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Bazooka Farmstar releases four new products at 2017 World Pork Expo

Bazooka Farmstar released a line of new products — The Ground Tracker Series, The 40-foot Titan Series, The Full Throttle Series and The Quantum Drive System wireless remote — at the world’s largest pork industry-specific tradeshow, World Pork Expo.

The Ground Tracker Series, otherwise known as the GT Series, is a heavy-duty swiveling tank bar. Each mount swivels 30 degrees in each direction and has the ability to closely “track” ground contours while maintaining high performance of the injection units. Its design reduces strain on tanks and injectors, extending the useful life of equipment.

The 40-foot Titan Series has the same game-changing technology as the original, and then some. Its new, 16-inch narrow unit spacing reduces streaking, increases gallons per acre, provides even coverage, grants precise nutrient placement and requires no additional tillage. The enhanced 8-inch front folding swing arm increases flow and reduces wear and corrosion.

The Full Throttle Series has the fuel capacity to run longer with its 500-gallon integrated fuel tank. The latest trailer system was created to accommodate nearly all engine, pump and plumbing combinations from 300 horsepower to 600 horsepower engines, with or without clutch. With a reinforced front deck, this trailer has the capacity for ATV or parts storage for added convenience.

The Quantum Drive System wireless remote enables control of the freewheel, wind and unwind speed, and pivot from outside the tractor cab. This is an added convenience to the QDS, which already offers the fastest hydraulic wind and unwind on the market, as well as, the fastest controlled freewheel on the market.

As a manufacturer of manure handling equipment including toolbars, tank bars, injection units, hose reels, hose and pump trailers for over 40 years, Bazooka Farmstar is dedicated to providing high-quality, long-lasting products to the agricultural market.

This Week in Agribusiness, June 17, 2017

Part 1

Orion Samuelson and Max Armstrong open this week's show with a look at what Orion has been up to for the past few weeks. Ty Unangst, Rochelle, Illinois, talks about the challenges rain has brought to his farm. Al Gustin, talks with Mark Hayek, NRCS Range Conservationist, about how people are dealing with Kentucky Blue Grass.  Ed Usset, University of Minnesota, tackles the Farm Challenge of the Week. And Farm Broadcaster Bob Bosold, WAXX Radio from Altoona, WI, offers insight into key issues farmers in that part of the country are watching.

Part 2

Orion Samuelson and Max Armstrong talk markets with Ryan Yonkman, Rice Dairy. In Samuelson Sez, Orion shares his thoughts on advances in medicine.  And Agricultural Meteorologist Greg Soulje looks at weather for the Western United States.

Part 3

Dustin Jansen, Sigel, Ill., talks about his steam engine tractor and why he loves bringing tractors to shows. Max Armstrong talks to Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, who discusses the new farm bill.

Part 4

Jim Long, President & CEO, Genesus Genetics, offers insight into the global changes in the pork industry. Ron Prestage, Past President, National Pork Council, discusses potential markets for US pork. Ag Meteorologist Greg Soulje looks at weather for the Eastern United States. And in Max's Tractor Shed, Max Armstrong tells the story of a 1967 John Deere 4020, owned by Matt Foes, Loves, Park, Illinois.

Part 5

Max Armstrong and Orion Samuelson continue their market conversation with Ryan Yonkman, Rice Dairy.

Part 6                           

Max Armstrong profiles John Glenn FFA in Walkerton, Ind., this 63-member group was chartered in 1957. And Ag Meteorologist Greg Soulje looks at the weather for the week ahead.

Part 7

Orion Samuelson and Max Armstrong wrap up this week’s show with a look at citrus greening. Gary Cooper, Southeast Ag Net, talks about the first instances of citrus greening occurring in Florida. Harold Browning, Citrus Research & Development Foundation, discusses changes that will be made to face this challenge.

John Glenn FFA

Max Armstrong John Glenn FFA in Walkerton, Indiana, this 63-member group was chartered in 1957. FFA member Bryce Birk shares information about the many projects the chapter conducts throughout the year.

