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Mycotoxins can be the source of several important herd health problems ranging from reduced feed intake to suppressed immune response. With consequences like these, it pays for producers to manage — and prevent — mycotoxins before contaminated feed hits the bunk.

Yet prevention isn’t always possible and ensuring rumen function is maximized can help head off herd health problems, notes Anthony Hall, MSc MSB, PAS, Technical Services, Ruminant, with Lallemand Animal Nutrition.

“Mycotoxins are produced by specific molds, which are impossible to entirely avoid in the process of growing and storing crops for cattle feed,” Hall says. “Ruminants are actually more resistant to the effects of mycotoxins than monogastric animals like pigs and poultry. However, the toxins can disrupt rumen function in important ways.”

Researchers have found that mycotoxins can cause lactic acid to build up, which can result in Sub Acute Ruminal Acidosis (SARA). SARA is a sustained period of time with lowered pH levels in the rumen. When SARA occurs, the animal’s ability to use the ration efficiently is impaired and can lead to other, more serious, health problems like laminitis. This research may explain why acidosis and laminitis are also commonly observed when mycotoxins are a problem.1

“SARA is simply an occupational hazard for the modern dairy cow, and mycotoxins are just one of the reasons it can occur,” Hall says. “The costs from SARA are estimated at $1.12 per cow daily,2,3 which can quickly add up.”

Mycotoxins can accumulate on plants in the field, during harvest, storage or feedout of silage. To reduce exposure, the first step is to reduce or eliminate mold growth in silage production. Mold growth can occur in hot spots where there is air present. This is typically in poorly sealed surface layers of ensiled forages.

“Proper silage management is key to reducing the presence of all kinds of molds, including those that produce mycotoxins,” Hall notes. “Plus, there are great benefits to good silage management beyond preventing mycotoxin production, including improved dry matter recovery and better quality feedstuffs.”

Hall recommends producers discard any visibly mold silage and to help minimize spoilage place, he recommends using proven silage inoculants. For example, silage inoculated with Lactobacillus buchneri 40788 will be more resistant to heating and spoilage as this organism reduces yeast levels, which improves feed stability. L. buchneri 40788 applied at 400,000 CFU per gram of silage or 600,000 CFU per gram of high-moisture corn (HMC), has been uniquely reviewed by the FDA and allowed to claim improved aerobic stability.

If contaminated feed manages to reach the feed bunk, it’s important animals’ rumen function is maximized. Producers can include a research-proven active dry yeast (ADY) probiotic in the ration to help achieve this goal.

“ADY probiotics that include the strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-1077 have a high capacity to increase pH and fiber digestibility in the rumen,” Hall notes. “Probiotic feed additives can help improve rumen function and increase fiber digestion. This can help avoid reduced production due to a number of herd health challenges, including mycotoxins.”

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BRATTLEBORO, Vt., March 22, 2017- Holstein Foundation would like to introduce two new trustees to the board; Brett Barlass, Hilmar, Calif. and Marilyn Easter, Laurens, S.C. The board oversees the direction of the Holstein Foundation's youth and young adult educational and leadership development programs. 

After graduating from Cornell University, Barlass started working for Yosemite Jersey Dairy in California as the dairy’s manager. His responsibilities include overseeing all aspects of the dairy including calves, cows, employees, farming, and feeding.  Barlass is involved with the local 4-H Dairy Club. He serves as a member of the Jerseyland Sire, Young Sire Selection committee.  He is a member of the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association Advisory Committee and the American Jersey Cattle Association Type Advisory Committee. Presently, Brett is the vice president of the California Jersey Cattle Association. He volunteers with the local high school wrestling program. 

“I am honored to be joining the Holstein Foundation board of trustees.  I know that its goal is to promote and support youth in all breeds across the dairy industry,” says Brett. “Young Dairy Leaders Institute (YDLI) was such a life changing program for me and I hope to help the Holstein Foundation continue to change lives in programs like YDLI.”   

Easter and her husband, Glen, milk Registered Holstein and Jersey cows on their dairy, Eastglen Farm. She served on the YDLI committee from its inception in 1991 to 2011. Marilyn enjoys giving back to her community, serving as her county’s chairman of the Lauren’s County Registration and Elections Board and as the speaker of the Southeastern United Dairy Industry Association. She was recently inducted in the South Carolina Dairy Hall of Fame. Furthermore, Easter has been involved with many youth related activities, as the past chairman of the All-American Open and Junior shows, past president of the South Carolina Master Farm Homemakers Guild and past president of the South Carolina 4-H Volunteer Leaders Association and a leader since 1964. 

 “I am most humbled and honored to be asked to serve on the Holstein Foundation board of trustees which supports numerous programs that continue to develop the future leaders of the dairy industry,” states Marilyn. “Having been involved with the YDLI program for 20 years and seeing the results of this leadership program, it is inspiring to me to have the opportunity to work with the Foundation and have an impact on the future direction of Foundation programs.” 

For more information on the Holstein Foundation and the programs offered, visit, or contact Jodi Hoynoski at 800.952.5200, ext. 4261 or by email,

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Price trends deliver competitive boost and optimism for 2017. 

Cheese price trends have been working in favor of U.S. suppliers for nearly two quarters, and markets suggest more of the same in the months ahead. Recent price shifts support U.S. competitiveness, but time will tell whether that edge helps deliver export gains..........

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Congress begins its deliberations on the next farm bill, improvements to the dairy Margin Protection Program must be a top priority for lawmakers, said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, who spoke today before the House Agriculture Committee.

During the farm bill hearing on Capitol Hill, Mulhern told committee members that the dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) is failing to live up to its intended role as a viable economic safety net for farmers, and that a series of changes is needed to restore dairy producers’ confidence in the program. Mulhern’s full testimony can be found here.

“While MPP was, and is, the right approach for the future of federal dairy policy, the program in its current form does not provide meaningful safety net support to the nation’s dairy farmers,” Mulhern said. 

The MPP is designed to allow farmers to insure the gap between milk prices and the cost of purchasing feed for dairy cattle. Farmers can choose to pay higher premiums for additional levels of margin coverage, although a decreasing number have elected that approach as they saw the program underperforming. The MPP will continue to falter “without action by this Congress to move it closer to the program it was originally proposed to be,” Mulhern said.

