July 15, 2015

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in cooperation with Feedstuffs / Feedstuffs FoodLink

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 Ken Olson, Ph: 630-237-4961, keolson@prodigy.net

             SPECIAL 2015 JAM COVERAGE


Welcome to JAM 2015

Welcome to our expanded coverage of the 2015 Joint Annual Meeting of the American Dairy Science Association® (ADSA®) and the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS).

Whether you are in Orlando as one of the more than 3,000 participants in the meeting, or if you were unable to attend this year's meeting, we hope you will find this additional coverage valuable.

We appreciate the assistance of the Graduate Student Division who will be helping with the reporting for our daily editions. We will also be using social media at the meeting. If you are on Twitter, watch for #JAM2015 for tweets from the JAM. We also have a You Tube channel "ADSANews" where you will find video clips from activities at the JAM.

We welcome your feedback on the coverage and hope you enjoy our special JAM 2015 coverage.
For more information on JAM, visit http://www.jtmtg.org/JAM/2015/

News from JAM 2015 

Making of healthier cattle starts at conception

Beef producers and veterinarians will need to make a paradigm shift from antibiotic residue avoidance alone to prevention of both antibiotic residues and antibiotic resistance in production units, according to Dr. Daniel Thomson of Kansas State University at the Beef Species Symposium at the 2015 JAM.

Performance is still important, but the industry and consumers are also talking about animal welfare, pain, sustainability and infectious disease, he said.

The beef industry is at a tipping point on these issues and must proactively approach them, he added.

As far as reducing antibiotic use in cattle, Thomson said antibiotic resistance is not about facts and science but addressing fears. Complete removal of antibiotics from use in animal agriculture would not be prudent or practical for animal health or well-being, he said.

It all starts at the farm or ranch on how the cows and calves are managed, and then management decisions made at feedlot receiving further influences the health of the calf and whether antibiotics are required, Thomson said. To change outcomes, you must change the process.

Thomson listed some current practices he sees as issues in antibiotic overuse in beef production, including poor hospital pen management and the increasing use of medicated darts used to treat sick cattle. He showed photos of such darts found imbedded in beef muscle at the slaughter plant because the dart guns were not used appropriately.

He explained that strategies that will improve animal health will also decrease antibiotic use, which, in turn, should decrease antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic use can be decreased in beef production if the focus is applied to improvements in pre- and perinatal nutrition, neonatal calf housing and management, weaning calf management, marketing systems, transportation, receiving calf programs and nutritional management of finishing cattle.

Thomson also introduced his "One BEEF Concept" that includes all parts of the beef industry -- anyone that owns beef live, in the box, in the fridge or on the plate. Along that chain, everyone should work to share continuous improvement, he said.

Consumer awareness of animal diseases measured  

In an effort to determine how well-versed consumers are with prominent animal diseases, Purdue University researchers Elizabeth Byrd, Nicole Widmar and John Lee conducted a study. They reported their results at the 2015 JAM.


Specifically they looked at bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), porcine epidemic virus diarrhea (PEDv), tuberculosis (TB), chronic wasting disease (CWD), leptospirosis, rabies and food and mouth disease (FMD) and found that 30% of respondents had heard of BSE, 17% heard of PEDv and 27% heard of CWD.


Various demographic factors were found, through cross tabulations, to be associated with the awareness of animal diseases.


Being a college graduate, someone who regularly hunts, a pet owner, or a member of an animal welfare activist group were all positively correlated with having heard of BSE, PEDv and leptospirosis. Reporting concern for the welfare of beef cattle, dairy cattle or pigs was positively correlated with being aware of all diseases analyzed.

Read more

Production efficiency of dairy cows explored  


The ADSA Production Division Symposium focused on increasing production efficiency of the dairy cow. Presenters included Dr. Chad Dechow (Genetics of Productive Life), Dr. Victor Cabrera (Economics of production efficiency: Nutritional grouping), Dr. Milo Wiltbank (Potential benefits of nutrition on reproductive performance of high efficiency dairy cows), Dr. Trevor DeVries (Providing facilities to improve health, welfare, and productive life), and Dr. Jeffrey Bewley (Precision dairy monitoring technologies as tools to improve dairy production efficiency). Summaries from three of these presentations follow.

Dechow began his talk with a question: Could selection for efficiency actually be reducing efficiency? He challenged the audience to think about selection on a whole farm basis and not only think about the effect of yield on efficiency, but also the effect of fitness. His discussion focused on the importance of continuing to use productive life in breeding selection. However, Dechow expects that the U.S. will put less emphasis on productive life in the future. He clarified that this is not because it lacks importance, but that we should be able to replace some of the productive life selection with health evaluation information as that data becomes available (similar to what other countries have done).

