Updated Dec. 9, 2013.
To have your news included here, please send potential news links, press releases, or articles to Dave Natzke at email@example.com.
Veterinarians – are you looking to improve upon the services you provide your producer clients? Learning the basics or advanced skills of bovine ultrasound are key to providing thorough diagnostics during herd health visits. BCF Technology, the manufacturer of Easi-Scan, is sponsoring a veterinary continuing education course on ”Practical Reproduction Ultrasound” in Lodi, California on January 10, 2014.
Dr. Jill Colloton will lead a lecture followed by a hands-on wet lab where attendees will gain valuable, cow-side, ultrasound training and experience. This course is RACE approved for 6 CE credits. And we’ll even throw in lunch! Course fee is $200 and limited to 10 participants.
At the course you will gain in depth knowledge of the benefits of bovine pregnancy diagnosis with ultrasound, fetal and embryonic loss, twin diagnosis, ovarian structures, and basic fetal sex determination.
Visit the learning section of the BCF website for registration information and other details.http://bit.ly/1jHk1m3
This course is being held in conjunction with the UC-Davis Large Animal Symposium being held on January 11, 2013 at the university. The symposium will host Dr. Temple Grandin, advanced ultrasound topics, and other CE seminars. Make the most of your time by attending both events. (1 hour away from Davis, CA and both are even closer to Sacramento).
Panhandle Farm and Ranch Management Symposium set for Dec. 4
AMARILLO – The 29th annual Panhandle Farm and Ranch Management Symposium will be held Dec. 4 by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service during the IDEAg Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show at the Amarillo Civic Center.
Registration will be from 1:15-1:45 p.m., with a fee of $10 per person, said Rick Auckerman, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent in Deaf Smith County.
Three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units will available: two general and one laws and regulations.
The following are topics and speakers scheduled:
- Useful Information, Tools and Resources to Optimize Irrigation Management, Dr. Dana Porter,
AgriLife Extension ag engineering specialist-irrigation and water management, Lubbock.
- Nitrogen Management for High Plains Wheat – Is Your Top Dress N Late?, Dr. Calvin Trostle,
AgriLife Extension agronomist, Lubbock.
- Nutrient Uptake in Your Corn Crop, Paul Wayland with Wilbur-Ellis, Dimmitt.
- Balancing Forages with Stocking Rates, Dr. Tim Steffens, assistant professor of range management, West Texas A&M University, Canyon.
- Laws and Regulations, Steven Boston, Texas Department of Agriculture inspector, Lubbock.
The conference will conclude at 6 p.m. after continuing education paperwork is completed.
AgriLife Extension sets Dec. 5 Farm Bill Update in Abilene
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will hold a Farm Bill Update from 9 a.m.-noon Dec. 5 at the AgriLife Extension office in Taylor County, 1982 Lytle Way.
The update, which is free and open to the public, is being held in conjunction with the regular monthly meeting of the Taylor County Marketing Club, said Robert Pritz, AgriLife Extension agent in Taylor County.
“Dr. Joe Outlaw, co-director for the Agriculture and Food Policy Center and an AgriLife Extension economist at College Station, will discuss what is taking shape as a result of the House-Senate conference committee meetings,” Pritz said.
“While they haven’t reached a full agreement yet, there is more agreement than disagreement at this point,” Outlaw said.
Other speakers are Dr. Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension state grain marketing specialist at College Station and William Thompson, AgriLife Extension economist at San Angelo. Welch will be discussing the differences in crop insurance coverage between yield protection and revenue protections policies, and how both policy types use the futures market to determine coverage levels.
“A solid understanding of crop insurance is absolutely necessary to successfully navigate the new direction Congress has taken in providing a safety net to agriculture,” Pritz said. “This program will be ideal for those still needing some guidance in this somewhat complicated area.”
Thompson will end the session with a demonstration of an online decision aid available to producers, designed to help them through the complexities of signing up for the new program. The program allows them to integrate commercial crop insurance with provisions of the new farm bill.
For more information, contact Pritz at 325-672-6048.
CDL XII class visit DMI
The six-member California Dairy Leaders Class XII traveled in September to Chicago, Indianapolis and Washington D.C. during the fourth session of the comprehensive dairy industry leadership program.
For the first time, this year’s class members were treated to a day with Dairy Management Incorporated (DMI) in Chicago. Time was spent discussing new brand partnerships to promote the consumption of dairy products domestically, the exploration of an expansion into foreign markets, a tour of the brand-new social media newsroom, as well as a workshop on the different types of social media we could use to tell the story of our farms. Following the day with DMI the class traveled to Indianapolis to learn from Elanco. Hosts provided the group a day of discussion on emerging technologies, dairy’s role in reducing hunger worldwide, a tour of the facility and a workshop on the six practices of persuasion.
The tour of D.C. began with a visit to National Milk Producers Federation and the US Dairy Export Council, Where the group had the opportunity to learn much more about NMPF’s legislative work, the revitalization of the “REAL” milk seal, and USDEC’s work opening in the area of export markets.
Our next stop was at the USDA, where the group discussed dairy policy, FMMO and the impending Farm Bill with Under Secretary Ed Avalos and Dana Coale of the AMS-Dairy Marketing Branch. The Under Secretary shared with us his concern for the industry as a whole, and related that he has witnessed the tough dairy economy first hand in his home state of New Mexico.
Two days were spent on Capitol Hill discussing a variety of issues with members of the California delegation. Topics ranged from Farm Bill, immigration reform, to trade and ethanol policy. The lawmakers and staff were from a variety of backgrounds and political affiliations, but all were sensitive to our concerns. The group was very fortunate to spend an evening with California congressman David Valadao discussing the above issues over dinner and an evening tour of the Capitol.
California Dairy Leaders Class XII members are: Elysha Bergwerff, Bergwerff Farms Inc., Oakdale; Deanna Martin, USDA Farm Service Agency, Stockton; Katherine Nissen, Nissen Dairy Inc., Escalon; Paul Van Puijenbroek, De Snayer Dairy, Lodi; Cristina Vieira, A&C Vieira Dairy, Turlock; Melissa Lema, Western United Dairymen, Ferndale.
MJC springer sale is Oct. 26
Modesto Junior College is holding its 14th registered and grade springer dairy heifer sale on Saturday, Oct. 26 at the MJC West Campus ‘ACE’ Pavilion. Viewing will be at 11 a.m. with lunch served at noon by Yosemite Farm Credit. The auction will begin at 1 p.m. There will be 40-plus quality bred and springing heifers’. There will also be a silent auction. A catalog will be available soon online at: www.mjcag.com.
For more information or for a printed sale catalog please call Bill Hobby, MJC dairy science instructor at (209) 575-6053 or email him at; firstname.lastname@example.org.
WUD legislative update
Source: Western United Dairymen
Legislation that would provide direction to the Secretary of Food and Agriculture regarding study areas in the dairy marketing programs were stymied but remain alive in the legislative process. Authors of bills include Assemblyman Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced), Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton), Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto), and Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres). One bill moved out of the Senate unanimously to the Assembly only to be held up by a negative Appropriations Committee ruling.
The Dairy Institute of California has retained a Sacramento lobbying firm to thwart provisions introduced by producer organizations that would have brought needed amendments to California’s Class 4b pricing formula. Provisions would specifically tie a dry whey value factor to reported dry whey values, similar to that found in federal milk marketing order pricing formulas.
Dairy legislation will be revisited in January 2014, upon the Legislature return to session.
Water board adopts reissued WDR for dairies
The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board on Oct. 3 adopted Reissued Waste Discharge Requirements General Order No. R5-2013-0122 for existing milk cow dairies. A copy of the Reissued Dairy General Order may be downloaded at www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralvalley/water_issues/dairies.
The water board was mandated by a court order to set aside the Dairy WDR adopted in 2007 and reissue the Order once it complied with the court's writ of mandate. The reis-sued order strengthens the language within the document and makes it clear that the practices that dairy producers having been implementing for several years meet the requirements of the State's antidegradation policy. One of the requirements of the antidegradation policy is that permitted facilities implement Best Practicable Treatment or Control (BPTC) practices. The reissued order explains in greater detail how the existing requirements meet BPTC. For example, the reissued order clarifies that for existing ponds that the process of BPTC is an iterative process of evaluation and assessment and the implementation of management practices and/or activities that may be necessary to further protect water quality. For those dairies that are members of the Representative Monitoring Program (RMP) that program will continue to meet the requirement for groundwater monitoring.
