Feedstuffs - September 2022
We hope you are enjoying the new Feedstuffs. With every edition, we aim to bring the latest in news, insight, nutrition and health research and...
We hope you are enjoying the new Feedstuffs. With every edition, we aim to bring the latest in news, insight, nutrition and health research and livestock production content to life — dynamically. You will find engaging video, podcasts, slideshows, animation and more. You also will have the opportunity to engage, share and download content. Feel free to share your thoughts below or to reach out directly to us. We'd love to hear what you think and ideas that you might like to share.
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Feedstuffs to collaborate with University of Minnesota iCOMOS on webinar series
Although African swine fever has existed and spread globally since 1912, much of the world outside of the veterinary profession, swine industry, and government regulatory agencies are unaware of the many negative consequences that affect One Health when a country becomes infected with ASFV or other foreign animal diseases.
A webinar series is planned to explore the unknowns and less obvious negative consequences of global disease pandemics, using ASF as a model, and begin a conversation about the need for preparedness and development of contingency plans when or if it occurs in the U.S. and elsewhere. The series will be a collaboration between the University of Minnesota / The International Conference on One Medicine One Science (iCOMOS), Feedstuffs and National Hog Farmer.
Sponsor partnerships are now available for this global hog industry event. Contact Andy Vance or Kristin Bakker for more information.
Railroads halt shipments of crops, fertilizer
As the rail strike threat heightens, railroads phase out shipments of farm products and other key goods
9/15 UPDATE: Unions and management reached a tentative deal early Thursday that averts a freight railroad strike. While subject to ratification by union membership, this tentative agreement will prevent a potential railroad strike. The tentative agreement will provide rail employees at 24% wage increase during the five year period of the contract (2020-2024) – consistent with the recommendations of the Presidential Emergency Board. View statement from President Joe Biden.
By Kim Chipman and Ryan Beene, Bloomberg
U.S. railroads are poised to stop shipments of farm products and other key goods starting Thursday as the industry braces for a possible labor strike that could cost the world’s biggest economy more than $2 billion a day.
Norfolk Southern Corp. said it plans to halt unit train shipments of bulk commodities on Thursday ahead of a potential U.S. rail worker strike the following day. The railroad also said it would stop accepting autos for transit at its facilities starting Wednesday afternoon. Other railways are likely to follow suit, according to one agriculture group.
“We are hearing several rail carriers are tentatively planning to wind down shipments,” said Max Fisher, chief economist at the National Grain and Feed Association, which represents most U.S. grain handlers.
A halt to shipments of grains, fertilizer, fuel and other crucial items threatens to hobble the U.S. economy at a time of rampant inflation and fear of a prolonged global economic slump. Food-supply chains are especially at risk as farmers are gearing up for harvest and need to get their supplies to customers. Crops are especially in high demand due to shortages from the war in Ukraine and weather woes across the globe.
“Our members rely on about 27 million bushels of corn and 11 million bushels of soybean meal every week to feed their chickens,” said Tom Super of the National Chicken Council. “Much of that is moved by rail.”
Norfolk Southern intends to cease taking vehicle deliveries for transit as of 5 p.m. local time Wednesday and close its intermodal gates as well at that time, the Virginia-based railway said in a notice.
Representatives for BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Corp. also signaled they were prepared to curtail service as the deadline looms. “We must take actions to prepare for the eventuality of a labor strike if the remaining unions cannot come to an agreement,” BNSF said in a statement.
The halting of cargoes by some railways is aimed at ensuring crews aren’t stranded if a work stoppage occurs Friday morning, Fisher said. Reuters earlier reported on the plan.
With November midterm elections less than two months away, Democratic President Joe Biden is personally trying to break the logjam between industry and labor unions. The White House has started crafting contingency plans to ensure critical materials can reach consumers in the event of a work stoppage, a sign negotiations still have a long way to go.
U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh plans to meet with railroad and union representatives in Washington on Wednesday morning, a spokesperson for the department said.
Railways are no longer shipping ammonia, an important component of about three quarters of all fertilizer, because it would be dangerous if the hazardous material was stranded during a potential rail strike, according to the Association of American Railroads. Ammonia is used in explosives as well as being an essential nutrient for plants.
A halt to rail shipments of ethanol threatens to reverse the recent slide in U.S. gasoline pump prices from a record high. Almost three-quarters of the nation’s supply is moved on trains, mostly from Midwest plants -- where corn is made into the fuel additive -- to the East and West Coasts for blending into gasoline.
The petrochemical industry may be forced to slow down production at plants that churn out plastics and other products needed in industries across the U.S. if shipments of key hazardous chemicals necessary are delayed for an extended time.
“Once available storage is full the plants would have to cut rates,” Robert Stier, senior petrochemicals analyst at S&P Global Commodity Insights, said in an email. “These hazardous materials are the first products impacted. These are difficult to ship by any other means than specialized rail cars.”
© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.
Check back for updates to this developing story. We'll be providing them here within our digital edition and on www.Feedstuffs.com
Renewable diesel: Bullish or not?
While the increased demand for soybeans will be good for U.S. producers, it will not be as rosy as many are anticipating, says Richard Brock
By Richard Brock, Brock Associates
One of the common mistakes made in commodity price analysis is to focus on just one fundamental factor and ignore all the rest. As almost everyone is aware, a hot topic in the soybean world is renewable diesel. The prospect of so many new soybean processing facilities and the huge demand it’s going to have on soybeans is on a lot of minds.
Here are the facts as we know them today. There are approximately seven new plants being proposed for construction, mostly in the Midwest. There are eight plants that are currently in operation that are proposing significant expansions. Combined, our math shows it would increase soybean usage by 630 million bushels per year by 2026. This is assuming that all the plants that are on paper now get built. That is probably not going to be a correct assumption.
