IPM Workshop

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Smart Drenching and FAMACHA
What: Integrated Training for Gastrointestinal Nematodes in Small Ruminants
When: Saturday, August 16, 2014
Where: University of DE, Webb Farm
508 S. Chapel St., Newark, DE
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cost: $25.00 – Paid at time of registration

Mark your Calendar and call 831-2506 to register by Friday, July 25th.
During the all day workshop, participants will learn about gastrointestinal parasites that are presenting problems in small ruminants (goats and sheep), anthelmintic resistance and practices to manage parasite loads. The morning session will serve as an introduction for the afternoon hands-on training which will allow participants to get certified on the use of FAMACHA© score card and learn how to conduct fecal egg counts.
Due to the complexity of this program it has been limited to the first 15 people who register. To register or request more information, please call our office at (302)831-2506. If you have special needs in accessing this program, please call the office two weeks in advance.
Thank you and see you there. Dan Severson, Susan Garey,

9:00 – 9:30 AM Registration
9:30 – 10:15 AM Parasites in General
10:15 – 10:45 AM Break
10:45 – 12:00 AM FAMACHA and Parasite Control
12:00 – 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 – 2:00 PM FAMACHA Hands-On
2:00 – 3:00 PM Fecal Egg Counts
3:00 – 4:00 PM Open Discussion and Evaluations

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Sheep Operations With Footrot Needed

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is seeking sheep farms with footrot to participate in an applied research project funded by Northeast SARE. The project is in its 4th year and has already gathered data from approximately 1,000 sheep in the northeast. The researchers are seeking data from additional flocks to determine if a genetic marker can be identified for possible resistance to the footrot.Sheep on its knees

Sheep farms with footrot from the following states are sought: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia

If you have footrot in your flock and would like to participate, please contact Principal Investigator Richard Brzozowski at richard.brzozowski@maine.edu or (207) 951-7155.

All information about participating farms is confidential. For more information about the project and the protocol, see http://umaine.edu/sheep

 

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Protecting Your Animals This Summer

As it gets further into the summer months, livestock begin to show express a common discomfort as humans do: sunburn. Exposure to UV radiation can cause skin damage to dairy cows, light-colored beef cattle, sheep, pigs, and horses. Affected skin becomes red, painful and raised, which can lead to the skin becoming extremely dry and will eventually slough off leaving those areas exposed to secondary infections.

A cow losing patches of its coat due to sunburn

A cow losing patches of its coat due to sunburn

Sunburn not only makes the animal uncomfortable, it affects their overall productivity and performance. The body takes the nutrients that is needed for growth and uses them to repair the skin that is damaged. In dairy cows, this can lead to a decrease in milk production and in sheep, a decrease in wool quality. Sheep can be burned sheared or unsheared since the radiation is strong enough to penetrate through the wool. Pigs are one of the lucky animals that can protect itself form the suns rays. By wallowing in mud, the pig is forming a protective coating that shields the skin from the sun. Light coated animals are not as lucky. Cows and horses with predominantly white coats suffer more sunburn than those with dark coats. However, dark coats absorb more sun, which leads to more symptoms of heat stress.

UV radiation isn’t the only determinant of sunburn in animals. Animals that feed in wheat pastures with certain weeds are likely to develop photosensitivity. This is caused by a reaction within an animal’s body when the chlorophyll in some wheat plants release a toxin that increases sensitivity to the sun. Weeds such as barley, alsike clover, St. John’s Wort, nettles and others are some of the culprits in photosensitivity and can also be the causes of liver damage and neurological disorders that develop in the animal.

Preventing sunburn doesn’t just mean keeping them out of the sun, although providing a shady place for the animals can definitely help. If the sun is a concern, baby formula sunscreen can protect the areas that are more vulnerable to sunburn. Another way of decreasing sunburn is restricting the access of wheat pasture the animal is consuming to prevent photosensitivity. Adding grass hay in the morning when grazing intake is high helps in restraining the animal from consuming too much wheat during those times.

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Papaya for Parasites

Information from UF/IFAS News

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — One of the world’s fastest growing agricultural industries, goat farming, is plagued by deadly intestinal parasites, particularly the barber’s pole worm – a pest that poses great danger to the goat-farming industry in the Southeastern U.S. and other parts of the world.

Improper use of commercial medicines has helped make the parasites resistant to many deworming drugs.

But recent research by the University of Florida’s Animal Sciences department may be closing in on a solution. Although researchers say it needs more study, they’ve recently found papaya seeds to be an inexpensive, alternative method for ridding goats of their parasitic passengers.

