Calcium deficeincy in fresh cows

MartinResearch at a number of universities including Wisconsin and Iowa State has found more than 50 percent of dairy cows are suffering from sub-clinical milk fever right after freshening. Ron Martin with Bio Vet says they have a set of boluses with calcium from four different sources which, when given immediately after calving can make a big difference in that cow’s health and milk production.

AUDIO: Martin talks about the situation 2:30 mp3

 

Mind the sign, pleads hog producer

A farrow-to-finish hog producer in northeast Missouri is urging everyone to heed biosecurity signs at livestock operations such as hers.

Chris Chinn tells Brownfield it’s about disease prevention for their pigs. She says they’re especially trying to keep the highly contagious Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) – which does NOT harm humans but is deadly to baby pigs – away from their farm, “When you are visiting a livestock farm and you see a sign like that you need to observe it. It’s really not for your protection but it’s for the protection and the livestock that’s being raised on that farm.”

She recently chased down a driver who came all the way up to their barns, explaining that the biosecurity stop-sign is to protect her families’ hog operations,“They felt like they really weren’t causing any harm by just driving around looking for us up in that direction of our farm. And, I explained to them what that sign meant and about the PED virus that’s currently going around. They were very apologetic. They just really simply didn’t realize that the sign meant them.”

Chinn says a lot of finishers in their area have PEDv in their herds: The Maschoffs west of them in Macon County and Cargill, to the east of them in Marion County, Missouri. There is NO vaccine for PEDv which easily spreads and can knock out four to five weeks of production when it hits.

Interview with Chris Chinn (5:00 mp3)

Chris Chinn’s blog post about biosecurity signs and PEDv

WPS Farm Show udder health seminar

One of the educational seminars at the WPS Farm Show this year is actually a “repeat performance”. Back by popular demand is Marco Sosa, dairy specialist with Vi-Cor. He is going to talk about udder health and besides a power point presentation will feature an udder dissection. The seminar is 1 pm on Wednesday in Hanger A.

AUDIO: Sosa talks about the seminar 2:30 mp3

The WPS Farm Show powered by NatureWise runs 9-to-4 on Tuesday and Wednesday, 9-to-3 on Thursday at the E.A.A. Grounds in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Details available here:

 

Changing the way we think about biosecurity

Dr. Bob Thompson, Health Services Veterinarian for PIC says dealing with the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) is changing the way pork producers think about biosecurity. Thompson tells Brownfield there’s additional emphasis being placed on transportation.

“We try to implement biosecurity steps for the drivers, putting on boots and coveralls and that sort of thing, that all helps,” Thompson said. “That driver and the cab of the tractor are key components that we probably haven’t given as much emphasis in the past, so now realizing that fecal contamination point we’re certainly putting more emphasis in that area.”

Dr. Thompson was on the program at the recent Ohio Swine Health Symposium.

Audio: Dr. Bob Thompson, PIC (3:00 mp3)

 

Dealing with and keeping PEDv away

Upwards of four-million pigs have died in the PEDV outbreak that began last spring and Craig Rowels of Iowa is among the producers who have suffered some of those losses. The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus hit his young hogs last November and December. Rowels says there’s an emotional toll that the disease takes on humans because “no one likes to see animals suffer.” He says Dan and Corey, a manager and assistant manager of one of his sow farms, normally get to deal with the miracle of birth every day, but, PEDv changed that. Rowels tells Brownfield Ag News, “When they had to start to deal with this particular disease you could just see the tears in their eyes because they knew that tomorrow we weren’t going to be dealing with the miracle of birth. We’re going to be dealing with the issues of a devastating disease that causes death and sickness and that they were going to have to make some real hard decisions.”

He says their increased biosecurity measures have helped, “They’ve stuck with it. They’ve really, really had to limit the impact of the disease by doing the exposure processes, by really getting down and using the elbow grease necessary to get the cleaning and disinfection procedures in place and as a result we are now in the recovery phase in our operation.” He says they’ve increased the heat for cleaning barns and equipment. The PED virus is weakened by heat. Rowels says they lost three weeks of production in the outbreak.

