Wednesday, November 22, 2017

ELD regulations delayed for livestock haulers

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has placed a 90-day delay on the implementation of electronic logging devices (ELD) for agriculture commodities.
The announcement was made by DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA) at a briefing on Nov. 20. FMCSA still plans to move forward with the ELD rule on Dec. 18, 2017. ELDs are a record keeping device synchronized to a truck engine that logs information digitally. In real-time an ELD records data such as time spent on the road, miles driven, location and engine hours.
A 90-day waiver for agriculture commodities will begin on Dec. 18 in an effort for FMCSA to evaluate issues revolving around the hours of service requirements. The primary concern for agriculture has come from livestock haulers.
Organizations like the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), have questioned the hours of service mandates affiliated with the ELD.
“The ELDs regulation poses some serious challenges for livestock haulers and the animals in their care,” says NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill. “This waiver will give the department time to consider our request that truckers transporting hogs, cattle and other livestock be exempt from the ELDs mandate.”
Under the ELD rule, truckers have an hours of service limit of 11 hours of driving in a 24 hour period. Drivers can be on-duty a total of 14 hours consecutively, including the 11 hours of drive time. After 11 hours are reached, drivers must rest and be off-duty for 10 consecutive hours.
The hours of service stipulations make it difficult to transport livestock long distances without either stopping to unload midway at holding facilities or keeping livestock in the trailer for the 10 hour wait time. Another option to stay within regulations would be using teams of drivers, but there has been a shortage of drivers, especially for livestock transportation.
FMCSA plans to have a comment period in the coming weeks to seek guidance on a potential hours of service exemption for agriculture commodity transport. The government organization will also help clarify the 150 air mile exemption and the related hours of service.
“We look forward to continuing this dialogue with the agency to provide relief for transporters from the restrictive hours of service rules, a regulatory burden that will have a severe impact on the ability of livestock haulers to continue to do business in a way that is both economically feasible and ensures the utmost consideration for animal welfare and safety,” Lia Biondo, director of policy and outreach at USCA.

FMCSA says in a statement, “Public participation in this guidance is essential to the process, so we ask for continued engagement from all impacted stakeholder groups across industries.”

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Small Ruminant Profit School available online

The Small Ruminant Profit School is a very good program for any producer.  Please look at the information below and if you are interested, follow the link in the message to sign up.
No longer will you have to worry about scheduling 6 all-day classes on your calendar and worry about driving long distances to take this course. You can now take it at home, at your own pace and in the order that best fits your needs. How great to be able to watch Newborn Care as you are going through your lambing/kidding season or Foot Rot/Hoof Trimming when you have an animal that is lame!

SRPS consists of 15 modules- 13 online videos and 2 face-to-face classes. Wait! Thought you said this was an online course! Because topics like nutrition, body condition scoring, hoof trimming, vaccinating and FAMACHA scoring are not topics conducive to an online platform, we will still be offering these classes in person. Here is a list of the modules taught in the course:

  Module 1: Welcome to SRPS
  Module 2: Industry Overview
  Module 3: Breeds of Goats & Sheep (including pros & cons for the most popular breeds in Kentucky)
  Module 4: Market Trends & Niche Marketing
  Module 5: Facilities and Fencing
  Module 6: Guardian Animals
  Module 7: Health Management
  Module 8: Foot Care and Hoof Trimming (accompanied by an on-site workshop at the KSU Benson Research Farm and/or UK C. Oran Little Sheep Research Unit)
  Module 9: Nutrition (on-site class at the KSU Research Farm) 
  Module 10: Quality Assurance
  Module 11: Parasite Management
  Module 12: Reproduction, Genetics & Selection, Birthing Difficulties, and Care of Newborns
  Module 13: Record Keeping
  Module 14: Mating Systems
  Module 15: Annual Production Plans
   FAMACHA Training 
  Hands-on Body Condition Scoring Workshop 
  Numerous additional resources on rotational grazing, pasture management, handling, and much more! 

SRPS will be offered in two packages:

Online Only- With the Online Only Package, you will have access to all the video modules, as well as downloadable files of the presentations and SRPS notebook materials. Feel free to download/print the materials you need.
There are two prices- $75 for current KGPA and KSWPA members; $105 for non-members. (Registration fee includes the two face-to-face classes)

Online & Print- With the Online & Print Package, you will have access to all the video modules, downloadable files and receive a complete SRPS notebook via mail. Notebook will come complete with 3 ring binder, tabs and over 400 pages of materials. There are two prices- $95 for current KGPA and KSWPA members; $125 for non-members.

To register for the course, go here!

Once you register, you have access to the materials for 12 months.

Why is SRPS for You?
  Designed for Beginning Farmers (5 years or less) in goats and sheep. Of course all producers are invited to take part in the classes!
  SRPS will help you learn the basics and how to properly implement sound management practices into your operation.
  SPRS participants will have a two year, FREE membership to the Goat Herd Improvement Program (GHIP) (and this is good for sheep too!).
  Participants will receive a wide variety of resource materials including printable and handouts, links to University publications, subscription to HoofPrint Magazine, the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Management Calendar and much more!
  SRPS graduates can apply for the New Beginning Farmer Loan offered by the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Council. (Graduates are those that complete evaluations for all 15 modules and have attended the two on-site classes.)

