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The Stevens County Times 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Look inside this edition for news about local farmers, updates from WCROC, the USDA Soils Lab, commentary from U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson and more. Father and son

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S2 Saturday, March 17, 2018 

2018 Farm Progress Edition

The Stevens County Times

s w o s f o g n i l Solar coo Lee Johnston/WCROC

Solar PV panels installed at WCROC for the sow cooling project.

farmers to maintain extra sows during summer breeding to ensure they get enough sows pregnant to keep their barns full of pigs, but this can compromise the biological and economic efficiency of a swine breeding operation. There are several approaches to help sows cope Over the last couple years, West Central Research with heat stress such as reformulation of diets fed and Outreach Center (WCROC) researchers have been to sows during summer, installing drip cooling and/ involved in a project entitled “Greening of Agricul- or cool cells in the barn, and changing management ture.” This project focuses on methods to reduce the approaches to encourage higher feed intake by sows. use of fossil fuels in production agriculture. Many These mitigation strategies are helpful but not entirely markets and food supply chains are encouraging food effective and many have specific drawbacks. So, the producers (farmers) to reduce their use of fossil fuels current project is designed to investigate a more effecas a way to reduce the carbon footprint of current food tive cooling system. production systems. Currently, as part of this project, In the cooling system designed for this project, we we have research studies underway in the areas of installed a 20 kW solar photovoltaic array to power a agronomy, dairy production, and swine production. chiller. The chiller circulates cool water (70 degrees The overarching objective of these studies is to help F) under the metal floor that sows lie on providing a farmers respond to market demands in a way that will cooling effect in the same way a residential underreduce environmental impacts of and maintain the floor heating system can heat a home. The cooled water economic viability of their production systems. As a next step in the Greening of Ag project, we are cools the floor and thus cools the sow as she lies on investigating the use of solar-generated electricity as the floor. During hot periods of the day, sows typically a way to improve sow performance during summer. spend much of their time lying. In addition to the cooled flooring, we are supplyDuring summer in Minnesota, sows that are nursing ing cooled water (55 degrees F) to the drinker that their piglets often experience heat stress. High environmental temperatures in rooms that supplies drinking water to the sows. Our preliminary house sows and their litters cause sows to reduce feed data collected on commercial swine farms suggests intake which causes increased weight loss from sows that drinking water for sows can range from 55 to and poorer breeding performance of sows after pigs 78 degrees throughout the year. So, we expect that a are weaned. Poorer breeding performance requires pig consistent supply of cool drinking water will help keep By L. Johnston1, M. Reese1, E. Buchanan1, Y. Li1, K. Janni2, and K. Sharpe1 1 West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris 2 Department of Biosystems and Biological Engineering, St. Paul

Esther Jordan/WCROC

Cooled flooring (foreground) installed in a sow farrowing stall. sows comfortable. Our approach is to cool sows from the outside with the cooled flooring and from the inside with cooled water. A cool sow will eat more feed, and be more productive than a heat-stressed sow. We will continue this experiment during the summer of 2018. In addition to effects on sow comfort and performance, we are evaluating sow and piglet behavior, monitoring effectiveness and robustness of the cooling system, tracking quality of the environment within the barn, and will calculate the economic feasibility of using such a system. Stay tuned for results as they become available. This project is funded by the State of Minnesota through the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.

Three-breed crossbreeding at the University of Minnesota: An update By Brad Heins West Central Research and Outreach Center

system. er, cows consume 30% of The West Central their diet from pasture Research and Outreach during May to October. Center, Morris, Minneso- Crossbreeding began in Crossbreeding of dairy ta, has a low-input, sea- December 2000 with the cattle is a topic of growing sonal grazing facility that mating of 50 percent of interest around the world houses 250 cows. Cows Holstein cows and heifers because of dairy produc- are fed a TMR diet during to Jersey AI sires and the er concerns regarding calf the entire year; howev- other 50 percent to Holsurvival, cow fertility, and cow health of Holstein cattle. Over the past decade, Jersey was often the first breed of choice • Repair, Sales & Design • Troubleshooting • Standard & Metric High & Low for crossbreeding with the Pressure Hose Assemblies • Cylinders • Hydrostatic Transmissions Holstein breed in the Unit• Wet Kits • Hydraulic Pumps, Motors, Valves & Cylinders ed States because the Jer• IH Hydro Tractors • Exchange Units on Hand • Fittings & Adapters sey breed has the second • New Systems Designed & Built • Service Calls • Fast Turn Around largest number of cows among the pure breeds in  Sundstrand  Cessna  Vickers  Eaton  Commercial  Char-Lynn the United States. 16084 State Hwy. 29 Glenwood, MN 56334 Recent crossbreeding (320) 634-4360 • (866) 634-4360 Toll Free research has focused on the performance and profitability of Jersey, Brown Swiss, Normande, Montbéliarde, and Viking Red sires mated to Holstein cattle. However, dairy producers must decide how to mate the 2-breed crossbred, and some have chosen to backcross to one of the parent breeds. Others have chosen to implement a 3-breed rotational crossbreeding system. The use of 3 breeds maintains higher average levels of heterosis across generations than a 2-breed crossbreeding system. Few studies have evaluated performance of the 3-breed and third generation Holstein-sired crossbred cows under various management systems. We wanted to determine differences between 3-breed crossbreds, third generation Holstein-sired crossbreds (5/8 Holstein), and pure Holstein cows for fertility, production, and SCS during their first three lactations in a seasonal-pasture production

stein AI sires. All of the resulting Jersey×Holstein crossbreds were mated to Montbéliarde bulls to initiate a 3-breed rotational system for crossbreeding.

Subsequently, in 2002, some multiparous Holstein cows were mated to Montbéliarde bulls to provide comparison of Holstein and Montbéliarde×Hol-

stein crossbreds. Initially, the Montbéliarde×Holstein were mated to Jersey bulls; however, recently


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2018 Farm Progress Edition

The Stevens County Times 

Saturday, March 17, 2018 S3

Towers record data on Fynboh’s farm By Chris Wente From the USDA ARS in Morris Over the years, ARS’s “Soils Lab” in Morris has had many on-farm projects. One of these projects is now occurring on the Greg Fynboh farm north of Chokio. When driving by, you might think some weird alien communication devices have been placed in the field. In reality, they are 20-foot towers that help collect environmental measurements as part of our LTAR contributions. The instruments mounted to these towers are solar-powered and they store information on a data card that I retrieve weekly. One of the strengths

of ARS is its multiple locations throughout the United States. For example, in addition to our on-farm project, ARS scientists are conducting similar LTAR studies at other locations across the country. Each generates long-term data sets that, after analysis, can be publically accessed on-line at the National Agricultural Library. Weather-related measurements from Swan Lake are also part of this data. Uses of the data sets include crop modeling, assessing crop rotations, determining yield potential, and quantifying annual biomass production. At the Fynboh farm,

there are two research fields. At the center of each field is a measurement tower that collects and records data on solar radiation, rainfall, soil moisture, air, crop, and soil temperatures. The towers also measure carbon dioxide, water vapor, and wind speed at the rate of 20 times a second. Every half hour this data is used to calculate the carbon dioxide exchange rate and evaporation. These values are important for assessing water use by the crop and its impact on organic matter. Each tower has a digital camera similar to a trail camera that records two

pictures every hour; one color and one infrared. The camera points north so that it can avoid glare and capture images of the crop along the horizon. Specialized software then analyzes the images for greenness. This information can show us how the crop is responding to the environment and how it is developing. The infrared image can helps us assess crop stress. During the growing season, we can also compare the camera images to those from a weekly drone flight. After harvest in the fall, it’s time to take soil samples. We use a sampling pattern consisting of a four-by-four grid with

