Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Tuesday December 26 Ag News

Cattle Lice
Larry Howard, NE Extension Educator, Cuming County

Cattle lice are a cold season insect that thrives in very cold conditions. Populations are most noticeable during December, January, February, and decline during March when temperatures warm. Lice are transmitted by contact from one animal to another. Cattle with hair loss, an unthrifty appearance, and leaving hair on fences and other objects from rubbing may be a sign of lice infestation. However other factors can mimic lice infestations such as natural shedding, poor nutrition, mite infestations, mineral deficiency, photosensitivity, and other diseases. To determine if lice is the problem, secure the suspected animal in a chute and perform a two-handed hair parting on the top line, withers, and face. Lice numbers between 1-5 per square inch represent a low population, 6-10 per square inch represent a moderate population, and more than 10 lice per square inch is considered a heavy population.

In Nebraska we can encounter four different cattle lice species. The biting or chewing louse (little red), are reddish brown in color with dark bands running transversally across the body. Typically the chewing louse feeds on hair, skin, skin exudates and debris near the skin surface. This species is initially found on the shoulder, top line, and back, but as populations increase, can be found on the sides and sometimes over the whole animal. This species of louse does not require a male for eggs to be fertilized. The other three species are sucking lice, which feed on blood, and can cause irritation, anemia, impact weight gain, and even death in extreme cases.

University of Nebraska and other studies indicate heavy lice populations may reduce weight gains by as much as 0.21 lb/day. These studies also indicate calves fed at a higher nutrition level had lower lice populations and were affected less severely by lice than calves fed a maintenance ration.

Cattle louse treatment products fall into several categories: animal sprays, non-systemic (contact) pour-on, and endectocides (systemic pour-on, absorbed internally and systemic injectable). Some non-systemic pour-ons require just one application and some require two applications spaced 14 days apart. Systemic injectables work better on the three species of sucking lice than on the little red chewing louse. A systemic pour-on effectively kills both chewing and sucking lice. Use of systemic control products between Nov. 1 and Feb. 1 is not advised as they may cause a host-parasite reaction from killing developing cattle grubs while they are in the esophagus or spinal canal of the animal. A systemic product used during fall weaning will not be a problem. Producers who did not use a systemic during fall weaning, should consider using only non-systemic control products during the November to February time frame. When applying any insecticide control product, please read and follow label instructions.

Successful louse control depends on application timing. Some livestock producers administer an endectocide treatment at weaning time, usually late September or October with intentions of controlling internal parasites, cattle grubs and cattle lice. These fall applications may help reduce lice populations, but may not remove the infestation. A warm extended fall, like the one experienced this year, may slow down developing lice numbers. Livestock producers who use this management strategy should monitor their cattle for signs of lice especially during the months of December, January, and February. If replacement animals are brought into a herd during the winter months they should be examined for lice. If present, the animals should be isolated and treated before introduction into the existing herd.

Fremont Corn Expo, Thursday Jan. 4

Nathan Mueller, NE Extension Educator, Dodge County

Please join me next Thursday, Jan. 4 for the Fremont Corn Expo that will start at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast, presentations at 9:00, and finished up by 3 p.m. Positioning your farm to stay strong despite the current challenges will be the focus of the 2018 Fremont Corn Expo on January 4th.

Since 2004, Nebraska Extension in partnership with local agribusinesses has been organizing the Fremont Corn Expo. The expo features speakers and panelists that provide local corn growers with the knowledge they need to effectively manage locally-relevant issue each year. To accomplish this our speakers will address:
·        Corn Stalk Lodging: What Role did Crown and Stalk Rots Play? with Dr. Tamra Jackson-Ziems, Extension Corn Plant Pathologist from University for Nebraska-Lincoln
·        What’s in Store with Darin Newsom, Senior Analyst from DTN or Data Transmission Network
·        Grain Storage Management and Technology with Dr. Ken Hellevang, Extension Ag Engineer from North Dakota State University
·        How Long Will the Impacts of La Nina Last and What Role Will It Play in the 2018 Crop Production Season? with Al Dutcher, Associate State Climatologist from the Nebraska Climate Office

In addition, a panel of local Ag professionals will look at what it takes to successfully manage a cover crop after seed corn and you will get industry updates from Nebraska Farm Bureau, Fremont Chamber, Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Nebraska Corn Board, and Colfax-Dodge County Corn Growers.

The Expo is held at Christensen Field Main Arena at 1730 W. 16th St in Fremont. Over 50 agribusinesses will be exhibiting at the expo throughout the day. The Corn Expo is a one-stop shop for you as a corn grower to get the critical information you need to effectively manage locally-relevant corn production issues. This is an event for corn growers by corn growers! The event is free and includes breakfast and lunch. For more information and a full list of sponsors and exhibitors visit our website at or view the attached program.

“Ranching for Profitability” Meetings Held Across Nebraska

What are pillars to beef productivity?  Grazing, reproduction, and cattle health are key to beef profitability and will be covered in half-day workshops across Nebraska by beef specialists and educators. 

