Posted: May 9, 2013 at 9:03 am
The Cool Cow mobile app puts the tools dairy producers need to monitor and address heat stress at their fingertips. Research shows that cows can begin to show the effects of heat stress at a Temperature Humidity Index or THI of 68. Reproduction can be impacted at a THI of 55.
Heat stress and an associated 10 percent to 35 percent milk production loss may cost a dairy producer $1.60 to $5.60 per cow per day. These losses can continue to mount when reductions in reproductive performance and increased days open are added into the equation.
The mobile app features an easy to use heat stress calculator for inputting the current temperature and humidity readings. The temperature and humidity is then translated into a THI reading that shows the severity of heat stress, ranging from mild to extreme risk; providing dairy producers insight on the current conditions inside their barn. In addition to the heat stress calculator, the mobile app offers tips on mitigating heat stress from management to nutrition.
The Cool Cow mobile app is available to download for Android phones at: http://bit.ly/AndriodCoolCow and for iPhones at: http://bit.ly/iPhoneCoolCow.
Posted: April 30, 2013 at 9:21 am
Iowa State University is conducting a survey of livestock producers use of feed-related co-products from ethanol production (distillers grains). The survey is focused on the beef, dairy, swine and poultry sectors. It is being funded by a coalition consisting of the Renewable Fuels Association, the Distillers Grains Technology Council and the Corn Utilization Councils from Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska.
“The feedback gained from the survey will be used to help improve co-product quality, which can help livestock producers with their feed costs and livestock performance,” said Kurt Rosentrater, a professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, who is leading the effort.
Livestock producers are invited to take the survey online until June 19, 2013.
Posted: April 23, 2013 at 2:09 pm
Three new exhibits will be on display at Montgomery County, Maryland’s unique King Farm Dairy MOOseum, as it re-opens for the 2013 season on Saturday, May 4. The historic dairy barn museum showcases the history of local dairy farming when more than 350 dairy farms operated in the county serving the national capital region.
The special new exhibits include a historic century-old restored milk wagon, a unique robotic milking unit with video, and an inter-active dairy nutrition display to test all ages’ knowledge of healthful dairy foods. Also on display is a life-size replica of Astronaut, one of the world’s most famous dairy bulls purchased by local agricultural interests in 1968, a milkable replica of a Guernsey cow, and a barn full of equipment actually used by local dairy farm families. A carefully researched map shows the name and location of each former dairy farm. A separate children’s craft room provides educational materials for young peoples’ creativity.
Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:36 am
The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy announced new science-based resources available for dairy producers, processors, industry partners and stakeholders. The resources help the industry act on the unprecedented scientific research commissioned as part of the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Commitment — a collective effort of the dairy value chain to measure and improve the sustainability of U.S. dairy from farm to table.
As part of this commitment, the dairy industry initiated a series of scientific life cycle assessments of fluid milk, cheese and whey. With this body of work, the U.S. dairy industry is striving to create the most transparent and documented dairy LCA database available. Due in part to its rigorous science-based approach, it was chosen to be the pilot industry participating in the National Agricultural Library of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide an open-access, prototype LCA database and tools.
The three new resources available include:
Posted: April 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm
ZimmComm New Media is now taking applications for students in the agricultural communications field to attend and learn how to “agri-blog” some of the most important industry events held every year.
The opportunities will include all-expense paid trips to one or more industry events where students will assist in the compiling of photos, audio and video and posting of activities on pertinent websites. Interns will learn and develop the use of tools, techniques and technology to gather and distribute information through various social media channels. Per-diem and college credits may also be available.
Posted: April 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm
ZimmComm New Media, LLC has expanded its AgNewsWire.com website to serve as a new agricultural media content service for reporters, companies, organizations and individuals seeking high quality photos and audio from industry events and concerning current issues.
“We generate so much content on our agricultural and renewable energy websites that we decided to create one place for all of it to make it easier for people in the industry to locate and utilize,” said ZimmComm New Media president Chuck Zimmerman. “Last year we covered nearly 70 different industry events, posted more than 1200 audio files and placed nearly 20,000 high resolution photos in Flickr albums. All of that content is available for anyone to download and use free of charge.”
AgNewsWire.com will now have links to all the audio, photos and video that ZimmComm compiles at events, for podcasts, news conferences and more. In addition, AgNewsWire will also continue to be an agricultural news release distribution service as it has been since it was introduced in 2006.
Posted: January 31, 2013 at 5:51 pm
By John Davis
Our friends at Farm Foundation are doing once again what they do best: getting people talking about issues that matter to the agribusiness community. Their next free forum features perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for U.S. dairy policy this coming Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. EST at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.
