Archive for October, 2010

A&L Laboratories introduces Quality Milk Program

A&L Laboratories is rolling out its new and comprehensive Quality Milk Program to assist U.S. dairy operations in the quest for higher quality milk.

“In the U.S., the pressure is on to reduce somatic cell counts and meet standards that may be imposed by the European Union,” said A&L Laboratories president and CEO Roger Beers. “To remain competitive, producers here need to consistently deliver a product that meets or exceeds the standards set forth by the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO).”

Every dairy operation should establish a “whole farm approach” quality milk team from across disciplines, advised Beers. This team should include the farm’s veterinarian, nutritionist, milking team leader and other relevant employees, milking equipment dealer, chemical supplier, financier and a quality milk specialist.

This diverse team is needed because the components of a good quality milk program span many aspects of the farm operation, and many of these components can be managed systematically:

  • Genetics
  • Nutrition
  • Housing, cow comfort, welfare and handling (for calves, heifers, dry cows, and milking cows)
  • Teat health
  • Milking machine maintenance and performance
  • Milking procedures
  • Overall farm cleanliness
  • Management

When a farm elects to participate in A&L’s Quality Milk Program, an A&L quality milk specialist joins the farm’s team and works with team members to develop a results-oriented program. Steps in the program development include:

Establish quality goals — SCC, PI and SPC are metrics by which the program can be measured. Other useful metrics are Lab Pasteurized Count (LPC) and Coliform Count (E. coli).

• Examine current residue build-up on equipment —This assessment determines whether CIP is working properly. Amount and types of residue buildup give clues as to where problems are occurring and changes can be made to improve CIP performance.

• Evaluate housing/environment — Provide a clean, dry, comfortable and fly-free environment for calves, heifers and cows. Bedding additives can assist with sanitation by absorbing ammonia and moisture, drying the bedding and eliminating bacteria growth.

• Inspect and analyze CIP — Proper equipment cleaning involves a warm water rinse until water runs clear, followed by detergent rinse, acid wash and sanitizer. Proper water temperatures are crucial for CIP effectiveness and decrease the amount of cleaning products needed in the process. Water hardness and quality should also be evaluated so that proper amounts of cleaning products are used.

• Audit chemical product handling — Have an inventory control system in place with safety training for anyone handling chemical products.

• Evaluate teat health — Score teats regularly to benchmark and track health; look for high-quality teat dips that increase blood flow and prevent chapping and frostbite.

• Analyze milking machine performance — Ensure that the vacuum pump and regulator are working properly. Ensure that automatic takeoffs are set for proper milkout. Preventative maintenance should be performed every 1,000 to 1,200 hours.

• Perform a milking audit — Proper milking procedures increase the amount and quality of milk produced. The farm’s Quality Milk Team should establish and supervise milker training according to the following standard procedures:

  • Clip udders for cleanliness.
  • Remove excess soils from teats.
  • Fore-strip – check milk and udder for mastitis.
  • Pre-dip teats with an effective product or use a sanitizing wipe.
  • Wipe and stimulate teat with a circular downward motion. Be sure to clean and sanitize teat ends. Milkers can be taught how to emulate a calf approaching the udder, which also stimulates milk flow.
  • Provide good massage to increase milk production.
  • Attach milker unit when letdown occurs and adjust for proper alignment. Milk only dry teats.
  • Prevent liner slips.
  • Do not over milk.
  • Shut off vacuum before removing milker unit.
  • Dip teats immediately after unit is removed.  Use an effective product that has high levels of skin conditioners.
  • Maintain clean teat dip cups.

For farms participating in the Quality Milk Program, specific metrics can be used to measure success and tell producers where improvement is needed or possible. The A&L Laboratories standards for benchmarking are:

  • Somatic Cell Count (SCC) < 200,000
  • Standard Plate Count (SPC) < 5,000
  • Preliminary Incubation Count (PIC) < 10,000
  • Lab Pasteurized Count (LPC) < 10
  • Coliform Count (E. coli) < 10

Beers says that focusing on quality milk is financially beneficial when premiums are earned and production is increased through better milking techniques.

“Even more importantly, it’s the right thing to do,” Beers asserts. “Our cows are healthier when we pay attention to the best practices described in our Quality Milk Program. And in the end, our consumers deserve the very best milk our cows, people and systems can produce.”

