Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Wednesday March 7 Ag News

Several NE Farmers Union Spring District Meetings Scheduled

District 7 Spring Meeting: Barnstormers Family Bar & Grill, 4100 S. 13th St., Norfolk, NE 68701
Thursday, March 15, 2017, 6:00 pm buffet supper on own with meeting to follow.
· District 7 Director’s Report:  Martin Kleinschmit
· NFU Convention, Farm Bill, NeFU Activities, NE Legislature:  John Hansen
Bring a friend, neighbor or family member.
For more info, call Art Tanderup (402) 278-0042 or (402) 887-1396.

District 2 Spring Meeting: Wolbach Community Center 268 Center St, Wolbach, NE 68882
Monday, March 19, 2018 6:00 pm Potluck Supper with meeting to follow.
 · District 2 Director’s Report:  Jim Knopik
 · NFU Convention, Farm Bill, NeFU Activities, NE Legislature:  John Hansen
Bring a friend, neighbor, or family member.
For more information, call Jim Knopik (308) 550-0288 cell or Bill Rolf (308) 536-2976 home.

23 Nebraskans Attend NFU 116th Anniversary Convention in Kansas City, Missouri  

Twenty-three Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) members attended the National Farmers Union (NFU) Convention March 4-6, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri.  The six delegates representing Nebraska were:  Jim Knopik, Belgrade; Graham Christensen, Omaha; Bill Armbrust, Elkhorn; Art Tanderup, Neligh; Mina Davis, Omaha; and NeFU President John Hansen.  NeFU Vice President Vern Jantzen of Plymouth served as Chairman of the National Farmers Union Policy Committee.   NeFU District 3 Director David Mohlman and son Sean of Red Cloud also attended.

Four Midwest Agency LLP agency leaders attended, including General Manager Jeffrey Downing of Elkhorn, Production and Marketing Manager Terry Kirby of Central City, and District Manager Kevin Herrold and Financial Services Manager Kevin Harrington of Lincoln. 

NeFU members Nathan Deke of DeWitt, Megan Montrie of Omaha, and  Karen Hansen, NeFU Office Manager Camdyn, Samantha, Marcus and Oliver Kavan, and Jeremiah, Kate and Clara Picard all of Lincoln also attended.

NeFU President John Hansen said, “Because Kansas City, Missouri is within easy driving distance, many of our members took advantage of the opportunity to attend.  This is the largest Nebraska delegation to attend a national convention since 2012 when the NFU convention was in Omaha.  The more of our members who attend state and national conventions, the better it is.  They deepen their knowledge of issues, broaden their perspectives, and  meet  people from different locations who share their values and commitment to family farm agriculture.”   

In addition to updating NFU’s policy, the 194 delegates from 33 states approved  9 Special Orders of Business:
·         Family Farming and Cooperatives
·         Family Farming and Crop Insurance Enhancement
·          Family Farming and Dairy
·         Family Farming and E30
·         Family Farming and Farm Bills
·         Family Farming and Immigration
·         Family Farming and Leading the Way on Climate Change
·         Family Farming and Livestock Production
·         Family Farming and Trade Policy

Full text of the adopted policy manual will be available soon at  The 2019 National Farmers Union Convention will be held in Bellevue Washington, March  2-5, 2019.

New Nebraska Dairy Princess Crowned in Columbus

Elizabeth Junck, an 18-year-old from Carroll, was crowned the Nebraska Dairy Princess during the annual Nebraska State Dairy Convention in Columbus Feb. 27.

Junck is the daughter of Ernest and Priscilla Junck, and is a senior at Wayne High School. Her role as princess will be to make public appearances to help people understand the dedication of dairy farm families to their cows, their land and the milk they produce. Midwest Dairy sponsors the dairy princess program on behalf of Nebraska’s dairy farm families.