Those to be involved include:
Chuck Ahlem, Ahlem Ranch, California
Mitch Davis, Davis Family Dairies, Le Sueur, MN
Deb Erb, Springvale Farms and Landaff Creamery, Landaff, NH
Mary Keough Ledman, Keough Ledman and Associates
Sue M. Taylor, Leprino Foods, Denver, CO
If you want to be part of this important conversation, RSVP by noon on Monday. Check out the Farm Foundation Forum website for more information.
Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:26 am
The All-American Dairy Foundation announced the launch of www.allamericandairyfoundation.org, a website dedicated to educating and promoting the efforts of the non-profit foundation that supports the All-American Dairy Show.
The website features information about the All-American Dairy Foundation board of directors and committees, as well as news releases about foundation activities. Results from the 2012 All-American Dairy Show and photos from the shows are also available on the site.
Posted: January 9, 2013 at 2:55 pm
FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative board of directors recently unveiled its new logo. The identity symbolizes the newly formed cooperative’s vision and commitment to its members.
The logo and brand identity were approved by the FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative’s board of directors and will be integrated throughout membership and marketing efforts as the new cooperative establishes its presence in the industry.
Posted: December 19, 2012 at 8:49 am
Members of Family Dairies USA, Manitowoc Milk Producers Cooperative and Milwaukee Cooperative Milk Producers successfully voted to merge the three cooperatives, creating the largest dairy marketing cooperative in the Midwest. The new, combined cooperative, known as FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, will begin business function as a unified entity on Jan. 1, 2013.
Votes on the historic merger were counted today during a pair of special meetings at the Holiday Inn in Stevens Point, Wis. and the Milwaukee Cooperative Milk Producers office in Brookfield, Wis. The membership vote follows a unanimous board vote to recommend the unified merger for the membership and several information-sharing opportunities this fall.
Under FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, the combined member representation will be divided into a total of nine districts, based on membership within each district. The current directors from each of the three cooperatives will transition into the new organization, helping ensure consistency in leadership and membership voice. Dennis Donohue will assume the role of general manager of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative. David Cooper and Jim Bird will assume the roles of assistant general manager and director of lab services and special projects, respectively.
Family Dairies USA Milk Program and the Fox Valley Quality Control Laboratory will continue to operate as subsidiaries of the new cooperative.
Posted: December 17, 2012 at 10:43 am
By Jamie Johansen
What do we do when two-thirds of all grains are contaminated with mycotoxins? This question was answered at Alltech’s recent Global 500. Dairy and beef producers from across the world came together to hear from experts and share advice with each other.
Andrew Linscott, ruminant specialist for Alltech United Kingdom, talked with dairy producers about the hidden killer hitting dairies across the globe. Andrew works with both beef and dairy farmers helping them achieve better performance and animal health, as well as look at ways to improve margins on their farms.
Mycotoxins may be the elephant in the room, but it can’t stay there. We know about the problem, but what are we going to do about it?
Alltech has recently launched it’s 37+ Program. The technique can identify 38 different mycotoxins specifically. This allows for a broader approach compared to other methods that can only get a glimpse of the contamination. For more information on the program contact your local Alltech office.
Listen to Andrew’s complete presentation here: Andrew Linscott - Global 500
You can find photos from this year’s Global 500 here: 2012 Global 500 Photo Album
Posted: December 12, 2012 at 8:52 am
The Mid-America Alfalfa Expo & Conference has announced its program for the 2013 event, which features a special presentation of the Alfalfa Intensive Training Seminar, an industry trade show and tremendous fundraising auction.
Sponsored by the Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association (N.A.M.A.), the Mid-America Alfalfa Expo & Conference will be held at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds in Kearney, Neb., Feb. 5-6, 2013. The event is designed especially for alfalfa producers, livestock/dairy producers and others who are involved in alfalfa production, purchasing, hay feeding or processing.
The featured presenter for the 2013 event will be Dr. Dan Undersander, professor of agronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over the course of the two days, Dr. Undersander will present a variety of sessions, which are part of the Alfalfa Intensive Training Seminar developed for the National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance. Key topics addressed will include managing drought effects, trace mineral impact, pest management, alfalfa in rotations, and contract harvesting.
Additional presentations will include information from soil water/irrigation and animal nutrition experts and a panel discussion featuring a mix of alfalfa producers and purchasers from across the nation.
A large alfalfa industry trade show and fundraising auction are also included during the two-day event. A new event this year, the “Forage Olympics”, will pit teams of alfalfa producers and other conference participants competing in timed events such as hay strapping, stacking square bales and rolling large round bales.
Registration is $10 per person in advance (tickets must be purchased by noon, Feb. 1, 2013) and $20 at the door.