Since its creation in the 2014 farm bill, the MPP has offered little effective support to dairy farmers, resulting in dwindling participation in the program. To rectify that problem, Mulhern shared with the committee members the recommendations to improve the MPP that NMPF’s Board of Directors unanimously approved earlier this month.

NMPF’s proposal includes a series of adjustments that will affect the way both feed prices (including corn, alfalfa and soybean meal) and milk prices are calculated. The most needed improvement is restoring the feed cost formula to the one originally developed by NMPF, he said. During Congress’s deliberations in 2014, lawmakers implemented a 10-percent cut to the weightings of all three feedstuff components of the MPP feed cost formula, due to what turned out to be an inaccurate budget score from the Congressional Budget Office. The resulting feed formula “understates the price to farmers of producing 100 pounds of milk, thereby overstating the actual margins farmers are experiencing,” Mulhern said, adding that the Agriculture Committee “got the calculation right the first time,” and thus needs to restore the MPP feed formula to its original level. Margins using the current formula are approximately $1 per hundredweight higher than they would be if the original feed formula were in place.

NMPF is also asking that Congress direct the Agriculture Department to obtain more precise data for the prices dairy farmers are paying for corn, soybean meal and hay, while also collecting better data for the price farmers receive for milk. These changes will more accurately reflect the true margin dairy producers are experiencing, Mulhern said.  

The other NMPF recommendations include: Improving the affordability of the program’s premiums; changing the timing of payments and annual enrollment to be more farmer friendly; and expanding the use of additional risk management tools, such as the Livestock Gross Margin Program, to complement the risk management offered by the MPP safety net. 

“We look forward to working with this committee to enact these changes in the next farm bill,” Mulhern said.

His testimony also addressed an issue of great concern to many in the dairy community: the need for immigration reform. The importance of immigrant workers to the U.S. dairy industry cannot be overstated, Mulhern said. At least 50 percent of the U.S. dairy farm workforce is comprised of foreign-born labor. Because the seasonal H-2A visa program does not apply to dairy farms with a year-round demand for labor, Congress must provide the agriculture industry with an effective guest worker program to meet its future needs, while also providing a way to address current workers with improper documentation. 

“Without access to a steady and reliable workforce, our industry will not be able to survive, let alone thrive, in the future,” Mulhern said.

Mulhern also touched on trade’s impact on dairy, which has expanded considerably in the last decade. The United States has gone from exporting less than $1 billion of dairy products in 2000 to a record $7.1 billion in 2014 – an increase of 625 percent. Because of this, Mulhern said, the United States must preserve and enhance successful elements of its free trade agreements, such as its partnership with Mexico, America’s No. 1 dairy export market. The federal government should also work to rectify problematic trade issues, such as Canada’s protectionist attempt to undermine its trade commitments to the United States, and the European Union’s attempts to co-opt the use of common food names like parmesan and feta. 

“If we aren’t in the game actively negotiating on these issues, we are ceding ground to our competitors and those looking to make it tougher for us to do business in their markets,” said Mulhern. 

Mulhern’s testimony also stressed the need for congressional support for the DAIRY PRIDE Act, introduced by Reps. Peter Welch, Mike Simpson and Sean Duffy in the House, and Sen. Tammy Baldwin in the Senate. The legislation would force the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to enforce its long-standing rules defining the composition of products that use the term “milk.”

Mulhern said that plant-based alternatives lack real milk’s consistent level of nutrition, and that in the absence of proper labeling enforcement, increasing numbers of nutritionally inferior dairy imitators will lead to confusion in the marketplace.

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DFA Today: Tuesday, March 21, 2017

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March 21, 2017


GlobalDairyTrade update

Today’s GlobalDairyTrade (GDT) event yielded mixed results across commodities and contract periods. The total volume of products purchased was 49.6 million pounds, up 375,000 pounds from the previous event. 

Whole milk powder (WMP) contract price changes were mostly positive. The total volume of WMP sold was up nearly 2 million pounds from the previous event, totaling 31 million pounds.
Skim milk powder (SMP) prices experienced the most weakness. In the previous event, the amount of SMP sold nearly doubled after an announcement indicating volume would be added to the GDT auction. Today, however, the amount of SMP sold declined slightly despite lower prices.
Nearby GDT butter contract prices increased, with the April contract settling at the highest butter contract price on record. 

Top milk-producing states update

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture's February Milk Production report, among the top 10 milk-producing states, all states maintained their rankings from the previous report.
Compared to February 2016, these 10 states produced an additional 288 million pounds of milk and account for 77 percent of the total increase in U.S. milk production.* 
*Leap-year adjusted 

Daily Market Update

Provided by DFA Risk Management


  • CME Group Class III milk futures increased as much as 53 cents per hundredweight, with the most strength in the second quarter. Increases in the CME cash block and barrel cheese markets supported nearby CME cheese and Class III milk futures. After setting a 10-month low last week, CME cash block cheese has increased 7 cents to $1.43 per pound. 
  • Despite an unchanged CME cash nonfat dry milk (NFDM) market, nearby CME NFDM futures strengthened. The GDT SMP price declined 10 percent on average between May and August 2017. Over the same time period, CME NFDM futures increased, settling at 89 cents per pound, up 1½ cents on average. 

Grains and other markets

  • CME soybean futures increased through 2018, despite reports of increased production expectations in Brazil. Gains were strongest in the later months, with September and November 2017 CME soybean futures each up more than 4 cents to $10.05¼ and $9.98¼ per bushel, respectively. 
  • CME corn futures settled lower through 2018. Favorable weather forecasts for the rest of the year contributed to the declines. July CME corn futures settled at $3.68¾ per bushel, down 2½ cents.
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            One of the industry’s premier organizations for producer education held its

            annual business conference in Madison

             By John Oncken

John Oncken is owner of Oncken Communications, Madison, Wis., and publishes Agri-Dairy Business Letter every other week. For subscription information contact him at 608-222-0624, or by email at This report is taken with permission from the Mar. 18 edition.