On the other side of the equation, as a result of significantly higher soybean prices this year, Brazil’s soybean production is expected to increase to 149 million metric tons next year vs. this year’s 126. That’s equivalent to an increase of 845 million bushels! Putting this into perspective, this year’s projected increase in Brazil’s production next year is larger than the total increase in projected U.S. crush capacity forecasts three years down the road.
The increased crush capacity will, however, be supportive to soybean prices since the soybean market is going to have to pull acres away from corn. This is not going to happen in one year. This will be gradual over four years.
What it could result in is that the United States might become an importer of soybeans and the majority of the world export market goes to Brazil. They have already overtaken us considerably in both production and exports and that trend is going to continue. Good, bad, or indifferent, the world is changing.
While the increased demand for soybeans will be good for U.S. producers, it will not be as rosy as many are anticipating. The trend will also result in a glut of soybean meal on the market and the spread between soybean oil and soybean meal prices will widen. Let’s not forget, however, that what appears obvious rarely happens, because the anticipation of the changes does not always occur.
Click on image above to view our latest market update with Richard Brock, Brock Associates.
AFIA honors Quality Liquid Feeds with award
Michigan facility wins AFIA 2022 Liquid Feed Facility of the Year
The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and Feedstuffs named Quality Liquid Feeds’ (QLF) Comstock Park, Mich., liquid feed manufacturing facility as the 2022 Liquid Feed Facility of the Year (FFY) award winner.
Gary Huddleston, AFIA’s director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs, presented a plaque to plant manager David Schnicke at the AFIA’s Liquid Feed Symposium (LFS), held in New Orleans, La. “QLF’s Comstock Park liquid feed facility is best in class for the industry, with well-documented standard operating procedures and training programs that should be revered,” Huddleston said. “Their work has led to experienced and engaged employees who play a critical role in ensuring the safe manufacture of quality liquid feed for beef and dairy producers.”
Constructed in 2014, the Michigan liquid feed facility produces approximately 75,000 tons of feed annually, specializing in suspensions for beef and dairy cattle.
The facility boasts three mixers for increased efficiency and abundant finished feed storage, allowing for continued growth in the future. This is the third time a QLF facility has won the Liquid Feed Facility of the Year award.
“QLF Comstock Park is honored to be recognized as the 2022 Liquid Feed Facility of the Year,” Schnicke said. “The team at Comstock Park strives to manufacture the highest quality products for our customers and the livestock they feed.”
The AFIA also recognized several semi-finalists, including QLF’s Wellsville, Ohio; Clovis, N.M.; and LaSalle, Ill., liquid feed manufacturing facilities.
U.S. feed and pet food manufacturers continuously strive for excellence in their operations, which includes everything from optimizing animal food nutrition to improving the safety of their products and workplaces to complying with government regulations.
In 1985, the AFIA sought to recognize top facilities as part of its voluntary FFY program, which assesses manufacturers’ overall operations against their peers using key industry metrics. As the industry has evolved, the FFY program has evolved with it, now recognizing award winners throughout the year in four categories – liquid feed, commercial dry, premix and ingredient, and integrator.
From the editors of Feedstuffs
FARM Program seeks comments for revisions
The National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program has launched its open comment survey for the FARM Animal Care Program’s drafted Version 5 standards updates.
All dairy industry stakeholders (farmers, allied industry, customers, etc.) are invited to provide comments, feedback and concerns related to the proposed revised standards until Oct. 28.
Scoular announces Scoular Global Shipping
Scoular, a global logistics and supply chain company, has launched a new name for its freight forwarding business: Scoular Global Shipping.
Scoular has operated a freight forwarding business, previously known as TSC Container Freight, for over two decades.
Study examines price ranges from fed cattle negotiated cash sales
In the wake of unprecedented market shocks in the fed cattle industry, researchers at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture teamed up with Mississippi State University and Texas A&M University to analyze the factors affecting price ranges in negotiated cash sales.
New smart farm facility to host cutting-edge poultry research
Construction is nearly complete on a state-of-the-art poultry science research facility that will open new avenues of research for the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science and the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station.
The Poultry Science Smart Farming Research Facility will be located at the U of A System Division of Agriculture's Milo J. Shult Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Fayetteville. The $1 million project will be the most advanced research facility for conducting broiler research at the farm once complete, according to David Caldwell, director of the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science and head of the Department of Poultry Science in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.
Wayne-Sanderson Farms rebrands new poultry company
Wayne-Sanderson Farms has unveiled a new brand identity and logo following the recent merger of the two industry leaders. The company’s new identifying mark was designed to resonate the shared values and business objectives of what is now the third-largest poultry producer in the nation.
“It’s an exciting time for our company, our employees and our customers,” said Clint Rivers, Wayne-Sanderson Farms president and CEO.
Darigold breaks ground on $600m production facility in Washington
Darigold Inc. recently hosted a commemorative groundbreaking ceremony at the site of its future Pasco, Washington, production facility.
The $600 million facility is slated to open in early 2024 and will process approximately 8 million pounds of milk per day when fully operational from more than 100 dairy farms in surrounding communities.
"The Pasco project represents our third major capital investment in as many years, the largest investment in our co-op's 104-year-history, and a significant step in an ongoing strategy to expand and modernize Darigold," said Joe Coote, the co-op's chief executive officer.
"We are a beloved heritage brand with deep roots in Washington and around the Pacific Northwest, but there's still considerable opportunity for us to leverage industry growth – here at home and around the world – to become a top-tier global dairy producer. This facility will play an important role in helping us achieve that vision, " Coote said.
Names in the News
New hires, promotions, retirements
Melissa Lema joins California Milk Advisory Board marketing team
The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), the marketing order representing California dairy producers, announced it has welcomed Melissa Lema as director of producer relations.
Lema joins the CMAB from Western United Dairies where she spent 11 years, most recently as a North Coast field representative focusing on all aspects of the relationship between producers and industry professionals, from laws and regulations to animal welfare, as well as overall industry communication.
