MU Extension project helps 93-year-old farmer – Houston Herald

Farmers like 93-year-old Harry Keutzer don’t quit just because their body parts slow down.

His hens, cows and pets depend on him. So do customers at the Kansas City-area farmers markets where he sells produce, eggs and hand-loomed rugs.

The Missouri AgrAbility Project, through University of Missouri Extension, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension and the Brain Injury Association of Missouri, provides aging farmers with information, referrals and a variety of resources to keep working.

Lincoln University Extension farm and AgrAbility outreach worker Susan Jaster carried out an assessment of accessibility at Keutzer’s Lafayette County farm and made recommendations on how to make the home safer and more accessible.

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Harry Keutzer

HARRY KEUTZER

MU Extension state health and safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch said AgrAbility helps farmers with disabilities caused by age, injury or illness to keep farming. The program provides research-based information and appropriate referrals to other agencies as needed.

America’s farm population has been aging rapidly over the last 30 years. According to the USDA’s 2012 Census of Agriculture, released in 2014, the average age of U.S. farmers is 58.3 years. There are now more farmers over 75 than between the ages of 35 and 44, Funkenbusch said.

Keutzer and his daughter-in-law, Stacy, grew 3,000 tomato plants in a high tunnel last year. They also planted a three-acre garden and put in a large plot of potatoes on a neighbor’s garden spot. Stacy picks all of the produce and Harry sorts it. Both wash and pack it.

Mobility is a challenge. When it rains, Keutzer has to stay inside and can’t work. But Keutzer’s energy level and stamina during the three-hour farm assessment surprised Jaster.

“He has the energy and deserves to be able to carry on his active life,” she said.

AgrAbility recommended a different type of scooter to reduce fatigue and help him maneuver around the farm over muddy and rough ground. The program also recommended a hydraulic lift to move pallets from the ground to make it easier to load produce onto the enclosed truck the Keutzers take to farmers markets.

Harry’s weathered hands are rarely idle and his mind remains active with farmer ingenuity. He finds it increasingly difficult to plant, so he and his son, Virgil, built a transplanter for their small tractor. It plants and waters the plant plug and lays weed-barrier plastic.

He uses his scooter to check on 100 chickens and takes buckets of water to livestock. He milks a three-teated cow that provides milk for two calves and a gallon a day for milk, butter, homemade ice cream and tapioca for the Keutzers.

He still enjoys cutting wood. He makes wine and helps his daughter-in-law cut fabric strips to make into loomed rugs. In October, he assisted a calving cow with a difficult birth.

Keutzer grew up working with his brothers on his father’s 500-acre farm at Creighton, Mo. He was so small when he started milking cows that his father had a special milking stool made for him.

He went to a country school until eighth grade. He said boys carried .22-caliber single-shot rifles to school, shooting rabbits and squirrels along the way to feed their families. And all boys had a two-bladed pocketknife, he says, to skin wild game and play “mumblepeg” at recess.

After school each day, he listened to 15 minutes of the Tom Mix cowboy show on the radio before starting chores. The radio wasn’t turned on again until 9:30 p.m., when the family listened to “Amos ’n’ Andy” and the news.

He farmed with a team of horses before buying his first tractor, a Farmall F-20. In 1942, Harry bought his second tractor, an Allis-Chalmers WC, at auction for $870.

He and other farmers anxiously awaited electrification through REA. On Jan. 7, 1945, he and his wife, Johnnie, celebrated her birthday in nearby Clinton. They returned home to a house lit with electricity, and their new Montgomery Ward refrigerator was plugged in and running.

He, his wife and a hired hand traveled the area baling hay from spring to fall. His wife drove the tractor as he put the 8 ½-foot wires into the baler. The hired hand tied the bales. It was hard work, but Keutzer and his wife made enough money to buy a new Kaiser automobile with cash.

In 1952, the Keutzers moved to southern Minnesota, where his uncles lived. He rented 320 acres on shares and was one of the first to plant soybean. Corn was selling for $1.25 a bushel under a government price-protection system.

Times were different then, Harry recalls. Farm implement dealers and oil companies helped young farmers get started by extending credit until crops were sold. He bought a four-row cultivator, planter, disk, a new corn picker and two new tractors – a John Deere 720 diesel and an IH Farmall 400 – on credit.

He and Johnnie also opened their home to 50 foster children during their time in Minnesota. The dinner table was often set for more than 20. He taught the children the value of rural life, hard work and being self-sufficient.

In 1959, his father quit farming and he returned to Missouri. Harry rented the farm next to his father’s and had 1,000 acres of South Grand River bottomland.

They farmed the home place until 1972, when Truman Reservoir took much of their land. They sold out and returned to Minnesota to a 45-head dairy farm.

His son met Stacy and married. She wasn’t a farm girl but quickly learned how to care for 45 bucket calves. They farmed there until Harry’s wife died, then moved to Iowa. He worked until he was 81 as a night watchman for Spee-Dee Delivery Services before moving to Napoleon.

Keutzer’s farming practices and lifestyle evolved as times and technology changed. He keeps current with technology by following farm auctions and news online.

Just as he learned to incorporate new farming methods throughout his life, he has learned to adjust as a farming nonagenarian.

AgrAbility gives him the resources to continue doing what he loves to do-provide food to feed America.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture, an agency of USDA, administers the AgrAbility Project.

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Brighten up your home – Waterbury Republican American

Gorgeous Bull Skull by Aureus Arts

CHICAGO TRIBUNENo need to break out the crayons. Beat the winter grays with bright stuff for your home. Here are some products to get you started.

1. Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders’ cheeky designs make clashing colors harmonious. His Herringbone carpet for The Rug Company is a case in point. $129 per square foot at The Rug Company, Chicago.

2. Primary colors and simple organic shapes mark the chairs from the Swedish design trio Claesson Koivisto Rune for Tacchini. The Kelly E Chair is $2,300, at Orange Skin, Chicago.

3. The Lindona Necklace from Songa Designs, an eco-friendly accessories line made by women in Rwanda as a way to establish their economic independence. Each handmade piece is made of repurposed natural materials such as banana leaf fiber, sisal plant, and cow horn. $48 at songadesigns. com.

4. Improve your mood by upholstering Vitra’s Mariposa sofa in a bold hue. Pick from dozens of colors including poppy red, grass green, magenta and lemon, pictured. $7,520 at hivemodern.com.

5. Four shades in different hues give the Tam Tam suspension lamp by Design Fabien Dumas a colorful personality. $1,093 at hivemodern.com.

6. Give time the attention it deserves with a clock that steals the proverbial show. Normann Copenhagen’s Watch Me Wall Clock is $50 at normann-copenhagen.com

7. Studio Job’s paper lamp for Moooi is inspired by classic lamps but draws on a crafty material. $1,703.00 at moooi.com.

8. Warm up any seat in the room with Maharam’s Millerstripe Pillow with fabric designed by famed 20th-century industrial designer Alexander Girard. The 17-inch pillow is 92 percent wool and 8 percent nylon and sports a cotton insert with a duck feather fill. $175 at maharam.com.

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Make sure that rations are adequate for lactating cows – Tri-State Livestock News

The first 60 to 90 days post-calving are the most nutritionally demanding period in the production cycle, and the expectations for a cow at this time are many.

Calving season is in full swing across much of North Dakota, and the first 60 to 90 days post-calving are the most nutritionally demanding period in the production cycle, according to two North Dakota State University animal scientists.

“The expectations for a cow at this time are many,” says Janna Block, livestock systems specialist at the Hettinger Research Extension Center. “She must produce milk, repair her reproductive tract, resume her estrous cycle, get pregnant again and possibly continue to grow. Total nutrients — water, energy, protein, vitamins and minerals — consumed each day by the cow are utilized based on biological priorities of maintenance, growth, lactation and reproduction. Because reproduction is lowest on the priority list, it is one of the first factors affected if nutrition is inadequate between calving and breeding. A typical 1,400 lb. cow producing 20 lbs. of milk per day at peak milk (about 60 days post-calving) needs 10% crude protein (CP) and 59% total digestible nutrient (TDN) as a percentage of her dry matter intake to meet production demands.”

“This time of high nutrient requirements for cows occurs in conjunction with pasture turnout on many ranches in the region,” adds Miranda Meehan, Extension livestock environmental stewardship specialist and Animal Sciences assistant professor. “Typically, pasture turnout takes place in mid-May or early June when grasses are actively growing and have high crude protein of at least 15% and total digestible nutrient levels of at least 60%, which would be sufficient to meet cow requirements.”

However, due to forage shortages and lot conditions, many producers already have turned cattle out on pasture to graze standing forage from the 2018 growing season, the specialists say. They recommend that producers consider forage availability and quality to ensure that nutrient requirements of grazing livestock are met.

The most accurate way to determine the amount of standing available forage is the clip and weigh method. Detailed instructions are in the “NDSU Extension Range and Forage Production Sample Kits” publication found at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/environment-natural-resources/ndsu-extension-range-and-forage-production-sample-kits or by searching “NDSU range and forage sample kit.”

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“Quality of dormant forage can vary widely depending on species, environmental factors and pasture management,” says Meehan.

In North Dakota, the majority of grazing resources are cool-season dominant. This standing forage is low in crude protein, with cool-season species typically containing less than 5% CP and warm-season species around 6% CP. Meehan says energy content also is generally low for these forages, with cool-season grasses falling below 50% TDN and warm seasons at about 52% TDN. Even if forage availability is adequate, cows may not physically be able to eat enough dormant forage to fulfill requirements.

“Forage intake is generally limited by the capacity of the digestive tract,” Block says. “High-quality forage is digested more rapidly and has an increased passage rate, which allows for increased intake. Some general rules of thumb have been established using forage quality to estimate forage intake on a dry-matter basis as a percentage of body weight for lactating cows. For low-quality forage (less than 52% TDN), dry matter intake will be around 2.2% of body weight. This amount may not supply adequate protein and energy to meet demands.”

Depending on the quantity and quality of available forage, supplementation may be necessary to ensure that requirements of lactating cows are met, say Block and Meehan. A variety of protein and energy supplements are available that can help fill nutritional gaps from forage. The objective is to balance nutrient deficiencies in a cost-efficient manner.

“This time of year, cows often prefer to graze and forage rather than consume hay,” Block says. “However, high-quality forage can be a source of additional nutrients. If feeding grains or other starches as an energy supplement, the maximum level to avoid negative impacts on fiber digestibility is 0.4% of the cow’s body weight. Fiber-based supplements, such as wheat midds, distillers grains or other co-products, can be used at higher levels. When forage contains less than 7% crude protein, some type of protein supplement with at least 20% crude protein is probably necessary. This includes feeds such as alfalfa hay, soybean meal, distillers grains and commercial supplements. Evaluate the appropriate supplement for a given situation based on nutrient content, availability and price.”

Block and Meehan encourage producers to compare supplements on a cost per pound of nutrient basis by using the NDSU Extension publication “Comparing Value of Feedstuffs” available at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/landing-pages/livestock/comparing-feedstuffs-as-1742 or by searching “NDSU Comparing Value of Feedstuffs.”