There was something going on every moment of the two-day annual PDPW Business Conference held Mar. 15 and 16 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis., including: 74 expert speakers & producer panelists, 61 individual education sessions, 4 Keynote Sessions, 25 Specialty & Breakout Sessions, 15 Learning Lounge Sessions, 12 NEW Research Previews, 5 Hands-On Labs and near 200 commercial and educational exhibits.  Add in the annual banquet, meals, ice cream and of course, the talking among old and new friends and you have more than any attendee could fully participate in.

Subjects ranging from “Advanced dairy production to “Tying the knot; the ins and outs of marital law” drew crowds. I sat in on the “Dairying without rBST” offered by Dr. Gordie Jones, independent dairy consultant and partner at the 3500-cow Central Sands Dairy at Nekoosa and Dean Strauss of Majestic Crossing Dairy at Sheboygan Falls. They did not offer a simple solution to the average 7 pound per day milk loss when rBST is stopped – just top management.  Jones emphasized a few things I've not heard often spoken about: “Cows must never be more than four hours away from their feed and stall,” Jones says. “Over 56% of the milk flow is not because of the ration; good beds make more milk; many free stalls are built wrong; they must be easy to get into and out of; sand bedding will add six pounds of milk.”

He also has studied the effect on cattle when not using rBST and finds lower cell counts, less hospital time and higher pregnancy rates. But says, “We've made other changes in our dairy over the years.” Jones concluded by saying: “Everything you do has an effect (good or bad) on the cow and you can make up the loss of production rBST gave.”

As always, I spent a lot of time talking to producers and suppliers about the extended low dairy prices and as always didn't find much doom and gloom from either. Susan Barsness came to the conference from Starbuck, Minn., where she, husband, Pader, and family milk 140 cows at Barsness Dairy. “We're doing OK,” she says. “We built a new barn with a Double-6 parlor in the late ‘80's, we control our costs, aren't afraid to buy good used equipment and don't carry any debt. And yes, we did put away some money during the high milk price years knowing that the price would go down eventually.”

 “Our health insurance is very expensive but our great dairy processor, 1st District Association, will shortly be offering a new plan that will really cut our premium,” she says. (Note 1st District Association is a cooperative based in Litchfield, Minnesota that began operations in 1921.)

Lonnie Holthaus and his family have been milking 300 cows near Fennimore, Wis., for the past 15 years or so. “We started from scratch and had to buy everything.” Lonnie says. “I had been working in the dairy equipment sales business for DeLaval and BECO until I contracted Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) and found it difficult to walk or stand for long periods” (Note - GBS is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. Symptoms include varying degrees of weakness in the legs.)

Lonnie is the manager and computer whiz with sons Jeremy and Josh, a herdsman and six employees taking care of the herd. “We milk 3X and 6X on fresh cows and have a 33,500-pound herd average,” Lonnie says. “It's a matter of good water, good air, cow comfort and good management. He admits that because they have only owned the farm for a relatively short time, low milk prices are a challenge.”

My discussion with three construction companies brought the same answers: We are still building, they say. If dairy producers need a barn, parlor, calf facility or whatever, they still go ahead. They want to keep the operation current and modern – you can't just stop. One builder said “last year we did a lot of remodeling and expansion for existing customers, this year we have jobs with first time customers – I'm not sure what it means.” “The low milk price is a challenge too many dairy producers,” David Kappleman and Jeff Wilke, ag lenders at Denmark State Bank said. “We've done some loan adjustments and are working close with our dairy borrowers – it's farms of all sizes, big, middle size and large. A dairyman can't control his price but we can help improve farm financial management.

It was a great two days for producers of all sizes, all ages and of varying management skills. It was also an audience of top farmers – that's the kind that come to meeting where there is a lot of learning going on. I remember well my days as a county extension agent in Clark county and how it was always the top farmers that came to educational meetings – those who needed the help stayed home. It remains so.

Three new members were elected to PDPW board of directors: Andy Buttles milks 1200 cows with his wife Lyn at Stone-Front Farm, Lancaster; Katy Schmidt, Fox Lake, milks 500 cows on 2,000 acres at Tri-Fecta Farms Inc. with her siblings Kari and Nick; and Steven Orth, at Orthland Dairy, Cleveland, milks 800 cows on 1600 acres with his mother Maxine and brother Joel. A final note – the annual banquet was indeed an event as directors from past and present, advisors and staff were introduced – we wondered if the stage was strong enough to hold them up – it did. True, I didn't know what the future was going to be 25 years ago, when I attended that first conference – now I know. You can get more info at and perhaps become a member. Why not?

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VISALIA, CALIF. – The North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge® (NAIDC) and Dairy Challenge Academy will bring together 234 students in Visalia, Calif., March 30 – April 1, 2017. Students from 37 colleges across the U.S. and three Canadian provinces will put their textbook knowledge to work by evaluating a dairy operation and developing recommendations.

“Dairy Challenge is the largest gathering of collegiates pursuing a dairy-related career,” said Amy te Plate-Church, NAIDC board chair. “Our upcoming event in California will provide excellent educational, communication and networking opportunities to help develop tomorrow’s dairy leaders and enhance the progress of the dairy industry.”

This year, 144 students will compete as 36 four-member teams in the national contest, and 90 students will participate in the Dairy Challenge Academy. Between the national contest and Academy, collegiate participants will visit seven dairy farms in the surrounding Central Valley.

Contest participants will evaluate an operating dairy farm, analyze farm data and ask questions of farm owners. Then each team develops recommendations, which will be presented to farm owners and a panel of five judges. At a concluding banquet, eight college teams will be announced as award winners, meaning their recommendations most closely match those of the official judges. Students participating in the Dairy Challenge Academy have a similar mission to evaluate and provide recommendations for an area dairy; however, Academy participants work on mixed-university teams and dairy industry professionals serve as Academy Advisors to mentor them during their discovery and analysis.

Dairy Challenge is funded through the generous support of 130 agribusinesses and dairy farms. Dairy Challenge was started 15 years ago through cooperation between universities, dairy producers and agribusinesses. The event expanded in 2013 with the Dairy Challenge Academy, providing hands-on learning where teams of students evaluate a dairy operation with the help of dairy industry professionals serving as Academy Advisors.

