Archive for News – Page 3

Vermont farmer says dairy industry needs more than federal aid to survive

In a visit to Vermont last week, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said help is on the way for dairy farmers who got a lower price for their products because of the pandemic.

The department will provide about $350 million in assistance payments to eligible farmers.

Karie Atherton is the owner of Aires Hill Farm. She said the industry has faced many challenges since the start of the pandemic, and 17 months later, the stress is still there.

“But it’s scary,” Atherton said. “It seems like you always have one foot out the door.”

Atherton said the farm is having a hard time getting supplies in. And when she does place orders, prices are constantly changing.

“You know I ordered a mixer wagon in April and I actually held off a year to order that,” Atherton said. “It cost me an extra $6,000.”

At Shelburne Farms last week, Vilsack said the assistance payments is an effort “to try and compensate a bit those farmers who suffered the loss of value because of the distortion of market during the pandemic.”

The majority of the resources will go to smaller farms.

“It sounds like a lot of money, but when you divide it up between all of the farmers the root of the problem is how we are getting paid,” Atherton said. “Giving these lump sums of money doesn’t fix anything. The root of the problem is our milking system. And our pricing system was developed in 1937, and we are in 2021 and nothing has been changed.”

During the crisis, Aires Hill Farm decided to bottle milk.

“White and chocolate,” Atherton said. “We got a few local stores around, but that is not going to save the farm.”

It has also been difficult to find employees. Atherton believes it’s because the farming industry can’t provide stability.

“Farming now is probably not high on the list,” Atherton said. “You could go to a lot of other industries right now and get paid pretty well.”

Atherton said it’s vital for people to support local farmers.

“It’s hard to say what could turn the industry around,” Atherton said. “It isn’t going to be the government, it isn’t going to be the farmers and it isn’t going to be the consumers. It’s going to be everything that works together that is going to let us survive.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Holstein UK 2021 Premier Herd Regional Finalists Announced

Seven herds have been identified as the best within their region and are now recognised as finalists in Holstein UK’s 2021 Premier Herd Competition. Regional competitors were nominated by Holstein Breeders Clubs and, following judging, the regional winners are confirmed as follows:

  • Eastern – R V Winter & Sons, Corringham herd
  • Northern – J Burrow & Son, Stardale herd
  • Northern Ireland – J & N McCann, Simlahill herd
  • Scottish –Brian Weatherup & Partners, Parkend & Lesmay herd
  • Southern – I M Davies, Davlea herd
  • Welsh – W P & E G Williams, Waliswood herd
  • Western – F G Windsor & Sons, Hendomen herd

The first stage of the competition is for each Club to invite a judge to decide on their winning herd, which is then put forward to Holstein UK to take part in the regional rounds. Nominations are entirely at the discretion of the Club on the basis of qualification standards and the rules provided by Holstein UK to Club Secretaries.

All qualifying regional winners are leading premier herds, consisting of animals which are 90% UK bred (01, 12, 20 breed code). The national winner will claim the prestigious title at this year’s UK Dairy Day taking place on Wednesday 15th September at the International Centre, Telford.

In order for the national winner to be chosen, 2019 winner David Wright of the Berryholme Herd will now visit the seven regional winners.

Holstein UK is a member-owned organisation aimed at assisting members in breeding profitable, robust and productive dairy cattle.  Holstein UK is dedicated to innovation and quality and is driven to continuously improve the services offered. The charity is also the parent of two subsidiary companies, the Cattle Information Service (CIS) and the National Bovine Data Centre (NBDC) and is organiser of UK Dairy Day, an annual trade event for the dairy industry.

The CIS is the UK’s leading milk recording and health testing organisation operating a state-of-the-art laboratory.

The National Bovine Data Centre (NBDC) exists to develop industry-leading analysis of data for the improvement of dairy production in the UK. UK Dairy Day is held annually in September, taking place at the International Centre, Telford on Wednesday 15 September 2021.


Provided by Holstein UK

Elanco Acquires Cattle Classification and Sorting System (CCSS™) from Performance Cattle Company, LLC

Elanco Animal Health Incorporated (NYSE: ELAN) today announced the acquisition of a novel technology designed to help reduce production inefficiencies by classifying and sorting cattle to allow for more uniform feeding and an easier, more objective marketing experience. The ability to classify and sort cattle to ensure they are fed to optimal end weights represents a significant financial opportunity of $10-$40/head.1

The Cattle Classification and Sorting System (CCSS) was developed by Performance Cattle Company, LLC and joins Elanco Knowledge Solutions now as PENPOINTTM, adding to the existing portfolio of products designed to optimize practices and products through a matrix of proprietary data and technology delivered by industry experts. Financial details were not disclosed. No other financial assets of Amarillo, Texas-based Performance Cattle were acquired as part of this transaction.

About the system

Cattle entering the feedlot are often highly variable because of breeds, genetics, health and nutritional backgrounds.  Management practices that utilize tools like PENPOINTTMcan help better manage the natural diversity within groups of cattle and manage the feeding and marketing of the animals.

PENPOINTTM removes variability using a simple, effective, and consistent science-based method that employs quantitative information to make projections. The system simplifies the difficult task of objectively measuring and sorting cattle in order to limit lost environmental inputs that impact a producer’s bottom line.

The easy-to-operate system integrates with existing feed yard operations and information systems without adding complicated record-keeping. “Meaningful healthcare for livestock is more than just medicines. It is technology and innovations that help change the way we approach protein production for the betterment of people, animals and the planet,” said Jose Simas, executive vice president, U.S. Farm Animal Business for Elanco. “I am excited to be able to increase access to this important technology throughout the US as a part of our pledge to be cattle producers’ lead partner on the journey toward net zero emissions on their farms.”

“We are excited that Elanco will bring the CCSS tool to a larger audience in the cattle industry,” said Max Garrison, President of Performance Cattle Company, LLC. “Variation and lack of uniformity of feedlot cattle is a significant challenge for producers. Cattle entering the feedlot often are highly variable because of diversity of breeds, genetics, health and nutritional backgrounds. Today’s customary cattle feeding practices result in pens of cattle that are too diverse in size and stage of maturity to return the full economic value that they should,” he added.

Performance Cattle Company principals Max Garrison and Dale Garcia will serve as consultants during the transition.

More information on PENPOINTTM is available from any Elanco representative or Technical Consultant or by calling Elanco Customer Service at 877-352-6261.

ABOUT THE CATTLE CLASSIFICATION AND SORTING SYSTEM (CCSS)          Originally launched by Performance Cattle Company in 2003, the tool has been used with more than 13 MM head of cattle. A controlled research study of 12,874 randomized steers fed in 48 pens showed a significant increase in the actual net value derived from use of the CCSS. Because of improved cattle uniformity within each pen, sorted cattle produced both increased live weights and greater hot carcass weights. In addition, cattle were more consistent in size (less over- and under-weight carcasses) and maturity (less Yield Grade 4 & 5, which are subject to the biggest discounts by buyers).                                                                                                                                            


Through consultation with customers, EKS helps to define and meet a wide range of customer needs, from production and distribution to safety and regulation. By analyzing data and processes, EKS also helps uncover promising areas of opportunity.


Elanco Animal Health Incorporated (NYSE: ELAN) is a global leader in animal health dedicated to innovating and delivering products and services to prevent and treat disease in farm animals and pets, creating value for farmers, pet owners, veterinarians, stakeholders, and society as a whole. With nearly 70 years of animal health heritage, we are committed to helping our customers improve the health of animals in their care, while also making a meaningful impact on our local and global communities. At Elanco, we are driven by our vision of Food and Companionship Enriching Life and our Elanco Healthy Purpose™ Sustainability/ESG Pledges –all to advance the health of animals, people, and the planet. Learn more at

Dairy consumers seeking more protein

This stretched from foods with immunity claims to high protein. Here, we ask Bastian Hoermann, director of global segment marketing food, at ADM, about high protein and the connection to dairy.

What is motivating consumers to add more protein in their diets? Has this trend impacted the dairy space?

Contemporary consumers want more from their food and beverages, especially since the global pandemic has put a greater emphasis on health and wellness. Recent research shows 65% of global consumers are more conscious of the need to lead a healthy lifestyle because of COVID-191​. Likewise, 76% of global consumers plan to eat and drink more healthily than they have in the past1​.

Shoppers are seeking nutritious, wholesome and delicious offerings that may also support specific health and wellness needs. Protein is widely recognized as a key nutrient in a health-forward diet, and 78% of global consumers associate protein with immune health1​. Dairy offerings are in a great position to play to these trends with convenient high protein offerings.

High-quality proteins and protein blends can help dairy formulators achieve higher protein content in their product offerings while also supporting consumer interest in dietary diversity. Notably, the importance of protein source varies across global markets, with flexitarian consumers in Brazil, the US and China most likely to rank protein type in plant proteins as being very important2​. Moreover, 52% of US flexitarians prefer a mix of two or more plant proteins in alternatives to dairy3​.

Research also shows that consumers have a higher affinity and are willing to pay a premium price for these products3​. These plant protein combinations can be incorporated into both alternative and traditional dairy applications such as yogurt, milk and ice cream.

Are consumers more interested in protein from animal or plant sources? Or is it a mix of both?

ADM research finds that 50% of US consumers are consciously increasing consumption of plant proteins, with 44% of those identifying as flexitarians3​. Pursuing a more plant-rich diet doesn’t necessarily mean people are avoiding animal products altogether. Many flexitarians continue to purchase meat and dairy products. In fact, 56% of global flexitarian consumers are approaching the lifestyle by trying to eat more plant-based foods and beverages while still eating meat and/or dairy products2​. These consumers are trying to add more plant proteins or what they deem as “positives” to their diets.

While reasons for consuming more plant proteins vary by individual, top motivators include individual health and wellness goals as well as concerns about sustainability. For instance, a combination of plant protein sources may achieve nutrient density with similar Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Scores (PDCAAS) as animal protein sources. Additionally, there is opportunity to mix animal-based and plant-based protins together in single offerings, such as protein shakes and drinks combining whey and plant proteins from soy, wheat, pea or oat.

How can product developers increase protein in dairy offerings? What formulation challenges might arise, and how do you solve them?

Product developers can combine multiple plant proteins to not only increase nutrient density and protein diversity, but also to achieve desired taste and texture in dairy applications. Blending several protein sources is like composing a symphony. Each plant protein has something to offer and putting the right ones together can create a harmonious blend. As an example, many alternative dairy formulators are incorporating pea protein with other popular protein sources like almond, oat and coconut, to bolster protein concentration and to achieve an optimal sensory experience.

While protein blends bring many positive attributes to an application, formulators must also be aware of the potentially challenging aspects in adding more protein to dairy products. For instance, high levels of some protein ingredients may affect a beverage’s viscosity, color, flavor and mouthfeel. Moreover, plant proteins can come with their own unique notes that aren’t always desired and may lessen the impact of added flavors like strawberry or vanilla.

Improving the quality of the protein and incorporating taste modulators and mouthfeel enhancers will help balance flavor and increase richness to achieve an appealing sensory experience. For applications such as yogurt, ice cream and cheese, formulators need to monitor how increased protein might affect production processes and parameters, such as fermentation, freezing, ultra-high-temperature processing and pH-values.

