Featured Articles

  • Aug
    26
    Exposing Agricultural Trade Suppression Act Introduced


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    The Exposing Agricultural Trade Suppression Act (EATS Act) was introduced as a rebuttal to California’s Proposition 12 (Prop 12), a policy that would establish minimum space requirements for breeding pigs, calves raised for veal, and egg-laying hens within the state. It also bans the sale of pork, veal, and eggs from animals raised elsewhere if their living conditions do not meet California’s standards.

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  • Aug
    26
    Court Rules Beef Checkoff as Constitutional


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    The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF) lost the challenge they brought against the Beef Checkoff. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed the constitutionality of the program. R-CALF claimed the program violated the First Amendment.

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  • Aug
    26
    Heirs’ Property Relending Program Announced


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    Tom Vilsack, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Secretary of Agriculture announced that the USDA will provide $67 million in competitive loans through the new Heirs’ Property Relending Program (HPRP), aimed to help agricultural producers and landowners resolve heirs’ land ownership and succession issues, specifically in minority communities.

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  • Aug
    23
    Modulation of jejunal mucosa-associated microbiota in relation to intestinal health and nutrient digestibility in pigs by supplementation of β-glucanase to corn–soybean meal-based diets with xylanase


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    A study recently published in the Journal of Animal Science aimed to evaluate the effects of increasing levels of β-glucanase on the modulation of jejunal mucosa-associated microbiota in relation to nutrient digestibility and intestinal health of pigs fed diets with 30% corn distiller’s dried grains with solubles and xylanase. A recent study, Chen et al. (2020) evaluated the effects of increasing levels of xylanase on intestinal health and growth performance of nursery pigs and demonstrated that xylanase effectively enhanced intestinal health and growth performance of nursery pigs.

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  • Aug
    23
    Interpretive Summary: Hybrid rye may replace up to 75% of the corn in diets for gestating and lactating sows without negatively impacting sow and piglet performance


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    Historically, rye has not been used in swine diets due to ergot contamination and high concentrations of antinutritional factors. However, new hybrid varieties offer a reduction in ergot contamination and antinutritional factors. Recent research has compared hybrid rye to barley, wheat, and soybean meal when fed to sows; however, no data compares it to corn diets.

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  • Aug
    23
    Interpretive Summary: Impact of manganese amino acid complex on tissue-specific trace mineral distribution and corpus luteum function in gilts


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    Manganese (Mn) is an essential element used as a cofactor for enzymes involved in synthesizing cholesterol, which is the precursor for producing steroid hormones necessary for proper reproductive function.

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  • Aug
    23
    Interpretive Summary: Net energy value of canola meal, field pea, and wheat millrun fed to growing-finishing pigs


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    Energy is the most expensive component of swine diets; thus, optimizing energy utilization is needed to reduce costs. One way to maximize utilization is matching dietary energy supply to its requirements by pigs. Energy values of certain feedstuffs are critical to making this match. In North America, canola meal, field pea, and wheat millrun (WE) are alternatives to soybean meal (SBM) and cereal grain.

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  • Aug
    19
    Interpretive Summary: Investigating pig survival in different production phases using genomic models


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    Optimizing the survivability of pigs is crucial for both animal welfare and the productivity of farms. Typically, up to a third of pigs do not survive to harvesting. Survivability is poorest from birth to postweaning and various factors such as environment, infection and other external stressors can impact morbidity and mortality.

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  • Aug
    19
    Interpretive Summary: Impact of including the cause of missing records on genetic evaluations for growth in commercial pigs


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    Hot carcass weight (HCW) and birth weight (BW) are two heritable traits that are of high value in commercial pig breeding. These traits are valuable because they are needed to calculate accurate predictive breeding values.

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  • Aug
    19
    Interpretive Summary: Source of trace minerals impacts digestibility in steers


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    The source of trace minerals in animal feed may impact its digestibility. In this recent study published in the Journal of Animal Science, researchers compared the neutral detergent fiber (NDF) digestibility of hydroxy trace minerals (HTMs) and sulfate trace minerals (STM) in steers. They hypothesized that the source of trace minerals would impact both digestibility and rumen fermentation. They also hypothesized that ruminal soluble concentrations of minerals would differ based on trace mineral source.

