HealthforAnimals, an industry trade group whose members include companies that sell animal drugs, he said. The group couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Asked about the change, Sally Gifford, a spokeswoman for the USDA’s Codex office, said, “Some nations’ governments have expressed concern that they do not have the capability to conduct their own risk assessments. The word change under consideration would be a response to those concerns.” Last year, the World Health Organization issued its own recommendations for antibiotic use in livestock, calling for an end to giving medically important antibiotics routinely to healthy animals to promote growth or prevent disease. The agency said such drugs should be administered only to sick animals or healthy ones being raised near them. That drew a sharp response from the USDA, which said the WHO’s effort was based on shoddy science and excluded input from the U.S. and other countries. A few months earlier, in September 2017, Perdue, the agriculture secretary, announced that he was moving his agency’s Codex office out of its food safety agency and into a newly formed trade office. That drew criticism from some advocacy groups and an unusual rebuke from the FDA. “FDA strongly believes that moving Codex to the oversight of a trade promoting, non-science organization could undermine the credibility of U.S. Codex as a science-based enterprise,” wrote Stephen Ostroff, deputy commissioner for food and veterinary medicines. Perdue’s selection to run the trade office, Ted McKinney, is a former executive at Elanco, a company that sells drugs for livestock. Wyatt Bechtel Sat, 12/08/2018 - 13:44 Category Beef (General) Dairy (General) Hogs (General) Poultry (General) Veterinary (General) Governmental Regulations Antibiotic Resistance Hog Health Herd Health Comments News Article Image Caption U.S. leading working group to develop international guidance. Image Credit Oklahoma State University
Wyatt Bechtel

New USDA Rule Allows Flavored Milk to be Served to 30 Million Children

1 day 22 hours ago
New USDA Rule Allows Flavored Milk to be Served to 30 Million Children Working to supply 30 million children in 99,000 schools with healthy and appealing meals, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Thursday that the Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements rule has been finalized. The rule provides the option to offer flavored, low-fat milk to children participating in school meal programs, and to participants ages 6 and older in the Special Milk Program for Children and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Additionally, the law requires half of the weekly grains in the school lunch and breakfast menu be whole grain-rich and will also provide more time to reduce sodium levels in school meals. “USDA is committed to serving meals to kids that are both nutritious and satisfying,” Perdue said in a press release. “These common-sense flexibilities provide excellent customer service to our local school nutrition professionals, while giving children the world-class food service they deserve.” Nutritious school meals don't do anyone any good if kids just throw them into the trash. So we're empowering local schools by providing more options to serve healthy AND appetizing food. We're publishing our final rule in the Federal Register. Details: https://t.co/tUz8II29Zp pic.twitter.com/rpwF4wjQ30 — Sec. Sonny Perdue (@SecretarySonny) December 6, 2018 Milk consumption in schools has decreased over the past eight years as a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, according to U.S. Reps. G.T. Thompson (R-PA). “If schools have more options, students are going to drink more milk, which was once a staple in the diet of our student populations,” Thompson said. “I applaud Agriculture Secretary Purdue for taking this important action to ensure students are receiving meals that are both nutritious and satisfying.” The ruling has been praised not only by schools, but by producers and dairy cooperatives as well. “This is great news, not only for dairy farmers and processors, but also for schoolkids across the U.S.,” says John Rettler, president of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative. “This is a step in the right direction in ensuring that school cafeterias are able to provide valuable nutrition in options that appeal to growing children’s taste buds. Their good habits now have the potential to make them lifelong milk-drinkers.” For more on this topic, read: School Milk Nutrition Act to be Introduced Flavored Milk is Back in Session for Pennsylvania Schools Teen Raises $34,000 for School Milk Programs Taylor Leach Fri, 12/07/2018 - 14:46 Category Dairy (General) Milk (General) USDA Processors Comments Dairy (General) Milk (General) Dairy Policy USDA Schools News Article
Taylor Leach

Tight Winter for Manure Storage Capacity Ahead

2 days 3 hours ago
Tight Winter for Manure Storage Capacity Ahead A late harvest plus an early freeze equals a headache for winter manure management. The Cornell University PRODAIRY program; NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets; NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC); and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service recently issued the following bulletin to New York dairy farmers: Whether your farm is a CAFO or not, it is important to take stock of manure storage capacity: at current fill rates, know how long before the storage will reach maximum fill level, and have a plan in place to avoid a situation of overtopping. CAFO farms should reach out to their planner to review emergency and winter/wet weather spreading plans. Farms who are concerned about storage levels but do not have a CAFO planner should reach out to Soil and Water Conservation or Natural Resources Conservation Service staff to get help with identifying lower risk fields and other practices to reduce risk of runoff when having to spread to avoid overtopping. Although the goal is always to avoid spreading when conditions are poor, it’s important to be prepared in case your back is against the wall with extended wet field conditions and storage that is at risk of overtopping. For CAFO’s, emergency spreading to avoid an overflow must be communicated to DEC either through a written incident report or in the Annual Compliance Report. If, during emergency spreading, maximum application rates identified in the permit are exceeded, DEC must be notified within 24 hours followed by a written incident report in 5 business days. Additionally, storages that overflow MUST be evaluated for structural integrity and re-certified by a Professional Engineer (PE). A PE evaluation after an overflow is a smart safety practice for all other farms. For making field application decisions, farmer knowledge of safe fields is critical. During winter weather conditions, defined as more than 4 inches of snow or 4 inches of frost in the soil, CAFO farms must follow the Winter and Wet Weather Manure Application Guidelines, and it is recommended that CAFOs follow these same guidelines during wet conditions. The document provides useful guidance for non-CAFO’s as well. Penn State University Extension also has published a list of “Do’s and Don’ts of Winter Manure Spreading.” Author Charles White says guidelines apply to farms operating under a Manure Management Plan, which are typically smaller, less intensive operations. They include: Do maintain a setback of 100’ from streams, lakes, ponds, sinkholes, drinking water wells, and aboveground inlets to agricultural drainage systems. The reductions in manure spreading setbacks around streams, lakes, and ponds that are allowed in other seasons by implementing best management practices do not apply during the winter. Don’t spread on slopes greater than 15%. These would be soils listed with “D” or “E” codes on a soil survey map. Do limit winter application rates to less than or equal to the following: 5,000 gallons/acre of liquid manure; 20 tons/acre of solid non-poultry manure; 3 tons/acre of solid poultry manure. Alternatively, you can use a nutrient balance sheet to determine the phosphorus balance rate of manure for the next crop and apply equal to or less than that rate. Don’t spread on fields with less than 25% crop residue cover unless a cover crop has been planted there. Corn silage and low yielding soybean fields typically have less than 25% residue cover during the winter. Do prioritize winter spreading on fields with living plant cover, such as cover crops, hay fields, or pastures. The living plants in these fields will do a better job preventing nutrient losses during winter by taking up nitrogen into plant biomass and more effectively preventing erosion. Do list the fields that will receive winter manure applications in the “Winter Application Worksheet” of your Manure Management Plan. Also make a note of the fields that will receive winter spreading on your farm map and indicate the slopes in those fields. “Larger, Concentrated Animal Operations (CAOs) that are regulated under Act 38 or permitted Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) should consult their Nutrient Management Plan to determine allowable winter spreading practices,” advises White. White’s recommendations, including Manure Management Plans, are based on Pennsylvania regulation. Guidelines and regulations for applying manure in the winter may vary among state NRCS jurisdictions. Although USDA-NRCS provides criteria for legal winter manure application, it should be viewed as an emergency exemption, not a standard practice. Winter application should not be a routine element in a farm’s manure management plan. If you are faced with the unavoidable necessity of winter application, it is best to contact your local NRCS officials in advance to develop a legal application plan. Wyatt Bechtel Fri, 12/07/2018 - 09:57 Category Dairy (General) Nutrient Management Dairy Calves Replacements Comments Nutrient Management News Article Image Caption Cornell and Penn State University both have published useful guidelines to help producers comply with winter manure management regulations and navigate the situation at hand. Image Credit Maureen Hanson
Wyatt Bechtel

