From really WET to very DRY, What’s Left in Your Pastures?

Mark Landefeld, OSU Extension Educator, Monroe County

How quickly things can change here in Ohio! Not much longer than a month ago, while I was moving cattle from one paddock to another, I was amazed at how wet it was for the middle of July. It seemed more like early March weather because it was really muddy when I put the cows through a gate into a new paddock. I don’t ever remember my livestock pugging paddocks in July before, but there was some this year.

Now as we near the end of August I see a lot of water tanks on trucks hauling water for livestock to drink and many pasture fields are brown from forage plants going dormant due to lack of moisture. Rotationally grazed paddocks appear Continue reading

Make Plans Now to “Stage” the Last Cutting of Hay

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

The abundant and constant rainfall across much of Ohio this spring that extended well into summer for many, has severely reduced the amount of high quality hay harvested in the state. While the weather forecast suggests that the next week or so will provide lots of opportunity for dry hay harvest, due to the late harvest of the previous cutting, hay simply may not be ready to make again. That, along with the temptation to make up for short forage supplies with a later cutting of high quality hay, and a calendar that is quickly moving into September, creates some challenging decisions for the hay manager.

With fall upon us, perennial plants will Continue reading

Mid-year Cattle Inventory Report Shows Continued Herd Expansion

– Dr. Kenny Burdine, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Kentucky

USDA released their mid-year cattle inventory estimates in late July. The report suggested continued expansion of the beef cow herd at a slightly greater pace than was seen in January. The combination of favorable weather and strong calf prices are continuing to keep cows in production and encourage heifer retention. Beef cow numbers were estimated to be up 2.5% from last July and heifer retention was estimated up by about 6.5%. July 1 inventory estimates for 2014 and 2015 can be Continue reading

Cattle on Feed

– John Michael Riley, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University

Markets across the globe are in the midst of a sharp decline. Thus far, 2015 has been a trying year for equities and commodities alike and they have been nothing like the “roaring” market of 2014.

A number of factors have played into the sentiment that has pressured numerous markets. The financial woes of Greece dominated much of the headline space in 2015. During the first quarter in the U.S. indicated a subpar start to the year, by 2014 standards anyway. However, there has been some catching up of economic data since, which has led to Continue reading

Take Advantage of the Situation

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

The beef industry is experiencing a truly unique economic situation at this time. Survey data indicates the nation’s cow herd is in the midst of a documented expansion phase. This is a direct result of historically high prices for all classes of beef cattle and a lessening of drought conditions across much of the country. The outlook for beef cattle prices for the next several years remains very positive.

Depending on your situation, the current beef economic climate provides a unique opportunity for both buyers and sellers of breeding cattle. Both groups can take advantage of this situation by Continue reading

Grazing Bites, August 2015

– Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

This will probably be another one of those years that we won’t forget about for a while and we may be telling future generations, “Back in ’15, it rained so much that ducks started carrying umbrellas.” Pastures have grown quite well with all the rain and so have yards. I don’t remember ever needing to mow every four days in July; not to say that I did.

Forage should not be in shortage. Quality hay might be. This is generally the Continue reading

Fall Beef School Begins on Oct. 6

Clif Little, OSU Extension Educator Guernsey County

The OSU Extension Beef Team members have made plans for the 2015 Fall Beef School. The dates for the school are Tuesday, October 6, 13, and 20th. Each night the program will start at 5:30 p.m. Classes will be held at the OSU Eastern Agricultural Research Station in Belle Valley. Supper will be provided with registration each night. The school has been designed to address Continue reading

Cattle Feeding Risk

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

Despite recent rains, soon enough there will be yearlings marketed in the northern plains. The fed cattle and related markets have been relatively steady in recent weeks. During the lull, it seemed like a good time to look at the feeding margin to see if it has stabilized also. The feeding margin will likely dictate the price level bid for yearlings soon and for calves throughout the fall. The feeding margin risk will likely dictate actions feedlots take to manage the risk of lower fed cattle prices and higher feeder cattle and Continue reading

Flies, Beetles and Cattle

Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist

Horn Fly: The horn fly is the major insect pest on pasture cattle and is less often found around farmsteads. They deposit their eggs in fresh manure, usually within minutes after the manure is dropped. Horn fly eggs hatch and reach the adult stage in about 10 to 14 days. They pass the winter in the pupal stage with the first of the season’s adults emerging and moving to the livestock about mid-May. Horn flies have blood sucking mouthparts and usually Continue reading

Beef and Forage Field Night is Aug. 27

Water management and resource development will be among the topics discussed during the 2015 Beef and Forage Field Night Aug. 27, offered by experts with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

The Jackson Beef and Forage Field Night is from 5-8:30 p.m. at the Jackson Agricultural Research Station Continue reading