Dairy processors that find the right partner with a vast portfolio of high-quality protein sources and complementary ingredients and also the technical ingenuity and culinary expertise will overcome formulation obstacles with ease and get consumer-preferred products to market faster.

What dairy applications are best suited for added protein?

Dairy beverages, such as milks and drinkable yogurts, as well as whey and plant-based protein shakes and Greek-style yogurts are well suited to protein fortification. Though some plant proteins might have inherent off notes, the right blend of high-quality ingredients improves functionality. For instance, a combination of protein sources can support texture and viscosity in creamy plant-forward dairy smoothies or shakes. Additional protein content can also be achieved in frozen desserts, cream cheese, sweet and savory spreads, mousse and chocolate bars.


UK dairy farmers using ‘poo power’ to reduce climate impact

Farmers fuelling milk tankers with “poo power” to cut climate impact

Fitbit-like collars are being utilised by UK dairy farmers who are trialling the use of “poo power” to fuel milk tankers.

This move is part of many hoping to reduce their impact on the climate, a report says.

Arla, the farmer-owned co-operative, has published the report detailing the carbon footprint of milk, using independently assessed data from 1,964 UK farms.

The report will help the co-operative meet its target for a 30% reduction in emissions per kilogram of milk by 2030. This is on the way to becoming carbon net zero across the supply chain by 2050.

The report details measures farmers can and are taking. These include precision slurry-spreading techniques, using manure for energy, reducing the amount of protein in cow diets and making sure they are healthy and happy.

Studies have shown that healthy and contented cows make milk production much more efficient. This creates a reduction in emissions footprint, so farmers are investing in technology similar to Fitbit collars and ankle bracelets to analyse behaviour to check on welfare.

Arthur Fearnall said: “We have put a huge amount of time and investment into collating the data which we will now use to make decisions on farm.”

What does ‘poo power’ mean?

Arla is also researching into feed additives that could reduce methane emissions from cows. As part of that, farmers are trialling generating «poo power» using biogas from slurry as fuel for its tankers.

Alice Swift, agriculture director for Arla Foods, said: “Dairy can and should be part of a sustainable diet and our new report is a major step forward in demonstrating just how much action is already under way across Arla farms as we move towards carbon net zero dairy production.

“All food production creates emissions, but our farmers are stepping up to help with the climate and environmental crisis we face.

“If we want more biodiversity, fewer emissions through natural processes and a reduced reliance on ultra-processed foods, then the only answer is to support British farmers, who already have many of the answers, but not always the financial resources to implement them.”

Source: The Free Press

Grand Champion winners named in World Championship Dairy Product Contest

In this year’s World Dairy Expo (WDE) Championship Dairy Product Contest, a chocolate mascarpone made by Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, Waterloo, Wis., was named the Cheese and Butter Grand Champion, while a regular cottage cheese made by Prairie Farms Dairy, Edwardsville, Ill., was named the Grade A Grand Champion. A vanilla bean ice cream produced by Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, Madison, Wis., meanwhile, was named the Ice Cream Grand Champion. This year’s contest, sponsored and conducted by the Middleton, Wis.-based Wisconsin Dairy Products Association (WDPA), received a near-record number of entries (1,400) for cheese, butter, fluid milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, sour cream, sherbet, cultured milk, sour cream dips, whipping cream, whey and other creative/innovative products from dairy processors throughout North America, WDPA said.

“This year’s contest was extremely successful, reflecting how much dairy processors have come to embrace this unique and special event,” said Brad Legreid, executive director, WDPA. “As the only all-dairy product contest of its kind in the world, the dairy industry has quickly learned the myriad benefits accrued from participating in the contest.

“Winning companies parlay their success into unprecedented marketing and retail sales opportunities, while other companies receive valuable insights from the 50 highly trained sensory experts [who] judge their products,” he added.

Judging was held on Aug. 17-19 at MATC Culinary Arts School in Madison, Wis., WDPA noted.

On Sept. 28, the contest’s auction will be held at World Dairy Expo in Madison, at which time all category first place winners will be auctioned off. A portion of the proceeds from the contest auction will be used to fund scholarships awarded annually to deserving students pursuing careers in the dairy industry, WDPA said.

For more information about the contest and auction, call 608-836-3336.

DataGene board positions

Applications are open for two non-executive director positions on the DataGene board; one with experience in the herd improvement supply chain and the other for a milk producer.

DataGene is an initiative of Dairy Australia and industry, responsible for delivering innovative, pre-competitive services to the dairy herd improvement industry.

The board is currently made up with seven directors with a range of skills and backgrounds in line with industry needs and set by its constitution.

The recruitment process is undertaken by an industry committee with support from Rimfire Resources. Applications close 5pm Friday 27 August 2021.

For more information contact: phone Nigel Crawley on 1300 380 701 or apply to by Friday August 27th at 5pm.

Less than one month to go to UK Dairy Day 2021!

There is less than one month to go until the first dairy industry trade event takes place since the coronavirus pandemic enforced lockdown. UK Dairy Day is the must-attend event that brings together all facets of the dairy industry at the International Centre in Telford on Wednesday 15th September. 

After months of virtual working and socialising, UK Dairy Day provides exhibitors with an opportunity to finally have face to face conversations, promote products and services and provide important advice required for dairy businesses. 

This year UK Dairy Day welcomes the National Guernsey Show alongside The National Ayrshire Show, The National Brown Swiss Show and The National Holstein Show as well as classes for Dairy Shorthorns and Jerseys.   A leading line-up of judges will cast their professional eye over the show ring.

  • The National Ayrshire Show Judge – John Suffern
  • The National Brown Swiss Show Judge – Stuart Williams
  • The National Holstein Show Judge – David Booth
  • The National Guernsey Show Judge – Dawn Coryn
  • Dairy Shorthorn Show Judge – Owain Harries
  • Jersey Show Judge – Ben Etteridge

With some international travel restrictions still in place, the cattle show can be watched remotely on the UK Dairy Day website where a copy of the cattle schedule can also be downloaded.

The seminar programme has a new format with four seminar presentations and four industry panels that focus on the future of the dairy sector and explore the opportunities and challenges that are ahead.  The Sharing Knowledge Zone will feature a Careers Board and displays promoting industry initiatives, training providers and charities.

Practical demonstrations return with the ever-popular foot trimming and knife sharpening in the external trade stand area along with the ‘Beneath the Black and White’ calf painting.  In the Breed Village will be the Type Classification, Linear Scoring demonstrations and a Neogen Genomic Clinic.

The New Product Zone showcases the eight finalists of the New Product Competition to be judged at the event. 

  • Animat Low Emission Mat – Intershape Ltd
  • Dairyfan:  Abbifan 140-XXP-21 – Abbi Aerotech B.V.
  • Inline BRIX Sensor Automatic Calffeeder – Holm & Laue
  • InVent – ADF Milking Limited
  • Milktaxi 400Ltr (Pasteuriser) – Holm & Laue
  • SupremeBed – Fairfield Supplies Ltd
  • Dairy Sustain – NWF Agriculture Ltd
  • Volac ImunoGuard – Volac International

In addition, judging of trade stands and cattle lines will take place and awards presented for Best Small, Medium and Large Internal Trade Stands, Best External Trade Stand, Best Presented Lines and Tidy Lines, along with the Holstein UK Premier Exhibitor Award and the Holstein UK Premier Breeder Award.

Reasons to attend this year…

  • Trade stands throughout internal and external exhibition areas
  • Cattle show hosting The National Holstein Show, The National Ayrshire Show, The National Brown Swiss Show, The National Guernsey Show and classes for Dairy Shorthorn and Jersey breeds
  • Seminars, Breed Village, Genomic Clinic, Sharing Knowledge Zone and Careers Board
  • Practical demonstrations including foot trimming, knife sharpening, ‘Beneath the Black and White’ calf painting, type classification and linear scoring
  • Free entry, parking and Wi-Fi, no need to pre-register
  • Great transport links with M54, Telford Train Station and two airports within an hour’s drive, Birmingham (BHX) and East Midlands (EMA)

Sue Cope, Event Director, commented; “I look forward to welcoming everyone to UK Dairy Day as we positively move forward following 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic. We have been overwhelmed with positive support and reaction from the industry to make this year’s event happen. The UK Dairy Day team have planned and implemented additional measures to safeguard and reassure exhibitors and visitors”.

Sue adds: “The event is free to attend along with free parking and Wi-Fi.  There is no need to pre-register – just arrive, receive a wristband and enter the venue. UK Dairy Day is the first dairy industry event to happen since March 2020 and a great opportunity to finally network, learn and socialise in person”.


Top Dairy Industry News Stories from August 14th to 20th 2021

Feature Article:

Top News Stories of the Week:

USDA announces improvements to the dairy safety net and new Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today Aug. 19, announced the details of the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program as part of meetings with farmers and a tour of farms with Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. In June, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack committed to providing additional pandemic assistance for dairy farmers in an exchange at a hearing with Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Leahy. Through the program, USDA will provide about $350 million in pandemic assistance payments to dairy farmers who received a lower value for their products due to market abnormalities caused by the pandemic. The assistance is part of a larger package including permanent improvements to the Dairy Margin Coverage safety net program.

“The Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program is another component of our ongoing effort to get aid to producers who have been left behind and build on our progress towards economic recovery,” Secretary Vilsack said. “Family dairy farmers have been battered by the pandemic, trade issues and unpredictable weather and are the life-blood of many rural communities throughout Vermont, the Northeast and many other regions. This targeted assistance is the first step in USDA’s comprehensive approach that will total over $2 billion to help the dairy industry recover from the pandemic and be more resilient to future challenges for generations to come.”

Sen. Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the senator with the most seniority on the Agriculture Committee, said: “I thank Secretary Vilsack for directing this assistance to small dairies in Vermont and across the country, just as he told me he would when we spoke earlier in the summer. This will help to make up for losses suffered by these family farms due to the pandemic and together with the positive adjustments to the Dairy Margin Coverage Program will be good news for farmers go into the fall.”

Under the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program, payments will reimburse qualified dairy farmers for 80 percent of the revenue difference per month based on an annual production of up to 5 million pounds of milk marketed and on fluid milk sales from July through December 2020. The payment rate will vary by region based on the actual losses on pooled milk related to price volatility. USDA will make payments through agreements with independent handlers and cooperatives. Handlers and cooperatives will distribute the monies on the same basis July-December 2020 payments were made to their dairy farmer suppliers and a formula set by USDA. USDA will reimburse handlers and cooperatives for allowed administrative costs.

USDA will contact eligible handlers and cooperatives to notify them of the opportunity to participate in the program. USDA will distribute payments to participating handlers within 60 days of entering into an agreement. Once funding is provided, a handler will have 30 days to distribute monies to qualifying dairy farmers. As part of the program, handlers also will provide virtual or in-person education to dairy farmers on a variety of dairy topics available from USDA or other sources. A handler will have until March 1, 2022 to directly provide educational opportunities to dairy farmers.


Additional details about the program are available and will be updated at the AMS Dairy Program website.

The program is part of $6 billion of pandemic assistance USDA announced in March to address a number of gaps and disparities in previous rounds of assistance. Other pandemic assistance to dairy farmers includes $400 million for a new Dairy Donation Program to address food insecurity and mitigate food waste and loss; and $580 million for Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage for small and medium farms.