They agree that supplying adequate nutrition for lactating cows is extremely critical in ensuring production goals are met. Producers need to develop rations that can economically meet this challenge, particularly when feed prices are high. For additional information about forage sampling or ration development, contact your local NDSU Extension agent.

–NDSU Extension

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Corn processing method may boost cow growth, energy – FeedNavigator.com

Corn processing method may boost cow growth, energy

An international team of researchers, based at the University of São Paulo in Brazil and at Kansas State University in the US, explored the use of varying dietary starch levels generated by different corn processing methods on cattle performance.

The study was published in the journal, Animal Feed Science and Technology​​.

“The objective of this study was to evaluate effects of dietary starch concentrations (DSC) on performance, carcass characteristics, and starch utilization in Nellore bulls,” ​the researchers said. “Starch levels were evaluated under two different processing methods of flint corn: [high moisture corn] HMC and [finely ground dry corn] FGC.”

The researchers found that bulls receiving diets with high moisture corn (HMC) and higher starch levels were more efficient. Final body weight (BW) and average daily gain (ADG) were not influenced by diet, but carcass gain to feed ratio (G:F) was greater for animals receiving diets using high moisture corn rather than finely ground dry corn (FGC).

“In Nellore cattle, there was no effect on efficiency or dietary net energy content when [dietary starch concentrations] DSC was increased by adding FGC; however, increasing content of HMC by replacing citrus pulp improved growth efficiency and net energy content without affecting [fecal starch] FS content,” ​they added.

Processing corn for feed use

Demand for beef products has prompted more producers in Brazil to use feeds with high levels of concentrates, the researchers said.

Different grain processing methods have been used to improve the digestibility of grains and boost animal performance, they said. However, many of the processing methods have been created in countries primary using soft endosperm types of corn.

In Brazil, the majority of corn is a flint type or a vitreous endosperm, they said. The starch in flint grains is less digestible than the starch found in soft endosperm varieties and can reduced animal performance and raise feeding costs.

“The investigation and use of grain processing methods for flint type corn is needed to optimize starch digestibility in feedlot cattle,”​ they said.

Why explore corn use in cattle diets?

Nellore cattle is the major breed of beef cattle raised in Brazil, the researchers said. Growth performance tends to be smaller than other breeds even when cows are raised on high-concentrate diets.

The cattle display similar digestibility of dry matter (DM) even when feeds contain a high, medium or low level of energy, they said. However, other breeds, like Bos taurus​ demonstrate an increasing DM digestibility as the energy content is raised.

Nellore cattle also tend to have a higher level of fecal starch content compared to crossbred cattle, they said.

“Finely ground dry corn (FGC) is the processing method adopted by most Brazilian feedlots,”​ the researchers said. “High-moisture corn (HMC) could be effective in improving energy utilization by Nellore cattle, increasing total-tract starch digestibility of flint corn.”

However, the use of high-moisture corn may promote metabolic disorders in cattle, decrease energy intake, profit margins and animal performance, they added.

Feeding trial details

Prior to the start of the feeding trials, half of a field was harvested 109 days after planting to provide HMC – corn was processed and ensiled, the researchers said. The rest of the field was harvested on day 157, dried and processed as FGC.

During the feeding trials, 112 Nellore bulls from a grazing facility were transitioned to one of eight diets, they said. The diets included flint corn grain processed either as HMC or FGC and including 300, 350, 400 or 450g/kg dry matter of dietary starch concentrations.

Cattle were assessed for growth performance, carcass traits and fecal starch content, they added.

Bulls were weighed prior to the start of the feeding trial and completed an 18-day adaptation period prior to the project’s start, the researchers said. Both corn processing methods were included in the initial feeds, and trial diets started on day 19 and continued through day 75.

“Bulls were fed for the first 6 days of the adaptation period with a diet containing (DM basis) 400 g/kg SS1, 220 g/kg processed corn, 125 g/kg whole linted cottonseed, 85 g/kg citrus pulp, 85 g/kg soybean meal, 59.4 g/kg soybean hull, 10.3 g/kg limestone, 8.0 g/kg urea, 5.2 g/kg minerals and 2.1 g/kg sodium chloride,” ​they said. “Bulls were fed from day 7 to 18 of the adaptation period with the second diet containing (DM basis) 250 g/kg SS1, 400 g/kg processed corn, 155.8 g/kg citrus pulp, 100 g/kg whole linted cottonseed, 66 g/kg soybean meal, 11 g/kg urea, 9.7 g/kg limestone, 5.2 g/kg minerals and 1.0 g/kg sodium chloride.”

Feeds and ingredients were sampled weekly to establish the chemical composition, the researchers said. Body weight was noted throughout the study, blood samples were taken on day 74, fecal samples were collected on day 47 and weight gain was established.

Fasted bodyweight was recorded on day 75 and all bulls were harvested at the end of the feeding study, they said. Livers were weighed, liver abscesses were scored, and the rental, pelvic and inguinal fat was recorded.

Rumens were examined for ruminitis and weighed and the “relationship between carcass gain and feed intake (carcass G:F) was estimated,” ​they said. Subcutaneous fat thickness (SFT) also was measured.

Results

An interaction between the corn processing method (CPM) and dietary starch concentrations (DSC) was found for G:F, the researchers said. However, final body weights, blood pH, lactate concentration and average daily gain were not altered by CPM.

“There was no effect on G:F of Nellore cattle or net energy content of diets when DSC was increased by adding flint FGC, but increasing HMC in diets improved growth efficiency and net energy content,” ​they said.

