Archive for the ‘Business News’ Category

Wisconsin processors invest $1B +

   Wisconsin dairy processors invested $1.24 billon over the last five years, according to a USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) survey taken in January and February.
Natural cheese plants accounted for 65% of the total, with companies producing less than 5 million pounds spending more than half of that.
   The plants said they plan to invest another $781 million  in coming years, mostly to upgrade utilities and waste treatment. Nearly 60% said they’ll increase the amount of dairy products they manufacture by up to 25% over the next five years; one-fifth said they’ll grow by more than 25%.
     Processors in the survey said they’ll spend most of their development and marketing funds on developing new products and adding value to their current products.
    Raw milk plants said that finding capital financing, waste treatment regulations, and costs of energy and health insurance were factors most likely to limit profitability. Other plants, which process ingredients such as cream, whey or natural cheese into other dairy products, said energy and health insurance costs would be their limiting factors.


Do manure haulers hurt roads?

By Susan Harlow, editor

Eastern DairyBusiness

    How much stress does manure hauling equipment put on rural roads? Professional nutrient management applicator organizations in five Midwest states are working with departments of transportation to find out. In a three-year, $750,000 study, equipment is being tested on pavement at the Minnesota Road Research facility in Montecello, Minn. Ryan DeBroux, Luxemburg, Wis., president of the Professional Nutrient Applicator Association of Wisconsin, said his profession wants to be ahead of the game. “There’s a lot of misconception out there,” he said. “We want to be proactive before towns get nervous and try to change the rules.”
    DeBroux said manure applicators stress to their customers that their equipment’s flotation tires and multiple axles don’t compact soils. Yet municipalities and states fail to give them credit for that.
     Professional nutrient management organizations in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio and Michigan have contributed to the project. Departments of transportation in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois are collaborating, as well as these agribusinesses that have donated money and/or equipment: Husky Farm Equipment, Houle, John Deere, Agco Corp., Case IH, Firestone, Titan Tire Corp. and Michelin.

MATRIC publishes book on feeding distillers grains

The Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center (MATRIC) at Iowa State University has published a book on using distillers grains, a co-product of biofuels production, as a feedstuff for livestock and poultry. The book is only available online at and is free for downloading.

The book, “Using Distillers Grains in the U.S. and International Livestock and Poultry Industries,” was edited by Bruce Babcock, Dermot Hayes and John Lawrence, all professors of economics at Iowa State University. The editors invited internationally renowned experts in animal science, economics, trade, and transportation and logistics from Iowa State and six other universities to share their knowledge and the latest research about distillers grains.

Chapters cover nutrition and live animal performance of beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine and poultry when fed various distillers grain products. Storage, shelf life and transportation issues are included, as are new technologies on the horizon and challenges remaining in the use of distillers grains. Two chapters discuss the trade value of U.S. distiller grains in small and large international markets.

A chapter on ingredient value and cost includes an online calculator program. Livestock and poultry producers can use the calculator to determine their best-cost diet in the context of current market supply and demand and balanced nutrient content for a specific animal species. Feed distributors can use the calculator to determine appropriate pricing of a feed ingredient.

“This book is a comprehensive, solid resource on all aspects of distillers grains feeding, handling and marketing,” said Lucy Norton, managing director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. “Distillers grains are a valuable source of protein and energy that can be an economical addition to feed rations. Providing Iowa’s livestock producers with these guidelines and tools will enhance the feeding of ethanol co-products.”

MATRIC is an affiliate of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University. MATRIC funds interdisciplinary research projects in agribusiness and trade.

New mastitis study shows the importance of treating gram-positive infections

Dairy Producers Can Increase Milk Production While Reducing Mastitis, Number of Treatments, Antibiotic Costs and Milk Discard
Mastitis treatment protocols are supported by results of a new three-year, multi-university study, which showed a striking 91% of detected intramammary infections (IMI) were caused by gram-positive pathogens, including both environmental and contagious organisms. A small number of IMI infections were caused by gram-negative pathogens, including E. coli.

The findings, presented at this year’s National Mastitis Council annual meeting, bring new clarity to the value of aggressively treating gram-positive infections with proven antibiotics, while leaving gram-negative infections to self-cure without treatment.

“Mastitis remains the most costly disease and the most common reason antibiotics are used on U.S. dairy farms,” says Dave Juda, director of marketing – livestock and equine, Fort Dodge Animal Health. “Early intervention strategies focused on gram-positive infections can provide significant savings to dairy producers by reducing antibiotic costs, reducing the number of mastitis treatments and reducing milk discard.”

Clinical and subclinical IMI infections can be effectively treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic with high efficacy against gram-positive pathogens, such as Fort Dodge Animal Health’s ToDAY® (cephapirin sodium) and ToMORROW® (cephapirin benzathine). 