Sociable Calves May be Less Prone to Stressful Trailer Rides

2 days 6 hours ago
Sociable Calves May be Less Prone to Stressful Trailer Rides How we interact with others can explain a lot about our personalities. The same goes for dairy calves whose distinct personality traits are typically carried with them throughout their life. A recent study conducted by the University of British Columbia found that more sociable calves are less prone to stressful situations, such as trailer transportation. Knowledge about individual personalities may enable producers to better understand why some animals fail to cope under standard management practices, like trailer rides, and are more likely to become ill, according to UBC News. The study examined how weaned, timid calves reacted to trailer transportation compared to calves with outgoing and sociable personalities. Taking two 10-minute trips, calves were loaded onto trailers and observed for elevated vocalization rates and eye temperatures. Animals who are experiencing stress often show higher vocalization rates and increased eye temperatures.The temperature of a calf’s eyes may rise when they feel threatened. This is due to the sympathetic nervous system being activated, causing an increase in blood flow to the eyes. The study concluded that timid calves experienced heightened stress levels and had a more compromised immune system compared to animals who were considered more sociable animals. According to researchers (Lecorps et al., 2018), these results suggest that pessimistic calves react more intensely to the emotional challenge of a trailer ride. This may be because they had worse expectations of the situation than other calves. To make stressful conditions more bearable for these animals, try to characterize calf personalities at around three weeks of age. This may help identify animals that are most likely to make this transition smoothly and to identify calves that would benefit from additional assistance. For more on this topic, read: Raising Calves: Reading Personality of the Calves can be Important Dairy Calf Management Practices Impact Future Production Calf Management Training Videos Available Taylor Leach Fri, 12/07/2018 - 07:00 Category Dairy (General) Beef (General) Veterinary (General) Dairy Calves Calves Calf Comments Dairy (General) Beef (General) Veterinary (General) Dairy Calves Calf News Article Image Caption Research shows more outgoing animals have a greater tolerance to stressful situations. Image Credit Farm Journal
Taylor Leach

A Giant And An Oil Co. Ask Us To Stop Eating Meat

3 days ago
A Giant And An Oil Co. Ask Us To Stop Eating Meat “Who says meat has to come from animals?” That’s the marketing strategy behind Beyond Meat, the plant-based burger startup now available in thousands of retail stores coast-to-coast. But calling ground soy or pea protein meat is not nearly as offensive as Beyond Meat’s next claim. “Building meat without the animal requires fewer resources, making it a much more efficient and sustainable process.” If you were raised on a ranch or around a feedlot, you’ll likely dispute that claim. But what if you’re, oh…let’s say, a 7-foot, 21-year-old from Vantaa, Finland? Lauri Markkanen is that person, and he has just announced he’s given up red meat “as a concrete step towards minimizing my personal carbon footprint.” Markkanen announced on Twitter in November that he’s calling on his followers to make a difference by making “sustainable choices.” Apparently, Markkanen doesn’t know about beef’s sustainability. Okay, so a giant from northern Europe doesn’t eat beef, why should you care? First, because, as the winner of the genetic lottery, Markkanen pulls down a cool $4 million plus per year playing basketball for the Chicago Bulls. And, he has nearly 100,000 Twitter followers, most of whom are likely millennials and most of whom probably can’t tell the difference between a cow and a bull. In other words, shorter, clumsier versions of Lauri Markkanen. Claiming he wants to “inspire everyone to commit to sustainable choices,” Markkanen has partnered with Neste in this public relations campaign. Not familiar with Neste? It’s a Finnish oil refining and engineering company. You read that right. A 7-footer you’ve never heard of has joined with an oil company in a campaign to tell the Twitter world not to eat meat in order to save the planet. You can’t make this up! But we can fight back with truth, like the fact U.S. cattlemen are producing roughly the same amount of beef today as in 1977 with one-third fewer cattle. And that fewer cattle mean less emissions. One of the best sources of science-based facts about beef, and a champion of the livestock industries, is University of California, Davis, professor Frank Mitloehner, who says it is “demonstrably wrong” when activists claim meat production generates more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector. Mitloehner’s work at UC Davis focuses on ways in which animal agriculture affects air quality and climate change. He says that if Americans eliminated all animal protein from their diets they would reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by only 2.6 percent. According his research at UC Davis, “if the practice of Meatless Monday were to be adopted by all Americans, we’d see a reduction of only 0.5 percent.” Markkanen’s attempt to encourage environmental awareness is admirable. His efforts would have more impact if he were to direct his Twitter followers to the science-based observations of Dr. Mitloehner, on Twitter @GHGGuru. Related content: Traceability Critical To Romane Outbreak Felony Charges For Liberating Chickens       Greg Henderson Thu, 12/06/2018 - 13:29 Category Beef (General) Hogs (General) Dairy (General) Veterinary (General) Comments Beef (General) Blog Article Image Caption A 7-footer you’ve never heard of has joined with an oil company in a campaign to tell the Twitter world not to eat meat in order to save the planet. You can’t make this up! Image Credit FJM
Greg Henderson