Outside the pandemic assistance, USDA will also make improvements to the Dairy Margin Coverage safety net program updating the feed cost formula to better reflect the actual cost dairy farmers pay for high quality alfalfa. This change will be retroactive to January 2020 and is expected to provide additional retroactive payments of about $100 million for 2020 and 2021. Unlike the pandemic assistance, this change will also be part of the permanent safety net and USDA estimates it will average about $80 million per year or approximately $800 million over 10 years for dairy headed into the upcoming farm bill. Full details on these additional actions to support dairy farmers will be provided when regulations are published in the coming weeks. Dairy farmers should wait until these details are available to contact their local USDA Service Center for more information.

Source: The Fence Post

UK moves one step closer towards controlling bovine TB after expanding advisory service

A significant step forward has been made to reduce the spread of TB with the expansion of a service offering farmers free biosecurity advice to protect their herds.

From autumn, the TB Advisory Service (TBAS), which is led by VetPartners, will be available to any farm in England which keeps livestock susceptible to TB, not just those in high risk and edge areas.

Sarah Tomlinson, technical director at TBAS, says the changes will mean even more farmers can be empowered with the tools and know-how to assess what can be controlled on-farm to reduce the risk and length of a TB breakdown.

“The expansion to TBAS means we can help farmers do everything within their power to prevent the spread of TB into previously unaffected locations. At VetPartners we witness the devastation caused by TB first-hand, both for farm businesses and the mental health of people affected by an outbreak. This is why it’s crucial for farmers to get independent veterinary advice, bespoke to their farm, free of charge.”

Mrs Tomlinson explains that pigs, sheep, goats, deer and camelids can all be infected with TB, so it makes complete sense to extend the service to all livestock sectors, giving farmers more control over TB through simple cost-effective changes to farm biosecurity measures.

To use the service, the first step is for farmers to get in touch with TBAS directly. TBAS offers over-the-phone advice on how to stop infected livestock coming on-farm, reduce the risk from other livestock, minimise infection from manure and restrict contact between badgers and livestock by managing access to feed and water.

The main part of the service offers free farm visits, in which a TBAS-trained vet comes out to the farm to provide tailored advice focused on TB biosecurity and how to reduce the impact reactors can have on a farm business.

“A visit from a TBAS advisor, who is often a vet from their local practice, can provide reassurance for a farmer who may be worried about the risk of TB to their farm. Working together with a TBAS advisor will help them to understand what they can control on-farm to reduce risk of disease or the impact of an outbreak,” says Mrs Tomlinson.

The TBAS service fits into the wider strategies in place to get a handle on the disease, which include testing, badger culling and vaccinations.

To deliver the extended nationwide support, VetPartners will draw on the existing network of vets who are trained to offer bespoke advice on biosecurity measures to reduce the spread of TB, and will also upskill additional vets in areas where more TBAS-trained vets are needed.

TBAS is now entirely vet-led, as VetPartners has teamed up with IVC, UK Farmcare and Obligace to form Farmcare Solutions, the group selected by Defra to deliver the service for the next three years. The project is funded by Defra but delivered by trusted independent farm vets.

Source: The Dairy Site

Australian farmers share how they are part of the climate solution with new initiative

A new initiative launched by Australia’s National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is sharing stories of the climate action farmers are taking while continuing to produce the food and natural fibres we all depend on.

Research commissioned by the National Farmers’ Federation measured community sentiment towards agriculture, climate change and sustainability.

Of those surveyed, 21% of Australians strongly believed farmers were committed to improving their environmental performance and adapting to a warmer, drier climate; while 44% somewhat agreed and 17% were neutral.

NFF Chief Executive, Tony Mahar said the survey results indicated the community recognised farmers were on the frontline of the climate solution and wanted to learn more about what action farmers were taking.

“Through Australian Farms – Where REAL climate action happens we’re telling the stories of our farmers, who take seriously their responsibility as environmental stewards of 51% of the Australian landscape.

“The good news is through research, innovation and on-farm management, farmers are world leaders in carbon abatement. In fact, agriculture is one large carbon cycle: generating emissions but also taking a significant amount of carbon from the atmosphere.

“Now mainstream practices such as rotational grazing; zero soil disruption when planting a crop and the conversion of livestock effluent to renewable energy have seen Australian agriculture reduce its direct greenhouse gas emissions by 65% between 2004-05 and 2016-17.

“Farmers are on a journey and there is more work to do. Through new science and technologies, like feed additives that drastically reduce livestock emissions, agriculture is poised to continue being part of the climate solution.”

West Gippsland dairy farmer and veterinarian, Tess Butler is one farmer featured in Australian Farms: Where REAL climate action happens.

Tess says producing milk that meets the expectations and values of Australians is what gets her out of bed every day.

“Sustainability is extremely important to me. The way we run this farm is about getting what we need without compromising the land for the future.”

The Wilmot Cattle Company in northern NSW, managed by Stuart Austin is in 2021, as Stuart says “massively climate positive”.

“Through soil carbon sequestration, we’re taking more carbon out of the atmosphere than we are emitting each year, all the while producing nutrient dense beef,” Stuart said.

“I can put my hand on my heart and backed by an enormous amount of data to say that we are improving the ecological health of this farm.”

In the past three years, the Wilmot Team has planted 25,000 trees across their Ebor property.

Mr Mahar said the actions of Tess and Stuart were repeated on farms across Australia every day.

“Australian farmers not only produce the world’s highest quality meat, wool, cotton, grain, dairy, timber and more, but they are also a vital part of the climate change solution.

“By hearing the overwhelmingly positive stories of our farmers, we want Aussies to continue to enjoy the Australian-grown food and fibres they love with the peace of mind and the confidence that farmers are part of the climate change solution.”

Source: The Dairy Site

World Dairy Expo Tech Spotlight Brings New Products to Light

For years, World Dairy Expo® has been the place to introduce new ideas and innovations to the global dairy industry. The World Dairy Expo Tech Spotlight takes this tradition to the next level by creating a platform, both virtually and in Madison, for dairy technology start-ups to formally present their ideas to dairy producers around the globe.

The 2021 World Dairy Expo Tech Spotlight will be hosted virtually on September 16 at 1 p.m. (CST) with free event registration available now at This online component will be followed by an in-person event during World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin on September 28 at 10:30 a.m. (CST).

Hosted by AgriTech Capital with support from World Dairy Expo, the Spotlight brings together elite dairy tech start-ups and gives them the opportunity to meet with top dairy farmers, virtually or physically.

“All the start-ups selected propose solutions that solve a critical problem for dairy producers and as a result help them maximize efficiencies and increase profitability. This is an extraordinary opportunity for them to show their products in action,” shares Aidan Connolly, AgriTech Capital President.

Both the virtual and in-person components of the World Dairy Expo Tech Spotlight will be divided into two parts, a showcase of the innovations followed by a panel discussion with industry experts including: Marcia Endres, PhD, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Animal Science, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Trevor DeVries, PhD, Professor and Canada Research Chair, Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph; and Jeffrey Bewley, PhD, Analytics and Innovation Scientist, Holstein Association, USA.

Each featured start-up has digitally based technology for the dairy industry such as robots, cameras, or sensors and addresses a specific need identified by producers like feed bunk management, cow behavior monitoring, cow health, milk quality, manure treatment or labor efficiencies. Amongst the companies participating in this year’s edition are Advanced Animal Diagnostics, Cainthus, HerdDogg, Labby, Livestock Water Recycling, Milc group, PharmRobotics, Piper Systems and SmaXtec.

“These technologies, and those found in the Trade Show at World Dairy Expo, can help dairy producers in many aspects on the farm,” says Scott Bentley, World Dairy Expo General Manager. “Expo is pleased to have a part in offering the WDE Tech Spotlight both virtually and in-person at WDE 2021 in Madison, Wisconsin this fall.”

Serving as the meeting place of the global dairy industry, World Dairy Expo brings together the latest in dairy innovation and the best cattle in North America. Crowds of 60,000 people, from nearly 100 countries, will return to Madison, Wis. for the 54th event, September 28 – October 2, 2021, when the world’s largest dairy-focused trade show, dairy and forage seminars, a world-class dairy cattle show and more will be on display. Download the World Dairy Expo mobile event app, visit or follow WDE on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Spotify, Instagram or YouTube for more information

Main and Vail Proclaimed 2021 McKown Master Breeders

On behalf of the Klussendorf Association, World Dairy Expo® is pleased to share that Ken Main and Peter Vail, along with their Cutting Edge prefix, have been selected as the twelfth recipients of the Robert “Whitey” McKown Master Breeder Award. This award honors exemplary breeders and herds that have been successful at showing and judging dairy cattle. The winners embody all of the qualities associated with the Klussendorf Award, including character, ability, endeavor, and sportsmanship.

Main and Vail have exemplified what it means to be Brown Swiss breeders. Setting goals and accomplishing them with great accolade, Main and Vail have provided solid genetics for profitable production through their dedicated breeding program and top maternal lines to herds throughout the Brown Swiss breed.

Earning six Grand Champion titles at World Dairy Expo in addition to the 2018 and 2019 Supreme Champion banners with Cutting Edge T Delilah 2E-95, Main and Vail are no strangers to Expo’s Showring. They have been named Premier Exhibitor of the International Brown Swiss Show for 13 consecutive years and Premier Breeder annually since 2016. Main and Vail have had an All-American winner every year since 2003, with as many as 17 nominations at one time. These dairymen are also regular exhibitors at state, regional, national and additional international shows.

Production goes hand-in-hand with type when the name Cutting Edge comes to mind. At the time of their dispersal sale, the herd’s production average was 21,650 pounds of milk with a 4.6% butterfat and 3.7% protein test.

The Cutting Edge prefix is a renowned name in the dairy industry and will be for generations to come. Main and Vail’s collective passion and ambition for enhancing the registered dairy cattle industry is unmatched, and it is the reason they have earned the honor of being named the 2021 McKown Master Breeder Award winners.

Past winners of the Robert “Whitey” McKown Master Breeder Award include: Woodsmansee Holsteins, Preston, Conn., 2019; Ovaltop Holsteins, Richfield Springs, N.Y., 2018; Wendon Holsteins, Innisfail, Alberta, 2017; Ferme Jacobs Inc., Cap-Santé, Quebec, 2016; Walk-Era, Wisconsin Dells, Wis., 2015; Pond View Farm, Danville, Vt., 2014; Quality Holsteins, Vaughan, Ontario, 2013; Windsor Manor Farms, New Windsor, Md., 2012; Moondale, Monona, Iowa, 2011; Snider Homestead, New Enterprise, Pa., 2010; and Windy Knoll View, Mercersburg, Pa., 2009. No award was given in the pandemic year of 2020.


The Robert “Whitey” McKown Memorial Breeder Award was made possible by the family and friends of the 1997 Honorary Klussendorf honoree after his passing in 2009. The Klussendorf Memorial Association, considered by many as the Hall of Fame for Dairy Cattle Exhibitors, began in 1937 in memory of Arthur B. Klussendorf, considered the outstanding dairy cattle showman of his time. Each year, the Klussendorf Association votes to add a new dairy cattle exhibitor to its rolls with lifetime membership for their cumulative works, including ability, character, endeavor, and sportsmanship.

