Following another good presentation in the 2012 World Dairy Expo Seminar series, I spoke with Dr. Geof Smith, Associate Professor at North Carolina State's School of Vet Medicine about his presentation on 'Avoiding Drug Residues in the Dairy Industry'.
The weather is seriously stressing many crops this year. Corn, specifically, is also being stressed because of the demand for biofuel (ethanol) and livestock animal feed.
Dr. Thomas E. Elam, FarmEcon LLC, released a presentation and detailed analysis of why the USA Renewable Fuel Standard, in this current weather and economic environment, needs to have flexibility in its application [background via EPA]. Dr. Elam's key point: Ethanol policy has increased and destabilized corn and related commodity prices [detailed analysis paper PDF] [summary slide deck PDF].
Dr. Bob Wisner, Iowa State University, and Joel Newman, President and CEO of American Feed Industry Association, provide some highlights of the report titled "Future Patterns of U.S. Grains, Biofuels, and Livestock and Poultry Feeding". This is a another report that highlights the conflicts of having corn being used as a feed grain and a source of energy (ethanol): "Biofuels: A Major Driver of the Changing Feed Cost Environment" is one of the first executive summary points [audio] [report PDF].
What is it with the Grain Situation?I am NOT opposed to ethanol. I do prefer it aged in oaken barrels or pretty glass bottles! sums up how Dr. Meyers feels about corn used in ethanol. This presentation (with lots of charts for the data included) shares some other thoughts about the markets, grain, and the future of animal feed [video].
Audio: Farm Bill Passes Senate Without HSUS-Egg Amendment - Troy Dumler, Economist, Kansas State, discusses the details in the recently passed Senate version of the 2012 U.S. Farm Bill. The HSUS-UEP Egg Bill amendment did not get added to the passed version while direct payments were replaced with additional crop insurance support [audio].
Video: How To Look At The Weather - While this presentation is from the World Pork Expo, the topic and information are just as valuable to you on dairy farms: weather. High temperatures across the USA have been a departure from the 1981 2010 average. The persistent heat from the summer of 2011 had more than 70 days over 100 degrees in some spots across the USA and every state has had temps over 100 degrees. What are the impacts on agriculture going forward? What should we do? Dr.
Audio: How Do We Make Animal ID happen? - Veterinarians and computer IT folks don't speak the same launguage. Yet, information technology plays a critical role in animal identification, standards, and software to help pull together efficient and accurate animal identification systems [audio].
Video: Authentically Agriculture - Who is leading the conversation about agriculture today? Many people would answer with consumers, HSUS, Michael Pollan, and Jamie Oliver, to name a few. Why can't people in agriculture be leading the conversation and thought leadership?
Have You A Forage Plan? When you need forage is not the time to start planning for it. Now is the time to take into account outcomes from prior years, look at forecasts, update your livestock plans, and review your finances. Then tackle some of the farm production activities to see how forage options can be extended or modified to buy time if needed. Key is having some backup plans for when the weather does not cooperate!