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June 19, 2014

The current edition of News and Information for Animal Agriculture, the official newsletter of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture.

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USDA Licenses First Vaccine for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus

The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today issued a conditional license to Harrisvaccines, Inc. of Ames, Iowa for a vaccine that may aid in the control of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) in swine. This is the first licensed vaccine for PEDv. It will be used to vaccinate sows with the intent that they build antibody, and transmit that antibody through their milk to newborn piglets. It is intended to protect the piglets against PEDv.

Preliminary studies have been promising, and they've shown sufficient data that we think the vaccine will be effective. The company will continue working toward completing the requirements for a full license. In the meantime, there are no restrictions on vaccine use under the conditional license. Minnesota Farm Guide, 06/16/17

Poultry Shipments to China to Resume Friday

Virginia's first poultry shipment to China in seven years will leave the Port of Virginia on Friday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced today. The shipment of chicken–wing tips will come from Perdue Foods Inc.'s cold–storage export facility in Norfolk, which McAuliffe visited today, a news release from the governor's office said. It is expected to arrive in China on Aug. 3. At a luncheon last month in Virginia Beach, McAuliffe announced that China had lifted its ban on importing poultry products from Virginia.

Todd Haymore, Virginia's secretary of agriculture and forestry, predicted $20 million in poultry exports to China in the next year. By Philip Walzer, The Virginian–Pilot, 06/17/14

Hong Kong Market Reopens for U.S. Beef

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the United States and Hong Kong have agreed on new terms and conditions that pave the way for expanded exports of U.S. beef and beef products to Hong Kong.

"This is great news for American ranchers and beef companies," said Vilsack. "Hong Kong is already the fourth largest market for U.S. beef and beef product exports, with sales there reaching a historic high of $823 million in 2013. We look forward to expanded opportunities there for the U.S. beef industry now that all trade restrictions are lifted," Vilsack said.

Under the new terms, Hong Kong will permit the import of the full range of U.S. beef and beef products, consistent with access prior to December 2003. The new terms become effective today (Tuesday). USDA News Release, 06/17/14

National Strategic Plan for Federal Aquaculture Research Released (PDF)

The White House announced the Administration's National Strategic Plan for Federal Aquaculture Research. The Interagency Working Group on Aquaculture (IWG–A), a working group under the Life Science Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council's Office of Science and authorized by the National Aquaculture Act of 1980 (Act), was established to increase the overall effectiveness and productivity of federal aquaculture research, technology transfer, and technology assistance programs; further encourage public–private sector collaborations; as well as coordinate efforts among federal agencies engaged in the science, technology, and engineering of aquaculture in the United States. The IWG–A supports Section 2(c) of the Act which defines national policy to encourage the development of aquaculture in the United States.

This 5–year Plan will provide a framework for coordination and collaboration across agencies on research, education, and technology transfer programs related to aquaculture and will guide Federal agencies in moving forward as they prioritize their aquaculture–related research and development activities. Additionally, the White House released a Fact Sheet entitled "Leading at Home and Internationally to Protect Our Ocean and Coasts" on the Administration's efforts relating to "…protecting the ocean and its marine ecosystems." The Whitehouse, 06/17/14

Poultry Inspectors Union Urges Passage of DeLauro Amendment Blocking USDA Outsourcing Plan

The American Federation of Government Employees is calling on House lawmakers to prevent the U.S. Department of Agriculture from implementing a new poultry inspection system that would jeopardize worker and food safety and put the American public at risk.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut has introduced an amendment to the fiscal 2015 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that would prevent the USDA from spending any money to finalize and implement its proposed poultry inspection rule. AFGE strongly supports the amendment and encourages all lawmakers to vote for it when it comes to the floor on Wednesday.

"The current poultry inspection system certainly has its flaws. But the USDA's cost–cutting plan would transform an imperfect system into a potentially lethal one," AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. AFGE News Release, 06/10/14

Red River Ex Pig Tales Display Offers a Look at Swine Production without Compromising Biosecurity

The new "Pig Tales" exhibit at the Red River Ex will allow the public to see what happens in a swine barn without risking the health of the pigs. The Red River Exhibition kicked off Friday in Winnipeg and wraps up Sunday.

The 2014 edition features over 45 new events and attractions including Manitoba Pork's revamped "Pig Tales" exhibit. Susan Riese, the manager of public relations and consumer marketing programs with Manitoba Pork, says visitors have the opportunity to learn about all aspects of pork production from the farm gate to their plates. Manitoba Pork Council via Farmscape, 06/16/14

Pondering The Question Of Industry Vs. Individual Operation

Summer conventions and mid–year conferences are just around the corner. These meetings inspire me, and I'm always amazed to witness just how much effort and self–sacrifice volunteer leaders are willing to invest on behalf of their industry and other producers.

I think many producers ponder the question of how much time they can afford to spend working on improving the overall industry environment vs. working on the individual operation. I think the real question isn't how much I can afford to invest in the industry, but whether I'm willing to run the risk of not investing in the future of my industry? That's why I love these meetings, because they're usually stocked with people who have decided to put the industry first, and have figured out that it's an investment that pays. By Troy Marshall, BEEF Magazine, 06/11/14

Blue Is the New Black

A looming challenge facing all of agriculture is expressed neatly by the line, "Blue (as in H2O) is the new black (as in black gold, Texas tea)." In fact, some analysts feel that by mid–century, wars will be fought over water, not oil.