Bulls on the HMC 400 and 450g/kg DSC diets were more efficient than those on the HMC 300g/kg DSC diets, they said. Bulls on FGC diets did not have significant differences in G:F.

“When NEm [net energy for maintenance], Neg [net energy for gain], and ME [metabolizable energy] from diets were analyzed an interaction between CPM and DSC was found,”​ the researchers said. “Bulls fed HMC had a linear increase in NEm, NEg and ME when DSC increased; however, NEm, NEg and ME for bulls fed FGC did not differ with inclusions from 300 to 450 g/kg DSC.”

Bulls receiving diets with FGC ate 14% more than those getting HMC, they said. Bulls on the HMC diets had 6% less energy in their intake than those on the FGC diets.

“The DSC had no effect on final BW or ADG when DSC was increased in the total mixed ration,” ​they said. “Increases in DSC resulted in linear decreases in ME intake.”

Starch levels did not alter fecal traits, but corn processing method did, they said. “Bulls fed HMC had 2.75 times less FS content than those fed FGC, illustrating the probable greater digestibility of HMC compared to FGC,” ​they added.

“Consequently, fecal pH was greater for bulls fed HMC compared to those fed FGC,” ​the researchers said.

However, the method of corn processing did not alter hot carcass weight or dressing percentage, they said. But, for carcass G:F bulls on the HMC diets had a 13% greater carcass G:F than those on FGC diets and carcass G:F increased linearly in connection with DSC.

Bulls on the HMC diets had heavier livers and rumens, but other carcass measures were similar for all diets, they said. A small number of bulls on both diets developed liver abscesses and all diets were linked to the presence of ruminitis or parakeratosis.

Source: Animal Feed Science and Technology

Title: Impact of flint corn processing method and dietary starch concentration on finishing performance of Nellore bulls

Authors: M. Caetano, R. Goulart, P. Rizzo, S. Silva, J. Drouillard, P. Leme, D. Lanna

DOI: published online before print: doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2019.03.006​​


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US Cattle on Feed Up 2 Percent – Drovers Magazine

Cattle and calves on feed in feedlots with more than 1,000-head capacity totaled 12.0 million head on April 1, 2019. The inventory was 2% above April 1, 2018. This is the highest April 1 inventory since the series began in 1996. The inventory included 7.45 million steers and steer calves, down 1 percent from 2018.

Steers group accounted for 62 percent of the total inventory, while heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.51 million head, up 8% from 2018.

Placements in feedlots during March totaled 2.01 million head, 5% higher than 2018. Net placements were 1.95 million head. During March, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 325,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 300,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 595,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 539,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 185,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 70,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during March totaled 1.78 million head, 3% below 2018. Other disappearance totaled 69,000 head during March, 3% above 2018.

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USMCA Passage Critical to Preserve and Strengthen Dairy Export Markets – Hoard's Dairyman

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) released an economic analysis of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) today and dairy industry officials eager to see USMCA’s passage welcomed this key step in the trade agreement approval process.

Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, said the ITC study is important because it moves the USMCA process closer to ratification, a step urgently needed to secure trading conditions with Mexico and usher in the improvements the agreement makes for U.S. exports.

“We shipped $1.4 billion in dairy products to Mexico last year, which accounts for more than one-fourth of U.S. dairy exports,” he said. “Without a trade treaty with Mexico in place, the dairy industry would be hard pressed to maintain and expand these sales, as our competitors in Europe are expected to implement a lucrative new trade arrangement with Mexico by next year. Moreover, without USMCA we lose out on the new rules this deal puts in place such as key reforms to Canada’s dairy system. Congress must pass USMCA to shore up our market in Mexico and harness the gains made in other areas through USMCA.”

In addition to increases in tariff-rate quota access for dairy products to the Canadian market, Canada will remove a controversial milk pricing scheme that disadvantaged American businesses, impose new disciplines on its dairy pricing programs and Mexico will update the way it treats imports of common-name food products like parmesan and swiss cheeses that could face trade roadblocks.

“When examining USMCA’s benefit to the economy, we believe it is important to keep the full picture in mind of what’s at stake here,” explained Jim Mulhern the president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “USDA recently reported that our country lost an average of seven dairy farms a day in 2018 due to the poor economic conditions in rural America. That’s a startling number, and reversing this alarming trend is what we should be discussing. USMCA helps put us on a path to doing that by safeguarding our largest export market and instituting valuable new improvements to dairy trade in North America.”

The benefits of USMCA expand far beyond just dairy; the Food & Agriculture Dialogue on Trade also summarized the value of the agreement and the proper lens through which to examine the ITC report’s results. That document lays out why American Agriculture needs passage of USMCA noting for instance that: “uncertainty about NAFTA’s future threatens the North American market integration that has created and supports jobs for many U.S. food and agriculture producers.”

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), based in Arlington, Va., develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of U.S. dairy producers and the cooperatives they collectively own. The members of NMPF’s cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S, milk supply, making NMPF the voice of nearly 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more on NMPF’s activities, visit www.nmpf.org.

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. Its mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and assist the U.S. industry to increase its global dairy ingredient sales and exports of U.S. dairy products. USDEC accomplishes this through programs in market development that build global demand for U.S. dairy products, resolve market access barriers and advance industry trade policy goals. USDEC is supported by staff across the United States and overseas in Mexico, South America, Asia, Middle East and Europe. The U.S. Dairy Export Council prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, disability, national origin, race, color, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, marital status, military status, and arrest or conviction record.

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Episode 644: How Much Does This Cow Weigh? – WPSU

This episode originally ran in 2015.