Serving as the meeting place of the global dairy industry, World Dairy Expo brings together the latest in dairy innovation and the best cattle in North America. Crowds of 60,000 people, from nearly 100 countries, will return to Madison, Wis. for the 54th event, September 28 – October 2, 2021, when the world’s largest dairy-focused trade show, dairy and forage seminars, a world-class dairy cattle show and more will be on display. Download the World Dairy Expo mobile event app, visit or follow WDE on FacebookTwitterLinkedInSpotifyInstagram or YouTube for more information.

Nestlé eyes A2 Milk, Australian media report

The specialty dairy company A2 Milk is in the takeover sights of an overseas buyer, according to an Australian media report.

The Australian is reporting that Swiss milk product giant Nestlé has a close eye on the company but industry insiders do not expect any moves to be made on A2 until after it reports its annual result.

The paper said the multinational beverage company Kirin Lion had also taken a shine to A2 in the past, but the price was too high.

A2 Milk’s market capitalisation had fallen from $16.1 billion to $4.7bn over the past year, as the pandemic disrupted sales of its infant formula to Chinese consumers through the daigou channel, falling infant births in China and excess supply of its products had curbed consumer demand.

The company had struggled to get on top of these challenges which resulted in it downgrading its earnings guidance four times in nine months.

This prompted the company to [

launch a review] of its business and wrote down the value of between $80 million and $90m worth of stock.

It recently reorganised its Asia Pacific division, which makes up the majority of the business, into a China domestic division, an international export business and established an Australian & New Zealand arm.

A2 Milk will report its full year financial result on 26 August.

Source: Radio New Zealand

Iowa dairy farmers seek federal aid to recover from COVID-related losses

Some two-dozen members of Congress are asking the Biden Administration to reimburse dairy producers for losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iowa State Dairy Association Executive Director Mitch Schulte says that aid is critically needed as dairy producers were just starting to climb out of several years of economic losses prior to the pandemic.

“We’re really trying to help these farmers that, due to COVID, suffered severe losses out on their farms and they need this income to help them maintain their operation and keep moving forward,” Schulte says. “I see this as a benefit to our farmers.”

Schulte says nearly $725-million in skim milk revenue was lost due to the pandemic. “That’s a very large hit as we’ve seen some of our other markets do well,” Schulte says. “Cheese and butter are having fantastic sales. Fluid milk is extremely important to our industry and as we look at the amount of revenue that’s been lost due to closures of businesses and closures of restaurants, that continues to add up.”

Most large dairies have been able to weather the pandemic, but Schulte says the rest are in need of federal aid if they’re going to be around to see 2022.

“Their margins are quite a bit tighter and their business is run a little bit different and they’re not marketing quite as much milk,” Schulte says. “It definitely plays a role when you’re looking at those small and mid-sized guys. When a pandemic or something happens to shift that marketplace, it does play a dramatic role in the amount of revenue they’re bringing in.”

The USDA had estimated the drop in milk prices would cost the dairy industry $2.8 billion.

(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)

GPS monitoring could help with disease intervention and prevention

A new study from Tanzania finds that using GPS to monitor cattle herds can facilitate targeted interventions that could reduce the burden of livestock diseases.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow have tracked cattle using satellite GPS (Global Positioning System) devices to gain a better insight into how livestock diseases spread in East Africa.

Their findings, published in Scientific Reports, show that targeted interventions at specific times could reduce the burden of foot-and-mouth disease, peste des petits ruminants and anthrax, which continue to plague sub-Saharan Africa.

In the study, researchers teamed up with farmers in rural parts of Tanzania to monitor dozens of herds of cattle using GPS trackers.

The team were surprised to find that cattle moved long distances each day, to and from shared grazing lands, at an average of 7.5km, with occasional movements up to 12km.

The places where animals were most at risk were those where animals had to gather for extended periods – such as at water holes and cattle plunge dips – where livestock are regularly treated for parasites.

Scientists say their findings mark an important step in understanding how to develop effective strategies for controlling a host of diseases in similar settings.

“We had no idea how far farmers moved their livestock each day, let alone where contacts between herds were most likely,” commented Dr Divine Ekwem, a veterinary epidemiologist at the University of Glasgow.

Co-author Dr Tiziana Lembo, also from the University of Glasgow, added: “The biology of the pathogen is particularly important when working out these risks. Some livestock pathogens require close physical contacts for transmission, while others can be carried in the air or water over long distances, or can remain infectious in the environment for extended periods of time.”

Source: The Dairy Site

2021 All-American Dairy Show online entries now being accepted

All-American Dairy Show exhibitors can now enter online for the 2021 show, set for September 18-22, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. ALL entries must be submitted online at No hardcopy entries will be accepted.

Early entry ends August 21, and late entries will be accepted until September 11, with NO onsite entries being accepted as in the past. Substitutions within breeds will still be accepted through the conclusion of check-in. The fee table is attached in the Word document.

Exhibitors are encouraged to register early for the show, and an easy-to-follow instruction guide is available on the website on the registration page. If you have questions, contact show staff at 717.787.2905.

Keep in mind, the show schedule has changed from past years. The complete schedule is listed in the Word document and available online.

For more information, contact the All-American Dairy Show at 717.787.2905, or by email at, or visit the website at

Jon Rasmussen Takes on Role of Assistant Dairy Cattle Show Superintendent with World Dairy Expo

World Dairy Expo is excited to welcome Jon Rasmussen as Assistant Dairy Cattle Show Superintendent. Jon first became involved behind the scenes of WDE as a member of the Badger Dairy Club grounds crew, and later as BDC General Chair.

Jon’s collegiate experiences led to James Crowley, Jr. (then Assistant Dairy Cattle Show Superintendent) recruiting him to assist with cattle check-in and Showring duties. After years of assisting other breeds, Jon took over as Jersey Superintendent in 2012 when Eric Olstad stepped away from the role. His time with WDE now totals 26 years.

When asked what he is most looking forward to this year, Jon replied, “World Dairy Expo is back! So is seeing all the exhibitors come back to work together to make this the most amazing cattle show there is!”

World Dairy Expo COVID-19 protocols Update

If you saw a post on social media regarding events the Alliant Energy Center as it pertains to COVID-19 protocols, you may not have seen World Dairy Expo’s update on their announcement. The original news post from said visitors to the Alliant Energy Center needed proof of vaccination or a negative covid test for ticketed events.  To clear up the confusion, World Dairy Expo followed up with their statement: 

“Today’s announcement is related to vaccination requirements solely for ticketed, seated events in the Coliseum, which World Dairy Expo is not classified as. Expo remains in open dialog with public health officials to identify the best plan for safely hosting our event this fall and will share the details when they are available.

Our event policies will be guided by and aligned with the recommendations and/or requirements of the CDC and Public Health Madison & Dane County. For the most up-to-date information from Public Health Madison & Dane County, please visit their website at For the most up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, please visit their website at”

Holstein Canada Renews its Partnership with Zoetis

After revisiting its genomic offering, Holstein Canada signed a new agreement with Zoetis to give producers a simple, fast and competitive solution. Holstein Canada is steadfast in its commitment to provide its members with a modern genomic testing option that will enable them to spearhead their female strategy.

The release of a first-class Medium Density panel will provide accurate and improved genomic evaluations combined with milk proteins, recessives and other value-added data. Breeders can also expect to see improvements in the way they submit their samples, and in the way they receive and use their results as part of their genetic strategy.

Holstein Canada wants its members to reach their goals faster by giving them many advantages. “Our offer stands out because we are an unbiased supplier. We offer a complete, secure service and all the data generated by Holstein Canada belongs to our members.” declares Vincent Landry, Chief Executive Officer.

Chris Bartels: New Hire at Holstein Canada
The program was developed by various members of the association, including Chris Bartels, Holstein Canada’s new Genomics Services Manager. Chris grew up on a dairy farm in the Niagara region. He graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree and has subsequently held various positions in the AI industry in both solutions and sales roles. He is known for his comprehensive approach to genetic planning for the benefit of the producer helping them to achieve their specific goals.

About Holstein Canada
With 9,200 members, Holstein Canada is responsible for maintaining the Holstein Herdbook under the Federal Animal Pedigree Act of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). The Association provides many services to its members to help them evaluate, select and improve their herds through genetic improvement programs. For more information, visit our website or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About Zoetis
Zoetis is a global animal health company. Building on 65 years of experience, they deliver quality medicines, vaccines and products, complemented by biodevices, genetics tests and precision breeding. They are continually developing new genomic evaluation technologies to improve animal health and the profitability of dairy farms. Zoetis has demonstrated its commitment to Canadian breeders through its contribution to Compass.

US legislation helps prevent spread of foreign animal diseases

New legislation to combat the spread of foreign animal diseases entering the United States was introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Tina Smith, D-Minn. The Healthy Dog Importation Act would expand USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services program by providing additional tools to monitor and safeguard the health of dogs being imported into the country.

If passed into law, USDA and other federal agencies would receive the necessary resources to responsibly screen the large number of dogs entering the U.S. each year. It would also require every imported dog to have a certificate of veterinary inspection from a licensed veterinarian confirming the dog is of good health and not a risk to spread diseases that could endanger animal and public health. The proposed legislation would create an electronic database containing documentation and import permits to help streamline federal oversight between the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, CDC, and Customs and Border Patrol.

Recently, Reps. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., and Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., co-chairs of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus, reintroduced it in the House of Representatives.

“Maintaining animal health is critical to our nation’s overall public health goals. It’s important that we work to stop the spread of diseases that can hurt both animals and humans,” Grassley says. “This commonsense proposal will expand an already existing program to ensure that all dogs entering the country are healthy and not at risk of spreading dangerous diseases.”

“COVID-19 is a devastating example of why the Healthy Dog Importation Act is so important. The pandemic showed us that human and animal health are inextricably linked, and that we must take proactive steps to prevent future health emergencies,” Smith says. “Mitigating the spread of foreign diseases in dogs will help keep domestic and wild animals healthy. It could also help prevent illnesses and disease outbreaks in people.”

In addition to expanding the USDA-APHIS program, the Healthy Dog Importation Act would require every imported dog to have a certificate of veterinary inspection from a licensed veterinarian. The health certificate must certify that the dog has received all required vaccinations and demonstrated negative test results. This legislation would also create an online database containing documentation and import permits to ensure dogs entering the U.S. are being properly screened. This will also allow further cooperation and communication between APHIS, the CDC and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

CDC estimates that up to 1.245 million dogs are imported into the U.S. each year. For the estimated 113,000 imported from countries that are at a high-risk for rabies transmission, CDC requires a rabies vaccination certificate, but no other health documentation or identification. For the 950,000 dogs imported from rabies-free, low-risk or moderate risk countries, CDC requires no documentation or vaccination. Recently, the CDC implemented a temporary suspension of dogs imported from countries that are considered high-risk for rabies – highlighting the need to strengthen dog importation requirements in all U.S. ports of entry.