AgriLife Extension Multi-County Estate Planning Seminar set for Nov. 14 in Baird
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offices in Callahan, Shackleford and Taylor counties will conduct the Multi-County Estate Planning Seminar beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 14 in the Baird Activity Center, 208 Walnut Street in Baird.
Jerry Warren, AgriLife Extension agent in Callahan County, said the program’s main speaker will be Mark Zachary of McMahon Surovik Suttle Attorneys of Abilene.
“The program will include a presentation on estate tax laws in 2013,” Warren said. “Other topics will address estate planning for farmers and ranchers, and the use of family limited partnerships in estate and asset protection planning.”
Individual registration is $10 due upon arrival. Those planning to attend should RSVP to any of the participating AgriLife Extension offices: Callahan, 325-854-5835; Shackelford, 325-762-2232, Ext. 7; or Taylor 325-672-6048.
Texas A&M creates Texas-size genomic grant program
Intending to empower the next generation of cutting-edge genomics research, members of The Texas A&M University System have contributed monies to create the largest internally funded genomics research grant program of its kind, officials said.
The funds, totaling $1.26 million, come from Texas A&M University and its College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Dwight Look College of Engineering, Division of Research, Whole Systems Genomics Initiative and Texas A&M Health Science Center, along with the A&M System’s Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station.
“This is truly an exciting period at Texas A&M. We are bringing together world-class scientists from across the system to explore the very foundations of life and solve some of the greatest challenges facing mankind, from human health to world hunger. This program serves a unique role for our scientists, providing those all-important funds to grow our genomics and bioinformatics research programs” said A&M System chancellor John Sharp. “Joint efforts such as this pave the way for basic and applied research discoveries that will benefit all of humankind.”
Grants from the fund will target the generation of preliminary data, building collaborative teams and/or training programs in genomics and bioinformatics, according to Dr. Charles D. Johnson, director of Genomics and Bioinformatics Services for AgriLife Research, and associate director of the A&M System’s Center for Bioinformatics and Genomic Systems Engineering.
“The program goals are to provide faculty with preliminary results for future grants submissions that will allow them to begin using or expanding their work in human, plant and animal genomics and the associated societal challenges,” Johnson noted.
The program will include a suite of four subcategories of grants. Each category focuses on a specific funding need. The details and request for proposals for the individual grant programs and eligibility requirements will be announced in the coming weeks.
• Texas A&M Genomics Seed Grant: Funding for next generation sequencing and bioinformatics support through the AgriLife Genomics and Bioinformatics Service.
• Genomics Technology Seed Grant – Funding computational and systems biology research, and genomics and computer technology development through the Engineering Experiment Station and Look College.
• Whole Systems Genomics Initiative Catalyst Grant: Supporting genomic research spanning discovery science to the ethical, social, legal and policy challenges that arise as new genomic discoveries profoundly impact animals, people and the environment on a global scale.
• Genomics of Plant Water Use: Funding for next generation sequencing and bioinformatics support through the AgriLife Genomics and Bioinformatics Services.
Questions about the overall program should be directed to Johnson at 979-862-3287, Charlie@ag.tamu.edu.
Ag plastics recycling conference planned
A two-day conference on agricultural plastics recycling will be held Feb. 4-6 2014 in San Diego. Sponsored by The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance, the conference is aimed at agricultural plastics recyclers, plastics manufacturers, and those who develop or sell plastic cleaning, baling or processing equipment.
Sessions include global recycling markets, emerging routes for recycled plastics, cleaning, collection logistics, information exchange and policy roundtables.
Participants also have the opportunity to share information about a product or process of interest to the agricultural plastics community.
For more information about the conference contact The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance at 11327 Gravois Road, #210, St,. Louis, MO 63126, (314) 849-9137 or email: email@example.com. Visit the web site http://tpsalliance.org.
The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance is a non profit organization that brings together technical experts, researchers, pesticide applicators, regulators, the crop protection industry and hazardous waste industry, agricultural plastics recyclers and environmental and public health advocates to support improvements in the stewardship of pesticides and agricultural plastics in the United States and internationally.
Top O’ The Morn Farms wins first place national milk honors
Top O’ The Morn Farms, Inc., a farm-fresh bottled milk home delivery company located in Tulare, CA received two prestigious awards at the World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest in Madison, Wis.
Top O’ The Morn Farms took first place with Reduced Fat White Milk in the Open Class Pasteurized Milk category and third place in the Low-fat Chocolate Milk category with Reduced Fat Chocolate Milk. The wins capped off a stellar year for the company, which was started by Ron and Evie Locke in October 2012 as a glass-bottle home delivery milk business in the heart of California’s dairy country and now delivers fresh milk and other dairy products in six cities.
Corn oil production by Pacific Ethanol
Pacific Ethanol of Sacramento has a new revenue stream flowing from its plant in Stockton’s inland seaport industrial park.
It’s corn oil, being made with Visalia-based Edeniq Inc.'s “Oil Plus” proprietary process.
"We are pleased to be producing corn oil at our Stockton plant,” says Neil Koehler, Pacific Ethanol’s president and CEO. “Corn oil is a high value co-product with multiple markets including animal feed and biodiesel. Corn oil production at our ethanol plants is an important strategy to further diversify our plant revenue streams and significantly improve operating income." Corn oil production by ethanol plants that use raw corn to make ethanol, is becoming more common in the industry.
DCC’s Mobile Dairy Classroom headed back to schools
The Dairy Council of California’s Mobile Dairy Classroom is kicking off 2013-14 academic year visits to elementary schools throughout California. The free farm-to-school learning program teaches students about the important role agriculture and milk play in their lives and health.
To help ensure students throughout California are able to experience the Mobile Dairy Classroom traveling assembly, numerous California dairy producers provide Dairy Council of California with cows and calves to bring to school campuses.
California dairy producers contributing cows and calves for this school year’s assemblies include: VanderSchaaf Dairy in Bakersfield; Sweeney Dairy in Visalia; Bay Meadow Farms and Cal Denier Dairy in Galt; Moonglow Dairy in Moss Landing; Hinkley Dairy in Hinkley; Ontario Ranch Holsteins in Chino; Moreda Valley Farms in Tracy; and Mission Viejo Future Farmers of America (FFA), Covina FFA, Santa Paula FFA and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
On average, Mobile Dairy Classroom conducts 170 assemblies a month throughout Southern and Northern California and in the Central Valley and Central Coast. Visit HealthyEating.org/MDC. If you are interested in providing a cow, call 310.342.6122.
NMC Annual Meeting is Jan. 26-28 in Texas
Make your plans now to attend the NMC 53rd Annual Meeting, to be held Jan. 26-28, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. The meeting is expected to draw about 400 people from around the world to share information and network with friends and colleagues.
A schedule of events, list of short courses, and an outline of the general sessions can be found on the NMC website. The detailed program will be available in mid-October. Information on how to register will be available at that time also. Watch the website, Facebook and Twitter for updates!
For a sneak-peak of the program, click here.
CDFA fertilizer research conference Oct. 29-30 in Modesto
A conference on managing agricultural nutrients will be held on Oct. 29-30 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto, Calif. The CDFA’s Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) and the Western Plant Health Association (WPHA) are teaming up again to present the conference. Presenters from academia, industry and agricultural consulting will provide general and technical information, current research data, and practical applications addressing statewide and regional nutrient management issues.
The agenda features updates on FREP’s technical education, research and outreach initiatives, including an update on the CDFA Nitrogen Management Training Program for CCAs, searchable FREP research database, crop fertilization guidelines, and a wide range of other FREP funded research projects.
Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) and Pest Control Adviser (PCA) continuing education units (CEUs) are available for both days of the conference. Registration fees are $90 per day or $175 for both days. Currently enrolled students pay only $50 per day or $90 for both days.
To view the agenda, register online, and see the list of the approved CEUs, please visit the FREP conference website: www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/ffldrs/frep/FREP_Annual_Conference.html or by contacting FREP staff by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (916) 900-5022.
Pasture, Range and Forage insurance deadline Nov. 15
The deadline is nearing for Pasture, Range and Forage Insurance, designed to provide livestock and hay producers protection against acreage losses, said DeDe Jones, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service risk management specialist in Amarillo.
The 2014 sign-up and acreage reporting deadline for this program is Nov. 15, and notices of premiums due will be sent by July 1, Jones said.
“Insurance is a critical component in producers’ risk management portfolios during periods of drought or uncertainty,” she said. “This policy benefited many cattle producers around the Panhandle in 2011 and 2012 due to the low rainfall conditions.”