Led by Adegbola Adesogan, a professor of ruminant nutrition, the study examined the effect of natural food supplements on reducing intestinal worms in goats. Papaya seeds were found to be the most effective treatment, significantly reducing parasite egg and adult counts.

“The beauty of using papaya seeds is they’re out there and we aren’t really doing much with them,” Adesogan said. “To find just grinding the seeds and feeding a small quantity daily purges the parasites is, I think, very encouraging.”

The study, part of a master’s thesis by Miguel Zarate under Adesogan’s supervision, compared supplementary lespedeza hay, peanut hay, mucuna seed and papaya seeds in varied proportions for their deworming properties. Just 10 grams of ground papaya seed added to a base diet of bahiagrass removed 78 percent of adult parasites and 72 percent of their eggs. The next most effective treatment, a half-and-half mixture of lespedeza and bahiagrass, reduced the adult worm count by 52 percent.

The use of papaya seeds or their derivatives may also be useful someday for treating parasites in cattle and other species, but more experiments must be done to look at issues like residues, tissues and other possible side effects before it is recommended for widespread use, Adesogan said.

“I would say that this is very promising,” he said, “but we’re still in early days and we need to do more work to develop it and to answer these questions of side effects and withdrawal times and safety.”

Adesogan said high concentrations of certain enzymes, alkaloids and cyanates were the likely candidates for the papaya seeds’ success but the specific active ingredient is yet to be confirmed. The amount of protein supplied by the papaya seeds was low in relation to the other supplements and probably had limited effect.

While UF/IFAS scientists aren’t ready yet to endorse papaya seed-supplemented diets for goats, the study indicated that at least two weeks would be needed to effectively reduce parasite populations in infected individuals.

The papaya has a wide growth habitat in tropical countries and some subtropical areas like south Florida. In his native Nigeria, Adesogan said, as in many tropical developing nations, papaya trees are everywhere in the wild and in residential areas.

“You don’t have to rely on expensive equipment to process the seeds, because with just a small traditional grinding stone, farmers could grind the small quantity for their animals,” Adesogan said. “This would be a locally available, homegrown kind of remedy to solve this big problem.”

 

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APHIS Issues Conditional License to Produce First PEDv Vaccine

Washington, June 16, 2014 — The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today issued a conditional license to Harrisvaccines, Inc. of Ames, Iowa for a vaccine that may aid in the control of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) in swine. This is the first licensed vaccine for PEDv.  It will be used to vaccinate sows with the intent that they build antibody, and transmit that antibody through their milk to newborn piglets. It is intended to protect the piglets against PEDv.

APHIS licenses veterinary biologics products for use in controlling diseases of animals.  Conditional licenses are issued based on full safety, purity testing, and an expectation of efficacy.  Preliminary studies have been promising, and they’ve shown sufficient data that we think the vaccine will be effective.  The company will continue working toward completing the requirements for a full license.  In the meantime, there are no restrictions on vaccine use under the conditional license.

APHIS supports and encourages the rapid development of new vaccines, particularly in emergency situations. When a company obtains a conditional license they are able to bring an important disease management tool to producers safely and quickly. Full licensing can occur subsequently while producers get the products they need to protect animal health.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea is a disease that causes significant sickness in swine, affecting their growth and health, and causes high mortality in piglets. The disease is common in parts of Asia and Europe, but is not reportable to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). PEDv only affects pigs and does not pose any risk to people or pets. It is not a food safety concern.

Licensing this vaccine is another step APHIS is taking to continue to help industry/producers.

Recently APHIS announced the availability of $26.2 million in funding to combat these diseases and issued a Federal Order requiring the reporting of new detections of PEDv and other new swine enteric coronavirus disease to APHIS or State animal health officials. The Federal Order also requires that operations reporting these viruses work with their veterinarian or USDA or State animal health officials to develop and implement a reasonable management plan to address the detected virus and prevent its spread. Plans will be based on industry-recommended best practices, and include disease monitoring through testing and biosecurity measures. These steps will help to reduce virus shed in affected animals, prevent further spread of the disease, and enable continued movement of animals for production and processing.

Throughout the PEDv outbreak, APHIS has worked closely with the swine industry to identify risk factors in the transmission of the virus and minimize its impact on producers and industry.

APHIS is part of a task force with the Food and Drug Administration and State and industry stakeholders, including the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), National Pork Board (NPB), veterinary diagnostic laboratories (VDLs), and State Animal Health Officials (SAHOs).