“The evidence for the need to permanently improve dog importation standards is overwhelming,” says Dr. José Arce, American Veterinary Medical Association president. “The recent CDC notice has emphasized the necessity to ensure dogs entering the country are in good health and not a risk to spread dangerous diseases. In order to protect public health, we must enact legislation that equips the federal government with the necessary resources to properly screen these dogs. The AVMA is dedicated to working with lawmakers and stakeholders to ensure this bill crosses the finish line.”

COVID pandemic revealed vulnerabilities

The ongoing fight to combat the COVID-19 pandemic has increased public health officials concern regarding zoonotic diseases, which can be spread between animals and humans. The CDC reports that 60% of all infectious diseases and 3 out of 4 emerging diseases such as coronaviruses can be spread from animals to humans. USDA-APHIS has separate regulatory authority over dogs imported for resale. However, USDA’s import requirements apply to only half of a percent of all imported dogs.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the disruption that zoonotic diseases can cause to society’s ability to fully function. The Healthy Dog Importation Act would neutralize the threat of unhealthy dogs entering the country and give federal agencies the tools necessary to implement a robust inspection system within all U.S. ports of entry for dogs. Now is the time to improve our dog importation regulations to help prevent the next public health crisis,” says Dr. Randy L. Wheeler, Iowa Veterinary Medical Association’s executive director.

“We are extremely grateful for the leadership of Senators Grassley and Smith, whose prescient and common-sense actions today can protect U.S. public and animal health and avoid a preventable tragedy in the future,” adds Sheila Goffe, vice president, government relations for the American Kennel Club. “No responsible person wants to bring an unhealthy and contagious dog into the country. By requiring all canine imports — from show dogs to rescue pets — to have a valid and verifiable health certification, the Healthy Dog Importation Act brings U.S. standards into line with most other countries and demonstrates U.S. commitment to responsible care and healthy environments for dogs — and those who love them.”

“The pandemic shows the need to better protect the U.S. from highly contagious pathogens and zoonotic diseases,” says Patti Strand, founder and president of National Animal Interest Alliance. “For years, public health agencies have documented cases where imported dogs have brought in rabies, new strains of canine influenza, leptospirosis, screwworm, and other diseases and pests that threaten animal and human health. While we applaud the Centers for Disease Control for taking steps to reduce the risk of rabid canines entering the US from high-risk rabies countries, we are also concerned about the 90% of dog imports that remain unchecked. The Healthy Dog Importation Act is necessary to ensure that all dogs brought in from overseas are healthy and disease-free before entering the United States.”

New USDA safety measures

On Friday, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced a federal order establishing additional requirements for dogs imported into the United States for resale from ASF-positive countries.

Starting August 16, 2021, importers of dogs into the United States for resale from a region in which ASF exists or is reasonably believed to exist, must submit written documentation verifying completion of the following requirements:

  • The dog(s) and their shipping crate/container must be free of dirt, wood shavings, hay, straw, or any other organic/natural bedding material.
  • All bedding that accompanies the dog(s) during transit must be properly disposed of at the U.S. post-entry point(s) of concentration.
  • Each dog must have an ISO-compliant microchip implanted, and the individual microchip number must be verified immediately before each animal is bathed.
  • Each dog must be bathed at the U.S. post-entry point(s) of concentration within 2 calendar days of arrival in the United States. Bathing must be documented in the Veterinary Services Dog Import Record.

Ensuring ASF and other foreign animal diseases don’t enter the country is one of NPPC top priorities. Earlier this year, NPPC sounded the alarm on the potential for imported rescue dogs to serve as disease carriers from their bedding, crates or coats, becoming a lead issue during its spring Legislative Action Conference. “Each year, several thousand dogs enter the country for resale or adoption. If even one of these animals carried ASF into the country, it could put the U.S. swine herd and other livestock in jeopardy and have disastrous consequences for our nation’s agriculture sector,” says NPPC Chief Veterinarian Dr. Liz Wagstrom. “We thank USDA for implementing these additional safety measures to prevent the spread of ASF to the United States,” she added.

Source: Feedstuffs

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon edges down but remains high under Bolsonaro

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest fell 10% in July from a year earlier, after four straight monthly increases, but destruction remains far higher than before President Jair Bolsonaro took office.

Reuters reports that cleared forest in the month of July totaled 1,498 square km (578 square miles), nearly twice the size of New York City, according to government space research agency INPE.


From January to July, deforestation in the Amazon was up 7.8% from a year ago to 5,108 square kilometers, INPE data showed.

Last year, deforestation hit a 12-year high under far-right President Bolsonaro, who has weakened environmental enforcement and called for mining and commercial farming in protected areas of the rainforest.

In June, Bolsonaro again dispatched the military to protect the forest, repeating an intermittent strategy that has failed to reduce destruction to levels seen before he took office in 2019.
Bolsonaro’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the latest deforestation data.

The latest INPE figures cap the period for Brazil’s official annual deforestation records, measured from August 2020 to July 2021 to minimize interference from cloud cover.

For the 12 months through July, the preliminary data shows a 4.6% decrease in deforestation.

Scientists say a decrease in the preliminary numbers generally means there will be a decrease in the final, more accurate measure known as PRODES.

Vice President Hamilton Mourao, who leads the government’s Amazon policy, said last week that the figures are now headed in the right direction.

“The cycle ended on 31 July … I think it will be in the range of 4% to 5%, a very small reduction, very inadequate, but it’s on track,” Mourao told reporters.

But researchers say the destruction is still far higher than before Bolsonaro took office and a single-digit decrease does little to change the vast environmental impact.

The Amazon is considered a vital bulwark against climate change and its destruction is the top source of Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s too early to celebrate the reduction in the deforestation rate this year,” said Ane Alencar, the science director of the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM).

“It will be quite difficult for the government to change its image with a reduction that small.”

Alencar said the annual PRODES figure will likely be above 10,000 square km for the third straight year. Before Bolsonaro, that level of destruction was last seen in 2008.

She said that Amazon destruction may have plateaued at this high level in part because of uncertainty over whether Bolsonaro will be re-elected and continue his rhetoric signaling to illegal loggers and cattle ranchers that they will not be punished.

Bolsonaro has slid in opinion polls and is currently seen losing to former left-wing President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the 2022 election, although neither has declared their candidacies.

“It’s a moment where these people that are deforesting the Amazon, in the middle of nowhere, they are just waiting to see what is going to happen,” Alencar said.

Read more about this story here.

Source: Reuters

For dairy cows, where there’s smoke, there’s less milk

Scientists in Idaho are finding that wildfire smoke dampens milk production and coincides with increased risk of disease and even death in dairy cows.


Six of Zach Rose’s cows at Rogue Creamery in southern Oregon came down with pneumonia shortly after a bad fire season in 2018, and he thinks the smoke was to blame. “You can see a lot of respiratory issues if they inhale a lot of smoke,” said Rose, the organic dairy’s manager. “We try to keep them indoors obviously as much as possible in those times of really smoky conditions.”

Researchers and farmers are trying to figure out just how harmful wildfire smoke is to dairy cows’ health, and to their own bottom lines. “I bet it does affect milk production,” Rose said. “I’m sure that it certainly can‘t be helpful for it.” This summer, as the Western U.S. battles poor air quality and confronts a hotter, drier future of wildfires exacerbated by climate change, scientists from the University of Idaho are studying dairy cows in the Pacific Northwest to find out more.

Cows are grazing surrounded by thick smoke from wildfires near Oregon City, Oregon September 12, 2020.

Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Fine particles from wildfire smoke penetrate deep into human lungs, aggravating chronic heart and lung disease and even causing premature death. But smoke’s effects on livestock aren’t well understood, though animals with cardiovascular or respiratory disease are particularly sensitive.

“Humans have the option to move inside and use filtered air,” said Pedram Rezamand, a professor studying animal and veterinary science at the University of Idaho. But dairy cows — though they might spend a portion of their time inside “parlors” being milked — are mostly outdoors, either in a pasture or under open sheds. “We thought, if it’s impacting humans, there’s a good chance it’s impacting animal production and health,” Rezamand said.

Rezamand’s colleague, Amy Skibiel, who studies lactation physiology at the University of Idaho, is spearheading a project to investigate the links between wildfire smoke exposure and cattle health. The research team first collected five years of data on cow disease and deaths from two farms in Idaho and Washington, then looked for patterns that lined up with archived weather and air-quality data. They also recorded physiological measurements, like rectal temperatures and body weight, along with milk production stats, from 25 cows at the campus dairy farm over a three-month period that included a major weeklong smoke event.

Preliminary results show higher incidence of disease — especially mastitis, an udder infection — and increased risk of mortality among calves when wildfires elevated the level of fine particulate matter, or PM 2.5, in the air. Researchers also found changes in immune cells and signs of inflammation. “This raises more questions,” said Skibiel. The connection between inhaling wildfire smoke and irritated udders is intriguing, Skibiel said: “It’s certainly worth following up on.”

“If it’s impacting humans, there’s a good chance it’s impacting animal production and health.”

The researchers also documented a significant dip in milk production, averaging three pounds of milk, or just over a third of a gallon, per cow, per day. (Farmers measure milk in pounds rather than gallons.) “That’s a huge number for a small farm like us,” Rose said. Dairy cows in the U.S. produced an average of 65 pounds of milk per animal per day in 2020, and Western dairy farms produce 40% of the nation’s milk, with California and Idaho producing the first- and third-largest amount of milk of any state, respectively. Nationwide, the dairy industry generates $231 billion, according to industry group International Dairy Foods Association.

But it’s not just wildfires that have dairy farmers concerned; hotter temperatures also reduce milk production. “We’re more worried about heat than smoke at this point,” said Marilyn Hedstrom, who has milked cows with her husband Bill in Montana’s Flathead Valley for 45 years. “We haven’t really noticed particularly a change of behavior or anything with ’em.” The University of Idaho scientists wanted to make sure their initial findings accounted for the impact of heat, too. Though temperatures were high both before and after the wildfires choked the sky, the changes they documented coincided with the smoke. Now, the research team is seeking additional funding to collaborate with a veterinarian at the University of Idaho to further separate the impacts of heat and smoke by conducting tests in climate-controlled rooms.

Darleen Sichley, the co-owner of a dairy farm in Silverton, Oregon, is eager to learn more about the results. Last September, as the Beachie Creek Fire raged within three miles of the Abiqua Acres, Mann’s Guernsey Dairy, Sichley wished she had more information on the risk that smoke poses to her cows. “I was looking for answers, and nobody really had anything,” she said. “You definitely do think in the back of your mind, what is this doing to their lungs?” Three weeks of heavy smoke prompted her to wear an N95 mask while working outdoors. That wasn’t an option for her cows, however. Instead, they got an extra dose of a preventative mineral supplement used during times of stress.


The long game of dairy cattle breeding a public forum on genetic diversity in dairy cattle at World Dairy Expo ’21

The long game of dairy cattle breeding – a public forum on genetic diversity in dairy cattle – will be held during World Dairy Expo on the afternoon of September 30th at the Sheraton Hotel. With many breeders frustrated over rising levels of inbreeding, this forum aims to bring protection of genetic diversity to the forefront of our breeding programs. Perspectives of breeders and industry personnel will be shared during panels that allow public questions and discussion. Speakers will address implications of inbreeding and potential mechanisms to address genetic diversity. We hope to see you at World Dairy Expo!