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


Orion Samuelson knows that farmers invest a lot in technology, but this week he shares some personal insight into another area of high-tech advancement - medicine.

Samuelson Sez is a special feature of This Week in Agribusiness where Orion Samuelson shares his thoughts and insights into key issues of the day.

1967 John Deere 4020

Max Armstrong tells the story of a 1967 John Deere 4020, owned by Matt Foes, Loves, Park, Illinois. This tractor has a great father-son history.

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

Young farmer brings livestock to the family farm

Illinois Pork Producers Association Andy Gathman, a young farmer from Mason County

Source: Illinois Pork Producers Association
Andy Gathman, a young farmer from Mason County, Ill., and recent graduate from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, has found ways to come back to the family farm full time. Neighbors and members of the community joined to celebrate the opening of the Gathman’s new 2,400 head wean-to-finish pig barn at an Open House on June 15. Andy and his father, Gary, are owners of the barn. His brother, Tony, will also lend a hand when needed.

Andy says, “After college, I worked off the farm for a while, but was looking for ways to get home. Diversifying with livestock has allowed me to be home and farm full time with my dad. It has been a great experience. We grow field corn, popcorn, green beans and soybeans, and recently added cattle. Adding livestock to our family farm has given me countless opportunities. I am excited to see where pork production takes us as well.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony commenced the opening of the barn, and a pork chop supper was provided to attendees. The open house took place before pigs arrive to ensure ample time for the barn to be deep cleaned and ready for their arrival. This barn will receive its first load of piglets in the coming weeks. Pigs will come in at approximately 12 pounds and live here until they reach market weight of around 280 pounds. This will take place in a six-month period. They will raise two groups of pigs per year.

Modern pig barns include numerous advancements in technology. The pigs will have feed and water access all hours of the day, thanks to automatic feed systems located in each pen. Ventilation is controlled throughout the barn keeping pigs cool and comfortable through the warm months and, alternatively, warm in the winter. Layers of air filters and “cool cell pads” act as air conditioning during the summer.

Thank you to the following sponsors: ILDG, Longhorn Cattle & Swine Confinement, The Maschhoffs, Illinois Pork Producers Association and Pork Checkoff, Maximum Ag Technologies, Farmweld, Bank of Springfield, Canton Ready-Mix (Havana and Canton Plants), and Mason County Farm Bureau.

Best practices for managing and controlling neonatal diarrhea

National Pork Board Neonatal pigs

Neonatal piglet diarrhea is a very common and relevant problem in modern pig production. It is associated with increased pre-weaning mortality, poor growth rates and variation in weight at weaning. The newborn pig has an immature mucosal immune system at birth allowing pathogens to colonize the gastrointestinal tract immediately after birth.

Most common infectious causes of neonatal diarrhea

  • Rotaviruses cause diarrhea in nursing and post-weaned pigs, affecting primarily the small intestine
  • Transmissible Gastroenteritis virus is a highly contagious disease in pigs of all ages, with mortality near 100% in pigs less than two weeks old
  • Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus affects pigs of all ages, has very high mortality in suckling pigs. Once pigs are weaned, the mortality rate decreases rapidly.
  • Porcine deltacoronavirus similar to porcine epidemic diarrhea but with a lower severity. Mortality can be high especially for piglets younger than 14 days.
  • Colibacillosis can occur in pigs from 2 hours old up to the post-weaning period, but is most common in pigs 1 to 4 days old. Mortality is greatest in pigs less than 4 days old, with death occurring 12-24 hours after the onset of diarrhea. In pigs older than seven days, morbidity and mortality are much lower
  • Clostridial enteritis seen in pigs 1-21 days of age, usually in pigs less than ten days old. It is often a persistent, recurring problem once established in a herd. Dose and virulence of the pathogen, in addition to the quantity and quality of maternal antibodies determines the severity of the disease.
  • Coccidiosis occurs at 7-10 days of age as a chronic herd problem but does not consistently affect all litters or all pigs in a litter. Gross clinical signs are consistent with yellow watery scours progressing to yellow pasty scours over a 3-5 day period.