To learn more, call (800) 225-3832 or visit www.AandL-Labs.com.

Production Pulse: Reproduction

DCRC annual meeting is Nov. 11-12

The 2010 Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council (DCRC) annual meeting will be held Nov. 11–12 at the Crowne Plaza Riverfront, St. Paul, Minn.

General sessions include:

• The U.S. Dairy Industry – Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Headed Stan Erwine, Dairy Management Inc.

• Dairy Replacement Heifer Management: Paradigms or Progress Pat Hoffman, University of Wisconsin

• Measuring and Monitoring Fresh Cows for Improved Reproductive Success Mike Overton, University of Georgia

• Genomic Evaluations: Past, Present, Future George Wiggans, USDA – ARS

• Role of the Veterinarian in Reproduction Earl Aalseth, Dairy Consulting

• Effective Reproductive Performance with Limited Hormone Intervention Ray Nebel, Select Sires

• Reproduction Economics: A Model to Assess the Economic Value of Timed Artificial Insemination and Heat Detection Reproductive Programs in Dairy Cattle Victor Cabrera, University of Wisconsin

• Optimizing the Transition Cow Environment: Implications for Behavior and Health Katy Proudfoot, University of British Columbia

• Energy Balance in the Transition Cow and Reproduction Ron Butler, Cornell University

• Impact of Metabolic Disorders and Mastitis on Reproduction Amin Ahmadzadeh, University of Idaho

Breakout session include:

• New Strategies for Synchronization of Dairy Heifers and Economic Considerations Ricardo Chebel, University of Minnesota

• Effective Reproductive Metrics Neil Michael, Vita Plus, Inc.

• A.I. Technician Management Joe Dalton, University of Idaho

Use of Double-Ovsynch™ to Improve Reproductive Efficiency Milo Wiltbank, University of Wisconsin

• Development of a 5-day 72 hour, Cosynch Program to Efficiently Optimize Fertility of Dairy Cows Jose Santos, University of Florida

• Reproductive Issues Facing the Dairy Industry Gene Boomer, Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition

For a complete look at the agenda, click here. To register for the 2010 DCRC annual meeting and make hotel reservations, visit the DCRC website at www.dcrcouncil.org.

Select Sires introduces Select Detect

Select Sires Inc. recently unveiled the latest in precision reproductive management, Select Detect™, at World Dairy Expo. The technologically-advanced activity monitoring system was developed by Dairymaster, a manufacturer of high-quality dairy farm equipment from their plant in Causeway, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

Select Detect is a combination of intelligent software and nanotechnology that uses activity levels to accurately determine the onset of estrus. The system filters the activity based on herd-mate comparisons and alerts the herd manager of high or low activity. Data is displayed in real time, pinpointing the onset of high activity for proper timing of insemination.

The Select Detect system is the latest component of Select Sires’ exclusive Select Reproductive Solutions™ (SRS™) program. For complete details about Select Detect, visit www.selectsire.com or contact your Select Sires representative.

Study: Crossbreeding leads heifers to milking string faster

Research presented at the 2010 ADSA meetings compared the performance of the following crossbreds against Holstein heifers:

Jersey x Holstein (JH)
Montbeliarde x Holstein (MH)
Montbeliarde x (Jersey x Holstein) (MJH)

Heifers born on two University of Minnesota research facilities were evaluated on days to first calving, days to first service, first service conception rate, interval from first service to last service, number of services per conception, age at conception and gestation interval to first calving.

After the heifers were mated, the following results were recorded:

Age at first breeding was an average of eight days less for JH heifers compared to Holsteins.
MJH heifers were 15 days younger at first breeding than Holsteins.
MH heifers had a significantly higher conception rate (63.5 percent) than Holsteins (48.4 percent).
JH heifers conceived 22 days sooner than Holstein heifers
MJH heifers were 23 younger days at conception than Holsteins.

Results from this study concluded that crossbred heifers were able to be bred sooner and had higher conception rates than purebred Holstein heifers. Access the ADSA abstract by clicking below and scrolling to abstract #436.

READ MORE>>>

To see other updates on reproduction-related research, visit www.dcrcouncil.org.

