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March 26, 2015

Successful NIAA Annual Conference Closes, NRSA Workshop Follows Today

"Water and the Future of Animal Agriculture" has been the theme of the 2015 NIAA Annual Conference finishing up this week in Indianapolis, IN. Expert speakers from prestiges universities, national agricultural services and federal agencies have presented on important issues from The Fight for Water in the 21st Century to Water Security, Water Efficiency & Optimization, to How Ongoing Negative Media Coverage Is Impacting Animal Agriculture.

In addition, issue councils and species committees have discussed the State of the Equine Industry, Water Rights and the Poultry Industry, A Water–Friendly Production System for Small Ruminant Grazing, The Sustainable Pork Framework., All–Hazards Animal Health Emergency Management, How Water Issues Will Affect Animal Agriculture, Animal Health and Trade, Antimicrobial Resistance Metrics and more.

The Annual Conference kicked off Monday with an Agricultural Tour of Indiana industries with stops at the Bunge Soy Processing Plant in Decatur and Bell Aquaculture in Redkey.

NIAA would like to thank their Annual Conference partners, including Farm Credit, Brownfield Ag News, USDA, Merck Animal Health, Farm Bureau, GlobalVetLink, AllFlex, Elanco, Pork Checkoff, Where food Comes From, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Fort Supply Technologies, AniTrace, NLPA, Livestock Marketing Association, American Veterinary Medicine Association, Indiana Pork, and Dean's.

Following the NIAA Annual Conference today in Indianapolis is the NIAA–hosted National Roundtable for Sustainable Aquaculture Workshop facilitated by Marty Matlock, PhD, PE, BCEE, University of Arkansas and Office for Sustainability, Biological and Agricultural Engineering.

Aquaculture Boom Creates $13.3 Billion Water Treatment Market in 2030

Aquaculture –– the farming of fish and other aquatic animals –– is an increasingly vital means of supplying demand for seafood, as wild fisheries suffer from stress and collapse. Water treatment is essential to successful aquaculture, and demand for water treatment is expected to nearly double from $7.2 billion in 2014 to $13.3 billion in 2030, according to Lux Research.

"Aquaculture is leading to a 'Blue Revolution' as the world shifts from hunting and gathering aquatic resources to farming them," said Abhirabh Basu, Lux Research Associate and the lead author of the report titled, "Blue Revolution: The Fast-growing $7.2 Billion Water Treatment Opportunity in Aquaculture." Marketwired, 03/10/15

Agricultural Water Issues Keep Overflowing

A worsening drought in California. A public utility's lawsuit in Iowa. Water quality legislation in Ohio. Buffer zones in Minnesota. And a speech that touched on the controversial proposal known as the "Waters of the U.S." rule. Coast to coast, the topic of water is flooding the conversation in farmland. "Are water quality issues coming to a head in agriculture all over?" asked John G. Dillard, an associate attorney at OFW Law in Washington, D.C. "Yes."

Dillard, who specializes in agricultural issues, including water quality, points to recent efforts in Maryland to regulate fertilizer use due to concerns about the Chesapeake Bay. In Ohio, lawmakers recently approved a bill that prevents farmers from spreading manure or other fertilizers on frozen or saturated fields. And then there's Iowa, where the Des Moines Water Works has sued three Iowa counties over what it sees as their failure to manage agricultural runoff. By Alison Rice, AgWeb, 03/25/15

Agriculture Must Adopt Better Water Management to Ensure Sustainable Food Supplies

As people around the world celebrated World Water Day 2015 on Sunday 22 March, the United Nations released a new report predicting major water shortages of 40 per cent across the globe in line with a 55 per cent increase in demand by 2050. The unsustainable use of water globally has already led to 20 per cent of the world's aquifers being currently over–exploited and inappropriate agricultural practices, among other things, has been found to underminine the environment's capacity to provide clean water.

The World Water Development Report 2015 states that by 2050, agriculture, which is the largest user of water resources, accounting for around 70 per cent of all freshwater withdrawals globally and over 90 per cent in most of the world's least–developed countries, will need to produce 60 per cent more food globally, and 100 per cent more in developing countries. The Meat Site, 03/24/15

New Vaccine Fights Poultry Diseases

A vaccine that protects chickens against two infectious poultry diseases has been developed by researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Microbiologist Qingzhong Yu and his colleagues at the ARS Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory (SEPRL) in Athens, Ga., created a vaccine that is effective against infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) and Newcastle disease (ND).

ILT and ND are two of the most economically important infectious diseases of poultry. They cause sickness and death in commercial poultry as well as in some wild birds throughout the world. Feedstuffs, 03/20/15

Antibiotics Use in Livestock on the Rise Around the World

Countries around the world will see a significant increase in the use of antibiotics in animals used for food, according to a new study. The study, "Global trends in antimicrobial use in food animals", presents the first global map of antibiotic consumption in livestock. The map includes 228 countries, and estimates the total consumption 2010 at 63,151 tons.

"We project that antimicrobial consumption will rise by 67 percent by 2030, and nearly double in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa," the study said. "This rise is likely to be driven by the growth in consumer demand for livestock products in middle–income countries and a shift to large–scale farms where antimicrobials are used routinely."

