Transitioning the Bull from “Storage” Into the Athlete He Needs to Be

Stan Smith, OSU Extenasion PA, Fairfield County

In recent weeks we’ve spoke several times in this publication about the value of a bull’s breeding soundness exam and the economic advantages of getting as many cows as possible bred early in the season. One thing we’ve yet to discuss is what needs to happen after the bull has passed his exam and until he goes to the breeding pasture. While a bull might have been a potentially satisfactory breeding animal on the day of his examination, it’s important that the 30 to 60 days from then until the day he must go to work are spent in a way that allows Continue reading

Are You Sure That is What You Want?

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

We are finally seeing signs that spring may be here in earnest. Temperatures have been a bit uneven but are trending warmer. Grass is greening up and soil conditions are becoming more favorable for farmers to accomplish field work. Most cow-calf producers are starting to wind down their spring calving seasons and in some cases have started or will soon start their breeding season.

As we move into breeding season, it is a great time to evaluate the early returns on this year’s calf crop. While we have a ways to go to evaluate growth and other traits, we need to evaluate Continue reading

Grass Tetany, Causes and Prevention

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator Wayne County

Grass growth is starting and one potential problem that can be encountered early in the grazing season by livestock is grass tetany, sometimes called grass staggers. Grass tetany is caused by a low blood magnesium level in the affected animal. Magnesium is one of the macro minerals required by animals and it is involved in crucial metabolic functions such as the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contraction. About 70% of the total body content of magnesium is stored in bones and teeth and adequate blood levels of magnesium are dependent upon daily magnesium intake.

Cool season grasses and small grains such as wheat and rye grazed in the early spring present the greatest risk for grass tetany problems. These forages are most Continue reading

Beef Herd Expansion = More Fencing, Choose Supplies Carefully

– Merri Collins, McArthur Lumber and Post

Wood prices are predicted to reach record highs by the end of 2014. This is due to timber-supply shortages related to environmental factors such as heavy rainfall. The increasing demand for wood products as the economy and housing markets begin to recover also plays a large part in rising prices. With low supply and increasing demand, the wood product industry and its consumers are facing price hikes on wood everywhere. -(Wood Working Network Press Release)

Due to this shortage “You get what you pay for,” will take on a whole new meaning for farm fence customers Continue reading

Evaluate Alfalfa Stands For Winter Injury

Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator, Wayne County

As alfalfa stands break dormancy and begin growth, growers should make plans to take some time to evaluate the health of those stands and determine if there was winter injury. Some early bud growth was observed the last full week of March in the southern half of Ohio. This evaluation is especially important in those areas of the state where we had periods of near zero to below zero temperatures this winter combined with little to no snow cover during some of those cold temperatures. Continue reading

Even Slower Start for Grazing Than Last Year

Chris Penrose, Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Morgan County

Last year in the March 20 issue of this publication, I discussed waiting to start grazing pastures. This year, we are two weeks later and again pastures are still not ready to graze. Looking at extended weather forecasts, temperatures are still looking to be below normal, but temperatures are rising. Hopefully, the warmer weather this week will start getting some of our forages to start growing, but growth is way behind average. I was looking at Continue reading