Rural Broadband To Reach Three Million People

3 days ago
Rural Broadband To Reach Three Million People Microsoft recently announced it is increasing its commitment to closing the rural broadband gap with a significant infrastructure boost from the company. More than 19 million people in rural America don’t have access to broadband. “Without proper broadband connection, these communities can’t start or run a modern business, access telemedicine, take an online class, digitally transform their farm, or research a school project online,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft president in a recent press release. The company launched the Microsoft Airband Initiative in 2017 with plans to make broadband available to two million rural Americans. Microsoft says it’s expanding that goal to reach three million rural Americans by July 4, 2022. The new goal includes 25 states with new additions in California, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia. “As a nation we can’t afford to turn our backs on these communities as we head into the future,” Smith said. “Given our early progress, today we are raising our goal and increasing out commitment.” Sonja Begemann Thu, 12/06/2018 - 13:27 Category Farm Business (General) Retail (General) Beef (General) Dairy (General) Hogs (General) Comments News Article Image Caption A lack of rural broadband internet hurts those in rural America to conduct business in today's economy. Image Credit MGN
Sonja Begemann

PETA 'Beating a Dead Horse' with Politically Correct Animal Sayings

3 days 1 hour ago
PETA 'Beating a Dead Horse' with Politically Correct Animal Sayings The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is insisting that people change their language in an effort to “remove speciesism” from daily conversation. PETA wants people to stop using common sayings that include what the activist group calls “anti-animal language.” These types of sayings would be “take the bull by the horns” and “kill two birds with one stone.” PETA wants people to instead change those sayings to something like “take the flowers by the thorns” and “feed two birds with one scone.” “Just as it became unacceptable to use racist, homophobic, or ableist language, phrases that trivialize cruelty to animals will vanish as more people begin to appreciate animals for who they are and start ‘bringing home the bagels’ instead of the bacon,” PETA says in a statement on Twitter. One of the sayings that catches your attention is the change of “beat a dead horse” to “feed a fed horse.” The new saying from PETA implies that horses should be overfed which is a recipe for disaster. PETA may not be aware but if you overfeed a horse it can cause such problems as founder and colic, which can be death sentences for horses. Sorry for “beating a dead horse” to those who already know that.    The list of various sayings PETA wants to change can be read in the following Tweet: Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it. Here’s how to remove speciesism from your daily conversations. pic.twitter.com/o67EbBA7H4 — PETA (@peta) December 4, 2018 Following the announcement PETA was blasted by Twitter users. Here are a sampling of responses to the suggested changes to people’s colloquialisms: In 2014, Peta killed 2,324 of the 2,626 animals it aquired and had a 1% adoption rate. This is what happens when you “bring home the bagels”😂 — J Avner (@J_Avner) December 6, 2018 Pick your battles, PETA. There’s bigger fish to fry. — Euan Purchase ⛄️ (@euanspc) December 4, 2018 PETA is taking this a little far. pic.twitter.com/9mH0V3mv2j — Comedy Central (@ComedyCentral) December 5, 2018 So I’m supposed to grab a flower by the thorns? What about my fingers? Or what about the flowers feelings? — Andrew Schlanser (@AndrewSchlanser) December 5, 2018 You advocate using scones? 2 cups cake flour, more as needed ½ teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking powder 3 tablespoons sugar 5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces 1 egg ½ to ¾ cup heavy cream ——- do you think that birds really want to eat their own eggs? GROSS!! — HEA-LibertyHawk (@HLibertyhawk) December 5, 2018 I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, sound too pig headed, but want to address the elephant in the room, there is more than one way to skin a cat. — Mike (@mcaruso1) December 4, 2018 Irresponsible language to be encouraging flower picking, thorned or otherwise, in the midst of bee crisis. Language matters! — Daniel Kreel (@Dkreel) December 5, 2018 So @PETA has a beef with the English language now? Not sure what's at steak here? A group whose meat and potatoes is animal welfare would have bigger fish to fry. Are they ducking real issues because their chicken or do they just not want to end up with egg on their face? https://t.co/IxXSBLflCl — Mike From Woburn (@MikeFromWoburn) December 5, 2018 Gotta go to work to "... bring home the bagels ..." ? I think #PETA needs to find a much less carb loaded phrase. "... bring home the bacon..." is very low carb AND, well it has #bacon in it pic.twitter.com/XlaY7yLsr9 — Big Cajun Man (aw) (@bigcajunman) December 6, 2018 The announcement didn’t go unnoticed for comedians either with Stephen Colbert lampooning the recommended phrases with his own corrections. One of the funnier changes suggested by Colbert was to alter “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” to instead be “there are three ways to skin a cat, but that’s not really ‘first date’ conversation.” Watch the segment on PETA from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in the following YouTube video:   Wyatt Bechtel Thu, 12/06/2018 - 12:33 Category Beef (General) Dairy (General) Hogs (General) Poultry (General) Animal Welfare Comments Animal Welfare News Article Image Caption You can no longer say “bring home the bacon” or “be the guinea pig” according to an animal rights group because it belittles animals. Image Credit Multimedia Graphic Network, Inc.
Wyatt Bechtel