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration must approve all antibiotics used for livestock and poultry consumed for food, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) notes in "The Facts About Antibiotics in Livestock & Poultry Production."

"There is no question that antibiotic use in livestock and poultry production is declining on a per animal basis as meat and poultry producers respond to public concern and as antibiotic use for growth promotion is phased out voluntarily at FDA's request," NAMI said. The study states that global demand for animal protein is rising at an unprecedented pace, and modern production methods are "associated with regular use of antibiotics, potentially increasing selection pressure on bacteria to become resistant." Meat + Poultry, 03/23/15

Woes on WOTUS Shared at Senate Ag Hearing

More woes have been shared in testimony at a Senate Agriculture hearing about the EPA's Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) proposed rule today. Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas says EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has said the agency is close to implementing the rule – and in the meantime has changed the name, "From 'Waters of the United States', 'WOTUS', that's the acronym to the 'Clean Water Rule.' Well, quite frankly, Administrator McCarthy, merely changing the name is not enough. We need to change the rule."

Ranking chairman, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, said she believes the EPA is going to change it, based on the agency's responses to her concerns, "I believe the appropriate changes WILL be made to ensure that our agriculture producers get the certainty that they need and that they deserve." Brownfield Ag News, 03/24/15

Canadian Swine Health Surveillance Network Almost Fully Operational

The general manager of Manitoba Pork expects the fledgling Western Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network to be fully operational within a matter of months. Pork producer councils in the four western provinces, in partnership with the Offices of the Provincial Chief Veterinary Officers, have established a Western Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network to assume the responsibility of swine health surveillance in western Canada. The Pig Site, 03/23/15

Committee to Begin Changing COOL Law

Next week the House Agriculture Committee is expected to begin marking up legislation to repeal or modify the country of origin labeling law. R CALF officials are concerned about any adjustments to COOL. CEO Bill Bullard says they'll submit written comments in support of the labeling measure. He says Committee members are being pressured by the meat packer lobby to move forward with this legislation.

Bullard says COOL benefits both producers and consumers and has the widespread backing of consumers. He says free market supporters should back COOL. Bullard says those concerned about Canada and Mexico retaliating against COOL should have their fears eased by the recent Auburn University study showing the effect to Canada's cattle industry coming from a downturn in the global economy and not related to COOL. Listen to audio interview HERE. WNAX News, 03/20/15

NPPC on COOL Law: U.S. Must Avoid Retaliation

In congressional testimony today, the National Pork Producers Council said the United States must address its mandatory Country–of–Origin Labeling (COOL) law to avoid trade retaliation from Canada and Mexico. "We cannot afford to have [pork] exports disrupted nor can workers in allied sectors," NPPC President–elect John Weber, a pork producer from Dysart, Iowa, told the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture. "The loss of the Mexican and Canadian markets, valued at $2.4 billion, could cost over 16,000 non–farm jobs."

While pork and beef almost certainly will be on the Canadian and Mexican retaliation lists, non–agricultural products also likely will be included. Canada's preliminary retaliation list included not only fresh pork and beef but bakery goods, rice, apples, wine, maple syrup and furniture.

"Because the damage to U.S. exports will be multiplied across our economy," said Weber, "the economic effect will greatly exceed whatever retaliation is ultimately authorized by the WTO and will hurt many Americans who had nothing to do with implementing the COOL law. Not only will innocent bystanders be harmed, the economy as a whole will suffer. PORKNetwork, 03/25/15

Farm Security and Crisis Management: Dos and Don'ts in Hiring

Undercover videos by activist groups targeting modern farming and ranching practices have increased in the past decade, and have been driving factors for many companies to set or change policies for their suppliers about farm animal care; some have even terminated contracts with farmers over concern for their brand. These campaigns have also driven a great deal of legislation, negatively impacting the farm community. Learn more about what you can do to protect your farm, your animals and your business, and how to proactively plan for a potential crisis.

Register now to participate in this important and timely webinar – Farm Security and Crisis Management: Dos and Don'ts in Hiring – taking place on April 13 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. To register, click HERE. This webinar is funded through the American Sheep Industry Association's Let's Grow Committee. American Sheep Industry Association Weekly Newsletter, 03/20/15

Pork Industry Searches for New Normal After PEDv, Russian Ban

Rabobank has published a new report on the global pork industry, looking at the industry outlook in the wake of PEDv and Russian ban. In 2015, Rabobank predicts that turbulence will remain, with uncertainty about possible remergence of PEDv, developments regarding African swine fever (ASF), the Russian ban, and exchange rate developments across the globe.

"Our expectations are that markets, driven by production growth after PEDv, will cool further and result in price pressure in Q1 2015," says Albert Vernooij, animal protein analyst. PORKNetwork, 01/28/15

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The National Institute for Animal Agriculture provides a forum for building consensus and advancing proactive solutions for animal agriculture-the beef, dairy, swine, sheep, goats, equine and poultry industries-and provides continuing education and communication linkages for animal agriculture professionals. NIAA is dedicated to programs that work towards the eradication of disease that pose risk to the health of animals, wildlife and humans; promote a safe and wholesome food supply for our nation and abroad; and promote best practices in environmental stewardship, animal health and well-being. NIAA members represent all facets of animal agriculture.