“Ranching for Profitability” workshops will be held from 10 am to 2 pm (local time) and 5 pm to 9 pm (local time).  Please note: speakers and topics may vary by location- contact the local extension office for a list of topics and speakers.

Head of the Animal Science Department, Clint Krehbiel, will discuss “Nutrition and Management Practices for Weaned Calves for Improved Health and Well-Being”.  Krehbiel will also give an update on the UNL Animal Science program.  Nebraska Extension beef nutrition specialist, Travis Mulliniks, will cover managing cows’ diets before and after calving to prepare them for the breeding season.  The challenge continues as land managers battle newly introduced and established problem weeds.  Nebraska Extension range and forage specialist, Mitch Stephenson, will discuss control methods for pasture weeds.  Jerry Volesky and Daren Redfearn are experts in the field of irrigated forages and will share their insight in growing forage crops.

Pre-registration required for a meal count (one week prior).  All times are local.
*January 9 - Burwell (Sandstone Grill 10 am–2 pm) 308-346-4200;
*January 9 – Thedford (Sandhills Corral 5-9 pm) 308-645-2267;
*January 10 – O’Neill (Holt County Courthouse Annex 10 am–2 pm), 402-336-2760;
*January 10 – Ainsworth (Lutheran Church 5-9 pm), 402-387-2213;
*January 11 – Gordon (Gordon Community Building 10 am–2 pm) 308-327-2312;
*January 11 – Valentine (Peppermill Restaurant 5–9 pm) 402-376-1850;
*January 16 – Kearney (Buffalo Co Extension Office 10 am- 2 pm) 308-236-1235;
*January 16 - Broken Bow (Country Club 5 pm–9 pm) 308-872-6831;
*January 17 – Brady (Brady Community Center 10 am–2 pm) 308-532-2683;
*January 17 - Kimball (4-H Building 5 pm–9 pm) 308-235-3122;

 Please call the office one week prior if you plan to attend.  Cost is $15/person.  Brought to you by Nebraska Extension, and local sponsors.

Impacts of Nutrient Restriction on Heifer Pregnancy Success

Julie Walker – Extension Beef Specialist South Dakota State University

Understanding the factors impacting reproductive failure within heifers is critical to implementing management strategies that will improve heifers’ chances of remaining within the beef herd and successfully producing calves. Heifers typically have greater pregnancy success if they achieve 65% of their mature body weight and sustain a body condition score of 6 by the beginning of the breeding season (Hall et al., 1995; Patterson et al., 1991). Method of heifer development may also impact heifer pregnancy success, with heifers that have prior grazing experience after weaning having increased conception rates to AI compared to heifers developed in a drylot (Perry et al., 2013). The timing of changes in nutrition in respect to breeding may also impact a heifer’s pregnancy success.

Recent Research

A study was conducted in the spring of 2017 at South Dakota State University (SDSU) to determine how changes in plane of maternal nutrition at the time of AI impact embryo development. Although this study was conducted in a drylot, changes in plane of nutrition occurred at the time of AI to simulate the change in nutrient intake drylot-developed heifers experience when turned out to grass at the beginning of the breeding season.

Nutritional Treatments

Sixty heifers were divided into two nutritional treatments for 36 days prior to AI and fed at either 64% of their maintenance energy requirements or 139% of their maintenance energy requirements. Heifers were synchronized to come into estrus, and at the time of AI, half of the heifers from the low treatment were moved to the high treatment diet while half of the high treatment heifers were moved to the low treatment diet. This resulted in four treatment groups: heifers on the low diet before and after AI (LL), heifers on the low treatment before AI and the high treatment after AI (LH), heifers on the high diet before and after AI (HH), and heifers on the high treatment before AI and the low treatment after AI (HL). Heifers were maintained within their respective treatments for six days after AI and were then flushed for embryo collection and uterine luminal fluid. Blood samples were collected from heifers daily from AI to embryo flush and analyzed for non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), protein, and glucose to determine if these metabolites would reflect changes in heifers’ plane of nutrition in both peripheral concentrations (blood) and the uterus (uterine luminal fluid) during early embryogenesis.

Findings -Embryo Quality

Embryo quality was reduced from heifers restricted energy before and after AI. Peripheral concentrations of NEFA and protein were elevated in nutrient restricted heifers after AI (LL and HL), as these heifers were mobilizing body fat and tissue to meet the body’s demands for energy and amino acids; however, glucose and uterine luminal fluid metabolites did not reflect heifers’ nutritional status, indicating that although embryo development is sensitive to changes in maternal nutrition during the first six days of embryogenesis, these changes are not communicated to the embryo through NEFA, overall protein concentrations, or glucose.