Sheraton Hotel, Madison, WI, September 30th, 2021

12:30 – 12:35    Introduction: why are we here.  Les Hansen (University of Minnesota)

12:35 – 1:25      Assessing US dairy breed diversity and implications for dairy breeding. Chad Dechow (Penn State University)

1:25 – 2:05       Looking for solutions: current and potential tools. Rebecca Cockrum (Virginia Tech)

2:05 – 2:20       Coffee Break

2:20 – 3:00       Protecting genetic diversity in the Norwegian Red Breed. Gary Rogers (Geno)

3:00 – 3:30       Genetic diversity perspectives of genetic companies and breed associations. Moderated by Chuck Sattler (Select Sires)

3:30 – 4:00       Gene banks: holders of diversity. Harvey Blackburn (USDA-ARS)

4:00 – 4:10       Coffee Break

4:10 – 4:50       Breeder perspectives and recommendations                                    Moderated by Les Hansen (University of Minnesota)

4:40 – 5:00       Open discussion and preview of the next steps. Les Hansen (University of Minnesota)

Hosted by the USDA National Animal Germplasm Program Dairy Committee



Canada responds to latest USMCA dairy complaints

Although dairy farmers and related businesses were hopeful the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) would resolve dairy trade issues between the U.S. and Canada, the year-old pact doesn’t appear to have done so yet.

In the latest in a long string of allegations, representatives of the U.S. dairy sector claim Canada is circumventing USMCA milk protein export provisions.

Under USMCA, Canada agreed to do away with its Classes 6 and 7 dairy pricing programs. But a new class, Class 4a, has effectively replaced them and continues to violate the principle, if not the law, of USMCA agreements, according to Shawna Morris, National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) senior vice president of trade.

“Class 7 was a huge problem, so USMCA had a bunch of different elements that were designed to tackle it from a few directions. But…they created a new class to move those products,” Morris said in an interview with Adams on Agriculture. “A key part of USMCA was putting in place export discipline, so you effectively capped how much milk protein Canada could unload on the global market at lower prices. There really seems to be exports of additional products that are trying to evade those export disciplines.”

Multiple U.S. dairy representatives have publicly agreed Class 4a is similar to products previously found under Classes 6 and 7.

In testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance on the implementation of USMCA, Idaho dairy farmer and chair of the Darigold and Northwest Dairy Association boards Allan Huttema said the benefits of USMCA only flow to farmers and ranchers if Canada and Mexico properly enforce the agreement.

“While the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) recent initiation of USMCA dispute settlement proceedings over Canada’s allocation of dairy tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) is a welcome step, additional monitoring and enforcement efforts must also focus on Canada’s implementation of its commitments on Class 7 pricing and export surcharges on Canada’s dairy protein exports,” Huttema said.

Although USMCA’s results “may not be everything the U.S. dairy industry sought,” he said they’re a vast improvement over the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement.

“If Canada and Mexico implement USMCA in keeping with the expectations established during negotiations, it will strengthen exports of high-quality U.S. dairy products and secure real benefits for our industry,” he said. “However, these benefits will only be fully realized if our trading partners adhere faithfully not just to the letter of their commitments under USMCA, but to their spirit, as well.”

He urged Congress to work with the USTR and U.S. Department of Agriculture to monitor Canada’s implementation of USMCA dairy provisions, saying Canada’s exports of Class 4a are increasing in a manner that seems designed to sidestep USMCA disciplines.

The Canadian ministry of agriculture, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), responded its dairy price system does comply with USMCA legal requirements.

“Canada takes all of its international trade obligations very seriously, including its dairy obligations in the USMCA. The federal government, provincial governments and the Canadian dairy industry have worked to ensure that milk Classes 6 and 7 were eliminated and that products required to be priced based on U.S. reference prices are priced as such,” an AAFC spokesperson said in a statement to Agri-Pulse. “Canada understands that this issue is important to stakeholders in the U.S. dairy industry, and we are confident that our practices align with our international trade obligations.”


Red Breeds Genomic Boost Webinar

Australian Reds chairman and Numbaa NSW dairy farmer, Sam Graham, said the recent breeding development was a great “starting point” to develop a full genomic reference set for the breed.

“Aussie Red farmers have been collecting tail hair samples for six to seven years, even longer, and continually herd recording, now we are seeing the results and it’s very exciting for the breed,” he said.

“It will motivate people to keep going because we are seeing the results for the hard work.”

Sam said the addition of genomics would also help advance his breed, having seen the impact on genetic gain in Holsteins and Jerseys.

“The other breeds have been able to use genomics to select their best heifers and bulls for use in their herds,” he said. “Those breeders have been shortening the generation gap, using the latest young genetics and now, thanks to genomic ABVs, we now have the ability to do that with Australian bulls.”

Although the red dairy breed genomic ABV dataset isn’t complete, Sam said it would weed-out the “stinkers” when it came to bull selection, by making it easier to identify the better sires.

“We will have more confidence using young bulls knowing that the lower performers aren’t going to be in the mix,” he said.

South Gippsland Aussie Red breeder, Nerrena farmer, Paul Cocksedge, has already considered breeding his lowest heifers to beef to diversify his income and ensure his replacements are progeny from only elite animals.

“Genomic data means I will be able to make more informed decisions, be able to select better quality bulls and it also means I will be selecting the better-quality heifers,” he said.

“I will be more certain that I’m making the correct decisions.”

For Cohuna, Victoria Aussie Red breeder Greg Goulding the addition of genomic ABVs will improve his herd and help to objectively prove the value of the breed.

“Genomics will definitely give our herd a big boost, we’ll be able to genomically test heifers, off-load that bottom end group and use the top end to breed replacements for quicker genetic gain,” he said.

DataGene will host a Genomics for Red Breeds Webinar on August 18 at 1pm. More information:

For more information contact: DataGene 1800 841 848 or or


DataGene is an initiative of Dairy Australia and the herd improvement industry.


Red breeds genomic boost

Canada moves to support cattle ranchers battling wildfires and droughts

Canada increases AgriRecovery funding to $500 million to support farmers facing extreme weather.

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced that the Government of Canada has increased total AgriRecovery funding to up to $500 million to address extraordinary costs faced by producers due to drought and wildfires. This includes initial funding of $100 million announced on 6 August 2021.

“Our Government is doing everything it can to support farm families so they can get through these challenges today, and be better positioned for a sustainable future,” Minister Bibeau said. “Today’s commitment of up to half a billion dollars shows we stand ready to contribute our share toward AgriRecovery programs with the provinces. We are united in our goal of ensuring that farmers are fully supported through this crisis.”

Given the extraordinary circumstances that farmers in Western Canada and parts of Ontario are facing, this increased funding ensures the federal government is ready to contribute to eligible provincial AgriRecovery costs on the 60-40 cost-shared basis outlined under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

The Government of Canada and the governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario continue to work with the utmost urgency to complete joint assessments of the disaster and launch support programs. This will include direct assistance to affected livestock and agricultural producers, and help them with added costs of obtaining livestock feed, transportation and water.

Producers can also apply for interim payments under AgriStability to help them cope with immediate financial challenges. The Government of Canada and the governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario have agreed to increase the 2021 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50% to 75%, so producers can access a greater portion of their benefit early to meet their urgent needs. British Columbia and Manitoba have also opened up late participation in AgriStability to farmers who did not register in 2021 so they can benefit from this important income support.

In addition to this support, the Government of Canada announced designations for Livestock Tax Deferral for prescribed drought regions in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. This will allow beef producers who are forced to sell a significant amount of their breeding herd due to drought conditions to offset the resulting revenues with the costs to replace the herd.

Click here for more information on AgriRecovery funding


Southland farmer raises concerns about Australia luring immigrant workers across Tasman

The dairy cows in Sark must be of the Guernsey breed by law

Herrick said New Zealand needed to offer a resident solution.

Australia is providing financial incentives to lure New Zealand immigrant dairy workers across the Tasman.

Southland Federated Farmers sharemilker chairman Jason Herrick said the incentives amounted to thousands of dollars, including relocation costs and bonuses for staying in jobs at least eight weeks.

And they will be re-united with family currently still overseas.

Herrick said immigrant workers on his farm were telling him almost daily of workers leaving New Zealand – although he acknowledged that had slowed a bit with Covid-19 issues.

«They’re offering them four year working-to-residency straight off the cuff, and also allowing their families to come and join them straight away on Australian soils. So hell of a lucrative incentive for them to go because a lot of them are trying to reunite with the families that they haven’t seen for two, to two and a half years,» he said.

Source: NZ Herald

Top Dairy Industry News Stories from August 7th to 13th 2021

August 2021 Genetic Evaluations

Top News Stories

Dairy farmer who accidentally killed his son with his truck is abused by animal rights fanatics

A heartbroken family are ‘devastated’ after three-year-old Ianto Jenkins was killed riding his bike on the family farm. Pictured: Little Ianto Jenkins with his father Guto Sior Jenkins

A grieving father has received online abuse from an animal rights fanatic after he accidentally killed his young son by hitting him with his truck on the family farm. 

Devastated Guto Jenkins, 31, was already reeling after hitting little Ianto Jenkins, aged just three, when he received the cruel online message. 

The online troll wrote: ‘If you hadn’t had such an evil industry perhaps your son would still be here!’

Mr Jenkins runs a dairy farm in the rural village of Efailwen near Clynderwen, Pembrokeshire, which was the scene of the tragic accident last Tuesday evening (August 3). 

Police were called but the boy, who was riding his bike at the time of the crash, died at the scene.  

The hateful message, sent to his father following news of the incident, added: ‘You run a dairy farm! One of the cruelest industries out there!

‘Millions of cows dying not just for their meat but for their milk too (which we don’t need).’

A heartbroken family are ‘devastated’ after three-year-old Ianto Jenkins was killed riding his bike on the family farm. Pictured: Little Ianto Jenkins with his father Guto Sior Jenkins

The heartless missive came from an account under the name Simon Wilson, and was revealed by Conservative Welsh Assembly member Sam Kurtz, who was left ‘angered beyond belief’ by the online abuse.       

Mr Kurtz, who represents Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, said the death of Ianto had ‘hurt this close knit community deeply’, describing it as a ‘tragic event in West Wales.’  

He said: ‘Yet some find sending the following message acceptable? This has angered me beyond belief.

‘My thoughts, and all those of this community in West Wales, are with the family during this incredibly difficult time.’

Fellow Member of the Welsh Senedd Rhys ab Owen said the abuse was ‘despicable’ and ‘difficult to understand’.

Ianto’s mother Chloe has told how the boy loved going out in the fields with his father at the family dairy farm.

She said: ‘Ianto was my blue-eyed boy, he was inspiration to life, he was a kind little boy who was always smiling and laughing.

‘He loved being out on the farm and going on the tractor with his daddy.

‘Ianto and I had a very strong bond, he was “Mummy’s little boy” and was always by my side everywhere we went, now that’s been taken from me. 

‘No parent should lose a child and I would like people to respect our wishes, giving us space at this very difficult, heartbreaking time.’

His father runs the dairy farm – and was described as devastated at the tragedy on Tuesday night.

The community has rallied around the family of Ianto Jenkins after he was killed by a vehicle

Mr Jenkins’ mother Meinir, 61, said: ‘No one is to blame. Ianto was playing on his new bike in the back yard and my son just didn’t know he was there.