In addition to the national competition and Academy, students will also participate in other educational and networking activities such as interactive stations on a tour farm, presentations on research and industry trends, and interaction with agribusinesses in a career fair.

Supporters can follow the student activity through posts and photos at @DairyChallenge on Twitter and Instagram.

About Dairy Challenge

NAIDC is an innovative event for students in dairy programs at North American post-secondary institutions. Its mission is to develop tomorrow’s dairy leaders and enhance progress of the dairy industry by providing education, communication and networking among students, producers, and agribusiness and university personnel. Over its 15-year national history, Dairy Challenge has helped prepare more than 5,000 students for careers as farm owners and managers, consultants, researchers, veterinarians or other dairy professionals.

In addition to the national competition and Dairy Challenge Academy held in March/April, four regional contests are held in late fall and winter; details are at

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'Knowing Conditions' Critical First Step in Heat Stress Management

Boothwyn, PA, March 21, 2017 – Kestrel Weather Instruments announces four pioneering tools designed to accurately measure heat stress conditions wherever cattle are housed, and provide cattle-specific guidance to farmers and ranchers seeking to minimize heat stress losses in their herd. The 5400AG Cattle Heat Stress Tracker, 5000AG Livestock Environmental Meter, 5500AG Agriculture Weather Meter and Drop D2AG Livestock Monitor are unique in the industry and provide invaluable and timely alerts when it is time to implement heat stress management plans. Typically, once cattle display clear signs of heat stress, losses in productivity and health have already occurred. Left unaddressed, heat stress can progress to the death of the animal, sometimes with little warning. Awareness based on knowing local conditions accurately is key to preventing these losses.

The Kestrel 5400AG Cattle Heat Stress Tracker [$699.00] measures every traditional weather parameter such as wind speed, temperature, humidity and heat index, as well as livestock specific measurements such as Temperature-Humidity Index ("THI"), Heat Load Index ("HLI") and Accumulated Heat Load Units ("AHLU").  One little understood aspect of cattle heat stress is that they actually retain body heat over multi-day/night heat events, worsening the health impacts. The newest model of cattle heat stress, AHLU, tracks this effect and the Kestrel 5400AG puts it within reach without laborious data collection and spreadsheets. Simple menu picks customize the model for breed and age of cattle and pen conditions and the Kestrel tracks heat accumulation for days, weeks or months. The Kestrel 5400AG offers great flexibility because it can be used as a handheld meter to perform regular spot checks throughout an operation, capturing readings in memory, or it can be mounted near any group of cattle with the included Vane Mount where it becomes a cattle-specific heat stress weather station. Unit includes Kestrel LiNK® wireless data transfer and can connect to a tablet or smart phone running the Kestrel LiNK app, automatically gathering data for graphing and review and pushing email alerts to signal crucial times to implement heat stress management plans (cellular or Wi-Fi internet connection required).

The Kestrel 5000AG Livestock Environmental Meter [$269.00 / $329.00] is designed for farmers, ranchers, veterinarians, transporters and other livestock professionals who need a multi-purpose environmental monitor without HLI and AHLU. With built-in THI readout as well as the other basic weather and environmental readings and logging, plus optional Kestrel LiNK connectivity and Kestrel Vane Mount, this meter is the perfect companion for any professional responsible for the care and health of livestock.  The Kestrel 5000AG also provides air flow measurements to quickly quantify air movement in the vicinity of livestock, locate drafts, measure fan effectiveness, and confirm duct discharge velocity.

The Kestrel 5500AG Agriculture Weather Meter [$319.00 / $399.00] is a comprehensive meter for condition monitoring and recordkeeping on the farm, ranch, or in the field. The Kestrel 5500AG provides data for risk identification, environment assessments, and action plan development. This meter includes THI, compass for direction, and Delta T, an additional measurement to aid spraying applications. Based upon ambient temperature and dew point, Delta-T provides guidance on the evaporation rate of sprayed chemicals.  New products that improve weed control also require stewardship and knowledge of environmental factors before and during application to reduce the risk of drift.  Many spray application labels require adherence to environmental parameters such as temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and direction, all available on the Kestrel 5500AG. The Kestrel 5500AG also provides air flow measurements to quickly quantify air movement in the vicinity of livestock, locate drafts, measure fan effectiveness, and confirm duct discharge velocity.

The Kestrel DROP D2AG Livestock Heat Stress Monitor [$99.00] is a tiny waterproof data logger that tracks conditions in both indoor and outdoor locations. The DROP could not be easier to use. Simply hang it in place by the sturdy D-ring and it immediately starts to measure and store temperature, humidity and THI. Use the Kestrel LiNK application to read each DROP and retrieve the stored data with iOS or Android mobile devices from up to 100’ away. And, just as with the 5400AG, use an internet connected device to send email alerts when user-settable thresholds are reached.

All four of these devices are just the sort of hard-working multi-purpose tools that farmers and ranchers appreciate. The Kestrel 5400AG, 5000AG, and 5500AG are full-featured weather meters that can be used to check winds before spraying, pick ideal conditions for harvesting, and measure ventilation system air flow (5000AG and 5500AG only). The Kestrel DROP D2AG can also monitor hay and grain storage areas for excess heat or moisture, and track heat or cold conditions in chicken and swine houses, trailers and transport trucks.

"Kestrel has been at the forefront of providing human heat stress monitoring instruments for athletes and first responders for years. When we learned that heat stress costs our dairy and beef industries millions of dollars a year, we knew we could help. We’ve partnered with the leading researchers in the field to provide easy access to cattle-specific guidance for when animals are likely to start suffering ill effects from heat. Management plans such as changing feeds, providing shade and ventilation, limiting stress, and increasing hydration can all be effective, but only if they are started early enough," said Alix James, CEO at Kestrel.  "By using these simple and affordable tools as step one in their heat stress management plans, we know our customers will be equipped to keep their valuable animals healthier and maximize their bottom line. Kestrel weather meters have been trusted farm partners for decades, and we’re proud to have added this key capability to our lineup."