About one hundred years ago, a scientist and statistician named Francis Galston came upon an opportunity to test how well regular people were at answering a question. He was at a fair where lots of people were guessing the weight of an ox, so he decided to take the average of all their guesses and compare it to the correct answer.

What he found shocked him. The average of their guesses was almost exactly accurate. The crowd was off by just one pound.

This eerie phenomenon—this idea that the crowd is right—drives everything from the stock market to the price of orange juice.

So, we decided to test it for ourselves. We asked Planet Money listeners to guess the weight of a cow.

Spoiler: You can see the results here.

Music: “La Vie Paris” and “Happy Is As Happy Does.”

Find us: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Newsletter

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts and NPR One.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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A comprehensive look at cow's milk – Science Daily

Milk is a staple of the human diet, full of key nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins. Cow’s milk in particular is one of the most-used dairy products globally, with over 800 million tons produced annually according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Today, scientists report in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry a comprehensive, centralized database of all known bovine milk compounds.

Human milk consumption has played a key role in global economic and agricultural developments for over 10,000 years. Given its popularity, cow’s milk has been the subject of numerous scientific studies in recent history. There are thousands of known components in the liquid, but the data are scattered throughout the literature. And analyzing milk can be a complex undertaking, as the beverage can vary in amount of and identities of its constituent compounds, depending on the breed of cow, type of feed and other factors. Using targeted chemical analyses has provided a large amount of data on specific compounds, but none have been able to both fully identify and quantify the makeup of bovine milk. That’s why David Wishart and colleagues at the University of Alberta set out to perform a multi-tiered analysis that provides the most complete picture to date.

To build a database of bovine milk components, the researchers applied a combination of experimental technologies and literature text-mining. For their experimental work, they assessed commercially purchased skim, 1 percent, 2 percent and whole milk with four different spectrometric technologies. They identified and measured various substances in milk, including metal ions, vitamins, organic acids and amino acids. For the computer analysis part of the study, the researchers used a series of digital text-mining tools to find published chemical information on dairy compounds. The data from the project are freely available at the Milk Composition Database. More than 2,300 metabolite entries are in the database, and over 160 of these substances were reported on for the first time in cow’s milk.

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Tuesday blaze leaves barn total loss, taking cow and calf with… – Daily Republic

At approximately 1:41 p.m. Tuesday, the Spencer Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to the scene of the barn fire, after a 911 emergency phone call, according to Hanson County Sheriff Brandon Wingert. The property owners of the barn are Jeff and Marilyn Schaefers.

In addition to the Spencer fire department and the sheriff’s office, the Alexandria Fire District and Central Electric Cooperative were the first responders at the scene, where they arrived to the barn fully engulfed in flames. According to Wingert, the barn was deemed a total loss upon the first responders arrival.

Wingert said the cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

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Isle of Wight: Why walking the island is the perfect way to explore countryside & history – Express

isle of wight walking festival best walks uk near me walk holidays 2019

Isle of Wight: Walking the island offers some of the best UK walks and is enjoyable in all weather (Image: Getty Images)

I am being pummelled so heavily by the unrelenting wind that I fear I may not remain upright for long – and I love it. The sheer exhilaration of being in this vast open field – trees shaking in a frenzied dance to my left and a foggy vista of villages and countryside falling away to my right – as the elements swirl around me, leaves me inexplicably grinning from ear to ear. I am far away from my urban London life; I wanted a walking holiday in rural England and by Jove have I got it.

My septuagenarian mother at my side doesn’t seem to quite share my glee. At several inches shorter and a couple of stone lighter, the likelihood of her bird-like frame being lifted right off the ground is all the more probable; and so we press on. I’m clutching a fragile piece of A4 bearing a map (which threatens to whip out of my grasp at any moment) that tells me a footpath change is approaching, and the idea of missing the turn and delaying this six-mile walk is visibly unappealing to my mother.

We have found ourselves on the Isle of Wight ahead of the island’s May walking festival. Set to run from 4-9 May, the Festival – sponsored by Warner Leisure Hotels – gives walkers the chance to get up-close-and-personal with the best of the Island’s stunning scenery. Most of the walks are free, although some walk leaders request a donation for their chosen charity.

The particular walk we’re following is a circular one, beginning at Godshill in the southeast, and is scheduled for 6 May in this year’s festival. The route promises “varying landscape with some more challenging slopes” which is certainly what it delivers (it makes no commitments regarding the wind) and is definitely one to check out if you’re visiting.

We spy woodland as well as coastal scenery during the adventure, but of particular interest to me is the path past Appuldurcombe House. While my mother ponders the etymology of the name, I am more thrilled by the place’s scandalous past – one of the owner’s wives in the 1780s had a whopping 27 lovers. It is now owned by English Heritage and can be visited between April and October.

Ruddy-cheeked from the four-hour walk and bracing winds we head for lunch at The Taverner’s Pub in Godshill. The quaint establishment is welcoming from the off with its huge open fireplace, an assortment of traditional kitchen items from old weighing scales to copper jugs, and rustic wooden beams.

Isle of Wight: Walking the island offers some of the best UK walks and is enjoyable whatever the weather

The cosy pub offers local fresh produce, with its menu dependent on what has been caught, foraged or hunted. I tuck into a starter of tasty ham hock with sourdough toast and piccalilli followed by a succulent and tender lamb shoulder teamed with garlic mash and roasted vegetables – the ideal delicious country fare for after a walk. The atmosphere in The Taverner’s is convivial and clearly popular with locals as a birthday trio are celebrating behind us and know all the staffs’ names by heart.

