URBANA, Ill. - Co-products from the human food industry offer a lower-cost alternative to cereal grains in diets fed to pigs. Research at the University of Illinois is helping to determine the nutritional value of these ingredients so that producers can make informed choices about incorporating them into swine diets, said Hans H. Stein, a U of I animal science researcher.
Researchers led by Stein conducted two experiments using corn and corn co-products. In the first experiment, they measured the concentrations of digestible and metabolizable energy in distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), hominy feed, bakery meal, corn gluten meal, corn gluten feed, and corn germ meal. In the second experiment, they determined the standardized total tract digestibility of phosphorus in pigs fed diets containing these ingredients without or with the addition of microbial phytase.
Corn gluten meal contained 5,379 kilocalories of digestible energy per kilogram of dry matter, more than in any of the other ingredients. The digestible energy (DE) concentrations in DDGS (4,062 kcal/kg), corn (4,032 kcal/kg), bakery meal (3,951 kcal/kg), and hominy feed (3,819 kcal/kg) were similar, but corn gluten feed (3,553 kcal/kg) and corn germ meal (3,437 kcal/kg) contained less digestible energy than all the other ingredients.
Corn gluten meal also had the greatest concentration of metabolizable energy (ME) at 4,400 kcal/kg dry matter, followed by corn (3,891 kcal/kg), DDGS (3,694 kcal/kg), hominy feed (3,675 kcal/kg), and bakery meal (3,655 kcal/kg). Corn gluten feed (3,169 kcal/kg) and corn germ meal (3,150 kcal/kg) contained the least metabolizable energy.
"The main reason DE and ME concentrations are greater in corn gluten meal than in corn is that corn gluten meal contains more crude protein and less fiber," Stein explained.
"Hominy feed, DDGS, corn gluten feed, and corn germ meal contain much more fiber than corn, which contributes to their lower energy digestibility," he said.
The standardized total tract digestibility of phosphorus was 75 percent or greater in DDGS, corn gluten meal, and corn gluten feed. The digestibility of phosphorus in bakery meal and corn germ meal was greater than 50 percent and in corn and hominy feed it was less than 50 percent. Addition of microbial phytase to the diet increased the digestibility of phosphorus in corn, bakery meal, corn germ meal, corn germ, and hominy feed, but addition of phytase to the DDGS, corn gluten meal, and corn gluten feed diets did not affect phosphorus digestibility.
"Different corn co-products contain different quantities of phytate-bound phosphorus due to differences in composition and processing," Stein said. "By adding microbial phytase to the diets, we were able to increase the digestibility of phosphorus to greater than 60 percent for all ingredients."
"Phosphorus digestibility and concentration of digestible and metabolizable energy in corn, corn coproducts, and bakery meal fed to growing pigs” was recently published in the Journal of Animal Science. It was co-authored with Oscar Rojas and Yanhong Liu of the Stein Monogastric Nutrition Laboratory at U of I. The full paper is available at http://www.journalofanimalscience.org/content/91/11/5326.full.
The National Pork Board and Nutrition Efficiency Consortium provided funding for the studies.
Grants provide funds to further grain safety awareness
Grants provide funds to further grain safety awareness
Urbana, Ill. - The Illinois Grain Handling Safety Coalition (GHSC) and University of Illinois Extension have been awarded grants totaling more than $120,000. These grants will be used to promote grain safety awareness and provide prevention training for producers and their employees, as well as elevator owners, operators and employees.
The Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health (GPCAH) awarded GHSC and Extension one grant for $15,000. A second grand for $105,300 was awarded by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Robert Aherin, a professor and agricultural safety program leader in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Illinois, is the administrator of the OSHA grant and co-program investigator of the GPCAH grant.
The GHSC and Extension received similar grants from GPCAH and OSHA in 2012, and those monies were used to develop training modules in different aspects of grain safety.
