Principles of bio-security

CM-MR-2-Principles 2by Steve Wagner

Dr. Ernest Hovingh describes himself as ‘a James Herriot kind of man.’ Herriot was a veterinarian in the UK’s Yorkshire Dales who wrote a series of bestselling books about his practice nearly 40 years ago. Dairy cows are where Hovingh has spent the past 20 years of his life. “But,” he explains, “I also work on the bio-security aspect of things.” Hovingh honed in on infectious disease for his presentation at Penn-Ag’s Pork Expo and Poultry Progress Day at Shady Maple in East Earl, PA. [Read more…]

Will dairy margin insurance be for you?

CEWN-MR-1-Dairy Margin Insuranceby Steven E Smith

By Sept. 1, the U.S. dairy industry should have an entirely new USDA dairy policy in place. Once the new program rules of the Agricultural Act of 2014 are in place, gone will be decades old milk price support programs, the Dairy Exports Incentive Program and the limited MILC program. Without the weighty coexistence of the SNAP and other domestic food assistance, the 2014 Farm Bill, known as the “Farm Only Bill” includes the provision of federal margin insurance program for the U.S. Dairy industry in this era of global marketing expectations and a shift from disaster payments to risk management. [Read more…]

Fighting the scab battle

CEW-MR-2-SCAB 2by Sally Colby
Dr. Christina Cowger, who conducts scab research at the ARS laboratory in North Carolina, says scab is the trickiest and most intractable fungus that affects grains. But organizations are fighting back in the form of initiatives, informational websites and online tools for farmers.

“The U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative is funded by the USDA through our budget,” said Cowger. “It started when scab became a huge problem in the upper Midwest in the 1990s. There were devastating scab epidemics of wheat and barley, and it really changed the face of the local communities. Some local towns were shut down because people lost their farms.” [Read more…]