Memorial Day weekend in our weekend usually comes with its share of mishaps. 40-year-old kayaker in Ohio still being sought. Northwest of Chicago, 53-year-old woman injured when tree fell on her.

First crop condition report for corn crop come out today. Two University of Illinois agronomists say crop ratings this year really has very little correlation with yields in the fall.

Colorado sportswriter of the year for four times Terry Frei has been fired for tweeting he was uncomfortable with Japanese driver winning Indy 500 on Memorial Day weekend. 


Farm Progress America, May 30, 2017

Max Armstrong shares how soybean production and checkoff groups are working to show the value of animal agriculture to the farm economy. The Indiana group has surveyed the issue sharing a wide-ranging list of ways the ripple effect of animal agriculture can have in a state.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

Why it’s important to protect calf health prior to birth

Vaccinate the cow, vaccinate the calf

Source: Zoetis


Herd health is important for a couple of reasons. And many producers vaccinate their calves at branding and weaning. But have you considered vaccinating your calves before they’re born?

That’s what you do when you vaccinate your cows. At the herd level, low pregnancy rates, abortions and calf deaths are some of the real economic losses associated with inadequate fetal protection against reproductive diseases.

Protecting the health of the unborn calf is important not only to the vitality of the calf but also the cow’s well-being and future productivity. A healthy, productive cowherd can help improve the financial health of a cow-calf operation.

“When we discuss major reproductive diseases in beef cattle, our primary viruses are infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) and bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) viruses Types 1 and 2,” explained Mark Alley, DVM, veterinarian with Zoetis.

Alley says it is important for producers and veterinarians to look at the labels to make sure they are selecting vaccines that are effective in protecting against the reproductive forms of these important diseases. This means looking for the following information on the vaccine label:

  • “FP” in the name of the product, which is a designation that the vaccine provides fetal protection
  • Indication to prevent or control IBR-related abortions
  • Indication to prevent or control BVD persistently infected calves
  • Indication to prevent or control BVD fetal infection

“What we’re doing by using fetal protection vaccines is that we are effectively protecting the calf prior to birth. If you couple that with a proper nutritional program, we’re setting that calf up for success in being able to reach its full genetic potential, from the time it’s conceived all the way through the production cycle,” Alley says.


Max Armstrong shares that Japanese Indy 500 Winner Takuma Sato poured 2% milk over his head, and Max shares that dairy history. Max also looks at how weather will impact the grain trade, including the potential impact of the Crop Progress report - delayed by a day due to the holiday. USDA will also include crop condition information for corn. He also shares the challenge of frequent rains. And he shares a remembrance for Memorial Day from Pres. Harry Truman.

Midwest Digest is a twice-daily audio feature produced by Max Armstrong, offering news and commentary from across the Midwest.

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images


Max Armstrong shares news and views from across the Midwest, including a look at the new winner of the Indianapolis 500 Takuma Sato, the first from Japan. Max wonders about the Crop Progress report to be released a day later by USDA due to the Memorial Day Holiday. He also offers some facts for National Hamburger Day. He looks at what may happen to vacant sites in Detroit. And Max offers a look at a tweet from country music star Charlie Daniels, honoring veterans.

Midwest Digest is a twice-daily audio feature produced by Max Armstrong, offering news and commentary from across the Midwest.

Photo: Takuma Sato by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Farm Progress America, May 29, 2017

3 grazing management tips for oat fields

Amanda Radke Oat fields

On our ranch, we plant oats annually for haying and grazing. It’s a great late spring/early summer forage that allows us to stockpile feed early and offers another rotation for grazing, as well.

Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension forage specialist, says more producers are trying oat pastures this spring, and while the potential is awesome, common management mistakes can hinder ranchers from getting the most out of their oat fields.

Anderson writes, “Oat pastures have increased in popularity in recent years. They can reduce problems from drought and provide fast, early grazing. Oat pastures can be very productive and last through early summer, but they also disappoint sometimes.”

He shares three tips for managing oat fields to maximize forage potential:

1. Graze early

Oats grow rapidly,” says Anderson. “Once it gets 5-6 inches tall, it quickly can shoot up to a foot tall in almost no time. As nice as this sounds, if initial oat growth gets that tall it may not stool out, tiller, and regrow after grazing very well. So it’s important to start grazing early and to graze hard enough to keep your oats vegetative and leafy, thereby stimulating it to constantly form new tillers.”