For more information about cattle heat stress costs and management, visit Kestrel’s informational minisite,

About Kestrel Weather & Environmental Instruments

Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meters are manufactured by NK, which has been researching, developing and manufacturing technically advanced environmental instruments for more than 15 years and owns multiple patents on their unique features. Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meters are employed by thousands of users in hundreds of demanding activities around the world. Every Kestrel meter is pocket-sized, rugged, accurate, waterproof, easy-to-use, and backed by an industry-leading five-year warranty. Available measurements include wind speed, air flow, temperature, humidity, wind chill, heat stress index, pressure, altitude, wind direction, air density and wet bulb temperature. Advanced models in the Kestrel 5 Series add high-capacity data-logging with on-screen graphical recall and optional Kestrel LiNK® wireless data transfer to computers and smart phones as well as built-in calculators for specialized requirements, such as ballistics firing solutions for long-range shooting and evaporation rate for concrete placement. Every Kestrel meter is designed, developed, built, tested and supported entirely in the USA. NK is proud to be both a recognized leader in Lean manufacturing and process improvement and an award-winning top workplace.

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ARLINGTON, Va., March 21, 2017 - The American Feed Industry Association will hold a Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance "Preventive Controls for Animal Food Course" July 18-20, at the Inn at Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee. 
"FDA's rules require at least one preventive controls qualified individual for each facility," said Gary Huddleston, AFIA director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs. "The FSPCA developed this in-depth curriculum to help facilities meet that requirement. AFIA is pleased to present this training as a benefit to our members as well as the entire feed industry."
A PCQI is defined as someone who has successfully completed training in the development and application of risk-based preventive controls at least equivalent to that received under a standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration, or otherwise qualified through job experience to develop and apply a food safety system.  
The course material is the "standardized curriculum" recognized by FDA as adequate for preventive controls qualified individual training. The course will cover:
  • Overview of the Food Safety Modernization Act requirements for animal food;
  • Current good manufacturing practice requirements;
  • Animal food safety hazards;
  • Overview of the food safety plan;
  • Hazard analysis and preventive controls determination;
  • Preventive controls management components;
  • Process controls;
  • Supply-chain applied controls; and 
  • Recall plans.
The course is ideal for facility and regulatory employees who will be designated PCQIs or part of a PCQI team. Successfully completing the course is one way to meet the requirements for a PCQI. 
"Our goal is for participants to leave the training with a better understanding of how to create an animal food safety plan specific to their facility. They will be recognized by the FSPCA for completing the course and will receive a certificate," said Huddleston. 
To register, click here.
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MADISON, N.J., March 21, 2017 – In the wake of the devastation recently caused by the wildfires in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado, Merck Animal Health has announced it will donate $20,000 to help support communities impacted by the fires. The Kansas Livestock Foundation, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation, the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (TX) and Colorado Farm Bureau Foundation Disaster Relief Fund will each receive $5,000 to assist in the recovery and rebuilding efforts. 

            “For many in these communities, the land and cattle are their livelihood and some have been left with nothing,” said Shannon Kellner, Associate Vice President, Food Animal Business. “These farmers and ranchers are more than just our customers; they are our neighbors and friends.”

            In addition to the scorched earth and destruction left in the fires’ wake are the cattle showing signs of inflammation and upper respiratory tract irritation due to smoke inhalation, both of which have left these cattle stressed and even more susceptible to other significant health issues. Merck Animal Health is shipping much needed product, ZuprevoTM and Resflor® (florfenicol and flunixin meglumine), to help address the growing health issues in these areas.

            “I’ve been a veterinarian for many years and I’ve never seen this kind of devastation and incredible impact on the health of the cattle and we’re doing everything we can to bring as much support and relief to the producers and veterinarians in this area,” said Tim Parks, D.V.M., Merck Animal Health. “This is about doing the right thing for our friends and neighbors and Merck Animal Health has definitely stepped up the plate in their time of need.”

            Within the four states, the wildfires have impacted countless cattle, devastated hundreds of thousands of acreage, destroyed homes and ranches, and even resulted in some tragic deaths.

About Merck Animal Health

For over a century, Merck has been a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit or connect with us on LinkedIn,Facebook and Twitter at @MerckAH.


Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA

            This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantees with respect to pipeline products that the products will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that they will prove to be commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

            Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

            The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (


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March 2017 - In This Issue:
Judi Radel, dairy farmer from Duncannon, works with her son, Bill, to map their farm. The Centers for Dairy and Beef Excellence partnered with local conservation districts to host a series of farm mapping workshops across Pennsylvania. The workshops help farmers write Ag Erosion and Sediment Control plans that meet baseline ag compliance. Learn more here
Student Leader Scholarship Applications Available
The Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Dairymen's Association offer ten $3,000 scholarships to undergraduate students. To qualify, students must demonstrate a commitment to working in the dairy industry in the future and be enrolled in a related undergraduate major. Applications due June 1Learn more here
Pennsylvania Dairy Farmers Invited to Apply for PA Preferred Membership
Pennsylvania dairy farmers are invited to apply to for PA Preferred status. There is no cost to the process that starts with a 1-page application. Participation from your farm will allow the Center for Dairy Excellence and the PA Preferred program to recognize your impact in the community through social and digital promotions. To apply, click here.
March Safety Share: Snow and Barn Roof Collapse
The March Safety Share reminds us to monitor snow load on barn roofs and steps to take in the event of a collapse. Learn more here.
Monthly Safety Shares remind producers and others in agriculture of how closely we have all come to tragic accidents on the farm. If you have a Safety Share to offer, please email it to Stephanie.
Protecting Your Profits Recording Now Online
This month's "Protecting Your Profits" conference call with Alan Zepp, dairy risk management program manager, will provide an update on changes in margins, LGM-Dairy and Margin Protection program results and how it impacts your marketing plan. The call is scheduled for Wednesday, March 29, at 12 p.m. To register, call 717-346-0849 or email Melissa Anderson


