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Thursday, April 27, 2017

How to use cassava as a global livestock ingredient.

Cassava known mostly for its starch-rich tubers is a plant that also offers many possibilities to provide other lesser-known feed ingredients for man and livestock. Cassava is a plant that is very tolerant to poor growing conditions as it can be cultivated in regions suffering from poor soil, droughts and even frequent plant diseases. Under such conditions, it yields about 13 metric tons of tubers per hectare. Of course, when grown in near-ideal (tropical) conditions, yield can reach up to 80 metric tons of tubers per hectare. Cassava is the second largest carbohydrate-rich crop worldwide, with over 9 million hectares of cultivated land devoted to cassava production in Africa and Asia. Global cassava cultivation expands to Asia, Latin America and Africa due to high demands from the human, feed, industrial starch and ethanol industries. Thailand is the largest exporting country for cassava products but surpassed by Nigeria and Brazil, two countries that use their local cassava internally. Nigeria has used cassava extensively as food for man,making different products such as garri,tapioca, cassava chips,starch and flour. Cassava has also made an entrance to livestock feed to boost productivity and reduce cost of production by using local feed. Cassava peels and cassava root meal have been explored in livestock with good results,see The cyanide content of the plant is the major reason why many farmers are skeptical about using it but processing reduces the cyanide content and also cyanide content varies with cassava specie making the inclusion in livestock feed safe .There are two types of cyanogenic glucosides in cassava: linamarin and lotaustralin, the first making up to 93 percent of total. When animals eat the raw cassava tubers or leaves ,they consume the cyanogenic compounds thus releasing the cyanide which is highly toxic to animals causing asphyxia and death. Processing the cassava removes the cyanide thus emphasis is on proper processing, when the cassava peels are sun dried or oven dried, linamarase enzyme is released and this comes into contact with the cyanogenic glucosides and releases hydrogen cyanide (HCN), which is volatile and evaporates, and because sun drying takes longer time span than oven it releases more of cyanide which makes the peels safe. The processing removes as much as 90% by this processing method.The raw cassava pulp contains as much as 200 mg/kg HCN, whereas these levels are reduced to 31 and 27 mg/kg, by oven-and sun-drying, respectively. The whole tuber contains as much 400 mg/kg HCN, with the peel containing as much as 800 mg/kg. The leaves are even richer in this compound, containing up to 1,500 mg/kg. There are several varieties of cassava, ranging from 75 to 1,000 mg/kg HCN, and factors such as soil conditions, fertilizer and weather also affect the concentration of HCN, so choosing the variety with the minimum cyanide content will be a factor to jump start the processing for safety. Cassava leaves can also used as feed ingredient but must be dried and milled to create cassava leaf meal, a material rich in protein and fiber but low in energy. The inclusion in feed must be with extra caution because of the very high levels of HCN in raw leaves. The high level of cyanide in leaves can be reduced by proper processing, timing of the harvest and appropriate variety selection. 10 metric tons dried cassava leaf meal can be produced per hectare, this is a significant by-product, suited especially as an animal feed.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Alternative vegetable protein sources for broilers.