“The original grant money from GPCAH was used to develop a module that gives an overview of grain safety,” said Aherin. “The previous OSHA grant allowed us to develop four training modules that cover falls, entanglement hazards in grain facilities, safe entry of a grain bin, and an overview of agricultural confined spaces, including grain bins, silos, and manure storage facilities.” In the process of doing that work, Aherin said they discovered that the topic of safe entry of a grain bin, in particular, had not been satisfactorily addressed in the past.
“Safe entry procedures into a bin that has grain that is waist deep (about 4 feet) or greater, and has entrapment or engulfment potential, requires several steps to reduce the risk of entrapment,” said Aherin. “One of these steps includes wearing a lifeline that has been appropriately installed so it can protect a grain bin entrant from becoming engulfed.”
The GHSC developed an educational poster that depicts the basics of a lifeline system set-up, a video which examines the system in more detail, and a list of the technical terms (and their definitions) used in the video. The coalition is continuing their work on developing specific guidelines for determining which grain bins have the design integrity to establish anchors, a critical component for a lifeline.
Aherin said, “We felt there was also a need to cover other aspects of grain bin entry. The new grant will be used in part to develop a second video that addresses issues such as how to use a grain bin entry permit or checklist, identifying hazards, and basic emergency procedures.”
Aherin said some of the grant monies will be used to develop more training materials, including an instructor training program on how to establish a lifeline in a bin. Funds will also be used to further develop the coalition and their website.
Aherin stressed that these resources are not meant to train workers to rescue individuals trapped in a bin. “The Fire Safety Institute has a program on grain bin rescue (which Aherin helped develop), and there are six to eight tech rescue groups in Illinois that are trained in this type of rescue.
“Our materials focus on prevention,” Aherin concluded. “We want to help ensure the safety of the priceless lives involved in the successful operation of a farm or business. The grain they produce has great value, but nothing is more valuable than the lives of family, friends, and neighbors.”
More information about the new grain safety initiatives can be found at www.grainsafety.org.
A slower pace of soybean consumption is needed
URBANA, Ill. – The pace of consumption of U.S. soybeans continues to draw a lot of market attention. The pace of domestic soybean consumption accelerated in December 2013 and the pace of export commitments continues to exceed expectations. According to a University of Illinois agricultural economist, even with the normal seasonal slowdown in exports of soybeans, soybean meal, and soybean oil consumption seems to be on track to exceed the available supply.
“For the 2013-14 marketing year, the USDA projects the domestic soybean crush at 1.7 billion bushels and projects exports at 1.495 billion bushels,” said Darrel Good. “With seed, feed, and residual use of 109 million bushels, consumption at the projected level would leave year-ending stocks of 150 million bushels, or 4.5 percent of projected consumption. The projection of the domestic crush is 11 million bushels, or 0.7 percent, larger than the crush during the previous marketing year and 45 million bushels larger than projected in September 2013. Based on estimates from the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA), the crush during September 2013, the first month of the marketing year, was 9 percent less than the crush during September 2012. The monthly crush, however, exceeded that of a year earlier in each month from October through December 2013, with the cumulative crush during those three months exceeding last year’s crush by 2.5 percent. While the total crush during the first four months of the marketing year is only marginally larger than that of a year ago, the recent pace has exceeded expectations and suggests that the marketing-year total could exceed the current USDA projection,” he said.
Good reported that the USDA projection of marketing-year exports is 175 million bushels, or 13 percent larger than last year’s exports which were limited by small supplies and high prices. The projection is very close to the record-large exports of 2009-10 and 2010-11. Exports are expected to be large in spite of record-large soybean production outside the United States in 2012-13 and expectations of even larger foreign production in 2013-14. The large export expectations reflect expectations of very strong demand from China. China is projected to import 2.535 billion bushels of soybeans from all origins during the current marketing year, up from about 2.2 billion bushels in each of the previous two years. Through the first 21 weeks of the current marketing year, the USDA reported soybean export inspections to all destinations at 1.115 billion bushels, 17 percent more than cumulative inspections of a year ago. The pace of shipments to date is higher than the pace implied by the USDA’s projection of the size of the year-over-year increase in exports.