The new princess currently serves as secretary of her 4-H Club’s Country Classics. Junck helps her parents on the family dairy farm, and she also shows cattle at the Wayne County Fair. Her school involvement includes speech, golf, choir and the National Honor Society, and she is active in her church.

Junck plans to attend Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, or the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she would like to major in actuarial science and Spanish with a minor in ag-business.

Mersadies Buderus, a 16-year-old from Wisner, was named first runner-up to the Nebraska Dairy Princess. She is the daughter of Elizabeth Buderus and attends Wayne Community Schools. Through her involvement with 4-H, Buderus shows cows and has been awarded Grand Champion and Reserve Champion numerous times.

Both the princess and the runner-up receive scholarships from Midwest Dairy.

Greenfield Nitrogen, LLC, to Build Regional Iowa Ammonia Plant Through Grass-roots Ownership

Greenfield Nitrogen, an early-stage fertilizer company, has announced plans to raise $120 million toward building the first regional anhydrous ammonia plant through grass-roots ownership. Located in Garner, Iowa, the plant will cost an estimated $220 million and will produce 120,815 tons of ammonia annually. On-site storage will allow the company to sell and store up to 66,000 tons (50% of annual production) for maximum profitability. Ownership will give farmers and agricultural retailers access to attractive manufacturers' margins.

In the last decade, abundant, low-cost natural gas made the U.S. one of the world's lowest-cost producers of nitrogen fertilizer. Still, the U.S. continues to import more than 6 million tons of nitrogen fertilizer, which is shipped long distances to reach the Midwest. Though many nitrogen facilities have increased production, they now produce urea, UAN, or other nitrogen products, leaving less net ammonia available. In fact, after 2018, the Midwest could see a decline of up to 390,000 tons in the domestic supply of anhydrous ammonia due to product upgrades. 

Located in the heart of the Corn Belt, the Garner plant will serve the agricultural community within a 100-mile radius and produce enough ammonia to meet one third of the expected shortfall and approximately 1-2% of overall nitrogen imports. Should the market change in the future, the plant will be able to upgrade to other nitrogen products. 

In addition to meeting local demand for nitrogen fertilizer, Greenfield Nitrogen is creating a new way for farmers and agricultural retailers to profit. 

"Greenfield Nitrogen has created a truly distinctive way to allow farmers and agricultural retailers to invest in the same facility so that all investors gain access to manufacturers' margins," said Karl Theis, Founder at Greenfield Nitrogen. "No other plant has invited participation from both groups." Theis is an Iowa native and an industrial engineer with more than 20 years of experience in agriculture and farming. 

The $220 million Garner, Iowa, plant will use conventional, proven technology to produce nitrogen fertilizer and serve the local market. A seed capital round has already raised $4.7 million. The site is shovel-ready and permits are in hand. Construction is set to begin later this year and production is expected to begin in 2020. 

Investment opportunities are open to accredited investors and early forecasts show a 16-20% return on investment. Investor packets can be requested at

Lindsay Event Puts Focus on Precision Irrigation and Smart Farming Practices

Lindsay Corporation (NYSE: LNN), a leading global manufacturer and distributor of irrigation and infrastructure equipment and technology, today hosted Water Matters 3.6.18 – an educational event focused on efficient irrigation and the role it plays in precision agriculture and emerging smart farming practices. The event was held at Lindsay-owned Elecsys Corporation, a technology design and manufacturing production facility in Olathe, Kansas.

“Whether it’s driverless tractors, drones or smart irrigation - precision technology is the key to helping farmers meet growing global food, fuel and fiber challenges,” said Brian Magnusson, vice president of technology at Lindsay Corporation. “Our goal today was to raise awareness of precision irrigation tools and practices and the increasing, global impact they will have on the future of agriculture."

The event featured a panel discussion with growers and other industry experts, hands-on demonstrations of some of the cutting edge technology that’s driving precision irrigation and a behind the scenes tour of Lindsay’s technology production process.