Animal-source foods combat poor nutrition, health and economic status

DES MOINES, Iowa — Food derived from animals is an important source of protein, energy, calcium and micronutrients — all of which can improve people’s health, their economic status and the environment, according to experts at the Fourth Annual Iowa Hunger Summit held in conjunction with the World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue on Oct. 12.

Terry Wollen, veterinarian and interim vice president of advocacy for Heifer International, and Kevin Watkins , Ph.D. and co-chair of the Elanco Hunger Team and Hunger Board, discussed the role of livestock in reducing food insecurity during a presentation to the Summit’s more than 500 attendees. They shared information about a multi-year collaboration between their two organizations, and emphasized the need to consider four dimensions when evaluating food alternatives in the fight against world hunger.

“Thoughtfully evaluating how foods and food systems affect all four dimensions — human nutrition, people’s health, their economic status and the environment — is critical as we take on the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO’s) challenge of producing 100 percent more food by 2050,” said Watkins. “The good news is both research and real-world experience show that animal-source foods deliver on all four of these dimensions.”

Based on FAO projections, in 40 years the world’s growing population will need twice as much food as we produce today. While some of this food will come from additional farmland and cropping intensity, 70 percent of the increase in supply must come from use of new and existing agricultural technologies.

A case study: improving nutrition in Zambia

Despite farmers’ best efforts, today nearly one billion people throughout the world are hungry. These people and others struggle with deficiencies of protein, energy and calcium (macronutrients), and iron, iodine, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin B-12 (micronutrients).

To understand how adding livestock-based foods to a diet affects nutrition, Heifer International analyzed the scenario of a typical 40-year-old man living in Zambia. Today, this moderately active 165-pound man would eat a basic diet of cereals along with small amounts of fruits, vegetables and meat. Unfortunately, this diet delivers less than half of the recommended amounts of calcium, Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin A, and less energy and protein than he needs.

Adding 18 ounces of milk, two ounces of beef and one ounce of chicken to this man’s basic daily intake gives him 100 percent or more of the recommended amounts of energy, protein, lysine, and vitamins A, B-2 and B-12, and increases his calcium levels to 75 percent of the recommended amount.

The cycle of hunger and poor health

“Even just a moderate increase in the consumption of animal-source foods provides critical nutritional benefits,” said Watkins. “This is one of the best ways to stop the cycle of undernourishment that leads to poor health and disease — a syndrome called the poverty micronutrient malnutrition (PMM) trap.”

The PMM trap starts with hunger. This leads to nutrient deficiencies and impaired development, which alter metabolism and can compromise people’s immune status, making them more susceptible to disease. When people become sick, their illnesses often are more severe and last longer, leading to a reduced appetite and poorer absorption of nutrients. This creates even more hunger and malnutrition.

“Through our work at Heifer International, we’ve found that providing living gifts of livestock along with training in sound agricultural practices can break this cycle of hunger and poor health,” said Wollen. “Bringing these inputs to developing countries has proven to be an excellent investment that truly helps communities improve their nutrition and health status.”

Improving economic status sustainably

In addition to showing improved nutrition and health, research links societies that consume higher levels of animal-source foods to higher per-capita levels of gross domestic product. In 2003, in The Journal of Nutrition, FAO concluded that eating food from livestock improves human productivity and economic growth. However, while consumption of animal proteins is increasing in many places, consumption levels in some poorer countries actually have been decreasing.

According to Wollen, an ongoing project in the mountains of western Honduras is an excellent example of how an integrated food-diversification can empower families to produce nutrient-rich foods, ultimately lifting them and their community to self-reliance.

“Impoverished people often make short-term choices based solely on their desperate need for food,” said Wollen. “Introducing management practices like zero-grazing, terracing, tree-planting, and biogas generation creates an ecosystem that is both environmentally friendly and culturally acceptable. This focus on livestock and agro-ecology is transforming the lives of 2,058 families in 43 Honduran communities.”

Collaborating to end hunger

Wollen and Watkins agree that a collaboration between their two organizations is making a similar difference for 2,100 families in Lampung, Indonesia.