Alternative vegetable protein sources for broilers. Soybean meal and dried distiller’s grains with solubles (DDGS) remain the primary source of protein for broilers. Soybean meal is the No. 1 source of protein for broilers worldwide, but its use is supplemented by locally available secondary sources such as DDGS ,rapeseed meal and sunflower meal . There are minor, local sources of protein that can offer the benefits of volume and low prices. When such opportunity arises, broiler producers are enticed to use these alternative, protein-rich ingredients, but results are often disappointing. The main reason is not as much quality, but rather lack of understanding of the limitations posed by each ingredient. These limitations arise from the concentration, which can be quite variable, of certain anti-nutritional factors that cause an almost toxic effect in the bird’s metabolism. Knowing these factors and their concentration can lead to very successful feed formulations using alternative protein sources and to very profitable production outcome. 1) Palm kernel meal The rapid growth of palm oil production in Asia, Australia, South America and Africa has led to tremendous quantities of palm kernel meal being available for all types of livestock. Not a protein-rich ingredient (less than 18 percent crude protein), palm kernel meal remains an interesting ingredient because it can contribute to significant cost savings. It is poor in lysine and methionine, with average digestibility values, but it contains sufficient energy to constitute a good part of the total dietary protein fraction. It is also relatively high in crude fiber (up to 20 percent). In many aspects, palm kernel meal can be compared to corn gluten feed. It is speculated that any adverse effects of palm kernel meal observed in broilers is due to its grittiness and overall physical quality aspects and not due to its nutrient profile. As such, high quality palm kernel meal can be used relatively freely, within constrains imposed by its limited nutrient profile, in broiler diets. 2) Cottonseed meal A by-product of the extraction of oil from cotton seeds, this protein source is not often available for broiler feed due to competition from ruminant feeds — something that increases its price. Cottonseed meal contains about 40 percent crude protein, of moderate digestibility, whereas the major anti-nutritional factor is gossypol. Broilers can withstand much higher levels of gossypol compared with layers, but the usually high fiber concentration (15 percent) in cottonseed meal will pose an upper limit in formulation. In regards to gossypol, it is possible to reduce the negative effects by neutralizing it through the addition of certain iron salts. Low- or no-gossypol cultivars are also available yielding meals that are tolerated well by broilers. A gradual introduction into feed formulas is recommended. 3) Corn gluten meal There is nothing really wrong with corn gluten meal, which is a by-product of the starch extraction process from corn kernels. It contains about 60 pecent crude protein, with digestibility values being comparable to that of corn. It also contains the majority of pigments from the kernel, and it leads to heavy pigmentation of the broiler skin — which can be a desirable or undesirable carcass trait according to market circumstances. continue

Researchers find Zika RNA in Brazilian A. albopictus mosquitoes.

Researchers find Zika RNA in Brazilian A. albopictus mosquitoes.Researchers detected fragments of Zika virus RNA — but not live virus — in Aedes albopictus mosquitoes collected in a Brazilian state hit hard by the recent Zika outbreak. A different mosquito, A. aegypti, has been the primary vector for Zika and the main driver of the recent outbreak in the Americas. In the United States, the range of A. albopictus is far greater than that of A. aegypti. This results mean that Aedes albopictus may have a role in Zika virus transmission and should be of concern to public health, this mosquito is found worldwide with a wide range of hosts and has adapted to colder climates. The role of this mosquito in Zika virus transmission needs to be assessed. more

Malaria hospitalizations in US more common.

Malaria hospitalizations in US more common than realized. A new study has shown that Malaria hospitalizations in the United States are more common than previously thought, possibly due to increased travel to regions where the disease is endemic. The study published in in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, suggests that as more infected travelers return to the U.S., clinicians must develop strategies to combat the potentially fatal disease. It appears more and more Americans are traveling to areas where malaria is common and many of them are not taking preventive measures, such as using anti-malarial preventive medications and mosquito repellents, even though they are very effective at preventing infections. The researchers searched hospital records in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database for malaria-related hospitalizations from 2000 to 2014. They estimated that there were 22,029 malaria hospitalizations in the U.S., with an average of 1,469 cases per year, during that period. Men accounted for about 60% of patients with malaria. Blacks made up 52.5% of patients, whites 24%, Hispanics 6.3%, Asians and Pacific Islanders 5.9% and Native Americans 0.9%. The disease-causing species was known in 52.9% of cases. Plasmodium falciparum — which is known to cause a strong majority of severe and fatal cases — accounted for 72.9% of those. An estimated 4,823 (22%) cases were deemed severe malaria. The most common complication was renal failure (9.6%), followed by severe anemia (7.2%), cerebral malaria (4.3%), acute respiratory distress syndrome (4.1%) and jaundice (3.7%). One hundred eighty-two (0.8%) patients died in the hospital. more

Managing mental health and well-being of farmers .