“I’m a farmer that likes to be on the edge and try new things, and one of the biggest things I have in my operation is irrigation,” said panel member John Breedlove, owner of Breedlove Farms in Manito, Illinois. “I’m lucky, because I have a great aquifer to run from. It would be easy to just push the button and run the system whenever I want, but I don’t think that’s the right way to do things anymore. It’s important for me to understand how my crop is using water, so I can be more efficient with my irrigation and maybe bump up my yields, too.”

Breedlove relies on Lindsay’s FieldNET® technology for remote monitoring and control of his irrigation systems. He added FieldNET’s fully-integrated FieldNET Advisor™ irrigation recommendation tool into the system last year, so he now also receives field-specific information that helps him decide when, where and how much to irrigate.

Also at the event, Randy Wood, Lindsay’s president of agricultural irrigation, announced a new data connection with the John Deere Operations Center, which will help FieldNET Advisor users make even faster, better-informed decisions using data from their farm equipment that’s connected to the John Deere Operations Center. This, he said, can result in improved productivity and profitability for growers.

Wood also commented on the company’s commitment to continuous innovation, announcing enhanced technology offerings and the expansion of FieldNET and FieldNET Advisor to more growers around the world. He also detailed a goal to help growers save more than 700 billion gallons of water and more than one billion kilowatt hours of energy by the year 2022.

“To put that in tangible terms, the amount of water we hope to help growers save is over 10 percent more than the Lake of the Ozarks or roughly half the size of Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain,” he said. “In terms of carbon emissions, the savings is equivalent to 200,000 passenger vehicles operating for a year or the equivalent of burning 100 million gallons of gasoline.”

Wood added that progress toward these goals will be tracked at  He also called on other organizations to make a similar commitment to water conservation.

“The effort to sustain and protect the world for future generations must include effective water management,” he said. “It’s up to all of us to make ‘water matters’ a priority.”

Iowa Learning Farms Webinar to Highlight Non-Operator Landowner Roles in Natural Resources Conservation

Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar about how to better engage non-operator landowners in natural resources conservation on Wednesday, March 21 at 12 p.m. This webinar will cover conservation check-up tools for farm land.

Conservation Connect, managed by Agren, has initiated direct marketing campaigns to non-operator landowners to build awareness and encourage implementation of conservation practices. Since 2006, Agren has launched several pilot outreach projects across the United States to engage non-operator landowners in conversations about conservation practice implementation on their land. The outreach campaign includes the “Your Land Report Card” assessment.

“Report cards are a great tool to use with non-operator landowners who want a check-up, but don’t have the understanding or ability to understand all the detailed metrics,” said Amy Dreith, marketing manager for Agren. “It is imperative to demonstrate that there is a problem before there’s interest in a solution.”

The report cards provide a simple way to gauge land’s performance and serve as a conversation starter between the tenant and landowner. Tom Buman, chief executive officer of Agren, and Dreith will co-present outreach strategies Agren has used to engage non-operator landowners in natural resources conservation.

The Iowa Learning Farms webinar series takes place on the third Wednesday of the month. To watch, go to shortly before 12 p.m. on March 21 and log in through the “guest” option. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the ILF website for watching at any time at

ASA Honors Ray Gaesser with Distinguished Leadership Award

The American Soybean Association (ASA) recognized Ray Gaesser, from Corning, Iowa, with its Distinguished Leadership Award at its annual awards banquet during the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif.

The Distinguished Leadership Award recognizes a soybean grower or association staff leader whose leadership has strengthened the national or state association, enhanced soy-related policy efforts and increased farmer education or engagement.

Gaesser served a number of years on the ASA Board, and was president in 2013-14. He also served on the Iowa Soybean Association board, as well as in multiple state leadership positions, including president of the Iowa Soybean Association in 2006-07.

Photo: ASA President John Heisdorffer (left) presents Ray Gaesser (right) with the Distinguished Leadership Award during the annual ASA Banquet at Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif on Feb. 28. Photo credit: Joe Murphy *Email for a high resolution image.