Clinical signs of neonatal diarrhea in piglets are associated with 

  • Huddling
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Wet backsides
  • Reddened perineal area
  • Watery to pasty stools

Control and prevention

  • Active immunization by vaccination of the sows before farrowing, using different types of vaccines is a good way to increase concentration of antibodies in the sows colostrum. Producers have the option to choose between commercially available vaccines or custom tailored subunit vaccines prepared with farm specific isolates. These vaccines can aid in the prevention of rotaviral diarrhea, enterotoxemia and collibacilosis in the nursing piglets.
  • Depending on the health status of the herd some producers elect to perform natural planned exposure of the sows before farrowing in order to develop or booster colostral/ lactogenic immunity. Exposure material can be generated by using scour material from piglets, gilt manure or intestinal tract of piglets with clinical signs of scour.
  • Elevated environment sanitation decreases the pathogen load present in the environment, which can overwhelm the number of antibodies acquired passively from the colostrum. Sanitation can be achieved by ensuring that farrowing rooms are only used on an all-in, all-out basis. This includes pressure washing farrowing rooms using soap/degreaser to remove biofilms, inspection prior to disinfection, using appropriate disinfectant for disinfection, and complete drying of rooms in between each batch. (Picture 5)

 Picture 5. Clean, disinfected farrowing

  • Proper farrowing room set up with functional heat lamps prevent chilling of piglets or large temperature fluctuations inside the barn. Appropriately adjust the heat lamp by maintaining an initial temperature between 95⁰F - 100⁰F, than adjusting as needed to provide warmth and comfort. (Picture 4)

 Picture 4- Heat lamp management

  • Colostrum is important for gut development, growth, and for providing pathogen specific immunoglobulin supply (IgG, IgM, and IgA). High levels of antibodies are absorbed within the first 12 hours of birth. After the colostral antibodies have been absorbed into the bloodstream, immunity is maintained by the antibody IgA, which is present in the milk. IgA is later absorbed into the mucous lining of the intestines. It is essential that the newborn piglets drink sufficient colostrum soon after birth to prevent potentially pathogenic organisms from multiplying against the intestinal wall and cause diarrhea. Furthermore, it is important that the piglets continue to drink milk regularly after the colostrum has gone, so that their intestines continue to be lined by protective antibodies.
  • Scour is more common in large litters.

Adopt procedures to prevent the spread of the scour:

  • Avoid stepping inside the crates.
  • Disinfect boots between rooms.
  • Use a disposable plastic apron when treating or processing piglets to prevent heavy contamination of clothing.
  • Change gloves after handling a scoured litter.
  • Disinfect shovels and scrapers between pens.

It is essential that strategies of prevention and control ensure a sanitized and temperature controlled environment to achieve an appropriate balance between the environmental pathogen load and immunity gained from the sow. In conclusion, neonatal piglet diarrhea should be viewed as the outcome of several factors that need to be addressed in order to find the proper means of intervention. (Figure 1)


This is June Dairy Month when the people who produce our milk are saluted. With farmers getting $13-$14 per cwt, many are losing money. Most need about $16 to break even. Even worst in states like Michigan, which lacks milk processing.

Where are you taking your family for vacation this summer? Family Vacation Critic tests amusement parks and says Cedar Point is No. 1, Dollywood is No. 2, No. 3 is Silver Dollar City, all in our region.

The origination of Father's Day is unknown. 