Blake Meyers elected to National Academy of Sciences
Blake Meyers’ interest in plant science reaches back to his childhood, when he helped his mother tend to the family garden of flowers and vegetables in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Today, Meyers is a professor of plant science and technology at the University of Missouri and a researcher at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, an independent, not-for-profit research institute in Saint Louis County. In May, he became the 12th MU faculty to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors a U.S. scientist can receive.
Cambridge Technologies announces staff changes
Cambridge Technologies has named Jeff Schaaf as bovine sales manager. He previously had been a sales representative for the company primarily handling bovine accounts in the upper Midwest.
Mike Daly has been promoted to swine sales manager. Previously he was a sales representative for the company, first covering the Eastern United States and more recently handling major swine accounts.
Ben Hause has rejoined the company as chief scientific officer following a six-year hiatus during which he served as a professor at South Dakota State University. Previously, he was the vice president of research, development, and diagnostics for Cambridge.
Evonik appoints new head of animal nutrition business line
Evonik has appointed Dr. Gaetano Blanda as the new head of its animal nutrition business line. Gaetano Blanda, who was previously senior vice president and general manager of Evonik’s coating additives business line, will take over the role from Dr. Emmanuel Auer.
FACILITIES: Pellet durability testing
Measuring pellet quality during the feed manufacturing process is the key to producing a consistent quality pellet
By Charles Stark, Wilmer Pacheco, Adam Fahrenholz
Customers often evaluate the quality of feed based on its physical appearance. The quality of mash feed is often evaluated based on its flowability through bins or the feed system. Textured feed is evaluated on the percentage of molasses, pellets, and cracked corn present in the feed. With that said, pelleted feed is probably the most scrutinized feed based on the percentage of fines in the feeder at the farm or the fines in the bottom of the bag. Customers can easily judge the physical quality of pelleted feed based on the fines observed at the farm, which can lead to customer complaints on feed quality. The nutrient content of feed may be correct but if the physical appearance is not acceptable, customer might perceptive that feed has poor quality. Since pellet quality is very important to the customer and can affect animal performance, it’s important to have tools in place to predict pellet quality prior to packaging and delivery.
The first approved method for predicting pellet quality was developed by Harry Pfost at Kansas State University and published in the Agricultural Engineers Yearbook in 1969 (ASAE Standard S269.1), this method has often been referred to as the K-State tumble box method. The method has gone through a couple reviews, but has basically remained the same, the current method is ASAE S269.4. The official name of the method is “Cubes, Pellets, and Crumbles – Definition and Methods for Determining Specific Weight, Durability, and Moisture Content”, which has been shorten by the feed industry to Pellet Durability Index (PDI). The purpose of the method was to establish a universal method for testing the physical qualities of crumbles and pellets that would allow for comparison of data in research and operations using the standard. While the methodology has remained the same, its application in the feed industry has changed over time, integrated poultry and swine feed mills are now using it to predict the percentage of fines in the feeder on the farm. Pellet quality as defined by the PDI is combined with the percent of fines created at the feed mill prior to loading to predict the percentage of fines in the feeder. A comprehensive pellet quality model should be created for each individual production system based on the company’s standards for both PDI at the feed mill and fines at the feeder. Feed mills can then use the model to estimate PDI and percent fines at the feeder and make adjustments in the pelleting process to meet or exceed pellet quality targets at the feeder trough. Additionally, the model can provide feedback to the nutritionist and purchasing agent as to the positive or negative affect of an ingredient or formulation change had on PDI and percent fines.
Pellet quality can be determined with the standard PDI method (ASAE 5269.4) or using the Holmen Durability Tester (NHP 100). The Holmen method takes less time to perform and requires less sample (100 vs. 500 grams) compared to the ASAE method, but the initial cost of the equipment is higher. Both methods require the pellets to be sieved prior to testing. The ASAE method has sieve recommendations, which are used for both procedures based on the common pellets diameters (5/32”/4.0 mm - #6 sieve, 3/16”/4.8 mm #5 sieve), but there is no recommendation for the 11/64”/4.4 mm, which is commonly used for swine and broiler feeds, thus most companies have selected the #6 sieve to remove fines prior to testing for pellet quality. The ASAE method may need to be modified through the use of additional hex nuts that range from 5/8” to ¾” to create a model that is representative of a company’s manufacturing and delivery process (Pacheco, 2009). The Holmen test has different time settings (30, 60, 90, 120 sec), which can be adjusted by the feed mill based on the prediction of fines at the feeder level. For instance is the PDI at the feed mill is 90% with 30 seconds, but the percentage of whole pellets at the feeder is 65%, increasing the testing time from 30 to 60 seconds could help to predict better pellet quality at the feeder.
In addition to the time setting, the most common difference in in the Holmen method is whether to sieve the pellets coming out of the basket after the test, typically sieving this way will lower the results by 5-10%, depending on the formulation. Kort et al. (2019) also reported that warmup time and filter type would affect the results of the Holmen test. Companies who have switched from the ASAE method to the Holmen method have tried to correlate the results, but have found it difficult due to the differences in the methods. While not impossible, it’s probably best to just select a method and move forward.
Establishing a specification for percent fines at the feeder will allow the nutritionist, purchasing agent, and feed mill managers to formulate, purchase, and manufacture feed to the specification while exploring options to lower feed cost. The consistency of pelleted feed may be more important than the actual amount of fines due to feeder management. Inconsistency in the percentage of pellet fines between feed deliveries requires more feeder management to minimize feed wastage. Measuring pellet quality during the feed manufacturing process is the key to producing a consistent quality pellet. Factors such as conditioning time and temperature, production rate, and varying the amount of water and/or fat in the mixer can be performed during the pelleting process to maintain a consistent quality when pellet quality is monitored during the pelleting process. Regardless of what method is used at the feed mill for measuring pellet quality, the operators must be committed to monitoring the process as close to real time as possible.
