What is the Nutrient Value of Your Hay?

Mark Landefeld, OSU Agricultural Extension Educator (this article first appeared in the Late Fall 2015 issue of the Ohio Cattleman Magazine)

Each year as May and June arrives; most cow/calf owners’ make hay in preparation for their livestock’s winter forage needs. The 2015 season was no exception. Producers watched weather forecasts looking for those three day windows of opportunity to get their hay cut, dry and baled. As usual, there were a few chances near the end of May and maybe one or two windows in early June to make hay, but then precipitation seemed to occur almost daily. The wettest June on record was recorded in 2015, according to some local weather stations, and the rainy weather pattern continued for more than a month. This caused the majority of Ohio farmers’ first cutting hay to be made in late July and August.

Many years of data and forage tests are available that show how the quality of a forage, such as hay, decline as the plants become more mature. Continue reading

Fall Pasture and Grazing Management

– Jessica Williamson, Field Crops Educator, Penn State

Fall pasture growth often provides additional opportunity for grazing livestock; however, careful management of pastures is essential for the over-wintering of forages and improvement into the next growing season. A dry end to our summer has stunted fall pasture regrowth dramatically, but as rains begin to increase in frequency in most regions, fall grazing is beginning to look a little more promising, but could be detrimental to your forage stand if not managed carefully.

During the fall, perennial pasture forages are experiencing the development of new shoots – which gives us Continue reading

Grazing Bites, September 2015

– Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

Quite a bit of August weather felt like mid-September and I certainly hope that September doesn’t feel like October. I’m definitely not ready for that kind of weather yet, I have way too much to get done. The days are getting shorter and the nights a little bit cooler, which means I’ve got to move faster to get the same amount of work done, but maybe in slightly better conditions.

I’ve left a small amount of pasture untouched since spring. It originally wasn’t done intentionally, but I found myself needing more animals this year and just didn’t get them. It wasn’t just the price of purchasing more, it really was just a time thing; lack of sufficient time that is.

GB_September_15 (This deferred pasture looks worse than it really is.)

I am actually surprised by the quality of that stand and the abundance of Continue reading

Consignment Deadline for OCA Replacement Female Sale is Oct. 1

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

On Friday evening, November 27, the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will be hosting their third annual Replacement Female Sale. The sale will be held at the Muskingum Livestock facility in Zanesville and will start at 6:00 p.m.

Why is the group sponsoring such a sale? The primary purposes of the Replacement Female Sale are to: Continue reading

The Importance of Beef Imports to the US Cattle Producer

– Brenda Boetel, Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

The USDA ERS livestock and meat trade data released in September showed an increase in beef imports of 32% coupled with a decrease of 10% in beef exports. Given current trade expectations, approximately 14% of the US supply of beef in 2015 will be from imports, as compared to 12% in 2014. The recent decline in cattle price combined with these changes in trade have many questioning the reason for beef imports and the importance of these imports to the US cattle producer.

The primary sources of domestic beef are grain-fed cattle and culled dairy cows. US exports of beef consist primarily of the high-valued beef cuts in the form of steaks and roasts from grain-fed cattle, whereas beef imports are primarily ground beef. Retail level ground beef is typically Continue reading

Hay Storage Considerations

Daniel Lima, OSU Extension Educator, Belmont County

Hay bales stored outdoors that do not form a good protective thatch layer can mold up and the dry matter losses can penetrate deep within the bale.

badbale

Forming a Protective Thatch on Your Hay Bales Continue reading

Be Smart About Pasture Renovation

– Marvin Hall, Professor of Forage Management, Penn State

Three things that could greatly improve the potential for “big returns” when renovating pastures are soil fertility, pasture management and reduced weed competition.

September is the prime time for many producers to be undertaking a pasture renovation project. No-till or broadcast some seeds into a “weak” pasture and hope for the best next summer. A small investment with the potential for big returns, right? Not always. Continue reading

Proper Cow Culling is Important to Your Business

– Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University

Cull cows represent approximately 20% of the gross income of any commercial cow operation. Cull beef cows represent 10% of the beef that is consumed in the United States. Therefore, ranchers need to make certain that cow culling is done properly and profitably. Selling cull cows when they will return the most income to the rancher requires knowledge about cull cow health and body condition. Proper cow culling will reduce the chance that a cow carcass is condemned at the packing plant and becomes a money drain for the entire beef industry.

Is she good for another year? At cow culling time, producers often face some tough decisions. Optimum culling of the herd seems to require Continue reading

Cattle on Feed

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

The USDA NASS September Cattle on Feed Report was released Friday 9/18. The news was more-of-the-same and one surprise. 2015 has displayed none of the price escalation of 2014, a persistent retreat from record-high prices, and volatility. In 2015, and during August, fed cattle marketings have been slow and inventories have been substantial. Marketings during August were 6.1% below the prior year and cattle on feed inventories were 2.6% above the prior year. Such an environment is only conducive to lower prices. There are plenty of cattle in the pipeline and soft movement out of showlists into meat inventories. The September report held more of the same of this behavior and the industry expected Continue reading

The Rest of the Story: Harvesting and Hauling Crop Residues!

Stan Smith, PA, OSU Extension, Fairfield County

Last week in this publication we mentioned that with 3.5 million acres of Ohio corn to harvest this fall, the opportunity is great for extending the brood cow grazing season well into fall and perhaps winter with corn crop residue. While corn residues offer a considerable amount of digestible energy and fiber, it’s always good to review the palatability and practicality of utilizing residues resulting from corn or soybean harvest as a significant feed source. This is especially true as one considers baling and hauling the residues to the cows.

IMG_20150928_080857_537 Continue reading