A long way in a short time

CEW-MR-1-Along way9050by Sally Colby

Those who raised beef cattle in the early 1900s were often on their own when it came to diagnosing and treating sick cattle. Many stockmen relied on recipes for concoctions passed down from generation to generation. But savvy stockmen sought more up-to-date resources. One widely-used resource was The Practical Stock Doctor, first published in 1904 by professor of veterinary medicine Dr. George Waterman of Michigan State Agricultural College. This book was written as a guide for farmers and ranchers who were interested in learning more about livestock diseases and how to recognize and treat those diseases on their own. [Read more…]

Farm energy efficiency

by Sanne Kure-Jensen

Farm inputs can include energy in the form of fuels, electricity and fertilizers. Crop and livestock production uses energy in many forms. Energy heats water for washing equipment and harvested crops, and powers lighting for production and handling areas. Livestock and produce producers use energy for heating, ventilation and refrigeration. Transportation uses more energy to move inputs to farms as well as moving produce and livestock from farms to processors, markets and consumers. Sustainable, viable farms maximize energy efficiency and minimize costs for all aspects of production.

The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) oversees programs that help farmers and producers conserve energy through a variety of on-farm energy upgrades for existing buildings. Kip Pheil, C.E.M., Acting Leader of the USDA NRCS National Energy Technology Development Team and Stephen Henry, P.E., NRCS South Carolina Assistant State Conservation Engineer described NRCS programs and shared their expertise in a webinar called “Key NRCS Energy Practices: Farmstead Energy, Lighting, and Building Envelope.” [Read more…]

The bottomless pit of Pennsylvania pensions

CM-MR-PA PENSION_1196by Steve Wagner

“While many of the pension reforms included in House Bill 2497 are noble, I cannot support legislation I know does not meet constitutional muster. No matter what provisions are included in the bill, if it does not correspond with the constitution I have sworn to uphold, it is my duty to vote no.” Those were State Representative Bryan Cutler’s words on Nov. 15, 2010. He hasn’t changed his tune. [Read more…]

What we know about managing emerging swine diseases

CEW-MR-1-Swine diseases9484by Sally Colby

Swine producers are all familiar with TGE, or transmissible gastroenteritis. TGE is a coronavirus, and has been identified in swine herds since the mid-1940s. However, a new coronavirus disease, PEDv (porcine epidemic diarrhea virus) has challenged pork producers throughout the United States.

“PED was in Europe for 50 years, and they haven’t had a problem with it,” said Dr. Meghann Pierdon, swine veterinarian at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. “More recently, between 2008 and 2010, there have been more severe outbreaks in Asia. But we had never seen it here in the U.S. until May of 2013.” [Read more…]