AGRICULTURE, VETERINARY MEDICINE AND NATURAL RESOURCES NEWS
ISU RESEARCHER CREATES A WAY TO PREDICT FOXTAIL EMERGENCE
Farmers could someday use their computers to predict foxtail emergence before the growing season even starts. Jack Dekker, associate professor of agronomy, has discovered a way to predict foxtail emergence that could change the way the common weed is managed. "Foxtails are the number one weed problem in Iowa appearing in literally every field, waste area, residential yard, roadside and golf course in the state," Dekker says. Dekker and an interdisciplinary team of scientists at Iowa State have developed a mathematical algorithm to predict the emergence of foxtails. It uses archived and current weather information in combination with existing foxtail seed dormancy to predict emergence. The algorithm is part of a decision support system, called FoxPatch, that Dekker is building into an interactive website and software program to help make weed management decisions. Similar products exist for use in the general management of herbicides and weeds, but do not include foxtail information. Dekker also is investigating the use of FoxPatch in predicting the emergence of other weeds through their correlation with foxtail emergence. Contact Dekker, (515) 294-8229; or Melea Reicks Licht, Agronomy communications, (515) 294-1890.
ISU TEAM STUDIES CATTLE IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM IN CANADA
Although having a national identification system did not protect Canadian cattle from a sole case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) discovered in spring 2003, it did help speed and lend confidence to the investigation. These are the findings of a team of researchers from Iowa State University's Iowa Beef Center who recently visited Ontario and Alberta to study the Canadian cattle identification system. A report on the trip has been published by the Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center at ISU and is available online at www.matric.iastate.edu. In Canada's mandatory system, initiated in July 2001, animals are tagged before leaving the farm of origin and the tags are read when the animals are either harvested or exported. The ISU team found that the cost to develop and initiate the system in Canada was relatively low. Producers support the industry-owned, government-enforced program, as evident by the high rate of compliance. Despite a Japanese ban on Canadian beef following discovery of the BSE case, the identification system "has proven to be a valuable tool in the surveillance of BSE and other animal diseases," according to the report. Contact John Lawrence, Iowa Beef Center, (515) 294-6290; or Sandy Clarke, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development communications, (515) 294-6257.
LEARN ABOUT EUROPEAN UNION'S NEW GMO LABELING AND TRACEABILITY REGS AT PUBLIC FORUM NOV. 14
The European Union recently adopted a revised legislative framework to trace and label genetically modified organisms and to regulate marketing and labeling of the food and feed products derived from them. A public forum will be Nov. 14 at the Scheman Building at Iowa State University, Ames, to discuss the EU's new requirements and how U.S. agribusiness can meet them. J. Ferriere from the European Commission's Directorate General for Trade in Brussels, Belgium, will address the forum at 10 a.m. and meet with interested groups in the afternoon. The public is invited to attend Ferriere's talk and view afternoon presentations and exhibits on commercial traceability services offered by companies and organizations. There is no registration fee for any of the day's events. The forum is organized by the ISU Office of Biotechnology and co-sponsored by the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative, ISU Institute of Science and Society, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Economic Development and the Iowa Soybean Association. More information is available at
. Contact Walter Fehr, (515) 294-6865, or Glenda Webber, Office of Biotechnology, (515) 294-4749.
EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SWINE HEALTH IS EASY TO FIND ON ISU WEB SITE
John Carr thinks Iowa State should be the center of the universe when it comes to pig health maintenance. Carr, an assistant professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine at ISU, has created a comprehensive Swine Health Web site
) that is accessible to veterinarians, students and producers anywhere in the world. "In many countries, veterinary students and even veterinarians don't have books. But they can access the Web," Carr said. In fact, students and veterinary medicine faculty in Johannesburg, South Africa, are using Carr's Web site to learn about the care and well being of pigs. The Web site provides general and detailed information, photos (some are not for the skittish) and illustrations on swine basics (including anatomy), diseases, production management, health management, food safety and quality assurance, public health, pet pigs and veterinary techniques. The Web site, which is updated regularly, also provides links to other information resources. Contact Carr at (515) 294-8455; or Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778.
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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