Payment is not determined by individual damages, but rather area losses based on a grid system, Jones explained. Producers can select any portion of acres to insure, but they must also choose a minimum of two two-month intervals or a maximum of six two-month intervals per year to insure.
Coverage levels between 70% and 90% are available, she said. Once coverage is selected, the producer chooses a productivity factor between 60% and 150%. The productivity factor is a percentage of the established county base value for forage.
The base value is a standard rate published by the Risk Management Agency for each county. It is calculated based on the estimated per-acre cost of grazing, Jones said. For example, Hansford County’s value is $8.11 per acre.
She said Texas uses a rainfall index to determine the insurance coverage. The rainfall index uses National Oceanic and Atmospheric Climate Prediction Center data and a 12-by-12 mile grid system.
A decision-support tool to help producers determine coverage levels and intervals can be found at: http://agforceusa.com/rma/ri/prf/dst.
For more information about the insurance and how it fits into a risk management plan, contact Jones at 806-677-5600 or email@example.com.
San Antonio International Farm and Ranch Show is Nov. 8-9
Farmers and ranchers can benefit from numerous educational opportunities during the San Antonio International Farm and Ranch Show, Nov. 8-9, at the Freeman Coliseum Expo Hall, San Antonio, Texas.
Sessions offering agriculture credits include a pre-show program on Texas Department of Agriculture laws and regulations, lake and pond management and predator management. Other sessions offering credits will include farming in the 21st century, managing winter forages, feral hog control and weed and brush identification using digital resources.
An agriculture workshop for veterans, a livestock show clinic for FFA and 4-H youth and an American Competitive Trail Horse Association obstacle challenge also will be offered.
Additionally, an event trade show will be open from 9 a.m.–7 p.m. both days, and a wine tasting and food pairing will be presented at 6 p.m. Nov. 8.
For more information, go to: http://www.farmandranchexpo.com.
Lower Rio Grande Valley growers invited to Texas AgXchange Farm and Ranch Show
The 2013 Texas AgXchange Farm and Ranch Show, conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research, will be held Oct. 2-3 at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds, Robstown, Texas. Live field demonstrations and the size of the event – with nearly 200 exhibits – provide Valley growers a good opportunity to see all the new technology available to help make their operations more profitable, he said.
The show will be open 9 a.m.-4 p.m both days. Topics at the AgriLife Extension educational conference on Oct. 3 will include integrated management techniques for handling and treating cattle parasites and rangeland brush, improving reproductive efficiency in the beef herd, pesticide laws and regulations, and potential impacts to ground and surface water quality associated with pesticide movement.
There is no admission fee for the show, annual AgriLife conference or field demonstrations.
Three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units, one in laws and regulations, one in integrated pest management and one general, will be available at no cost.
For more information go to the show website at www.TexasAgXchange.com.
Livestock groups hail passage of wildfire legislation
The Public Lands Council (PLC), the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Arizona Cattle Grower’s Association (ACGA) hailed the U.S. House of Representative’s passage of legislation that will improve federal forest management to prevent catastrophic wildfire and support rural economies. The Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, H.R. 1526, passed with resounding support on a 244-173 bipartisan vote. Sponsored by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), it includes measures from various previously-introduced bills designed to expedite the removal of hazardous fuels from national forests while simultaneously increasing the economic productivity of those forests.
H.R. 1526 includes measures to improve current forest management in a number of ways. It would expedite the regulatory review process in high-risk areas, allowing needed fuel-reducing activities such as livestock grazing and logging to go forward without delay; increase state and local involvement in wildfire prevention; and improve rural schools, infrastructure and overall economies by increasing timber harvests.
International Symposium on Milk Genomics and Human Health is Oct. 1-3
International researchers will convene Oct. 1-3, in Davis, CA, for the 10th International Symposium on Milk Genomics and Human Health.
The International Milk Genomics Consortium (IMGC) was initiated in 2004 by the California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF) and the University of California-Davis. The event provides a collaborative and interactive pre-competitive resource platform for those involved in the study and application of science in the fields of milk and lactation.
"The strategy of IMGC is to bring together scientists from around the world and across all disciplines to understand not just how milk is made, but why it's made," said Dr. Bruce German, professor, Director-Foods for Health Institute, Department of Food Science & Technology, UCD. "At the start of IMGC, less than 5% of the scientists had ever co-authored publications together; at the present, 45% of scientists have jointly authored publications."
For more information on the Consortium and the Symposium, as well as to sign up for the "SPLASH! milk science update" newsletter, visit: http://milkgenomics.org.
2013 KSU Agricultural Lenders Conferences set Oct. 8-9
Kansas State University’s Ag Lenders Conferences will be held at two location:
• Tuesday, Oct. 8, K-State Southwest Research Extension Center, Garden City, Kan.
• Wednesday, Oct. 9, International Grains Program (IGP) Conference Center, Manhattan, Kan.
K-State’s annual Agricultural Lenders Conferences are designed to provide the Kansas financial community with updates on current agricultural topics. For an agenda, download BROCHURE
Registration cost is $85 before Oct. 4; $95 after. For more information, contact Rich Llewelyn at 785-532-1504 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CDQAP North Coast workshops set for Oct. 8-10
The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP) will host another round of free educational workshops to help dairy producers comply with recently implemented North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (RB-1) water quality rules.
Dairy farms within the RB-1 region currently operate under one of three water quality permits, adopted in January 2012. All dairy producers – regardless of which RB-1 permit they are covered by – are encouraged to attend these classes.
The free “one-stop-shopping” producer-friendly workshops will largely focus on the submission of the first annual report, due Nov. 30, 2013. Dairy producers need to bring the following: CDQAP water quality binder; General Order (should be in the CDQAP binder); submitted Water Quality Plan (copy); groundwater monitoring results; surface water monitoring results (if not in a group program); and manure manifests.
Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance reservations are not required. Workshops will be held:
• Ferndale location: Oct. 8, 1:30-4 p.m., and Oct. 9, 9:30 a.m.-noon, Ferndale City Hall 834 Main Street, Ferndale.
• Rohnert Park location: Oct. 10, 9:30 a.m.-noon, 4-H Center, 6445 Commerce Boulevard, Rohnert Park.
The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP) is a voluntary partnership between dairy producers, government agencies and academia to promote the health of consumers, the health of the environment and the health and welfare of dairy animals. For more information call 209-525-6877.
CVDRMP seeks nominees
The Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program (CVDRMP) is seeking nominations for candidates for election to the board of directors. All CVDRMP members in good standing will receive a nomination form and instructions during the week beginning Sept. 23.
Five district seats and one at-large seat are open for election or re-election. A CVDRMP member may nominate himself/herself or any other CVDRMP member as a candidate within any given district. All nominations must be received at the CVDRMP office by Oct. 18.
Elections will be held by mail-in ballot in November and/or December 2013. Directors elected this year will serve from January 2014 through January 2016.
CVDRMP is a not-for-profit association of dairy owners and operators, organized to conduct a cost-effective groundwater monitoring program on behalf of its members. CVDRMP is governed by 12 elected directors serving two-year staggered terms, with half the seats up for election or re-election each year.
More information about CVDRMP (as well as a downloadable nomination form) is available at www.DairyCares.com/CVDRMP.
Dairy Producers of New Mexico set 2014 Annual Convention
The Dairy Producers of New Mexico scheduled its annual convention/trade show and golf tournament, June 6-7, 2014 in Ruidoso, N.M.
The Trade Show will be held at the Ruidoso Convention Center, June 6, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The golf tournament is June 7, 7:30 a.m., at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Golf Course.
Information/registration forms will be sent in April. To receive information/registration forms, email your contact information (name, company name, mailing address, phone number, fax number) to email@example.com.
CDFA introduces Ecosystem Services Database
The California Department of Food and Agriculture introduced the Ecosystem Services Database, available at http://apps.cdfa.ca.gov/EcosystemServices
Ecosystem Services are defined as the multiple benefits gained from farming and ranching, including crop and livestock production. Many of these benefits extend into environmental stewardship and conservation. For example, the maintenance of wildlife habitats, biodiversity enhancements on working lands, renewable energy use and production, increased nutrient cycling and storage, soil enrichment, water conservation, and support for pollinating insects are some of the benefits. A more comprehensive list of ecosystem service benefits in agriculture can be found at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/EnvironmentalStewardship/EcosystemServices.html
“California’s working farms and ranches are an important part of our natural landscape,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “The commitment to ecosystem services demonstrates clearly that beyond the productivity of fields and pastures, resource management decisions by farmers and ranchers provide us with wildlife and pollinator habitat, contribute to clean water and air, provide recreational and tourism connections, and much more.”