ToDAY provides a bacteriological cure rate of more than 80%, at the labeled dose for gram-positive infections with just one day of treatment. Unlike many other antibiotics, ToDAY and ToMORROW are labeled to control penicillin-resistant strains of Staph. Aureus, which comprises 43% of contagious mastitis pathogens. The OPTI-SERT partial insertion tip has been shown to reduce new mastitis infections by up to 50%.
Fort Dodge Animal Health is a leading global manufacturer and marketer of animal health products for dairy, beef, swine, ovine, poultry, equine and companion animal industries. Key dairy products include ToDAY, ToMORROW, Dry-Clox® (cloxacillin benzathine), Triangle® Vaccines, PYRAMID® Vaccines, Presponse® Vaccines, Cydectin® Pour-On and Cydectin® Injectable.


Manure on Cropland is Good for More than Nutrients

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Manure provides nutrients for farm fields and
improves soil quality and tilth, but there are other implications to
its use.

Mark Risse, University of Georgia professor, will give an overview of
the science of manure to lead off the free monthly manure management
Webcast from eXtension Oct. 17.

Risse is one of three university specialists who will discuss the
impacts of manure application on runoff and soil erosion, water
holding capacity of soils and the need for irrigation during the Web-
based seminar that is open to the public.

They will discuss manure from an organic farm systems perspective and
discuss compost effects on soil quality. They also will discuss the
liming effect of some manures including poultry litter,
mineralization rates including carbon mineralization and salt

Washington State University researchers Craig Cogger and Ann-Marie
Fortuna will join Risse. Cogger is a soil scientist who has extensive
experience with compost methods and using biosolids. His current
research is on organic and sustainable cropping systems.

Fortuna is a faculty member in soil biology. Her research emphasis is
to determine the role of organisms in plant nutrient acquisition and
health and trace the fate of pathogens and beneficial organisms in
the environment.

The Friday, Oct. 17 session begins at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight
Time. The Webcasts are hosted by the Livestock and Poultry
Environmental (LPE) Learning Center, an information resource
developed by more than 150 experts from land-grant universities,
agencies and other organizations. The center is part of the national
eXtension interactive Web resource customized with links to local
Cooperative Extension Web sites. Kansas State University Research and
Extension is part of eXtension.

The Webcast meeting room opens 15 minutes before the start time. Go
to to view.

Elanco finalizes acquisition of Posilac Dairy Business

Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly and Company, announced it has finalized the purchase of Posilac® (sometribove), a supplement for dairy cows, from Monsanto. The acquisition includes complete worldwide rights, a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Augusta, Ga., and product-support operations. This move underscores Elanco’s commitment to helping farmers produce an abundant supply of safe, nutritious, affordable food.

“Our entire Elanco dairy team is thrilled to be the steward of this vital technology, and already is hard at work to make this business transition seamless for the dairy producers who use Posilac,” said Roy Riggs, director of Elanco’s dairy business unit. “Importantly, with this acquisition, Elanco is strongly committed to collaborating with and providing choice to the total dairy food chain.”

Producers can continue to work directly with their Posilac representatives for product support and inquiries. The same convenient toll-free number — (800) 233-2999 — will remain available for placing orders and asking additional questions. Producers using other Elanco products in their herd-health programs may continue to buy those items from their current animal-health suppliers.

The integration of Posilac into Elanco’s dairy business also will bring together a team of professionals who specialize in improving production efficiencies.

“We’re combining Elanco’s experience in productivity-enhancing products — including sometribove in other countries — with the expertise of the U.S. Posilac team,” said Riggs. “Elanco now will have more employees to help farmers integrate these technologies successfully into their dairy operations.”

While planning the full integration of Posilac into Elanco’s dairy business, company leaders also have been talking with producers, dairy cooperatives and others throughout the dairy food chain.

“From past experience working with dairy industry stakeholders, we have learned about the importance of providing consumers worldwide with affordable food choices, and the need to produce more food using fewer natural resources,” said Riggs. “In the months and years to come, we will continue this dialog to further explore ways Elanco’s products can benefit the entire dairy food chain.”

Today’s announcement follows Elanco’s Aug. 20 statement of intent to acquire the Posilac business. This is an important part of the company’s commitment to address the growing need for safe, affordable food, as well as to provide choices for consumers, retailers and producers.

About Posilac
Posilac (rbST) is approved by numerous regulatory authorities worldwide to help dairy farmers improve milk productivity. BST (bovine somatotropin) is a naturally occurring protein in all cattle, helping cows produce milk. Milk from cows receiving Posilac is the same as milk produced by cows not receiving this supplement.

Since receiving U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 1994, Posilac has become a leading dairy animal supplement in the United States and many other countries. Supplementing dairy cows with Posilac enhances milk production, and serves as an important tool to help dairy producers improve the efficiency of their operations and produce more milk more sustainably.