The Australian Company Selling China on Easier-to-Digest Milk

3 days 2 hours ago
The Australian Company Selling China on Easier-to-Digest Milk Global dairy giants have reaped a windfall in China since a 2008 tainted-milk scandal sent parents scurrying to buy infant formula from foreign suppliers. Multinationals including Danone SA and Nestlé SAtoday control more than half the $23.4 billion Chinese market. But lately a different health concern has provided entree for a scrappy challenger from Down Under. A2 Milk Co., with offices in Australia and New Zealand, has more than doubled its Chinese market share over the past year, to 5.6 percent. Its selling point: milk from New Zealand dairy herds that produce only a protein known as A2, which the company contends is easier to digest than the blend of A1 and A2 proteins found in most European and U.S. herds. The naturally occurring variation in protein content stems from genetic differences among cattle breeds. A2 “is building a passionate following from consumers,” says Jayne Hrdlicka, the U.S.-born chief executive officer. “We see a huge opportunity”—not only in China, where it sells powdered infant formula, but also in the U.S., where the company has started selling chilled fresh A2-only milk at retailers including Costco, Walmart, and Whole Foods. Founded in 2000 by a New Zealand scientist and a wealthy dairy producer, A2 Milk started its push into China about five years ago after building a following in Australia and New Zealand and listing on stock exchanges in both countries. Its U.S. business is relatively small and unprofitable, but it’s pushing for growth, with about 8,000 stores now carrying milk that it sources from A2-only U.S. herds. An A2 Milk Co. facility in Sydney. PHOTOGRAPHER: BRENDON THORNE/BLOOMBERG The company’s global sales rose 68 percent in the year through June, to $610 million. Bloomberg Intelligence estimates that China accounts for at least half of that revenue, equally divided among purchases within the country and those made in Australia and shipped to China, often by professional shoppers known as daigou. The globe-trotting daigou thrive by giving mainland consumers access to foreign branded items, from foods to high-fashion handbags—sometimes sidestepping customs duties that raise the cost of imported goods. Chinese parents, spooked by health and safety scares, including an infant vaccine scandal early this year, are splurging on premium goods for their kids. A2 Milk’s Platinum formula is positioned near the top of the market, with a week’s supply generally selling online for 209 yuan to 228 yuan ($30-$33), about the same as Danone’s Chinese best-seller Aptamil. Claims about digestibility are another attraction for China, where lactose intolerance is prevalent. Small-scale studies in China and Australia found that lactose-intolerant people experienced less intestinal discomfort after drinking A2 milk compared with an A1-A2 blend, but the scientists said more research was needed. A2 Milk’s fast growth contrasts with a 20 percent drop in Chinese formula sales by Danone from June 30 to Sept. 30. The market leader, with an estimated 24 percent share, Danone blamed the decline in part on lower birthrates and stepped-up customs enforcement on cross-border sales of formula. U.K.-based Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc, which owns formula maker Mead Johnson, also suffered a third-quarter drop in China sales. It cited technical problems at a Dutch factory but said it expects sales growth to weaken. Nestlé’s China sales are still rising, though its market share has remained at about 15 percent for the past few years. Nestlé recently launched its own A2 protein-only formula in China. The Australian upstart faces big challenges. It’s more dependent than competitors on the daigou trade, making it especially vulnerable to customs enforcement, although the company says many of its daigou vendors already pay required import duties and wouldn’t be affected by stepped-up enforcement. A2 Milk also needs to enlarge its distribution network in China; about 12,000 specialty stores around the country now stock its formula. “Questions remain about the sustainability of growth,” Sam Teeger, a Sydney-based Citigroup analyst, wrote in a recent client note. In the U.S., dairy producers dispute the Australian company’s marketing claims that A2 milk is “easier on digestion” and “may help some avoid discomfort.” The National Milk Producers Federation says the claims aren’t adequately supported by research and filed a complaint with the national advertising division of the Better Business Bureau. In October, the bureau referred the matter to the Federal Trade Commissionwithout commenting on the merits of the complaint. A2 Milk says its advertising has passed muster with regulators in California, as well as in other countries. “The dairy industry has done what big incumbents do when they get a little uncomfortable,” says CEO Hrdlicka. “They try to create some noise. We’ve got very substantial science that sits behind our business.” Hrdlicka, 56, took over as A2 Milk’s CEO in July after eight years as a top executive at Australian airline Qantas Airways Ltd. She says the fast-growing company is ready to take on competitors in China and the U.S. “Competition is good, it draws more attention to the category,” Hrdlicka says. “The first mover is the very significant beneficiary.” Wyatt Bechtel Thu, 12/06/2018 - 11:27 Category Dairy (General) Trade Processors China Comments Australia (country) China Dairy Processors News Article Image Caption About 12,000 specialty stores in China stock A2 Milk. Image Credit Qilai Shen, Bloomberg
Wyatt Bechtel

Official Judges Selected for 53rd World Dairy Expo

3 days 3 hours ago
Official Judges Selected for 53rd World Dairy Expo World Dairy Expo is pleased to announce the eight individuals who will serve as official judges during the 2019 World Dairy Expo Dairy Cattle Show, October 1 through 5. The official judges are responsible for the evaluation and placing of more than 2,300 cattle at the annual event with the help of their associate judge. Nominated and selected by Expo’s dairy cattle exhibitors, the official judges for World Dairy Expo 2019 are as follows:   International Ayrshire Show Phillip Topp, Botkins, Ohio   International Brown Swiss Show Joe Sparrow, Worthville, Ky.   International Guernsey Show Seth Johnson, Tunbridge, Vt.   International Holstein Show Chad Ryan, Fond du Lac, Wis.   International Junior Holstein Show Eddie Bue, Kaukauna, Wis.   International Jersey Show Jack Lomeo, Jr., Sylvan Beach, N.Y.   International Milking Shorthorn Show Keith Topp, Botkins, Ohio   International Red & White Show Jamie Black, Brushton, N.Y.   Serving as the meeting place of the global dairy industry, World Dairy Expo brings together the latest in dairy innovation and the best cattle in North America. Crowds of more than 65,000 people, from nearly 100 countries, will return to Madison, Wis. for the 53rd annual event, October 1-5, 2019, when the world’s largest dairy-focused trade show, dairy and forage seminars, a world-class dairy cattle show and more will be on display. Visit worlddairyexpo.com or follow WDE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or YouTube for more information. Taylor Leach Thu, 12/06/2018 - 10:14 Category Dairy (General) World Dairy Expo Dairy Comments Dairy (General) Dairy Cattle World Dairy Expo News Article Image Caption The official judges have been selected for the 53rd World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. Image Credit World Dairy Expo
Taylor Leach