ASAE Standards S269.1/4
Kort et al. 2019.
NUTRITION & HEALTH: Diet energy and genomics can impact heifer growth
Excessive daily gains and body condition have been found when a high energy diet was fed free choice versus a lower energy diet with 14% straw inclusion
By Dr. Al Kertz
Doing heifer growth studies is difficult and challenging for several reasons. You need a large enough number of heifers not too dissimilar in weight and age, adequate research facilities, and usually long period of time especially if you are to follow them into lactation. Thus, there are not many heifer growth studies being done. But one place that has done some excellent heifer studies is at Marshfield, Wisconsin involving the University of Wisconsin and the USDA Dairy Forage Research Center.
There are two methods of feeding heifers. One is limit-feeding which entails using diet which is only fed once daily and not to the full appetite of the heifers. But there are negative behaviors which result, and feed costs may even be greater (Kertz 2009b). The other approach is to feed free choice but use straw or low quality forage to reduce energy density and intake to avoid over-conditioning or fattening (Kertz 2009a). In this particular study (Williams et al., 2022), residual feed intake (RFI) was also factored in. RFI is defined as the difference between an animal’s energy intake minus its actual energy intake based on its maintenance and production requirements (NRC 2001). It is phenotypically independent of production and body size. If animals consume less than expected without suppressing production/growth, they have a negative RFI and are considered more efficient. But these measurements can be difficult, so using genomics to predict an animal’s genetic is a potential option.
View our interview with Dr. Al Kertz on this topic.
This was a fairly complex study in its design and execution—the description of Materials and Methods took 4.25 pages in the 14-page article. Thus, I will provide a very abridged version of how the study was designed and conducted. A total of 128 post-bred Holstein heifers within an age range of 14-20 months were stratified into 4 blocks of 32 heifers/block by initial body weight with days in gestation of low—20 ± 24 days, medium-low--48 ± 34 days, medium-high--60 ± 42 days, and high--74 ± 42 days. Within each weight block heifers were further allocated into low genomic RFI and high genomic RFI with 16 heifers/block. Overall, the mean genomic difference was -0.022 ± 0.346 of dry matter from precited intakes with a range of -0.802 to 0.744
Diets were formulated higher (48% corn silage, 52% alfalfa haylage and mineral added) or lower energy with 14% wheat straw added to 27% corn silage and 59% alfalfa haylage plus mineral added. Based on weekly analyses in this 120-day trial, protein was similar at 11.8% while NDF/ADF were 45.6/32.0 and 50.1/36.7 with calculated energy of TDN%/ME Mcal/lb of 62.7/1.09 and 57.0/0.99, respectively. Based on previous results for this research facility, expected daily gain (ADG) for these two diets were expected to be 2.2 lb and 1.87 lb, respectively.
There were 8 heifers per group in each free stall pen with foam-core mattresses bedded with a shallow layer of dried organic solids. There were also 4 blocks per treatment in this 2 x 2 study of diet energy level and genomic RFI. Diets were fed as TMR twice daily at 0900 and 1100 hours. Body measurements were taken at the beginning and at the end of this 120-day trial. In addition, fecal and total manure per pen were made during weeks 8 and 16 to estimate diet digestibility. All heifers were off the study at least 6 weeks before their first calving; and milk production for the first 150 days in milk. Data also included calf body weight, calving ease score, and first-lactation monthly milk fat and protein.
- Dry matter intake (DMI) was greater for the high energy diet reflecting its lack of straw and less gut fill effect on intake
- Body weight averaged about 1,000 lb at the start of this 120-day trial; and average daily gain (ADG) was greater for high versu low eenrgy diet and teneded to be greater for High RFI vs Low RFI. Daily gains over 1 kg (2.2 lb) are excesssive as at that ADG is the maximum amount of protein deposition. Greater ADG than 2.22 is simply fat deposition. So the best ADG was 1.87 lb on the low energy/high RFI treatment. Fatter heifers (and cows) trypically have more calving difficulties due to fat deposition restricting the birth canal. Fatter heifers and cows have more metabolic problems too, including more body condtion score (BCS) loss.
- Body length and height were not different between diets nor between RFI. That is not surprising since only 25% of height increase from birth to first calving occurs during the second year of heifer growth (Kertz et al.,1998). With such small frame increase, it is difficult to pick up statistical diferences with considerble variation during growth as well.
- Feed efficiencies were poorer/higher with the low energy diet. But that is deceptive as the low energy diet with straw would also likely have had more gut fill—but with less fattening too.
- Lower dry matter (DM) and NDF digestibilities were found on the low energy diet as expected since that diet contained straw.
- Calf birth weight, milk and composition did not differ by diet or RFI. This may not be too surprising since first-calf heifer numbers were low and variation high. For instance, the coeficient of variation on daily milk produciton was over 5 %. What was surprising to me were the lower calf birth weights of about 80 lb versus female calves’ birth weights of 85 lb in Kertz et al., (1997). Male calves in that database were an average 7 % greate in body weight. Since this study apparently included male calves, that makes the disparity between average birth weight even greater between these two studies.
The Bottom Line
A limitation of most heifer studies is that there are too few animal numbers to be able to detect subsequent differences in lactation data. This seems to be the case for RFI (residual feed intake) data too. However, this study did find excessive daily gains and body condition when a high energy diet was fed free choice versus a lower energy diet with 14% straw inclusion. The low energy diet with high RFI heifers had the most appropriate daily gain of 1.87 lb versus the other 3 treatments which had daily gains over 2.0 and up to 2.6 lb daily gains. Daily gains of 2.2 lb and over can result in undue fattening.
Kertz, A. F., L. F. Reutzel, B. A. Barton, and R. L. Ely. 1997. Body weight, body condition score, and wither height of prepartum Holstein cows and body weight and sex of calves by parity. A database and summary. J. Dairy Sci. 80:525-529.
