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Ag and Extension Briefs

Get registered for PorkBridge and SowBridge programs

Registration for both PorkBridge and SowBridge distance education programs is now open. PorkBridge is aimed at those who own, manage or work in swine grow-finish facilities. SowBridge is for people involved in managing or caring for sows, and/or their litters, and boars, including operation owners, employees, technicians, managers and technical service providers. Both programs begin in early February 2020.

University of Minnesota Swine Extension Educator Sarah Schieck Boelke said the programs offer accurate and timely information on a variety of topics through a regular schedule.

“Producers and others in the industry can get the information they need without the hassle of traveling or giving up a whole day to attend a meeting,” Schieck said. “Participants in the PorkBridge and SowBridge programs can take part where it works best for them whether at home, in an office or in the swine unit. And whether or not they can participate in the live session, all sessions are recorded and audio files are available for download from each session for later use.”

To get a sample of each program people can view a PorkBridge and SowBridge session from 2017 at https://z.umn.edu/PB-sample and  https://z.umn.edu/SB-sample respectively.

The PorkBridge program has six sessions generally offered on the first Thursday of every other month starting in February 2020. All sessions start at 11:30 a.m. Central Time and will last a maximum of 60 minutes, which includes time for questions. Cost for the series is $100 for the first registration from an entity and $50 for each subsequent registration from the same entity.

Registration information for PorkBridge can be found on the University of Minnesota Extension webpage under courses and events at z.umn.edu/PorkBridgeRegistration.

PorkBridge 2020 session dates, topics, speakers and their industry affiliation are as follows:

• Feb. 6 — “African Swine Fever and Secure Pork Supply” by Pam Zaabel, Iowa State University, Center for Food Security & Public Health

• April 2 — “Maintenance of Euthanasia Equipment” by Steve Moeller, The Ohio State University

• May 28 — “In-barn Impacts on Meat Quality” by Matt Ritter, Provimi US

• Aug. 6 — “Tail, Ear, and Flank Biting: Reasons Why and How to Address” by Yuzhi Li, University of Minnesota

• Oct. 1 — “Proper Application of Disinfectants” by Jose Ramirez, Virox Animal Health

• Dec. 3 — “Precision Technologies for Commercial Pork Production” by Andy Brudtkuhl, National Pork Board

The SowBridge program has 12 monthly sessions throughout the year generally scheduled for the first Wednesday of the month. All sessions start at 11:30 a.m. Central Time and last no longer than 60 minutes, which includes time for questions. Cost for the series is $200 for the first registration from an entity and $100 for each subsequent registration from the same entity.

Registration information for SowBridge can be found on the University of Minnesota Extension webpage under courses and events at z.umn.edu/SowBridgeRegistration.

SowBridge 2020 session dates, topics, speakers and their industry affiliation are as follows:

• Feb. 5 — “African Swine Fever and Secure Pork Supply” by Pam Zaabel, Iowa State University

• March 4 — “What You Need to Know About Foreign Animal Diseases” by Justin Brown, Iowa State University, and Chelsea Hamilton, IDALS and ISU

• April 1 — “Feeding Strategies for Pre-farrow Females on Piglet Survivability” Kiah Gourley and Jason Woodworth, Kansas State University

• May 6 — “Impact of Drying Newborn Piglets” Mike Ellis, University of Illinois

• May 27 — “Porcine Circovirus type 3: What We Know” by Albert Rovira, University of Minnesota

• July 1 — “Capturing Value of Cull Sows” by Ken Stalder, Iowa State University

• Aug. 5 — “Maintenance of Euthanasia Equipment” by Steve Moeller, The Ohio State University

• Sept. 2 — “Gestation/Lactation Ventilation Do’s and Don’ts” by Erin Cortus, University of Minnesota

• Oct. 7 — “Proper Disinfectant Application” by Jose Ramirez, Virox Animal Health

• Nov. 4 — “Induction Protocol Updates” by Rob Knox, University of Illinois

• Dec. 2 — “Upcoming Technology in Pork Production” by Andy Brudtkuhl, National Pork Board

• Jan. 6 (2021) — “Electronic Sow Feeding Management Tips and Tricks” by Tom Parsons, University of Pennsylvania

Registrations for both programs are due Jan. 15 to ensure materials are received for the first session.

Before each session, subscribers will receive an email message with links to download materials for that session. Those who request it also receive the same materials via mailed CD. During the scheduled time, participants call in to listen to and interact with the presenter.

PorkBridge and SowBridge are provided by a group of 11 universities with Sarah Schieck Boelke and Lee Johnston of the University of Minnesota Extension serving as program coordinators. Iowa Pork Industry Center coordinates all registration and subscriber mailings.

Maine wants to recycle more agricultural plastic waste

ORONO, Maine (AP) — Maine wants to find a way to keep more of the plastic used by agriculture greenhouses out of landfills with a new recycling program.

The state is targeting low-density polyethylene, which is a clear film used to cover agricultural structures such as greenhouses and high tunnels. The state disposes of more than 30 tons of the plastic, and most of it goes to landfills, according to the University of Maine.

Growth in soybean exports seen as a trade war win

CANNON FALLS — News of an uptick in U.S. soybean exports to China was seen as a step in the right direction for Minnesota farmers.

According to Bloomberg News, U.S soybean exports hit their highest mark in 20 months — dating back to the start of the trade war with China in early 2018 — with 2.6 million tons headed to China in November, up from the 1.1 million tons shipped in October.

“Last year, there was nothing moving to China (on soybeans),” said Brad Hovel, a Cannon Falls-area farmer and a director representing Goodhue County on the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association board. “This year, we’ve seen some movement. It’s important that our congress people and senators get some things completed on the trade deals.”

Iowa land prices stabilize

AMES, Iowa — Farmland values in Iowa rose 2.3% in the past year, according to the annual Iowa Land Value Survey released Dec. 11, but officials caution that the move is more of a sign of stabilization than of a rally in farmland prices.

“All signs in general are still signaling a stabilizing market,” said Wengdong Zhang, an assistant professor of economics at Iowa State University who is in charge of the survey.

The survey, conducted by Iowa State University and the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), has been conducted annually since 1941.

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