Early Weaning = Less Health Risk, Enhanced Carcass Value

Garth Ruff, OSU Extension Educator, Henry county

Having grown up in the beef cattle business I realize this is the time of the year in which most of the spring born calves have traditionally been weaned and sent to market. Here in Northwestern Ohio where pasture comes at a premium and preserved forage is fed for a large part of the year, it may be time to consider reevaluating weaning age, in order to increase potential gains within the cow calf system.

Why do we wean calves in the fall? Continue reading

Dangers of Harvesting and Grazing Certain Forages Following a Frost

Mark Sulc, OSU Extension Forage Specialist

Frost on sorghum-sudangrass hybrids and forage sorghums create an intermediate high potential for prussic acid poisoning. Photo: Mike Estadt

As cold weather approaches, livestock owners who feed forages need to keep in mind certain dangers of feeding forages after frost events. Several forage species can be extremely toxic soon after a frost because they contain compounds called cyanogenic glucosides that are converted quickly to prussic acid (i.e. hydrogen cyanide) in freeze-damaged plant tissues. Some legumes species have an increased risk of causing bloat when grazed after a frost. In this article I discuss each of these risks and precautions we can take to avoid them. Continue reading

Fall Manure Application Tips

Glen Arnold, CCA, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management and Kevin Elder, Livestock Environmental Permitting, Ohio Department of Agriculture

With warmer than normal weather forecast for the next couple of weeks, corn and soybean harvest in Ohio is expected to get back on track. Livestock producers and commercial manure applicators soon will be applying both liquid and solid manure as fields become Continue reading

Grazing Bites: Looking at Dry Weather Late Season Pasture Management

– Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

White snake root; either eaten in large amounts at one time or in small amounts over a period of time, both can be fatal. (Victor Shelton photo)

As I write this in early October parts of Indiana still remain dry with an intensity rating of abnormally dry to moderate drought. It’s certainly been drier in the past, especially thinking back to 2012, but we could benefit from some rain. Forage regrowth has slowed down and opportunities for fall annuals remains challenging.

I planted some annuals; they emerged but would greatly benefit from some precipitation in order to meet their purpose. If we get some rain, along with enough warm days for good growth, they may still provide some forage for grazing.

The earlier we can get those fall annuals up and growing, the more growth potential they have. If you haven’t Continue reading

August Trade Data Shows Strong Exports Continue

– Katelyn McCullock, Economist, American Farm Bureau Federation

August trade data showed exports continued at a double-digit pace increasing 15% over August of 2016. This marks the 3rd month in the row of double digit export increases and extends the year to date lead to 15% over last year. Leading the way in the month of August were increases to Vietnam (+113%), Japan (+39%), followed by Hong Kong (+28%), and Canada (18%). Mexico and other countries also showed Continue reading

Don’t Guess, Forage Test!

Al Gahler, OSU Extension Educator, Sandusky County (originally published in the Ohio Cattleman, late fall 2017 issue)

Color is seldom an accurate indication of hay quality!

Across most of Ohio, 2017 has been a challenging crop year, especially for those in the hay production business.  In 2016, while most producers did not have significant yields, quality was tremendous due to the dry weather which allowed for highly manageable cutting intervals and easy dry down.  Since the end of June, however, 2017 has been just the opposite, with mother nature forcing many bales to be made at higher than optimal moisture levels, and cutting intervals measured in months rather than days.

With adequate moisture throughout most of the state for much of the summer, this equates to substantial yields, which in turn for the beef producer, means hay is readily available at reasonable prices.  However, for the astute cattleman that either makes his/her own hay or knows the nature of the business, this also means high quality hay may just be the proverbial needle in the haystack, and for the most part, as the old adage goes, you get what you pay for.

While there are many options to manage the situation, Continue reading

Cull Cows and Stockpiled Forage

Mark Landefeld, OSU Extension Educator, Ag/NR Monroe County (previously published in Farm & Dairy)

At this time of year many cow-calf operators are weaning/selling calves and determining which, if any, cows are going to be culled and sent to market. The sale of cull cows can be a significant source of cash flow for cow-calf operators. Data shows that 15-25% of cow-calf business’ returns are a result of selling cull cows in the fall, after weaning. For this reason, cow-calf operators should carefully consider how and when they market their cull animals.

If you decide to delay marketing cull cows in an effort to add weight, improve quality, and capture a stronger early spring market, stockpiled forage makes a good feed source.

Glen Selk, Oklahoma State University Extension Cattle Specialist, said, “It is important to understand the Continue reading

Poor Temperament Adversely Affects Profit

– Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Extension

October is a traditional weaning and culling time for spring-calving herds. Weaning for value-added calf sales is already underway. This is a time when producers decide which cows no longer are helpful to the operation and which heifer calves will be kept for future replacements. Selecting against ill-tempered cattle has always made good sense. Wild cattle are hard on equipment, people, other cattle, and now we know that they are Continue reading

Weekly Livestock Comments for September 29, 2017

– Andrew P. Griffith, University of Tennessee

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle traded steady compared to last week on a live basis. Prices on a live basis were mainly $108 while prices on a dressed basis were mainly $170 to $172.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $107.88 live, up $1.13 from last week and $171.13 dressed, up $5.13 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $103.36 live and $161.92 dressed.

Finished cattle prices held steady this week which is a positive sign for cattle feeders. This should bring some Continue reading