Photo by Chris Wente

A carbon dioxide water vapor and wind speed sensor: This sensor, mounted on the tower, measures carbon dioxide, water vapor, and wind speed 20 times a second. the tower located in the for the towers in Fyncenter. This allows us to boh’s field and know measure soil moisture and they are part of national bulk density as well as network study of longchemical properties such term crop production. If as nitrogen, phosphorus, you are interested in the and potassium levels. We data being collected, visit establish an archive of the the National Agricultural samples in case further Library website or attend analysis is needed in the one of the events at the “Soils Lab.” There is a future. So, while driving north Barnes-Aastad meeting on of Chokio, be sure to look April 5.


the Montbéliarde×Holstein cows were mated to Viking Red bulls, based on shortcomings of the Jersey breed in a confinement rotational crossbreeding system. Therefore, into the future, University of Minnesota crossbreds will be rotational crossbreds of Holstein, Viking Red, and Montbéliarde. Three-breed crossbred cows (Montbéliarde×Jersey×Holstein and Jersey×Montbéliarde×Holstein; n = 64) and Holstein-sired crossbred cows (Holstein×Montbéliarde×Jersey×Holstein and Holstein×Jersey×Montbéliarde×Holstein; n = 90) were compared to Holstein cows (n = 151) for 305-day fat plus protein production and SCS during their first three lactations. The accompanying table has results for fat plus protein production. The 3-breed crossbred cows and Holstein-sired crossbred cows had similar fat plus protein production compared to Holstein cows during all three lactations. During first lactation, the 3-breed crossbred cows had higher SCS than Holstein cows (3.22 vs. 2.80, respectively). The 3-breed crossbred cows may have had higher SCS during first lactation because of the higher percentage of Jersey genetics in the 3-breed crossbred cows. Jersey cattle have a higher breed average for SCS than Holstein cattle in the United States,

which likely contributed to the increase in SCS of the 3-breed crossbred cows in first lactation. During first lactation, Holstein cows had mean days open of 151 days, and the 3-breed crossbred cows (114 d) and Holstein-sired crossbreds (132 d) had fewer days open than Holstein cows. During second lactation, the days open for the Holstein cows increased dramatically to 166 days, and the 3-breed crossbred and Holstein-sired crossbreds had a three to four-week advantage for days open compared to the Holstein cows. Reproductive performance has been overlooked by many when comparing purebreds and crossbreds. For this study, crossbred cows had fewer days open and similar fat plus protein production compared with pure HO cows, and these advantages for crossbreds should have substantial impact on profitability of dairying. In this seasonal-pasture herd, Holstein-sired crossbred offspring from a 3-breed crossbred dam had similar production and superior fertility compared to pure HO cows. Therefore, mating 3-breed crossbreds to Holstein bulls may have advantages in a rotational crossbreeding system. Three distinct breeds are likely optimum for a rotational crossbreeding system.














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S4 Saturday, March 17, 2018 

2018 Farm Progress Edition

The Stevens County Times

Corn: ‘Knee high by the 4th of July’ that age-old question about corn being “kneehigh on the 4th of July,” then you have an interest in phenology. The ARS “Soils Lab” in Morris is part of a national effort titled the Long-Term Agroecosystem Research If you have ever asked (LTAR) project. A Phenol-

By Steven Wagner USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Morris and Dawn Browning USDA – Agricultural Research Service, Jornada Experimental Range, Las Cruces, New Mexico

ogy Initiative is included in the LTAR project. In this article, we define phenology, describe the technology that ARS and university scientists use to make crop-phenological measurements, and provide a sample dataset from LTAR locations across the

Credit: Dawn Browning, Research Ecologist, USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range, Las Cruses, MN

Long Term Agroecosystems Research Site Phenocam images recorded Aug. 1, 2017.

Long Term Agroecosystems Research Site Phenocam image recorded at Swan Lake Research Farm, Aug. 1, 2017.

country. By one definition, phenology is the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life.

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Examples of periodic biological phenomena may include the timing of plant flowering, tree budding or first leaves appearing, or monarch butterfly or bird migrations. Timing of those phenomena may be related to climatic conditions. The saying “knee high by the Fourth of July” was used to describe the biological phenomena (crop height) over a period of one year. In the past it likely indicated whether the crop would grow to maturity before a killing frost. I recently read an article describing the tradition of one Minnesota farm family that has photographed their corn each year on the Fourth of July, and speaking of long term, they have been doing this since the early 1940s. LTAR scientists do something not so different from that farm family. Modern technology allows us to take photos with digital cameras connected to the Web, or more precisely, webcams. Webcams designed specifically for measuring crop phenology, aptly called phenocams, are mounted at a fixed height and programmed to take pictures every 30 minutes. The cameras record both a color and a near infrared image that are automatically transferred in digital format to the national phenocam network. The images can be utilized to study crop development and crop health. Phenocams are a type of near-surface remote sensing that can be used in combination with satellite imagery, or aerial imagery from a sUAS (drone) or manned aircraft. Dawn Browning,

research ecologist at the USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range in Las Cruces, New Mexico, is one of many ARS scientists in the LTAR network with an interest in crop phenology. Browning explained that the LTAR Phenology Initiative provides an integrative network-level metric and it is a line of scientific inquiry that cuts across research themes. The phenocam data resulting from it will help answer such research questions as: “How will projected changes in temperature and rainfall variability influence growing season length and productivity?” and “What regions or agricultural outputs are most susceptible to projected changes in climate?” The map (above) displays sample photos all taken on Aug. 1, 2017, at 13 LTAR-locations across the country. A phenocam image of plots at the Swan Lake Research Farm (north of Morris) is one of the wide-ranging ecosystems displayed. The photo (above left) displays a larger version of the Swan Lake Research Farm image included in figure 1a. Anyone can access these images on the PhenoCam web site at gallery/. The Soils Lab also has two phenocams recording field crops in a LTAR-project farm-cooperator field that will be added to the phenocam network soon. Phenocams give us one more tool for monitoring crop development and crop health. May your next crop be healthy, prosperous and much taller than “kneehigh by the Fourth of July!”

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2018 Farm Progress Edition

The Stevens County Times 

Saturday, March 17, 2018 S5

Nohl gets a view from the top Farmer operates drone business Photos and graphic provided by Corey Nohl Corey Nohl of Above All Aerial.

One of Corey Nohl’s drones.