Mental health and well-being of farmers . The general well-being of farmers and farmhand affect productivity directly or indirectly and this must be addressed to boost productivity and ensure adequate health care for farmers. Farmers, farm family members, farmer representatives, safety professionals and people working on farms or living around farms all have a role to play in the health and safety as a poor mental health affects a person’s ability to cope with and manage their lives, particularly during personal change and life challenges. People living and working in farms and agricultural premises in remote areas are more likely to suffer higher levels of loneliness and social exclusion more so than their urban counterparts. Farmers are under a lot of pressure, especially with high cost of feed and production generally and the state of the nation putting many under severe stress resulting in ill health and reduced production capacity. Farmers are under pressure because of financial threat as many sourced loans from banks, many are not insured and very many are operating below capacity . Farmers are also stressed because of lack of social support, anxiety and work stress as every farmer in a group are trying to stay afloat leaving little or no room for empathy or emotional intelligence. Farmers are also anxious especially when it comes to their crops or animals,thinking about pest invasion,sudden death or other unforeseen disasters,leading to unnecessary worry cycle that can kill the farmer,collapse the farm or lead to depression. Health and safety on farms are an aspect of safety codes on site,but now farmers health and wellbeing should be part of safety code to help farmers strike a balance and lead peaceful lives . Seminars on mental health and well-being of farmers will help keep farmers and farms running for a long time and ensure food security.

How to avoid pitfalls when reseeding.

How to avoid pitfalls when reseeding.Reseeding is expensive, but when done correctly it can pay for itself in two years – which is a very quick return on investment.Germinal’s Dr. Mary McEvoy highlights some of the most common pitfalls to avoid when reseeding. Avoiding these will give a much better chance of successful establishment of a high-performing sward for years to come. 1)Poor Kill Of Old Sward :Desiccation or killing off of the old sward is an essential first step when reseeding and the only opportunity you will have to control grass weeds in the sward. It also presents an ideal opportunity to destroy difficult weeds such as docks, thistles and other grass weeds. Using the top rate of glyphosate, as per the product label, and a high water volume is essential to achieve successful dessication of the old sward. About seven-to-10 days after spraying the sward should be grazed/cut tightly to minimize the surface trash. Allow the product adequate time to work. For min-till operations, the recommendation would be 16-to-20 days from spraying to cultivation. This will ensure the herbicide has adequate time to translocate to the roots and kill the plant in its entirety. 2) Poor Seedbed Preparation; Cloudy Seedbed A cloudy seedbed occurs as a result of cultivating too soon after spraying the old sward. Therefore, allowing adequate time for the herbicide to kill the roots is essential to ensure the roots are destroyed – and will avoid clods in the seedbed. For min-till, as explained above, this can take 16-20 days. continue

Funding opportunities for agricultural projects.

Funding opportunities for agricultural projects. International Tropical Timber Organization — Freezailah Fellowships 2017. ITTO makes grants through the Freezailah Fellowship Fund for training opportunities, demonstration tours, participation in conferences and workshops, preparation of technical papers, and post-graduate degrees. Grants up to US$10 thousand are in support of sustainable tropical forest management. Applicants are young and mid-career professionals in ITTO’s member countries; most grants are to individuals in the developing countries. The next application deadline is 20 June 2017. Apply New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre — Postdoctoral Fellowship in Livestock Emissions Research Deadline: 30 Jun 2017 The government of New Zealand sponsors LEARN as a program to build international capability in livestock emissions research. The government of New Zealand sponsors LEARN as a program to build international capability in livestock emissions research. LEARN currently invites applications for postdoctoral fellowships of one to two years from technical staff and scientists in developing countries who will work with New Zealand colleagues Applicants need the collaborative support of a New Zealand host organization, which will administer the funds. Expressions of interest (EOI) can be submitted at any time during the year, and full applications must be submitted by 30 June. apply U.S. Department of State — ADAPT Africa. The ADAPT-Africa project aims to increase actions needed at national- and subnational levels in African countries to attract investment that builds resilience to climate change. Interested organizations are expected to propose activities according to their organization’s strengths and experience. The relevant countries are Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia. Eligibility for funding extends to U.S. non-profit NGOs and for-profit organizations, non-profit organizations in other countries, educational institutions, and public international organizations. The closing date is 22 May 2017 more