Kertz, A. F., B. A. Barton, and L. F. Reutzel. 1998. Relative efficiencies of wither height and body weight increase from birth until first calving in Holstein cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 81:1479-1482.
Kertz, A. F. 2009a. Diluting heifer diets with straw studied. Feedstuffs, April 13 p. 12-13.
Kertz, A.F. 2009b. Limit feeding possible for growing heifers. Feedstuffs, November 9, p. 12-13.
NRC. National Research Council Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle, 7th REVISED edition, 2001.
Williams, K. T., K. A. Weigel, W. K. Coblentz, N. M. Esser, H. Schlesser, P. C. Hoffman, R. Ogden, H. Su, and M. S. Akins. 2022. Effect of diet energy level and genomic residual feed intake on bred Holstein dairy heifer growth and feed efficiency. J. Dairy Sci. 105:2201-2214.
Dr. Al Kertz is with ANDHIL LLC, St. Louis, Mo.
Transform employees to emergency responders
Three easy steps to empower your team to respond
By Patrick Hardy
Responding to disasters is one of the most important activities that employees can be asked to grapple with. From natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes to technological situations such as power outages, chemical spills and transportation accidents, as well as security emergencies like acts of terrorism and mass shootings, a property should be prepared for any of these. The metric for success in a disaster response is not the detail of the plans or the usefulness of the equipment. It’s the level of employee empowerment that makes all the difference.
Employees must go beyond being just bystanders who are told what to do. They must be transformed into emergency responders capable of activating themselves and leading in the instant a disaster strikes.
Step 1 – Rewrite your disaster plans
Currently, most property disaster plans expressly hand off leadership responsibility of a disaster response to management. This would seem the most logical way of handling it. However, in practice, this leaves a property underprepared. Disasters can be sudden events that either leave managers injured, or unavailable through traditional communication devices. When disaster plans require a manager to approve a certain immediate disaster activity like initiating a basic evacuation or crisis communication method or explicitly state that managers must perform it, they immediately convert employees into useless bystanders.
Disaster plans should be immediately rewritten so that employees are able to conduct any immediate response activity surrounding evacuation/shelter-in-place/lockdown without the need of a manager. All manager titles and proper names should be removed from disaster protocols so that any employee can perform any action without any kind of permission required.
Step 2 – Reevaluate your disaster equipment and supplies, and technology
Disaster Equipment, Supplies and Technology (EST) has long been considered a critical element in any property preparedness program. However, in most instances, EST have actually made properties less prepared. This is because either employees are not authorized to use them without permission of management, and/or they are inaccessible to employees. This goes way beyond the first aid kits or AED defibrillators. It also includes disaster equipment like search and rescue tools, emergency food and water, and critical use supplies like flashlights, rope and PPE masks. Many properties also have specialized emergency communication mobile apps and expensive technology which they rely on. Ironically, this is what makes them not prepared because it shifts the dependency on equipment to do activities that, if they were not available, could not be performed by staff or management.
To be effective, disaster EST must be specifically tailored to your employees. It should sync up perfectly with your disaster plan. For instance, if you plan doesn’t include search and rescue, then don’t put those supplies in your bags. Technology should also be used sparingly in a disaster. But when it is utilized by a property, employees should have complete access to it, know the passwords, and how to effectively perform the process of sending messages or otherwise activating it.
Step 3 – Redesign your training and drills
Training and drills are the most important elements of a disaster program. They are more important than disaster plans and EST combined. This is because the way a workforce is trained and drilled will not only reinforce the behaviors necessary in a disaster, but also exposes the strengths and weaknesses of your program overall. The problem is that most training is actually too detailed. Going through an earthquake or wildfire procedures point by point is boring and unnecessary. No one is going to remember it, and it detracts from information that really necessary for employees to act during a disaster. Drills are equally as useless because most times employees are converted into bystanders while managers do everything, and simply bark instructions at staff. This is not conducive to real situations where employees can be incredibly valuable members of a disaster team.
Redesign your training and drills so that line employees are the stars. Training should focus on leadership ability and the basic steps in a disaster response and where to find the information they will need for more in-depth procedures. In fact, this should be reinforced with drills where managers are made to stand on the side, and employees instructed to perform an entire disaster drill without management participation. This will give an accurate way to assess their readiness. It will also reinforce individual initiative and responsibility so anyone can put together an impromptu emergency team. That is how you turn bystander employees into emergency team members that can work for you in any disaster.
Whether you run a large or small property, with 5 or 500 employees, it is critical that each team member be prepared not to respond to a disaster, but to actually organize a disaster team. It is more than just red binders, written plans, fancy equipment, and an expensive communication mobile app. It’s about empowering employees to act with authority and lead during a disaster. If you don’t, you will turn them into bystanders who not only are excluded as part of the solution – they become part of the problem.
Patrick Hardy is founder and CEO of Hytropy Disaster Management, the largest full-service small business disaster management company in the US. A Certified Emergency Manager® and a Master Business Continuity Professional®, in 2012 he was selected as the National Private Sector Representative to FEMA. His book, Design Any Disaster, will be published in March 2023 by Benbella Books.
View our interview with Patrick Hardy, CEO of Hytropy Disaster Management.
NUTRITION & HEALTH: Feeding cattle in a drought
K-State beef cattle experts offer advice on how to provide nutrition to cattle when grazing pastures are dried up
Grazing pastures that don't have adequate rain are not able to meet the nutritional needs of the cow herd without supplementation, say the experts at the Kansas State University Beef Cattle Institute.
Speaking on a recent Cattle Chat podcast, Phillip Lancaster, beef cattle nutritionist; Brad White and Bob Larson, veterinarians; and Dustin Pendell, agricultural economist, offered options for beef cattle producers to consider when managing their cattle in a time of drought.