‘It is just heartbreaking. Poor Guto, I don’t know how he’s going to live with this. He is completely devastated.’

Mr Jenkins runs a topsoil business from the 270-acre farm – and uses large pick up trucks to shift the earth.

Meinir added: ‘He (Ianto) too wanted to be a farmer when he grew up, no doubt about that.’

An investigation has been launched and the Health and Safety Executive informed but no-one else was injured.

The boy’s family is being supported by specialist officers and an inquest is set to be opened in due course by Pembrokershire Coroner Paul Bennett.

The family farm has been run by Guto’s parents for decades.

A police spokesperson said: ‘Dyfed-Powys Police was alerted to a collision involving a vehicle and a child at a private property in the Clynderwen area at approximately 7pm on Tuesday, August 3.

‘Sadly, a three-year-old boy died at the scene.

‘An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident is ongoing and the family is being supported by specialist officers.

‘The Health and Safety Executive and HM Coroner have been informed. Nobody else was injured.’

Minister and county councillor Huw George previously said the community is pulling together after the tragic death. 

He said: ‘One point of this community is that it’s strong, it’s close.

‘People will be there and sense when help is needed and if people ask for help, they will get it, because how do you begin to explain and begin to say something which means anything at a time like this.’

Farmer and shop owner Carwyn James said everyone in the close-knit community was deeply affected by the news.

He said: ‘People will fail to imagine the pain this poor family are going through at the moment.

‘It’s an amazing place to raise children on a farm, but with it there are dangers. It’s just so terribly sad.’


Proof unearthed of Neolithic dairy farming in Pembrokeshire

Dairy fat residue was discovered on pottery at the site

Dairy farming could have been happening in Wales as early as 3,100BC, according to new research.

Shards of decorated pottery taken from the Trellyffaint Neolithic monument near Newport, Pembrokeshire, were found to contain dairy fat residue.

The residue could only originate from milk-based substances such as butter, cheese, or more probably yoghurt.

George Nash, of the Welsh Rock Art Organisation, said it was the earliest proof of dairy farming in Wales.

Project leader Dr Nash said Julie Dunne of the University of Bristol had detected the dairy fat residues from the inner surfaces of the pottery, as well as dating them with 94.5% accuracy to 3,100BC.

“It’s incredibly rare to find any archaeological remains such as bone and pottery in this part of Wales because of the soil’s acidity,” he said.

“So, we can’t say for certain that this is the earliest example of dairy farming, but it is the earliest that anyone has been able to prove, using new revolutionary direct dating methods.

“The discovery of this pottery is important because it is right on the cusp of when a new Neolithic ideology was taking hold.”

Early farmers

Dr Nash, who teaches at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, termed the period a “Neolithic package” that included animal husbandry, pottery making, food procurement and different ways of burying and venerating the dead.

It gradually replaced the hunting, fishing and gathering way of life which had typified the previous era.

Interest in Trellyffaint began when former University of Bristol archaeology graduates Les Dodds and Phil Dell conducted several geophysical surveys on and around the Neolithic stone chambers.

They discovered two concentric henges along with other buried objects.

The henges – two circular earthen banks – are roughly contemporary with Stonehenge, dating from the mid to latter part of the Neolithic period, between 3,000BC and 2,000BC.

However, Dr Nash said it is important to view the period as a continuum of social and ritual development rather than a single event.

“As the population grew throughout this period, communities had to diversify the way in which they sourced their food,” he explained.

“Initially, farming was a far riskier economy than hunting, fishing and gathering, as if you had one outbreak of disease – one crop failure – then you were prone to starvation and instability.

“It is probable that throughout the Neolithic period in western Britain, both natural resources and farming played equal roles in providing communities with the resources they needed.

“The pottery recovered from this excavation probably reveals something about the veneration of the earth and what it could provide, hence the offering of dairy products within a ritualised landscape”.

The survey discovered the main chamber was largely in a good state of preservation.

However, at some point in the recent past, the enormous capstone covering the chamber had slipped off its supporting upright stones.

Up to 75 engraved cupmarks – gouged circular indentations – and several intersecting lines were recorded on top of this stone.

New religious ideology

The cupmarks, which feature on only a handful of Neolithic burial-ritual monuments in Wales, suggest the stone formed part of a new religious ideology where rock art represented the night sky and constellations.

Maybe a few hundred years later, the community using Trellyffaint made the decision to yet again change their worldview, which resulted in the construction of the two concentric henges a few yards north of the monument.

For this new set of monuments, offering dairy products rather than looking towards the night sky became the new way of veneration.

The artefacts discovered will be presented to the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff for safekeeping, while the team’s research is due for publication in several international scientific journals.

Source: BBC

Happy Cow’s ‘factory in a box’ raises $566k

Happy Cow Milk founder Glen Herud previously ran a crowdfunding campaign to its “milk factory in a box” prototype.

Dairy company Happy Cow Milk has finished its equity crowdfunding on Pledgeme, hitting its minimum target and raising $566,355 from 647 investors.

The company founded by farmer Glen Herud raised $400,000 in its first crowdfunding round in 2019, with those funds used to build its “milk factory in a box” prototype.

Herud says the company is selling a software and hardware package farmers can use to process milk to relevant standards and sell it to local customers.

Farmers put the milk into a set of tanks which act as a processing hub that pasteurises the milk. From there, they deliver the tanks to community milk retailers, which could be cafés, schools or people doing home delivery.

The milk is packaging-free, as customers bring their own bottles and the tanks are monitored digitally so the temperature and quantity can be tracked in real-time.

All payments are processed through the Happy Cow app, with the farmer, retailer and Happy Cow each receiving a cut of each litre sold, instantly.

The company sold shares for $3 each. It plans to use the cash to launch a pilot farm, develop its software and hardware and produce more tanks and hubs so it can scale-up in 2022.

It’s budgeting to have 37 farmers using its system and selling 1000 litres a day in the 2025 financial year. It estimates farmers would make about $100,000 annual profit on 1000 litres.

It still needs approval from the Ministry for Primary Industries.


Small-scale ice cream makers take a licking under Ontario’s dairy rules

Pascale’s All Natural Ice Cream has been making small-batch ice cream in Ottawa for 13 years, but owner Pascale Berthiaume says the provincial Milk Act has left her business stuck in “dairy purgatory”.

Pascale Berthiaume began making ice cream while working at a restaurant on Wellington. (Instagram)

Pascale’s All Natural Ice Cream has been making small-batch ice cream in Ottawa for 13 years, but owner Pascale Berthiaume says the provincial Milk Act has left her business stuck in “dairy purgatory”.

Berthiaume says her kitchen almost closed down this year after running afoul of Ontario’s Milk Act.

Although her kitchen was regularly inspected by Ottawa Public Health, she says she unknowingly violated provincial rules. 

“I am an honest, small ice cream business and I do want to follow the rules. But they just are very onerous and it was really hard for me to navigate through all this.” 

Ontario’s dairy regulations

According to the Act, ice cream makers aren’t allowed to sell wholesale to other businesses without a dairy plant licence.

“I needed to retrofit my existing commercial kitchen to be in accordance with the Milk Act, and I was just not very familiar with those rules and regulations,” Berthiaume said. 

Making and selling ice cream directly to consumers does not require a dairy plant licence. 

Berthiaume says food safety is important, but she doesn’t understand why the rules allow her to sell directly to customers and not wholesale. 

Ajoa Mintah (right) opened Four All Ice Cream in 2017. (Submitted by Ajoa Mintah)

Rules may disadvantage small businesses

The Milk Act is regulated by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Foods and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

“Distribution of milk products to persons other than directly to consumers creates additional risks by making traceability of products more difficult should a food safety issue occur,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Licensing dairy operations ensures effective oversight for critical food safety controls.”

Other small-batch ice cream makers say they have also found the rules difficult to navigate. 

Ajoa Mintah owns Four All Ice Cream in the Waterloo area. She says despite consulting both city health inspectors and the province to ensure her business was in accordance with all the rules, she almost found herself in the same situation as Berthiaume. 

Mintah says she didn’t know she wasn’t following the Act until she saw a competitor get shut down for not having a dairy plant licence.

“My wish is that OMAFRA made that information a lot more accessible and [used] plainer language,” Mintah said. 

“I also wish OMAFRA had a piece where they’re educating the municipalities…I wish the municipalities knew what they could and could not approve.” 

Amy Proulx is a professor at Niagara College who specializes in culinary innovation and food technology. (Submitted by Amy Proulx)

Amy Proulx, a Niagara College professor who specializes in culinary innovation and food technology, says these rules weren’t made with small-scale ice cream makers in mind.   

She says part of the problem is small businesses don’t have the tools to lobby for their interests the way big businesses do. 

Proulx says she would like to see food safety measures managed differently to allow businesses like Berthiaume’s to succeed.

“Is she providing appropriate traceability? So, for example, putting date marks on her ice cream tubs so if there was a problem or consumer complaints that she would be able to do a proper investigation.”

In the meantime, Berthiaume is still selling ice cream to the public at weekend events.

While her business is scaled down, she says she has learned from the experience and is working on a plan to return to wholesaling. 

“Hopefully I’ll just be stronger and smarter and to be able to, you know, continue doing what I love.” 


Three brothers die after passing out in manure pit at Ohio farm, authorities say

Three brothers died after passing out inside a manure pit at a farm in western Ohio, officials told local outlets.

At the time of the Tuesday afternoon accident, the brothers — Gary, Todd and Brad Wuebker — were performing maintenance on a pump inside the storage pit, the Mercer County Outlook reported.

Manure pits are known to produce a wide range of toxic gases.

St. Henry firefighters received a call for help around 12:30 p.m., the paper reported, and when they arrived at the livestock operation, all three men were unconscious in the pit.

First responders used ropes and ladders to pull the men out, WLIO reported.

Two were transported to an area hospital and one was taken to a hospital in Fort Wayne, WCSM reported. Despite life-saving efforts, all three brothers died.

Farmers, particularly livestock farmers, often store large amounts of manure in concrete pits for later use as fertilizer; and these gaseous, rotting stockpiles of animal waste can become death traps, according to the National Ag Safety Database. Decomposition can result in lethal levels of gases including methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, carbons dioxide and monoxide, and more.

What is a methane digester?

A methane digester system breaks down manure to create renewable energy and fertilizer. By Alyssa Hodenfield

“Since the increased use of manure pits by … livestock producers, there have been several instances where a farmer, family member, or employee has asphyxiated or succumbed to toxic gases from the pit. Cases have been reported where several individuals have died while attempting to rescue a coworker or family member from a pit,” the NASD said.

Deaths in manure pits happen most frequently in the summer months, but they’re potentially dangerous year round.

“Regardless of the season, it is always best to presume that the pit contains hazardous gases or lacks oxygen,” according to the NASD. “Producers need to take protective measures to protect themselves and others working in or around the pit.”

Source: Kansas City Star

‘Our cows will freeze’: Little Rehoboth farm seeks help replacing barn lost in storms

Life on a small dairy farm was tough enough. And that was before the barn blew down.