About Elanco
Elanco is a global innovation-driven company that develops and markets products to improve animal health and food animal production in more than 100 countries. Elanco employs more than 2,000 people worldwide, with offices in more than 30 countries, and is a division of Eli Lilly and Company, a leading global pharmaceutical corporation. Additional information about Elanco is available at

Business News: Idaho carbon credit agreement extended

EcoSecurities, a leading company in the business of sourcing, developing and trading carbon credits from greenhouse gas emission reduction projects around the world, and Intrepid Technology and Resource (ITR), an Idaho-based company specializing in renewable biogas energy and soil amendment and fertilizer projects, announced the extension of an agreement for the sale of carbon credits from methane gas production at two dairies in southern Idaho.
EcoSecurities started working with ITR in the fall of 2007 to purchase emission reductions from the dairy farms.  EcoSecurities will purchase credits from the project for six years after the first verification, scheduled for later this year.
“We are pleased to continue working with ITR on the purchase of emission reductions from the Idaho dairies,” said Ben Conte, U.S. country director, EcoSecurities, “The Whiteside and Westpoint anaerobic digesters represent milestones for voluntary carbon offsets in the U.S. It is proof that with carbon credits, state of the art waste management and renewable energy technologies can find their way into dairy farms in Idaho.”
The Whiteside and Westpoint Dairies have both agreed to change their system of processing manure, which will capture the methane produced as the waste from over 10,000 dairy cows is broken down by microbes in an enclosed anaerobic digester, and thus, will aid in the mitigation of climate change.
At the southern Idaho dairies, the animal waste digesters process manure in 4-5 days whereby most digesters take an average of 25 days to accomplish the same task. The biogas captured by these digesters contains about 65% methane, which is then processed into pipeline quality gas through a scrubbing process and sold to industrial users for process heating and to the local gas utility for commercial and residential use.
IRT  builds anaerobic digesters at local organic waste sites to capture methane, clean the methane to consumer standards, and distribute the clean gas for sale.

Hay production resources

To help farmers meet the increasing demand for hay, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Washington County, N.Y.,  compiled Hay Production Resources for New York and Similar Climates. 
     The resource collects more than 75 articles, organized into 13 chapters. It’s available on a computer CD ($5) or can be downloaded from this website: (click on “Agriculture” and find it under “Highlights”). 
    There are articles explaining principles and practices covering agronomy, machinery, drying hay, risk management, hay quality and livestock feed requirements and even hay for bioenergy.  “The market for hay is strong and customers are demanding a high quality product,” said Aaron Gabriel of Washington County Extension.  “This resource will help farmers capture the opportunity of a strong hay market.”
   Contact Gabriel at 800-548-0881.

Genomics, cattle health traits researched

Colorado State University research may lead to early identification of animals with less susceptibility to feedlot diseases, especially bovine respiratory disease (BRD). The study is sponsored by Pfizer Animal Genetics and the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium (NBCEC).

“This landmark research is providing us with greater insight into the genetic markers responsible for improved feedlot health, a promising significant breakthrough for the beef industry,” says Nigel Evans, Ph.D., vice president of Pfizer Animal Genetics.

The study design and funding originated from the NBCEC, a group of universities focused on furthering genetic evaluations of beef cattle. The organization had recently completed a pilot study at Iowa State University that showed encouraging results for genetic control of pinkeye, said NBCEC director Dr. John Pollak. As a next step the group decided to focus on the most prevalent disease in feedlot cattle: BRD.

“As an organization, one of our goals has been to identify genetic traits related to animal health, which is difficult on a large-scale industry level,” says Dr. Pollak. “Focusing on animal health, we identified BRD as one of the obvious diseases on which to focus our efforts. We hope the study results will lead to panels of markers indicative of animals less susceptible to BRD.”

Dr. Pollak identified multiple specialists to serve as members of the research team with Dr. Mark Enns of Colorado State University as the lead researcher. The ongoing research combines multiple past study designs to create a unique methodology focused on genetics under commercial feedlot conditions.

“Our goal with this study is to maximize producer profitability through healthier animals, improved animal welfare and the use of effective genetic management tools,” said Dr. Enns. “By identifying key genetic markers, the industry can better develop tools for producers to decrease morbidity and mortality, resulting in more profits for beef producers throughout the industry.”

The study, which began in 2007 and ends next year, involves more than 3,000 steers. All animals originate from one large commercial beef operation and are being fed at a Colorado commercial feedlot. All animals have been genotyped and performance and health traits will be monitored throughout the research while overall health and carcass quality will be charted after harvest.

The first-year data already is being used to discover and identify possible genetic marker panels that are indicative of animals less susceptible to common feedlot diseases. Currently in its second year, researchers are beginning to validate research results.

Data from the study also is being utilized by Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Medicine Research and Development (VMRD). Pfizer is looking at the synergies between animal health and genetics to develop therapies that will improve the health of the animal, said director of Livestock Pharmaceuticals Jeffrey Watts, Ph.D., Pfizer Animal Health.

“Pfizer believes the Colorado State University research will help us in developing new products which can be tailored for certain management protocols that fit the needs of the animal subpopulations in the feedlot,” said Dr. Watts. “For example, in the future it may be possible to design pharmaceuticals to fit animals based on their genetic predispositions for carcass quality, tenderness and susceptibility to common feedlot diseases.”

“We may find that as we improve animal growth and productivity, animals will remain susceptible to certain diseases,” added Dr. Watts. “From a protocol standpoint we will be able to recommend different management regimens to treat common feedlot diseases and improve the overall performance based on an animal’s specific genetic makeup.”

Pfizer Animal Genetics is a business unit of Pfizer Animal Health, a world leader in discovering and developing innovative animal vaccines and prescription medicines. Pfizer Inc. is the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company.