October 2, 2014

IA Dept. of Agriculture

 79.8 percent of the deer tested positive for the disease

DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship today announced that the test results from the depopulation of a quarantined captive deer herd in north-central Iowa showed that 284 of the 356 deer, or 79.8% of the herd, tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).  The owners of the quarantined herd have entered into a fence maintenance agreement with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, which requires the owners to maintain the 8’ foot perimeter fence around the herd premises for five years after the depopulation was complete and the premises had been cleaned and disinfected.

CWD is a progressive, fatal, degenerative neurological disease of farmed and free-ranging deer, elk, and moose.   There is no known treatment or vaccine for CWD.  CWD is not a disease that affects humans.

On July 18, 2012, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Lab in Ames, IA confirmed that a male white tail deer harvested from a hunting preserve in southeast IA was positive for CWD. An investigation revealed that this animal had just been introduced into the hunting preserve from the above-referenced captive deer herd in north-central Iowa.

The captive deer herd was immediately quarantined to prevent the spread of CWD.  The herd has remained in quarantine until its depopulation on August 25 to 27, 2014.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship participated in a joint operation to depopulate the infected herd with USDA Veterinary Services, which was the lead agency, and USDA Wildlife Services.

Federal indemnity funding became available in 2014.  USDA APHIS appraised the captive deer herd of 376 animals at that time, which was before depopulation and testing, at $1,354,250.  At that time a herd plan was developed with the owners and officials from USDA and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

Once the depopulation was complete and the premises had been cleaned and disinfected, indemnity of $917,100.00 from the USDA has been or will be paid to the owners as compensation for the 356 captive deer depopulated.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship operates a voluntary CWD program for farms that sell live animals.  Currently 145 Iowa farms participate in the voluntary program. The above-referenced captive deer facility left the voluntary CWD program prior to the discovery of the disease as they had stopped selling live animals. All deer harvested in a hunting preserve must be tested for CWD.





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Judge restores protections to wolves in Wyoming


Michael Winter, USA TODAY 9:46 p.m. EDT September 23, 2014

wolf pic 10-1-14.jpeg

At the end of 2013, data showed that Wyoming, Montana and Idaho were home to at least 320 packs consisting of at least 1,691 wolves and at least 78 breeding pairs.(Photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

Overruling U.S. wildlife officials, a federal judge Tuesday restored protections for gray wolves in Wyoming but left intact a determination that the species has recovered and is not endangered or threatened “in a significant portion” of its northern Rocky Mountains range.

Relying on Wyoming data, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service declared that the gray wolf had recovered from near extinction by humans and removed it from the list of threatened or endangered species in late August 2012. The move, which the agency called “a major success story,” transferred control from federal to state officials a month later.

Idaho and Montana officials had previously been given oversight of the wolves in their states because populations had rebounded and their management plans met federal requirements.

But in her opinion Tuesday from the nation’s capital, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that it was “arbitrary and capricious” for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to rely on Wyoming’s “nonbinding promises to maintain a particular number of wolves when the availability of that specific numerical buffer was such a critical aspect of the delisting decision.” Continue reading

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‘Game-changing’ study: Reducing deer herd in residential communities reduces Lyme disease

By David Figura The Post-Standard September 10, 2014



Deer urban pic.jpeg

(Marlyn Fuess photo)





North Franklin, Conn. – Researchers in Connecticut say if you reduce deer numbers in a residential community you’ll reduce the chances of residents coming down with Lyme disease.

The 13-year-study, “The Relationship Between Deer Density, Tick Abundance and Human Cases of Lyme Disease in a Residential Community,” was carried out by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Wildllife Division in the small communities of Mumford Cove and Groton Long Point. The results of the study were published in the July issue of the Journal of Medical Entomology.

If you want to reduce the number of deer ticks, you have to reduce the number of deer that they dine on during their second year of life, the researchers found.

tick pic.jpeg

The deer herd in the two communities – which at its peak averaged 80 deer per square mile – was cut down considerably by volunteer hunters using shotguns, compound bows, crossbows and bait on three tracts of public land. Both communities had to eliminate their no-hunting ordinances to allow the hunting.

“Reducing deer density to 5.1 deer per square kilometer resulted in a 76 percent reduction in tick abundance … and 80 percent reduction in resident-reported cases of Lyme disease in the community,” the study noted. Continue reading

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Canadian beekeepers sue Bayer and Syngenta over neonicotinoid pesticides

Class action lawsuit seeks $400 million in damages

CBC News Posted: Sep 03, 2014 1:48 PM ET Last Updated: Sep 05, 2014 4:49 PM ET


Studies have shown that bees exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides have smaller colonies, fail to return to their hives, and may have trouble navigating. (Emily Chung/CBC)

Canadian beekeepers are suing the makers of popular crop pesticides for more than $400 million in damages, alleging that their use is causing the deaths of bee colonies. Continue reading

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New guidelines reflect benefits of no-till farming


Posted Aug. 28th, 2014 by Robert Arnason

Soil fertility | North Dakota university is the first in the U.S. to adopt new corn recommendations

A quiet agricultural revolution is underway in North Dakota.

The change is hard to detect because it’s happening in the specialized field of soil fertility.

This summer, North Dakota State University unveiled new soil fertility recommendations for corn, which is planted on 3.85 million acres across the state.

The 11-page guide makes it clear that no-till soil is distinct from tilled soil. NDSU experts say farmers with fields dedicated to continuous no-till, for six years or longer, need 40 to 50 pounds less nitrogen per acre to grow corn than producers with tilled fields.
 Continue reading

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