Managing in Mud

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

Trudging through mud that’s only dew claw deep can reduce animal performance by as much as 7%

As most of Ohio quickly approaches the record for the wettest year in history, cattlemen continue to deal with the ramifications caused when it gets wet in February, stays wet throughout the spring, and summer, and continues wet into winter. The result is more than just a forage quality issue . . . it results in MUD! Whatever happened to the adage, “One extreme follows another.” We’ve certainly got to be due for a stretch of “extremely dry!”

While mud is, at best, an inconvenience when it comes to managing most any aspect of a farm – especially a beef cattle farm – it also can easily evolve into a livestock health and nutrition issue. In an article on Feedlot Mud Management that OSU Extension Specialist Steve Boyles published here a few years ago he suggests that Continue reading

Cause and Effect

– Justin Sexten, Ph.D., Director, CAB Supply Development

We sometimes associate cause and effect without knowing the real link, or as an academic buzz phrase has it, “correlation does not equal causation.” A quick search provides a humorous example. Did you know ice cream sales and shark attacks are highly correlated? While true in a broad sense, the actual reason for similar seasonal trends is that hot weather brings greater ice cream consumption as well as more swimming along beaches where sharks lurk.

Examples in the beef production model are many: vaccines’ ability to prevent pinkeye, growth attributed to a change in feed ingredients, treatment success with the most recent antibiotic. Then there’s the supposed link between weaning success and the moon’s position relative to constellations of stars. While I have never seen any data on the relationship between lunar or zodiac signs and calf weaning success, I wonder if another factor comes into play. Those who follow the signs must plan ahead, so this Continue reading

Weekly Livestock Comments for November 30, 2018

– Dr. Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle trade was not well established at press as bid and ask prices were separated by as much as $8 on live basis. Prices are likely to settle near un-changed compared to last week.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $115.46 live, up $0.09 from last week and $183.08 dressed, up $1.59 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $120.68 live and $190.05 dressed.

Cattle feeders and packers were slow to agree on a price this week with cattle feeders asking $4 to $5 higher prices than the previous week while packers were bidding $3 lower than the prior week. It is highly unlikely the market will move much in either’s favor compared to week ago prices given the somewhat stagnant nature of live cattle futures following the Thanksgiving holiday. Cattle feeders should still hold some leverage over packers at this point in the Continue reading

Mexico’s Impact on Cattle on Feed Placements

– Jared Geiser, Research Assistant, and Brenda Boetel, Professor and Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Mexico historically has been an important source of feeder cattle for U.S. cattlemen, with feeder calf imports of approximately 1 million head a year since the mid-1980s. Imports grew from 702,000 head in 2008 to their peak in 2012 at 1.44 million head. The largest portion of Mexican cattle imports typically enter the U.S. as feeder calves between 200-700 lbs. Lightweight calves are backgrounded to gain additional weight before entering U.S. feedlots. These Mexican feeder cattle contribute to cattle on feed placements at varying amounts throughout the year.

2018 feeder cattle imports from Mexico through the month of October total 898,000 head, a 5 percent increase over the same period in 2017. Feeder cattle imports over the last 5 years, have been highest in the months of November and December and typically drop off in January. Many of these lightweight calves are turned Continue reading

Hay Quality: Trash versus Treasure

Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, OSU Extension Noble County (originally published in The Ohio Farmer on-line)

That saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” usually does not apply to hay, but with as difficult as haymaking was in Ohio this year, it may be true.

Is your 2018 hay crop trash or treasure? There’s really only one way to know! Photo By: Brooke Beam, AgNR, Educator, Highland Co.

The “man” mentioned could be yourself in 2017 versus yourself in 2018. Based on what is available this year, you may be inclined to lower your standards of hay quality to make it through the winter.

But, how low is too low when it comes to hay quality? The answer depends on your class of livestock, their nutritional needs, and your access to supplemental feed.

Without knowing the actual nutritive value of the hay, all recommendations are relative and subject to error. The only way to confidently adjust your feeding program in relation to hay quality is to have hay analyzed by a laboratory.

Characteristics like Continue reading

Forage Focus: Forage Considerations Around Pipelines

In this month’s Forage Focus podcast, host Christine Gelley, an Extension Educator with The Ohio State University Agriculture & Natural Resources in Noble County, talks with Belmont County ANR Educator Dan Lima about a variety of concerns with re-establishing forages after pipeline construction or repair.

Posted in Forages

2018 OCA Replacement Female Sale Results

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) held their sixth annual Replacement Female Sale on November 23 at the Muskingum Livestock Auction Company in Zanesville, Ohio. A large crowd was on hand to bid on 107 high quality females in the sale. The sale represented an excellent opportunity for cow-calf producers to add quality females with documented breeding and health records to their herds.

Buyers evaluated 107 lots of bred heifers, bred cows, and cow-calf pairs at the auction. The sale included 80 lots of bred heifers that averaged $1,437, 25 lots of bred cows that averaged Continue reading

Posted in Events

Weekly Livestock Comments for November 23, 2018

– Dr. Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle traded $4 higher on a live basis compared to last week. Prices on a live basis were mainly $115 to $117 while dressed prices were mainly $181 to $185.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $115.37 live, up $4.32 from last week and $181.49 dressed, up $5.23 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $118.92 live and $189.04 dressed.

The cattle on feed report was not as bearish as expected as cattle on feed numbers continue to exceed year ago numbers. The on feed report should not have Continue reading

Inventories Taking Shape

– Matthew A. Diersen, Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Economics, South Dakota State University

Last week brought a flurry of market information from various NASS reports that give added insight into the cattle supply situation and the inventory levels likely in 2019. In the November Cattle on Feed report, placements were lower and marketings were higher than year ago levels. The placements were at the very low end of trade expectations, while marketings were at the very high end of trade expectations. The slight bump in futures last week, however, did not last long. The latest on-feed total of 11.7 million head continues to be a large absolute level of cattle to work through. Spatially, there was little disparity in the on-feed totals across major feedlot states. The marketings were a little higher in Nebraska than in other states. The implication of these factors is that the number on-feed is narrowing back toward the 2017 level.

There was a slowdown in placements weighing less than 800 pounds. Recent months have had Continue reading

Rabies in Livestock

Timothy McDermott DVM, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County (originally published in Farm & Dairy)

Many diseases can affect animals on pasture. The most difficult ones to stay aware of are the diseases that are uncommon, where the producer or livestock may never encounter the disease. Many diseases that affect livestock have presentation forms that can mimic multiple other diseases that are more common, leading to a delay in veterinary care or producer awareness. One disease that can affect livestock that fits this description, but should stay firmly in a producer’s awareness is rabies.

Rabies is an ancient disease caused by a virus. The Latin translation of rabies means, “To rave or rage”. The virus spreads in its host in an unusual way compared to how most people think of viral spread. While many viruses spread through the bloodstream, enter via the respiratory tract or digestive tract by ingestion, rabies is a neurotropic virus, meaning it spread along the nerves in the nervous system. After an infected host bites an animal or human, the virus enters the wound via Continue reading

Posted in Health