“Donations from Elanco employees and funds from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation have provided cattle, poultry, ducks, seeds, trees and latrines to people who live with a 24 percent poverty rate and just 100 veterinarians to serve 1.1 million farming families,” says Watkins. “Just as important is the personal touch from our veterinarians and other specialists who have worked side-by-side with the people of Lampung to transfer knowledge of animal husbandry, composting, biogas production and forest conservation.”

Because of the nutrition and other benefits they provide, animal-source foods are at the heart of Heifer International projects like this.

“Today, through integrated food-diversification initiatives, millions of people who once were hungry now are nourished by milk, meat, eggs and fresh vegetables,” says Wollen. “Even though there has been a resurgence of hunger and poverty, we know that working together using the Heifer International model of integration will move us closer to eradicating hunger — one community at a time.”
About Heifer International
Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. Since 1944, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in 50 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant. For more information, visit www.heifer.org or call 800-696-1918.

Jo Luck, president and chief executive officer of Heifer International from 1992 to 2010, is one of two recipients of the 2010 World Food Prize for her landmark achievements in building Heifer International into one of the world’s foremost grassroots organizations leading the charge to end hunger and poverty for millions of people around the globe. She will receive this award at the World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony and Dinner on Oct. 14, in Des Moines.

About Elanco
Elanco is a global innovation-driven company that develops and markets products to improve animal health, food-animal production, and food safety in more than 75 countries. Elanco employs more than 2,300 people worldwide, with offices in more than 40 countries, and is a division of Eli Lilly and Company, a leading global pharmaceutical corporation. Additional information about Elanco is available at www.elanco.com.

Production Pulse: Dairy replacements

DCHA schedules Dairy Calf & Heifer Conference

The Dairy Calf & Heifer Association (DCHA) will hold its annual conference and trade show, in Lake Geneva, Wis., April 5-6, 2011. The “Welcome to Dairyland” conference offers the latest in production information and techniques, provides great hands-on business management training and includes live animal demonstrations to increase the awareness of animal husbandry among producers.

The conference and trade show will be held at the Grand Geneva Resort. To register or to find out more information about the 2011 Dairy Calf & Heifer Conference, visit www.calfandheifer.org or call 877-HEIFERS.

Clostridial diseases webinar planned

The Dairy Calf & Heifer Association (DCHA) will feature a webinar on clostridial disease risks on Tuesday, Oct. 26, beginning at noon (Central). Brian Miller, Professional Services Veterinarian-Dairy, with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., will discuss how clostridial diseases affect dairy animals and which diseases have the greatest economic impact on dairy farms.

This webinar is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.

DCHA member registration is FREE. Click here to register.

Non-members may register for a nominal fee of $25. Click here to register.

For more information, call 877-HEIFERS (877/434-3377), or visit www.calfandheifer.org.

DCHA ‘Tips of the Week’

The Dairy Calf & Heifer Association (DCHA) offers dairy calf and heifer growers a “Tip of the Week” via e-mail. Recent topics included:

Winter bedding needs: What’s your ‘nesting’ score?

It’s important to provide adequate nesting materials for young calves to decrease their vulnerability to cold stress. Deep bedding allows a calf to “nest” down in it and provide a barrier of warm air around itself, similar to our down comforters. To see how your calves’ bedding materials compare:

• A nesting score of 1 is given when the calf lies on top of the bedding with his legs exposed.

• A nesting score of 2 is allocated when the calf nestles slightly into the bedding, but part of the legs were visible above the materials.

• A nesting score of 3 is assigned when the calf appeared to nestle deeply into the bedding material, and its legs were not visible.

To increase your calves’ respiratory and overall health and reduce their exposure to cold stress this winter, provide enough bedding material for them to “nest.”

Quality housing standards: Feeding space

DCHA’s Gold Standards II sets ambitious but attainable goals for housing for Holstein Heifers, age 6 months to freshening. Within the “Housing” section of Gold Standards II, there are two specific areas – the feeding space and the housing environment.

