Feedlot Update - August 2019

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Feedlot Update

August 2019

BAH building outreach for African Swine Fever prevention


Preparation is the best way to prevent African Swine Fever from entering the U.S. The Board of Animal Health (BAH) has been busy building outreach materials to inform the public, producers, veterinarians and markets about how they can prevent this and other swine diseases. The new market-specific flyers are available in multiple languages, and provide a background on ASF, how to prevent it with biosecurity, and how it relates to the Board's oversight of swine programs. Click here to access the ASF two-page flyer.

Another new flyer from the BAH is being distributed at select feed stores across the state. The "Know the Signs of Foreign Animal Diseases" flyer is designed for hobby or backyard swine owners. It not only depicts examples of ASF clinical signs they should look for in their animals, it also outlines foot and mouth disease and classical swine fever. All of those diseases are reportable to the Board and the intent of the flyer is to raise awareness and encourage swine owners to contact a veterinarian if they suspect anything is amiss with their animals. Click here for the "Know the Signs of Foreign Animal Diseases" flyer.

Summer beef tour highlights dairy, beef in Morris area

lloyd fehr lauren carlson

The Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association Summer Beef Tour July 8 featured livestock and other industries in the Morris area. Hosted locally by the West Central Cattlemen's Association, the tour visited some of the state's most innovative beef and dairy farming operations. Photo right: Lloyd Fehr (left) and Lauren Carlson chat over lunch. Fehr is a founder of Riverview Farms; Carlson is a past cattlemen's association president and founder of the summer tours, which started in the early 1970s.

Tour stops:

  • Moore Calves: Riverview LLP’s Stevens County calf depot.  
  • Tegrity Feedlot: Cattle to finish weights (formerly Leonard Wulf & Sons location). 
  •  JMF Herefords and Sim Angus: Purebred operation hosting on farm bull sale each spring. 
  • Dennis Feuchtenberger: Monoslope slat barn. 
  • Bonanza Bean: Edible bean processor. Cleaning, drying, packaging a variety of edible beans. 
  • Blackwelder Dairy: Robotic milking units and feed pusher. 
  • Bruce Sperr: Covered feedlot system. 
  • Wally Kill: Antique oil memorabilia.  Restored gasoline pumps, signage, and filling station collector’s items.
2019 summer beef tour cattle grazing

Cattle grazing at JMF Herefords and SimAngus seed stock ranch near Holloway

Stony Creek Farm hosts Soil Health Academy Aug. 13-15

stoney creek farm

Once again the Soil Health Academy will be conducting an intensive three-day workshop Aug. 13-15 at the Grant and Dawn Breitkreutz' Stoney Creek Farm  (photo) west of Redwood Falls. It will examine all aspects of regenerative farming and ranching, soil health, plant health, and animal health. Hands-on experience will be emphasized.

Taught by highly experienced and regenerative farmers, participants will work in teams to solve real-world grazing problems and sharpen their skills. Topics will include: Principles of soil health and adaptive stewardship, restoring vibrant ecosystems through adaptive grazing, making grazing highly profitable and desirable, successful marketing, strategies for enhanced net margins, nutrient management, designing cover crop mixes, farm economics and whole farm planning.

"We are very proud to have found our way to improving soil health," says Grant. "We see the increased wildlife, biological life in the soil, improved grain yields, and the improved health of our livestock. We have eliminated erosion and improved water infiltration, which means we now keep the water where it's supposed to be. What could be better than that?"  For more information and to register online.

Highly contagious horse disease confirmed in Clay County

A six-week-old quarter horse was euthanized in Clay County on July 15, and post-mortem tests confirmed it was infected with the highly contagious disease Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM). The Minnesota Board of Animal Health is responding to the case by activating its EHM control plan and placing the Clay County farm under quarantine to closely monitor the remaining horses for EHM. BAH news release.

The most common way for EHM to spread from horse to horse is by nose-to-nose contact. EHM can also spread by contact with contaminated objects like tack, feed and water buckets, grooming equipment, and a person’s hands or clothing. Horses may appear healthy yet still spread the virus. Horse owners are reminded of the importance of adhering to stringent biosecurity practices to prevent the further spread of EHM and other contagious diseases. A general biosecurity steps flyer is available on the Board’s website. EHM control plan: https://www.bah.state.mn.us/media/ehm-control-plan.pdf

Notice of intent to adopt rules governing Mycoplasma requirements of turkeys

willmar poultry testing lab

On June 24, 2019, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (BAH) published a notice of intent to adopt rules governing poultry and Mycoplasma requirements in turkeys. Due to an email notification issue, the BAH republished the notice of intent on July 22, 2019 and extending the original comment period to ensure all parties affected by the proposed rules have been notified and given an opportunity to comment.