This task force aims to investigate the virus, identify and trace risk factors in thetransmission of the disease, and keep producers informed.

Source: APHIS Stakeholder Registry News Release June 16, 2014

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Delaware Hog Owners Required to Report Deadly Swine Viruses

Delaware hog owners, veterinarians and laboratories are now required to report suspected cases of two rapidly spreading swine diseases to the Delaware Department of Agriculture. Delaware has had no cases of either disease reported to date.

Under a new federal order, suspected cases of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PEDv, and porcine deltacoronavirus, or PDCoV, must now be officially reported. PEDv has killed seven million piglets in the last year throughout the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. PEDv was first reported in the United States last year, and has also been reported in Canada and Mexico.

Delaware has only a handful of commercial hog farms, but also about 55 smaller hobby farms with swine, such as back-yard hogs raised for shows.

“Despite Delaware’s small hog population, this virus remains a significant concern because it can be easily spread from farm to farm on contaminated clothing, shoes, equipment, trucks, or from infected swine,” said Delaware State Veterinarian Dr. Heather Hirst. “We are keeping a close eye on this situation to protect our hog owners and make sure they are aware of what to look for. The best defense for hog owners is to employ strict biosecurity measures to help prevent the viruses from getting to their farms.”

Examples of good biosecurity measures include:

  • Purchase pigs from a reliable source.
  • Keep newly purchased pigs separate from the rest of your herd for at least 30 days before mingling them with your established herd.
  • Avoid carrying manure on clothing, boots, equipment, or vehicles from one farm to the other.
  • Prevent visitors from other hog farms from entering animal areas at your farm.
  • Avoid visiting farms where hogs are kept. If you must visit other hog farms, take special care to avoid carrying any trace of manure home with you to your herd.

Clinical signs of PEDv include severe diarrhea and vomiting, with the greatest losses occurring in pre-weaned piglets. Reports of suspected PEDv cases – any pig with severe diarrhea, vomiting, or both – should be made to the hog owner’s veterinarian as well as the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Poultry and Animal Health Section at 302-698-4500. Hog operations with positive test results will be required to develop management plans with their veterinarian in order to prevent the spread of the disease to other farms.

More information is available at de.gov/pedv.

Source: Delaware Department of Agriculture, June 13, 2014

Contact:
Dan Shortridge
Chief of Community Relations
Delaware Department of Agriculture
302-698-4520

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Looking Towards the Future: Sow Packers to Require Premises ID Tags in 2015

In an effort to improve pre-harvest traceability and improve national disease surveillance in the pork industry, many major U.S. packers and processors will require a USDA-approved, official premises identification number(PIN) swine tag as a condition of sale for breeding stock beginning Jan. 1, 2015.

“This is a positive step for our industry as we continue to create a more robust surveillance and traceability system that can help protect our animals, our livelihoods and our customers,” said National Pork Board President, Karen Richter, a producer from Montgomery, Minn. “That’s why I encourage producers who may not already be using official PIN tags to register their premises and begin using the tags now.”

According to Dr. Patrick Webb, Pork Checkoff’s director of swine health, the USDA-approved, official PIN tags for breeding swine are customizable with or without a management number and can be purchased in multiple colors.  “This allows producers to use the official tag in any color as a management tag or wait to apply the tag to sows and boars before leaving the production site to enter harvest channels,” Webb said.

Once an animal is identified with an official PIN tag, it should not be removed or given a different official tag in the case of parity-segregated farms. Also, records documenting the identification and movement of breeding stock should be kept for three years.

Allflex USA, Inc., Destron Fearing and Y-Tex Corporation have USDA approval to manufacture official PIN swine tags. When ordering, producers must provide the nationally standardized PIN for the breeding farm.  If the site does not have a PIN, producers can register for one by going to  pork.org/PINtag.

To date, packers that will require PIN tags as of January 2015 include: Johnsonville, Hillshire Brands, Calihan Pork Processors, Bob Evans Farms, Wampler’s Farm Sausage, Pine Ridge Farms, Pioneer Packing Co., Pork King Packing and Abbyland Pork Pack.  Producers can learn more at pork.org/PINtag.

Source: “Pork Industry News for Swine Extension and Educators”  April 2014 Issue, National Pork Board Funded by America’s Pork Producers and the Pork Checkoff

 

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Dairy Month

June is Dairy Month

As we head into to summer it is important to stay hydrated. One of the healthiest beverages to quench that incurable thirst is without doubt milk. In 1937 the National Dairy Council declared June as National Dairy Month to promote drinking of milk. With the decline in per capita milk consumption in the United States it is time to support our dairy industry. Nonetheless, what is milk?