The database contains nearly 400 farms and ranches. It is intended to easily communicate to a broad audience the multiple benefits provided by agriculture in California. The database can be queried by key word, county, crop type, and type of ecosystem service. An interactive map allows users to view where the services are taking place.
The purpose of the database is two-fold. It helps the department discuss the multiple benefits provided by California agriculture, and it assists growers, ranchers, and stakeholders who want to learn more about ecosystem services.
Grain Sorghum Field Day is Sept. 25 at Tulare
A grain sorghum field day will be held Sept. 25 at the new College of the Sequoias farm, 4999 E. Bardsley, in Tulare. Tours begin at 10:30. Lunch and program will be at noon.
Growers will learn about the 2014 Grain Sorghum program for hybrids biofuels production, including seed options, agronomic information and best management practices for growing grain sorghum in California.
The field tours will feature four different sorghum hybrids that have been grown on 120 at the school farm. According to the USDA, there have been significant increases in sorghum production in the past two years due to the crop’s high tolerance to heat stress and as a double crop alternative to wheat. It can also be irrigated with dairy lagoon water.
Growers interested in attending the field tours can go to the web site www.chromatininc.com/seauoiasfieldday.html or call 1-855-SORGHUM.
California dairy digester proposals due Nov. 1
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and their partner agencies in the California/Federal Dairy Digester Working Group have announced a joint solicitation for dairy digester concept proposals.
California’s approximately 1.7 million cows produce more than 3.6 million dry tons of manure per year. Manure can be processed by anaerobic digesters to produce biogas, a flexible renewable source of energy. The ultimate goals of the collaboration are to see the widespread adoption of digester systems to better manage manure and nutrients, help address air and water quality concerns, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and produce renewable energy, fertilizer, and other value-added products.
“California farmers and ranchers are innovators by nature,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Dairy digester technology is an idea whose time has come, and that is largely due to work done right here on California’s dairy farms. We are at a point where focused funding can help us make the transition to wider adoption and implementation of digesters in our state.”
“Dairy digesters can benefit the environment by reducing greenhouse gasses and generating renewable energy”, said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “EPA is optimistic that this call for proposals will result in unique and innovative technologies that will benefit California, the nation’s number-one dairy state.”
In 2011, EPA, USDA and CDFA convened the California/Federal Dairy Digester Working Group. This partnership of state, federal and local agencies, academia, industry, non-profits and utilities came together to identify and remove barriers to the development and permitting of dairy digester systems in California. The work has culminated in specific recommendations to reduce the economic, technical and regulatory hurdles currently in place, making digester systems more feasible in the nation’s No. 1 dairy state (http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/EnvironmentalStewardship/pdfs/StatemntOfPrinciples-CA-FederalDairyDigesterWorkGroup.pdf). This joint solicitation for dairy digester concept proposals is another important result of the working group (http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralvalley/dairy_digester_proposal/).
Proposals should include development, installation and operation of dairy manure digester and co-digester projects and may include processes for the treatment and disposal of waste streams from the digester operations to address environmental impacts. Dairy digester and co-digester development is expected to take place on individual dairies or at centralized facilities located within California.
Funding may be provided by various participating agencies of the California/Federal Dairy Digester Working Group for proposals that are deemed most viable with the greatest measurable outcomes. Individual digester projects will have to qualify for funding on a case-by-case basis and projects can potentially receive financial support from multiple participants. To assist in identifying potential funding sources, the California/Federal Dairy Digester Working Group has put together a Funding Matrix document. The matrix identifies potential funding sources along with general criteria for the types of projects that would qualify for the funding. A copy of solicitation and the funding matrix can be found at http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralvalley/dairy_digester_proposal/dd_solicitation_guidance_v4.pdf
For more information on dairy digesters, visit http://www.calepa.ca.gov/digester/Dairies/default.htm and http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/EnvironmentalStewardship/Dairy_DigesterS.html
Top O’ The Morn Farms a winner at World Dairy Expo Dairy Product Championship
Top O’ The Morn Farms, Inc., a farm-fresh bottled milk home delivery company located in Tulare, Calif. recently received two prestigious awards at the World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest in Madison, Wis. Top O’ The Morn Farms took first place with Reduced Fat White Milk in the Open Class Pasteurized Milk category and third place in the Low-fat Chocolate Milk category with Reduced Fat Chocolate Milk.
The wins capped off a stellar year for the company, which was started by Ron and Evie Locke in October 2012 as a glass-bottle home delivery milk business in the heart of California’s dairy country and now delivers fresh milk and other dairy products in six cities.
“Our family has always taken pride in the milk our cows produce and the way we treat our animals. Now that we are processing and marketing our own milk it is an honor to receive this recognition. To do so against products from throughout North America makes us especially proud,” said Ron Locke, CEO of Top O’ The Morn Farms. “It really validates that our efforts have created a high quality and great tasting product.”
The World Dairy Expo Dairy Product Championship Contest received a record-number 820 entries for cheese, butter, fluid milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, sour cream, sherbet, cultured milk, sour cream dips, whipping cream, dried whey and creative/innovative products from dairy processors throughout North America.
Top O’ The Morn Farms beginnings start with Evie’s father, Fred De Boer, who was born in Friesland, Holland. In 1962, Fred and his wife Jennie, bought Top O’ The Morn Farms, in Southern California, and were quick to learn about the milk home delivery business. Fast-forward to 2000, Evie, their youngest daughter decided she wanted to re-establish the Top O’ The Morn Farms name. By 2004, she and her husband, Ron, were in the dairy business in Tulare. With a lot of heart and a tremendous amount of consumer research focusing on the growing interest in local and farm fresh foods, Ron pitched the family on the idea of bringing back the “cash and carry” business. Today Top O’ The Morn Farms delivers award winning milk to doorsteps and the Locke’s pride themselves on hearing from consumers that “this is how milk used to taste.”
Top O’ The Morn Farms bottles their milk in half gallon and quart glass bottles. Available milk varieties include white (2%, skim and whole), 2% Chocolate Milk, 2% Strawberry Milk, Half and Half, Heavy Cream and seasonal Eggnog. Top O’ The Morn Farms offers many other fresh, local products that customers can add to their weekly orders including jams and jellies by Farm Girl, European-style butter by Plugra, Borden Cheeses, Vintage by Bravo cheeses, dried fruits and nuts from The Naked Nut, Maverick Coffee, honey from Terra Bella, Cooksey eggs and barbeque sauce made with local honey.
Federal judge grants FDA request for consent decree with Idaho farm
Source: U.S. Food & Drug Administration
The U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho entered a consent decree of permanent injunction against owner Gregory T. Troost, doing business as T&T Cattle and T&T Cattle Pearl, and manager Mark A. Mourton of Parma, Idaho for violations including illegally administering animal drugs for uses that are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
During FDA inspections in January 2002, January 2006, September 2010, and October through November 2012, investigators determined that the defendants had violated several provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act). These violations included the failure to keep adequate medication records to prevent unsafe drug residues in cattle offered for slaughter, failure to review treatment records prior to offering an animal for slaughter, and the use of medications for unapproved uses not specified on the drug label and in a manner that does not comply with FDA regulatory requirements.
The defendants offered for slaughter seven dairy cows with illegal levels of drug residues. These included cows with tissues that tested positive for elevated levels of penicillin and sulfadimethoxine. Ingesting food containing excessive amounts of antibiotics and other drugs can cause severe adverse reactions among the general population even at very low levels and can harm consumers who are sensitive to antibiotics. To date, no illnesses have been reported.
The decree prohibits the defendants from selling animals for slaughter for human consumption until they have implemented record-keeping systems to identify and track animals that have been treated with drugs. These records must also note the drug used, dosage, time of administration and how long before slaughter the drug needs to be discontinued. If the defendants offer any animals for sale or slaughter, they also must provide written information about the animals’ drug treatment status to the recipient of the animals.
The FDA may order the defendants to cease operations if they fail to comply with any provisions of the consent decree, the Act, or FDA regulations. Failure to obey the terms of the consent decree could result in civil or criminal penalties.
‘Dairy Heat Stress Road Show’ travels again
The Dairy Heat Stress Road Show was a big hit two years ago and the road show will travel again in the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014 bringing new answers to the problem of heat stress in dairy cows.