Interview with Craig Rowels (3:00 mp3)

Continue reading “Dealing with and keeping PEDv away” »

Iowa producer says PEDv devastating

Upwards of four-million pigs have died in the PEDV outbreak that began last spring and Craig Rowels of Iowa is among the producers who have suffered some of those losses.  The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus hit his young hogs last November and December.  Rowels says there’s an emotional toll that the disease takes on humans because “no one likes to see animals suffer.”  He says Dan and Corey, a manager and assistant manager of one of his sow farms, normally get to deal with the miracle of birth every day, but, PEDv changed that. Rowels tells Brownfield Ag News,  “When they had to start to deal with this particular disease you could just see the tears in their eyes because they knew that tomorrow we weren’t going to be dealing with the miracle of birth. We’re going to be dealing with the issues of a devastating disease that causes death and sickness and that they were going to have to make some real hard decisions.”

He says their increased biosecurity measures have helped, “They’ve stuck with it. They’ve really, really had to limit the impact of the disease by doing the exposure processes, by really getting down and using the elbow grease necessary to get the cleaning and disinfection procedures in place and as a result we are now in the recovery phase in our operation.”  He says they’ve increased the heat for cleaning barns and equipment. The PED virus is weakened by heat.  Rowels says they lost three weeks of production in the outbreak.

Interview with Craig Rowels (3:00 mp3)

Missouri producer works to keep PEDv away

Scott Phillips, Missouri pork producer and delegate at 2014 National Pork ForumA Missouri hog producer has not had the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus hit his herd and says he’s going to great lengths to keep it that way.

Scott Phillips’ hog farm is south of Kansas City, in Drexel, Missouri.  He told Brownfield Ag News at the 2014 National Pork Forum“I feel blessed that we have not had PED yet. I hope we don’t but that is a MASSIVE concern for us.”

He says vehicles are monitored closely, “About a year ago we washed all our trucks coming from the packer so nothing comes even close to any of our farms without it being washed and sanitized.”  They’ve changed foot traffic on the farm so no employees are exposed to traffic from any other hog farm… Phillips says they are greatly increasing employee awareness, “Thursday noon my mom cooks lunch for everybody at the farm and we talk about it every Thursday at noon on what we can do to prevent us getting PED anyway.”

Phillips is vice chairman of the Missouri Pork Producers Association.

Interview with Scott Phillips (3:00 mp3)

Some Missouri fairs call off spring weigh-ins

Some of the largest county fairs in Missouri have called off hog weigh-ins for 4-H and FFA pig projects in April, trying to prevent the spread of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv).

Marcia Shannon, University of Missouri professor of animal sciences, has been in contact with the state veterinarian, 4-H specialists, fair board members and ag teachers who’ve concluded that waiving spring weigh-ins for youth is a good idea but shouldn’t be a mandate, “We thought it was a good time to educate them really well on biosecurity but at the same time leave it up to the fairs and the fair boards and for them to make the decision if they still want to have spring weigh-ins.”

Suspending the weigh-ins, she says, will reduce foot traffic between farms, which could spread the virus. “And, also,” she tells Brownfield Ag News, “It doesn’t matter if you have two sows or 22,000 sows,you’re still susceptible to getting this virus.”

Lincoln, Montgomery and Pike County fairs are among those that have called off weigh-ins.

Interview with Marcia Shannon (5:00 mp3)

Senators seek disaster aid for PEDv

A letter urging Ag Secretary Vilsack to approve disaster assistance for smaller pork producers affected by the PEDvirus has been sent by Senate Ag Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow and North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan.  The 2014 Farm Bill permanently extended the livestock disaster program.

With a mortality rate of nearly 100% among newborn piglets and the disease continuing to spread, the senators say pork herds –quote- “will continue to diminish and producers risk going out of business.” Their letter applauds the USDA for coming up with interventions to deal with PEDv and for working with pork industry stakeholders in research for a possible vaccine.

Which bugs will survive this winter?

This has been an extremely rough winter across the upper Midwest, frost depths of eight feet or more have been recorded under Wisconsin streets…but it is a little different in Wisconsin fields where the heavy snow cover has pretty-much protected the soil…and the soil pests. Krista Hamilton is an Entomologist with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

AUDIO: Hamilton talks about the winter 3:09 mp3