Can You Have a Successful Breeding Management Program?

George Foxcroft Pijoan Lecture
Dr. George Foxcroft, University of Alberta, Edmonton, gives the Pijoan Lecture at the 2011 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference. He talks about genes, gametes and gestation outcomes: essential links in a successful breeding management program. From the 2011 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference, September 17-20, 2011, St Paul, MN USA.

Is This A Reality? Managing Gene X Environment Interactions?

Managing gene X environment interactions
Dr. Billy Flowers, NCSU, talks about managing gene X environment interactions on reproductive performance of replacement gilts and boars through pre-weaning management at multiplication level. He looks into if this is a reality and what are its implications. From the 2011 The Allen D. Leman Swine Conference, September 17-20, 2011, St Paul, MN, USA.

Can We Have Real Dialog on GMOs?

BioFortified GMO dialog

BioFortified highlights the need for dialog around genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as it relates to food and food production.

BioFortified points out how misconceptions are perpetuated by images of plants grown out of test tubes and monster plants, when these images are really incorrect. To make its point, BioFortified shares how Threadless is supporting a t-shirt design contest with the title Food Fight.

Many of the design submitted offer images of killer tomatoes and syringe wielding vegetables. These images are meant to scare and intimidate the public in to believing non-GMO food is better and healthier for humans.
the theme of this contest is “Food Fight”, and if the contest entries are any indication of what kind of dialog this perspective encourages, this can only harm civil discourse. However, one entry in my mind rises above the rest, and that is this one: The 1st Rule of GMOs: You Should talk about GMOs.

What are the Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability?

Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops

This comprehensive report from the National Academy of Sciences aims to provide an in-depth analysis, a report of its findings, and offer recommendations on the issues and opportunities.

In general, the committee finds that genetic-engineering technology has produced substantial net environmental and economic benefits to U.S. farmers compared with non-GE crops in conventional agriculture. However, the benefits have not been universal; some may decline over time; and the potential benefits and risks associated with the future development of the technology are likely to become more numerous as it is applied to a greater variety of crops. The social effects of agricultural biotechnology have largely been unexplored, in part because of an absence of support for research on them.

From the report (p. 213), there are five key challenges facing genetically engineered crops:

  • The success of genetic-engineering technology in the United States has altered the seed industry by spurring consolidation of firms and integration with the chemical industry.
  • How the intensive use of current and prospective GE organisms will directly affect the natural environment differently from other agricultural production systems is incompletely understood.
  • Progress in developing GE varieties for most “minor” crops (e.g., fruits and vegetables) and for other “public goods” purposes not served well by private markets has been slow.
  • The presence of transgenic material in non-GE products should be addressed.
  • U.S. farmers who grow GE crops may face market restrictions from some countries or retail firms on the importation or sale of the crops or products made from the crops.

Is Media's View of GMOs Fair?

Science in the media can be very hard to explain. This is especially true when the topic, like genetically modified organisms (GMO), is very technical, not very sexy, or controversial. In the case of GMOs, some media outlets cater to the confusion and aim to be sensational. Unfortunately, this approach distorts the facts and may cause consumers to make inaccurate statements about what they eat, buy, or recommend.

On December 7, 2010, Dr. Pamela Ronald, a distinguished plant scientist at the University of California – Davis, appeared as guest expert on the nationally-syndicated “Dr. Oz Show” to discuss the benefits of GMOs.

Unfortunately, what “played out” was way past disappointing. There was unbelievable bias in how the segment was edited to produce the “final” version that overshadowed the sound scientific facts about GMOs. I found it remarkable that much of what Dr. Ronald presented during the filming of the segment was edited “out” of the final version of the show!

It is important to understand how media uses fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) to derail constructive conversations about complicated subjects. Learn more from Dr. Terry Etherton and his response to the producers of the Dr. Oz Show.

DairyCast update for September 22, 2010, How To Work Through Summer Conception Declines

DairyCast is heading north for the World Dairy Expo. Conversations with vendors and industry guests will be available at in coming weeks. Let us know what you found interesting or of concern during your trip to Madison.

DairyCast update for March 9, 2010, What Impact Does Nutrition Have on Reproduction?

Do you find this update of value? Would your friends, colleagues, or staff also find it of value? Please invite them to sign up up to this update .

BeefCast update for January 8, 2010, Enhanced marker assisted selection and Cattle of Feed report

Happy New Year! Hopefully 2010 will be extremely prosperous and successful for you. We at BeefCast resolve to continue to bring you the information and solutions you need to enhance your profitability. Let me know how we can help you on a daily basis by sending me a note

DairyCast update for December 15, 2009, Understanding the science behind genomic selection

Which topics are on your list of concerns for the coming year? Your responses will help improve DairyCast. Plus, by completing the survey, you can be entered to win a $100 Target gift card. Survey link.
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