Lancaster said this is the year when producers will likely need to start feeding hay sooner than usual and may need to start by feeding hay that has been sitting for a few years.
"Older hay does not hold the same nutritional value as hay that has been cut within the year because microbes and weather break down the carbohydrates, protein and vitamins in the hay the longer it sits out," he said.
"There is a value in feeding older hay, but the quality has declined and so producers need to account for that in the overall ration," White said.
To be sure of the nutrient value, they said testing the hay was important.
Another management strategy is to limit the time the cows have access to the hay to prevent waste, said Larson. "By giving cows access to the hay 6-8 hours a day and then moving them out of the lot, they will get the same nutrition as they would have with free choice access but will waste less of the hay because they aren't tossing it around as much," Larson said.
The third strategy the experts discussed was grazing crop residues.
"Crop residues can be a great feed source, but producers need to remember that they have the greatest nutritional value on the first day the cattle are turned out and the quality decreases the more time that passes," Larson said. "This is because the cows will eat the leaves and ears on the ground first and then the stalks, which have less nutrient value."
Larson also said producers will need to make sure the cattle grazing corn stalks and milo residue have adequate fencing and access to water.
Along with that, Pendell said that producers need to account for labor costs in these strategies.
"With limit feeding and turning cattle out on crop residues, there are additional labor costs, and in some cases, fencing costs that need to be budgeted for when deciding on if this a good strategy for the operation," Pendell said.
NUTRITION & HEALTH: What is the time, temperature needed to inactivate PRRSV, PEDV?
Data-driven recommendations given for holding times at specific temperatures to reduce risk of virus introduction at swine farms through contaminated supplies
The temperature and time required to inactivate porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and porcine epidemic diarrhea virus on contaminated surfaces commonly found in supply entry rooms on swine farms was evaluated in a study conducted by Gustavo Silva of Iowa State University and funded by Swine Health Information Center.
To reduce the risk of virus introduction through contaminated supplies, recommendations include materials being held at 86°F for at least 24 hours.
Another option would be to increase the temperature to at least 104°F, which allows the holding time to be reduced to 12 hours.
Using foggers in supply entry rooms for decontamination of fomites entering sow farms to mitigate risk is a common practice.
However, recent research questions the efficacy of this method for pathogen inactivation, especially in complex situations where pathogens may be shielded by organic material or blind spots (Kettelkamp et al., 2019; Leuck et al., 2020).
In this study on time and temperature required for virus inactivation, PRRSV MN184, PRRSV 144 L1C variant or PEDV were used. Surfaces included diamond plate aluminum and cardboard tested at four temperatures (68°F, 86°F, 104°F and 122°F) with six holding times (15 minutes, 60 minutes, six hours, 12 hours, 24 hours and 36 hours).
Once the surface temperature reached the desired condition, the coupons were held for the designated holding time.
Negative controls remained at room temperature for 36 hours and positive controls remained at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Three replicates of each treatment were performed and each coupon was inoculated with 2mL of virus or 2mL of media (negative control).
Virus titration was performed for each sample after the holding time. Regression models and Weibull curves were built to assess the impact of temperature and time on virus inactivation.
Under the conditions of this study, PRRSV 144 L1C variant was inactivated on aluminum surfaces by heating coupons to 86°F for 12 hours and on cardboard surfaces by heating the coupons to 86°F for six hours.
Regarding PRRSV MN184, virus inactivation was possible at 86°F after 24 hours on aluminum and at 104°F after 12 hours on cardboard. PEDV inactivation was achieved at 86°F after six hours on aluminum and at 86°F after 12 hours on cardboard.
Virus was inactivated after 15 minutes and one hour at 122°F in aluminum surfaces for PEDV and PRRSV 144 L1C variant, but not for cardboard.
Consequently, this study provides data-driven recommendations for holding times at specific temperatures to reduce the risk of virus introduction at swine farms through contaminated supplies.
NUTRITION & HEALTH: Multifunctional palatants for automatic milking systems
Using palatants as an incentive strategy can help cows overcome this barrier and therefore increase the number of voluntary visits and milkings
By Mario Roman
The milking routine is one of, if not the most, time-consuming activities of a dairy farm. It is a human labor-intensive routine required several times a day in order to meet production targets. The adoption of the automatic milking system (AMS) in high-performing farms enables a more flexible work schedule for farmers and frees time for other duties. In addition, it also leads to improvements on animal welfare and milk production.
However, the AMS is not a perfect system, and it also presents downsides. The systems also known as ‘milking robots’ commonly face a very simple issue: getting the animal to enter the robot.
Using palatants as an incentive strategy can help cows overcome this barrier and therefore increase the number of voluntary visits and milkings. Pancosma has leveraged its expertise on palatants to develop a portfolio of additives specifically optimized for use in AMS and offered under the Magnasweet brand.
Magnasweet is the fusion between two different types of sensory additives: state of the art flavors and high-intensity sweeteners.
Flavors are used with the objective of attracting the animal toward the robot and sweeteners as a reward to retain the animal in order to get her milked.
urthermore, it has been proven that the sweetener’s active ingredients are responsible for an optimization of glucose absorption process at gut-level, resulting in more glucose available to mammal glands, supporting better milk production.
The use of a multifunctional palatant brings synergistic effects to the herd, leading to performance improvements, demonstrated on multiple field trials.
From concept to specific solution
On a recent study, a saccharin-based palatant was supplemented to a group of 38 lactating Holstein cows during 56 days in a commercial farm in Louisville, Ohio, United States. Multiparous cows fed the palatant were milked 3.3 times/d compared to 3.2 times/d in CTL group and also had higher milk yields than CTL group (36.83 vs 36.06 kg/hd/d).
A second study, in this case with a stevia-based palatant, was run in a commercial farm in Spain with 200 cows. Despite suffering from a regional heat wave, the supplementation of the palatant delivered an
increase in number of milkings and total visits per day, which emphasizes the importance of palatability in challenging situations.