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Dairy Trend Analyzer Program Available to Dairy Farmers and Consultants
Interactive, Web-based Tool Can Help Your Farm Identify Bottlenecks and Improve Production
In the Dairy Trend Analyzer Program, producers and consultants can register to compare a dairy's performance indicators with other dairies in a particular group. The program will allow you to compare DHI records in the Northeast to historical trends for your farm or your client's farm.
To check out the program as a guest user, click here. You will be prompted to enter a username and password. Please use "guest" as the username and "guest" as the password. 
To register, complete the online registration form and submit to Melissa Anderson. Questions? Click here or call 717-346-0849.
Dairying for Tomorrow Award Applications Available from ADA North East
Award Program Recognizes Regional Dairy Farmers
American Dairy Association North East (ADA North East) has created the Dairying for Tomorrow award to recognize local dairy farmers and showcase on-farm practices that will help sustain the dairy industry now and in the future.
Ideal Dairy Farms, Hudson Falls, NY
2016 Dairying for Tomorrow Winner
Nominations are being accepted in three award categories: animal care, community & consumer outreach and environmental stewardship. Farmers may nominate themselves, or an organization, neighbor or colleague may nominate a farm.
Deadline to submit nominations is April 30, 2017. For more information, and to submit nominations, click here
Friday, March 24 and 25Stockmanship Roadshow 2.0
Join Dr. Don Hoglund for Live Cattle Handling Demonstrations and Training Session in Lancaster or Grove City. Participation qualifies for Beef Quality Assurance Re-Certification and/or Level 2 training. 
Learn more here

April 5: Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow Spring Farm Tour
High School students interested in dairy industry careers are invited to attend a day-long tour of two farms in southwest Pennsylvania. Students must be registered by Wednesday, March 29.
May 12, 16 and 19: Dairy Industry Roundtable Meetings
Five mealtime meetings will be hosted across Pennsylvania to collect feedback and input on resources from dairy industry professionals. Field representatives, nutrition consultants, lending agents and all industry representatives are invited to participate in informal discussions.
Learn more here.

September 13: Dairy Financial and Risk Management Conference

Save the date for the annual conference to be hosted at the Central Penn Conference Center in Enola primarily for agriculture lenders and financial professionals. Attendees will hear from industry experts on challenges and opportunities in dairy business.
Center and Foundation 2016 Annual Summary Available to Sponsors and Partners
The 2016 Joint Annual Summary for 
the Center for Dairy Excellence and Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation is available for viewing. 
The theme, "Fostering Collaboration and Capturing Opportunity" embodies and the story of our year and focus of our achievements. You'll find program statistics, updates from staff members, and financial reports in the summary. 
Click here for the 2016 Annual Summary. 
ADSA to Host Workshop on Impact of Raw Milk Quality on Dairy Products
The workshop will be hosted in advance of the American Dairy Science
Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh on Sunday, June 25. 
The workshop will enhance understanding the impact of production practices on raw milk quality and subsequent impact on finished dairy products.This workshop is appropriate for all dairy producers and dairy processors who wish to understand how farming practices affect the quality of dairy products and learn strategies to improve dairy product quality.
The workshop runs from 10 am to 3 pm, and lunch is included in the $75 registration fee. You do not need to be an ADSA member to register for this workshop, and you do not need to register for the full ADSA conference to attend this workshop. 

Register for the workshop online here or by calling 217-356-9050.

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Proactive Communication Workshop
Thursday, April 6, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Foremost Farms USA, E10889 Penny Ln, Baraboo, Wis. 
Exclusive to dairy farmers, this training is focused on building a proactive communication plan for your farm, which the end result will be growing the public's confidence in what you do every day.

Key training points:
  • Evaluate your business mission, goals and objectives
  • Discuss community engagement actionables, specific to your dairy
  • Build a robust, living community relation program
Leave this session armed with a proactive communication plan for your dairy.  Your target audiences, messages, activities, timing and expenses neccesary to execute a plan and the metrics to evaluate your activities will all be in your communication plan.
Your Trainer: 
Renea Heinrich, Counselor at MorganMyers
From farming roots, Renea has advocated for agriculture in a multitude of roles, including being named the 44th Alice in Dairyland.  Renea is a public relations counselor for MorganMyers, a strategic communications firm. As part of her work, Renea leads the Illinois Farm Families account team in managing a farmer image-building campaign marketing to Chicago consumers.
Member Registration Rate: $125/person/session
Non-Member Registration Rate: $250/person/session
Registration fee covers workshop, materials and lunch.

820 N. Main St., Juneau, WI 53039 |800.947.7379 |
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DFA Today: Monday, March 20, 2017

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March 20, 2017


US milk production increased

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the February Milk Productionreport. The report indicated milk production was down 209 million pounds (1.2 percent) to 16.7 billion pounds compared with the prior year. Despite this reported decline, adjusting for leap year resulted in milk production increasing 2.3 percent using a 28-day month for February 2016.

The U.S. dairy herd size was reported at 9.4 million head, up 56,000 cows (0.6 percent) compared to the prior year.
Milk per cow was reported at 1,782 pounds, a decrease of 33 pounds (1.8 percent) compared with last year. Adjusting for leap year, milk per cow increased 1.7 percent using a 28-day month.

CWT accepted 22 requests for assistance

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) accepted 22 requests for export assistance from member cooperatives to sell 3.5 million pounds of cheddar, Gouda and Monterey Jack cheeses to customers in Asia and Oceania. The product has been contracted for delivery through June 2017.
Year to date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives who have contracts to sell 19 million pounds of American-type cheeses, and 1.4 million pounds of butter to 12 countries on four continents. The sales are the equivalent of 207 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis. 

Daily Market Update

Provided by DFA Risk Management


  • CME Group Class III milk futures weakened through the first quarter of 2018, with the second-half 2017 average settling 21 cents per hundredweight lower on average. Declines in CME dry whey and cheese futures factored into this weakness. The second-half 2017 CME dry whey futures average decreased 1¾ cents, to 36¼ cents per pound. 
  • CME cheese futures declined ahead of USDA's Milk Production report. The second-half CME cheese futures average declined 1 cent per pound.  
  • Despite an unchanged CME cash butter market, CME butter futures declined through November, with the most weakness in the April 2017 contract which declined 2½ cents per pound.