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  • Aug
    12
    Interpretive Summary: Evaluation of sow thermal preference across three stages of reproduction


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    Heat stress has had significant adverse effects on the swine industry, including infertility in sows, characterized by anestrus, increased wean-to-estrus interval. However, heat stress is not limited to lactation. It may also affect a sow during gestation, causing increased embryo mortality, reduced farrowing rate, reduced litter size and weight, and an increased number of stillborn piglets.

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  • Aug
    12
    Interpretive Summary: Infographic: Effect of guanidinoacetic acid supplementation in cattle.


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    Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) is a naturally occurring precursor to creatine and is an important fuel source for muscle; therefore, it can improve the performance of growing cattle. Scientists believe the mechanism by which performance is enhanced includes increases in IGF-1 serum and feed conversions.

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  • Aug
    12
    Duenk Genomic Selection Review: Optimizing genomic selection for crossbred performance by model improvement and data collection


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    Crossbreeding, genetically crossing purebred lines to improve the performance of the progeny, is widely practiced in pig and poultry production. However, this practice is made more challenging because the selection practices occur on purebred lines, but the performance improvements are measured in the crossbred offspring. The genetic correlation between purebred and crossbred performance can be predicted, meaning a breeding value can be calculated for crossbred animals.

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  • Aug
    07
    Interpretive Summary: Development of a model to predict dietary metabolizable energy from digestible energy in beef cattle


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    Understanding the utilization of feed energy is essential for precision feeding in the production of beef cattle. A study recently published in the Journal of Animal Science aimed to assess whether predicting the metabolizable energy to digestible energy ratio, rather than a prediction of metabolizable energy with digestible energy, is feasible; in addition, the research team aimed to develop a model equation to predict metabolizable energy based on digestible energy measurement and dietary components in beef cattle.

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  • Aug
    07
    Interpretive Summary: Programming of postnatal phenotype caused by exposure of cultured embryos from Brahman cattle to colony-stimulating factor 2 and serum


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    It is known that alterations in the environment of the preimplantation embryo can affect competence to establish pregnancy and phenotype of resultant calves, but there is no clear evidence for the effects of serum on postnatal phenotype of calves. A study recently published in the Journal of Animal Science evaluated the postnatal programming actions of the embryokine colony-stimulating factor 2 and serum using Brahman embryos produced in vitro.

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  • Aug
    07
    Interpretive Summary: Efficacy of phage therapy in pigs


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    While antibiotics are the cornerstone of disease control in livestock, there are growing global concerns over the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria and numerous countries have implemented policies to reduce the routine use of antibiotics in livestock. Therefore, research is needed to identify alternative methods for disease control.

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  • Aug
    05
    Interpretive Summary: Greater ileal digestibility of amino acids in sunflower expellers than sunflower meal in growing pigs


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    Currently, amino acids (AA) in poultry and livestock feed are primarily derived from soybean meal. Cheaper and more sustainable alternatives to soybean meal are needed. One such alternative is sunflower coproducts.

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  • Aug
    05
    Interpretive Summary: Wingless-type mouse mammary tumor virus integration site regulation of bovine theca cells


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    Wingless-type mouse mammary tumor virus integration site (WNT) signaling molecules are intraovarian factors that may influence follicular maturation and development. It is hypothesized that WNT ligands and frizzled family members (FZD) impact ovarian paracrine function and mammalian follicular development.

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  • Aug
    05
    Zimmermann breed heterotic mature weight cattle


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    The mature weight of cows at slaughter has increased over the last several decades, making the day-to-day management and feeding costs can also increase. This can affect the efficiency of cattle production, but most studies have demonstrated that the association between cow weight and efficiency is highly dependent on environment.

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  • Aug
    05
    2021 National ASAS-Academic Quadrathlon


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    After a virtual Academic Quadrathlon (AQ) in 2020, the 2021 National ASAS-AQ was conducted during the annual ASAS meeting in Louisville, Ky with the AQ event being hosted by the University of Kentucky, Department of Animal and Food Sciences in Lexington on July 17 and 18.

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