By Rae Yost Stevens County Times Corey Nohl is a licensed pilot but he doesn’t fly planes. Instead, Nohl flies drones in the sky. Nohl’s drones are small, unmanned aircraft equipped with cameras and software that allow him to take photos, record video and command the craft from the ground. Nohl is a licensed commercial drone pilot. He owns Above All Aerial in rural Morris. “I’ve been flying for about four years,” Nohl said. His first flight didn’t go so well. He bought his first drone in 2012. “I was so excited. I had been waiting for a week (for it to arrive),” Nohl said. “I was kind of giddy.” Nohl took his new $1,500 drone out for its first flight. “The drone takes off by itself and all I could do is sit and watch,” he said. The drone was destroyed in a crash. “I was crushed,” he said. Nohl can smile about that first crash now because he’s logged tons

can use in their operation. “The drone takes little pictures from low altitude,” Nohl said. He pieces those little pictures into one big mosaic picture. The pictures and their information are analyzed in computer software. Each year, drones and the software improve so that he can provide farmers with better information. “The drone industry is moving so fast that I do upgrades once a year,” Nohl said. “Sometimes, it’s a lot to keep up with… (but) I want the best equipment.” Before he started his business, Nohl did research on his own fields. He continues to farm the family farm and stepped into a larger role after his dad Ray died in September. “I (studied) all of our acres first,” Nohl said. He examined the information provided by the drone and then, walked his fields to determine accuracy. When he was confident in his skills, the drone and software, he launched his business. Although it was important to join the family farm, his dad did encourage him in the Above All Aerial business. A screen shot of field data recorded by Nohl’s drone. “He really did encourage entrepreneurship” Nohl said. “He was definitely my No. 1 inspiration.” The busiest time in agriculture for his business is from when crops emerge until they tassel. He can cover 160 acres in 25 minutes. It’s called stitching when he makes the larger photo from the multiple small photos taken by the drone. “I will have stitched the field data within 15 minutes after I land,” Nohl said. The increased speed is just one

of hours since that flight. Those hours have come flying over area farm fields to check crops. He’s also been flying over homes in Colorado and California to take photos and record video for clients such as real estate companies. He carries a million-dollar insurance policy to cover his work in such residential areas, Nohl said. The uses for drones is nearly unlimited, Nohl said. Although he uses his drones for real estate and construction purposes and he has even taken photos and recorded video of beaver dams, his favorite use is for agriculture. “You can learn so much from the sky,” Nohl said. The view from the sky for farming can determine plant population, plant growth, weed density and other factors in a field. Nohl stressed that he isn’t a replacement for a crop agronomist and that farmers will still want a ground check of their fields. Yet, he does provide supplementary information and details farmers


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2018 Farm Progress Edition

S6 Saturday, March 17, 2018 

The Stevens County Times

Coping with shortage of vitamins A, E in swine diets

Reprinted with permission from National Hog Farmer magazine.

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Essential use and requirements Vitamins are essential for numerous metabolic functions in pigs and must be supplemented. The majority of nutritionists add four times more vitamin A and E than recommended by the National Research Council. These high safety margins are a result of uncertainty and variability of vitamin requirements as well as being a relatively small component (< 1%) of total diet cost. However, there are strategies that can be used to minimize the risk of vitamin A and E deficiencies during this period of short supply (Figure 1). Premix and diet formulation The first approach is to minimize safety margins when formulating premixes. Assuming that diets have been well fortified with vitamin A and E in diets previously fed, rely on stored body reserves of these vitamins to make up any potential deficiencies that may occur when feeding diets at the requirement levels. Another approach, is to formulated diets with feed ingredients that contain high concentration of vitamins A and E (Table 1). For example, a corn-SBM based diet contains 0.6 mg/kg vitamin A which covers 12.3% of the requirement, while a corn-SBM-corn DDGS based diet contains 1.41 mg/kg vitamin A which covers 29% of the requirement. Studies suggest that removing vitamin and trace mineral premix 35 to 42 days before slaughter may not affect growth performance of finishing pigs. Consequently, removing vitamins A and E from ‘least risk’ population appears to be viable way to spare vitamin A and E for use in diets for ‘greater risk’ population (i.e., younger pigs and sows). Minimize degradation thought the supply chain Vitamins lose biological activity when exposed to high temperatures, humidity, oxygen, pro-oxidants (i.e. Cu, Fe, Zn, choline chloride), and light during storage. Consequently, minimizing storage time of premixes and exposure to these pro-oxidant conditions before mixing in complete feeds will minimize the need for high safety margins. Likewise, choline and inorganic trace minerals accelerate the rate of loss of vitamin potency during storage. Formulating and storing vitamins, trace mineral, and choline chloride premixes separately, or using organic trace minerals will minimize the rate of vitamin potency losses. Minimize oxidative stress Feeding diets with peroxidized fats and oils can decrease (50%) serum and liver concentrations of vitamin E. Likewise, avoiding low quality oils or feed ingredients that decrease lipid absorption (e.g., alginate, pectins) decrease metabolic

ing starter diets without excess concentrations of these vitamins. What should you watch for? The major disorders of vitamin A deficiency are neurological and reproductive, while vitamin E deficiency is associated to diseases like Mulberry Heart Disease. The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory of the University of Minnesota (rosso003@ may assist with diagnostic evaluations. Finally, inclusion of vitamin E in finishing pig diets at levels greater than NRC may increase shelf stability of pork. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor products destined to export. In conclusion, current recommendations for vitamins A and E are outdated, but nutritionists, veterinarians, and meat scientists alike should take an integrated approach to determine steps in the pork production system to help cope with the current short supply of these vitamins.

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Prices of vitamins A and E have risen recently and in some cases supply is restricted. In this article, we present a system-wide approach to cope with limited access to these vitamins.

requirements of vitamin E. Feeding ingredients (e.g. DDGS) that contain sufficient antioxidant compounds (e.g. ferulic acid and xanthophyll), amay mitigate the impact of lipid peroxidation. Alternatives to vitamin A and E Polyphenols have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties making them alternatives to vitamin E. Carotenoids are converted to retinol(al) and may cover a portion of the requirements for vitamin A, but conversion efficiency (average 40:1) varies depending on multiple factors. There are comercial carotenoid or polyphenol products (e.g., AOX™ from PROVIMI®) that have variable capacity to replace vitamins A and E. Strategically use injectable forms Weaned pigs are likely to be most vulnerable to inadequate vitamin A and E status, and using injectable products at the time of weaning may be warranted when feed-


By Jae Cheol Jang1, Lee J. Johnston2, Gerald C. Shurson1, and Pedro E. Urriola1 1 Department of Animal Science, St. Paul 2 West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris University of Minnesota

2018 Farm Progress Edition

The Stevens County Times 

Saturday, March 17, 2018 S7

High school student builds herd By Rae Yost Stevens County Times It had been roughly 35 years since there were cows and calves in a small pasture on Jaden Maanum’s home farm. “We thought maybe we’d have a small cow and calf (operation) but it just didn’t work out,” Jaden Maanum’s grandpa Lyle Maanum said. Maanum, a sophomore at Morris Area High School, brought cows and calves back to the farm in 2016 when he started his own herd. Maanum’s project is a supervised agriculture experience through Morris Area FFA. FFA members choose an agriculture project that they work on for several years. The project has requirements he must meet including record keeping. “I chose to breed beef cows and raise them as a cow and calf pair, “Maanum said. “I’ve been around cattle since I was a little boy,” Maanum said. “I will always be around cattle.” His family operation includes 500 Holstein feeder cattle. “I think it’s a good project to get started with, to seek what he likes…,” Lyle Maanum said. He bought his first four cows the day after Thanksgiving in 2016. He bought another four cows right after Christmas in 2017. “I’m still in the early stages,” Maanum said. “It’s going to take a while to get my herd (numbers) up there.” Maanum has already sold one cow and lost a calf during birth. The cow was sold because her calving dates didn’t match what he needed for his herd.