Milk is defined as a fluid secreted by the mammary gland of a female to provide nourishment and immunological protection for their young. Milk is composed of approximately 87% water and 13% solids. The solids comprise of roughly 3.7% fat which include the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. The 9.9% solids-not-fat portion contains the proteins, carbohydrates and the minerals. Milk provides a high level of nutrients such as calcium which helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and aids in building strong bones. With the high level of nutrients relative to the calories in a glass of milk it is a nutrient dense beverage. Milk that is sold in stores is reformulated to meet certain federal definitions. For example, whole milk is to contain not less than 3.25% fat and 8.25% solids-not-fat. However, where does milk come from?

The majority of the milk consumed in the United States comes from a dairy cow. A cow is a mature female bovine. In order for a cow to produce milk she has to have a calf. Most dairy heifers produce a calf at two years of age and enter the milking world. A calf is the young of a domestic cow and can be male or female. As the calf gets older the female is termed a heifer and the male is called a bull. Cows are generally milked twice a day however some high producing farms will milk three times a day. On average it takes about 5 minutes to completely milk the cow with a milking machine. The milk is held in a refrigerated tank at 38˚ Fahrenheit and held no longer than 48 hours before being transported to the processing plant. The milk will go through strenuous laboratory testing prior to entering the processing plant. The tests are analyzed to determine the fat and protein levels along with an examination to ensure they are free of antibiotics. Farmers are paid on the quality of milk so it is imperative for them to properly collect and store the milk prior to shipment. Once the milk is approved for use it will go through further processing and reformulating depending on the desired end product.

The state of Delaware is home to approximately 5000 dairy cows on less than 100 dairy farms. The average cow produces roughly 19,000 pounds of milk during a lactation which translates to 2210 gallons of milk a year. Milk production for the state is nearly 90 million pounds a year or 10.5 million gallons of milk. A gallon of whole milk will weigh 8.6 pounds. A dairy farmer works 7 days a week 365 days a year since cows have to be milked every day. This job comes with little to no time off, 15 hour work days and no coffee break for bad weather. So, as we enter June please celebrate our dairy farmers by drinking a tall cold glass of milk.

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Beyond Heat Stress

The Dairy Herd Network will be hosting a Webinar dealing heat Heat Stress.

Click here to register.

Beyond Heat STress, Time To Step Up Your Stress Fighting Game

May 29th at 1:00PM CST

Heat stress, and the various behavioral and physiological effects in lactating dairy cows, costs the US dairy industry upwards of $1 billion dollars annually in production losses. Management changes to cows’ environments can help reduce the negative effects of heat stress, but mitigation strategies go well beyond cow comfort.

Nutritional and digestive stressors brought about during bouts of heat stress, or during other times of the year represent potential production losses, lost revenue and potential for decreased profitability. Maintaining consistency in the rumen and post-ruminal digestive tract requires timely dietary adjustments and strong consideration of feed additives.

This webinar will examine closely the impact of heat stress in lactating dairy cows with a focus on environmental and nutritional interventions. Beyond heat stress, participants will review other nutritional and digestive stressors that potentially compromise cow health and lactation performance with particular attention to a specific nutritional mitigation strategy.

Attendees will learn:

  • What heat stress encompasses
  • Environmental and nutritional factors that can mitigate heat stress in lactating dairy cows
  • Other nutritional and digestive stressors that dairy cows are exposed to
  • A novel mitigation strategy for nutritional and digestive stressors in lactating dairy cows
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Is It Time to Consider Renovating or Planting a New Pasture or Hay Field? Part 2

Part 2- What Should I Plant?

Now that you’ve taken care of any soil fertility issues that can reduce the chance for a successful stand, the next decision involves choosing the right seed to plant.  I’ve had the opportunity over the years to read many seed labels on various pasture mixes offered for sale.  I understand the convenience of buying a prepared pasture mix and the allure of these mixes.  The buyer often assumes that the seller has spent the time and energy studying the issue and has come up with a mixture that in their opinion and experience has the best chance of success.  I certainly can’t speak to motivation of the seller but keep in mind that from a business point of view, seed that is mixed and offered for sale needs to be sold over as large an area as possible to justify the expense of wholesaling large quantities of seed as well as blending, packaging, and labeling the seed.  In my opinion, this nullifies the expectation that the seller has designed the mix for your particular field or location.