2. Allow ample rest time

Anderson writes, “If your animals start to first graze when oats get 6-8 inches tall and they remove just half the growth, it should recover rapidly and tiller well. You probably will need to give your oats a couple weeks to regrow after this first grazing, though, before grazing again.”

3. Adjust stock rate to match regrowth

“After this first grazing stimulates tillering, keep oat regrowth between 6 and 16 inches tall using either continuous or rotational stocking,” recommends Anderson. “Begin with a light stocking rate, maybe about one animal every 2-3 acres. Then adjust animal numbers as oat growth changes. Don’t worry if a few plants head out. But if many plants get tall and approach the boot stage, either stock heavily for one last hard graze-out grazing or consider cutting for hay.”

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or Penton Agriculture.

Batista brothers resign from top JBS S.A. posts

Victor Moriyama/Getty Images Tainted Beef Scandal Threatens Brazil's Meat Industry
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - MARCH 20: Shoppers browse for meat at a public market March 20, 2017 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Brazilian Federal Police launched a major operation in several Brazilian states with search and arrest warrants for directors of the country's main meat-producing companies, such as JBS and BRF. Thirty-three employees of the Ministry of Agriculture were removed from office for alleged involvement in a corruption scheme and receiving a bribe for allowing spoiled meat to circulate in Brazilian supermarkets. (Photo by Victor Moriyama/Getty Images)

Compiled by Cheryl Day
JBS S.A., the world’s largest meatpacker, announced Friday that Joesley Batista resigned as chairman and member of the board. The Board of Directors unanimously elected Tarek Farahat as Batista’s replacement.

Company owners and brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista entered into a plea bargain deal that accused Brazil’s President Michel Temer of endorsing the bribing of a witness in the country’s largest meat scandal. The brothers’ testimony, released last week, unleashed a political crisis, alleging that they bribed hundreds of politicians, reports Reuters. Both brothers resigned from their senior posts effectively immediately.

Tarek Farahat has worked for Procter & Gamble for 26 years, serving in a number of leadership positions in several regions around the globe, including the Middle East, Europe and Latin America. From 2006-12, he served as president of P&G Brazil. In 2012, he became president of P&G Latin America and an officer of the company’s executive board. Farahat has been a member of the Board of Directors of JBS since 2013 and has served as global president of Marketing and Innovation since 2015.

In the same meeting, José Batista Sobrinho was unanimously elected vice chairman of the Board.

The Board also ratified the creation of a Governance Committee, which will be led by Farahat and whose main objective will be to implement global best practices in corporate governance and compliance at JBS.

“Governance is my utmost priority. We will work hard to restore trust with the market and protect the more than 235,000 families that are part of JBS. There is a significant amount of work to be done in order to regain the trust of our stakeholders,” states Farahat.

“We remain focused on offering consumers the highest quality products and services while maintaining a close partnership with our suppliers and clients, and supporting our more than 235,000 team members worldwide,” adds Farahat.

Fruita FFA, Fruita, Colo.

Max Armstrong offers the FFA Chapter Tribute with a look at Fruita FFA, Fruita, Colo., a 100-member, 75-year-old chapter. Member McKenna Young offers a look at highlights for the group.

The weekly FFA Chapter Tribute is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the good work of your local chapter. Tell us about what you're doing, give us some history from your group and tell our viewers of the work you do in the community. FFA chapters across the country deserve recognition for the work they do, make sure we include yours.

To have your chapter considered for this weekly feature, send along information about your group by e-mail to Orion Samuelson at or to Max Armstrong at They'll get your group on the list of those that will be covered in the future. It's a chance to share your story beyond the local community. Drop Orion or Max a "line" soon.

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of about 650,000 student members as part of 7,757 local FFA chapters. The National FFA Organization remains committed to the individual student, providing a path to achievement in premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online, on Facebook at, on Twitter at

1941 Farmall H

Max tells the story of a 1941 Farmall H owned by Dave Bailey, Chesapeake, Va., which is festooned with flags.

Max's Tractor Shed is a regular feature of This Week in Agribusiness. Max Armstrong shares information about legacy machines, their stories and how they may still be at work today. If you have a tractor you want featured in Max's Tractor Shed, send a high-resolution digital picture, your contact information, and information about the tractor - what makes it special - to