Maanun bought red Angus cows. He’s breeding them with a black Angus bull which is owned by his neighbors. “He’s got a lot of good genetics. He has a very good semen count,” Maanum said. The bull’s good genetics will increase the likelihood of pregnancy and good calves, he said. Maanum’s dad Joel helped him pick out the cows for his herd. “It’s my project but he’s guided me along,” Maanum said. The family buys stock from farmers and ranchers they know because, then, they also know the quality of the cows, Maanum said. “I want a mix of different colors. I want healthy, sustainable calves,” Maanum said. His calves need to be able to transition from cow’s milk to feed readily, Maanum said. The calves need to be weaned from milk in a set number of weeks, Maanum said. The cows and bull are separated until it’s time for breeding. Maanum chose to use natural breeding to build his herd. While some operations use artificial insemination where the bull’s semen is inserted into the cow, Maanum said studies show that A.I. is successful about one-third of the time. “A cow goes into heat every month,” Maanum said. “A bull will notice (a cow) in heat and he’ll breed here. I like to stick with the bull. It’s not always a guarantee but you have more of a chance for her to breed…” A bull can mate with a cow multiple times in a day, he said. A.I. is done once a day. When the weather warms and pasture conditions allow, the cows, calves and

Rae Yost/Stevens County Times

Jaden Maanum of Morris Area FFA is building his own herd as he breed cows for calves. bull will be in the pasture. “There’s a little bit of pasture...and he has (added) a small pasture,” Lyle Maanum said. “It’s doable.” Maanum will need to sell calves and heifers and switch out his bull as he builds his herd.

“It’s a long-term project but there is good benefit in the end,” Maanum said. Maanun used a youth agriculture loan through the Farm Service Agency and a Mike Rowe Works grant administered through the FFA to help start his herd.

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You may know that the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the chief in-house scientific research branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), conducts many forms of research—from breeding and managing new crops like cuphea and winter camelina, to creating products like plantbased lubricants and hand creams. Every year, our professionals contribute to local, regional, national and international “outreach.” This outreach takes many forms. Over the years, for example, hundreds of high school and college students have had the opportunity to work here and get real, hands-on research experience that they can carry on to future employment. We also provide visiting scientists and college students working on advanced degrees with the opportunity to take advantage of our professional and technical experience, as well as our physical resources. These individuals not only come from the United States, but also foreign countries, providing opportunities to share their expertise and cultures, as well as develop friendships in the local community. But did you know that your local ARS Unit, fondly known as the “Soils Lab,” in Morris, Minnesota, is a motivating force for K-12 and community science education? Our professionals have also made a wonderful commitment over the years to provide fun, interactive learning experiences for the K-12


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2018 Farm Progress Edition

S8 Saturday, March 17, 2018 

The Stevens County Times

Are new high-protein distillers’ dried grains a good replacement for soybean meal in swine diets? By Zhaohui Yang1, Lee J. Johnston2, Gerald C. Shurson1 and Pedro E. Urriola1 1 Department of Animal Science, St. Paul 2 West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris University of Minnesota

soybean meal is present in the diet to dilute their concentrations. However, when higher (>10 percent) diet inclusion rates of high-protein co-products are used along with appropriate amounts of supplemental crystalline amino acids, and most of the soybean meal is removed, the excess leucine relative to valine and isoleucine can reduce growth performance. In fact, the results from one of our recent experi-

Table 1 Effects of adding 30% high protein distillers dried grains on growth performance of growing-finishing pigs Treatment Item Control HP-DDG SEM P value No. of Pens 8 8 BW, lb Initial 50.2 50.2 2.60 0.99 End 294.0 279.1 2.65 < 0.01 Overall ADG, lb/d 2.23 2.09 0.02 < 0.01 Overall ADFI, lb/d 5.80 5.67 0.09 0.16 Overall G:F 0.41 0.39 0.01 0.06 Lee Johnston



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Sharon Weyers of the Soils Lab explains how insects pollinate plants to MAES Kindergarteners.

SOILS LAB From Page S7

curriculum primarily in Stevens County, but also Pope and Big Stone counties and other nearby school districts. We’ve taken learning directly to the classroom as well as conducted outdoor learning activities, namely, at the Scandia Woods Environmental Learning Lab (SWELL), Pope County Conservation Day, Bonanza Conservation Day, and Glacial Lakes State Park. We’ve covered a wide range of educational topics, including earthworms, monarchs, pollinators and pollination, soil compaction, soil erosion and soil health. All of these topics connect to our mission of developing effective, efficient and environmentally sound agricultural production systems. This particular outreach reaches hundreds of students each year, many of whom will form the backbone of agriculture in this area in the future. If you are an educator or have a community group Reprinted with permission from National Hog Farmer interested in an agricultural topic, the “Soils Lab” may have the information you seek! magazine.

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ments showed that adding 30 percent high-protein distillers dried grains to growing finishing diets decreased ADG compared with feeding a corn-soybean meal diet (Table 1). Diets with high protein distillers dried grains contained 20 percent more leucine, but similar isoleucine and valine than the corn- soybean meal diet. Therefore, supplementing the high protein distillers dried grain diets with crystalline isoleucine and valine may have corrected this problem, but cost of these two amino acids is very expensive and the optimal balance of branch chain amino acids in swine diets is not well established. In conclusion, the suboptimal amino acid balance and digestibility of DDGS and high-protein corn co-products requires supplementation of synthetic lysine, threonine, and tryptophan when soybean meal is partially removed from the diet, and feeding high inclusion rates of DDGS (40 to 60%) or high protein co-products (>10%) may require additional supplementation of valine and isoleucine to achieve optimal growth performance of nursery and growing-finishing pigs.

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have three to five times greater leucine:lysine ratio than soybean meal. This imbalance among branched chain amino acids increases catabolism of valine and isoleucine and results in reduced feed intake and growth rate of pigs. The excess leucine in high protein corn co-products are of less concern when the co-products are added at relatively low diet inclusion rates (10 percent) and a significant amount of


The use of corn dried distillers’ grains with solubles (DDGS) in commercial swine diets has increased dramatically because of its relatively high content of energy, digestible amino acids, and phosphorus, resulting in substantial diet cost savings when used as a partial replacement for corn, soybean meal, and inorganic phosphorus. In fact, during most of 2017, DDGS was priced much lower than corn and soybean meal, which led many pork producers to strive for greater diet cost savings by increasing diet inclusion rates to 50 to 60 percent in grower-finisher diets. However, in doing so, new challenges are emerging to optimize growth performance and carcass composition at these high inclusion rates. Likewise, new technologies are now being implemented in some ethanol plants to produce high-protein corn co-products containing 40 to 50 percent protein. As a result, the protein content of these high-protein co-products is comparable to that of soybean meal (44 to 48 percent). While the first reaction may be that the higher protein content may provide greater value and potentially replace a greater amount of soybean meal in swine diets, a more detailed evaluation is needed. First, results from preliminary studies have shown that the metabolizable energy (ME) content of these new high-protein co-products is equal to or greater than in DDGS, and also greater than the ME content in soybean meal. However, despite the high crude protein content of these new high-protein corn co-products, their amino acid profile and digestibility is inferior to that of soybean meal for meeting the pig’s amino acid requirements. Crude protein is a “crude” measure of the nitrogen content of a feed ingredient that was developed in the 1860’s, but is still used today to classify feed ingredients based on “perceived” economic and nutritional value. We have known for several decades that crude protein is a poor measure of amino acid concentration, digestibility, and balance of feed ingredients, especially for corn-based feed ingredients. Therefore, we cannot assume that just because high-protein corn co-products have similar crude protein content with soybean meal, the protein quality and digestible amino acid profile is similar. Relative to soybean meal, corn coproducts supply less lysine (41 percent), threonine (84 percent), and tryptophan (35 percent), while suppling more methionine (140 percent). Likewise, the digestibility of these amino acids is less than in soybean meal. Fortunately, these deficiencies in digestible amino acid content can be easily overcome by adding adequate amounts of crystalline amino acids to the diet. In addition to the issues with imbalance and relatively lower digestibility of amino acids, high protein corn co-products

