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Agriculture

New Zealand orders mass cattle cull to eradicate disease

New Zealand Monday (May 28) ordered the culling of 126,000 cattle in an attempt to eradicate the painful Mycoplasma bovis disease, which causes udder infections, pneumonia and arthritis. The decision was taken to "protect the base of our economy - the farming sector," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said."This is a tough call - no one ever wants to see mass culls. But the alternative is the spread of the disease across our national herd."Mycoplasma bovis does not affect milk and meat for human consumption, and most governments are content to control outbreaks.

Recombinetics, Semex form alliance to produce polled dairy cattle

Recombinetics announced that it has formed an alliance with Semex, a farmer-owned cattle genetics organization based in Canada, to implement a precision breeding program that improves animal health and well-being through hornless dairy cattle genetics. According to the announcement, the dehorning of calves is a routine procedure designed to prevent injuries both to other animals and to handlers. This procedure is uncomfortable for animals and is an unpleasant task for farm personnel.

Tulare mayor says ag hurts environment, public health. Farmers react angrily online

Tulare Mayor Carlton Jones is facing the wrath of the farming community after saying on social media that agriculture is damaging to the environment and public health. A screen shot of his comments was shared Friday on the Facebook page My Job Depends on Ag. And it didn't take long for the page's loyal followers to respond. By early Friday afternoon, the post had more than 400 comments and had been shared more than 300 times.Some called for his ouster, while others said he was ignorant for slamming an industry that is the backbone of Tulare County's economy.

Some experts say U.S. should create milk supply management system like Canada’s

A group of dairy farmers and experts argued Wednesday that to save family farms from going out of business, the U.S. needs to adopt some form of supply management like Canada has.Farmers across the country have experienced a drop in earnings from their milk in recent years as rising milk production across the U.S. and other countries has flooded domestic and international markets. Increased milk production has resulted in a market oversupply.

Another step forward for Texas Tech's Veterinary College

Texas Tech University’s plans for a new veterinary college—the first new veterinary school in the U.S. in 40 years—took another step forward this week.The Amarillo City Council approved a 69-million dollar funding plan to ensure construction of the school in Amarillo. Work continues to line up state funding and private donations for the school, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2021.Texas Tech officials say the school is needed to address a critical shortage of farm animal veterinarians in rural areas.The new school will be the 31st veterinary school in the country.

Livestock Sectors Prepare for FMD

Thirteen states are partaking in a national emergency response training for a Food and Mouth Disease outbreak this week. Emergency management coordinator Brad Deacon with the Michigan Department of Agriculture tells Brownfield a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in the U.S.

Banker Comments from the Tenth District

Savings and equity have helped with this year’s loan requests, but liquidity is getting tighter every day. – Eastern Nebraska Cash flows in 2018 suggest that liquidity will decline. This latest run-up in the markets should help some. – Eastern Nebraska  The past year turned out to be every  bit as difficult for area producers as we feared. Most borrowers lost working capital. At today's crop prices, cash flows are breakeven at best. – Southwest Nebraska  We are seeing a lot of shortages in cash flows.

Decline in Farm Income Slows but Persists

Despite moderate increases in prices of key agricultural commodities, District bankers reported that farm income and spending continued to decrease. The decline in the first quarter makes 2018 the fifth consecutive year that bankers have reported lower farm income than the year before (Chart 1). Although household spending and capital spending also have continued to decline, the pace of the decline in capital spending, which has historically followed farm income, has been relatively slower.

KY House members ignore party lines, defeat raw milk measure

A representative from Kentucky said it was about consumers’ food choices. A coalition of food safety groups said it was a threat to public health — particularly children. The U.S. House just said no. With a vote of 331-79, legislators from both sides of the aisle joined to crush an amendment to the farm bill that would have allowed the interstate sale of unpasteurized raw milk. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Thomas Massie, R-KY, said his proposed legislation would protect farmers from “federal interference” while respecting state laws.

Producers Urged to Plan for Possible Drought-Driven Culling

It may be time to cut cattle stocking rates by as much as 10% in some parts of the Northern Plains. That news comes as drought conditions that began last year there continue, and many producers are warned to expect reductions in forage production on pasture and rangeland going forward."Last year, some producers experienced as much as a 75 percent reduction in forage production on pasture, range and hayland due to the drought," said Kevin Sedivec, North Dakota State University Extension rangeland management specialist.In many areas, pasture and rangeland received excess grazing pressure.

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