Dr. Todd Bilby, dairy technical services manager with Merck Animal Health, said heat stress on dairies not only affects cow comfort, but also lowers milk production and fertility, which costs the dairy industry millions of dollars annually.
Surveys conducted of participants in the last Dairy Heat Stress Road Show showed that dairy heat stress costs dairy operators over $81/cow/year. Producers at a road show event also reported that by attending they estimated that implementing the strategies they learned, their dairy operation could save over $40/cow/year.
“The Dairy Heat Stress Road Show, financed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in collaboration with several universities, is a series of educational programs that will travel to four states and Puerto Rico,” Bilby said. “The effort’s purpose is to teach producers how to overcome some of the negative effects of heat stress by implementing strategies such as nutritional changes, hormonal treatments and facility improvement.”
The dates and locations this fall include:
• Dec. 3, County Extension Office, 458 Highway 98 North, Okeechobee, Florida.
• Dec. 5, Camuy, Puerto Rico, to be delivered in English and Spanish.
The 2014 dates and locations in the Southwest are:
• April 1, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Stephenville, Texas.
• April 2, Hilton Garden Inn, East Elwood St., Phoenix, Arizona
• April 4, Consumer Education Pavilion, Vet Medicine Center, Tulare, California.
All the sessions will run from 10 a.m.- 2:45 p.m. with lunch provided.
Topics and speakers include: Nutritional Additives and Facility Modifications to Reduce Heat Stress, Dr. Robert Collier, Professor, University of Arizona; Should We Cool Dry Cows?, Dr. Geoffrey Dahl, Professor and Head of Department, University of Florida; and Current and Future Opportunities to Reduce the Impact of Heat Stress, Dr. Pete Hansen, Distinguished Professor, University of Florida. Dr. Bilby will speak on Tools and Technologies to Assess Heat Stress on Commercial Dairies.
Along with on-site instruction, the road show will provide the latest research technology, software tools and proceedings in English or Spanish at each program. The road show is free and open to the public, Bilby said.
Learn more about the Dairy Heat Stress Road Show, managing heat stress in dairy cattle or the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Research and Education initiative by contacting Dr. Todd Bilby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WUD launches 2014 convention website
Western United Dairymen (WUD) has launched a website its 2014 convention, set for March 5-7, 2014 at the Embassy Suites in San Luis Obispo. For the latest convention updates, visit www.WUDconvention.com. You can also access the website link at www.WesternUnitedDairymen.com on both the main page and the “About Us” page. Contact Heidi Savage at email@example.com for additional information or feedback.
Dairy energy workshop set for Oct. 1 in Tulare
The latest energy incentive programs, cost-reduction strategies and financial resources available to California dairy farms will be discussed at an Oct. 1 workshop in Tulare. The free workshop at the Energy Education Center, 4175 S. Laspina Street, Tulare, begins with 8 a.m. registration and runs until 1:30 p.m. Lunch is included.
The workshop is co-sponsored by Western United Dairymen, Southern California Edison, PG&E and the U.S. Environmental Protection agency (EPA).
Topics include the merits of installing solar panels on dairies. Following the workshop, there will be a tour of a nearby dairy with a solar installation.
Other topics include:
• Southern California Edison (SCE) and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) rebate and incentive programs. • Energy cost reduction strategies.
• How to develop and finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at your dairy.
• Water quality and air update.
Special guest speaker will be Sandra Schubert, Undersecretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Register by phone at 1-800-772-4822 or 1-800-244-9912 or register online at either www.sce.com/workshops or www.pge.com/energyclasses
Retrofit technology cuts fuel use, emissions
New technology is allowing California dairy producers to save energy, while reducing emissions.
“We’re always open to new technologies,” said dairy producer Steve Maddox, Jr., who hosted a demonstration at Maddox Dairy, Riverdale, Calif., July 29. On display was a 535-hp Cummins diesel engine, retrofitted to burn a combination of diesel fuel and propane gas by California Clean Air Technologies (CCAT).
Maddox Dairy operates 10 stationery pumps to irrigate more than 5,000 acres of forage crops, almonds and grapes. The pumps have been powered by natural gas, electricity or diesel fuel. Now, two of the diesel engines are retrofitted to use propane in combination with diesel.
Not only has his fuel consumption been lowered, Maddox said, but reduced nitrous oxide (NOX) emissions enable him to run the engines longer when necessary, while staying below regulatory emission limits.
Michael Avery, CCAT CEO and founder, said the patented technology is the first to be certified by the California Air Resource Board for heavy-duty stationery and off-road diesel engines. CCAT has been in the retrofit business for over eight years, working in ag, forest products, mining and cargo handling equipment for the Port of Los Angeles.
The retrofit process involves three steps, according to Roger Toale, CCAT technician: 1) installing the injector assembly in the engine block allows propane substitution for up to 80% of the diesel fuel by weight; 2) adding a computerized engine control unit monitors the fuel mixture and reduces total fuel consumption up to 12%; and 3) installing the oxidation catalyst on the exhaust system further reduces emissions.
The technology may only be used on older engines ranging from 100 to 650 hp which are no longer under warranty, he said. There has not been a single instance of engine damage, and the control unit allows a default to diesel if there is any problem. Visit www.CaliforniaCleanAirTech.com.
Cost of the retrofit is $25,000 to $35,000. Depending on engine size and use, payback may result in as little as a year. The Propane Education and Research Council helps provide grants; Maddox received $4,000 for the conversion project. Visit www.propanecouncil.org.
Maddox Dairy uses conversion technology
California Clean Air Technologies (CCAT) displayed its patented retrofit conversion system allowing stationary diesel engines to burn propane with diesel, resulting in both fuel savings and reduced emissions. Shown (left to right) are: Dr. George Malouf, CCAT vice president; Steve Maddox, Jr. of Maddox Dairy; Roger Toale, CCAT technician; and Michael Avery, president & CEO of CCAT. The Propane Energy and Research Council is assisting engine owners with grants to fund the conversions.
AgriLife Extension to host High Plains Veterinary Symposium in Lubbock
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the South Plains Veterinary Medical Association will conduct the High Plains Veterinary Symposium, Oct. 20, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
The continuing education training for veterinarians will offer six hours of credit and will be conducted at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center located at 1102 E. Farm-to-Market 1294, Lubbock. Feline medicine will be the day’s focus, said Robert Scott, AgriLife Extension agent in Lubbock County.
Individual preregistration is $25 by Oct. 14 and $50 thereafter. For more information and to preregister, contact Scott at 806-775-1680, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Turlock farmer appointed to California Air Board
John Eisenhut of Turlock, Calif. will represent agribusiness and the San Joaquin Valley as Gov. Jerry Brown's appointee to the California Air Resources Board, the governor's office announced. Eisenhut, 67, replaces Dorene "DeeDee" D'Adamo, also of Turlock, who was named to the State Water Resources Control Board in March.
Eisenhut has owned Eisenhut Farms since 1975, and has managed Hilltop Ranch Inc.'s grower relations since 1994.
July Iowa-Nebraska dairy budgets better, but ...
July Iowa and Nebraska dairy producer income margins may have improved slightly in July, but they remained below breakeven levels, according to Robert Tigner, Extension Educator. Prices for all feeds declined from June, but the average milk price and the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program payment were also down.
Tigner's analysis provides budgets for tie-stall and freestall operations at two production levels. Following are averages for a freestall dairy with a 24,000-lb. herd average.
With lower feed costs, July total costs (excluding labor and management) decreased 93¢/cwt., to $18.81/cwt.
The average milk price declined 32¢/cwt. from June, to $19.03/cwt. Adding the average Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) payment of 8¢/cwt. (down from 24¢ in June), the July milk price/MILC total was $19.11/cwt., down 48¢ from the month before.
Affecting milk prices, butterfat, protein and total solids prices were down from June. The Producer Price Differential (PPD) was up, but the average somatic cell count score (SCC) was also higher, impacting quality premiums. The average cull cow price ($77.00/cwt.) was up $4.50/cwt.
The budgeted break-even price for a freestall dairy with a 24,000-lb. rolling herd average (RHA) declined about $1.12/cwt., to $21.00/cwt.
Based on this budget, herds producing 24,000 lbs. of milk per cow per year saw a $2.63/cwt. return over variable costs in July. Adding fixed costs, labor and management, the return dropped to 52¢/cwt. Adding a charge for returns to management resulted in a loss of $1.80/cwt.
Contact Tigner at email@example.com.
Dairy REAP recipients named
USDA recently announced funding for 631 projects to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce their energy consumption and costs, use renewable energy technologies in their operations, and conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy projects. Grant and loan funding is made available through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill.