“The magnitude of unshipped sales is also much larger than that of last year,” Good said. “As of Jan.16, the USDA reported that those outstanding sales stood at 514 million bushels, compared to 307 million bushels at the same time last year. Nearly 53 percent of those sales were to China, and 23 percent were to unknown destinations. Total export commitments (shipments plus outstanding sales) stood at 1.549 billion bushels, 54 million bushels more than the USDA’s projection of exports for the entire year.” Good added that 64 percent of the commitments were to China.
Good said that if exports for the current marketing year reach 1.549 billion bushels, year-ending stocks would total only 96 million bushels, or 2.8 percent of projected consumption. “Stocks cannot realistically be reduced to such a low level, with 125 million bushels being a likely minimum level of ending stocks. Exporters appear to be selling soybeans that will not be available,” he said.
So how does the apparent discrepancy between the pace of consumption and available supplies eventually get resolved?
“There are a number of ways or combination of ways that the difference between the USDA’s projections and the current pace of consumption will be resolved,” Good said. “These include a slowdown in the pace of the domestic crush, cancellation of some export sales, rolling some export sales into the 2014-15 marketing year, larger imports of South American soybeans this summer, and smaller year-ending stocks than now projected,” he said.
Prices for the 2013 soybean crop will be determined by how the soybean supply and consumption balance is maintained. According to Good, cancellation of export sales would be the most negative development for prices.
“The market continues to expect cancellations by China, but none have been confirmed,” Good said. “A slowdown in the pace of the domestic crush would also indicate that supplies are adequate and point to lower prices. A lot of attention then will be focused on the January NOPA crush report. A continuation of large export shipments and sales would be the most friendly for prices, indicating that larger imports would be needed this summer and that year-ending stocks will be smaller than now forecast. Prices appear locked into a broad sideways pattern until the likely pathway becomes more obvious,” he said.
Good said that, for producers still holding old-crop soybeans, the higher-price pathway would be welcome, but it holds the most risk since a larger U.S. crop in 2014 is expected to eventually lead to lower prices. Protecting the downside price risk on old-crop soybeans still seems prudent.
Recent tree report addresses common oak problems in Illinois
URBANA, Ill. – In the past several years, oak trees in Illinois have continued to develop disease and pest problems. Each year, the University of Illinois Plant Clinic diagnoses hundreds of oak samples with multiple pest, disease, and cultural issues, said Stephanie Porter, a plant diagnostician and outreach specialist with the Plant Clinic.
There are 21 different oak species native to Illinois, and oaks can be long-lived trees. For example, specimens of white oak, the state tree of Illinois, have been known to live for more than 200 years. Many oak species that are used within the landscape are native; however, native does not translate to problem-free, Porter said.
Problems can arise when trees are planted in locations where the species is not well adapted. Oaks require full sun and grow poorly when planted in shade. Soil preferences vary widely depending upon the oak species. Porter recommends researching the site conditions as well as the cultural requirements prior to purchasing and planting an oak species. “Time spent researching helps ensure the right tree is selected for the right place and avoids future problems,” she said.
Porter, in collaboration with other U of I specialists, has recently released report titled Oak Problems. It includes pictures and brief descriptions of oak cultural issues as well as the most common disease and insect problems that affect oak each year in Illinois. This report can be downloaded from the U of I Plant Clinic website at: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/plantclinic/downloads/Plant%20Clinic%20Report%20Oak%20LO.pdf.
Meet ASAP Scholars - 2014 Applications due February 15
Meet some of the Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Program’s Scholars. ASAP scholars receive support to study critical issues in agriculture, food systems and their interactions with the environment and society.
Ron Revord is a second year M.S. student working on breeding methods to develop a Midwestern hazelnut crop. Ron’s focus on hazelnuts grew out of his concern for agriculture and the environment and his recognition of societies’ need for increased and diversified staple food-crop production systems that can improve rather than degrade the environment.