Not content with one old English house for the day, my old English mother and I set off for Osbourne House on an estate bought by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1845. A visit of the Italianate building – described as a “little Paradise” by Victoria – takes in the royal couple’s children’s nursery, Queen Victoria’s bedroom where she died, an 1893 lift installed for the increasingly infirm monarch, the hugely impressive India-inspired state reception room and much much more.

The woods of Osbourne are also well-worth exploring, and the 2.5 mile circular Osborne Beach and Woodland Walk features in the walking festival on 16 May. They’re now a backdrop to the pleasure grounds and gardens of the house, but the woods were planned as an essential part of Queen Victoria’s working estate and planted under Albert’s direction, Bob Hurst, an Osbourne volunteer tells me.

He advises walkers to look out for a whole host of woodlands critters, from red squirrels, foxes and badgers to dormice, woodpeckers and bats, as well as plenty of flora including wild garlic, bluebells, primroses and fungi.

Our quota of fresh air and culture complete, we return to our hotel ahead of dinner. We’re staying at Warner Leisure Hotels’ Bembridge Coast Hotel. The rooms are pleasant and comfortable, but the sight of a row of mobility scooters on our arrival rather dampens any illusions of glamour. If you’re over 70 and looking for cheap and cheerful then this is the place for you. If you’re not, it probably isn’t. The food is fairly unremarkable, one is forced to sit at the same table for every meal and on our second breakfast the waiter simply forgets we are still in residence.

isle of wight walking festival best walks uk near me walk holidays 2019

Isle of Wight: Osbourne House was described as a “little Paradise” by Queen Victoria (Image: Getty Images)

Fortunately, we have a booking at The Little Gloster restaurant in Gunard, just five minutes west of Cowes, which offers panoramic sea views of the Solent. The Scandinavian-influenced eatery is delightful and the owners Ben (a whizz of a chef) and Holly (the so-very-glamorous manager) are very friendly indeed. There’s a modern, elegant yet homely vibe to the place thanks to the wooden tables and chairs, fresh tulips and cow skin rugs; spot-on mood lighting and low music help, too.

It’s lucky we’ve benefited from so much exercise during the day as we are presented with a feast. We start with oysters before moving onto tasters of juicy, melt-in-the-mouth smoked confit pork belly with a gochujang (Korean red chilli paste for the uninitiated) and apple glaze; rabbit agnolotti (nope, me neither – they’re packets of pasta similar to ravioli, and, at this place, sublime) and “gravadlax” (a Nordic dish of raw fish cured in salt, sugar and dill – keep up) house-cured Hampshire trout on sprouted spelt croutons.

My stomach straining slightly, I tuck in next to the day’s special, a delicious pasta dish of crab pappardelle while my mother opts for the crab salad, once again proving how she manages to be several stones lighter.

As my insides beg me to stop overindulging I turn a deaf ear and eagerly peruse the dessert menu. My mother does not. I plump for the rhubarb and mascarpone mousse – a delectable and fancy concoction which at first glance looks rather like a pink shiny macaroon preening itself atop a ginger nut biscuit. I crack my spoon through the glaze and reveal the refreshingly tangy mousse inside. The exquisite creation appears to sum up The Little Gloster’s attention to detail and both imagination and pride in their presentation. In short – go here, wear stretchy clothes, and take someone who won’t judge your three-course gobbling.

The next day we meet Isle of Wight rambler David Howarth and head off on a challenging circular eight-mile walk around the western tip of the island. This walk – entitled Best of the West with the Travel Ambassadors – will take place on 18 May during the Walking Festival. The weather Gods are smiling down upon us and the sun shines for most of the day as we march off along the coastline.

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Isle of Wight: Writer Harriet Mallinson enjoys the coastal route along High Down (Image: David Howarth)

isle of wight walking festival best walks uk near me walk holidays 2019

Isle of Wight: We stop to look out at The Needles Rocks – a row of three distinct chalk stacks (Image: Harriet Mallinson)

The route along High Down affords excellent views of the sea and striking white cliffs. We pass the Tennyson Monument, an 1897 memorial to Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the Victorian Poet Laureate. He lived on the island with his wife for 39 years and greatly loved walking on the down; he famously said: “The air is worth ‘sixpence a pint,’” – and I can easily believe it as I inhale the fresh sea air. The hugely chatty and amicable David is a veritable mine of information and we learn a lot as we walk.

We stop to look out at The Needles Rocks – a row of three distinct chalk stacks which rise out of the sea off the western extremity of the island. The name Needles comes from a former fourth rock which was needle-shaped and known as Lot’s wife after the Biblical figure.

For those more interested in human history, West Wight boasts a number of defences designed to protect against invasion. Now under the care of the National Trust, the Needles Old Battery is a Victorian fort built in 1862 and used throughout both World Wars. Further up the headland is The New Battery where British-made rockets were tested under conditions of great secrecy during Britain’s Cold War ‘race for space.’ There’s a very interesting exhibition which tells the incredible and little-known story of those who worked here and what was achieved. Visit Isle of Wight is a useful wealth of information for those looking for more history and facts about the island.

We lunch at The Piano Cafe in Freshwater Bay. It’s a lovely spot in a large well-lit room looking out at a delightful view of green fields. It boasts a buzzy atmosphere as customers pour over newspapers with their coffee or enjoy a glass of wine with friends, a dog dozing at their feet. It offers an abundance of baked goods such as carrot cake, brownies and flapjacks as well as marvellous toasties which are absolutely worth trying. I overhear one elderly gentleman telling the waitress it’s the best brie toastie he has ever had. And, having scarfed my own down, juicy with cranberry sauce and the salty tang of bacon, I heartily concur.