Four REAP grant recipients are using funds to construct or install anaerobic digesters at their sites:
- Dovetail Energy, LLC (Ohio)
- Green Lane Energy, Inc. (Oregon)
- Statz Brothers (Wisconsin)
- Butler Farms (North Carolina)
Under the terms of REAP, up to 25% of an eligible energy production or conservation project can be funded through a grant, and additional support can be provided in the form of a loan. These federal funds leverage other private funding sources for businesses.
View the current list of recipients for REAP grants and loans, or visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RD_Grants.html for more information about the REAP program.
Central Valley WDR comment period ends Sept. 9
The Central Valley Water Board is proposing tentative general waste discharge requirements (WDR) to address issues raised by a judge’s decision in a lawsuit brought by environmental groups. The water board recently posted the revised WDR and associated documents for a 30-day public review, with comments due by Sept. 9 at 5 p.m.
The documents can be viewed at http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralvalley/water_issues/dairies/dairy_program_regs_requirements/index.shtml
“Dairymen will generally not notice changes in how they implement the order on their farms,” said Paul Sousa, Western United Dairymen’s (WUD) director of environmental services. “The key components of the order have not been changed in any substantive way.”
Dairies will continue to implement their nutrient and waste management plans and participate in the representative monitoring program. Part of what the court ordered the water board to do was prove that dairies are implementing Best Practicable Treatment or Control (BPTC) measures. Therefore, the water board is making changes to the order to make it clear that the things that dairies are already required to do are in fact BPTC.
He pointed out for example that the Tentative Dairy WDR is not requiring all dairies to retrofit their existing lagoons.
“The board is recognizing that all existing lagoons cannot be retrofitted economically and it would therefore not be practicable,” Sousa said. “They will continue their existing path of evaluating existing ponds and determining what needs to happen from there.”
This item will be heard before the Central Valley Water Board at its October 3-4 meeting. WUD members with questions regarding the tentative Dairy WDR can contact Paul Sousa at (209) 527-6453.
Nebraska: Veterinarians, emergency responders train on livestock emergency disease issues
Nearly 100 veterinarians and emergency responders from across Nebraska teamed up with the veterinarian staff from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) and the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Service (APHIS/VS) to attend the annual Livestock Emergency Disease Response System (LEDRS) meeting held in Hastings last week.
The two-day meeting provided attendees with updates on homeland security issues, foreign animal diseases, responder credentialing and animal disease traceability and surveillance.
The LEDRS Veterinary Corps also completed a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved course that focused on agroterrorism and how animal emergency responders integrate into the overall response structure with other response entities, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. For more information, click here.
2013 Texas agricultural custom rates survey now available online
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has published online the 2013 Texas Agricultural Custom Rates Survey of regional and state rates charged for custom agricultural operations.
A survey was distributed to select farmers, ranchers, landowners and custom operators across Texas. The results helped establish a baseline of rates statewide to further assist with questions related to custom-hire activities.
The online publication is 32 pages. It includes data on tractor rental, tillage operations, planting operations, application of fertilizer, lime and chemicals, harvesting, hauling and drying, combining and hauling grains, haying and silage operations, land preparation, brush control, other farm and ranch operations, miscellaneous livestock operations, and consulting services.
To view rates for custom operations, visit http://agecoext.tamu.edu/resources/custom-rate-survey.html.
Bansen to be honored as Southwest Farmers’ ‘Mom of the Year’
Mary Ann Bansen, Ferndale, Calif. and a member of Western United Dairymen, has been selected America’s Farmers ‘Mom of the Year’ for the Southwest. She is one of five regional winners nationwide selected by American Agri-Women and America’s Farmers, based on an essay submitted on her behalf by her daughter, Jessica.
Bansen will be publicly recognized on Thursday, Aug. 22, at the Humboldt County Fair for her contributions to her family, farm and community, as well as the leadership roles she has taken to promote agriculture and to educate consumers on the path their food and milk take from farm to table. Monsanto will award her $5,000 in prize money.
Mary Ann and her husband Pete are the owners and operators of a pasture-based dairy farm which has been in their family for almost 100 years. They milk 500 Jersey cows.
She was nominated for the award by her daughter Jessica. In her nomination letter, Jessica wrote of her mother: “She is responsible for all of the bookwork and paperwork. In addition, she is in charge of raising all the calves on the farm. In the spring and early summer, my Mom spends a lot of her time helping make silage. Mom takes great pride in promoting agriculture and her life as a dairy farmer. Every year, there are up to 1,500 school aged children who come to visit the dairy. My Mom has always inspired those people around her. I can think of no other Mom who is as deserving of this award as she is.”
Dairy WDR requirements reissued by Central Valley Water Board
In accordance with a Writ of Mandate issued by the Sacramento County Superior Court following the decision of the Third District Court of Appeal in Asociación de Gente Unida por el Agua v. Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Bd. (2012) 210 Cal.App.4th 1255, the Central Valley Water Board is proposing tentative general waste discharge requirements that will rescind and replace Order R5-2007-0035, Waste Discharge Requirements General Order for Existing Milk Cow Dairies (the “Dairy General Order”).
These revisions include modifications to the Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs), the Revised Monitoring and Report Program, the Information Sheet, and readjustments made to attachments C, D, and E to reflect the modifications of the WDRs.
The documents are posted on the water board website at www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralvalley/ board_decisions/tentative_orders/index.shtml#other. Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board staff will consider written comments submitted by 5 p.m. on Sept. 9.
Comments should be submitted via e-mail to Alan Cregan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or hard copy may be submitted to: Attn: Alan Cregan, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, 1685 "E" Street, Fresno, CA 93706. For more information, call 559-445-6185.
$63K up for grabs in California GOT MILK? Breakfast Challenge
The California Milk Processor Board’s annual Breakfast Challenge is back! In a partnership with 21 school districts across the Golden State, the GOT MILK? Breakfast Challenge awards the campuses with the greatest breakfast participation with milk in each district $3,000 towards student activities.
"We continue to grow the GOT MILK? Breakfast Challenge year after year because school districts are on board with our message: it's important for teens to start their day right with a nutritious breakfast to fuel their bodies and minds," Steve James, executive director of the CMPB, said in a news release. "The competition creates an incentive and rewards them for their positive eating habits."
California dairy calf BRD survey underway
California dairy producers recently received a survey titled “Survey of Calf Raising Practices in California.” This survey is the first step in an extensive research project to identify practices associated with reduced incidence of Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD). Respiratory disease is the primary cause of natural death in U.S. cattle, and a major source of economic loss due to reduced growth in infected calves. The information collected from this study will be combined with future research to develop a risk assessment tool for BRD. This tool will allow herdsmen to identify suboptimal management practices and reduce their losses caused by clinical and subclinical respiratory disease in the calves. The survey is also accessible at http://www.vmtrc.ucdavis.edu.
At the end of the questionnaire, participants will have the opportunity to volunteer to be included in the next phase of our research, which may include an on-site visit by our researchers. All responses to the survey will be handled anonymously. Questions may be directed to email@example.com.
DFA volunteers aid New Mexico food bank
A group of volunteers representing Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) provided a substantial charitable donation to the Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico. Volunteers assembled 2,000 lunch bags filled with nutritious, non-perishable foods.
Nearly 60 DFA volunteers donated their time to fill lunch bags donated to the food bank’s mobile food pantry. The volunteers were in the area for DFA’s annual July board meeting and strategic information conference.
“Serving our community is a core value for DFA,” said Joyce Bupp, board director and chair of DFA Cares Foundation. “This annual meeting takes place in a different city each year, and it is so rewarding to see our group give back in different ways in each new community we visit.”
Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico is a statewide network of nearly 600 partner agencies and four regional food banks. As the largest food bank in the state, last year the agency distributed nearly 26 million lbs. of food to residents throughout New Mexico.
Programs such as the food bank’s mobile food pantry are beneficial for an abundantly rural state such as New Mexico, where food banks are not easily accessible for all its residents, said Stephanie Miller, director of development for Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico.
The lunch donations were made possible through the DFA Cares Foundation, which was initially established to assist DFA’s dairy farmer members and others in agriculture communities affected by natural disasters. Today, the foundation has expanded to include community outreach programs, such as this food bank donation, as well as the DFA Cares Hotline, DFA’s Member Assistance Program and DFA Scholarship Program.