Multifunctional palatants have proven to be an efficient tool for milking cows. Magnasweet supplemented feed acts as both an attractant and reward for the animal, leading to increases in number of visits to the robot and number of milking per day, and associated with higher milk yields.
Mario Roman is with Pancosma, ADM Animal Nutrition
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NUTRITION & HEALTH: Researchers evaluate pesticide embedded paint for poultry facilities
Paint’s pest repellency remained almost unchanged, even after 12 months
Pest control technologies currently in use within the poultry industry primarily rely on spraying pesticides, but these have several limitations. These include: (1) only 0.3% of the sprayed pesticide goes directly into the target pest, while 99.7% enters the surface or groundwater and may contaminate them, (2) sprayed pesticide often forms aerosol which can cause respiratory problems to poultry upon inhaling, and (3) sprayed pesticide can be readily degraded even at ambient conditions (e.g., room temperature, rain, natural sunlight, etc.).
This week, USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announced the completion of a funded research project at the University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc., in which researchers evaluated pesticide embedded paint for poultry facilities. The research was made possible in part by an endowing Foundation gift from Wayne Farms and is part of the USPOULTRY’s comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing.
Dr. Gibum Kwon, at the University of Kansas Center for Research Inc., completed research with the primary objective of developing pest repellent paint for poultry facilities and assessing its long-term performance.
During the course of the project, researchers developed the paint by copolymerizing epoxidized soybean oil (ESO), permethrin, capsaicin and citric acid. Various coating parameters included compositions, thickness and crosslinking densities. Pest-repellency tests were conducted, and results showed that the paint’s pest repellency remained almost unchanged, even after 12 months, indicating that this pest repellent paint may benefit those involved in poultry production.
Research results indicate the paint may benefit the poultry industry that are involved in production, such as poultry breeding, hatcheries and feed services. Additionally, it may benefit poultry processing sectors such as meat and egg processing as well as packaging.
NUTRITION & HEALTH: Byproduct feeds in dairy diets provide valuable nutrients and environmental benefits
Result is considerably less non-CO2 GHG emissions than landfill disposal and composting
By Mary Beth de Ondarza
Almost 30% of the world’s agricultural products actually end up as “byproducts”. Dairy cows recycle nutrients from feed byproducts into nutritious milk and dairy products. Feeding byproducts to animals greatly reduces the need for alternative disposal, such as burning or landfill dumping. Although, byproduct feeds have been fed to dairy cows for decades (Ajila et al., 2012), previous surveys do not adequately put a figure on their use in today’s US dairy diets.
As with everything the cow eats, a portion of byproduct feed is converted into methane and nitrous oxide. Enteric methane emissions are highly dependent upon rumen digestibility of feeds, while manure methane and nitrous oxide emissions vary in regard to excretion of undigested nutrients and manure management.
These non-CO2 greenhouse gases (GHG) contribute to global warming. But, since byproduct feeds replace forages and grains that would otherwise be included in the dairy cow’s diet, minimal additional non-CO2 GHG emissions are generated.
Documenting the extent of byproduct feed inclusion in US dairy diets and discerning the impacts of byproduct feeding on GHG emissions will help further establish the environmental sustainability of the US dairy industry. For this reason, Dairy Management Inc. sponsored a research project (de Ondarza and Tricarico, 2021) to achieve the following objectives:
1. Understand what types of byproducts and how much of each type are fed per US milking cow (A “milking cow” was defined as a lactating cow in addition to associated dry cows and replacement heifers).
2. Quantify the enteric and manure-related GHG emissions resulting from feeding byproducts to milking cows and compare these emissions to those of other byproduct disposal methods.
3. Quantify the nutritional contributions byproducts make to US lactating cow diets (dry cows and replacement heifers excluded).
Byproducts feeds survey
Questionnaires were sent to dairy nutrition consultants and feed industry representatives in the US regarding their usage of 63 different byproduct feeds as well as the number of lactating cows and milk production of the dairies they served. Survey results described 33.5% of US lactating cows and 35.7% of US milk production in 2019, making this the most comprehensive survey of US byproduct usage in dairy cows.
onsumption of each byproduct and byproduct type on a regional and US basis were determined using questionnaire answers weighted according to 2019 USDA regional milk cow numbers and milk production.
Each day US dairy cattle consume 12 kg AF (8.2 kg DM) byproduct per milking cow (lactating cow in addition to associated dry cows and replacement heifers) or 319 g AF (219 g DM) byproduct per kg milk produced (Table 1). Cows in the West consume the most byproduct followed by the South, Northeast, and the Midwest, reflecting regional variations in byproduct cost, availability of byproduct and whole grains, as well as ability to manage feed byproducts on the farm. In 2019, US milk cows ate 32 to 41 million Mt (As-Fed) of feed byproduct based on extrapolation from either USDA milk production or USDA milk cow numbers (Table 1).
The 63 feed byproducts included in the survey were categorized into 18 feed byproduct types (Table 2).
Daily consumption of feed byproduct types per milking cow in the US in 2019 is presented in Table 3.
Corn distillers’ grains are fed at the highest rate of all byproducts at a US average of 1,404 g DM/milking cow/d with cows in the West consuming the most (2,289 g DM/milking cow/d). Canola meal was ranked second at a US average of 1,359 g DM/milking cow/d with cows in the West consuming the most (2,374 g DM/milking cow/d). Soybean meal was ranked third in US byproduct usage at 1,229 g DM/milking cow/d. Feed byproducts provide valuable nutrients, with the US average byproduct blend containing 30% CP, 30% NDF, 11% sugar, and 7% fat on a DM basis.
