Monday, September 14, 2009

Fact Checking in Poultry Production

You may see commercials in the media stating one thing or another regarding their birds. While factually true, it does cast doubts about their competitors. What consumers should know is that the food laws in the US prohibit antibiotic residues in poultry. Birds need to be in good health prior to processing and are checked at the plant prior to processing. You are more likely to come in contact with antibiotics through direct contact (prescriptions, topical ointments / preparations) Than through your food.

Fall Manure Spreading is soon here

Hey! Watch where you put that!

With fall harvest comes fall spreading of poultry manure before cover crops or winter fallow of fields. Poultry farmers and manure haulers need to look at these loads as far as their house fly status to determine if further actions are needed. Heavy fly infested manure should be piled and covered for 14 days in order to kill any further fly larvae. By paying attention to these simple steps, fly levels on the farm can be kept to a minimum.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Scales are Tipping

On Balanced Reporting....

I guess I am a little hardened to what we have seen in Time Magazine lately. Time has not been a good friend to food groups or farming for that matter for many years. You may remember the frowning plate cover years back?

The cover story Bryan Walsh wrote was extremely unbalanced in covering anything to do with conventional agricultural production. This got me so steamed, that I did something I usually do not do. I wrote a letter to the editor. Since I don't think it will be published I am reprinting what I submitted below.

Email Subjet Line: Let's Get Real About Food in General

I found your story regarding cheap food [Aug 21, 2009] an unbalanced folly on what U.S. consumers have but fail to realize – A Choice! Conventional agricultural production (sustained now for decades) has allowed U.S. consumers to have more disposable income than any other culture in the world. Enough so to even allow us the luxury to demand greener, designer foods, and dictate what is to be produced. Two points we need to consider: If it is ok to buy a car, refrigerator, toothpaste, shoes, lumber, and ketchup made in a large factory why is it a crime to buy foods that were produced with the same economies of scale or organization? Secondly, if your kid were sick with a bacterial infection would you withhold antibiotic treatment? Even the range cattle need medication from time to time and there are laws that prohibit antibiotic residues from reaching the consuming public (all meat sources, always). It is disappointing to see the hard work of the American Farmer being dragged through the mud in biased articles such as this. Considering the time and risk to family livelihoods farmers take, few others are willing to follow them in the hard work they do to feed the rest of us (including you too Mr. Walsh).

Gregory P. Martin, Ph.D., PAS

Poultry Scientist
Just an aside here I let my subscription to Time Lapse a long while ago.... Looks like I'm not missing much.