USDA Rural Development leader named

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY) walks past a U.S. Capitol Police officer standing guard in front of the U.S. Capitol Building, on June 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. This morning House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and others were shot by a gunman during Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 14: Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY) walks past a U.S. Capitol Police officer standing guard in front of the U.S. Capitol Building, on June 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. This morning House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and others were shot by a gunman during Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

U.S. and China reach agreement on beef: The United States and China finalized an agreement that will allow U.S. beef to be exported to China after being closed out of the Chinese market since December 2003.  Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in announcing the agreement said “Today is a great day for the United States and in particular for our cattle producers, who will be regaining access to an enormous market with an ever-expanding middle class.  I have no doubt that as soon as the Chinese people get a taste of American beef they’ll want more of it.”  The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) said, “In recent years, China has become one of the largest import markets for beef, and these terms are a reflection of China's trust in the safety and quality of U.S. beef. We hope that by getting our foot in the door we can develop a long lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with China." 

Under the agreement the requirements for exports to China include:

  • Beef and beef products must be derived from cattle that were born, raised, and slaughtered in the U.S., cattle that were imported from Canada or Mexico and subsequently raised and slaughtered in the U.S., or cattle that were imported from Canada or Mexico for direct slaughter;
  • Cattle must be traceable to the U.S. birth farm using a unique identifier, or if imported to the first place of residence or port of entry;
  • Beef and beef products must be derived from cattle less than 30 months of age;
  • Chilled or frozen bone-in and deboned beef products are eligible for shipment. 
  • Carcasses, beef, and beef products must be uniquely identified and controlled up until the time of shipment.
  • Eligible beef products are not to contain growth promotants, feed additives, and other chemical compounds with a zero tolerance for artificial hormones and beta agonists.

The first shipment of beef was sent this week from Greater Omaha Packing.  China imports an estimated $2.6 billion worth of beef.

Hazlett to lead USDA Rural Development efforts: Anne Hazlett, Chief Counsel to the Senate Agriculture Committee, has been named by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to lead USDA’s Rural Development agencies.  Hazlett will be Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development in which she will oversee the Rural Utilities Service, the Rural Business Serve, and the Rural House Service.  In this position she will report directly to the Secretary.  In making the announcement, Secretary Perdue said, “With this addition to USDA Rural Development, rural America will have a seat at the main table and have walk-in privileges with the secretary on day one,” Perdue said.  “With her background of advising the Senate committee overseeing agricultural and rural development issues, Anne Hazlett comes with a depth of knowledge and experience perfectly suited to her role in helping to restore prosperity to rural America.”  

Hazlett has worked on agriculture and rural issues in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.  Earlier Hazlett was the Indiana Director of Agriculture.  She received her bachelors degree from Kansas State University and her law degree from Indiana University.  Hazlett is very well respected. 

Earlier this year, Secretary Perdue announced a reorganization plan for USDA in which the Under Secretary for Rural Development position was eliminated and the Assistant to the Secretary Rural Development was created.  This decision has been criticized by a number of Senators and Congressmen.  Secretary Perdue told the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee this week that if they weren’t satisfied with the way Rural Development was operating in a year that he would be happy to have another undersecretary directed by the farm bill. 

House Ag to hold Farm Bill listening session: The House Agriculture Committee announced the first of several Farm Bill listening sessions across the U.S.  The first listening session, “The Next Farm Bill, Conversations in the Field,” will be held June 24 in Gainesville, FL.  The purpose is to hear directly from farmers and others impacted by the farm bill on what is working and what changes should be considered in the next Farm Bill.   

Congressional baseball: A record crowd last night attended the annual House Baseball Game to show their strong support for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA); Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX); Zach Barth, legislative assistant to Congressman Williams; Matt Mika, lobbyist for Tyson; and Capitol Hill police officers David Bailey and Crystal Griner who the day before had been shot while at practice.  The Democrats beat the Republicans 11-2.  However, they gave the trophy to the Republicans so it could be placed in Congressman Scalice’s office.  Our prayers go out to those who were injured especially Congressman Scalise and my friend Matt Mika who remain in critical condition. 

What did you miss at World Pork Expo?

The 2017 World Pork Expo is in the books. The three-day event was filled with a flurry of activities. Here are 10 things you may have missed at this year’s Expo.