Biosecurity is key to managing PEDv and SDCv

CN-2-PEDv1by Sally Colby

When PEDv, or porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, first made the news, industry officials were quick to act. However, since experts had almost no experience in dealing with the disease, there was a lot of groundwork to cover before organizations could provide sound information to producers.

PEDv was first identified in England in 2013, and spread throughout Europe and Asia before being confirmed in the Midwest in spring of 2013. Since then, the disease has been confirmed in 30 states. [Read more…]

Minutes from death

CM-MR-1- Minutes From deathby Steven E. Smith

This account from an anonymous New York dairy farmer about his experience of being mauled by a bull within inches of his life is a startling reminder of the dangers of working with bulls and other livestock.

“I awoke to the sounds of beeps and sterile smell of an unfamiliar setting. This was not my home nor anywhere familiar on my farm. I rolled back my lips then swallowed, realizing I had a really sore throat likely caused by the feeding tube which was a part of the three-week long induced comma I later learned I was in. [Read more…]

Manure to energy

CEW-MR-2-ManuretoEnergy1bwby Steve Wagner

In 1966, when I was an Army Reservist, I had a two-week summer camp in Fort Shelby, MS. Not far from there was Gulfport, a resort town on the Gulf of Mexico, where I swore I would live one day. A bit north of Gulfport is a town called Prentiss, where five years ago John Logan, a chicken farmer, concluded that the fecal matter from his 275,000 chickens was putting too much phosphorus into his groundwater, which ran into the Gulf. He solved the problem by purchasing a manure digester.

A Snyder County, Pennsylvania farmer, Mac Curtis, shared Logan’s problem at about the same time — only his problem was turkeys. Curtis’s Windview acreage rests atop a hill and the river flows directly past his property. Needless to say, Curtis didn’t want turkey scat polluting those waters, which flowed into the Chesapeake Bay. Instead of a digester, Curtis solved his problem with a manure burner. [Read more…]

Poisonous plants: those that are and those that can become

CM-CN-MR-2-PoisonousPlantsby George Looby, DVM

Now the snow is gone, and most of us are waiting impatiently for spring to arrive. The first harbingers of the season have blossomed, but for every group of early bloomers there are a few plants that pose potential threats to livestock and pets. After a winter on dry forage and silage, the natural inclination of animals turned out to pasture is to seek out greenery. Unfortunately, all that is green is not healthy, nutritious or beneficial. [Read more…]

Controlled predators are crowd-pleasers

CM-MR-2-Controlled predators716by Sally Colby

The predator approaches his prey quickly, then slows down and calculates his next move. He crouches and waits until the prey settle down. The predator is patient, but is quick to act as soon there’s an opportunity for a capture. As the prey start to move, the predator moves too; in perfect harmony with the prey, and always ready to change plans in the blink of an eye. [Read more…]