Dane Hunter (center) is a first year M.S. student and an Illinois native who grew up on a family farm in southern Illinois. Dane continues to work on the farm with his dad where they raise corn, soybeans, wheat and a few head of livestock. His research was developed in response to the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP), which calls for increased use of locally produced food as a way to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and enhance the community by providing local jobs.
Rafter Ferguson (far left) is a third year PhD student who came to the Crop Sciences Department at University of Illinois in 2010, after receiving an M.S. in Agroecology from the University of Vermont. Prior to graduate study, he spent a decade as an activist in the global justice movement, as participant, organizer, and scholar.
ASAP Scholars Program
The Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Program (ASAP) seeks to enhance the quality of agricultural and environmental education at the University of Illinois through support graduate students studying critical issues in agriculture, food systems and their interactions with the environment and society. The intent of this program is to recruit and support exceptional graduate students interested in topics of great societal import (eg: climate change, food security, environmental degradation, biodiversity, land stewardship, resource conservation and social equity). Priority support will be given to topics that have obvious societal benefit that do not have well established sources of funding. Research must be interdisciplinary and address the needs of producers, resource managers or consumers. In addition, proposals must include outreach to undergraduate students at the University of Illinois. Special consideration will be given to projects developed with input from partner organizations.
The ASAP Scholars program is housed within the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences but is open to students working across campus. The program consists of a 2 year commitment of a 25% 11 month research assistantship (RA) and tuition and fee waiver. Students must identify and consult with prospective faculty advisers before developing a proposal. Co-advising arrangements are highly encouraged. Partnering entities are being asked to provide a summary of the problem they would like to be addressed, a description of the physical, human and organization resources they could provide, and a commitment to match the level of ASAP support provided to the student in order to bring the student RA to a full time (50%) appointment.
Students should submit materials to email@example.com by Feb 30, 2014. Proposals should include a: 1) Title, 2) Problem statement explaining how the work will address an existing need or gap in knowledge, 3) Description of project participants. The proposal should not exceed 3 pages. In addition, applicants should provide copies of transcripts, a resume, and three letters of support including letters from advisors and project partners. Students must apply to, and be admitted into, the home department of one of their major advisors to receive this award.
More info on the ASAP website: http://agroecologyandsustainableagriculture.org/asap-scholars-program/.
Contact Michelle Wander for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manage diabetes with new mobile apps from Illinois Extension
URBANA, Ill. - Managing diabetes is an ongoing challenge. University of Illinois Extension has developed two mobile apps that will give people with diabetes and their caregivers additional tools to face some of the day-to-day challenges.
Healthy eating is a cornerstone of diabetes management, and Recipes for Diabetes provides more than 200 recipes that are easily prepared; each contain an approximate nutritional analysis for calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat, fiber, sodium, and cholesterol.
“The recipes have been tested by U of I faculty and the photographs are from meals prepared and tested in Illinois labs,” said Jane Scherer, Extension specialist. “This is an excellent resource for food selection and food management.”
The second app, Diabetes Lifelines Newsstand, is a bimonthly newsletter about managing diabetes with special features on medical and medication updates, recipes, and menu suggestions.
Both applications were developed by Karen Chapman-Novakofski, a U of I professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Go to the Extension website to download Recipes for Diabetes free from Google Play or the App Store; Diabetes Lifelines Newsstand is available free from the App Store.
Gardening on the Go
URBANA, Ill. - Rose aficionados and home gardeners have access to two new mobile apps from University of Illinois Extension.
Our Rose Garden is an interactive tool that offers information on a variety of that sweetest-smelling flower. Learn how to plant and prune roses, protect them in the winter, and guard them from various diseases and pests. There is a gallery to keep track of favorite roses, take notes, share ideas with other rose lovers, and make comments. Users also have access to a number of U of I Extension YouTube videos about rose care.
The second app, Gardener’s Corner Newsstand, provides access to Extension’s quarterly newsletter about home gardening. The newsletter offers information on gardening topics for every season, the care and maintenance of vegetable and flower gardens, variety selection, and disease prevention and control. This app was developed by Extension horticulturists in northern Illinois.