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The Stevens County Times

Saturday, March 17, 2018 S9

Family blessed, dad says, as son joins the farm By Rae Yost Stevens County Times

“Basically, the words that come to mind is that it’s a blessing. ...,” Jim said of having his son join the farm. “As a Basically, the words that come to From the time he was a kid and he rode parent, I kind of had that in mind.” Yet, he knew that it was Tony’s choice mind is that it’s a blessing . . . along with his dad Jim on the tractor, on whether to continue farming. “I grew JIM DOMNICK, father Tony Domnick felt a part of the family up with three other brothers and none of farm in rural Morris. He farmed alongside his dad while he them came back to farm,” Jim said. “I’m was in school and officially joined the sure my dad probably has visions of all farming operation after he graduated us joining the farm.” farming early on. “They grow up beside Jim noticed that Tony had a passion for you on the tractor and you see that desire from Morris Area High School in 2013. to do it.” The father and son operate a crop production farm with mainly a corn and soybean rotation. They farm acres together and also have their own individual acres. The family also operates a seed business. Tony’s focus in the spring is primarily with the seed business while his dad handles the planting of the family’s crops. Tony returns to the fields when spraying crop acres starts. The variety of work is one of Tony’s favorite aspects of farming. “You are not doing the same thing every day,” he said. “There are so many different things.” As a farmer, he gets to watch the progress of his crop. “... there’s something about it, watching your crop and then you get to see what comes out of that crop.” “I think that’s about exactly right,” Jim said in agreement with Tony’s description of his favorite aspect of farming. “It’s definitely not monotonous,” Jim said. The variety of each day also includes adapting to the changes in farming. When Jim started farming he took one of the first agricultural-related computer classes offered in the area. His son is very competent in the advanced technology used today. Jim talked about the need to precisely steer the tractor and equipment when he was younger so the crop rows were Rae Yost / Stevens County Times straight. It was a point of emphasis from Father Jim and son Tony Domnick farm together in rural Morris. Tony joined the family his father. business after he graduated from Morris Area High School in 2013. “Now, that’s a non-issue,” Jim said,

as technology ensures the tractor and equipment follow a straight path. As farming has advanced, “You always wonder what comes next,” Jim said. What may be coming next is exciting but can also be slightly daunting for Tony. “... everything is coming so fast and so quick that it scares me a little bit,” Tony said. He’s willing to accept change and adapt, but he doesn’t want one of his enjoyments of farming to be eliminated. “I hope we are still driving tractors in the future,” Tony said. He doesn’t want to be in an office programming a tractor to operate in his fields in the future. Because, while driving a tractor is part of the work, it’s also part of the enjoyment for father and son. If things get stressful, during harvest for example, Jim “jumps on a tractor and works ground for an hour or two.” While the Domnicks are prepared for more changes in the future, they do know their farming discussions are shaped by their own life perspectives. Jim must think of retirement in his future and Tony is just starting in the operation. “As far as (looking) five years, 10 years, ahead and what we look at, I can see differences because of the age factor …,” Jim said. Jim still serves as his son’s adviser, but if there are any different thoughts on an idea, “at the end of the day you talk through it,” he said. The pair said they talk with mutual respect for opinions and with a shared work ethic and values. They like working together. They even spend leisure time together, as recently they spent several days ice fishing. They continue to be busy with the seed business and in the fields. As Jim works he can’t help but think of the future. “You have visions of your grandkids ... it’s hard to put in the right words.” He knows that just as his son joined him on the farm, he’d like his grandkids to have the chance to do the same.

Grit weeding to efficiently control weed populations in primocane-fruiting raspberries Steve Poppe1, Mary Rogers2, Frank Forcella3, Andy Petran2 1 West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris 2 University of Minnesota, Department of Horticultural Science 3 USDA North Central Soil

Conservation Research Laboratory, Morris

of $5.5 billion in organic products in 2014, up 72 percent since 2008. Many The demand for organ- organic small fruit and ic products in the Unit- vegetable farms generate ed States is continuing to high yields and revenue increase. According to the on relatively small par2014 Organic Survey, the cels of land. For examUnited States sold a total ple, national production of

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cially within the crop row. Despite rapid increases in national production and sales of organic horticultural crops, there is a scarcity of published research on organic weed control in these systems. Research has focused primarily on herbicide-based management. While herbicidal management can be effective, there are concerns about cost, environmental effects and efficacy of sprays that are organically approved. Most herbicides are not labeled for organic use, and those that can be used are often not recommended on young plantings when crops are most vulnerable to weed pressure. Thus organic growers are typically forced to rely on manual within-row weeding, which is time-consuming, labor intensive, and expensive. Despite the prevalence of national production, there is a lack of published research on weed control in raspberry and other bramble crops, especially within-row weed control, which is challenging for all producers. Lawson & Wiseman demonstrated the negative effect of within-row weeds on cane growth and mortality, and since then there has been relatively little work, which focused mainly on herbicide-based management.


Saturday, sotaS10 56267

2018 Farm Progress Edition


March 17, 2018 

The Stevens County Times

Saturday, March 9, 2013 - Page 7C

Things are cooking with camelina

ding dairy steers on pasture, grain or no grain?