Kelley Yates
Executive Director
Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office
PO Box 4709
Frankfort, KY 40604

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Recordings of Kentucky State programs available

Last month at the Third Thursday program we recorded the presentations conducted in the center and have the recordings available for your viewing.  
The programs were:
Creating a Sustainable Livestock Enterprise
Mineral Nutrition for Small Ruminants (was divided into 2 parts due to technical difficulties)
Using Performance Data and NSIP in your Sheep and Goats
Animal Evaluation for Health and Management.

Ken Andries
Assistant Professor, Animal Science
Kentucky State University
CEB 105/113
Office: 502-597-5094
Cell: 502-229-8719

10:10 – 10:50 am

Click links above to view recordings
Ken Andries
11:00 – 11:50  am
Mineral Nutrition for Small Ruminants part 2 (technical difficulties!)
Click links above to view recordings
Ibukun “Mike” Ogunade

1:00 – 1:50 pm
Click on link above to view recording
Description: National Sheep Improvement Program
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Click on link above to view recording
Emily Clement
Jessica Lay
Fred Bebe
and Goat Crew

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

New map details worldwide croplands

Date: November 14, 2017

A new map was released today detailing croplands worldwide in the highest resolution yet, helping to ensure global food and water security in a sustainable way.

The map establishes that there are 1.87 billion hectares of croplands in the world, which is 15 to 20 percent—or 250 to 350 million hectares (Mha)—higher than former assessments. The change is due to more detailed understanding of large areas that were never mapped before or were inaccurately mapped as non-croplands.

Earlier studies showed either China or the United States as having the highest net cropland area, but this study shows that India ranks first, with 179.8 Mha (9.6 percent of the global net cropland area). Second is the United States with 167.8 Mha (8.9 percent), China with 165.2 Mha (8.8 percent) and Russia with 155.8 Mha (8.3 percent). Statistics of every country in the world can be viewed in an interactive map (click here).

South Asia and Europe can be considered agricultural capitals of the world due to the percentage of croplands of the total geographic area. Croplands make up more than 80 percent of Moldova, San Marino and Hungary; between 70 and 80 percent of Denmark, Ukraine, Ireland and Bangladesh; and 60 to 70 percent of the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Spain, Lithuania, Poland, Gaza Strip, Czech Republic, Italy and India. For comparison, the United States and China each have 18 percent croplands.

The study was led by the USGS and is part of the Global Food Security-Support Analysis Data @ 30-m (GFSAD30) Project. The map is built primarily from Landsat satellite imagery with 30-meter resolution, which is the highest spatial resolution of any global agricultural dataset.

Importance of Monitoring Croplands in Great Detail
“The map clearly shows individual farm fields, big or small, at any location in the world,” said Prasad Thenkabail, USGS research geographer and Principal Investigator for the GFSAD30 Project Team. “Given the high resolution of 30 meters and 0.09 hectares per pixel, a big advantage is the ability to see croplands in any country and sub-national regions, including states, provinces, districts, counties and villages.”

With the global population nearing the 7.6 billion mark and expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, it is of increasing importance to understand and monitor the state of agriculture across the world in great detail. This new research is useful to international development organizations, farmers, decision makers, scientists and national security professionals.

“This map is a baseline and starting point for higher level assessments, such as identifying which crops are present and where, when they grow, their productivity, if lands are left fallow and whether the water source is irrigated or rain fed,” said Thenkabail. “Comparisons can be made between the present and past years as well as between one farm and another. It is invaluable to know the precise location of croplands and their dynamics to lead to informed and productive farm management.”

Critical for Assessing Water Security
Not only does this map and accompanying data have significant food security implications, but it is also critical as a baseline for assessing water security. Nearly 80 percent of all human water use across the world goes towards producing food, and this research provides insight on “crop per drop,” which is an assessment of the amount of crops produced per unit of water.

Research is a Major Undertaking
“The project is a major undertaking for many reasons,” said Thenkabail. “One major challenge was obtaining cloud-free images in regions such as the tropics and during rainy seasons. That took multiple years in some areas. This project required the use of satellite-acquired big-data analytics using machine learning algorithms on a cloud computing platform such as the Google Earth Engine.”
Another important aspect of this project was the rigorous validation of the map, leading to an overall accuracy of 92 percent. Validation was performed by an independent team for 72 zones across the world.

The USGS led this project and played an especially valuable role in providing Landsat imagery. The USGS acquires, processes, archives and distributes—freely to anyone in the world—Landsat data from 1972 to the present day. This project uses a one-of-a-kind dataset primarily of Landsat satellite imagery from the year 2015. Remote sensing is critical to achieving a global perspective as well as objective and unbiased information.

View how croplands are distributed in each of the countries and download data through the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center.

The GFSAD30 Project Team’s goal is to map global croplands and their attributes routinely, rapidly, consistently and accurately year after year. The project is a collaborative effort among the USGS, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Bay Area Environmental Research Institute, University of New Hampshire, California State University Monterey Bay, University of Wisconsin, Northern Arizona University, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Systems Research Institute of Indonesia and Google. The project is funded by NASA’s Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments Program, with supplemental funding from the USGS.