EPA questioned on SPCC authority: Sens. James Inhofe (R., Okla.) and Mark Pryor (D., Ark.) sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy Aug. 20 asking EPA to clarify authority, under current appropriations legislation, that temporarily prohibits the agency from enforcing the Spill Prevention, Control & Countermeasure (SPCC) rule for the aboveground storage of oil on farms. The letter says Congress has clearly established its intent to limit the impact of the SPCC rule on the agriculture sector and to ultimately exempt the majority of the sector from compliance. However, EPA has stated its intention to carry out enforcement retroactively to the May 10 compliance deadline as soon as the funding hold in the appropriations bill is lifted on Sept. 23. Inhofe and Pryor said their view is that any action of this nature on EPA's part will go against the intent of Congress, which has language in at least two pending bills to exempt or partially exempt farms from the SPCC regulation.
Groups call for more GM crop oversight: More than 150 farm organizations, food processors, millers, retail companies, bakeries and seed businesses signed a letter calling for improvements in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's oversight of experimental trials of genetically modified (GM) crops. The letter comes after USDA announced on May 29 that an Oregon farmer had discovered unapproved biotech wheat in his field. Wheat growers met recently with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack seeking a halt on GM wheat trials. The groups called on USDA to stop new approvals of GM wheat field trials at least until the Oregon contamination investigation is done. USDA was also asked to fully implement recommendations by investigative bodies and Congress that aim to improve field trial oversight. The groups called on USDA to publish a final report detailing its investigation into the Oregon wheat event, including sampling and testing methodologies. The groups also want USDA to require mandated containment protocols for all GM crop field trials.
Boehringer vaccine plant in China: Boehringer Ingelheim, in partnership with Taizhou China Medical City in Jiangsu province, China, held a groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 16 for a veterinary vaccine manufacturing plant at the China Medical City (Taizhou China Medicine High-Tech Development Zone). Upon its completion, the joint venture, with an investment totaling 58 million euros, will become a leading manufacturer of veterinary vaccines in Asia. Construction is expected to be completed in June 2015, and the facility will create about 200 job opportunities. The manufacturing plant will mainly produce vaccines for swine and poultry diseases. "China is one of the most important animal health markets in the world. With the start of this project, we are fulfilling our commitment to providing the entire value chain of our vaccine business in China," said Dr. Joachim Hasenmaier, member of the board of managing directors responsible for animal health.
Pioneer expands corn research center: DuPont Pioneer celebrated the opening of its new $2.5 million corn research center at Mankato, Minn., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week. The new facility provides space to accommodate continued growth of the corn program within the company, including supporting the IMPACT (Intensively Managed Product Advancement Characterization & Training) plot product advancement program. This expansion includes renovating existing office space and developing a new site plan designed to increase safety and efficiency. Pioneer first established a research station in Mankato in 1958 and built a center in the current location in 1966. Since then, the center has experienced substantial growth in the number and size of its research programs, which develop corn hybrids, commercialize new technologies and test next-generation products for growers in southern Minnesota.
Poultry drug combos: The U.S. Food & Drug Administration announced Aug. 22 that Phibro Animal Health Corp. has requested that FDA withdraw approval of new animal drug application (NADA) 098-371 for the use of nicarbazin, penicillin and roxarsone in three-way, combination drug type C medicated feeds for broiler chickens and NADA 098-374 for the use of nicarbazin and penicillin in two-way, combination drug type C medicated feeds for broiler chickens. These drug combinations have been approved for use in animal feed for more than 40 years, FDA said. Phibro Animal Health withdrew its approved NADAs voluntarily because these products were no longer being manufactured or marketed, the agency said.
Roger Hemken: Roger Wayne Hemken, 84, died Aug. 15. Hemken was a retired dairy nutrition professor at the University of Kentucky and received numerous research awards. Born in 1928 in Livingston County, Ill., he was a graduate of the University of Illinois and received his doctorate from Cornell University. He was a past president and active member of the American Dairy Science Assn.
Research partner: BouMatic, a dairy equipment and chemical manufacturer, has been chosen as the partner for the "Research Unit into Animal Feed Most Beneficial to Dairy Cows" at the ARVALIS Plant Institute, a French applied agricultural research organization. About 100 cows are milked on the ARVALIS dairy farm in la Jailliere using a 22/24-stall Xpedia IX internal rotary. The system is fitted with the BouMatic identification system, the new Escorter crowd gate, seven sort gates and three BouMatic scrapers. The rotary parlor is controlled by the SmartDairy Management System that helps dairy farmers control and monitor all activities and improve milking results.
Timed insemination: Zoetis announced that the Food & Drug Administration has approved Factrel (gonadorelin hydrochloride) Sterile Solution for use with Lutalyse (dinoprost tromethamine) Sterile Solution to synchronize estrous cycles to allow for fixed-time artificial insemination in lactating dairy cows.
Fluke control: AgriLabs has added Agri-Mectin Plus Clorsulon to its range of branded anthelmintics. Agri-Mectin Plus Clorsulon is a sterile injectable dewormer that offers the advantages of ivermectin 1% plus clorsulon to expand treatment and control of liver flukes in cattle, AgriLabs said.
Soft chews: Vets Plus Inc. (VPI) announced the addition of Soft Chews for Dogs to its PetsPrefer line. PetsPreferSoft Chews are available in Joint, Probiotic, Calming, Skin & Coat, Breath and Senior formulas. The soft chews supplement a dog's diet with targeted probiotics, vitamins and minerals. All six soft chews in the PetsPrefer line are veterinarian formulated and have shown 95% palatability in trials, VPI said. Each jar contains roughly a one-month supply for dogs of any size. VPI, located in Menomonie, Wis., manufactures health and nutritional supplements for food and companion animals.
Swine product: Huvepharma announced that it is marketing its new product Tilmovet (tilmicosin phosphate), which is now available as an 18 g/lb. type B medicated feed and as a 90 g/lb. type A medicated article. Tilmovet is registered for use as a veterinary feed directive (VFD) drug for the control of swine respiratory disease associated with Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and Pasteurella multocida. Veterinarians can manage VFDs electronically as a complimentary service from Huvepharma by accessing www.globalvetlink.com or request VFD forms directly from Huvepharma's customer service department.