Grains and other markets

  • CME cattle markets strengthened, despite last week’s reports of increased slaughter rates. April CME feeder cattle futures settled at $132.45 per hundredweight, up $8.70 from March 1, and the highest price since August.
  • CME crude oil futures were pressured by reports of increased number of U.S. oil rigs. In addition, stronger oil output by Saudi Arabia is also offsetting Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) commitment to reduce production. May CME crude oil futures settled at $48.91, down $5.37 per barrel since March 1, and its lowest since November 2016.
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How to make better decision in stressful situations 

Dairy producers in the United States are feeling the stress of volatile markets, increasing regulation and consumer demands. During stressful times, it can be easy to let emotions overtake rational thinking, which often leads to poor decision making. Dr. Chris Canale, Cargill U.S. dairy technology manager, offers these tips to ‘hold the line’ when it comes to making decisions:

1)      Utilize a systematic review approach.

“Have a disciplined approach to decision making. Write out all pros and cons and discuss them with a trusted advisor. Make sure you always follow the approach to help limit gut reaction decision making.”

2)      Detach yourself from the emotion.

“Removing the emotion from a decision can be very difficult, but it’s something that must be done. When our emotions take over, it can cloud our judgement, and lead to a decision we likely would not have made. Following a systematic review can often help keep rational thinking at the forefront when emotions are attached.”

3)      Evaluate the decision before, during and after you make it.

“Evaluate decisions, especially ones that are significant, to improve future decision making. Don’t just evaluate the outcome though, look back and assess your motivations; did you make the decision for the right reasons? Assess your process: did you stick with your system, or did something cause you to deviate? Confront emotions: Were sentiments or stress under control, or heavily influencing you? By taking the time to evaluate these things you will be better able to hold the line the next time you’re under pressure to make a significant decision.”

Cargill’s technical specialists work directly with producers to understand their nutrition and business needs to feed their dairy dreams.  Visit to see how Cargill helps dairies thrive.

Dr. Chris Canale presenting at a producer meeting in Pennsylvania.

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Catalog Helps Meet On-Farm Manure & Nutrient Management Needs

ROSEMONT, Ill. – Farmers and other industry professionals have a new resource when searching for up-to-date information about manure and nutrient management technologies with the Newtrient Technology Catalog. The free catalog is available online at Newtrient’s website to help the nation’s nearly 42,000 dairy farmers and others meet the unique manure management needs for their individual farms.  

The catalog, which can be accessed by simply entering your name and email at the site, includes a “treasure trove” of useful information. This includes a unique Newtrient Technology Scoring System that helps farmers assess important aspects of manure-related technologies and the markets available for on-farm, manure-based products. “Our scoring system helps farmers identify which technologies and vendors offer the best solutions for their farm and business goals,” said Steve Rowe, CEO of Newtrient. 

Scoring is based on predetermined criteria, including commercial viability, economic and industry value, and transparency and customer satisfaction. “This scoring system recognizes the importance of having technology assessment criteria that is applied commonly across all manure-related processing equipment,” Rowe explained. “The catalog also draws attention to those technologies that deserve special attention as fully established helpful tools, or as interesting emerging technologies.”

Scoring criteria and Newtrient’s evaluations of the technologies are managed by the company’s Technology Advancement Team. This team includes experts in manure and nutrient management, business development, environmental science, nutrient recovery and conservation, and academia. Scores are determined based on a review of information provided by individual vendors, conversations with vendor personnel, and case studies and personal interviews with customers and technology providers. Vendors also can provide additional information to Newtrient’s team to reevaluate scores periodically.

According to Rowe, this catalog is the right resource at the right time as the industry continues its commitment to environmental stewardship and continuous improvement. “Newtrient’s member companies know that implementing economically viable technology solutions that help protect our natural resources matters to dairy farmers and their customers. This catalog helps us achieve that mission.”

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(STONEY CREEK, ONTARIO): Agri-Plastics has hired Paul Prekup as Canadian Sales Manager, according to owner Darren VanBuuren. 

“Prekup’s depth of knowledge in the dairy industry is a valuable asset for Agri-Plastic customers,” said VanBuuren. “His expertise will help our distributors, dealers and dairy producers achieve top results in calf rearing and animal husbandry.”

Mr. Prekup has worked in a variety of positions related to milk quality and animal health in both dairy equipment and veterinary capacities. He also holds a degree from Ridgetown College in Advanced Dairy Science. His role at Agri-Plastics will include supporting the growth of the Agri-Plastics product lines and solutions through its dealer network and valued dairy producers.

Agri-Plastics, “The calf housing specialists,” is a leading manufacturer of calf housing solutions for dairy producers worldwide with a solid reputation for reliability and durability. Owned and operated by third-generation dairy producers, the company offers innovative products designed to maximize calf health and comfort. For more information, call (905) 945-3116 or visit

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GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (March 21, 2017) — ASV LLC, an industry-leading manufacturer of all-purpose and all-season compact track loaders and skidsteers, offers the Posi-Track RT-30 compact track loader as a heavy-duty commercial machine in a small package. The radial lift loader is the industry’s smallest sit-on model yet features the same productivity-enhancing qualities as larger ASV machines. This includes highly efficient hydraulics and cooling systems as well as best-in-class low ground pressure. In addition, the RT-30 provides a safer, more productive alternative to walk-behind and sit-on mini skidsteer loaders. The ASV unit’s small size makes it ideal for contractors, rental centers and homeowners looking for a commercial-quality, compact machine for work in tight spaces for applications such as landscaping, snow removal and construction. 

ASV featured the RT-30 during CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 and at The Rental Show.

“This is not an entry-level machine. We designed it to our standards of maximum performance with no compromises,” said Jim DiBiagio, ASV general manager. “We built the RT-30 as a tough piece of equipment that’s ready to be used every day, all day. This unit provides contractors and rental centers an addition to their fleet for work that requires small size but serious quality.”

The 3,600-pound RT-30 is 48 inches wide and has an 8.4-foot lift height. Its compact size and 10 inches of ground clearance minimize risk of property damage or damage to the machine while working in hard-to-reach areas, whether clearing snow on sidewalks and through alleys or while completing landscaping or construction work in high-density housing areas.

The machine’s size also optimizes it for the rental market as the compact track loader is easy to transport on a trailer pulled by a pick-up truck. It is simple to operate, making rental customer training easy, including homeowners who can use it in backyards and eliminate manual labor. In addition, the RT-30 features easy serviceability as a result of a single-door system that allows fast access to the engine, filters and other daily checkpoints. This means faster rental turnaround and less downtime for contractors. 