According to Cabrera, nutritional grouping provides an opportunity for improved economic efficiency. The benefits of nutritional grouping are well established, even if it is not a commonly adopted practice. If considering nutritional grouping, Cabrera recommended keeping two things in mind. The first thing to keep in mind is that choosing the criteria to group your cows by is important. If nutritional grouping occurs, most farmers tend to group my milk production. However, literature suggests that milk production is only preferred after grouping by cluster, dairy merit, dairy merit weighted by days in milk, days in milk, and fat correct milk. The second thing to keep in mind when considering grouping is that the formulated diets need to be nutrient specific. Although some literature suggests there is a negative impact from nutritional grouping because of social hierarchy and diet issues, Cabrera emphasized that the health and environmental benefits outweigh those problems.  Cabrera suggested, if grouping, to have a fresh cow group plus three additional feeding groups and to carefully consider the size of each group (depending on the herd size and available facilities) and the frequency of re-grouping.

Wiltbank thinks of reproduction as having four major influencing factors: genetics, physiology, management, and nutrition. Within nutrition, he identified four areas that can be focused on to improve reproduction. The first area where reproductive improvements can be made through nutrition is via dry period nutritional management.  Wiltbank discussed one study where vitamin E supplementation in the dry period resulted in reduced retained placenta, stillbirth incidence, and pregnancy loss. The second area where reproductive improvements can be made through nutrition is via optimizing body condition score and body condition score changes. Because reproduction is related to energy balance, focusing on achieving ideal body condition score by the time of insemination and reducing body condition score losses in the first 21 days of lactation is essential. The third area where reproductive improvements can be made through nutrition is via optimizing nutrition near insemination. There is evidence that increased dietary carbohydrates, decreased dietary fat, and decreased dietary fiber negatively affects reproductive performance. The fourth thing Wiltbank was careful to emphasize was that nutrition is not a magic bullet and will not fix all reproduction problems.


Karmella Dolecheck is originally from Twin Falls, Idaho. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Kentucky, focusing on dairy farm economics and decision making.

Transition cow health highlights session 



An international gathering of transition cow researchers presented their findings on subclinical ketosis, metritis, and other transition dairy cow diseases during the transition cow health session at the 2015 Joint Annual Meeting of the American Dairy Science Association and the American Society of Animal Science in Orlando, Florida.


The session covered a plethora of topics focusing on transition cow disease effects and detection, from novel cow-side calcium quantification to precision dairy technologies measuring behavior.


An interesting highlight of the session was from University of Guelph researchers (Ontario, Canada).  Over three studies, they reported that thresholds for disease detection and occurrence of disease differed by farm and by disease.  They suggested that cut-off points for disease detection may need to vary by farm, disease, lactation, and previous lactations milk yield.


Another highlight was work conducted by Cornell University researchers (Ithaca, New York).  Using an SCR tag, they found changes in rumination and activity could predict metabolic disease occurrence an average of 2 days before clinical signs were picked up by farm personnel.  Changes in rumination and activity could predict mastitis occurrence an average of 19 hours before clinical signs were picked up by farm personnel. 


Aside from the discussed research, several researchers from other groups presented their results.

Elizabeth Eckelkamp earned a BS from Louisiana State University, a MS from the University of Kentucky, and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree from the University of Kentucky studying Dairy Systems Management and focusing on Precision Dairy Technology application on commercial farms.

Global livestock production challenges outlined 

Feeding a rapidly growing global population is an enormous challenge and requires a livestock industry that is managed efficiently and sustainably, Michael Galyean of Texas Tech University said at the 2015 JAM.

While trade issues may limit expansion, he said developed countries have much potential and the export of livestock products should remain an important feature of the North America role.

Likewise, Galyean said, a potentially significant role for North America to play in meeting worldwide food production needs is that of providing leadership in research and development related to sustainable livestock production systems that fit economies and cultures in developing nations. This, he noted, will require renewed commitments to support agricultural research and a recognition of the historical and cultural importance of livestock production.

Animal behavior and well-being are session topics  


The 2015 Joint Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida was a banner year in attendance. Nearly 3,500 dairy enthusiasts from around the world were on hand to engage in scientific talks, competitions, and networking events. Two of these scientific talks involved animal behavior and well-being.

The first talk was conducted by Mary C. Cramer from the University of Wisconsin and focused on the development of a behavior based screening tool for disease detection in preweaned group-housed dairy calves. Cramer highlighted two important diseases in dairy calves, diarrhea and bovine respiratory disease, and the need to improve disease detection. Mild bovine respiratory disease was prevalent in 11% of the calves, severe bovine respiratory disease was prevalent in 15% of the calves, diarrhea was prevalent in 22% of the calves, and fever was prevalent in 12% of the calves. Calves with severe bovine respiratory disease express behavior thought to relate to sickness and disease impacts animal welfare.

