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TheDairySite Newsletter - 02 May 2014

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TheDairySite
Friday 2nd May 2014.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley
Editor


MSD Animal Health

Novus International

Pastures From Space and Cow Microphones

Intensive dairying may lend itself to precision technologies but grass-based systems can also benefit from gadgets.

This allows grazing management to become an act of science rather than an ‘act of faith’, attendees at the British Society of Animal Science (BSAS) Annual Meeting heard on Wednesday.

High above Western Australia, three satellites are measuring pasture availability on a livestock farm near Perth.

Instruments on board the satellites measure the reflectance of visible and invisible light from the earth’s surface, producing images and colours, to which numbers can be assigned.

These numbers are then used to calculate kilograms of pasture per hectare which can be used to assist feed budgeting, grazing, fertiliser application and rotation decisions, according to the CSIRO, the organisation partnering the Australian government in the project.

As well as producing a biomass figure for ‘feed on offer’ (FOO), daily grass growth rates can be reached by using climate information to estimate kilograms of herbage per hectare.

For Dr Mark Rutter of Harper Adams University, this has great potential in increasing agricultural productivity as it optimises the use of farmland making up two thirds of the world’s agricultural space – rangeland and pasture.

However, satellite pasture management falls down where there is greater cloud cover, explained Dr Rutter, although other alternatives are at hand, he told the BSAS audience.

Rising plate meters and vehicle-based pasture meters do the same job as the Australian satellites but on a field level.

Drawn by a quad bike or tractor, pasture meters can give estimations of pasture availability across greater areas and in less time than a rising plate can, although neither can rival the coverage of satellites.

And while greater accuracy can be expected by measurements taken from instruments within fields, the Australians are able to measure feed in areas as small as 20 square metres.

But Dr Rutter suggested that attaching microphones to cows’ skulls to detect chewing and biting could offer the greatest benefits, particularly if combined with a accelerometer to monitor head movements.

Describing the merits of bioacoustics, Dr Rutter said: “By giving a ‘bite to chew ratio’ and clocking grazing time, an estimate of herbage intake and quantity can be given.”

"It is through combining chew sounds and measuring head movement that farming could have the greatest opportunity for on-farm grazing monitoring." 


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This Week's Articles and Analysis

Confined Livestock Operations Account for Majority of Chesapeake Bay Area’s Farmland With Applied Manure
An analysis of livestock production in the Chesapeake Bay area by Stacy Sneeringer of the USDA Economic Research Service suggests that policies addressing manure nutrient discharges from small and medium-sized concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) may be needed if larger reductions in Bay nutrient pollution are desired.

What Floors and Surfaces Help Cow Longevity?
Lameness problems in cows can be prevented through investing in construction but also in simple management considerations like reducing waiting times and exposure to abrasive and unhygienic floors.

Free-stall Stocking Density Affects Productivity
Whether stocking density in a freestall barn effects dairy cow productivity was a question posed to a Ohio extension expert recently.

Timed Artificial Insemination in Dairy Heifers
One delayed heifer pregnancy can cost you over two dollars a day in raising cost, which is why timed insemination should be considered to achieve pregnancy at the desired age, say Professor Jose Santos and Dr Fabio Lima, University of Florida.

Market Reports

USDA Agricultural Prices - 30 April 2014
USDA National Dairy Products Sales Report - 30 April 2014
USDA Dairy Products - 29 April 2014
USDA Cattle on Feed - 25 April 2014

Global Dairy Industry News

   Czech Republic

Czech Livestock Output Falls in First Quarter

   Global

Can We Feed the World Using Foley's Five Steps?
Farmers Must Drive Precision Livestock Farming
Tsetse Fly Genome Breakthrough Brings Hope for African Livestock Farmers
Animal Welfare to Take Centre Stage on World Veterinary Day
World Milk Demand to Be 68 Per Cent Higher by 2050
Cows Produce Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, Says Manure Study
Nutreco Revenues Rise
US, Japan Leaders Vow to Enhance Bilateral Ties
New Title Shows David Brown Was a Global Leader

   India

India Pegs $9.20 billion Investment on Agri-Infra Schemes
Kwality Dairy Plans $50 million Investment on Dairy Expansion
Cadbury India Renamed Mondelez India Foods Limited
India's Milk Production To Hit 177 MT By 2019-20
Gujarat Milk Federation Output Up 32 Per Cent During Last Year

   United Kingdom

Focusing on Feed at Cereals 2014
High-yielding Forage Rape Ideal for boosting Grazing Options
Muller Drops Milk Price by 1.6 Pence Per Litre from 1st June
Challenge from Dairy Sector to Make a Difference
Sales Profits Grow at Fane Valley

   United States

Farmers Union President Discusses COOL, Competition and RFS at House Livestock Hearing
Wyckoff's Closing Cattle Report: Live Cattle Closed Higher
Hog Futures: Lean Hogs Closed Down on Thursday

   Tunisia

Illegal Cattle Movements End Tunisia's Foot and Mouth Free Run

   Mongolia

Mongolian Foot and Mouth Disease Spreads South
FMD Reported in Mongolia; Livestock Receive Vaccination
FMD NEWS: FMD Reported in Mongolia; Livestock Vaccinated

   Brazil

BRF Sees Good Growth First Quarter

   Tanzania

Norway and Tanzania Unite in Cattle Project

   Spain

Government Slammed Over Low April Milk Prices

   Colombia

Farmers to Receive Discount Cattle Feed As Drought Measure
Scientists Working on New Clearer IBR Vaccine

   China

Royal Opening for Arla Chinese Technology Centre
Chinese Farm Produce Prices Continue to Fall

   Germany

How Much Electricity Does One Cow Supply?

Events/Promotions

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The Drost Project - A Visual Guide to Porcine, Pig Reproduction.
Sales Representative - Agricultural Industry
VIV India 2014
VIV Europe 2014

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