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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

Monthly Archives: May 2011

Associated Press writer Besty Blaney wrote and excellent peice in the Drovers Cattlenetwork this week on the cost of the current drought to Texas producers. While the western edge of our county saw some substanial rain a week ago, hot temperatures and high winds evaporated much of it away. The rest of the county is still in rough shape and the weatherman isn’t painting any rosey pictures just yet. Today’s higher humidities is offering at least a moderation in temperature.

To commerical producers, no grazing forage becomes expensive fast with tight supplies of hay. Most horse and hobby farmettes have animals as a life-style choice and will pay whatever the market is, but cattlemen need to see the opportunity to profit and falling cattle prices coupled with rising hay prices makes that unlikely.

Blaney’s article is linked here:–122580124.html

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On May 5, 1868, John A. Logan, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization of Union Civil War veterans, issued General Orders No. 11 which called upon all members to observe a day or memorial to their fallen comrades. General Orders No. 11 reads:

“The 30th day of May, 1868 is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit. We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind of fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic. If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us. Let us, then at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation’s gratitude, the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.”

Growing up in a family of veterans and now having a son serving in the Marine Corps I find Memorial Day is especially meaningful for my family. I extend a heartfelt “thank you” to the families who have lost sons and daughters in service to our county. I ask that everyone reflect upon the ultimate sacrifices made by those in service to our country.

Just one day out of the year to honor our loved ones, our ancestors, our friends who died in conflicts and wars — not to honor war, but those that died in those conflicts and wars.

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USDA announced this past week that it is reducing its recommended cooking temperature for pork muscle
cuts to 145° F internal temperature followed by a three minute rest time before carving or consuming.

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Currently, there are still 25 known horses in Texas that attended the event and 336 cohorts (stablemates) of the 25 that are currently being held under movement restrictions. The single confirmed case which was a horse from New Mexico that sought treatment in a veterinary clinic in Texas is now recovering. The horse returned to its original premises of origin. The single “suspect” case that was reported Thursday, May 19, from Jack County tested negative for EHV-1, however was euthanized due to the severity of its unrelated illness. TAHC continues to evaluate other unrelated horses with clinical signs, but no additional cases have been confirmed at this time.

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According to the Texas Forest Service we are on the eastern edge of extremely dry, windy conditions that are expected to worsen today, increasing the
potential for wildfires.

Unprecedented drought conditions across the state, combined with low humidity and high winds, create a perfect storm for wildfires that can spread at a rapid pace, placing lives and property in harm’s way. Extreme caution should be practiced as any spark can be a deadly spark.

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The Texas AgriLife Extension Service has published online a  survey of regional and state rates charged for custom agricultural operations.

“Each  year, AgriLife Extension receives many requests for prevailing rates for certain kinds of work and custom farm or machine operations,” said  Dr. Steven Klose, AgriLife Extension economist in College Station. “This  is an update of information that has been used extensively over the  years.”

To view rates for various custom operations, visit .

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While the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) is investigating approximately 20 horses for potential exposure to the neurologic form of Equine Herpesvirus 1 (EHV 1) disease, many horse owners have contacted the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) to test their horses for EHV 1.

TVMDL strongly recommends that horse owners who want to test their animals for EHV 1 request Equine Herpesvirus type 1 PCR (EHV1 PCR). Turnaround time for PCR is no more than five working days. Acceptable samples are nasal swabs and whole blood (EDTA). For euthanized animals or abortion cases, we recommend fresh tissues (liver, spleen, brain), aborted fetus or placenta. In these cases, suitable tests are EHV1 PCR and histopathology EHV 1 is a reportable disease to the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) and an accredited veterinarian must be involved in the specimen submission process. If clinical disease is suspected nasal swabs and whole blood (EDTA) may also be submitted for virus isolation. Specimens should be submitted by overnight courier. Results from virus isolation require a two week turnaround time.

Serology testing from a single sample has no diagnostic value due to widespread EHV1 exposure and vaccination in the general equine population.

Please send purple tops and/or nasal swabs to TVMDL’s College Station laboratory:

Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory

1 Sippel Rd.

College Station, TX 77843

If owners or their veterinarians have any questions or concerns about diagnostic testing for EHV1, please contact TVMDL: Phone (979) 8453414

Toll Free (888) 6465623

Fax (979) 8451794

For authoritative news and information about EHV1, TVMDL suggests the TAHC web site at


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