The guidelines for feeding space focus on target feeding space and stocking density and pen assignments. The following are recommendations for target feeding space:

a. 6 to 12 months of age: 18 inches per head

b. 12 to 18 months of age: 20 inches per head

c. 18 months of age to freshening: 24 inches per head

d. 3 weeks prior to freshening: 30 inches per head

When addressing stocking density and pen assignments, aim for the following:

a. Free-stall or open-lot housing should provide total bunk space inches to allow all animals to eat at the same time.

b. Feeding systems with headlocks or slants should provide an animal:stall stocking density of 1:1, or be stocked at a rate to accommodate target feeding space above (example: heifers three weeks prior to freshening in 24-inch stalls should be stocked at 80%).

c. Pre-fresh heifers should be housed separately from close-up, adult cows.

Quality housing standards: Housing environment

The second part of the “Housing” section of Gold Standards II, sets housing environment recommendations. The guidelines below will help ensure that growers have high quality, healthy heifers.

1. Heifers should have protection from direct sunlight any time the Temperature Humidity Index (THI) meets or exceeds:

a. 77 for heifers 6 to 12 months of age

b. 72 for heifers 12 months of age to freshening

2. Heifers should have shelter from wind and precipitation any time wind chill temperatures are 20°F or lower.

a. Heifers 6 to 12 months of age should have overhead shelter in these conditions.

b. Heifers 12 months of age to freshening should have a windbreak in these conditions.

3. Housing environment for heifers of all ages always should be clean, dry and draft-free, with good air quality.

4. Target resting space

a. 6 to 12 months of age: 45 square feet per head, or one free stall per animal

b. 12 to 18 months of age: 50 square feet per head, or one free stall per animal

c. 18 months of age to 2 to 4 weeks pre-freshening: 60 square feet per head, or one free stall per animal

d. 2 to 4 weeks pre-freshening: 100 square feet, or one free stall per animal

5. Target free stall space

a. 6 to 9 months of age: 30 x 54 inches

b. 9 to 12 months of age: 34 x 60 inches

c. 12 to 18 months of age: 36 x 69 inches

d. 18 months of age to 2 to 4 weeks pre-freshening: 40 x 84 inches

e. 2 to 4 weeks pre-freshening: 43 x 96 inches

For more information on the Dairy Calf & Heifer Association and the Gold Standards II, visit the DCHA website, www.calfandheifer.org.

Group pens after weaning: Is there a “right” way?

According to Roy Williams, DCHA Leadership Class Member, most dairy research scientists and dairy operators agree that calves that are weaned and moved from individual pens to group pens experience stress.

One of the practices that is generally followed is to move calves from individual pens to groups of 4 to 8 calves, then move them to somewhat larger groups, and perhaps move them to still larger groups as they age. This practice is based on the belief that the calf will suffer less stress with the step-wise increase in group size than it would suffer if it is put in a large group pen directly out of the individual hutch or crate. However, these assumptions may not be correct.

Events and conditions such as weaning, transportation, being moved to a new pen, being grouped with calves with which it has had no previous contact, a change in feed and new objects in its environment can all cause stress. Research has also found that the stress of the event lasts for one to two weeks, and, during this time, the calf’s immune system is compromised, making it more likely that the calf will get sick. Biochemical and immunopathology research has shown that the mucus lining of the respiratory system – the body’s first defense against respiratory disease – undergoes significant changes in response to stress, which may help explain why calves are so likely to get respiratory disease.

Thus, each time the calf is moved to a new pen, calves are subject to a period of stress for one to two weeks. If we move the calf three times, then each time we move the calf the same increased susceptibility to disease occurs. If the calf stays in the same physical pen, and unfamiliar calves are moved into the pen, a less severe stress response occurs.

Repeatedly regrouping calves is not only labor-intensive, but you may not be improving your chances of having disease-free calves: (a) you are repeatedly stressing your calves, and (b) if you have a disease in one pen, by regrouping you may move the disease to another, larger, group of calves.

Fall is in the air: Avoid additional stress

Autumn often signifies ambient temperature fluctuations between day and night, not to mention shifting weather patterns. The seasonal temperature swings mean one more thing for cattle: additional stress, resulting in increased coughing and decreased productivity.

Not everyone has environmentally controlled barns for rearing cattle, making management changes more difficult for those raising calves outdoors or even in covered “cold” facilities. When you see that the weather is going to be fluctuating greatly, try to avoid adding to a calf’s stress load. Weaning itself is a stress on calves, so minimize the number of other additional things going on in the calf’s life at the same time, such as changing the diet, moving, grouping or dehorning.