Beware of Abomassal Bloat with Winter Feeding Changes

3 days 6 hours ago
Beware of Abomassal Bloat with Winter Feeding Changes Frigid winter weather ushers in a host of challenges for dairy operations, including keeping newborn calves alive and thriving. Increasing liquid nutrients to young calves is widely recommended and implemented in cold climates. Because milk or milk replacer is the sole source of nutrition that can be digested by calves 3 weeks old and younger, the only way to deliver more nutrients to meet their increased, climate-induced energy needs is via the liquid ration. In the first 3 weeks of life, calves are essentially monogastric animals, explains Australian dairy veterinarian Gemma Chuck. “The abomasum is the only one of the four stomach compartments that is functional at this early stage,” says Chuck. “It has an acidic environment which helps in the formation of the milk clot before it passes to the small intestines for absorption of nutrients.” Disruptions to the normal flow of milk through the abomasum can cause an overgrowth of the bacteria Clostridium perfringens type A. Colorado State University veterinarian Dave Van Metre says C. perfringens type A is a part of the normal gut flora of calves, but its proliferation can produce the build-up of gas and large quantities of toxins. “This causes sudden distension of the abdomen and bloating on both sides of the belly,” notes Van Metre. The condition usually presents as a fairly sudden attack. In addition to bloating, affected animals also may have diarrhea, mild depression, and signs of colic shown by calves kicking at their abdomen or lying flat out in attempt to relieve pain. Van Metre says death is the ultimate outcome for 50-60% of affected calves, and can occur within 6 to 48 hours if the bloat symptoms are not relieved. That’s why the frustrating scenario of a perfectly healthy calf at one feeding being found bloated and dead at the next can occur. Several risk factors for abomassal bloat have been identified. They include: Feeding large volumes of milk or milk replacer (> 3 quarts/liters) in a single feeding; Feeding fortified milk or high-solids milk-replacer formulations; Irregular feeding times; Lack of water consumption; Cool milk temperature; and Inadequate colostrum intake. Treatment of affected calves should be performed under veterinary supervision. Van Metre says the most urgent measure is to relieve the calf of bloat-inducing gases, using either a trocar or by passing a stomach tube.  Severe cases also may call for an immediate dose of oral antibiotic suspended in mineral oil, followed by fluid therapy; subcutaneous antibiotic therapy; antitoxin; and/or flunixin for pain management. But given the relatively poor prognosis of affected animals, prevention is a highly desirable alternative. The experts recommend focusing on: Feeding delivery – Adding a third daily feeding, if possible, is preferable to increasing the volume of feedings. Feed on a consistent schedule, and once a dietary change has been made for the winter, don’t switch back and forth based on weather changes – stick with it. Ration formulation and osmolality – Osmolality is a measure of the concentration of particles in a solution. Raising solids levels in milk replacer or whole-milk-based rations can push osmolality to dangerous levels, because it may slow the rate of abomassal emptying. Whole milk contains about 12.5% solids; avoid total solids greater than 14%. Many electrolyte products also have high osmolality. Water – Although it’s challenging in winter, supplemental water consumption is absolutely essential in promoting the passage of nutrients through the calf’s digestive tract. Pay attention, also, to the sodium content of water. Do not feed or mix milk replacer with softened water, and have the farm’s water evaluated periodically for mineral content. Mixing consistency – Work with your nutritionist or milk-replacer supplier to determine the correct formulation of your winter ration, then use a scale to weigh every batch of milk replacer. Even a 1% change in total solids can be troublesome for young calves. Feeding temperature – Aim to deliver every feeding at 100-105˚F. In brutally cold weather, milk temperature can drop considerably during transport from the mixing station to the calves. Be aware, also, that milk replacer powder stored in very cold conditions can greatly affect the temperature of the reconstituted product. Boosting liquid nutrients for very young calves in winter is in the best interest of the calf’s health and productivity, but it is not without risk. “It’s not simply, ‘adding a little more powder,’” cautions Chuck. “The correct mix rate will depend on each farm’s feeding system; frequency of feeding; milk-replacer brand and formulation; and the make-up of the base milk ration when fortifying whole milk.” Wyatt Bechtel Thu, 12/06/2018 - 07:32 Category Dairy (General) Dairy Calves Dairy Nutrition Replacements Dairy Cattle Calf Comments Dairy Calves Dairy Nutrition News Article
Wyatt Bechtel

Bid Boom: Giant Farm Equipment Online Auction Begins

3 days 6 hours ago
Bid Boom: Giant Farm Equipment Online Auction Begins Farm machinery opportunity is pounding on the door. Absolute. Unreserved. Nationwide. Adios to buyer’s fees. When the gavel falls in late December, the highest bid wins in a massive used farm equipment auction steered by Machinery Pete and BigIron. As the last buying window shutters on 2018, the Year-End Unreserved Online Dealer Auction, featuring ag equipment dealers from across the U.S. and a complete range of farm machinery, will kick off opening bids on Dec. 6 and close on Dec. 27. The online auction is expected to spotlight 150-plus pieces of equipment including tractors, combines, planters, mowers and much more. “This event is really unique. It provides major opportunity for savings and can be advantageous to taxes for 2018,” says Greg Peterson, founder of Machinery Pete: “Farmers should pay attention because the auction is absolute and has no buyer’s fees. There will be so many dealers offering good equipment that could be six months old or 50 years old. Make the high bid and the equipment goes to your home—no monkey business.” On the flip-side, Peterson says the auction is also highly promising for dealers. “This goes across the country and it’s a great chance for dealers to move used equipment. There’s going to be a wide variety of machinery sold in conjunction with our friends at BigIron. They’ve been the leading online auction company for a decade and folks are familiar and comfortable with BigIron.” Unexpectedly Strong Pricing After 29 years of involvement with farm equipment and a stellar reputation in the industry, Peterson cites 2018 as “one of the most interesting years” of his career, due to unexpectedly strong pricing on good-conditioned machinery, despite the difficult ag economy. He attributes the pricing to pent-up demand. “It’s six years since commodities readjusted and buyers put the brakes on equipment purchases. We’ve reached the point where guys still have to make sure the tractor or combine is not breaking down. Pent-up buyer demand is being released.” Sales are consistent in two general areas, according to Peterson. First, one- to three-year-old equipment, often still under warranty, is in high demand. “There’s not as much stuck on the dealer lot as there once was, and this creates more buying pressure at auction,” he notes. Second, good-conditioned, but slightly older equipment is also selling well; pre-Tier 4 engines from roughly 2008-2010. “Show me a good-conditioned tractor like that and I’ll show you high price and strong buyer demand,” Peterson adds. December 6-27 Over the past decade, November and December have become increasingly busy months for used ag equipment sales. “Farmers look hard at the end of the year and it’s historically tax-motivated. If you can be aggressive, it’s a good time to be a buyer,” Peterson describes. The Year-End Unreserved Online Dealer Auction will be a chance for farmers to take advantage of significant savings, according to Peterson: “Growers will be able to choose between quite a variety of equipment from a trusted platform of Machinery Pete and BigIron. No reserve and no buyer’s fee.” For information, see machinerypete.com/auction.   For more, see: Killing Hogzilla: Hunting a Monster Wild Pig Agriculture's Darkest Fraud Hidden Under Dirt and Lies Blood And Dirt: A Farmer's 30-Year Fight With The Feds Seeds of Discord: Crossing the Great Cover Crop Divide Chris Bennett Thu, 12/06/2018 - 07:22 Category Machinery (General) Sprayers Combines 175+ HP Tractors 100-174 HP Tractors 40-99 HP Tractors Beef (General) Hogs (General) Dairy (General) Comments News Article Image Caption The Year-End Unreserved Online Dealer Auction will kick off opening bids on Dec. 6 and close on Dec. 27. Image Credit Machinery Pete
Chris Bennett