Visit the Extension website to download Our Rose Garden free on Google Play or The App Store; Gardener’s Corner Newsstand can be downloaded free from The App Store.
Nicole Gross, a human development and family studies (HDFS) graduate, aspires to become an occupational therapist. She loves the idea of helping someone whose functioning has been impaired return to doing what he or she loves by looking at the full person and not just the injury or illness. Nicole believes the University of Illinois prepared her for her graduate studies and that the skills she learned as an undergraduate are helping her achieve her master’s degree.
“I felt extremely prepared for all of my graduate school classes thanks to the excellent education I received in the HDFS courses,” Nicole says. “I also greatly appreciate being able to choose classes from other disciplines in order to gain as much knowledge and skills as I needed to succeed in grad school. The relaxed nature of my schedule really allowed me to take full advantage of being at a great institution like U of I.”
Nicole took advantage of some of the many opportunities on campus as a part of Illini Pride throughout college and through studying abroad in South Africa.
“I had never been away from my twin sister for more than a weekend,” Nicole says, “so going to South Africa was really a test to see how we would do if I decided to move to Ohio for graduate school. I learned a lot about myself along with learning about the culture and history of an amazing country. Being able to interact with people in South Africa helped me practice working with people of a different background than me, and sometimes it made me really work hard to overcome a language barrier. It was an incredible experience.”
Jesse Faber, a recent graduate of the agricultural science and leadership education program, works at Pontiac High School in a two-teacher agriculture program. Jesse enjoys his job because it enables him to instruct students in innovative ways.
“I love the looks on their faces when they experience true achievement or learn something new,” Jesse says.
Thanks to the experiences Jesse had in college through the livestock judging team, the meat evaluation team, Hoof-n-Horn club, Collegiate FFA, and Alpha Gamma Rho agriculture fraternity, he has been able to better prepare his students in those activities and other career development events. He says the University of Illinois helped prepare him for his future career.
“The U of I provided a great transition to adulthood with real-world, independent living,” he says. “I had exposure to tremendous industry experiences and varied educational environments. The size of the university also enabled me to have contact with various people and personalities in each area, as well as requiring me to learn to be responsible for my own success.”
Jesse believes the agricultural science and leadership education program equipped him to be able to successfully educate and communicate with others in the agriculture industry.
“Every class I took was taught by someone with expertise and passion in their field,” Jesse says. “The large university setting required me to develop independence and personal responsibility while providing experiences that made me a well-rounded individual.”
Hands-on experiences were what Jennifer Kleiman enjoyed most about her education at the University of Illinois. Along with her coursework, they helped her identify and build on her strengths.
“The hands-on nature of the human development and family studies [HDFS] major offers students great experience for their future careers,” Jennifer says. “I took advantage of coursework that allowed me to screen children for developmental delays, create and implement early childhood lesson plans, and participate in various research projects. HDFS also looks at children and families through a ‘systems lens.’ I find this way of thinking to be enormously helpful in any job function. Also, HDFS classes tended to be small, which created a stronger sense of community among students and greater support from our professors.”
While on campus, Jennifer took advantage of several research and internship opportunities that expanded her skills.
“As a student, I interned for the Family Resiliency and Autism Resource Center, then a new initiative of the Department of Human and Community Development,” Jennifer says. “I worked closely with U of I faculty to develop a new program from the ground up. I helped to define the program, target the audience, and develop outreach strategies. Even as an undergraduate intern, my input was valued, and I felt I was integral in the center’s development.”
Jennifer believes the breadth of opportunities for students to identify and develop their strengths is what sets U of I apart from other academic institutions.
“U of I is an excellent research institution, with one of the best academic libraries in the country,” Jennifer says. “As a result I was able to hone my skills and understanding of what quality research looks like. While I don’t conduct research in my current position, I know where to look for good information and have the skills to interpret it.”