While some factors (like weather) are out of our control as calf raisers, there are some steps we can take to proactively help minimize stress:

• Carry out only one stressful event at a time. This allows for a calf’s immune system to cope instead of having stressful events “piled” on which can lower immune function. Spreading stressful events over time can be inconvenient, but maybe not as inconvenient as treating a sick calf later.

• Consider spreading out vaccinations. Consult with your veterinarian regarding the timing of your vaccination program in order to get the full benefit of product(s) you are using.

• Utilize Aureo S700 1-2 weeks prior to weaning through 2-3 weeks post weaning (a 28-day program). Aureo S700 is an effective combination of Aureomycin and sulfamethazine fed for 28 days to calves and heifers during transition periods. Aureo S700 is typically available in two concentrations to mix with calf starter feed: Aureo S700 2G: 1.75 lbs medicates 10 head and Aureo S700 3.5G: one pound medicates 10 head.

For more information on managing calf and heifer transition stress, or implementing Aureo S700 into your feeding program, contact your Alpharma Account Manager, or e-mail uscattlemarketing@alpharma.com.

For more information on “Tips of the Week,” call 877-HEIFERS (877-434-3377), or visit www.calfandheifer.org.

To submit a tip, email info@calfandheifer.org or call 636/449-5077.

Study shows benefits of Bt corn to farmers

A group of agricultural scientists reported in today’s issue of the journal Science that corn that has been genetically engineered to produce insect-killing proteins isolated from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) provides significant economic benefits even to neighboring farmers who grow non-transgenic varieties of corn.

“Modern agricultural science is playing a critical role in addressing many of the toughest issues facing American agriculture today, including pest management and productivity,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  “This study provides important information about the benefits of biotechnology by directly examining how area-wide suppression of corn borers using Bt corn can improve yield and grain quality even of non-Bt varieties.”

The researchers estimate that farmers in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin received cumulative economic benefits of nearly $7 billion between 1996-2009, with benefits of more than $4 billion for non-Bt corn farmers alone.  The scientists estimated that in Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin, borer populations in adjacent non-Bt fields declined by 28 to 73 percent, with similar reductions recorded in Iowa and Nebraska.

The researchers attribute the collateral benefits enjoyed by non-Bt farmers to areawide suppression of corn borers stemming from long-term plantings of Bt-protected crops. Potato, green bean and other host crops also stand to benefit from areawide reductions of corn borers, the researchers note.   The team’s Science report also highlights the importance of the use of refuge crops—the planting of non-Bt crops adjacent to fields of Bt crops, providing a refuge to which the pests can retreat—and other strategies to slow the corn borer’s ability to develop resistance to Bt and thus maintain the insecticidal proteins’ long-term effectiveness.

The Bt proteins provide the plant with a built-in defense against attacks by the larvae of European corn borers and other insect pests.  Larvae that ingest the protein soon stop feeding and die, typically within 48 hours. In addition to reducing the use of insecticides that also can endanger beneficial insects, the Bt defense strategy helps prevent harmful molds from gaining entry to the plants via wound sites from borer feeding. Some of these molds, like Fusarium, produce mycotoxins that can diminish the value and safety of the crop’s kernels.

Bt corn debuted in 1996, and by 2009 was planted on nearly 55 million acres in the United States, accounting for nearly 63 percent of the total U.S. corn crop of 87 million acres. But no research groups had previously investigated the long-term impact of such plantings on corn borer populations on a regional scale, nor had there been any assessment of whether the use of the crop provided any sort of collateral benefit to adjacent or nearby fields of non-Bt crops.

The team was led by William Hutchison of the University of Minnesota and included Rick Hellmich, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist at the Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research Unit operated at Ames, Iowa, by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).  ARS is USDA’s principal intramural scientific research agency.  The team gathered 14 years’ worth of corn borer population data from Bt corn plantings and combined it with national corn production figures, including yields, prices and acreage planted.

In addition to ARS and the University of Minnesota, study participants included researchers from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Pennsylvania State University at State College, the University of Illinois at Urbana, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Iowa State University at Nashua, and industry researchers, among others.

