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New product notes

Agriculture.com Staff 02/02/2007 @ 9:44am

ADM introduced a new product this week that "weatherizes" mineral supplements for cattle. According to Brad Dalke of ADM's Alliance Nutrition, the new product called WeatherMaster will keep rainfall from leaching away the nutrients in free choice minerals fed in range or pasture situations. WeatherMaster is a coating product made from a natural vegetable source.

In tests, they simulated rainfalls of up to four inches, and WeatherMaster held leaching losses to about two percent, less than half the losses usually seen in older products.

"If you say you've got 1,000 ppm of copper in a mineral product, and it rains 4 inches, you've still got almost all of the copper there," says Dalke.

A new genetic testing tool has been introduced to cattlemen for testing breeding stock for their meat marbling and tenderness characteristics. The tests are called Tru-Marbling and Tru-Tenderness.

Cargill and MMI Genomics have been working on the DNA tests for several years in partnership. Producers can take tissue samples from bulls or heifers, send them to the MMI Genomics labs, and have them tested for these DNA markers. The cost is $65 for the tenderness test, $125 for the marbling test, and $180 for a combined test.

The difference between these tests and other genetic marker tests is in the number of DNA data points emcompassed, says Ed Quattlebaum of MetaMorphix, parent company of MMI Genomics. He compares it to the resolution on a TV screen -- the more pixels, the clearer the image.

"Our tests encompass up to 100 DNA data points for the marbling and tenderness tests," he says. "Other tests may only look at 5 or 6 points."

Fort Dodge Animal Health announced a new calf health program called Prime Protection. It's a program for auction barns to use with producers who sell calves through the facility. If an auction joins the program, calf producers would follow a vaccinaton and management program on their calves, and sell them in special value-added programs at the auction market.

The markets can use the program to educate producers on the value of identified and verified health and management procedures, record products used and practices, and market the program to potential buyers.

ADM introduced a new product this week that "weatherizes" mineral supplements for cattle. According to Brad Dalke of ADM's Alliance Nutrition, the new product called WeatherMaster will keep rainfall from leaching away the nutrients in free choice minerals fed in range or pasture situations. WeatherMaster is a coating product made from a natural vegetable source.

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