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1708 PD: Swanson family completes purchase of Nutrius and Virtus Nutrition

Published on 26 November 2008

A company controlled by the Swanson Family of Turlock, California has completed the purchase of Nutrius and Virtus Nutrition from North American Nutrition Companies of Lewisburg, Ohio. Nutrius, with headquarters in Kingsburg, California manufactures mineral-based supplements for the dairy and poultry markets. Virtus Nutrition, with headquarters in Corcoran, California manufactures and markets rumen supplements.

“The acquisition of Nutrius and Virtus Nutrition expands our portfolio of feed and supplements businesses and allows us to supply a wider range of products to markets across the United States and internationally,” said Matt Swanson. “We are excited about the synergies that Nutrius provides for our existing businesses and the growth and expansion possibilities with Virtus Nutrition. ”



—From Associated Feed and Supply news release

Several factors affect abortion frequency in U.S. dairy herds
Using Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) data, U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory (AIPL) researchers examined factors affecting the frequency of dairy cattle abortions.

The abortion rate was highest at 152-175 days of pregnancy. Overall, the abortion frequency was 1.51 percent for the data analyzed. The average abortion rate was highest in the earliest stages of pregnancy and lowest for cows pregnant 224-250 days.

Abortion rates also followed seasonal patterns, with July as the highest month and December the lowest month for reported percent abortions. The six-month period of February through August saw the highest abortion rates and the six-month period of September through January saw a lower rate. Spring and summer may favor the spread of infectious agents that cause abortion in dairy cattle.

Higher milk production cattle groups experienced higher abortion rates across all breeds.


When looking at geographic differences, AIPL researchers found that California had the highest cattle abortion rate and North Dakota had the lowest. California’s abortion rate was 2.2 percent more than North Dakota’s, across all lactations.

—From DHIA news release

2009 Illinois Dairy Days
“Economic Expectations” is the theme for 2009’s Illinois Dairy Days, a program scheduled for nine locations throughout the state in January.

“The dairy business continues to face challenging times,” said Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois Extension dairy specialist. “To help producers make correct management decisions, it is vital to have the latest information at hand. That is the driving idea behind this one-day program – to help producers make the most of their resources and remain a productive part of the dairy industry.”

Topics to be covered include: feeding challenges with today’s milk prices; managing the replacement herd, evaluating economic alternatives, economic implications of cull dairy cattle, impact of technology on the dairy carbon footprint, manure, livestock gross margin for dairy and herd health update.

—From University of Illinois Extension news release


New verison of A.I. management manual available
ABS Global announced the release of the sixth edition of its A.I. Management Manual.

“The manual serves as an excellent educational resource tool and training manual for both beef and dairy producers,” said Director of ABS Technical Services, Dr. Neil Michael. “With the help of ABS employees and industry experts we are able to ensure that the manual is up-to-date and reflects current management practices and technologies.”

The A.I. Management Manual is a 240-page book which covers all aspects of reproductive efficiency and producing genetically superior offspring. Included in the manual are chapters on bovine anatomy and physiology, heat detection and synchronization, artificial insemination processes and procedures, semen processing, storage and handling, maintaining insemination records, genetics, sire selection criteria, ABS sexation, genetic management system, heifer A.I., udder care, facilities and nutrition.

—From ABS news release

New congenital defect reported
Holstein Association and the National Association of Animal Breeders urgently need assistance from dairy producers, A.I. companies and veterinarians in identifying calves that appear to be affected by Brachyspina Syndrome. Please contact the Holstein Association or the Veterinary Diagnostics Center, Dr. David Steffen, PhD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), telephone 402-472-1434, before destroying the calf. For genetic research purposes, the entire calf, along with a blood sample from the dam of the affected calf, should be sent to the UNL Veterinary Diagnostic Center.

At this time, the specific gene/mutation responsible for this defect has not been identified. Identifying the gene is the ultimate objective. With a gene test, a carrier can be identified with 100 percent accuracy.

The current genetic test relies on looking for a genetic marker that is closely linked to the causative gene. This linkage test has an accuracy of 95 percent. Research is currently being conducted to find the specific causative gene or another marker that is more closely linked to it.

At this time, the Holstein Association has not taken a position of accepting and recording test results. Obtaining additional information relating to this genetic defect and the testing for carriers is a high priority for NAAB and the Holstein Association. The industry will recommend a specific course of action as soon as appropriate information is available.

—From Holstein Association news release

Diaz to manage ruminant research for Novus
Novus International is proud to announce the appointment of Duarte Diaz, Ph.D. as Ruminant Research Manager. Diaz will be responsible for managing ruminant research and will serve as technical lead for Novus mycotoxin management programs across species.

Diaz joins Novus from Utah state University where he was an Assistant Professor at the department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Science. Additionally, Diaz has served as a Dairy Extension Specialist for the States of Utah, Nevada, Wyoming and Montana. PD

—From Novus International news release