During his years of leadership, Gaesser helped create and increase demand for biodiesel, and strengthen the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). He also supported increased trade and market opportunities for soybean farmers.

“Ray’s dedication to the industry, here in Iowa and at the national level, is second to none,” wrote Heather Lilienthal, Iowa Soybean Association director of producer services, in her nomination letter. “He can talk policy, and push tough issues with any lawmaker, and also recall the first time he and his wife visited Iowa and knew it would become home. He knows how to be tough, but always does this with a genuine smile on his face and a respectful nature to his delivery.”

Gaesser is passionate about communicating the importance of adopting agriculture technologies and seed traits to help keep soybean farmers competitive in the global marketplace. He’s also committed to telling the story of conservation and sustainability in agriculture, and how it impacts everyone.

And through his leadership roles, Gaesser has served as a continuing example of communication and collaboration among the many organizations in the soybean family.

January 2018 US Ethanol, DDG Exports Down From Year Ago

U.S. exports of goods and services totaled $200.9 billion in January, down $2.7 billion from December, the U.S. Census Bureau said on Wednesday. Imports totaled $257.5 billion, down slightly on the month and resulted in a higher trade deficit of $56.6 billion for January. USDA later provided more details for exports of ethanol, biodiesel and distillers grains.

USDA said that U.S. exports of ethanol totaled 88.3 million gallons in January, down 27% from a year ago. Brazil was the top destination again in January, accounting for 46% of exports, followed by Canada at roughly half of Brazil's amount.

U.S. exports of biodiesel totaled 14,346.9 metric tons in January, up 137% from a year ago. Peru emerged as the top destination in January, taking 52% of U.S. exports with Canada a distant second. Soybean oil prices are lower late Wednesday morning, but this report of January exports offered soybean oil prices a slight bullish influence.

U.S. exports of distillers grains totaled 898,940 metric tons in January, down 4% from a year ago. Mexico was the top export destination again in January, accounting for 20% of the total and followed by Thailand, Turkey, and South Korea.

Rural Plant Workers Urge White House to Stand Strong on the RFS

Managers at 150 biofuel production centers across the heartland sent a letter to President Donald Trump, urging the White House to “stand strong in defense of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).” In it, they directly address the campaign waged by Texas Senator Ted Cruz to “cut, cap, or eliminate” the market for U.S. biofuels manufactured from renewable farm crops.

“After four straight years of declining agricultural income, your steadfast support of homegrown biofuels has been a lifeline for the farm economy, and we are deeply grateful to you for upholding the campaign promises made to our workers, our families, and all our rural neighbors,” wrote the plant managers to President Trump. “We ask that you send a clear and final signal that this administration will no longer entertain misleading schemes designed to kill the RFS.”

Purdue University Analysis Confirms Potential Economic Fallout from Changes to RFS

Economists at Purdue University have analyzed the potential economic implications of a price cap on RINs in conjunction with an E15 RVP waiver. Their analysis finds that a price cap—even when paired with an RVP waiver--would prevent achievement of the objectives of the Renewable Fuel Standard, reduce overall biofuel blending, and halt investment in higher blend infrastructure.

Statement by National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Skunes regarding a new study by Purdue University.

“The new Purdue University analysis continues a drum beat of data that makes it very clear messing with the Renewable Fuel Standard, and specifically manipulating the Renewable Identification Number (RIN) system, is a potential economic disaster for farmers and rural America.

A RIN price cap—even when paired with RVP parity for E15 and higher blends—weakens the RFS and would prevent achievement of the clean air and economic objectives that launched this innovative, renewable fuels program.

Purdue University notes, artificially capping RIN values or otherwise manipulating the RIN system with waiver credits would reduce overall biofuel blending, halt investment in higher ethanol blend infrastructure and drive some domestic ethanol plants out of business. When combined with recent analysis from Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) conclusion that RIN values do not impact refiners, the picture gets crystal clear; there is no logical reason to tinker with this program that is working.