Posted: December 4, 2012 at 8:38 am
Two new versatile alfalfa varieties from DuPont Pioneer, bred to thrive in high-stress environments or high-yielding irrigated production areas, will be available in western states for 2013.
Tested extensively by Pioneer researchers in university trials and on farms, Pioneer® brand alfalfa varieties 55Q27 and 55VR05 have been selected for disease resistance, adaptability to different cutting systems, winter weathering abilities, versatility and high-yield potential.
Adapted for three-to-four cut and four-to-five cut systems, both products provide high-quality forage and maximum tonnage along with strong agronomic packages.
Both 55Q27 and 55VR05 alfalfa varieties are rated a five for dormancy, which allows the alfalfa plants to grow season-long and improve late-harvest yield potential. Each variety also shows resistance to key diseases, including verticillium wilt, bacterial wilt, Fusarium wilt and phytophthora root rot. 55Q27 is a conventional, broadly adapted variety with specific resistance to the pea aphid and spotted aphid.
55VR05, a medium multi-foliate variety, contains the Genuity® Roundup Ready® trait for additional weed control flexibility. This new variety carries a rating of high resistance for stem nematode. It is also winter-hardy and well-suited to western irrigated areas.
Posted: November 29, 2012 at 10:35 pm
By John Davis
The dairy industry is trying to win over small groups of influencers… and large groups of consumers as well.
In this edition of the Milking Parlor, we talk with Stacy Dohle from the Midwest Dairy Association and Dairy Management Incorporated to hear how they are trying to win over those influencers, such as nutritionists, to the value dairy products have in people’s diets. And of course, as any business knows, you have to also win over that large group of consumers. National Dairy Board Chair Steve Maddox explains how they have reached out to some of the country’s biggest food retailers to make sure those products are tasty to eat.
Listen to the Milking Parlor here: Milking Parlor Podcast
To subscribe to the Milking Parlor podcast, click here.
Posted: November 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm
A new nationwide survey released found that 81 percent of Americans agree that individual farmers should have the freedom to decide how much milk they produce and not have a limit set by government policy.
The survey, which was conducted online last month among 2,094 adults by Harris Interactive on behalf of the International Dairy Foods Association, also found that 74 percent of Americans believe milk prices should be based on what consumers are willing to pay. Only nine percent think milk prices should be set by government policy.
The majority of Americans recognize the need for the government to help dairy farmers in some way. The survey found 52 percent of Americans support providing financial assistance through government-subsidized insurance — frequently referred to as margin or risk management insurance — to protect farmers against catastrophic losses. Only eight percent say farmers should be helped by government policies that would keep prices higher by limiting how much milk farmers produce. Forty percent of Americans don’t support either option.
Current proposals in the Farm Bill would require farmers to limit the milk they produce in exchange for access to margin insurance. The Goodlatte-Scott Amendment, a proposal that would provide insurance coverage while not restricting farmers’ ability to decide how much milk they would produce, is expected to be considered when the House of Representatives takes up the Farm Bill.
An infographic with full survey results can be found here.
Posted: November 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm
The American Farm Bureau Federation has announced the country music artists who will be performing at its 94th Annual Meeting, Jan. 13-16 in Nashville, Tenn., also known as “Music City, USA.”
The three-part country music group Edens Edge will perform at the opening general session on Sunday Jan. 13, which begins at 9 a.m. The Arkansas trio is composed of Hannah Blaylock, Dean Berner and Cherrill Green
On Monday Jan. 14 at 8 p.m., the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture will host a Night Out at the Grand Ole Opry House for Farm Bureau members and guests, featuring award-winning singer/songwriter Phil Vassar. Vassar has co-written songs with country greats such as Tim McGraw and Alan Jackson. His first self-titled album came out in 2000 and went gold; his latest album, Noel, celebrates the holidays.
Night Out at the Grand Ole Opry House will be hosted by former Miss Mississippi and Great American Country personality, Nan Kelley. Other performers include: The Driven Bow; Line Dancers: Barry and Dari Anne Amato; The Fiddleheads; and Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman performing together. General admission tickets for this fundraiser, which is sponsored by Chevrolet, are $55 each plus tax.
ZimmComm will once again provide coverage of the event.
Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm
By Jamie Johansen
It is just a week before Alltech’s 5th Annual Global 500 kicks off. Dairy and beef leaders from across the world will come together to share ideas and educate themselves on new and cutting edge technologies.
They are expecting over 500 dairy producers to attend this year’s event. Robert Brouwer, owner of a 2,800 cow diary in New Mexico, has attended the event every year since it’s beginning.