The RT-30 offers a safe alternative to similarly sized walk-behind and stand-on skidsteer loaders. The ASV unit’s cab provides rollover protection and protects the operator from outside elements. The cab’s seat also eliminates the fatigue that comes from standing. In addition, the compact track loader also features more ground clearance and lower ground pressure than similarly sized machines on the market.

The RT-30’s industrial diesel engine provides more torque than smaller gas or diesel engines common in mini skidsteer loaders.

“The RT-30 is safer, less tiresome and more productive than mini skidsteer loaders,” said Bill Wake, ASV director of product development. “The unit features all of these benefits while being similarly priced to premium walk-behind and stand-on options.” 

ASV builds the RT-30 from the ground up. The innovative undercarriage features ASV’s patented Posi-Track rubber track suspension. The single-level suspension is made up of two independent torsion axles per undercarriage, allowing for a smooth ride over every type of terrain at speeds as fast as 5.7 mph. In addition, the multiple wheel contact points and central drive lug virtually eliminate track derailment and facilitate maximum performance on steep slopes. The RT-30 comes standard with 11-inch-wide tracks, resulting in the industry’s lowest compact track loader ground pressure of only 3 psi. This means minimal risk of damage on delicate surfaces such as turf and allows for extra flotation and traction over surfaces such as ice, mud, snow and brush. 

The RT-30 features an open-rail and drive-sprocket design, resulting in longer sprocket and bogie life along with easier and faster undercarriage cleaning than with competitive steel-embedded undercarriages. ASV manufactures rollers with mechanical face seals that don’t require maintenance for the life of the machine. The tracks are produced using a single-cure process, eliminating cure-point weaknesses that can lead to premature breakage. In addition, the tracks are strengthened with embedded co-polymer cords. This allows for a 1,500- to 2,000-hour track life — 30 percent more than steel-embedded track units. ASV backs the track life with an industry-leading two-year, 1,500-hour track warranty. 

The RT-30 features a 32.7-horsepower Perkins 1.5-liter diesel engine that produces 64.39 foot-pounds of torque. Planetary drive motors transfer the torque to the patented internal-drive sprockets. Internal rollers prevent friction loss in the undercarriage, resulting in all power being transferred to the track regardless of drive speed.

ASV built the RT-30’s auxiliary hydraulic system to operate efficiently with a 10 gpm pump capacity and 3,000 psi. The machine includes large line sizes, hydraulic coolers and direct-drive pumps — rather than belt-driven pumps — transferring more flow and pressure directly to the attachment and preventing power loss.

The RT-30 features a rated operating capacity of 665 pounds and a tipping load of 1,900 pounds. Standard joystick controls make operation easy and intuitive. Operators can choose from a full line of attachments built for the RT-30 and its quick-attach plate, such as buckets, snow blades, snow blowers, augers, trenchers and pallet forks. In addition, buyers can fit the unit with an adaptor plate to accept standard skidsteer attachments. An optional turf track allows for operation on highly manicured surfaces, such as golf course greens, with minimal risk of damage.

For more information on the RT-30 and available options, visit ASV LLC’s websites: or Interested in seeing the equipment for yourself? Visit a dealer near you.

CUTLINE: ASV LLC offers the Posi-Track RT-30 compact track loader as a commercial machine in a small package.


CUTLINE: The ASV Posi-Track RT-30’s small size allows it to excel in tight areas in industries such as landscaping, snow removal, rental and construction.


Suggested Tags: ASV LLC, Compact Track Loaders, RT-30, Rubber Track Undercarriage, Construction, Landscaping, Snow Removal, Rental Equipment


About ASV

ASV LLC, a joint venture between Manitex International Inc. and Terex Inc., designs and manufactures a full line of compact track and skidsteer loaders primarily for the construction and forestry markets. Located in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, ASV LLC was created from the former ASV Inc., a company that started in 1983 and was one of the pioneers in the compact track loader industry. ASV LLC designs and manufactures compact track loaders and skidsteers under the ASV brand. ASV builds its compact track loaders using unique and patented Posi-Track undercarriage technology that provides exceptional traction on soft, wet, slippery, rough or hilly terrain. For more information: ASV LLC, 840 Lily Lane, Grand Rapids, MN 55744; call 800-205-9913; fax 218-327-9122;; www.asvllc.comwww.positrack.comFacebook.

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New Prague, Minn. (March 21, 2017) The April 28 Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council (DCRC) webinar features ovulation synchronization (Ovsynch) programs, the basis for most timed artificial insemination (AI) programs in dairy cows in the United States.  Richard Pursley, Michigan State University (MSU) professor of animal science, will provide an update on these valuable pregnancy rate enhancement tools. The webinar starts at 1 p.m. Central Time.

Dairy cattle reproduction physiology researchers work to understand the mechanisms underlying substandard pregnancy rates. Applied reproductive research programs strive to control ovarian physiology to optimize fertility of lactating dairy cows. Through their studies, researchers develop and use information to improve the fertility potential of Ovsynch.  

With this strategy in mind, reproductive physiologists have developed programs that increase the odds of pregnancy from approximately 30 percent, following standing estrus, to approximately 45 percent. These programs – G6G, Double Ovsynch and Presynch-10 or 11 – are known as “fertility programs.” These fertility enhancements provide additional benefits, including delaying time to first service, cutting pregnancy losses and reducing twinning. 

The 2017 webinar series provides information-packed forums every other month. These highly regarded sessions offer attendees from across the United States and around the world access to high-quality information and interaction with industry experts from the comfort of their farm or office. 

The webinars feature highly rated topics from previous DCRC Annual Meetings, as well as other areas of importance. For the first time, DCRC will offer a webinar in Portuguese, which is slated for Oct. 27.

Like last year, DCRC will offer a webinar in Spanish on Dec. 15. Each webinar begins at 1 p.m. Central Time. 

For more information, e-mail Pablo Pinedo, DCRC education committee chair, at or e-mail DCRC at Special thanks goes to Zoetis for sponsoring this webinar.

The Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council is focused on bringing together all sectors of the dairy industry – producers, consultants, academia and allied industry professionals – for improved reproductive performance. DCRC provides an unprecedented opportunity for all groups to work together to take dairy cattle reproduction to the next level.

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