It’s then off to the nearby Dimbola Museum and Galleries – an art and photography gallery in the former home of Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron which is worth a nosy round if you’re in the area. Cameron, who lived from 1815 to 1879 was one of the most important early photographers and a woman ahead of her time. Today she is credited with creating the first photographic close-up portraits. She snapped the great figures of Victorian art, literature, and science, from Sir John Herschel (the scientist who coined the very word ‘photography’) to Pre-Raphaelite artist William Holman Hunt.

And so our weekend comes to a close. We are ferried back to our hotel by our very friendly and knowledgeable taxi driver, E-taxi owner Matt Malkin, who has the Isle of Wight’s first 100 per cent electric taxi service and then on to the Wightlink ferry back home, which provides a very quick journey back indeed and is super easy to manage.

The trip has provided just the refreshing break I needed from the chaos of city life on the mainland. Fingers crossed all the walking has balanced out the indulgent eating during the stay – is what I think. My mother is off nibbling on celery, googling the origins of Appuldurcombe and wondering if David is single.

Getting there

Wightlink is the leading cross-Solent ferry operator carrying almost 4.5 million holidaymakers and Islanders across the Solent to the Isle of Wight every year. Eight ferries on three routes complete over 45,000 sailings a year, giving Islanders an easy and frequent service to mainland Hampshire, and tourists an accessible way to enjoy a taste of Island life.

Prices from £53.50 return (based on a day return ticket travelling by car on 7th May 2019) or from £20 return as a foot passenger (based on a day return ticket on 7th May 2019). Find out more at www.wightlink.co.uk.

Routes and crossing times:

Portsmouth Car Ferry Terminal – Fishbourne Car Ferry Terminal: from 45 minutes

Lymington Car Ferry Terminal – Yarmouth Car Ferry Terminal: from 40 minutes

Portsmouth Harbour Railway Station – Ryde Pier Head: from 22 minutes

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Beef cow, hog breeding inventories will contract soon – Feedstuffs

Beef cow and hog breeding inventories have increased for the fifth consecutive year to begin 2019, economists with the University of Missouri Food & Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) and Agricultural Markets & Policy (AMAP) team noted in the newly released annual “U.S. Baseline Outlook” report. However, the report noted that as producer net returns in both industries have declined sharply from the levels that began the recent expansion, herd sizes will begin to contract soon.

According to the authors, however, the extent of the reductions will depend upon pasture conditions and feed prices. Additionally, productivity growth will partially offset breeding herd declines.

Regarding prices, the report said cattle prices will drift lower through 2020 before inventory reductions lead to beef production declines. In fact, fed cattle prices have already fallen for three of the past four years, it said.

Still, continuing strong consumer demand for beef, particularly high-value cuts, has supported prices well above the levels of previous decades, the report pointed out.

For the hog sector, it said hog prices have struggled due to burdensome domestic meat supplies and trade challenges.

“Prices this year and in 2020 are projected to be at or near the lowest since 2009. This has led to financial losses for many producers, even as feed prices remain relatively stable,” the report stated.

The report said additional hog slaughter capacity has allowed record-large numbers of hogs to be processed, but domestic demand for pork has not supported hog prices to the same extent that beef demand has supported cattle. African swine fever also continues to be a wild card as potentially large export gains due the spread of the disease in China remain a possibility, the outlook added.

According to the report, the amount of meat available for U.S. consumers has fully recovered from the 8.8% decline experienced from 2007 to 2012, when the combination of large meat supplies and the economic recession that started in 2008 resulted in sharp downward corrections to livestock prices in 2009. Although the economy and meat demand appear to be on more solid ground than the case was then, there is growing concern regarding the amount of additional growth that can be sustained without sharp price declines.

Regarding meat exports, the outlook reported that meat exports have grown in recent years, with total beef, pork and chicken shipments reaching a record 16.2 billion lb. in 2018. However, the report emphasized that continued export growth is crucial for livestock and meat industry profitability, especially since further increases in meat production are expected for the next couple of years.

Overall, the report said total livestock receipts less feed and purchased livestock expenses form a rough margin calculation for profitability, even though livestock producers incur many other expenses outside these two categories.

“Livestock industry net returns are expected to remain mostly flat through 2020, below the record highs of 2014-15 but above levels prior to 2011,” the report said. “Strong consumer demand for meat and dairy products drive projected increases in the long term, though many uncertainties exist regarding economic and trade issues.”

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Flaxseed additives may boost dairy cow health, milk production – FeedNavigator.com

Flaxseed additives may boost dairy cow health, milk production

Researchers with the University of California explored the use of a flaxseed-based feed additive (LinPro) in the diets of dairy cows as a way to increase the level of omega-3 long chain fatty acids in milk and potentially to improve reproduction.

They evaluated the use of the feed additive, substituting mainly for cottonseed, on reproduction and milk production through 150 days in milk (DIM).

The researchers published details of their project in the journal, Animal Feed Science and Technology​​.

“We did the entire feeding study to see all the impacts we’d have on the cows – not just would it go into the milk, but what would it do to the cows and reproduction and so on,”​ said Nadia Swanepoel, corresponding author and postdoctoral researcher at the university.

There was a consideration that adding the fatty acids to the cow diets could alter reproductive performance, she told FeedNavigator. “We were wondering if we could increase and improve the reproduction of the cows as well as improving the omega-3 content,”​ she added.

The feeding trial was successful in several areas, she said. “It does increase all the omega 3s and that has a bunch of health-related possibilities,” ​she added.

However, the body condition of cows receiving the supplement initially dropped and recovered and the first service reproduction results were not improved, she said.

