How Does USDA Inspected Stamp Change?


The USDA has issued a change in the way the pervasive "Inspected" stamp is to be applied in the future. The new process calls for the stamp's application to occur after test samples come back negative for any issues.

The American Meat Institute has long urged the industry to adopt test and hold policies. In October 2009, Patrick Boyle, president of AMI, sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack asking that the agency mandate test and hold. Boyle noted in the letter that more than 80 percent of the recalls due to of E. coli O157:H7 and all recalls due to the presence of Listeria monocytogenes during 2009 could have been prevented if tested products had been held.

How Will Radiation Affect Dairy Production?


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that milk products in Spokane, Wash had 0.8 pCi/L of iodine-131, a level 5,000 times lower than the Derived Intervention Level set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is believed the radiation is from the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The EPA continues to with state and local governments on monitoring of milk under its RADNET program.

“Iodine 131 has a half-life of eight days, meaning that every eight days it loses half its strength. Since production of iodine 131 stopped when the Fukushima reactors shut down on March 11, it has already been through two half-lives and could easily be halved once or twice more again before the milk is consumed as cheese or yogurt." the New York Times reported.

Can Dairy Practices Reduce Carbon Footprints?


A study on milk production use of Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin (rbST) showed a reduction in the carbon footprint of dairies. Using rbST to increase milk production in cows means that less cows, resources, and energy are needed produce the same quantity of milk, when compared to a dairy operation not using rbST.

"Environmental sustainability is an important consideration in agricultural production, with emphasis placed upon meeting human food requirements while mitigating environmental impact. The present study demonstrates that use of rbST markedly improves the efficiency of milk production and mitigates environmental parameters, including eutrophication and acidification, greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel use," wrote the study’s authors.

Power To The Poultry Manure


Poultry manure, as a by product of poultry production, is getting attention of public groups in the Shenandoah Valley (VA). The big question is what to do with it. As source of energy, manure represents an opportunity. But the approach to generating usable energy can be controversial.

All manure to energy systems offer at least one source of revenue for poultry growers, the purchase of poultry litter to start the process. The large and small scale options differ, however, in several ways: grower contract requirements, from none to a 10 year commitment; the price paid for the litter, from $5 to $15 a ton or more; the grower’s investment, from none to $100,000 or more; and who owns the power generated, electricity, bio-gas or bio-oil, and any other saleable byproducts, such as fertilizer.

The Shenandoah Valley Poultry Litter to Energy Watershed & Air Advisory Group has been meeting to help capture public opinion, develop solutions, and put forth executable approaches.

DairyCast Update for March 25, 2011, Are Air Emissions A Concern?

It's muddy boots time as spring hits full swing.  If your boots aren't muddy, you must be in Texas where drought is threatening to break a decades long record of dryness. 

We're thinking Washington this week as farm bill discussions continue.  ProFarmer's Jim Wiesemeyer shares his outlook on macro factors affecting agriculture.  Also some exciting news in nanoparticle technology as it relates to air quality in livestock operations.

Information to help your Dairy

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DairyCast 0410 - A New Tool In Your Air Emissions Toolbox Shows Promise

DairyCast 0410 Show Notes:
  • Bruce Cochrane shares a conversation on promising research to limit air emissions through the use of nanoparticle technology.

DairyCast 0409 - Washington Update: ProFarmer's Washington Watcher Keeps A Lookout

DairyCast 0409 Show Notes:

CAFOs Vs EPA, What Next?


In a ruling that will reduce uncertainty about how concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are regulated, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans stated that the US Environmental Protection Agency exceeded its "statutory authority" in requiring concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) apply for Clean Water Act permits.


"NPPC is very pleased with the 5th Circuit’s decision," said NPPC President Doug Wolf, a pork producer from Lancaster, Wis. "The court recognized a clear limit on EPA’s authority and required the agency to comply with the clean water law."

  What is yet unclear is how the EPA will respond and if any of the State environmental agencies will adjust their approach to trying to regulate CAFOs through local action.


Who Will Be At The Animal Ag Stakeholders Summit?


The Animal Agriculture Alliance will host its tenth annual Stakeholders Summit May 5-6, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. The Summit will bring together food and farm industry leaders to reflect on the challenges of the past decade and new opportunities to strengthen agriculture advocacy efforts in the future. Jason Shoultz, Senator Tom Carlson, Frank Luntz, Andy Dietrick, Debbie Lyons-Blythe, and Teresa Platt are some of the key speakers at the Summit.

DairyCast Update for March 11, 2011, Handing It Over To The Next Generation

An interesting conversation is highlighted from our recent trip to the World Ag Expo.  We discuss succession planning with Caroline Berry, Caroline Berry Consulting, who says, "Estate planning and succession planning are not the same.  I frequently talk with someone who tells me their accountant has 'all that' under control."  You don't discuss succession planning with your accountant.  You discuss it with your successors.

Listen to this important conversation about planning for the future of your business with Caroline Berry.  The entire World Ag Expo panel video is also available on DairyCast.

And check out some of the other conversations from the Dairy Exhibit barn.  We'll continue to bring you conversations from around the dairy industry in coming weeks.  Let me know what you think about them with an email to
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