The meat and poultry production sector is a huge consumer of water of both water resources and wastewater services. Indeed, one of (many) reasons that meatpacking deserted its traditional urban locations in the early postwar era was the escalating costs associated with water consumption and wastewater disposal.

Globally, everyone from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization to the World Bank to the Rand Corporation is also predicting a coming crisis with water resources. Not only will the resource itself be in danger of falling seriously behind worldwide demand, but the necessary infrastructure needed to collect, treat and deliver water needed for food and industrial production is also failing to keep pace with the requirements of even the world's most prosperous, developed countries. By Dan Murphy, Drovers CattleNetwork, 06/10/14

Blue-Green Algae Poisoning Threatens Livestock

Several livestock deaths have been attributed to blue–green algae poisoning in North Dakota recently, putting livestock producers and veterinarians on alert. Blue–green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, typically grow in stagnant, warm pond water. When the algae die, they produce a toxin that is poisonous to most livestock and wildlife, including ducks, geese, rabbits, muskrats, frogs, fish and snakes. Under favorable conditions, blue–green algae can double in number in 24 hours, and these blooms can turn pond water blue to brownish green.

"A close watch for unexplained livestock deaths is important," according to Gerald Stokka, North Dakota State University Extension veterinarian and livestock stewardship specialist. "Consult a veterinarian to find a cause of death so steps can be taken to prevent additional livestock deaths." By Gerald Stokka, NDSU, Bovine Veterinarian, 06/16/14

Tree Tannins Could Reduce Manure Odor

Scientists with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have found that tannins extracted from quebracho trees could restrict the activity of bacteria that produce hydrogen sulfide and other sulfur compounds involved in the offensive odors of manure pits or lagoons.

ARS microbiologists Terry Whitehead and Mike Cotta tested their hypothesis using swine manure in a laboratory setting that mimicked natural farm conditions. Seven days after adding quebracho tannins to the manure, they found that hydrogen sulfide and methane production had been reduced more than 90 percent and the effect continued for another three weeks. They also found that sulfate–reducing bacteria populations declined by 70 to 90 percent. The researchers next plan to test the treatment in a commercial farm setting. They believe the tannin treatment could provide a cost–effective method for reducing odors and greenhouse gas emissions, while also preserving the quality of manure for use as a soil amendment on crop fields. By John Maday, Drovers CattleNetwork, 06/17/14

El Niño Expected to Benefit U.S. Agriculture

A Kansas State University senior agricultural economist says there's a 70 percent chance an El Niño will arrive this fall – and that's good news for the United States.

Jay O'Neil, an instructor and specialist at the university's International Grains Program, says what happens with El Niño will affect worldwide crop production. El Niño, which is the warming of the sea temperatures off the coast of Peru, is expected to affect crops during September, October and November.

"El Niño is generally favorable to crop production in the United States because it brings extra rain and moisture into the core crop–growing areas," O'Neil said. "We're just coming out of a four–year drought cycle in the United States and we'd like to get back to what we call trend–line yields and big crop production so there's plenty for everybody." Kansas State University News Release, 06/16/14



House Passes Tax Extenders Legislation

Today, the U.S. House voted 274 to 144 to pass a handful of tax extenders, including the expiring section 179 expensing provisions for small business. National Cattlemen's Beef Association President and Victoria, Texas cattleman, Bob McCan says this is a victory for rural America.

"The passage of these tax extenders is a good move for cattlemen and women," said McCan. "America's ranching families are primarily family–owned small businesses who need a stable tax code that encourages rural economic growth. That is what this package is, and we urge the Senate in turn to pass their tax extender legislation to provide greater certainty in the tax code."

Specifically for agriculture, this legislation includes an extension of Section 179 expensing for capital investments. On January 1, 2014, expensing levels under Section 179 were reduced from $500,000 to $25,000. This and other important tax extenders still await action in the Senate. National Cattlemen's Beef Association News Release, 06/12/14

Ag Has a Dog in the Immigration Reform Hunt

Agriculture has a dog in finding a solution to immigration reform. Thus, it needs to step forward and become part of the solution. If left unaddressed, the only sure thing is that the options for solving the issue will become much fewer and less desirable. It's an issue that's important to agriculture because agriculture employs a high percentage of immigrant labor, either as seasonal or full time employees. In fact, labor and labor availability tend to be among the top five concerns among most folks in the livestock industry in particular. By Troy Marshall, BEEF Magazine, 0612/14

The above news articles are provided by the individual sources identified in each article and are not a product of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture. Intended for personal, noncommercial use only.

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The National Institute for Animal Agriculture provides a forum for building consensus and advancing proactive solutions for animal agriculture-the beef, dairy, swine, sheep, goats, equine and poultry industries-and provides continuing education and communication linkages for animal agriculture professionals. NIAA is dedicated to programs that work towards the eradication of disease that pose risk to the health of animals, wildlife and humans; promote a safe and wholesome food supply for our nation and abroad; and promote best practices in environmental stewardship, animal health and well-being. NIAA members represent all facets of animal agriculture.