Under the current rules, testing for Mycoplasma gallisepticum and Mycoplasma synoviae is required for all turkey hatcheries and breeding flocks. Similar rules also apply to poultry dealers, those attending community sales and exhibitions, and those importing turkeys into Minnesota. The rule amendments would restrict the Mycoplasma testing and/or Mycoplasma clean classification requirement to commercial turkey producers, consistent with the requirements for commercial egg-type chicken and commercial meat-type chicken hatcheries and breeding flocks.

With the amendment the rules will continue to focus the Mycoplasma surveillance and control programs on high-risk, high-consequence commercial premises while allowing small backyard/exhibition turkey producers to obtain unusual or rare breeds of birds from flocks that may not be participating in similar Mycoplasma surveillance programs. The amended rules would also better align with the testing expectations for backyard/exhibition turkeys in other states.

The proposed rules are available for viewing, along with the statement of need and reasonableness (SONAR), on the BAH rulemaking webpage: https://www.bah.state.mn.us/public-rule-making/. The SONAR contains a summary of the justification for the proposed rules, including a description of who will be affected by the proposed rules and an estimate of the probable cost of the proposed rules. You may obtain copies of the SONAR for the cost of reproduction by contacting the agency contact person.

You may submit written comments on the proposed rules and may also submit a written request that a hearing be held on the rules until 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 21, 2019. Written and oral comments, questions and requests for more information on these possible rules should be directed to:

Dr. Shauna Voss Minnesota Board of Animal Health, Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory 622 Business Hwy 71 NE, P.O. Box 126 Willmar, MN 56201

Phone: 320-231-5170 Fax: 320-231-6071 Email: shauna.voss@state.mn.us

You may also review the proposed rule and submit written comments via the Office of Administrative Hearings Rulemaking e-comments website at https://minnesotaoah.granicusideas.com/discussions.

The BAH is required to submit to the judge only those written comments received in response to the rules after they are proposed. If you submitted comments during the development of the rules and you want to ensure that the Administrative Law Judge reviews the comments, you should resubmit the comments after the rules are formally proposed. If you would like to be included on the Board’s official rulemaking mailing list, please sign up at: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/MNBAH/subscriber/new.

USDA phasing out visual-only animal ID in favor of RFID

livestock ear tags

USDA has announced a proposal to phase out visual-only official identification (ID) ear tags in an effort to move towards official radio frequency ID (RFID) ear tags (beginning with ‘840’ for USA born livestock). The current proposal is that metal National Uniform Eartagging System (NUES) tags, including silver metal and orange Brucellosis vaccination tags, continue to be provided at no cost through the Minnesota Board of Animal Health office until Dec. 31, 2019, or earlier if funds are depleted.

Once the metal NUES tags are no longer available from the Board office, accredited veterinarians will have the ability to purchase them from either Ketchum Manufacturing or National Band and Tag companies through December 31, 2020. Livestock producers may contact their veterinarian or a tag supply company to purchase official ID.

As of January 1, 2021, NUES tags (both metal and plastic) are proposed to no longer be available from any source. NUES tags applied prior to that date are proposed to be recognized as official ID through December 31, 2022.

USDA approved devices:

MPCA Feedlot Program notes

MPCA feedlot staff update

Mark Gernes has relocated from the MPCA Rochester office to Mankato. Will Martens is relocating from Mankato to St. Paul. A vacancy remains in the Brainerd office. The map below shows current county assignments for MPCA staff.

feedlot program county assignments


Aug. 13: Organic Dairy Day, West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris.
Dec. 3-5: Minnesota Dairy Expo, Treasure Island, Red Wing.
Dec. 12-14: Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association conference, Willmar Conference Center.
Jan. 22-23: Minnesota Ag Expo, Mankato Convention Center.
Jan. 28-29, 2020: Minnesota Pork Congress, Minneapolis Convention Center.

Send the news

The MPCA Feedlot Update welcomes news from partners about, projects, people, and upcoming events. Email submissions to forrest.peterson@state.mn.us. Past issues of Feedlot Update are available on the feedlot program publications webpage.