After looking at the species of forages used in the prepared pasture mixes, I find that these mixes are more often a shotgun approach to seeding.  A bit of everything is included in hopes that something will establish in all areas of the field.  Usually they contain a quick establishing grass such as annual or perennial ryegrass that can germinate in as little as 5 to 7 days so the buyer can feel comfortable that the new seeding is successful.  Horse pasture mixes usually contain the feel-good or highly recognized grasses such as timothy and Kentucky bluegrass along with some orchardgrass and probably an endophyte-free tall fescue to provide more permanent cover.  Finally, a legume such as white or ladino clover, red clover, or alsike clover will be in a pasture mix to provide the N-fixing legume everyone wants in a pasture.

The convenience of these mixtures comes from not having to mix them yourself before you fill the seed drill.  The allure comes from not having to make a decision other than how much seed per acre to plant and not having to choose individual species to plant.  For most buyers, the convenience and allure end up costing them many, many dollars per acre in seed costs for seed of grasses that won’t survive in grazing situations or won’t survive more than a season or two at best or will be unproductive during the middle of the summer grazing season.

Tall Fescue photo provided courtesy of Oregon State University

Tall Fescue photo provided courtesy of Oregon State University

So what should you do?  I prefer going with a simpler mixture using forage species that are adapted to our region.  In most cases, the only species that will survive for many years in our transitional zone climate is tall fescue.  Because of endophyte (an fungus growing in some tall fescue plants) issues, many growers have tried the endophyte-free tall fescue varieties and some have had success with keeping a stand for many years while others have seed stands decline or disappear quickly.  The newest chapter in this issue has been the development of novel or friendly endophyte tall fescue varieties.  The novel endophyte tall fescue varieties do not produce the chemical compound (alkaloids) that interfere with animal performance but still provide benefits to the tall fescue plants helping them survive in many stressful environments.  A limitation still in evidence with these new tall fescue varieties is that horse owners who breed horses do not all accept tall fescue as a feed source for their animals.  This can limit tall fescue’s acceptance.

What other species can you include in your simple mixture?  Orchardgrass is another grass that many producers like to include in a pasture mixture but you should be aware that many orchardgrass fields are failing due to a disease/insect/environment/management complex interaction we’ve been calling orchardgrass decline.  If you choose to include orchardgrass, keep it as a small

Orchardgrass photo provided courtesy of University of Missouri Exetension

Orchardgrass photo provided courtesy of University of Missouri Exetension

proportion of your mixture.  The other grass to include at least on heavier soils and in the northern portion of Delaware is Kentucky bluegrass.  Be sure to include several varieties of the Kentucky bluegrass to help with disease resistance.  It will be most productive early in the year (early spring to early summer) and mid- to late-fall.  Finally, add in a legume to help with providing N for the grass to use as well as to improve the protein and forage digestibility of the pasture.  For grazing, most people prefer a ladino-type of white clover.  Although slobbers (the animal produces excessive amounts of saliva) is a potential concern with all clovers, it seems to be mostly associated with red clover.  Often included in commercially sold horse pasture mixtures, alsike clover is known to cause photosensitivity (sunburn) and sometimes liver injury especially in horses and should not be included in your pasture mix.

One of the new grazing-types of alfalfa should be considered especially by beef producers.  These varieties tolerate rotational grazing systems and produce well during the summer period in most years.  Alfalfa is very deep rooted and can be a great addition to pastures and provide more and higher quality forage in the summer grazing period.

You will find it useful to talk to your seed dealer about the various varieties of each species that are available.  Once you decide on the varieties to use and you purchase seed, you can mix your own pasture mix by either purchasing or renting a cement mixer and combining the seed in the proportions you decide are best for your purpose and field.  Since many legumes now come pre-inoculated with the N-fixing bacteria and often are coated with a fine limestone, do not over mix the seed and when you re-bag it store it where it is protected from high temperatures and humidity.  Stored properly, the seed can be held over the winter if something prevents you from seeding this fall but you should plan to plant as soon as possible after purchasing seed.  Not only are the N-fixing bacteria alive; but, if you use a novel endophyte tall fescue variety, the endophyte has a limited storage time (around a year under good conditions) before it needs to be planted.  Although tall fescue seed will germinate after longer storage times, the endophyte fungus may no longer be alive.  The fungus only lives in the plant and is not soil-borne.

In future articles later this summer, I will cover topics such as planting date.

 

This article was submitted by Dr. Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomist, University of Delaware.  Dr. Taylor can be reached at rtaylor@udel.edu

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