The second talk was conducted by Randi A. Black from the University of Tennessee and highlighted the evolution of pelleting a feed through larvicide on dairy calf behavior and fly control. Black highlighted that flies are a nuisance and are bad for the health and well-being of cattle. She also stated that stable flies cost the North American cattle industry $2 billion in damage. The objective of this study was to determine whether feeding a pelleted larvicide feed would reduce fly emergence without negatively affecting calf behavior. The study discovered that fewer pupae emerged during a washout period when calves were fed the treatment for 4 days, had a washout period for 15 days, and then were fed a control for 4 days. The larvicide also did not negatively affect calf behavior. These two talks open up work for future studies and progression in their respective areas.


Barbara Wadsworth is originally from Hiram, Maine where she grew up on a hobby beef farm and raised replacement Holstein heifers during her ten years in 4-H. She graduated with her B.S. from Purdue University, and her M.S. from the University of Kentucky. She is currently working on her Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky studying lameness detection using precision dairy farming technologies.

Future of feed business, live animal production in Asia outlined 

By 2050, the world's population will be 9-10 billion people, with at least 40% of the population in Asia. Currently, the feed production volume of Asia contributes about 40%, with Chinese production of 190 million metric tons (mmt). 

The major live animal production countries in Asia include China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Malaysia and Japan.

Overall, China is the dominant animal producer, with live pork production at about 53 mmt, aquaculture at 46 mmt, eggs at 27 mmt, white and yellow poultry at 6 mmt, and lamb, sheep and beef at 5 mmt.

Genfeng (Ian) Yi with the Aquaculture Science & Technology Group of Beijing Dabeinong (DBN) Technology Group Co. Ltd., explained at the 2015 JAM that with fast economic growth and increasing revenue, urbanization, a growing middle-class population, food safety concerns, environmental pressures, and progress of science and technology, the Asian market, especially the Chinese market, faces numerous development opportunities and challenges.

It was noted that the major challenges for Asian feed and live animal production are as follows:
(1) how to supply sufficient safe animal protein and milk to the growing demands of consumers; (2) how to run large-scale and high-input farms efficiently; (3) how to train and attract professionals for live animal production; (4) how to find final resources for modern agribusiness; (5) how to ensure biosecurity and disease control; (6) how to deal with the conflict of the environment and increased live animal production; (7) how to control soaring feed ingredient costs and reduce overall live animal production cost; (8) how to solve international trading interests and conflicts; (9) how to upgrade and use Internet and "web of things" technology for modern agribusiness; (10) how to integrate and consolidate industry chains and face international competition; (11) molecular and disease-resistance breeding technology; (12) how to innovate and apply new science and technology; (13) organic animal production; (14) antibiotic residue issues; (15) impact of climatic change on animal and aquaculture production (Asia accounts for 90% of world aquaculture production); (16) limited water and land resources; (17) GMO and transgenic issues of plants and their effect on animal production; (18) Naotechnology; (19) bioactive substances and biotechnology application, and (20) local governmental policies and regulations.

The future of live animal production must include high production efficiency, low carbon production, organic foods, and minimal production cost and maximal production profitability. Asian live animal production needs to be more environmentally friendly, health-oriented, nutritious, safe, sustainable, and affordable to consumers, it was concluded.

Ahead to 2050: Global livestock production challenges reviewed 

The session included presentations by speakers representing Europe, Latin America and Africa in addition to those from China/Asia and North America that were reported previously.  While there are differences in climate, economic development and many other conditions it was interesting that food safety, animal welfare, sustainability, water and antibiotic use were noted as consumer concerns on all continents. Speakers from both Latin America and Africa reminded the group that they are made up of multiple nations and have the most land available for agriculture in fact Africa has 60% of the arable land in the world. While challenges exist both areas also project higher growth rates for the production of beef and milk than the rest of the world as we move to 2050.  They also indicated that livestock production has a long history among the people and that livestock serves as a "living banking system" for the poor and a way to lift many out of poverty.  Rather than relying on imports to meet food needs, they see substantial opportunities to increase food production locally and prefer to look for technology suited to their conditions that will facilitate meeting food needs.  

