Grazing Management After Drought

Sandy Smith, OSU Extension Educator, Carroll County  (This article first appeared in the August 24, 2016 issue of Farm and Dairy)

When the rains return after experiencing drought conditions for most of the summer, that fresh green color that appears can have a tempting effect on farmers. Farmers can be tempted to open the gates and let their livestock graze wherever they want. Keeping managed grazing practices in place can help to get those dry pastures healthy again for this fall and next spring grazing.

Pasture damage: The amount of damage dry weather can cause on pastures depends on Continue reading

Drought Stressed Corn as Silage

Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator, Wayne County

Rain has been spotty across much of Ohio this summer and there are areas where corn was under moisture stress during the critical pollination period.  As a result, this drought stressed corn has poor grain development and small cobs.  Much of this corn may end up chopped for corn silage.  Typically the most frequent questions about using drought stressed corn for corn silage revolve around nitrate toxicity, expected yield and quality.

In the August 16 issue of the Continue reading

The Decision to Expand or Sell

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

The beef industry has certainly experienced a bit of an economic “roller coaster” over the past few years.  The historically high prices for all classes of beef cattle during 2014 and the first half of 2015 encouraged an expansion phase to begin.  As beef cattle prices have moderated over the past year, expansion has continued but at a slower pace.  The outlook for beef cattle prices for the next several years still remains positive. The current beef economy has created Continue reading

Two-Stage Weaning

Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist

The objective this experiment (Wiese et al. 20016) was to investigate the effects of weaning method and timing of weaning on the behavioral responses of calves before, during, and after weaning. Thirty pairs of Hereford cows nursing male calves born between March 14 and April 11 and sired by Gelbvieh, Red Angus, or Simmental bull were used.  All calves were vaccinated at 6 to 8 wk of age. All calves were castrated by banding at one day of age.

Calves were assigned to Continue reading

Mainly Bearish News in the August Cattle on Feed Report

– Stephen R. Koontz, Professor, Agricultural Economics, Colorado State University

The cattle markets continue their slide through the late summer and last week’s news suggests this will persist into the fall.  Volatility remains the watch-word – but the overall trend remains down.

The August USDA Cattle on Feed report was released last Friday (8/19/16) and the tone is bearish to neutral.  The report indicated that Continue reading

Regional Variation in Cow-Calf Returns . . .

– Glynn T. Tonsor, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University

As producers continue to make both short-term and longer-term decisions in managing their operations it is useful to periodically step back and take stock of characteristics depicting the industry more broadly.  The recently updated estimates from USDA ERS of production costs and returns offer an opportunity to increase our understanding of Continue reading

Pasture Weaning vs. Drylot Weaning

Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist

Calf management strategies involving pasture weaning coupled with maternal contact (i.e., fence-line weaning) have been recommended as possible best-management practices for minimizing weaning stress and reducing subsequent feedlot morbidity compared with drylot weaning (Boyles et al., 2007; Mathis et al., 2008). Recently a study was done to evaluate the effect of fence-line or drylot weaning on the health and performance of beef calves during weaning, receiving, and finishing (Bailey, et al., 2016).

At weaning, calves Continue reading

Stockpiling Pasture

Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator, Wayne County

Stockpiling pasture gives livestock owners the option to extend the grazing season into the late fall and winter period.  Stockpiling simply means let forage growth accumulate for later use.  The general recommendation here in Ohio is to take a last cutting, clipping or grazing pass in early to mid-August and then let the pastures regrow and accumulate forage until the end of the growing season.  Stockpiling research and on-farm trials results have shown this timing is the best compromise, amassing a substantial quantity while retaining an acceptable quality of forage stockpiled. Beginning earlier can result in Continue reading

Brassicas and Small Grains as Forages

Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator, Wayne County

Brassicas include turnips, rape and kale.  Planted by the end of August, these crops can produce around a ton of dry matter/acre.  Brassicas generally produce a high quality forage, in excess of 18-20 % CP with TDN values in the 75 to 85% range and very low fiber.  They act almost like a concentrate grain mix.  Brassicas work best under a Continue reading

Fall Feeder Cattle Market Prospects

– Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension

Changes in feeder cattle prices recently have potential impacts for cow-calf and stocker producers this fall.  Through July and August, prices for heavy feeder cattle have increased relative to lighter weight feeder cattle.  Several factors appear to be impacting feeder cattle price relationships.

The August USDA Cattle on Feed report shows an August 1 on-feed inventory of 10.165 million head, 101.6 percent of last year.  July marketings were 99.3 percent of one year ago while placements were 101.6 percent of last year.  With two less business days this year compared to 2015, these numbers suggest a Continue reading