Cull Cow Market Struggles to Find a Bottom

3 days 20 hours ago
Cull Cow Market Struggles to Find a Bottom The cull cow market likely reached a seasonal low in November but it has been difficult to understand this market this year. Prices for Breaker cows in Oklahoma City averaged $50.13/cwt. in November, nearly 11 percent lower year over year, while Boning cows averaged $47.88/cwt., over 16 percent down from one year ago. Cull cow prices have been counter-seasonally lower year over year from May through October and have averaged 13-15 percent lower year over year for the last seven months. Cull cow prices typically begin a slight recovery in December following the November seasonal low. Cull prices average a much stronger seasonal increase after January 1, increasing by 6.7 percent in January from the November low; with February up 16.2 percent; March up 18.75 percent; April up 19.6 percent and May up 21.1 percent all from the November low. From current levels, this would suggest breaking cow prices of $53.47/cwt. in January; $58.26/cwt in February; $59.53/cwt. in March; $59.94 by April and $60.85/cwt. by May. The question is whether the normal seasonal price increase can be expected given how weak the cull cow market has been since May of this year. One of the big factors contributing to weak cull cow prices has been weak cow boxed beef prices in the second half of 2018. In the last week of November, cow boxed beef prices were 7.8 percent lower than year earlier levels and have averaged 8.3 percent lower year over year since mid-year. Increased supplies of cow beef is no doubt part of the cause for lower cow beef (and cull cow) prices. Total cow slaughter is projected to be up 7.2 percent in 2018 over last year, with a projected 9.6 percent year over year increase in beef cow slaughter and 4.9 percent increase in dairy cow slaughter. This is higher than the 2017 year over year increase of 6.3 percent in total cow slaughter. Total cow slaughter in 2019 is forecast to be flat to slightly lower year over year and should reduce the supply pressure a bit following three years of increasing cow slaughter. Beef imports, the bulk of which are processing beef that compete with cow beef, have been flat in 2018 and are forecast to decrease 3-5 percent in 2019. While overall beef demand has been strong in 2018, the demand for cow beef is more uncertain. The bulk of cow beef is used for ground beef. It is possible that ground beef demand is facing more pressure from large supplies of pork and poultry compared to beef middle meats. Cow beef (90 percent lean) is mostly used to mix with fed trimmings (50 percent lean) to make the appropriate ratio of lean to fat in ground beef. Fed trimmings prices have remained close to year ago levels in contrast to the weakness in cow beef prices. Increased fed slaughter in 2018 and forecast larger slaughter again in 2019 would seem to suggest ample fed trimmings supply to support cow beef prices. However, growing exports of some fed products, such as navels, that historically were part of fed trimmings may be the reason for stronger fed trimmings prices relative to cow beef prices. With all that said, I expect that a relative tightening of cow beef supplies will help cull cow prices to follow close to a normal seasonal increase going into 2019. Like all beef markets it is dynamic and evolving and bears watching in the coming months. Wyatt Bechtel Wed, 12/05/2018 - 16:51 Category Beef (General) Dairy (General) cow-calf Comments cow-calf BEEF Cattle News Article
Wyatt Bechtel

Dairy Federation Sues Over Washington Manure Rules

3 days 23 hours ago
Dairy Federation Sues Over Washington Manure Rules The Washington State Dairy Federation is challenging rules meant to protect groundwater, saying it will delay fertilizing crops with manure. Capital Press reports the state Department of Ecology rules impose statewide a formula that prohibits spreading manure until temperatures are above freezing for a prolonged period. The dairy federation says the formula will work in western Washington's milder climate but prevent fertilizing in eastern Washington's colder climate until mid-March in some cases The federation says that delay will deprive crops of nutrients without any benefit to water quality. Dairies already must follow a separate manure-management law enforced by another state agency. An Ecology spokeswoman says her agency used the best available science and broad input to develop clear, understandable rules. Environmental groups separately have sued over the rules, alleging deficiencies. Wyatt Bechtel Wed, 12/05/2018 - 14:09 Category Dairy (General) Nutrient Management Washington Comments Dairy Nutrient Management News Article
Wyatt Bechtel

Robot Rates: How to Finance Robots During Tough Milk Prices

6 days 6 hours ago
Robot Rates: How to Finance Robots During Tough Milk Prices When you visit Sheridan Dairy in Michigan, there’s one thing you’ll notice right away: it’s quiet. The cows are quiet and employees are too. Ashley Messing Kennedy will tell you that’s in part because for the past five years, they’ve milked their cows with box robots. Kennedy is one of a growing number of farmers in the U.S. that have made robots work despite the tough economy. However, she’s quick to add milk prices were better when they installed their robots in 2013. She credits the relationship they have with their banker for the success they’ve had with financing. “For us, [prepaid labor] was an easy sell [with our banker], but we knew that there were going to be other things that were going to pay back too,” she says. When it came time to figure out how to structure the loans, they would need to buy the robots and modify their facilities to accommodate them. Kennedy says they did their research and then went to their banker with a plan. “We knew how much the robots would cost, we knew we wanted to have them paid for in 10 years and we knew that we prefer monthly payments,” she explains. FINANCE LIKE A PARLOR According to Brad Guse, vice president of agriculture lending for BMO Harris Bank, lenders across the country are reconsidering how they see robotic loans. “For a long time we strictly did leases for robots,” Guse says. “We didn’t necessarily know early on what the resale value was going to be on the robots. When you start thinking about financing residual risk, what the value is at a later date has an impact, right? So, by paying them off faster, you take some risk away for the borrower.” He says lenders are starting to finance robots more like they would a traditional parlor. However, it’s still critical to have them paid for rather quickly. “As we get further into this, we’re realizing how much more like financing a parlor robots should be,” Guse says. “The main components of a robot, just like in the parlor, are essentially permanent, they have a 15-year life expectancy or more. However, there are functional parts that need replacing more frequently.” The challenge remains paying off the equipment before it is outdated. “It’s a matter of matching useful life of the collateral versus the repayment terms,” Guse says. That’s how Kennedy and her family decided they wanted to have their robots paid for in 10 years. “The maximum life of a robot is 20 years. If you’re going to continue to farm, you should plan on replacing them every 12 to 16 years,” she says. “So, we knew that our goal would be to try to pay off the robots in 10 years.” Like many farmers, Kennedy financed the cost of the robots and the barn modifications separately which allowed them to keep their payments manageable. Still, their farm hasn’t been exempt from milk price pain, and when milk prices hit the floor, they leaned on the strong relationship they have with their lender to refinance their robot loan and ensure they can continue to make their payments. “Our hope is that when prices get better we will be able to move that up and pay some extra principle, but for now it’s kind of saving our butts,” she says. LOAN STRUCTURE There are two separate loans for the barn and the robots but, for many farmers, having a short repayment time frame can be a challenge. “What kind of payment can you handle?” Guse recommends farmers ask themselves. “You’ve got to know what that payment does to your cost of production and be able to explain how and why you’ll be able to pay it off faster.” One way some farmers are getting through tough times is by structuring their loan to have a balloon payment at the end, something Guse doesn’t recommend for robots. “You’re essentially deferring principal payments at the time that maintenance costs may be going up,” he explains. “It keeps the cash flow stable, but you have to be very careful that you don’t outborrow the useful life of the robot.” According to Guse, one of the other challenges is you can’t get to that point where the depreciation is gone before the loan is paid off, so you end up getting taxed on the amount of principle being repaid. “It may make sense from a short-term standpoint, but from a long-term look at it, a balloon payment on a robot would not make sense unless it were below the market value at maturity,” he says. For more on this topic, read: How to Secure an Operating Loan Evaluating Robot Economics Market Growing for Used Robots   Taylor Leach Mon, 12/03/2018 - 07:00 Category Dairy (General) Robotics Finance/Accounting Housing / Facilities Profit Tips Comments Dairy (General) Milk (General) Robotics Finance/Accounting Milk Prices News Article Image Caption Finance robotic milkers like you would a parlor. Image Credit Courtesy Ashley Messing Kennedy
Taylor Leach