Funding for DFA Cares comes from private, public and corporate donations. To donate to DFA Cares Foundation, visit www.dfamilk.com/dfacares or send a check made payable to DFA Cares Foundation to: DFA Cares Foundation, c/o Ron Hilmes, 10220 N. Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, MO 64153.
Boyd joins World Wide Sires
Tyler Boyd has joined World Wide Sires as marketing specialist, assisting with market research, promotions and customer service.
Boyd grew up on the family dairy farm, Boyd-Lee Jerseys in Parrottsvile, Tenn., where he was actively involved in the herd’s breeding and marketing program. He has served on several committees with the American Jersey Cattle Association and was a member of the inaugural class of the Jersey Youth Academy. He was the 2009 winner of the National Jersey Youth Achievement contest, the highest award available for youth who own Jersey cattle.
Boyd is active with the American Dairy Science Association’s Student Affiliate Division (ADSA-SAD) and currently serves as the third vice president of the national board. Recently, he placed first in the National Undergraduate Paper Contest of the ADSA-SAD in the Dairy Production Division.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Dairy Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, and is a past participant in the Dairy Challenge and dairy cattle judging teams.
World Wide Sires, Ltd. is a leading exporter of U.S. livestock semen, representing Accelerated Genetics and Select Sires in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Oceania.
Women’s ag business series offered in Texas
Getting a grip on today’s agriculture business and becoming an effective farm partner and decision-maker is the focus of Annie’s Project, a women’s workshop series. The series will be offered in six sessions, from 6-9 p.m. each Tuesday, Sept. 17 through Oct. 29 (with the exception of Oct. 8), at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 6500 W. Amarillo Blvd. in Amarillo, Texas.
Cost is $50 per person and class size is limited to 30, he said. Registration slots will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. The conference is sponsored by AgriLife Extension, with program support provided by Farm Credit Bank of Texas.
A brochure and registration form is available by contacting Johnson at 254-968-4144 or DeDe Jones, AgriLife Extension risk management specialist in Amarillo, 806-677-5600. The registration form is available at http://bit.ly/12HTxJ4.
Additional information about the program and how other farm women nationally have benefited is available at: www.extension.iastate.edu/annie.
AEM announces agricultural engineering student awards
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) honored the latest winners of its agricultural engineering student achievement awards during special ceremonies at the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers’ (ASABE) recent annual meeting.
The 2013 AEM student award winners are:
- Large Student Engineering Branches (Group A): Iowa State University, Kansas State University
- Smaller Student Engineering Branches (Group B): University of Tennessee
The luncheon also kicked off the new student-focused ASABE Agricultural Seatbelt Usage and ROPS Logo Design Contest. The logo will be part of a national ROPS promotion strategy for North America. The contest offers cash prizes; deadline to enter is March 15, 2014. Visit the ASABE website (www.asabe.org) for details.
For more information on the AEM student awards, contact AEM’s Brian Voss (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Horizon Organic presents ‘HOPE’ scholarships
Horizon Organic® announced the four recipients of the 2013 Horizon Organic Producer Education (HOPE) Scholarships, a program designed to encourage young people to enter the field of organic agriculture. The students, each of whom will receive $2,500, are children or grandchildren of Horizon’s more than 600 family farmers. For more information about Horizon’s organic dairy products, visit www.horizondairy.com.
This year’s four scholarship recipients are:
- Callie Brodt (Ferndale, Calif.), age 19, is the granddaughter of Horizon farmer Jim Walker of the Walker Dairy in Ferndale, Calif. Callie attends Chico State University, where she is majoring in Agriculture Business.
- Mieke DeJong (Bonanza, Ore.), age 21, is the daughter of Horizon farmers Arie and Jenneke DeJong, who run the Windy Ridge farm in Bonanza, Ore. This is Mieke’s third HOPE Scholarship, and she plans to graduate in spring 2014 from Oregon State University with a degree in Agricultural Business.
- Damen Jeg (Chehalis, Wash.), age 19, is the son of Horizon farmer Heinz Jeg of Jeg and Sons Dairy in Chehalis, Wash. Damen, who is a first-time recipient of the HOPE Scholarship, plans to attend Washington State University to pursue a degree in Animal Science.
- Sierra Knight (Lisbon, N.Y.), age 19, is the daughter of Horizon farmer Bradley Knight of Knight’s Meadow View Farm in Lisbon, N.Y. Sierra, now a two-time recipient of the HOPE Scholarship, is attending The State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam, where she is majoring in pre-veterinary with a minor in biology. She would like to become a veterinarian.
Texas AgXchange Farm and Ranch Show slated Oct. 2-3 in Robstown
The 2013 Texas AgXchange Farm and Ranch Show will be held Oct. 2-3, at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds, 1213 Terry Shamsie Blvd., just east of State Highway 77 in Robstown, Texas.
The show is being produced by VerticalXChange in cooperation with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research, according to Monty Dozier, AgriLife Extension regional program director for agriculture and natural resources in College Station.
Topics at the AgriLife Extension educational conference on Oct. 3 will include integrated management techniques for handling and treating cattle parasites and rangeland brush, improving reproductive efficiency in the beef herd, pesticide laws and regulations, and potential impacts to ground and surface water quality associated with pesticide movement.
Three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units, one in laws and regulations, one in integrated pest management and one general, will be available at no cost.
The show will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m both days, with more than 200 exhibitors anticipated. There is no admission fee for the show, annual AgriLife conference or field demonstrations.
For more information go to the show website at www.TexasAgXchange.com or call 952-736-9360.
CDFA plans trade mission to China, Vietnam
California Department of Food & Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross will lead an agricultural trade delegation to China and Vietnam, September 16-21, as part of the California State Trade and Export Promotion (California STEP) program. This mission will visit Shanghai and Ho Chi Minh City with the goal of providing export business opportunities and sales for California farmers, ranchers and food processors.
California businesses participating in the trade mission will have individual meetings with foreign importers, briefings by U.S. agricultural officials, and visit wholesale/retail market outlets to learn about in-market distribution and sales formats.
China is California’s third largest export destination for agricultural products, with more than $1.7 billion in exports. Vietnam currently ranks as the 12th largest export destination for California agriculture products, with exports valued at more than $196 million – a 43% increase in exports from the previous year. On average, California farmers export globally about 25% of their production, generating nearly 115, 000 jobs and $21.6 billion in economic activity. Over the last 10 years, California has more than doubled the value of its agricultural exports. In 2011, California agricultural exports were valued at $16.8 billion.
This trade mission is conducted in partnership with the State Center Community College District, the California Centers for International Trade Development, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, and the California-China Trade and Investment Office. Funding for this trade mission will come from a grant administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Companies interested in participating in the trade mission should contact the Fresno Center for International Trade Development at (559) 324-6401or visit www.fresnocitd.org
WUD sets 2014 convention dates
The Western United Dairymen Annual Convention will be held March 5-7, at the Embassy Suites in San Luis Obispo, Calif. More details will be announced later.
Mary Barcellos crowned Kings County Dairy princess
Hanford resident Mary Barcellos, Hanford, Calif. was crowned as California Kings County’s 2013-14 Dairy Princess. Barcellos, 19, was one of four young women who competed for the title in the District 7 Dairy Princess Contest, a key part of the county’s June Dairy Month festivities. Barcellos was crowned by 2012-13 Princess Eileen DeRaadt. Barcellos is the daughter of Avelino and Mary Barcellos.
Dowell joins Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service as agricultural law specialist
Tiffany Dowell has joined the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service as an assistant professor and agricultural law specialist. Dowell, who will be based in College Station, specializes in legal issues pertaining to oil and gas, water and property leasing/grazing rights, as well as other issues affecting farming and ranching.
Dowell, who grew up on a family ranch in New Mexico, previously was an associate attorney with the law firm of Peifer, Hanson and Mullins in Albuquerque, N.M. She received her law degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law and bachelor of science degree in agribusiness from Oklahoma State University.
Dowell has started an agricultural law blog at http://agrilife.org/texasaglaw/ that provides regular updates on various topics and weekly recaps on legal issues in the news. She will also provide traditional educational programming through workshops and conferences conducted by the agency statewide.
DHI-Provo 59th Annual Herd and Feed Management Conference set
The DHI-Provo 59th Annual Herd and Feed Management Conference will be held Oct. 23-25, at the New York New York Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nev.
Details and registration will be announced at a later date.
California Dairy Task Force update
Source: July 2013 California Dairy Reiew
In late July 2012, Karen Ross, Secretary of the Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), created the California Dairy Future Task Force to address issues and challenges facing the dairy industry and create an action plan for the future. Made up of 32 industry leaders from the producer and processor communities, the first meeting was held Oct. 23-24, 2012.