If the real goal is to lower RIN values, Purdue University’s analysis points out that a small increase in the amount of ethanol blended would lower RIN values without all this political maneuvering or adding economic pressure to the farm economy, which is already operating in the red.

Fertilizer Prices Continue to Slowly Shift Higher

Retail fertilizer prices continued to trend higher the fourth week of February 2018, according to retailers tracked by DTN.

All eight of the major fertilizers again are higher compared to last month, but only one fertilizer was up a significant amount. Nitrogen fertilizer UAN32 was 7% more expensive compared to month-earlier levels at an average price of $279/ton.

The remaining seven fertilizers were all higher compared to the prior month but none were up a notable amount. DAP had an average price of $461/ton; MAP $497/ton; potash $346/ton; urea $361/ton; 10-34-0 $416/ton; anhydrous $496/ton; and UAN28 $233/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N; anhydrous $0.30/lb.N; UAN28 $0.42/lb.N; and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.

Four fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices pushing up in recent months. UAN32 is now 1% more expensive; potash is 3% higher; DAP is 6% more expensive; and MAP is 8% higher than last year.

The remaining four fertilizers are lower in price compared to a year prior. Both anhydrous and urea are 1% less expensive while both UAN28 and UAN32 are 5% lower looking back a year.

Wheat Organizations Ask USTR to Work Toward Re-Joining TPP to Prevent Serious Revenue Loss

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and 33 state wheat organizations have expressed hope in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer that the Administration will immediately prioritize accession to TPP to save the valuable Japanese market for U.S. wheat farmers.

“Once TPP is ratified, U.S. wheat exports to Japan will be at serious risk,” the letter stated. “TPP will reduce the effective tariffs that Japanese flour millers pay for imported Australian and Canadian wheat over nine years from about $150 to about $85 per ton. Effective tariffs on imported U.S. wheat would remain at about $150 per ton. Loss in market share and its negative effect on farmgate prices are likely to come much sooner, as Japanese millers reformulate their product mix to avoid the need to purchase artificially expensive U.S. wheat. Lost market share is incredibly difficult to regain.” 

The wheat industry organizations noted that Japan has, on average, imported more U.S. wheat than any other country for many years. U.S. wheat market share is typically more than 50 percent of the 6 million metric tons (MMT) of wheat Japan imports annually. Sources within the Japanese milling industry however estimate that could quickly fall to less than 25 percent under TPP 11 rules. At the average price Japan has been paying for U.S. wheat the past five years, that would represent an annual loss of almost $500 million for farmers, rail and barge operators and grain handlers. 

“Unfortunately, the agreement among the TPP members will have a devastating impact in rural communities across the wheat belts of the Great Plains and the Northwest, though it will hurt the income of every American farmer growing wheat,” the letter continued. “The President has promised to negotiate great new deals. American agriculture now counts on that promise and American wheat farmers – facing a calamity they would be hard pressed to overcome – now depend on it.”

The organizations said they welcomed the President’s recent openness to joining TPP if better terms for the United States can be negotiated. They also suggested that Ambassador Lighthizer could include acceding to the TPP as an objective in the Administration’s report to Congress that will outline its request to extend Trade Promotion Authority. 

USDA's Outlook Forum Gives a Preview of What Lies Ahead for the Cattle Industry

Brian R. Williams, Asst. Ext. Prof., Dept of Ag Econ, Mississippi State University

The United States Department of Agriculture held its annual Agricultural Outlook Forum a couple of weeks ago in which many topics relevant to the agricultural industry were discussed at length. Topics of discussion ranged from trade to regulation and from policy to rural development. But the one topic that is always a mainstay at the annual forum are the market outlooks for most of our major commodities. The outlooks at the forum include information regarding the current supply and demand situation as well as projections for the current production year and a discussion of the factors that are the driving forces behind those projections.