and orklund Reasearch h Center, Minnesota,

ventional steers were fed a diet of 80 percent concentrate and 20 percent roughage and received Component E-S implants. The organic steersYost were The benefits of the plant beyond the created from the plant can be used in the By Rae fed aStevens diet of organic corn, County Times kitchen or in food are helping to drive livestock industry. There’s more uses for extreme organic corn silage, and at the interest in growing it. ons in Frank the least Forcella and Russ Gesch want camelina, the scientists said. 30 percent of their Camelina as a cover crop can help hold “A lot of farmers want to grow it,” st farmers during diet of organicoption in the to consisted have another ry produc- pasture during the grazing nitrates in a field which reduces nitrate Gesch said. The idea is to plant cametypical crop rotation. be worried season. The grass-only lina before spring planting of soybeans runoff and reduces fertilizer costs for The two scientists at the USDA ARS n and hay steers grazed pasture durre, North produc- Central Soil Conservation Research or corn. The camelina grows alongside farmers. ing the grazing season and “The flowers are a resource for our ucing the were fed high quality hay Lab in Morris said they are getting closer the corn or soybeans for a period during n fed to cat- or hay silage during the the spring and summer. The camelina pollinators,” Gesch said. to providing that option as they work d costs and non-grazing season. The But for more cooks to use the oil and is harvested before the traditional crop withAtthe pieces needed to get that plant ability. conventional steers were for a major company to use the oil, there such as soybeans is harvested. l Research into a crop sent rotation. to slaughterThose July 24,pieces include needs to be a supply, Gesch and Forcell Gesch and Forcella said while farmers Center’s 2012 to the Tyson Fresh the development of plant, expanding want to grow the crop, the other —piec- said. And there can’t be a supply if there we have Meats plant in Dakota City, providers of the seed, working with A combine harvests camelina while soyted a study Neb. and the organic and es of market —processing—and supply is no place to process the camelina. potential processors ofsent the plant and uated the grass-only steers were There are only a few processing plants beans are growing in the same field. need to come together. wth,markets meat tofor the Meats, plant.Cannon Lorentz The crop got a recent boost when in the Upper Midwest. itability of Falls, Minn. on Sept. plant 19, Forcell and Gesch’s option is Curt Anderson, the executive chef at The Soils Lab is working with the raised 2012 and Nov. 13, 2012, Another key piece to making the plant camelina, a plant in the mustard fami- Arrowwood Resort and Conference Cen- processing plant at the AURI facility in mpared to respectively. Strip loins a successful crop is supply. ly. Camelina is ter agreed to try camelina oil in cooking. Waseca. sed dairy were collected for a conA seed company in Brookings, South roject was sumer taste panel, which often referred Anderson has a segment on the Prairie The scientists also have interest from Dakota, provides camelina seeds and is rth Central allowed 100 beef conto a false flax. Sportsman show on Pioneer Public TV. a small sunflower processing plant in interested in expanding the supply. e student sumers to rate the beef for It has yellow Pierz owned by Tim Smude “He’s raving about it,” Forcella said. overall liking and flavor. The two scientists have been doing and it ncrease in Profit was defined flowers to “We need small-business people like “The oil is really tasty,” Gesch said. may indicate potential it per steer ($593 vs. $442) make a profit from feeding For more information, research on camelina for about 10 years. or organic include revenues and primarily grown And, “It’s good for you.” Tim said. health benefits of grass- compared to conventional organic dairy steers ver-Smude,” contact Forcell Brad Heins, They’ve successfully grown and harvestally grass- expenses for beef value, in fed beef. Europe, Such Assistant small business people could look wasof also in them theto convenConsumers Camelina who steers oil because lower used sus selling Professor, ed. Bull feed cost, pasture cost, although it’s rated the beef foundcommunity no sig- feed costs, mainly pasture. tionalFall markets. Dairy atmost the Organic potential of Managecamelina and made ed the crop. Now, in 2018, they may be meal at the October Into The present a health cost and yardage. near another breakthrough. nificant difference for Therefore, a low grain important point for reduc- ment, 320-589-1711 or also grown in onal source the investment in a plant, he said. Health event in Morris. The table has results for overall liking for the con- ration may reduce feed ing inputs and increasing “It is extremely exciting,” Forcella r organic conventional dairy steers Canada. The oil “What I’m hoping for the future...what Camelina oil is high in protein and ventional and organic beef. costs without sacrificing profits in organic dairy producers. compared to organic and said. “Things are happening…” fromThecamelina I’m hoping will take off...It would be fun omega 3 fatty 3 is is a tokey organic beef had sig- profit in anacids. organic Omega dairy systems produce high the high grass-only dairy steers. They did point out that it took canola has a variety of nificantly higher flavor liksystem, assuming the quality forages and maxito have a processing plant here in Steingredient of fish oil. Soils Lab photos c grains in The grass-only dairy steers ing including than the conventional grass-fed steers can be mize dry matter onCounty,” Forcella said. oil about 20 years from the research to uses, vens A large Minnesota-based company is intake s, the male had greater days to slaughPollinators such as beef. However, consumers marketed at a premium pasture. reach common use. organic ter, cooking oil and also interested in using camelina oil to lower slaughter “That would be cool,” Gesch said. rated the grass-only beef price based on the producbee findweights, camelina crossbred and had lower How soon it happens with camelina is in the biofuel The pair said there is interest in develreplace another oil in one of its products, the lowest in overall liking tion system. present a average daily gains than flowers attractive. uncertain. oping a local plant. industry. and flavor.Meal Forcella said. The conventional steers ce for pas- conventional steers. For profitability, grain had some advantage over ef in the Average daily gains from costs were substantially the grass-only steers, and birth (lb/day) were 2.52 higher for the organic the conventional dairy study used (conventional), 1.79 (organsteers, and therefore, steers grew much faster orn from ic), and 1.35 (grass-only). tensive technique than commenced earlier than in is because grit weeding is resulted in a net loss per and required less time to 2011 from As expected, steers fed hand weeding, we the previous experiment, a more mechanized techsteer (-$644/steer). Thebelieve slaughter. However, grassy, and they higher amounts of grain higher cost production design only steers required fewer Page S9 had car- that a ofsimple but also had to cease ear- nique that is less stressntly evalu- From and concentrate for the organic steers is resources than conventionmeat qual- casses with greater fat alteration may considerlier to avoid injury to the ful on the grower, requirdue to the extremely high al steers. Organic dairy acceptabili- thickness, larger rib-eye ably reduce grit-weeding rapidly developing rasp- ing little to no bending value of organic corn producers trying to seek bility To overaddress area, and higher yield these issues, times. As mentioned ear($15.90/bushel, January relief from high grain berry plants. or crawling. The physical 20 months. grades than steers fed we investigated grit weed- 2013). The grass-only prices, with a little “extra” In this project we ease of grit weeding may ves were higher amounts of pas- lier, the majority of grit steers had the highest prof- pasture may be able to as an alternative weed weeding e ofing three time was spent ture. demonstrated that grit be preferable to growmanagement strategy h: convenThe fat from the grass- on control of bluegrass weeding displays similar ers, even if it may take c (pasture only steers was organhigher in in fall-bearing whose light-weight seeds effectiveness at reducate), and Omega-3 production. fatty acid and ic raspberry reducing weed competi- check (three plots for ing weed pressure and more time to conduct. We only (100 lower in monounsaturated had dispersed at sowing recommend that future Grit weeding is a practice each). Weed emergence increasing ). The con- and saturated fat, which from the between-row tion. raspberry

Soils lab scientists say progress being made with alternative crop


In the second year planting block, block size limited the number of treatments to only grit-weeding and a weedy

began much earlier in this experiment and included winter annuals such as field pennycress. Consequently, grit applications

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vigor as hand weeding. We maintain that careful choice of walkway material in future experiments will likely reduce grit weeding time, possibly at or below average hand weeding times. However, even using our observed weeding time averages, growers may still prefer grit weeding over hand weeding techniques. This

experiments analyze the use of grit weeding in plots with walkway covers that are not naturally resistant to abrasion (i.e., not turf grasses), and also the potential of granular fertilizers to be incorporated into grit mixtures. This ‘ferti-weeding’ may build plant-available fertility while simultaneously reducing weed pressure.

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walkways into the within-row bramble areas. Thus, we advise not to sow bluegrass at or close to the time of primocane transplantation. A single manual hoeing can eliminate the bluegrass. In the first year planting, raspberry dry weight within the hand- and grit-weeded treatments were similar, while plants within the weedy check had lower dry weights (Figure 2). This showed that grit weeding and hand weeding were equally effective at increasing raspberry plant vigor via

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in which a soft, abrasive substrate (e.g., corn cob grit) is propelled via compressed air towards weed seedlings for within-row weed control. Since the practice utilizes decomposable agricultural waste it is cost effective and can be used on organic systems. Grit weeding has demonstrated effective weed control in corn, soybean, tomato and pepper without negatively affecting yields and was shown to control weed populations without damaging crop seedlings. The rate and frequency of grit application for effective weed control has been investigated, but never applied for use in brambles. In 2017 we investigated the application of grit on weeds and raspberry primocanes within the plant row compared to traditional hand weeding techniques. We measured weed population, time to hand weed, and raspberry plant growth, (dry weight of the entire plant above ground) in a first t and second year raspberry planting. The field study took place at the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris on USDA organically certified land. Results and Analysis: All of the annual broadleaf and grass plants succumbed nicely to the grit application. The most abundant weeds were common lambsquarters and redroot pigweed. These plants were eliminated by both hand- and grit-weeding. A troublesome “weed” that remained in the grit-weeding treatment was bluegrass, which was used for planting between the raspberry rows and crept into the within-row areas. The bluegrass may look delicate, but it withstood grit abrasion quite well. Within the first year planting block, hand- and grit-weeded treatments had similarly low amounts of average weed dry weight, and considerably less than the weedy check (Figure 1). This shows that for our experiment, grit weeding was as effective as hand weeding at suppressing within-row weed pressure. However, average total weeding time was higher in the grit weeded treatments than hand weeded. While this implies that grit weeding may be a more labor-in-

The Stevens County Times 

2018 Farm progress Edition

Saturday, March 17, 2018 S11

Commentary Dairy and Conservation Reserve Program are two key pieces for farm bill find budget savings as we have in the past, but we won’t have any new money to work with either. This is why we are taking a close look to make sure that the farm bill’s many provisions are operating as effectively as possible and make the necessary changes in cases where they may not be. Going into this year, we knew that both the cotton and dairy safety nets were not providing adequate support and would need to be addressed. Fortunately, the recently enacted Bipartisan Budget Act included language to fix both programs. While this is a positive step, I believe the changes to the Dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) fall short of responding to the difficult times facing dairy farmers.

