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End of an era at Rosemount Turkey Research Facility

Rosemount turkey research unit – key accomplishments  Tuesday, December 1, 2020 marks the final day of operation for the turkey research facility at the Rosemount Research and Outreach Center (RROC). After careful consideration and consultation with College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences leadership, The University of Minnesota has made the difficult but necessary decision to cease turkey research at our RROC. The facility is more than 50 years old and is antiquated by today’s modern turkey production standards. It is cost prohibitive to maintain and upgrade the barn to the present expectations of the industry, especially since the sale of nearby land limits the viability of that location to no more than five years. It has become increasingly difficult to garner research grants given the condition of the facility. You can read more from Dr. Mike Schutz, Head of the Department of Animal Science and the continued plans UMN has to support and engage in research, tea
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Outdoor activities can increase disease risk in home or commercial flocks

By Carol Cardona, Extension specialist, poultry virologist A single duck can excrete billions of influenza virus particles per day. Influenza virus survives in cold, moist conditions and is preserved by freezing. These characteristics result in heavy contamination of pond and slough water, especially when the water is cold. Hunting, trapping, hiking and fishing activities bring people into contact with virus in mud and water that can then be moved to poultry flocks on things like contaminated boots, vehicles and dogs. Clothing Clothing, especially boots, can carry virus in mud or water into poultry barns where it can infect the flock. Anything that is worn in a wild bird environment must be removed and not brought into the poultry barn at all. Clothes and shoes worn for any hunting, fishing, trapping, training dogs, or hiking activities need to be different than the ones used for work related activities. Avoid cross contamination at home. When you return home from any hunting, fishi

Take time to evaluate biosecurity this fall

By Abby Schuft, Extension Educator – Poultry, Carol Cardona, Extension specialist and poultry virologist and Sally Noll, Extension poultry scientist November 10, 2020 Through diligent surveillance, two Minnesota turkey farms have detected low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI). These incidents should make every poultry employee, manager and owner step-back and think about possible complacency in their biosecurity practices.  An influenza virus needs a host in order to grow and Minnesota has plenty of hosts to offer within our poultry industry and thriving waterfowl habitats. Clinical symptoms for LPAI are minimal with no physical symptoms while some birds may exhibit respiratory distress.  The risk of LPAI spreading occurs mainly from indirect or direct contact with virus contaminated: People  Equipment  Wild birds  Line of Separation Barn biosecurity is key! A line of separation (LOS) around each barn and farm unit will separate clean areas (where birds are housed) from dirty areas (po

Biosecurity Plan Audits for Poultry Producers due by September 20, 2020

Reprinted at the request: Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory and The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, Veterinary Services (USDA-APHIS-VS) is giving poultry producers until September 20, 2020 to have a written biosecurity plan in place, audited and rated satisfactory. This is a requirement of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP). The Minnesota Board of Animal Health (Board) is responsible for the biosecurity auditing process in Minnesota. If you would like to have a biosecurity plan audit conducted and have not been contacted by the Board:  Please call their office at 320-231-5170 or email them at poultry@state.mn.us so they can provide you the necessary information, details and timeline. The biosecurity plan audits are paper audits, no site visits are required. Why poultry producers should complete an audit by September 20, 2020: Producers without an audit will not be eligible for USDA-APHIS-VS indemnity or co

Selecting trees and shrubs for windbreaks

By Gary Wyatt, Extension Educator - Agroforestry | wyatt@umn.edu    Quick facts Windbreaks are plantings of single or multiple rows of trees or shrubs that are planted for: Wind protection Controlling blowing and drifting snow Wildlife habitat Energy saving Living screens Reducing livestock odor The effectiveness of a windbreak depends on choosing the right trees and shrubs and planting them at the right density and spacing. Considerations Choosing the best trees and shrubs for your situation is extremely important to ensure an effective, long lasting windbreak. Plants need to be winter hardy and should have a good history of being suitable for the site and soils. Select multiple species of trees and shrubs so, if there is a failure in a row, the windbreak is still effective. A mix of deciduous and coniferous plants is best and should be selected based on the purpose of the planting. Use native plants whenever possible. Density How dense the planting a

Biosecurity reminder for upland gamebird farms

Situation update Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus has been detected in a flock of commercial turkeys in South Carolina . This is a reminder that wild birds can carry both HPAI and low pathogenicity avian influenza viruses (LPAI) viruses that can become HPAI. To prevent infections: Find infections early Neurological signs in a young pheasant. Look at your birds every day for signs of HPAI. Upland gamebirds (pheasants, bobwhite quail and chukar partridges) can be infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). When they are infected they may show neurological signs like having twisted necks or difficulty walking. They may also have watery diarrhea, decreased egg production or suddenly die with no signs of illness. Make sure that the people who look at your birds daily (workers, yourself) are reminded of what this disease looks like and know to report to you what they see. If you find 1-2 dead birds in a pen or enclosure two days in a row that you cannot e

Biosecurity reminder for MN poultry producers

Compiled by the UMN Extension Poultry Team The detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial turkeys in South Carolina is a good reminder that poultry in Minnesota are at risk. The memories of 2015 begin to fade, thankfully, but the new habits adopted because of our own HPAI experiences need to stay. The keys to preventing HPAI in MN are: Early detection Any unexplained increase in mortality, decreased egg production, respiratory or neurologic (twisted necks or quiet) signs of disease should be followed with a submission of swabs or birds to the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory (MPTL) or Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) . Make sure that the people who look at your birds everyday (either you, your workers), know what to look for. Prevent exposure 1. Line of separation . Follow safe entry and exit procedures into the barn carefully. Spring weather can make Danish entry systems difficult because of mud, rain, wind and other shifting conditions.