JAM 2015 Extra

Congratulations to the winners of the
2015 American Dairy Science Association awards


Alltech Inc. Graduate Student Paper Publication Award
Natalia Martinez-Patino

American Feed Industry Association Award

Jan Dijkstra

Cargill Animal Nutrition Young Scientist Award

Jeffrey Bewley

DeLaval Dairy Extension Award

Jan Shearer

Elanco Award for Excellence in Dairy Science

David Barbano

Hoard's Dairyman Youth Development Award

Bonnie Ayars

International Dairy Foods Association Research Award in Dairy Foods Processing

Harjinder Singh

J. L. Lush Award in Animal Breeding

John Cole

Purina Animal Nutrition Teaching Award in Dairy Production

William Silvia

International Dairy Foods Association Teaching Award in Dairy Science

Carmen Moraru

National Milk Producers Federation Richard M. Hoyt Award

Rafael Bisinotto

Nutrition Professionals Inc. Applied Dairy Nutrition Award

Rick Grant

Zoetis Physiology Award

John McNamara

DuPont Pioneer Forage Award

Richard Muck

West Agro Inc. Award

Christian Burvenich

Genevieve Christen Distinguished Undergraduate Student Award

Logan Worden

ADSA Foundation Scholar Award in Dairy Foods

Kerry Kaylegian

ADSA Foundation Scholar Award in Dairy Production

Jeffrey Bewley

ADSA Award of Honor

Roger Shanks

ADSA Distinguished Service Award

Douglas Wilson

ADSA Fellows

Jim Drackley

MaryAnne Drake

Jeffrey Stevenson

William Weiss

Journal of Dairy Science® Most Cited Awards

Dairy Foods

Adriano Cruz

Physiology and Management

Sarne de Vliegher

Nutrition, Feeding, and Calves

Qendrim Zebeli

Genetics and Breeding

Ben Hayes

Thanks to the 2015 ADSA Award Donors for making the awards possible

ABS Global Inc.

Alltech Biotechnology Center

American Dairy Science Association

American Dairy Science Association Foundation

American Feed Industry Association

Cargill Animal Nutrition

Dairy Research Institute

DeLaval Inc.

DuPont Pioneer

Elanco Animal Health-Eli Lilly and Company


Hoard's Dairyman

International Dairy Foods Association

Kraft Foods

Lallemand Animal Nutrition

Leprino Foods

Milk Industry Foundation

National Milk Producers Federation

Schedule Highlights for Wednesday, July 15


Morning (2 hours)Afternoon (3 hours)
Poster Session (Authors present 7:30-9:30) 
Mixed Models Workshop
ASAS Graduate Student Symposium: Networking to achieve interdisciplinary researchADSA-ASAS Northeast Section Symposium: Bridging the gap between animal protein production and consumers, current and future
Dairy Foods Symposium: Advances in bacterial exopolysaccharides-From production to applications in dairy foods and healthAnimal Health Symposium: Maintaining animal health in organic dairy herds
Growth and Development Symposium: The mitochondrion-A powerhouse for the cell
or a key to animal productivity?
Horse Species Symposium: Recent advances in the micro-biome and physiology of the hind-gut of the horse and dogCompanion Animals Symposium: Comparative nutrition-Protein and energy across species
Small Ruminant Symposium: Genetic improvement in small ruminants for the futureDairy Foods Symposium: Processing and ingredient innovations to grow fluid milk sales
Breeding and Genetics: Beef and Meat SpeciesPhysiology and Endocrinology Symposium: Insulin revisited
Dairy Foods: Processing & ChemistryProduction, Management, and the Environment Symposium: Environmental footprint of livestock production-Greenhouse gas emissions and climate change
Physiology and Endocrinology: Estrous synchronization and metabolismAnimal Behavior and Well-Being II
Production, Management, and the Environment IIIBeef Species I
Production, Management, and the Environment IVBreeding and Genetics: Application and Methods - Dairy II
Ruminant Nutrition: Lactation ResponsesBreeding and Genetics: Poultry and Swine
Ruminant Nutrition: Mineral nutritionMilk Protein and Enzymes
 Nonruminant Nutrition: Immune Support
 Production, Management, and the Environment V
 Ruminant Nutrition: Modifying Rumen Microbial Populations



Thanks to our Corporate Sustaining members for their ongoing support of ADSA and the Journal of Dairy Science®.

Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition

Adisseo North America


Akey, Inc.

Elanco Animal Health

Pfizer Animal Health

Varied Industries Corp.

SoyPLUS / SoyChlor

Diamond V Mills Inc

Kent Feeds

Grande Cheese Co.

Danisco USA Inc

Land O'Lakes Inc

Kraft Foods

GEA Farm Technologies (Westfalia/Surge)

Prince Agri Products

Novus International

BioZyme Inc.

Ag Processing Inc.

Darling International Research

Performance Products, Inc.

MIN-AD, Inc.

Quali Tech

Zook Nutrition & Management

Swedish Univ. of Agri. Sciences


For information on
Corporate membership
please Click here


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