The most important aspect on the supply side of the cattle industry comes back to the annual Cattle report released back in January. The Cattle report gives us a snapshot on the industry's inventory of cattle and calves as of January 1, 2018. Based upon those numbers, the beef industry saw the herd size expand for the fourth consecutive year. The USDA projects expansion to continue throughout 2018, but also points out evidence that the rate of expansion will also slow substantially this year. Heifer retention is projected to be down 3.7% from a year ago, while the number of heifers expected to calve will be down 5.2% from a year ago. However, these declines in heifer numbers are not necessarily an indicator of an industry contraction. Rather, it is likely an indicator of a slower rate of expansion. We really won't see the industry begin to contract until the rate of culling older cows exceeds the rate in which replacement heifers are added to the herd. With such high replacement heifer retention over the last few years, I suspect we have a relatively young cattle herd nationally, which will help to keep the culling rate down over the next couple of years.

On the demand side, the USDA is projecting exports to continue to increase 5.7% from last year, with much of that going to Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong. Although the U.S. beef industry does have a foot in the door with China, exports to that country are still expected to be small relative to other Asian counterparts. It will likely take a few years for exports to China to grow to an amount that will have a noticeable impact on total exports. Per capita consumption is also expected to be higher for beef as well as for all animal proteins. In fact, total per capital meat consumption for 2018 is expected to hit record levels.

Despite increases in both domestic beef consumption as well as beef exports, the USDA is projecting slightly lower cattle prices for 2018. A big part of the reason for lower projected prices is the 5.9% increase in total beef production for 2018, which would be a new record. The USDA is projecting average steer prices for the year to be about 2% below a year ago, which when combined with slightly lower corn prices should mean that this year's margins in the cattle feeding industry should be relatively consistent with last year's margins.

CWT Assists with 6.3 million Pounds of Cheese and Butter Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 35 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Land O’Lakes, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold), Tillamook County Creamery Association and United Dairymen of Arizona. These cooperatives have contracts to sell 4.350 million pounds (1,973 metric tons) of Cheddar, Gouda and Monterey Jack cheese, and 1.984 million pounds (900 metric tons) of butter to customers in Asia, Central America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The product has been contracted for delivery in the period from March through June 2018.

CWT-assisted member cooperative 2018 export sales total 22.873 million pounds of American-type cheeses, and 5.337 million pounds of butter (82% milkfat) to 17 countries on four continents. These sales are the equivalent of 331.209 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program in the long term helps member cooperatives gain and maintain market share, thus expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them. This, in turn, positively affects all U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

Farm Credit Statement on Infrastructure Proposal from Senate Democrats

President and CEO of the Farm Credit Council Todd Van Hoose, made the following statement on the infrastructure plan released today by Senate Democrats.

“Farm Credit appreciates the infrastructure proposal today from Senate Democrats, particularly its strong focus on rural infrastructure. Thankfully the need to support rural communities, help them attract and keep jobs and keep American agriculture as a leader in the world is a bipartisan issue.

“Through the Rebuild Rural Coalition, we have had warm receptions from Ranking Member Stabenow’s and Carper’s staff. They understand the unique challenges of rural infrastructure, and that is borne out in today’s proposal.

“We look forward to working with Congress and the White House on this vitally important opportunity to improve the quality of life for rural Americans and the communities in which they live.”

Autonomous Solutions technology being used for New Holland Agriculture and Case IH pilot programs with large growers

Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) technology will be used in two pilot programs with large scale commercial growers in California. A partnership agreement has been announced between ASI, New Holland Agriculture, and E. & J. Gallo Winery, the largest family-owned winery in the world, to operate the autonomous vehicles in their vineyard operations. Similarly, there has also been a partnership announced between ASI, Case IH, and Campbell Soup Company’s Bolthouse Farms, one of North America’s largest vegetable growers.

The primary purpose of these pilot programs is to collect more data and feedback from the best farm operators.