“This is a must attend event for me. Alltech continues to outdo themselves with timely and relevant topics, presented by great speakers,” Brouwer said. “It is also great to meet and interact with dairymen from across the world. The event gives me new ideas and provides an opportunity to see things from a global perspective.”
This year’s agenda will feature presentations on branding milk, social media, employee training, decreasing carbon footprints and mycotoxins as well as many presentations that will address the core theme for the event, the EPS principle: Efficiency, Profitability and Sustainability.
“As the global demand for dairy products continues to grow and our climate becomes less and less stable, the pressure to innovate is on the shoulders of today’s farmers. However, the question of how to remain profitable is a question that does not have a clear answer anymore,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “Branding is much more important now as consumers are developing strong loyalty to brands and are more concerned about the origin of their food. Our answers must address efficiency, profitability and sustainability.”
I am excited to attend this years event and during the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s (NAFB) Trade Talk I had a chance to talk with David Butler, Web Marketing Manager for Alltech. He offered insite to the upcoming event and shared what hot topics will be discussed. Check my interview with David here.
Also during NAFB I spoke with Ann Kopecky, Alltech’s North America Field PR Coordinator, about Alltech’s recent launch of their 37+ Program. This new mass spectrometry technique investigates 38 different mycotoxins allowing for a broader analytical approach into the contamination.
Listen to my interview with Ann here: Ann Kopecky - Alltech
Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:52 am
By Jamie Johansen
Last week I shared on AgWired how Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in the state of Missouri are being threatened by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) new Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP 5). MSIP 5 removes the priority for organizations like the FFA from a students high school education.
Bringing attention to this issue has got a lot of people talking about it and what they can do to help preserve vocational programs for the future of Missouri’s youth. The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association has done just that by releasing a Call To Action In Support of FFA.
The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) submitted comments on behalf of its members today, Nov. 26, 2012, regarding changes that the DESE have proposed in a new version of the MSIP 5 that will impact CTE courses in high schools. The changes have direct implications on agricultural education and FFA.
The new wording in MSIP 5, in comparison to MSIP 4, does not emphasize CTE and student organizations such as FFA. It is important that the wording be clarified to keep these programs strong in the state of Missouri.
MCA is encouraging all cattlemen and cattlewomen to take action and submit a letter of concern. Comments must be postmarked by Nov. 30, 2012. Send comments to:
Margie Vandeven, Assistant Commissioner Office of Quality Schools
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
P.O. Box 480
In MCA’s call to action they also included a sample letter for people to use. It includes three key points that DESE needs to consider changing before MSIP 5 is finalized. I also encourage you to share your own personal story as to why career and technical education programs like the FFA have made a difference in your life.
This morning I spoke with Mike Deering, Executive Vice President of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, about their support for the Missouri FFA and the importance of representatives in Jefferson City to listen to those directly affected by the changes in MSIP 5.
Listen to my interview with Mike here: Mike Deering - MCA
Posted: November 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm
By John Davis
How do you feed the expected world population of 9 billion people by the year 2050? Our friends at Farm Foundation are taking on that challenging question, hopefully with some good answers through their new blog, AgChallenge2050.org.
“It’s an opportunity for more people to be involved in the conversation,” said Mary Thompson, Farm Foundation’s Vice President, Communications, adding there are four key areas of consideration: role of science and technology in agriculture, farm and food policy, adaptability resistance, and human capital needs in agriculture and the food system. “We have contributors who will be twice a week posting new ideas and new perspectives in those four areas, and we will encourage all types of stakeholders to come in and be part of the conversation.”
And don’t forget, Farm Foundation has another one of their forums coming up this Wednesday, November 14th looking at what the recently completed election means to agriculture, food and rural policies. It will be held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC and webcast. Click here for more information.
Listen to Cindy’s interview with Mary here: Mary Thompson, Farm Foundation
2012 NAFB Convention Photo Album
Posted: November 9, 2012 at 11:32 am
New research shows how the management style of younger dairy producers and corn growers compares and contrasts with that of their older counterparts. The survey, commissioned by McCormick Company, considered management practices, ownership structures, decision-making processes, business and transition planning, and the role of information — including digital media — in running respondents’ operations.
What the study found was that younger managers embrace the same values and reasons for farming, but they often consider new ways to get information and manage their operations.
McCormick’s goal is to share proprietary insights from this research with select companies seeking innovation as they connect with key customers.
An independent research firm interviewed more than 600 corn farmers and dairy producers, half of which were younger than 45 years of age. The vast majority of their farms were owned by two or more family generations; but one in four of the younger dairy producers were first-generation owners.
The survey also showed that industry trends and issues transcend age differences. For corn growers of all ages, interest in the environment and sustainability is what affects their management most. Dairy producers are influenced most by interest in animal welfare and the environment.