Non-CO2 GHG emissions from byproduct feeds
The 100-year Global Warming Potentials (GWP100) of 34 and 298 were used to express methane and nitrous oxide emissions, respectively, in terms of “CO2 equivalent emissions” (CO2-eq) (Myhre et al., 2013). The equation of Niu et al. (2018) based on a dataset containing 1,084 observations across 45 studies conducted in the US between 1962 and 2016 was used for estimating enteric methane (g/d) from feed byproducts.
On average, US milking cows produced 7654 CO2-eq, g/d of enteric methane from 8.2 kg DM byproduct daily in 2019 (Table 4). Enteric methane production from byproduct is greatest for the South and West (8080 and 8933 CO2-eq, g/d) given their greater byproduct feeding rates (9.6 and 10.9 kg DM/d). Average US milking cow enteric methane yield is 932 g CO2-eq per kg byproduct DM. Mean US enteric methane intensity is 207 g CO2-eq from byproduct/kg of milk.
Methane emissions from manure were calculated using an Environmental Protection Agency equation based on manure volatile solids (EPA, 2011). Direct nitrous oxide (g/d) from manure and indirect nitrous oxide (g/d) from manure were calculated using equations based on fecal nitrogen (EPA, 2019). According to EPA (2019), US dairy manure is managed as follows: 40% anaerobic lagoons, 24% liquid/slurry systems, 18% solid storage, 12% daily spreading, 4% pasture, range, or paddocks, and 1% deep pit storage. These waste management system usage estimates are based on state or regional usage data from various sources (e.g. Census of Agriculture, EPA’s Office of Water, USDA, and opinions from experts) and not from farm-level estimates. Although this represents a limitation, it is currently the only available source of data on the percent manure distribution among waste management systems by operation on a state level. The collection and summarization of primary farm-level data is needed, for example through an updated and more comprehensive survey, to provide a better representation of how manure is managed on US dairy farms.
On average, US milking cows produced 5,580 CO2-eq, g/d from manure methane and manure nitrous oxide arising from 8.2 kg DM byproduct daily in 2019 (Table 4). Manure emission intensities averaged 151 CO2-eq/milk (g/kg) from byproduct. Regional production of manure methane followed byproduct consumption, but it was greatly affected by regional differences in waste management systems, with a predominance of liquid manure handling and storage (e.g. anaerobic lagoon and liquid/slurry) in the West compared to the other regions. The low predicted manure methane values for the Northeast are largely due to the predominance of the daily spread manure management system suggested by EPA (2019) for that region.
Dietary nutrients, GHG emissions from byproduct feeds in lactating diet
Using the dairy nutritionist survey data only, byproduct feeds consumed by lactating cows (dry cows and replacement heifers excluded) were calculated for the US and its four regions (Table 5). Lactating diets were formulated with byproduct feed blends for each region and the US and using typical regional forages and whole grains.
Daily feed byproduct consumed ranged from 8.65 kg AF (6.41 kg DM) for the Northeast to 12.46 kg AF (8.54 kg DM) in the West with a US average of 11.04 kg AF (7.62 kg DM). This represents a US average feed byproduct inclusion of 32% of the lactating diet with regional values ranging from 27% in the Northeast to 36% in the West. On average, feed byproduct supplies 54% of the crude protein needed by US lactating cows, ranging from 44% in the Midwest to 66% in the South. Feed byproduct is used to supply 61% of the sugar in lactating cow diets, ranging from 52% in the Midwest to 72% in the South. Lactating cows also receive an average of 46% of their dietary fat from byproduct sources, ranging from 33% in the Northeast to 56% in the West.
On average, 36% of non-CO2 GHG emissions generated by US lactating dairy cows result from the fermentation of byproduct feeds. Due mainly to high byproduct usage, the West region has the highest percentage (38%) of lactating cow non-CO2 GHG emissions from byproduct while the Northeast has both the lowest percentage of lactating cow non-CO2 GHG emissions from byproduct (34%) and the lowest byproduct feeding rate.
GHG emissions from byproduct feeds disposed by alternate methods
Greenhouse gases are generated when byproduct disposal occurs by alternative means other than feeding to animals. Landfill disposal involves a combination of anaerobic and aerobic fermentation resulting in 50% of the carbon converted into methane with the remaining carbon converted into biogenic CO2 (EPA, 2010). Methane from landfill disposal was calculated based on kg of organic carbon (IPCC, 2019). Composting emissions were estimated using emissions factors from EPA (2010). Emissions from direct combustion of byproducts were calculated using stationary combustion emission factors for agricultural byproducts (EPA, 2014).
Byproduct feeds contribute to enteric and manure non-CO2 GHG emissions like all other feeds in the cow’s diet. Since byproduct feeds replace forages and grains in the diet, their impact on non-CO2 GHG emissions is obtained after subtracting the emissions from the forages and grains they replace (Table 6).
Feeding byproducts to dairy cows results in considerably less non-CO2 GHG emissions than landfill disposal (49-fold) and composting (4.7-fold) while supplying valuable nutrients for milk production. The US EPA (2020) considers recycling food surplus and byproducts into animal feed as a preferred choice over composting, burning, and landfill (Papargyropoulou et al., 2014) (Figure).
This study describes the use of byproduct feeds by US dairy cows based on the most thorough survey conducted on this topic so far. Dairy cattle utilize considerable amounts of different types of byproduct feeds, following current recommendations for the sustainable management of unavoidable food waste. Dairy cattle recycle important nutrients from agricultural byproduct streams into milk and dairy foods producing considerably less non-CO2 GHG emissions than landfill disposal and composting. Negligeable long-term non-CO2 GHG emissions are created by feeding byproducts to dairy cows since they substitute forages and grains in the diet.
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de Ondarza, M.B. and J.M. Tricarico. 2021. Nutritional contributions and non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions from human-inedible byproduct feeds consumed by dairy cows in the United States. J. Cleaner Prod. 315, 128125. doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.128125
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By Mary Beth de Ondarza, Ph.D., is with Paradox Nutrition, LLC, West Chazy, NY.