“We are delighted to work with these world class organizations at this exciting time,” says Mel Torrie, CEO of ASI. “The technology maturity and lower costs are converging towards an automation disruption just in time to help with the severe shortage of farm labor.”

E. & J. Gallo Winery will be using New Holland T4.110F vineyard tractors in their operations in California that are fitted with autonomous technology. The systems will be performing a full range of maintenance and crop production tasks.  These tasks are highly repetitive and are done many times throughout the year making it an ideal application for automation.

ASI and Case IH are also working with Bolthouse Farms. This pilot program, also based in California, will be using multiple autonomous Case IH Steiger® Quadtrac® tractors for crop tillage.  

“Feedback from these operations is key for us to further refine the solution for specific implements and production scenarios.” says Bret Turpin, Agriculture Project Owner for ASI.

This work builds upon longstanding collaboration between ASI and these global agricultural manufacturers.  Recently commercialized products, which have derived from the research and development activities of the autonomous program, have included the release of Case IH’s AccuTurn™ and New Holland Agriculture’s IntelliTurn™ automated end-of-row turning products.

Protect the Cow Herd and Get Calves Off to the Right Start

While spring calving season is just around the corner and fall calving herds are about to wean, it’s never too early to think about protecting the next calf crop by implementing a strong fetal protection vaccine program.

“It’s important to get that calf going good, and the right health all starts from the beginning,” said Cody Jorgensen, a partner in Jorgensen Land and Cattle near Ideal, South Dakota. “If you aren’t off to a good start, it’s a battle the rest of the way through that calf’s life.”

“What we’re doing by using fetal protection vaccines is that we are effectively protecting the calf prior to birth. If you couple that with a proper nutritional program, we’re setting that calf up for success in being able to reach its full genetic potential, from the time it’s conceived all the way through the production cycle,” says Mark Alley, DVM, Technical Services veterinarian with Zoetis.

While research has shown that a modified-live vaccination program can be highly effective in helping prevent abortions caused by infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) and persistent infection caused by bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) viruses Types 1 and 2, maintaining a strictly modified-live vaccination program that fits the cattle working schedule can be challenging for veterinarians and producers alike.

A nearly three-year study at Auburn University evaluated the efficacy of a vaccination program where heifers were all vaccinated with two doses of a modified-live reproductive vaccine (BOVI-SHIELD GOLD FP® 5) prior to breeding.1 At pregnancy check, the vaccinated heifers were split into two groups — one continued to get BOVI-SHIELD GOLD FP 5 and a second group was given CATTLEMASTER GOLD FP® 5. The study also maintained a control group, which received no vaccinations.

Study results in the control group revealed the severity of the challenge model with 14 of 15 cows either aborting BVD-positive calves or delivering a BVD persistently infected calf. Researchers observed significant (p < 0.0001) protection against both virulent BVD and IBR exposure in the vaccinated groups with both vaccine groups providing similarly high levels of protection.1

Dr. Alley says it is important for producers and veterinarians to look at the labels to make sure they are selecting vaccines that are effective in protecting against the reproductive forms of these important diseases. This means looking for the following information on the vaccine label:
·         “FP” in the name of the product, which is a designation that the vaccine provides fetal protection
·         Indication to prevent or control IBR-related abortions
·         Indication to prevent or control BVD persistently infected calves

Producers are encouraged to visit with their veterinarian or local Zoetis representative about developing an effective fetal protection program or visit for more information.

Do not use in pregnant cows (abortions can result) unless they were vaccinated, according to label directions, with any BOVI-SHIELD GOLD FP or PREGGUARD GOLD FP® vaccine prebreeding initially and within 12 months thereafter. Do not use in calves nursing pregnant cows unless their dams were vaccinated within the past 12 months as described above. To help ensure safety in pregnant cattle, heifers must receive at least 2 doses of any BOVI-SHIELD GOLD FP or PREGGUARD GOLD FP vaccine with the second dose administered approximately 30 days prebreeding.

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