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National Briefs

June 18, 2014 | 0 comments


Alltech Research earns AAALAC accreditation for excellence in animal care

Global animal health leader Alltech has been officially recognized for its commitment to responsible animal care and good science practices. The company has received full Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) accreditation this year.

AAALAC International is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs. Alltech joins more than 900 organizations, institutions and companies in 37 countries that have earned AAALAC accreditation, which has become the "gold standard" for animal research facilities.

"Alltech recognizes the importance of animals in research and the scientific and ethical responsibility for their humane care and use," said Dr. Kate Jacques, director of nutrition and Alltech's AAALAC institutional official. "The staff and scientists at the Alltech Research Farm are responsible for ensuring optimum health and well-being of animals in our nutrition studies. We are proud to meet AAALAC standards for accreditation and view this as a benchmark in Alltech's ACE approach, which demands safety for the animal, consumer and environment in all we do."

AAALAC works with institutions and researchers to serve as a bridge between progress and animal well-being. Standards set by AAALAC are overseen at the institutional/research farm level by an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). The IACUC is a self-regulating committee that, according to federal laws, is established by institutions that use animals in research in order to oversee and evaluate all aspects of animal care and handling. It also conducts inspections of all areas where animals are housed or treated, reviews the institutional program for animal use and reports its findings to the institutional official.

"In order to meet these standards, all personnel that work or interact with animals must obtain IACUC training," said Dr. Kristen M. Brennan, chair of Alltech's IACUC. "AAALAC accreditation demonstrates that not only does Alltech's Research Farm meet legal standards, it also shows that we go the extra step to achieve excellence in animal care and use."


Spring planting nearly done in North Dakota

Spring planting of most of North Dakota's major crops is nearly done.

The Agriculture Department says in its weekly crop report that spring wheat is 96 percent planted, ahead of the average pace of 83 percent. Durum wheat seeding was about average, at 84 percent done.

North Dakota sunflower farmers have planted about 79 percent of their crop, which is ahead of last year but slightly below the average.

Most other crops — including corn, oats, canola, barley and soybeans — were just a few percentage points of being done.


225-acre solar farm planned for Currituck County

A 225-acre solar farm is expected to be in operation in Currituck County by the end of next year.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reports that Ecoplexus Inc. of San Francisco has state and county permits to begin construction on the $25 million project next spring. The project is to be completed by the end of 2015.

The solar farm in Shawboro would have more than 86,000 solar panels and be capable of producing 20 megawatts of power — enough for almost 2,000 homes.

"This particular site offered the right combination of size, suitable terrain, and very close proximity to utility infrastructure," said Nathan Rogers, project development manager for Ecoplexus

The company says the project would be the biggest of its kind in North Carolina east of Raleigh. With nearly 70 solar farms, North Carolina ranks fourth in the nation in solar power production, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

"It's hard to find a negative as far as the county is concerned,'" said Ben Woody, Currituck County planner, pointing out the solar farm should not be a drain on local public services.

Dominion North Carolina Power would purchase the power from the solar farm.


BPC honors Senators Stabenow and Harkin

Biobased Products Coalition (BPC) members honored Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) for their policy leadership to spur greater manufacturing and use of biobased products in the United States. BPC joined Senator Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, at her 'Grow It Here, Make It Here' Spotlight on Innovation in the Russell Senate Office Building.

Growth of the biobased products sector creates U.S. jobs, including in rural America. U.S manufacturers today make hundreds of products with renewable agricultural feedstocks, replacing petroleum and harsh chemicals in products that Americans use every day.

Senator Stabenow champions multiple biobased policies, including creation of a new tax credit for companies that invest in new facilities or purchase equipment to manufacture biobased products. Stabenow is also a leader in enhancing the BioPreferred® Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which certifies and labels products so consumers can choose to purchase goods made of agricultural and biobased materials. The program calls on government agencies to give these products a preference when making government purchases.

Senator Harkin is a pioneer in biobased policy. In 2002, Harkin and Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) co-authored the Farm Bill's first Energy Title, including provisions that called on the federal government to lead the nation in buying biobased products. Harkin recognized that the nation's agricultural strengths offered the potential for reducing dependence on foreign oil. He said, "When I look across Iowa's corn and soybean fields, I see oil fields."


Precision Aerial Ag Show

Ag Eagle, SenseFly, Horizon Precision, MLB, Trimble, Precision Drone and other makers of unmanned aerial systems will be among many companies exhibiting their precision aerial technology at the Precision Aerial Ag Show, scheduled for July 9-10 at Progress City USA, Decatur, IL.

The technology show is drawing global interest from exhibitors and attendees, who will be watching the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the air and real-time video output. Advanced tickets have been sold to attendees from California to the Carolinas and Texas to the Dakotas.

Headlining the list of speakers at PAAS 2014 are Brendan Schulman, the attorney who successfully represented a photographer whose camera-drone was cited by the Federal Aviation Administration as violating its policies, and Idaho farmer Robert Blair, speaking about his pioneering use of UAV technology and 8 years of experience with them.

Also speaking will be several university researchers providing current and future perspectives on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) use in agricultural applications. A panel of farmers will also relate their experiences and use of UAV technology on their farm, along with UAV consultant Chad Colby of Bloomington, IL, about making UAV purchase decisions. The educational seminars are sponsored by ADM Crop Risk Services, Decatur, IL.

This event will be of interest to agricultural producers wanting more information to make crop management decisions, regarding fertility, moisture, pest control and other efficiencies. There are numerous applications, beyond agriculture, for UAV systems, such as photography, film-making, real estate and various emergency services.

The Precision Aerial Ag Show also will feature both indoor and outdoor exhibits by a wide variety of vendors demonstrating products and services related to unmanned aerial technology or related applications. Ticket information and advanced ticket sales are at www.paas2014.com.

The exhibit field and demonstration areas are open to visitors 8 a.m.-5 p.m.


John Deere announces allied agreement with Dawn Equipment Company

John Deere announced an alliance with Dawn Equipment Company, Inc., a manufacturer specializing in ground engaging tools and active control systems for planters. The alliance allows John Deere to sell and support Dawn hydraulic-controlled down-force systems, row cleaners and closing wheels for planters.

"With this agreement, we will be able to collaborate with Dawn to distribute customizable, hydraulic-control down-force systems and attachments to enhance overall planter performance," said Aaron Wetzel, vice president of the global crop care platform. "Utilizing Dawn technology, producers will be able to have an automated, closed-loop control for planter hydraulic down-force, displayed on an HD map from an iPad in the tractor cab."

Customers will also be able to purchase Dawn's complete line of M Series closing wheels and other products through the John Deere dealer channel.

"We're very excited about this alliance with John Deere," said Joseph Bassett, president of Dawn Equipment Company. "Our line of planter attachments, ground engaging tools and hydraulic control down-force systems lead the industry in performance and will be even more customizable through this relationship with John Deere."

Current offerings from Dawn will focus on retrofitting the current line of John Deere 1770, 1770NT and DB Planters. These products will also be compatible with the recently introduced MaxEmerge 5 and ExactEmerge 1775 and 1775NT Planters.

"This is another example of how we're offering producers additional solutions to help them maximize machinery performance and, ultimately, crop yields. Our industry-leading portfolio of planting solutions will deliver even more options in the future to improve planter performance," Wetzel said.

For more information about John Deere products, visit www.JohnDeere.com or visit with a local John Deere dealer.

For information about Dawn Equipment Company, Inc. and their portfolio of products, visit www.DawnEquipment.com.

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