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New Holland Agriculture Sponsors Farmland Preservation Bike Rides

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New Holland, PA (New Holland Ag, June 11, 2015):  This summer, New Holland Agriculture and cycling enthusiasts will do their part to preserve the farmland that serves as a backdrop for many scenic bicycle rides throughout the Northeastern United States. New Holland will sponsor Pedal to Preserve and Farm to Fork Fondo, two events hosted by non-profit organizations that benefit farms and farmland preservation.

"New Holland recognizes the importance of protecting our nation's farmland for generations to come," said Mark Hooper, New Holland's Senior Director of Marketing in North America. "The bicyclists and volunteers that participate in Pedal to Preserve and Farm to Fork Fondo recognize the importance of our farmland, too. For that reason, we do what we can to assist them in gaining the support they deserve."

Pedal to Preserve

In Lancaster County, Pa., the Lancaster Farmland Trust hosted its annual Pedal to Preserve bicycle ride on June 6, 2015. Each year, Pedal to Preserve offers both novice and experienced cyclists an opportunity to ride along marked routes throughout Lancaster County's pastoral countryside that feature more than 75 small family farms thave have been preserved with the help of the Lancaster Farmland Trust.

"We are very grateful to have New Holland Agriculture back as the title sponsor for our annual bike ride," said Karen Martynick, Executive Director of the Lancaster Farmland Trust. "With New Holland's generous support, Pedal to Preserve has grown into one of the premiere bike rides in the region. We are also excited to have the New Holland team back to ride in the event again this year. The support the employees provide make the event even more special!"

Bird Flu Outbreak Has Farmers and Ag Officials On Alert

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Allentown, PA (The Morning Call, June 1, 2015:):  Like the rest of Pennsylvania's poultry industry, Orefield turkey farmer David Jaindl is keeping a wary eye on the bird flu outbreak that has devastated the egg and poultry business in the West and Midwest this spring.

But for Lehigh Valley consumers and businesses, its effects have already come home to roost in the form of rising prices and the precautionary cancellation of poultry exhibitions at the Great Allentown Fair all the way down to the 4-H Roundup in August in Bushkill Township.

So far, Pennsylvania's poultry and egg industry has dodged the economic disaster visited on farmers in other states by a virulent strain of primarily H5N2 bird flu that crossed the border into the United States from Canada late last year, killing or forcing the destruction of 40 million birds and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

The loss of more than 25 million egg-laying chickens has cut the national egg supply, increasing wholesale prices nationwide, including at grocery chains such as Wegmans and Redner's.

A dozen large eggs at Wegmans that cost $1.79 last May cost $2.49 today.

Avoiding The Summer Pasture Slump

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Greenwich, NY (Morning Ag Clips, May 29, 2015):  The sight of fresh, green pastures as the summer months approach can be a welcome sight for many cattle producers, especially after feeding costly forages throughout the winter. But just as quickly as that green grass comes, the pasture quality can diminish leaving both pasture and cows' nutrient deficient.

These potential nutrient deficiencies come at a critical time frame when the cow likely has a calf at side, and is either on target for re-breeding or is already re-bred and trying to grow her developing calf. The nutrient requirements are high during this period[1], but there are a few ways to prepare for a decline in pasture quality.

"Producers may see cows slip in body condition score throughout the summer," says Dr. Kelly Sanders, cattle nutritionist for Purina Animal Nutrition. "Forages mature as the summer goes on, losing nutrients, specifically protein, and allowing cows to lose body condition."

If forages are running under 7 percent protein, then you likely don't have enough protein to support the cow and her calf. The majority of producers across the United States, unless they have some high-quality forages stockpiled, are not above that level and will need to find additional nutrient sources.

Sanders recommends using protein supplements to avoid this slip in condition, especially late summer and into fall when grasses are lowest in nutrient value.

Ag Businesses Fail To Fill Jobs

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Bismark, ND (Farm and Ranch Guide, May 26, 2015):Despite increased enrollment in agriculture-related studies, job demand outweighs the number of graduates, with the industry expecting to be unable to fill 22,500 positions each year.

An estimated 57,900 annual job openings for those with a bachelor's degree or higher in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and environment fields are expected over the next five years in the United States, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Purdue University.

Those jobs are expected to become increasingly important as solutions need to be developed to feed more than 9 billion people by 2015, according to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Feeding the world

Connie Begay, who is studying at United Tribes Technical College to be an environmental lab technician, is one of many students aspiring to fill some of those jobs.

Though Begay studied to be a medical assistant for a while and liked the lab work, she says she wanted to do something different. Her father had worked in agriculture so she decided to explore a career in natural resources.

Tips To Keep Your Flock Healthy

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Shoreview, MN (MorningAg Clips, May 28, 2015):  A healthy flock is a happy flock. Healthy birds are better able to produce quality eggs, raise a clutch of chicks or roam our backyards. With disease pressures ever present, how can we prevent illness from entering our flocks?

Gordon Ballam, Ph.D., a poultry nutritionist for Purina Animal Nutrition, encourages flock owners to create a simple disease prevention plan. Ballam divides prevention into two core topics: quality nutrition and sound management.

"The most important aspect of bird health is a partnership of good nutrition and flock management," he says. "For optimal health and production of your birds, you can't have one without the other."

Quality nutrition

Nutrition is just as important to flock health as it is to human health.

"Think of yourself or your kids," Ballam says. "Nutrition helps keep you both healthy. If we become tired, rundown or don't eat, we're more susceptible to catching an illness. It's the same for chickens. Birds that are not eating a quality diet have higher susceptibility to illness."

Beekeepers hope for rebound in regional colonies

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Erie, PA (GoErie.com, May 29, 2015):  Charles Vorisek saw some hope when he crunched the data from 2,016 respondents on a recent Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association survey.

State beekeepers reported losing 43 percent of their colonies over the winter, a decrease from the 50 percent rate reported lost over the 2013-14 winter.

"It's encouraging because it was really a hard winter,'' said Vorisek, 60, the association's president. "I would have expected more losses, or equal to last year.''

Vorisek, a beekeeper for 22 years, has 150 hives at his Linesville residence in Crawford County.

"I think the colonies that we have are healthy,'' he said. "The colonies that made it through the winter are looking healthy and strong.''

Most beekeepers in northwestern Pennsylvania saw winter colony losses above 43 percent, according to Kirk Johnson, vice president of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Beekeepers Association.

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