Magnify your options "It's going to be extremely critical for producers to have daily information....It allows producers to manage with binoculars instead of through the rear-view mirror."- Jim Gibb, eMerge Interactive, an information, technology and e-commerce site for the livestock industry. - A2K: Ag Beyond 2000

Combat swine flu To help battle swine influenza, Schering-Plough has received a conditional license for its new inactivated vaccine H3N2. The company has added another isolate of H3N2 to the original vaccine, which it introduced last year with one H3N2 strain.

Until now, H1N1 was the only type of flu affecting U.S. swine herds, according to the company. The H3N2 version was initially found in North Carolina and quickly spread to most U.S. herds. The new strain appears to strike sows harder; producers should suspect H3N2 if their herds have been properly vaccinated against H1N1 but still break out with significant flu.

Vaccinate healthy pigs three to four weeks of age or older with 2 ml, intramuscularly. A second dose two to three weeks later is required for primary vaccination. Contact Schering-Plough Animal Health Corp., Dept. FIN, Box 3182, Union, NJ 07083, 800/211-3573.

Edible vaccines by Roxanne Furlong The company is only three years old, but its development of an antigen inserted into corn as an oral vaccine in grain is way ahead of its time.

Dan Hammes, vice president of operations for ProdiGene, admits that the technology of inserting a gene into seed corn is not new, but says that his is the only company that is using the technology for animals and their feed. ProdiGene's first product will be a vaccine against transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) in young pigs, available next year.

"Field trials have just started," Hammes says. Testing is being done on one-acre fields contracted and managed through Stauffer Seeds. (The companies also hinted at corn vaccines for hepatitis B in humans and for rabies in dogs).

TGEV causes severe diarrhea and death in young pigs. A low-level virus causes poor growth, but it's hard to detect because pigs may not be visibly sick. Hammes expects that the vaccine will be fed to sows toward the end of gestation so the antibodies will be in the mother's milk at birth. He says it also may be offered as a pig starter, in perhaps two to three days' or a week's worth of feed.

"The work actually started at Pioneer," Hammes says. But that's where the connection ends. "Our CEO was able to bring the technology and scientists and also get a license to operate as a separate company."

For more information about future grower contracts (which have been paying $0.50 to $1.00 over commodity price), contact Stauffer Seeds, Dept. FIN, Box 68, Aurora, NE 68818, 888/676-7759 or circle 198. For more information about the TGEV vaccine, contact ProdiGene, Dept. FIN, 101 Gateway Blvd., Suite 100, College Station, TX 77845, 409/690-8537.

Daylight savings Place these lights in your dairy barn to encourage animals to eat more, recommends Luke Mast from IBA of Ohio. "Sunlight is rated at 5,500 kelvin temperature. This is rated at 5,000. So it is the closest thing to daylight you can buy," Mast says. Studies have shown that supplemental lighting can result in an 8% increase in milk production and a 6% increase in feed cost for an income over feed cost of $15.84/day for a 40-cow herd, the company claims. The lights put out 200W of light but use only 36W of energy for good energy efficiency. They are typically spaced 8 to 10 ft. apart, depending on height. Choose among three models to fit your wiring application. Suggested list price: $60 to $67. Contact IBA Inc., Dept. FIN, 27 Providence Rd., Millbury, MA 01527, 508/865-2497.

Control liver abscess in cattle According to the animal health company ImmTech, liver abscesses in cattle cause the loss of an estimated three million cattle livers annually in the U.S., resulting in a loss of $15 million/yr. The company says cattle with abscessed livers have reduced feed intake, reduced weight gain and decreased carcass dressing percentages. The USDA recently approved the company's Fusogard, a bacterin to aid in the reduction of abscesses in feedlot cattle. The company claims it's the first F. necrophorum bacterin designed only for cattle. Fusogard is labeled for vaccination of healthy cattle six months or older. It is given in two doses: one during initial feedlot processing and the other 60 days later. It's available in 10-, 50-, 125- and 300-dose bottles. Contact ImmTech Biologics, LLC, Dept. FIN, 8600 W. 239th St., Bucyrus, KS 66013, 888/466-8325.

Silage inoculant Vets Plus's VP Silage Inoculant contains eight lactic acids that produce bacteria and three enzymes that work during every phase of silage fermentation. It performs under varying weather, temperature and moisture conditions, according to the company. The product decreases the heat buildup in the silage during fermentation to save nutrients, which, in turn, retards spoilage. Contact Vets Plus Inc., Dept. FIN, 102 Third Ave. E., Knapp, WI 54749, 800/468-3877.