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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 26 March 2014

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Wednesday 26th March 2014.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Weather Poses Farmer Headaches Both Sides of Atlantic

Two radically different farming challenges are being presented to beef producers on each side of the Atlantic.

In Western Europe, a mild and very wet winter has led to grass parasite warnings, while many US farmers still wait for a spring thaw after a headline grabbing whiteout.

Leatherjackets, liver fluke and soil mineral leaching could be widespread this spring across the UK, advisers are saying.

“We can’t yet be sure how much of an effect the tremendously wet winter has had on soil mineral levels, but we do know that magnesium deficiency is always a significant threat at turnout,” warned Rumenco technical manager David Thornton last month.

He described the higher chance of grass staggers because of potassium – a magnesium antagonist.

And for UK farmers further north, a lack of ground frost means insect larvae could pressurise grass production this year.

Seed producer Barenburg have told Scottish Border farmers that Leatherjackets (crane fly larvae) have caused extensive winter damage to grass roots after wintering higher up the soil profile.

The solution, according to Barenbrug’s regional manager Mhairi Dawson, involves the cultural solution of summer ploughing and control through Chlorpyrifos chemistry.

Summer ploughing can destroy half of the leatherjackets and expose them to predatory birds. Leatherjacket movment can be restricted by heavy rolling," added Mrs Dawson. 

A further danger this spring is liver fluke – also from the wet winter.

A fluke infection costs £87 per effected beef animal, EBLEX research has found.

This is why Merial Animal Health suggested treating for fluke eight to 10 weeks after turnout this week.

Merial’s advice hinges on the eight to 12 week delay between fluke infections from pasture and adults laying eggs in the liver.

Contrastingly, rather than being problematic, frozen ground has been presented a possible money saving area for US farmers looking to repair pasture.

Ohio State University educator Rory Lewandowski has suggested allowing freeze thaw action to put grass seed in contact with top soil.

This slashes cultivation costs and, if done with legumes, supplies grasses with nitrogen to boost growth, he added.

Over in Minnesota, concerned Alfalfa growers have been reassured that snow cover should be minimising winter damage and loss.

Crop specialist Phyllis Bongard has reported that, while air temperatures have been -22F across the state, snow depth has prevented extreme changes in soil temperature.

Alfalfa crowns are susceptible to damage and death from soil temperatures of 15F and below, said Mrs Bongard.

She concluded that, even with the -20 F air temperatures of January, alfalfa winterkill risk is ‘minimal’.

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This Week's Articles and Analysis

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Bovine Tuberculosis: Vaccinate or Cull, Badgers or Deer?
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Managing Snowmelt on Farmsteads
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Company News

Merck Animal Health Launches Scholarship Program with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation
US - Merck Animal Health today announced the recipients of the Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Program, awarding $100,000 in scholarships to 20 veterinary students.
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Thermo Fisher Scientific Acquires Prionics
GLOBAL - Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has this week announced the completed acquisition of Prionics AG, a privately held animal health diagnostics company.
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BELGIUM - CID Lines recently hosted a visit by 34 sales reps from its Danish importer, DLG.
Market Reports

NAB Australian Rural Commodities Wrap - March 2014
USDA GAIN: New Zealand Livestock and Beef Semi-annual 2014
Irish CSO Reports: Livestock Slaughterings February 2014
Dairy Australia - Hay and Grain Prices - Week Ending 21 March 2014
EBLEX Cattle Weekly - 21 March 2014
Irish CSO Reports: Agricultural Price Indices - January 2014
USDA Cattle on Feed - 21 March 2014
USDA Cold Storage - 21 March 2014

Global Beef Industry News

   United Kingdom

Potential For Dire Liver Fluke After Mild Wet Winter
Charles Sercombe Back in the NFU Livestock Chair
Concern at Call for Sick Animals to be Slaughtered not Treated
How Can Science and Farming Live Together?
Winter Crop Areas Up, Livestock Down
2014 Budget: Good News for Agriculture, but Not Permanent
Fewer Cattle Overall in UK, Most Recent Census Shows
Research Council Celebrates 20 Years of Advances in Animal Welfare
Updated Animal Health Surveillance Announced

   United States

Cattle Futures: Feeders Continue Four Week Uptrend, Tuesday
PEDV Will Cause Significant Shortfall, Other Meats to Fill the Gap
Wyckoff's Weekly Livestock Outlook: Mixed Picture Across Markets
NFU Outlines Funding Priorities for 2015
Cattle Futures: Bearish Cattle on Feed Mixes With Bullish Cash Fundamentals, Monday
Consumer and Commercial Food Sectors Hit ConAgra Results
Organic Sector Continues to Grow
Weekly Cattle Summary: Slaughter Running 6 Per Cent Below Last Year
Cattle Futures: Contract Highs Indicate a Market Top, Thursday
FDA Allows More Time to Comment on Food Safety Modernisation Act
Cattle Futures: Is a Market Top on the Horizon?
Cattle Futures: May Feeder Cattle Close Higher, Tuesday

   European Union

Antimicrobial Resistance Remains in Commonly Detected in Bacteria in Humans, Animals and Food
EU Council Addresses Organic Production, Meat Labelling
How Will Changes in EU Meat Inspection Work?
Agricultural Marketing to be Discussed at Next Council Meeting
EU Feed Industry Moves Towards More Responsible Soybeans Sourcing

   Korea, North

FMD Reported in North Korean Pigs in January


JBS Sees Growth in Sales and Earnings
Brazilians On 10 Year Path to 40 Per Cent More Milk and Meat
Mixed Prospects for Brazilian Agri-food Sectors in 2014
Experts Report Brazilian Cattle Price Recovery

   Viet Nam

Viet Nam Holds Livestock, Dairy and Aquaculture Expo

   New Zealand

Don't Allow 'Short-sighted' Cuts on Tuberculosis Eradication


Feed Industry Best Practice Manual Launched in Spanish
Good Feed Practice Manual Launched in Spanish
New Opportunities in East Africa for NGOs
World Water Day: Agriculture and Water Inextricably Interlinked
Flood Recovery Could Benefit From 30 Day Rule
First Global Feed Sustainability Guidelines Released
Feed Acid Market Estimated at US$2.6 Billion by 2018

   Congo, Democratic Republic

Fishermen, Farmers Express Concern Over Oil Exploration in Virunga


Canadian Sustainable Beef Award Goes to McDonald's


Anthrax Kills Four Cattle in Southern Africa


Thousand Cattle Killed By Drought and Ragwort Combination


FMD Outbreak in Guinea Affects Cattle of All Ages
FMD NEWS: FMD Outbreak in Guinea Affects Cattle of All Ages


One of Two Egyptian Slaughterhouses Fails Australian Welfare Check


The Drost Project - A Visual Guide to Porcine, Pig Reproduction.
VIV India 2014
VIV Europe 2014



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