Pregnancy Success

Typically, producers do not restrict intake to 64% of maintenance energy; however, heifers can experience a significant drop in nutrient intake when animals are moved from a drylot to a grazing situation, especially if these animals have limited grazing skills. The research team on this project anticipated that returning these restricted heifers to a balanced ration that met their nutrient needs for growth would result in similar pregnancy rates. Heifers were placed back on full feed and spring pasture after the experiment for 22 days in preparation for breeding. Heifers were synchronized to come into estrus, artificially inseminated, and then moved to pasture for the remainder of the breeding season and exposed to a clean-up bull. Pregnancy success to AI and overall breeding season success determined that heifers that had undergone nutrient restriction in the previous study (LL, LH, and HL) had a greater likelihood of being open after the breeding season (40%, 46.7%, and 40% respectively) compared to heifers that did not undergo nutrient restriction (HH: 20%). Although more animals are needed to support this data, it is evident that small antral follicular growth is sensitive to nutritional insults (GutiƩrrez et al., 1997). As observed by pregnancy rates from heifers in the current study, even short-term nutrient restriction over six days (HL heifers) yields similar pregnancy success compared to heifers restricted energy for 42 days (LL heifers), indicating that negative impacts on follicular development may have the potential to impact future pregnancy success.

Follicular Development

Follicular development from preantral to preovulatory follicles requires approximately 42 days in beef cattle (Aerts and Bols, 2010); therefore, when managing beef nutrition prior to the breeding season, keep in mind that nutrient restriction during this time may have negative impacts on follicular development, which may in turn impact pregnancy success of those animals during the breeding season.

U.S. Soy Processors Build New Capacity at Fastest Rate in 20 Years

Jen Del Carmen, USSEC

As international buyers continue to seek U.S. soybean meal for its composition, the U.S. soy industry strives to satisfy those needs. U.S. soy processors continue to build new crushing plants and U.S. infrastructure to help move the soybean meal to market in a reliable and timely manner.

U.S. agricultural cooperatives are building new soybean crushing plants at the fastest rate in two decades as U.S. farmers, the world’s No. 1 soybean producers, prepare to sow record soy acreage again in 2018.

As global net incomes continues to rise, the demand for meat, especially pork and chicken, has led to a rapid growth in demand for animal feed. Crushing plants produce high-protein soybean meal feed for livestock and soybean oil for food and fuel.

In 2019, U.S. processors are expected to open plants with capacity to process at least 120 million bushels of soybeans, up about 5 percent from existing capacity of an estimated 1.9 billion bushels.

The last time outright capacity grew that much was in 1997-98, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and soy industry data.

Strong demand for feed has boosted crushing margins, the measure of profitability for the plants, which has encouraged processors to build more plants.

Increasing Capabilities

Growth in feed demand means crushing capacity worldwide will need to expand further.

Global soy production would have to increase by 20 percent over the next decade to keep up with feed consumption, according to Tom Hammer, president of industry group National Oilseed Processing Association (NOPA).

U.S. soy plantings totaled a record 90.2 million acres in 2017. The USDA, in a preliminary forecast, has set 2018 plantings at 91.0 million acres. Although industry capacity could reach 2 billion bushels in less than two years, the USDA said crushings likely would not reach that level until 2020-21.

The new plants will increase demand for soybeans, potentially pushing up prices that farmers nearby will receive for their crops and reducing transport costs.

Many of the new facilities are in places outside the central U.S. Midwest soy belt, taking advantage of increased supplies from farmers in those areas that have switched to soybeans from less profitable crops such as wheat.

As these facilities are built, they will help keep U.S. soy products moving quickly and efficiently to meet end-user demand.

Group Files FTC Complaint Against HSUS

The Center for Consumer Freedom filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission regarding the Humane Society of the U.S.

The non-profit CCF says the Humane Society is responsible for a deceptive advertising campaign, and they also passed along 77 donor complaints submitted through its website, Help Pet

The Center for Consumer Freedom says HSUS drove traffic to a web page that contained false information back in November. The web page said only 19 percent of total donations went to fundraising. But, the Form 990 tax return filed in 2016 by HSUS shows that it actually spends 29 percent of its donations on fundraising. The CCF says if joint cost expenditures that are allocated to management or program spending are factored in, the total fundraising number climbs to 52 percent. The Center points out that charities have been known to classify at least some of its fundraising as “educational” expenses in order to seem more efficient with donations.

The CCF also says that, in spite of its name, the Humane Society of the U.S. is not affiliated with many of the pet shelters across the country. CCF points out that HSUS doesn’t run a single pet shelter, in spite of solicitations suggesting otherwise.

FAA: Farm Equipment Radio Interference Threatens Air Traffic

(AP) -- Radio interference from a farm's massive metal crop-watering structure is causing havoc for air traffic in the sky over Georgia, federal authorities said in a lawsuit filed this week.

The irrigation structure is on a south Georgia farm where the Federal Aviation Administration has a radio transmitter to relay signals that keep aircraft on course, according to the federal lawsuit.

Interference caused by the 1,200-foot-long structure forced the FAA to shut down its transmitter in February, affecting operations of nine airports. The proximity of Robins Air Force Base makes the situation even more serious, the government said in its complaint.

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