Bad storms in January and February at first damaged and then collapsed most of Paul and Bonnie Bettencourt’s barn. The destruction left only the sturdier wooden section Paul built with his own hands.

None of the Bettencourts’ animals were hurt in the collapse. One of their horses left Bonnie black and blue when he slipped on ice, slammed his knee into hers and pushed her into a door.

The bruises have healed, but the Bettencourts’ family farm is still recovering. Number one on the list is replacing the barn. It needs to be up before the weather changes in October or November, Paul said.

At the urging of friends, the couple set up a fundraiser via GoFundMe. They need $82,000 for a new, tin barn. So far they’ve raised $15,516, mostly from fellow farmers who understand the slim margins and never-ending work their calling demands.

“We cannot afford to rebuild the barn on our own,” Bonnie wrote on their GoFundMe page. “We didn’t have insurance as no one will cover farms any more. We’ve had nothing but hardship and tragedy going on. We need help. Our cows will freeze this winter without proper shelter. Please help out this little farm if you can.”

Paul would like to be able to mill his own wood and build the barn himself, as he did with the section that’s still standing. His right knee won’t allow it. He can’t climb ladders and his limited mobility means he can’t get out of the way if there’s trouble.

“He’s bone on bone,” said Bonnie, noting that he’s aiming to get a knee replacement operation.

‘The farmers are hurting’

Bettencourt Farm dates to 1891 and is, by the Bettencourts’ account, the oldest dairy in Rehoboth that’s still operating. The town used to be home to 125 dairy farms. Now there are four, Paul said. They eke out a living selling raw milk, fresh eggs, beef and poultry.

Even by the standards of small farms, the Bettencourts’ operation is tiny. They sit on 80 acres of land, about 20 of it good for farming. To put that into perspective, Paul says a good farm is generally at least 200 to 300 acres.

Last year’s drought caused half the corn crop to fail. That put the Bettencourts under further pressure, since they rely on that corn to feed the cows. Now they must buy feed instead.

“What comes in from the milk goes back out in feed,” Bonnie said. “We do it because we love it, not because we make any money. We do not make any money.”

The Bettencourts had to get rid of 30 heifers because there was no room for them with the roof gone. It takes about an hour to milk their 30 remaining cows.

“The farmers are hurting, everybody is,” said Paul.

Years ago, Paul tried pipefitting. He says he’d have made a lot more money if he’d stayed in that line of work.

The Bettencourts are grudging members of Dairy Farmers of America, a farmer-owned co-op that holds great power in the nation’s milk market. In Bonnie’s telling, larger producers aren’t penalized if they flood the market with more milk than they’re supposed to, given quotas that are assigned each farm.

“The big guys can go way over and it drops our price,” Bonnie said. “It buries us.”

Leslie Blanchette, department chair for Animal Science at Bristol County Agricultural High School in Dighton, confirmed that small, local dairy farms face serious challenges. 

“It’s getting more and more difficult for smaller dairy farms to be successful in southeastern Massachusetts due to development of farm land, volatile milk prices and larger corporations’ impact on the industry,” Blanchette said via email.

‘We’re gonna keep it a farm’

Times are tough at the Bettencourt place, but all around it you see testaments to second (and third) chances.

The Bettencourts rescued their two former racehorses, Poppaz and Desi, from a “kill pen” in New Jersey.

The Bettencourts’ own marriage is another example. The couple met on, a dating site that brought them together after their former spouses both died. 

The road ahead won’t be easy, but the Bettencourts are evolving a plan. A key element is re-starting cheese production. That effort is led by Emily Bettencourt, one of Paul’s eight children. The Bettencourts had a retail sales connection for their cheeses lined up before COVID hit. Paul said they haven’t heard any more from the buyer, so they assume he went under.

Emily plans to produce several types of gouda, including smoked and garlic varieties. She is also considering making Gruyère, “American Brick” and cheddar.

Sheep might be a part of Bettencourt Farm’s future. Paul says one thing is certain: 

“We’re still going to milk cows,” said Paul. “We’re gonna keep it a farm. We don’t want to sell it.”

Want to help?

The Bettencourts are raising $82,000 for a new barn to protect their milk cows this winter. You can donate by visiting and searching for “Bettencourt cows.” Here’s a direct link.


Breeding dairy cows to help reach net zero

Two new genetic indexes to help farmers breed more environmentally friendly cows will be launched in August by AHDB Dairy.

The first, EnviroCow, reflects the important role genetics and breeding play in improving the environmental efficiency of milk production.

Incorporating cow lifespan, milk production, fertility and the new Feed Advantage index, EnviroCow is one of the first genetic indexes in the world to focus solely on breeding cows for their environmental credentials.

Marco Winters, Head Of Animal Genetics for AHDB said: “The environmental focus of EnviroCow reflects the important role cattle breeding can play in helping the farming industry reach its goal of net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”

EnviroCow will be expressed on a scale of about -3 to +3, where the highest positive figures are achieved by bulls which transmit the best environmental credentials to their daughters. These will be cows which are predicted to create the least GHG emissions in their lifetimes for each kilogram of solids-corrected milk they produce.

Feed Advantage, incorporated in EnviroCow, helps dairy producers identify bulls with the greatest tendency to transmit good feed conversion on to their daughters. It is expressed as a Predicted Transmitting Ability (PTA) in kilograms of dry matter intake saved during each lactation.

The index’s launch represents the culmination of over 30 years of research and data collection from the award-winning Langhill herd in Dumfries. Undertaken by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), the studies have measured the Langhill cows’ dry matter intake throughout their entire lives.

“Calculations take account of the feed an animal is expected to eat given her solids-corrected milk production and the feed she needs for her maintenance,” says Mr Winters.

“This is compared with her actual feed consumption to identify animals which are efficient converters.”

Adjustments are made for the size of the animal, as a smaller cow requires less feed than a larger cow giving the same level of milk production.

The most efficient cows consume as much as 400kg less in one lactation compared with the least efficient cows, meaning that for the same level of production there is substantial scope for cutting feed use.

“EnviroCow and Feed Advantage will help farmers have a positive impact on the use of the world’s finite resources and the carbon footprint of UK dairy farming,” he says. “Now they can move this up a gear with genetic indexes designed specifically to improve their dairy cow’s carbon emission credentials.”


Targeted grazing helps contain wildfires in the US Great Basin

Using cattle grazing to create firebreaks on landscapes invaded by cheatgrass has successfully contained three rangeland wildfires in four years in the Great Basin—the latest being the Welch wildfire near Elko, Nevada, on 18 July.

US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (ARS) researchers are conducting a large study evaluating the technique, called targeted cattle grazing, for creating fuel breaks to help contain wildfire while not causing grazing-related damage to rangeland health.

Targeted grazing uses cattle in the early spring to eat extensive strips of highly flammable cheatgrass down to 2- to 3-inch stubble in strategic places. This reduces the fuel load that can otherwise turn small rangeland fires into megafires in a matter of hours.

“These fuel breaks are intended to slow a fire’s rate of spread, make it less intense, and provide time and space for firefighters to arrive and more safely attack and contain the fire,” explained ARS rangeland scientist Pat Clark with the Northwest Watershed Research Center in Boise, Idaho, who directs the project. “That’s just what appears to have happened for the Welch fire.”

Before it reached the targeted grazing fuel break, the Welch fire “generally had 2- to 4-foot high flames and was spreading at a rate of about 20 chains/hr [1 chain=66 feet],” according to the fire report. After burning into the fuel break, flames dropped to less than 2 feet high and the fire’s spread slowed to less than 5 chains/hr, which allowed time for resources to arrive and engage the fire. If the fuel break had not been there and windier conditions had occurred, this wildfire could have escaped and burned several thousand to tens of thousands of acres within the South Tuscarora Range, the report said.

The ARS study is evaluating targeted grazing at nine sites throughout the northern Great Basin in Idaho, Oregon and Nevada. Although the cheatgrass-dominated landscapes at all these sites are at high risk of fire, the Nevada fuel breaks have actually been directly tested by wildfires.

Near Beowawe, Nevada, in August 2020, a cattle-grazed fire break helped limit a range fire to just 54 acres compared to fires that more commonly race across thousands of acres of the Great Basin each summer. In July 2018, the same targeted grazing fuel break held the Boulder Creek fire to just 1,029 acres and kept the fire out of sage-grouse habitat just downwind.

Clark’s research is tracking how much fuel is reduced by targeted grazing in the spring when the cheatgrass is most palatable to cattle, whether these fuel reductions can be maintained through the start of the wildfire season, typically July 1 in the Great Basin, and what effects targeted grazing might have on environmental health such as changes in plant diversity.

Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is an invasive cool weather annual grass that originated in Europe, southwestern Asia and northern Africa, which came to this country in the late 1800s, probably in shipments of European wheat. Today, it dominates more than 100 million acres of the Great Basin in the western U.S.

Germinating each fall and winter, cheatgrass grows furiously in spring and dies in early summer, leaving the range carpeted in golden dry tinder, easily sparked into flames. The Great Basin typically has the nation’s highest wildfire risk and most years rangeland fires outpace forest fires in acreage destroyed.


Russel Norman: NZ needs to ‘pull back’ on dairy farming

Greenpeace’s Russel Norman is warning New Zealand will need to “pull back” on its love affair with dairy farming if it wants to keep in line with the global warming targets. 

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Greenpeace’s Russel Norman told Breakfast the number of dairy cows in the country needs to be “pulled back” Source: Breakfast

An intergovernmental panel on climate change is set to release its first report since 2013, analysing the impact rising greenhouse gas levels are having on the environment. 

The report is poised to focus on methane and its contribution to climate change, with 80 times more warming power over two decades than carbon dioxide. 

From now until 2030, global warming has the capacity to exceed 1.5C unless prompt action is taken but Greenpeace’s Russel Norman says it’s not too late. 

“We’re at 1.2C right now, so we’re starting to push the boundary of what is safe for humans to be on the planet,” he told Breakfast. 

“The fires, the floods, the heatwaves, that’s just act one, scene one.” 

However Norman said with methane making up nearly 44 per cent of New Zealand’s emissions – much emitted by dairy cows – it’s going to take drastic Government action to cut methane emissions.

“We used to have 40,000 dairy cows in Southland, now have 600,0000,” Norman says.

“We’ve overdone the dairy thing, we overshot it; there’s no question about that so we need to pull the dairy numbers back.”


Ayrshire Cattle Society of Great Britain & Ireland Provides Details on Curly Calf Syndrome

Ayrshire Cattle Society of Great Britain & Ireland wish to inform its breeders and members that there has been a Genetic recessive discovered in the International Ayrshire population. The recessive has been identified as Arthrogryposis Multiplex (AM), or commonly referred to as Curly Calf Syndrome.

The original source of this genetic defect in the Ayrshire population is Peterslund (AYSWEM91213), who was born in 1997.

The Society will be working over the coming weeks with other relevant bodies to identify the carriers in the UK herd book and advice breeders and members the best way forward. When more data becomes available, we will of course notify everyone as soon as possible. We will be providing a list of all bulls that have been tested as soon as we can and sorting a testing program for UK breeders
that are affected.

If you have any questions, please contact our Breed Manager Alan Timbrell.

Provided by Steve Bailey
President of the Ayrshire Cattle Society of Great Britain & Ireland

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