eMerge Interactive, Inc. to Merge With Prime BioSolutions, LLC
SEBASTIAN, Fla. and OMAHA, Neb., Oct. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — eMerge Interactive, Inc. (Nasdaq: EMRG – News; “eMerge”) and the sole member of PRIME BioSolutions, LLC (“PRIME”) jointly announced that today they signed a definitive agreement pursuant to which PRIME will be merged into a subsidiary of eMerge. Upon completion of the transaction, eMerge will change its name to PRIME BioSolutions, Inc. (the “Company”) and will be headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska.
Canadian farmer launches mad cow class action lawsuit
ABC News (AU)
A Quebec farmer asked a court for permission to launch a class action suit against the Canadian Government and an Australian feed producer, saying their negligence sparked a recent mad cow crisis in Canada.
If approved, the case would be the first in Canada since a case of mad cow disease was discovered in Canada in May 2003, prompting more than 30 countries to ban Canadian beef imports.
It could also lead to similar lawsuits across the country.
Rancher Donald Berneche said in court documents that embargoes on Canadian beef cost him about $C100,000 ($A116.4).
Some 20,000 Quebec farmers likely to be represented in the suit could claim as much as $C20 billion ($A23.29 billion).
Livestock Grants Still Available
Despite the recent rain Missouri farmers are still feeling the effects of this year’s drought.
For the past two years drought has plagued Missouri farmers. Now a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant is available to help livestock farmers.
Jack Wordelman has been farming cattle since he was a child. He’s one of many Missouri farmers who qualify for the livestock assistance grant program. The program is designed to help Missouri livestock producers recover losses due to drought conditions. But not everyone thinks the USDA is doing enough to help.
The first time you saw extruded feed, you probably thought, “Ick. Dog food!” The nondescript brown lumps do look a lot like your hound’s kibble, or some sort of uninspired version of Cocoa Puffs, and in fact they’re made by the same process–but as horse feeds go, they’re actually quite unique. Those puffed-up nuggets of grain can slow down your horse’s rate of feed intake and reduce the risk of choke and colic, and their superior digestibility can help horses extract more energy from less feed.
FDA ready to back marketing of food from cloned animals
Agency points to new data showing milk, meat are safe for consumption
By RICK WEISS
WASHINGTON – Three years after the Food and Drug Administration first hinted that it might permit the sale of milk and meat from cloned animals, prompting public reactions that ranged from curiosity to disgust, the agency is poised to endorse marketing of the mass-produced animals for public consumption.
The decision, expected by the end of this year, is based largely on new data indicating that milk and meat from cloned livestock and their offspring pose no unique risks to consumers.
Organic food is worth the extra cost
Tulare Advance-Register (CA)
Ten years ago, I joined an organic food production co-op. It was the only way I could get fresh organic produce on a regular basis.
For a flat fee, I received a weekly delivery of organic vegetables or fruits during the growing season. Unfortunately, you had to accept whatever they gave you, and you tended to get whatever crop happened to come in that week.
So I’d go to my front porch on Wednesday morning and find a bushel of squash, okra or spinach. You can imagine how this might challenge one’s culinary creativity, especially for someone like me who has almost no cooking skills.
It wasn’t very convenient or efficient, but I supported the co-op anyway, partly because at the time organic farmers weren’t welcome to sell their produce to the big retailers, and the co-op was the only way they could stay in business.
DNA Markers Developed to Improve Beef Quality
by: Michael P. Heaton, Ph.D
Researchers at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) in Clay Center, Neb., are developing a set of 100 DNA markers that will provide essential genetic information for improving food safety and beef quality in North American beef and dairy cattle. This powerful set of markers has been thoroughly screened to accomplish both DNA fingerprinting and parentage testing in essentially all U.S. beef and dairy populations an ability that only a small fraction of known DNA markers have.
One key to success has been the careful sampling of U.S. beef and dairy populations to create a test panel representing the vast majority of U.S. cattle. A group of 216 diverse sires from 19 beef breeds and four dairy breeds was selected for marker testing. Their DNA is being sequenced in selected regions and markers are chosen that work well for the entire group. The rationale is this: if the markers perform well in this diverse group of 216 sires, they will work well in most U.S. cattle herds and beyond.
Kansas Producers Find Niche in Grass-fed Beef
LAWRENCE, Kan. — With growing concerns about obesity problems in our nation, many consumers are looking for healthier alternatives for their diets. Melvin and Joyce Williams, owners of MJ Ranch near Lawrence, Kan., have recognized this demand, and are hoping to fill it with leaner 100 percent grass-fed beef.
The Williams´ have recently converted their ranch into a sustainable, rotational-grazing operation. They say they made the change, not only because of the growing demand, but because of the benefits to the environment.
“It´s just better on the land,” said Melvin. “It helps to preserve the natural grasslands, and gives us better water quality, because there isn´t as much concentrated manure.”
Charts: Cow & Heifer Slaughter vs. Cattle Herd Growth Rate
Make sure calves receive two doses of vaccine
Since a single dose may not be enough to produce an adequate level of herd immunity, North Dakota Extension veterinarian Charlie Stoltenow says giving a second dose is a kind of “insurance policy.” He emphasizes that two doses are especially important when administering killed vaccines because they don’t produce as strong an immune response as MLV vaccines.
Cattle supply: Fourth quarter will be key in herd expansion
James Mintert, agricultural economics expert at Kansas State University Research and Extension, says that recent trends have clouded the picture of the U.S. cattle herd, and that fourth-quarter statistics will be key to interpreting the picture.
Beef processors are counting on an expanding herd to rein in high prices and provide a larger number of younger cattle to meet demand in Japan, where prices are high, but only beef from animals 20 months or younger is allowed, Meatingplace.com reported.
A huge bump in cattle sent to slaughter in the late summer has clouded a picture of a rapidly expanding herd stimulated by high prices for cattle and calves, Mintert said. “This year’s beef and dairy cow slaughter combined total has been 10.5% higher than a year ago,” he noted. “The big rise in beef cow slaughter has stimulated speculation that the U.S. has shifted from herd expansion to herd liquidation. But is this really the case?”
He points to a jump in steer slaughter, but a decline in heifer slaughter as indicative that farmers are culling their herds of steers, perhaps due to drought conditions, while holding back heifers to rebuild the herd next year.
“So far this year, the ratio of female to steer slaughter is 0.833, suggesting that producers are still trying to expand their herds despite drought and poor pasture conditions,” Mintert said. “Fourth-quarter cow and heifer slaughter will ultimately determine what happens.”
Animal Terrorism Bill Clears Senate
By Pork news staff
The U.S. Senate approved the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (S. 3880) last week, which would close loopholes and increase penalties in a federal law dealing with criminal acts against animal enterprises. The bill amends the previously enacted Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992 – an animal agriculture and biomedical research initiative that made animal-rights terrorism a federal crime.
The new bill would revise criminal prohibitions against damaging or interfering with the operation of an animal enterprise. This includes intentional damage or property loss, intentional death threats or serious bodily injury against individuals involved with animal enterprises, their family members or intimate partners.