Gaining Greater Market Access for Ohio Feeder Calves

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

You do not have to look long and hard to find plenty of evidence that feeder calf marketing is undergoing significant changes across the country. The market is currently sending a clear message that buyers are demanding more for their purchasing dollars. Significant discounts are occurring in the market place for feeder calves that are not weaned 45-60 days, castrated & healed, dehorned, and given 2 rounds of a modified live vaccine for the shipping fever complex. In 2019, a major restaurant chain is going to start requiring their suppliers of fed cattle to be Beef Quality Assurance certified. This will in turn be pushed down to the producer level. Exports to China and other countries are going to require age and source verification. These are growing realities for cow-calf producers if they want access to as many markets as possible.

The OSU Extension Beef Team is pleased to announce that they have completed two pre-recorded presentations under the theme of “Gaining Greater Market Access for Ohio Feeder Calves”. These videos contain Continue reading

Sidedressing Manure into Newly Planted and Emerged Corn

Glen Arnold, CCA, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management

Ohio State University Extension has conducted manure research on growing crops for several years in an effort to make better use of the available nutrients. Incorporating manure into growing corn can boost crop yields, reduce nutrient losses, and give livestock producers or commercial manure applicators another window of time to apply manure to farm fields.

Our research started with using manure tankers modified with narrow wheels and in recent years progressed to using drag hoses on emerged corn. We now feel confident that liquid livestock manure can be surface applied or incorporated into corn from the day of planting to the V4 stage of development.

In Darke County, Harrod Farms has used a drag hose to apply Continue reading

Beef AGRI NEWS Today, the May Podcast

In this month’s podcast of Beef AGRI NEWS Today, show host Duane Rigsby visits with OSU Extension Beef Coordinator John Grimes and about breeding season and the multitude of management considerations that come into play this time of year. (FYI, there’s likely an audio glitch that begins about 5 minutes into the podcast. Slide past it and the audio resumes properly for the balance of the recording.)

Short Pastures and Supplementation Considerations

– Jeff Lehmkuhler, Extension Beef Cattle Specialists, University of Kentucky

Several county Ag Agents have reported producers asking what to do supplement-wise for grazing livestock with the slow pasture growth this spring. A lot of this is related to the fact that we are roughly 100 growing degree days less this year than the same time frame a year ago. Combine this with the wet weather leading to muddy feeding conditions, producers were happy to see cows begin to pick grass. Low hay stocks also contributed to producers pulling hay away a bit prematurely. Cooler temperatures has resulted in slow pasture forage growth and cows are nipping it off faster than it is growing. This situation has led to several questions regarding supplementing grazing cattle under these conditions and I’ll try to share a few things to consider.

1) No free lunch – Grazing energy expenditure based on research is significantly greater than the energy required to walk, stand, and other activities. A cow grazing an acre would expend more energy than simply walking that same distance. The energy to Continue reading

Initial Hay and Pasture Data Don’t Look Good

– Levi Russell, PhD, Assistant Professor & Extension Livestock Economist, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Georgia

The recently-released hay and pasture conditions report doesn’t look particularly good for producers across most of the country. The bearish May WASDE report – higher production and larger ending stocks for 2018 – compounds the problem, but pasture conditions could very well improve as the season goes on.

May 1st hay stocks are down significantly across vast swathes of the country. Texas, Indiana, Missouri, and Louisiana are all down 60% or more relative to May 2017 and another 7 states across the West, Plains, and Midwest are down more than 40%. These reduced stocks are consistent with Continue reading

Weekly Livestock Comments for May 18, 2018

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

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle traded $6 lower than last week on a live basis. Prices on a live basis ranged from $110 to $117 while prices on a dressed basis were mainly $182 to $186.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $114.88 live, down $6.33 from last week and $184.28 dressed, down $7.47 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $134.27 live and $212.74 dressed.

Finished cattle prices have declined $10 per hundredweight in a two week period which has resulted in the basis narrowing $8. In other words, cattle feeders are not happy with how basis is narrowing, because all of the narrowing is coming from losses in the cash market and very little change in the futures market. Basis may not be cattle feeders’ biggest worry as this week’s cash cattle trade is the lowest price they have accepted since the middle of October. Looking back one year, finished cattle prices declined Continue reading

Entering the Summer Doldrums

– Stephen R. Koontz, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics – Colorado State University

Memorial Day is soon to pass and the impact of the holiday on cattle and beef markets, if not already, is soon to be complete. The impact on prices was positive, especially the Choice-Select spread, but the fundamentals going forward look to be a very mixed bag. There is bullish information, there is bearish information, but there will likely be a lot of beef and other protein production through the remainder of the summer. This is and will continue to weigh on cattle markets.

The bullish news is as follows: the packer margin is strong, as are net exports of beef, Saturday and total slaughter volumes have been strong, slaughter weights continue their seasonal decline and boxed beef composite values have been relatively high. The Choice-Select spread, as mentioned, is also very strong indicating excellent demand going into summer. All of these indicate strong beef movement and good demand in the face of high production. But the bearish news is Continue reading

Sacrificing Clovers for the Greater Good

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

While we may all agree having clover in the pasture mix is good, occasionally they may need to be sacrificed for the greater good of the pasture!

As our world becomes increasingly connected, weed pressures and populations continue to expand. The diversity of a typical mid-west pasture creates difficulties when it comes to dealing with weed populations. These pastures usually contain a mixture of grasses, legumes, and forbs, some of which are beneficial and some of which are weeds. Eliminating the weeds while preserving the beneficials is a challenge and sometimes a sacrifice needs to be made for the greater good of the pasture and in turn, your livestock.

The list of weeds you may find in your pasture is nearly endless. Some of the most ominous weeds in Ohio pastures are Palmer amaranth, thistles, marestail, and coming soon to a pasture near you- spotted knapweed. Due to Continue reading

Cutting Height in Hay Fields: How Low Can You Go?

– Dwane Miller, Extension Educator, Agronomy, Penn State University

While many parts of Pennsylvania have yet to take a cutting of hay in 2018, I was on a farm in Chester County on Monday (5/7/18) where first cutting alfalfa/orchardgrass was made last week. As you head to the field this year, it’s important to pay attention to cutting height in your hay crop. One of our goals as farmers is to maximize our yield; however, cutting a hay crop too low can lead to several negative issues. The introduction of the disk-type mowers (discbines) allows for cutting very close to the ground. I’ve seen many fields that have been “scalped” right to ground level. This differs considerably from the older sickle bar mowers (haybines), whose technology required some level of stubble height remain. Stand longevity can be compromised when the crop is cut too low. As a general rule, alfalfa can be cut closer to the ground than our grass hay crops. We need to think about where energy reserves are stored in the crop. For alfalfa, carbohydrates are stored below ground in the taproot. Our grass hay crops store their energy above Continue reading

Who Can Work on Your Farm

Emily G. Adams, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Coshocton County, Ohio (previously published in the Ag Safety S.T.A.T. electronic newsletter)

The law treats the children you hire differently depending on their relationship to you.

It won’t be long until hay season will be upon us. For some farms that means more labor than usual is required to get all the jobs done. That labor may include your own children or grandchildren. Today we’ll take a look at what the law allows and also consider what types of jobs kids are capable of handling from a developmental standpoint.

One great reference to guide these considerations are “Youth on the Farm: What Type of Farm Work Can They Perform” by Peggy Hall and Catherine Daniels in the OSU Agricultural and Resource Law Program. Another very helpful publication is Continue reading