“Depending on what a farmer wants from his cows, this has a lot of advantages,” ​Swanepoel said. “It definitely improves milk production, it improves the health of the cows – if you can look past the fact that it didn’t help first service production, it has major positive impacts.”

Why use flax-seed in dairy diets?

Previous research with dairy cows has found that dairy cow health and pregnancy rate can be improved by adding PUFAs that are available for post-ruminal use, the researchers said in the study.

High production dairy cows often have an additional fat source in their duet to support milk production and limit the mobilization of body fat, they said. The supplement fats also may provide additional benefits including by adding omega-3s to the milk generated.

However, dietary supplementation of PUFA-rich fats is considered an “inefficient mechanism”​ to add omega-3 levels to milk, they said.

It can be challenging to protect polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and have them survive passage through the rumen, added Swanepoel. However, the flaxseed-based feed additive was developed using a new process to protect that element.

Flaxseed contains a high concentration of α-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a precursor to other omega-3 fatty acids including EPA and DHA, the researchers said. While ALA is unlikely to survive the rumen if fed as a pressed or crushed ingredient, the process of dry extrusion may provide additional protection.

The feed supplement, LinPro, was generated by dry extruding pea grain, flaxseed and alfalfa in a proprietary process to provide a rumen stable version of PUFAs, including ALA.

Feeding trial details

In the feeding trial, cows were given one of three rations, the researchers said. Diets were formulated to be “iso-nutritious for proximate nutrients.”

The feeding trial started with 622 cows, however, 520 completed the study, they added. Several were removed for reasons including health challenges and the need to be absent from pens receiving the trials feeds for extended periods.

The diets included a control with none of the flaxseed-based supplement (NoLin), to have 25g/kg dry matter of the supplement (LoLin), or to have 50g/kg DM of the supplement (HiLin), they said.

Feed intake and refusals were recorded daily, they said. Samples of feed and feed ingredients were collected at periods throughout the study for analysis.  

Cows were bred for the first time between 68 and 74 DIM and pregnancy was checked and tracked through 150 DIM, the researchers said. Cows not found to be pregnant were rebred then assessed, the researchers said.

Milk yields were noted for the first milking every month and milk samples were taken for compositional analysis and milk energy was determined, they said. A selection of cows on each diet was checked for body condition score (BCS) and blood samples were taken on days 6, 13 and 20-post first service for analysis.

Results and remaining questions

Dry matter intake was similar for cows on all the diets, the researchers said.

In terms of total milk production and generation of fat, protein and lactose cows on the LoLin diet high the highest performance at 28 DIM but were similar to cows on the HiLin diet by 58 DIM, they said. At 85, 116 and 150 DIM cows receiving the HiLin diet outperformed cows on the other diets.

However, by 150 DIM cows on the control diet had higher milk fat proportions and all cows had similar milk protein proportions, they said. Cows on the supplemented diets had a decline in BCS early in the trial but recovered by 116 DIM.

The drop in body condition score was unexpected, said Swanepoel. However, cows also recovered the loss quickly.

“It seems to have been some kind of adaptation that the cows had to go through,” ​she said. “It does happen now and then with certain things you start feeding them and they have to adapt. They seemed to recover pretty well and then had the improvement in milk production, which is a great positive on the farmer’s side.”

The fatty acid profile of the milk changed as more supplement was added to the diets, the researchers said. Several fatty acids increased as the additive was used, some decreased and a few increased more for cows on the HiLin diet.

Plasma amino acids were similar for all cows and aspartic acid feed as more of the feed additive was included in the diet, they said.

Cows on the supplemented diets had lower culling rates for mastitis, although culling for physical injury tended to increase, they said. Cows on the LoLin diet saw the fewest culled for mastitis.

Conception rate for the first service declined as more of the supplement was added to cow diets, they said. However, conception rates for the second service were not altered by diet.

“We hoped that it would have a positive effect on the first service reproduction because all the research previously done [suggested] if the fatty acid went to the milk then it should have the positive impact on reproduction,”​ said Swanepoel. “Which goes to show, [with] these high producing cows there’s something else that needs to be addressed in their first service reproduction that cannot be done, I think, nutritionally – nutrition doesn’t seem to impact them no matter what you do.”

However, the results for the second service were “highly positive,”​ she added.

“The first service reproduction, in my opinion, is not that big a deal because they would rebreed these cows,” ​she said. “They will get pregnant later anyway, and I’m happy about more milk and healthier milk.”

The cows receiving the feed supplement also were healthier, she said. “That was a definitive advantage that we’ve not seen before,”​ she added.

“It’s hard to see an improvement in mastitis in cows because it’s so variable … and this was a farm that already had low mastitis values, so they already had healthy cows and we still saw an improvement that was quite dramatic,”​ said Swanepoel.

The improvement in health provides more opportunity for dairy producers, she said.

“It means they get to select which cows they get rid of in the end – selective culling instead of cows falling out because of disease like mastitis,” ​she said. “They keep healthier cows and they can select cows they want to keep and not.”

The feed additive could be an option for organic producers or producers interested in generating a value-added product, said Swanepoel.

Looking forward there could be additional research done exploring different ways to introduce the feed additive, either by feeding it to cows earlier or adding it more slowly, she said. “If you could introduce it earlier and prevent that drop that might be great for them – but we have no way of testing that now,”​ she added.

Source: Animal Feed Science and Technology

DOI: published online before print: doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2019.03.008​​

Title: Impacts of feeding a flax-seed based feed supplement on productive and reproductive performance of early lactation multiparous Holstein cows

Authors: N. Swanepoel, P. Robinson


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