I am advocating for a dairy safety net that would cost taxpayers less while providing better protection for dairy farmers. Dairy price projections show that by raising the margin coverage level up to $9.00, farmers would receive additional coverage and an increase in payment frequency, giving them both the safety net they need during low price times and confidence in the program delivery. I believe this is in the long- term best interest of dairy farmers, especially the smaller producers who are really hurting right now. Farmers have repeatedly said MPP doesn’t work, and thus have no interest in participating. If we can improve the program, I think producer interest will

Farm camps scheduled for the summer Are you looking for a fun and educational day camp for your kids entering grades 3-6? Register today for the seventh annual Farm Camp Minnesota. This year, the oneday camp will be held in three different locations, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The camp is put on by and sponsored by farmers, farm organizations, agribusinesses and volunteers. Preregistration is required. For more information or to register, go to or email us at Farmcampmn@ If you are interested in bringing a group, please contact us via email, or at P.O. Box 93, Janesville, MN 56048 or at 507-351-9348.

Farm Camp allows campers the opportunity to learn about today’s agriculture, where their food comes from, how it is grown and how farm products are used in our daily life. Each camper will have the opportunity to learn about

various types of livestock and crop farms, including pork, beef, dairy, turkey, corn, soybeans and vegetables. They will also learn about the equipment used on farms, and at the Dundas and Waseca sites will each get a ride in a tractor.

gram acres while ensuring programs, the bill includes rental rates better reflect nutrition, rural developwhat is happening on the ment, energy, research, ground. This will poten- specialty crop, trade, credit tially help with crop prices and forestry programs, all but, more importantly, will of which affect Americans improve water quality and across the country. wildlife habitat. I’m working closely with I’m also taking a close my colleagues on both sides look at strengthening of the aisle to find common our rural development ground and write a bill that programs to assist with has the bipartisan support expanding broadband coverage to better connect necessary to be passed rural residents in under- by the House and Senate served areas and help tack- and signed into law. Farm le the opioid crisis that is bills have a tradition of devastating rural America. being bipartisan and, even The farm bill is a broad though it is rare in Washand wide-ranging piece of ington these days, I believe legislation. In addition to we can work together and the dairy and conservation get a new farm bill in 2018.

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increase. At the same time, the mindset around MPP needs to change. This is an insurance program to help dairy producers weather extreme price sw ings — it isn’t a guaranteed payout. MPP is also just one piece of the larger safety net. We’re improving the Livestock Gross Margin (LGM) program, and other insurance products are coming on the market to give dairy farmers the necessary options to best protect against their risk. Reforming the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is my other farm bill priority. I think we can do so in a way that will expand pro-

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Minnesota Congressman Collin C. Peterson Ranking Member, U.S. House Agriculture Committee The House Agriculture Committee spent last summer traveling the country, includCollin ing a stop at Peterson Farmfest in Minnesota, to gather input from farmers, ranchers, rural citizens and others affected by the farm bill in preparation for the bill’s reauthorization. We’re now taking this information and drafting a bill that I hope will be released to the public in the coming weeks. This is not an easy task. We aren’t going to have to

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FarmProgressIssue.indd 1

2/12/18 3:50 PM

2018 Farm Progress Edition

Effects of flies on dairy cattle welfare and productivity

The Stevens County Times

46132 State Hwy 28 Morris, MN (320) 589-5390 Mike Buendgen


S12 Saturday, March 17, 2018 

Dylan Schuster

By Brad Heins Associate Professor, Organic Dairy Management University of Minnesota, West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris

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The Cow-Vac system used for flies at WCROC. any given time and most chemical sprays are rubbed or washed off of cows before achieving satisfactory results. Reduction or elimination of breeding sites is one of the most common methods to manage populations. Any effort to manage breeding sites must often be coordinated with neighboring farms to prevent dispersal. Horn flies are small, biting flies that are primarily pests of cattle. The horn fly develops in fresh cattle dung pats and nowhere else. These flies spend almost all their time on a cow, often along the back or sides, where they feed several times per day. Cows can temporarily dislodge horn flies with head throws or tail flicks, but flies will quickly settle on the same or a nearby cow once the cow stills. Several factors may influence horn fly attraction to a particular cow, including color, breed of cow, time of day and innate, heritable resistance. Great effort is spent on controlling this fly. Chemical, mechanical and biological control methods have been developed as ways to manage horn fly populations. Face flies resemble house flies and feed on bodily secretions, usually around the eyes and mouth of cows. Face flies spend relatively little time on their host. These flies are most active during the day and are typically a problem to pastured cattle, as they seldom enter barns

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or animal shelters. Although feeding habits of face flies are annoying to cattle, there is little evidence of negatively affected growth or milk production. Fly presence encourages cows to move more frequently to newer areas and to alter feeding bouts. Cows annoyed by flies exhaust energy once directed toward production in an attempt to dislodge flies. Intensity of attacks varies with time of day and weather conditions. Flies are particularly active when winds are low and temperatures are high. Under intense attack, cows often abandon eating and bunch close together. Bunching is a herd response to fly activity where cows attempt to limit surface area exposed to attack. Oftentimes, cows will gather in a tight circle with heads in the center. However, cows in such close proximity have increased risk of heat stress and weight loss. At the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center dairy, we have been evaluating a unique method (Spalding Cow-Vac™) for controlling pasture flies without the use of chemicals. The Cow-Vac is compatible with grazing dairying, because a trap can be positioned at the entrance to a milking parlor, where cows come and go twice per day. During the summer of 2015, we


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Sanitation should be the primary control option on any dairy. Because synthetic pesticides are not allowed on organic dairies, proper sanitation is of the utmost importance. Manure and feed provide the ideal habitat for house and stable fly production. Manure and old feed should be removed daily, or at least twice a week, from calf pens, holding areas, feed areas and milking areas. To ensure success on your dairy, producers need to properly identify key pests, understand their biology and habitat, monitor their populations and then reduce the fly population through mechanical or biological management techniques. Ultimately, there are many tactics that you can try out on your own farm. Take notes and evaluate how well things worked, what didn’t work, where you can find additional answers to improve the well-being of cattle and reduce pests.