Trump Says He'll Give Notice of Nafta Exit in Bid to Pass USMCA

1 week ago
Trump Says He'll Give Notice of Nafta Exit in Bid to Pass USMCA (Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said he would soon tell Congress of plans to terminate the existing North American Free Trade Agreement, a move that would give lawmakers a six-month window to ratify a new regional trade pact signed on Friday between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. “I will be formally terminating Nafta shortly,” Trump told reporters late Saturday aboard Air Force One as he returned from the Group of 20 summit in Argentina. “So Congress will have a choice” between the new deal, known as the U.S.M.C.A, or potentially no continental trade deal at all. The threat, if enacted, would effectively remove a safety net from under the new trade pact’s journey through Congress. It needs to be ratified by lawmakers in the three countries, and in the U.S., it will almost certainly be taken up by the next Congress, where Democrats will have a majority in the House starting in January. Some Democrats are warning they may not be satisfied by the terms. Trump’s statement may also be a bluff -- or prove harder than he thinks. Under terms of the existing 1994 Nafta pact, the president can give six-months’ notice of withdrawal, though it’s not binding. U.S. lawmakers have, however, said Congress would still need to repeal Nafta’s legislation to fully kill it. Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed an authorization for the deal on Friday morning in Argentina on the sidelines of the G-20, with their ministers signing it shortly after. Trump announced his intentions on Nafta hours after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping for dinner in Buenos Aires and reaching a truce in their escalating trade war. Some U.S. lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, have called for changes to the pact, though Trump’s trade czar has expressed confidence it will pass. “The negotiations are not going to be reopened, right? The agreement’s been signed. We still have to put together an implementing bill, so there are things that we can do,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told reporters Friday in Buenos Aires. He said he was in talks already with Democrats, and appeared unfazed. “We’ll get the support of a lot of Democrats, a very high number of Democrats. Absolutely, just no doubt about it.” Pelosi View On Friday, Trump expressed optimism about getting the deal blessed by U.S. lawmakers. “I look forward to working with members of Congress,” he said. “It’s been so well reviewed I don’t expect to have much of a problem.” Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House, called the agreement “a work in progress” in a statement released on Friday evening. “We are waiting to see enforcement provisions relating to workers and the environment,” she said. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office as Mexico’s president on Saturday; his Morena party, which with its allies holds a majority in Mexico’s Senate, could also seek revisions. Incoming Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, hosting a dinner for American visitors at Lopez Obrador’s inauguration, declined to comment on the news Saturday night. Trudeau has a majority in Canada’s House of Commons, leaving a clear path to pass a deal, but faces an election in October.   ©2018 Bloomberg L.P. Bloomberg Sat, 12/01/2018 - 22:31 Category Trade Canada Mexico Beef (General) Hogs (General) Dairy (General) Comments News Article Image Caption Signing of the USMCA Image Credit The White House

College Students Over the Moon with ‘Moon Milk’ from Midwest Dairy

1 week 2 days ago
College Students Over the Moon with ‘Moon Milk’ from Midwest Dairy During the midst of stressful midterms, Midwest Dairy debuted its Moo Lab pop-up on the University of Minnesota (UMN) and Iowa State University (ISU) campuses, serving up hundreds of free cups of “moon milk.” Taking Pinterest and Instagram by storm, the trending milk claims to be a natural sleep aid for those who suffer from insomnia or stress. A new spin on a cup of warm milk, “moon milk” uses cow’s milk, honey, spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg, and adaptogens. Midwest Dairy promoted the milk to those in the Generation Z age group, ages 15-21, who are leaving fluid milk consumption at the highest rate.   Besides the nutrients provided from milk, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger may assist with digestion and a sense of calmness. Generation Z is reported to have the worst mental health of any generation, according to an article written by Time. “We’ve recognized Gen Z is distinctly different than millennials,” said Alexandra Larson, a registered dietitian with Midwest Dairy in a press release. She explains that this generation has a positive attitude toward dairy, but it is milk consumed as part of other standalone beverages, like smoothies and lattes, that is trending up. Lining up to drink a warm cup of frothy milk, snap a few photos and possibly help relieve some stress, more than 1,500 students consumed this new dairy trend. “Moo Lab was an inviting way for students to taste and see how cool dairy is, while making the connection that it’s fresh and local,” said UMN Dairy Science Club President Samantha DeVoe. “Despite cold and rain, we had 20-plus people in line at times and, with the #CupsofComfort campaign, students continuously shared their moon milk experience on Snapchat and Instagram. It was such a positive experience!” Using the hashtag #CupsofComfort, several students joined in on the “moon milk” Instagram craze. To see some of their photos, scroll below!         View this post on Instagram                   Moon milk is here! 🐮🥛Stop by the Memorial Union West Loop today from 10a - 3p and wrap your hands around a warm, comforting dairy beverage. #CupsofComfort A post shared by Midwest Dairy (@midwestdairy) on Nov 5, 2018 at 8:29am PST         View this post on Instagram                   Milk and dairy products are the ultimate farm-to-table goodness. In fact, most of the milk in your grocery aisle comes from farms here in Iowa. 🚜🐮Celebrate and support local farmers with a delicious, trendy (and FREE!) cup of moon milk at the Memorial Union West Loop on Nov. 5 & 6 from 10a - 3p! #CupsofComfort A post shared by Midwest Dairy (@midwestdairy) on Nov 1, 2018 at 1:15pm PDT         View this post on Instagram                   Congratulations to all of our #CupsofComfort winners! The grand prize winner, @carolinelsell, received a $50 gift card to the Dairy Salesroom! 🐮 She brings more comfort to the world with her smile. . . #moolab #milk #moonmilk #event #university #gophers #gogophers #umn #universityofminnesota #minnesota #dairy #dairyeducation #college #campus #weisman #dairytreat #minnesota #goldengophers #milk #aesthetic #congrats A post shared by Midwest Dairy (@midwestdairy) on Oct 26, 2018 at 9:00am PDT         View this post on Instagram                   Moooove on over latte art and extreme milkshakes. Moon milk is here! Stop by Weisman near the East Bank bridgehead today from 10a-3p for a warm, spiced beverage! 🐮 🥛Give it a try. You'll be happy you did. Plus, you could win a $50 gift card to the Dairy Salesroom when you snap and share using #CupsofComfort. . . #moolab #milk #moonmilk #event #university #gophers #gogophers #umn #universityofminnesota #minnesota #dairy #dairyeducation #college #campus #weisman #dairytreat #minnesota #goldengophers A post shared by Midwest Dairy (@midwestdairy) on Oct 22, 2018 at 8:52am PDT         View this post on Instagram                   We are "udderly" excited to get this Moo Lab going! Keep your eye out for the @misfitcoffee truck starting Monday at 10a outside of Weisman near the East Bank bridgehead. 🐮 🥛Which FREE cup of moon milk do you wish to try? #CupsofComfort . 🌟 Udder Darkness: coffee concentrate + activated charcoal + whiskey and brandy extracts + maple syrup 🍒 Moo & Gold: ginger + turmeric + cinnamon + black pepper + honey 🍵 Red Velvet Moo-shine: dark chocolate + beet + sea salt + tart cherry + coconut sweetener . . #moolab #milk #moonmilk #event #university #gophers #gogophers #umn #universityofminnesota #minnesota #dairy #dairyeducation #college #campus #weisman #dairytreat #minnesota #goldengophers A post shared by Midwest Dairy (@midwestdairy) on Oct 21, 2018 at 10:51am PDT         View this post on Instagram                   Sometimes it's the little things in life that mean the most: A smile on a bad day; Holding the door for someone in the rain; Sharing the picture of that cute dog; or Sending a quick text reminding your friend that they are appreciated and valid. It's an ongoing choice that I have to make every day. How do you add comfort to the world? #cupsofcomfort A post shared by Anna Gardner (@schardsofglass) on Nov 5, 2018 at 2:27pm PST For more on this topic, read: ‘Moon Milk’: America’s New Health Trend? Four Trendy Cheese Predictions for 2019 Is America Ready for Quark? Taylor Leach Fri, 11/30/2018 - 11:00 Category Dairy (General) Milk (General) Consumer Demands Comments Dairy (General) Milk (General) Consumer Demands News Article Image Caption Taking Pinterest and Instagram by storm, the trending milk claims to be a natural sleep aid for those who suffer from insomnia or stress. Image Credit Midwest Dairy - Instagram
Taylor Leach