The group identified a set of strategies and established four working groups, designed to improve the California dairy industry in the following areas:
• a 21st century pricing system
• comprehensive domestic and export growth plans
• coordinated industry regulatory strategy
• growing the right processing capacity for California
• a product differentiation and innovation plan.
Four self-appointed work groups of technical experts were organized to collect data, research alternative approaches, analyze their impacts and present options to the Task Force. CDFA secured an interagency agreement with the UC Agricultural Issues Center to assist with economic modeling and analysis of the structural changes necessary, with the timeframe for completion of the UC activities on Dec. 31, 2013.
The latest progress report on the work groups:
• Reforming Class 4 Working Group (21st Century Pricing System). This working group has met three times and has another all-day session scheduled. They are in the process of evaluating pricing options for 4a/4b. Once the field is narrowed to two or three strategies, they will confer with CDFA/UC Davis team in order to run economic models to determine the long-term impacts of each option.
Working Group Members: David Ahlem, Chair; Evan Kinser; Eric Erba; Tom Wegner; Elvin Hollon; Sue Taylor; Geoff VandenHuevel
• Quota Working Group. Mike Marsh, chair, is trying to recruit members. Therefore, no meetings
have been held.
• Risk Management Working Group. This working group has met three times and another session was
scheduled for the week of July 1. They have identified several issues that warrant analysis: difference in California vs. federal order (FMMO) pricing; lower correlation between FFMO Class III and CA Class 4b; correlation with FMMO Class IV and CA Class 4a; differences in CWAP vs. CME prices for NFDM; diff erences in CME vs. NDPSR for cheese and butter; and need for forward pricing in export sales. Rachel Kaldor, chair, plans to bring in additional members to the group and conduct a survey of producers and processors for the purpose of gathering information on the use of risk management tools, hedging, and impediments to using risk management tools. Once the survey is complete this group is planning on coordinating their efforts with the Class 4 working group.
Working Group Members: Rachel Kaldor, Chair; Mike McCully; Tiffany LaMendola; Rich Denier
• Investment Working Group. No report.
Working Group Members: Andrei Mikhalevsky, Chair
California quarterly milk production costs higher
California 2013 first quarter (Q1) statewide weighted average total milk production costs were estimated at $17.69/cwt., up $1.06/cwt. compared to the same quarter in 2012, according to the July 2013 California Dairy Review. Including an allowance for management and return on investment, total costs were estimated at $9.16/cwt., up $1.07/cwt. Compared to Q4 of 2012, total costs were down 86¢/cwt., with total costs plus allowances down 92¢.
High Desert Farming Initiative hoop house construction begins
Construction is underway on six hoop houses for the High Desert Farming Initiative, a University of Nevada, Reno farming demonstration project.
The business-oriented collaborative will provide applied research and demonstration in hoop-house, greenhouse and organic farming in high desert climates.
The project, under the direction of Jennifer Ott, also based in the Small Business Development Center, is on one acre at the Valley Road Field Lab, one of the University’s Nevada Agricultural Experiment Stations, which is operated as part of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources.
The hoop houses are scheduled to be completed this summer and the first plantings will begin in September when students are back in class.
WUD partners with farmers, conservationists to save 65,000 rare Tricolored Blackbirds
Typically it wouldn’t be especially noteworthy that six Tulare and Kern County farmers finished harvesting their silage crops last week, even if it is a little later than usual. However, the actions of these six farmers, with help from conservationists at USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Audubon California, have resulted in saving more than 65,000 rare Tricolored Blackbirds.
The species is now federally listed as a Bird of Conservation Concern, a California state Species of Special Concern, and also protected under the provisions of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
"Western United Dairymen members have once again partnered with NRCS and Audubon California to protect the Tricolored Blackbird,” said Paul Sousa, Environmental Director for Western United Dairymen. “This shows our members' commitment to a sustainable ecosystem on and around their farms. This voluntary program benefits all parties as conservation is achieved in a way that allows farms to continue to be productive."
For photographs, video, or to schedule a time to see a colony in person, contact Daniela Ogden at (415) 644-4606 or mailto:email@example.com.
Over 40% of Tricolored Blackbirds choose to nest in Central Valley silage fields that resemble the marshland the birds traditionally inhabited. “You never know for sure where the birds will decide to nest in a given year,” say Jesse Bahm and Keiller Kyle, a team of biologists with NRCS and Audubon respectively. “Tricolored blackbirds are colonial nesters and when they choose a nesting area it can mean everything to the success of thousands of birds—but some headaches to the farmers who find themselves playing host to the colonies.”
Farmers with Tricolored Blackbirds can help the birds by delaying their harvesting until the young can fly away. However this also delays the summer planting, can disrupt the equipment and labor schedules the farmers have negotiated in advance, and also results in a loss of quality to the silage fields hosting the birds.
NRCS and Audubon work with the farmers to minimize disruptions to farming operations and NRCS offers payments through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), to compensate farmers for the resulting drop in the quality of the grain. This year the farmers who hosted the six colonies of Tricolored Blackbirds saved more than 65,000 birds—about one fifth of the species’ entire global population. One Tulare farm had more than 30,000 Tricolored birds. The birds all successfully fledged by the end of May.
The conservation organizations are working toward a long-term plan that would eventually provide alternative nesting sites to the Tricolored Blackbirds that would be preferable to the farmers’ fields.
National Genetics Workshop coming to Phoenix
“Advancing Dairy Cattle Genetics: Genomics and Beyond” will be the focus of a three-day workshop on the future of dairy cattle genetics, Feb. 17-19, in Phoenix, Ariz. It will mark the first time in over a decade that the entire dairy genetic community will gather to discuss the long-term future. Commercial dairy producers and elite breeders, A.I. industry representatives, dairy record specialists, breed association representatives, genetic researchers, dairy consultants, veterinarians, educators and graduate students are all encouraged to attend the program.
Planned discussions include: traits for the future, infrastructure for dairy genetics education, appropriate use of genomics and many more.
For additional details, go to www.ans.iastate.edu/events/dairygenomics or contact committee chairperson Diane Spurlock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2013 California/Nevada ‘Ag Land & Lease Values’ book published
The California Chapter of ASFMRA (American Society of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers) has released the 2013 issue of Trends in Agricultural Land & Lease Values. The annual publication, available in both print and electronic formats, is a source for agricultural land sales and rent value data in California and Nevada.
The book is published in full color and contains rural land values based on sales, lease rate ranges, historical data, and commodity editorial background information. Feature articles for 2013 highlight California Regulatory and Compliance Issues and Creating a Modern/Virtual Appraisal Office.
The Trends publication was started in 1991 and has grown over the years into a comprehensive collection of agricultural land value information. The book is divided into eight geographic regions and then subdivided by county and land use. Through detailed charts and graphs, historical land and lease values are included for each area, going back an average of six years. Editorial overviews are also included for each section, providing useful background information for the stated values and trends.
Copies of Trends in Agricultural Land & Lease Values are available from the California Chapter, ASFMRA for $20 plus shipping and handling. Contact the chapter at (209) 368-3672 or order on-line at www.calasfmra.com.
DCC revamps website
Dairy Council of California (DCC) launched a new website, HealthyEating.org, to increase awareness of the health benefits of milk and milk products and introduce its nutrition education offerings to multiple audiences, including teachers and health professionals.
DCC created the online destination so families can learn to improve eating habits and understand the benefits of consuming milk and milk products; teachers can order nutrition education materials; health professionals can find nutrition information for patients; and members of the dairy industry can access and download helpful tools to use and share with others.
Available resources include consumer-friendly handouts and tip sheets for both students and adults (in English and Spanish) covering anything from basic milk facts to how milk gets from cow to container. All resources can be found in the industry section at HealthyEating.org/Community-Resources. Producers and processors can also direct consumers to the site’s interactive tools, including Healthy Eating My Way that customizes eating plans based on personalized needs.
Kansas land value, rental rates analyzed
The 2012 Kansas Land Values and Rental Rates paper is now available on Kansas State University’s AgManager website: http://www.agmanager.info/farmmgt/land/county/CountyValuesRents_Jan_2013.pdf.
The paper, featuring analysis by Kansas State ag economists Mykel Taylor and Kevin Dhuyvetter, provides data reflecting actual rental values. The information is more specific than survey values reported by USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service, which generally have a lag and are lower than “market-rates” for rental values, according to KSU Extension assistant Rich Llewelyn.