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.”


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

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

Source: Delaware Department of Agriculture, June 13, 2014

Dan Shortridge
Chief of Community Relations
Delaware Department of Agriculture

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

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

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


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.

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

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

Nutrient Management Credits Offered at Upcoming Pasture Walks

The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension is offering pasture walks in two locations this spring.  Participants will have the opportunity to earn nutrient management and pesticide certification credits.  The first walk is being held on May 28th from 6:30-8:30 pm and is being hosted at the farm of Rick and Kim Vincent of Harrington and the second walk will be on June 4th from 6:30-9:00 pm at the University of Delaware’s Webb Farm in Newark.  Program agendas are listed below.  Participants are welcome to bring a plant or weed sample with them for identification.  Please pre register if you plan on attending either program.

Past Participants with Forage Sticks
Past Participants with Forage Sticks

May 28th Pasture Walk Hosted by Rick and Kim Vincent

3427 Burnite Mill Rd. Harrington, DE 19952

6:30-8:30 pm

Welcome and Introductions– UD Cooperative Extension Staff

Farm Overview/Current Pasture/Grazing Management– Rick and Him Vincent, Hosts

Pasture Plant Species ID– Dr. Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomist

Soil Fertility and Pasture Health– Dr. Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomist

Weed ID and Weed Control in Pastures– Quintin Johnson, Extension Agent Weed Science

Soil Sampling Techniques, Sample Submission and Testing Options– Bill Rohrer, Owner and Manager AgroLab

DE NM Credits 1.25   Pesticide TBA

To register for this pasture walk, please call (302)730-4000 or email by May 27th

June 4th Pasture Walk Hosted at the University of Delaware Webb Farm

508 S. Chapel Street Newark, DE 19716

6:30-9:00 pm

Tour of Pastures and Management, Pasture Renovation Techniques – Larry Armstrong, UD Webb Farm Manager

Soil Fertility, Plant ID, Bermudagrass Establishment – Dr. Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomy Specialist

Weed ID and Weed Control in Pastures – Quintin Johnson, Extension Agent, Weed Science

Soil Sampling techniques and Proper Sample Submission- Karen Gartley, UD Plant and Soil Science Research Manage

Overview of NRCS Programs- Marianne Hardesty, New Castle County NRCS District Conservationist

DE NM Credits 1.75 Pesticide TBA

            To register for this pasture walk or  request more information, please call (302)831-2507 or email by May 30th


CDC Links Human Salmonella Illness to Live Poultry in Backyard Flocks

From the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

  • As of May 7, 2014, a total of 60 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis or Salmonella Newport have been reported from 23 states.
    • 31% of ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
    • The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Arizona (1), Arkansas (1), California (1), Colorado (2), Georgia (2), Idaho (2), Indiana (1), Kentucky (6), Maine (1), Maryland (2), New Hampshire (1), New Mexico (1), New York (6), North Carolina (3), Ohio (6), Pennsylvania (8), Tennessee (3), Utah (1), Vermont (3), Virginia (3), Washington (1), and West Virginia (4).
  • Epidemiologic and traceback findings have linked this outbreak of human Salmonella Infantis and Salmonella Newport infections to contact with chicks, ducklings, and other live baby poultry from Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio.
    • 82% of ill people reported contact with live poultry in the week before their illness began.
    • Findings of multiple traceback investigations of live baby poultry from homes of ill persons have identified Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio as the source of chicks and ducklings.
  • This is the same mail-order hatchery that has been associated with multiple outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to live poultry in past years, including in 2012 and 2013.
  • Mail-order hatcheries, agricultural feed stores, and others that sell or display chicks, ducklings, and other live poultry should provide health related information to owners and potential purchasers of these birds prior to the point of purchase. This should include information about the risk of acquiring a Salmonella infection from contact with live poultry.
    • Read the advice to mail order hatcheries and feed store and others that sell or display live poultry.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam.
    • Do not let live poultry inside the house.
    • Additional recommendations are available on the CDC website.
    • These recommendations are important and apply to all live poultry, regardless of the age of the birds or where they were purchased.

Link to the CDC website with the Salmonella outbreak information:


Dairy Heifer prices continue to add value according to Dairy Herd Management.

Strong milk prices are likely fueling a steady increase in springer heifer demand and price. Springer prices are up again nationwide this month. Just a few months ago, a springer price over $2,000 was an anomaly. This month, that figure is present in prices from all four reporting markets. California and Pennsylvania both reported good heifer quality and steady demand.

Holstein heifer calves also are steady or up, sharply so in Pennsylvania.

Springing heifers
Heifer calves
 Location (sale date)
Supreme/top grade
Approved/medium grade
90-120 pounds
Turlock, Calif. (04/04/14)
Stratford, Wis. (04/19/14)
Sulphur Springs, Texas (04/03/14)
New Holland, Pa. (04/09/14)