Corn Silage Might Be Less Digestible This Year

1 week 2 days ago
Corn Silage Might Be Less Digestible This Year A delayed corn silage harvest due to wet conditions in parts of the Midwest have resulted in corn silage being less digestible than normal, says Maurice Eastridge, a dairy specialist with Ohio State University. “Since August 2018, we have experienced about 2.3” additional rainfall compared to 2017,” he says. “Especially notable in this time period is the 5.4” of rain in August when corn silage harvest began in several areas.” The result is corn silage harvested at greater maturity, higher dry matters and harder corn kernels, which in turn can cause lower starch digestibility. In fact, some 7,500 corn silage sample submitted to Cumberland Valley Analytical labs in the mid-Atlantic area show 7-hour starch digestible tests averaging 67.4%, or 5 percentage points lower than average. It’s critical you test corn silage to see what its starch and digestibility levels are. If they are lower than normal, consider the following, suggests Eastridge: 1. Can the corn silage be left in storage longer before feeding? Longer storage time may increase starch digestibility. Are there economical options for lowering the inclusion level in the diet of the corn silage with lower digestibility? 2. If feeding rates are adequate for having two storage units for corn silage open, feed the lower digestibility silage to later lactation cows and growing heifers. 3. With the wet field conditions and corn being in the field longer for damage to kernels, be watchful for signs of molds that produce mycotoxins. For more, click here. Jim Dickrell Fri, 11/30/2018 - 09:34 Category Dairy Nutrition Herd Health Dairy (General) Comments Dairy Nutrition Herd Health News Article Image Caption Due to late rain, corn silage harvest was delayed in some areas of the Midwest, resulting in lower feed quality. Image Credit Farm Journal, Inc.
Jim Dickrell


1 week 2 days ago
BREAKING NEWS: New USMCA Signed President Trump joined the leaders of Mexico and Canada in signing a revised North American trade deal. President Trump gathered with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on the sidelines of Friday's G20 meeting in Buenos Aires. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. President Trump says the new agreement "changes the trade landscape forever." Lawmakers in each country still need to ratify the agreement, but that may prove difficult in the U.S., with Democrats taking control of the House in January.  Several Democrats are demanding changes. This is a developing story being followed right now by AgDay.  Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest. mkulba Fri, 11/30/2018 - 08:21 Category Farm Business (General) Trade Hogs (General) Beef (General) Dairy (General) Retail Business Comments News Article Image Caption breaking news Image Credit MGN

Conventional Parlors Keep Evolving

1 week 2 days ago
Conventional Parlors Keep Evolving Even though robotic milking continues to grow in sales and popularity, still more than 90% of cows in the U.S. are milked in conventional milking systems, and those technologies continue to evolve. Here are a few notable advancements made by milking equipment companies this year: NEW ROTARY DESIGN The DairyRotor T8800 is new to the GEA offering. The heavy-duty parlor has a lower-profile cabinet and smooth, rounded stall corners to allow for faster and smoother cow flow on and off the platform. Producers can choose from angled or non-angled stall designs, drop-down or non-drop-down hose support arms, and a standard or v-shaped entrance style, among many other choices. The T8800 is available in sizes up to 120 stalls, making it one of the largest rotaries on the market. The parlor turns via a roller system that comes with a five-year warranty. MILK MONITORING During milking it’s important to know immediately when an issue arises. The Pulse MD from Boumatic sends alerts via a mobile device or computer if there is an issue with a stall’s milking system. An error code identifies the issue. “Most farms graph pulsators and service each unit monthly, at most,” says Aaron Oughton, training manager with Boumatic. “If a pulsator or hose becomes defective two days after service, for example, it will be at least 28 days before that unit gets inspected and serviced. Pulse MD offers immediate feedback when there is a mechanical issue.” NEW DETACHERS The Expresso and Presto upgrade detachers from AIC Waikato use conductivity for real-time milk sensing. This enables instant calculation of milk flow rates and outputs milk graphs as peak and average flow data. The detachers also identify equipment wear and tear. Real-time milk sensing also calculates end-of-milking flow for reduced strip times and less milking stress. The sensor in the detachers incorporates critical temperature (CT) logic that monitors animal temperatures. Milk conductivity recognizes changes in milk quality or the animal’s immune system. Upgrades integrate into any parlor, adding a prep-timer, milk flow, temperature and conductivity and herd management information to any existing system. Taylor Leach Fri, 11/30/2018 - 07:00 Category Dairy (General) Technology (General) Milk (General) Housing / Facilities Animal Production Benchmarking Robotics Comments Dairy (General) Technology (General) Robotics Housing / Facilities Animal Production Benchmarking News Article Image Caption Equipment companies continue to enhance milking technology. Image Credit Mike Opperman
Taylor Leach
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