Immigration enforcement up; Michigan dairy raided

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton announced record-breaking immigration enforcement statistics achieved under the Obama administration – including unprecedented numbers of convicted criminal alien removals and overall alien removals in fiscal year 2010.

In fiscal year 2010, ICE set a record for overall removals of illegal aliens, with more than 392,000 removals nationwide. Half of those removed – more than 195,000 – were convicted criminals, the report said.

Since January 2009, ICE has audited more than 3,200 employers suspected of hiring illegal labor, debarred 225 companies and individuals, and imposed approximately $50 million in financial sanctions—more than the total amount of audits and debarments than during the entire previous administration. For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.

ICE agents arrest Michigan dairy farmers

The Huron Daily Tribune reported Michigan police and ICE officials raided a Michigan dairy on Oct. 6, taking the dairy’s owners into custody for allegedly hiring illegal immigrants. Owners of Aquia Dairy, Johannes and Anthonia VerHaar, were arrested on federal charges stemming from allegations that they “defrauded the government” following an ongoing investigation by ICE. They were arraigned in U.S. District Court in Bay City, Mich., on charges they “encouraged and induced an alien to reside in the United States in violation of the law,” allegedly “concealed, harbor or shield(ed) from detection such alien,” and allegedly “aided and abetted in the commission of such acts.”

Golden Calf introduces ColoQuick

Golden Calf Co. LLC released the ColoQuick product line, a colostrum management system. ColoQuick was developed in Skive, Denmark to give producers a simple, fast, and safe means of using their own colostrum. For more information, phone: 715-658-1792; e-mail: andy@goldencalfcompany.com or visit  www.GoldenCalfCompany.com

Farm Works expands product offerings

Farm Works Information Management, a division of Trimble, introduced three new products for growers and agribusinesses:

• Farm Works® Mobile streamlines data management in the field by bundling record keeping, scouting, soil sampling, and variable rate application.  Field records include application dates, hybrid locations, field and weather conditions, scale tickets, and notes.  In addition, users can take advantage of GPS to record soil sampling positions (by grid or zone) and easily navigate to any spot using a 3D display.  The Farm Works Mobile software will operate on any field computer with Windows® Mobile, XP, Vista, or 7.  When using field computers with built in digital cameras for scouting, such as the Trimble® Juno™ or Nomad™ handhelds, images of weeds or pests can be captured while geo referencing their location in one step.

• Farm Works View, an addition to the Farm Works office suite, is a free software program designed to read and write data from popular farming devices.  Display and print yield maps, coverage maps, guidance paths, and more.  View can easily be upgraded to other Farm Works software solutions for additional functionality in mapping, field records, accounting, herd management, analysis, and water management.

• Farm Works 2011 is the latest version of Farm Works office suite.  Features include automatic display of roads and streets for any location in the world; automated seed variety layer that includes the ability to track split planting information; and full support of formula-based variable rate prescription maps

For more information, phone: 800-225-2848 or visit www.farmworks.com.

Spectronics portable, rechargeable UV lamp

The B-260 is a battery-operated, long-wave UV lamp used to inspect rodent contamination and aflatoxin.

Spectronics Corporation has introduced the B-260, a battery-operated, long-wave UV lamp used to inspect rodent contamination and aflatoxin on grains, feed, seeds, and other crops used for human and animal consumption.

Thel unit is equipped with a 6-volt rechargeable battery, an AC charger and a charging cord. Made of a durable, high-impact plastic housing, the lamp features  a stainless-steel tube guard that protects against accidental breakage.

For more information, call 800-274-8888 or visit www.spectroline.com.


Select Sires Introduces Select Detect

Select Sires Inc. unveiled the latest in precision reproductive management, Select Detect™, at World Dairy Expo. Select Detect is a technologically-advanced activity monitoring system developed by Dairymaster, a manufacturer in Causeway, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

Select Detect is a revolutionary combination of intelligent software and nanotechnology that uses activity levels to determine the onset of estrus. The system filters the activity based on herd-mate comparisons and alerts the herd manager of high or low activity. Data is displayed in real time, pinpointing the onset of high activity for proper timing of insemination.

The system is a component of Select Sires’ exclusive Select Reproductive Solutions™ (SRS™) program.

For details about Select Detect, visit www.selectsire.com or contact your Select Sires representative.

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