More and more businesses are seeing the value of drone use, he said. “I have an extreme passion for it. I need to be careful not to get ahead of myself,” Nohl said. Yet, his drones were made to fly. “I have to keep the drone in the air. If they are sitting around, they aren’t doing anything for you,” Nohl said.

with a drone.


is considered a six zone. “I’m free to fly without contacting the FAA,” he said. From Page S5 Nohl said his business and the drone commercial industry is poised of the improvements in the equip- for growth. His brother Taylor will ment. “Last year that would have soon obtain his drone commerical taken me all day,” he said. pilot license. An intern will also When a farmer needs to decide join the company to work on video if he must replant a crop, he may and other projects for the business. only have a day to make a decision if he’s near the end of the planting season. “They don’t have extra time to wait. They need it in real time,” Nohl said. While drones have improved over the past several years, Nohl must work within several parameters. The battery life for his drone is 35 minutes. “I would love to fly for an hour on one battery. The technology is getting there …,” Nohl said. He brings multiple batteries to any worksite. “I can’t fly in rain. I can’t fly in wind. I can’t fly at night,” Nohl said. He’s comfortable flying with wind speeds up to 20 mph. He must also obey Federal Air Administration regulations when flying. He contacts local air traffic control while flying in Colorado or California or in certain flight zones. The air space in Stevens County A photo of a home in California taken


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Fly control is always a hot topic with dairy producers, because there are not a lot of viable options to alleviate fly pressure. Nuisance flies are typically most active from May to October in northern regions, and are active year-round in warmer climates. These flies feed on cattle, whether housed indoors or on pasture. Cows are irritated by fly feeding behavior and can become very stressed under excessive fly populations. Cows also become restless and spend less time lying down when under heavy fly pressure. Prolonged exposure to fly irritation can lead to a decrease in production. Although flies cannot realistically be eliminated from a farm, producers benefit from fly management with more comfortable animals and people. Proper management can keep fly populations in check to minimize negative effects. Three important blood sucking pest flies on dairy cattle in the Upper Midwest are the stable fly, horn fly and face fly. Stable flies develop as maggots in a wide array of decomposing organic matter, including soiled animal bedding and soiled feed debris that accumulates wherever cattle are confined. Dairy farm surveys indicate calf hutch bedding is a prominent source of stable flies around dairies, and choice of bedding material can minimize (pine shavings and sawdust contained fewer flies than straw) stable fly production. More recently, it has also become apparent that feed debris and manure that accumulate during winter are also important sources of stable flies, especially where overwintered debris piles remain intact into the following summer. Adult stable flies closely resemble house flies, but are easily distinguished by piercing mouthparts that protrude from under the head. These flies are often found on the legs of cows. Bites from stable flies are painful. Frequent bites stress cattle, leading to decreased weight gain and milk production. Control of adult stable flies is difficult. Only a small percentage of total population are found on cows at

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2018 Farm Progress edition

The Stevens County Times 

Saturday, March 17, 2018 S13

Electrical and thermal energy use in commercial swine barns K. Sharpe1, E. Buchanan1, M. Reese1, K. Janni2, and L. Johnston1. 1 West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris 2 Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, St. Paul With consumers demanding products with a reduced environmental footprint, companies across the globe from Target to General Mills are advertising their commitment to environmental sustainability and minimization of ecological impacts. This commitment begins with working toward reducing carbon emissions and increasing sustainability at the foundation of these industries: the producers. During the past several years, researchers from the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) have been approached by companies and agricultural producers interested in reducing their environmental footprint. To help producers reduce energy consumption and meet pressures from consumers to reduce emissions, researchers at the WCROC set out to collect baseline energy data from agricultural production systems. A recently completed project focused on electricity and heating fuel consumption in commercial swine barns to help shed some light on opportunities to reduce fossil energy consumption.

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Heat lamps used for sows and piglets. Typical Midwest pork production systems consist of three phases tailored to fit the needs of pigs at different life stages: breed-to-wean, nursery, and finishing. The breedto-wean phase includes housing of mature sows during gestation, lactation, and of piglets from birth to weaning. Typically, a sow will enter the birthing room one week before farrowing and remain in the room for about three weeks with her piglets. The piglets, which are about 12 pounds and 21 days old, are moved at weaning to nursery facilities. The sows

are moved back to gestation rooms for mating and pregnancy, and the cycle repeats. The nursery phase includes housing of the newly-weaned pigs until they are generally 9 weeks old and about 50 pounds. In the finishing phase, pigs grow from 50 pounds to their market weight of approximately 280 pounds when they are about 25 weeks of age. During each of these phases, pigs have very different environmental requirements, which in turn require differing fossil fuel inputs. In the breed-to-wean phase, sows require extensive

cooling during the summer, which is typically supplied by exhaust fans and hanging stir fans. The piglets in this phase require extensive heating especially during the first week of life which is supplied by propane heaters and heat lamps. In the nursery phase, pigs require both heating and cooling depending on their body weight and season of the year, which are provided by propane heaters and fans, respectively. Pigs in the finishing phase typically require year-round cooling due to body heat generated by pigs in the barn.

To collect baseline energy data, two commercial facilities from west-central Minnesota representing typical Upper Midwest swine production systems were selected for each phase of production: two breed-to-wean barns (BW-A and BW-B), two nursery barns (NB-A and NB-B), and two finishing barns (FB-A and FB-B). Electricity use was monitored by sensors installed on various loads throughout each barn (ex: ventilation fans, heat lamps, lights, etc.). Propane use was collected from propane invoices sent to the producers. Electricity and propane use were averaged between barns within each stage of production and divided by the number of pigs produced from each barn (Table 1). Electricity and propane usage were similar between breedto-wean barns despite a difference of 29,000 pigs produced annually from the two different barns. Heat lamps used the highest proportion of total electricity in both breed-

For tips on improving energy efficiency of heating and ventilation systems in swine barns, visit presentations from our recent Midwest Farm Energy Conference (https://wcroc.cfans. Additionally, an article published on “The Pig Site” in 2012 outlines the importance of providing heat to preweaned piglets and advantages of utilizing heat pads versus heat lamps (http://www.thepigsite. com/swinenews/31730/ the-importance-of-proper-heat-placement-infarrowing/). This project was funded by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).

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to-wean barns. Electricity and propane usage per pig was similar in both nursery barns despite an annual pig production difference of 50,000 pigs. Ventilation accounted for the largest proportion of the total electricity used by each nursery. Total amounts of electricity used to produce one market pig ranged from 4.12 kWh (curtain-sided barn) to 14.40 kWh (tunnel-ventilated barn). Propane use ranged from 0.49 gal/pig (curtain-sided barn) to 0.34 gal/pig (tunnel-ventilated barn). Despite barn design differences, ventilation was the largest user of electricity during the finishing phase. Based on this study, heat lamps in breed-to-wean units and ventilation systems across all three phases of pork production were the most significant users of electricity. Improving the efficiency of these electrical loads and propane use should provide opportunities to improve profitability as well as the carbon footprint of modern pork production systems.

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From Page S12

evaluated the efficacy of the Cow-Vac in on-farm dairy production systems to control horn flies, stable flies and face flies. The study partnered with eight grazing dairy farms in Minnesota, and herds ranged from 30 to 350 cows in size. The results of fly counts and milk production for the presence or absence of the Cow-Vac on farms are in the accompanying table (Table 1) on page S12. Horn fly numbers on cows were reduced by 44 percent on farm in the presence of a Cow-Vac compared to the absence of a Cow-Vac. Stable fly and face fly numbers were similar on farms whether the Cow-Vac was present or absent. Milk production was similar for farms with the Cow-Vac compared to without the CowVac. In summary, these results indicate the Cow-Vac was effective in reducing horn fly numbers on cows and reduced horn fly growth rates during the pasture season in dairy production systems.

2018 Farm Progress Section

S14 Saturday, March 17, 2018 

The Stevens County Times


National Ag Day: March 20, 2018


Food for Life

American agriculture is the foundation of our country. It’s the backbone of a healthy and prosperous nation that’s American agriculture is the foundation of our country. It’s the backbone of a healthy and prosperous nation that’s made possible made possible by the hard work of America’s farms and farm families.

by the hard work of America’s farms and farm families.

The Agriculture Council of America is proud to celebrate the nutritious and plentiful contributions of our

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2018 Stevens County Times Farm Progress  

An annual publication highlighting agricultural businesses and research.

2018 Stevens County Times Farm Progress  

An annual publication highlighting agricultural businesses and research.