The 4 R’s of Feeding the Cow Herd

Al Gahler, OSU Extension Educator, Sandusky County (originally published in the Ohio Farmer on-line)

The end of the growing season is near, and for cattle producers in Ohio, that means the beginning of the season that challenges the profitability of a cow/calf operation more than any other aspect.  That’s right, feeding a cow through the winter is the number one cost of production, and the days of $2.50 and higher feeder calves that made it pretty easy to pay the winter feed bill are a fond but distant memory.  The difference between the producer that has had and will have continued success in a slightly different  economic climate and the ones who have and will struggle, will come down to management.  Not just marketing management, but input management, or in other words, feed and nutrition.

There are lots of different methods of storing hay between the time it’s harvested, and fed.

Most anyone involved in agriculture in Ohio has very likely heard about the concept of 4R management in agronomic crop production in order to preserve the soil and ensure water quality – using the ‘right’ fertilizer or pesticide product, putting it in the ‘right’ place, at the ‘right’ rate, at the ‘right’ time.  The cattle producer who will be the most Continue reading

Feed alternatives allowed by a corn, soybean & wheat rotation that includes cows!

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

I know I’ve shared this story before, but considering the weather we experienced across much of Ohio the first half of summer, it’s appropriate to tell it again. Dad was a mechanic for a local farm implement dealer. Once while out on a combine service call in mid summer he asked the farmer if he’d gotten all his hay made. The response – in a deep German accent – was, “Yes, it got made . . . but it rained so much I never got it baled.”

Despite that being the case in many parts again this year, and then followed by a very dry late summer, the fact is that we still have an abundance of feedstuffs available that will maintain beef cows cost effectively if Continue reading

Effect of feeding distillers grains during different phases of production and addition of postmortem antioxidants on shelf life of ground beef

– B.D.Cleveland, J.O.Buntyn, A.L.Gronli, J.C.MacDonald, G.A.Sullivan (Condensed by Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist)

In 2013, 35.5 million metric tons of distillers grains was produced as coproducts of the fuel ethanol industry, and beef cattle account for almost half of distillers grains consumption. Feeding distillers grains to cattle can increase Polyunsaturated fatty acids concentration, increase lipid oxidation, and decrease color stability of beef.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of feeding distillers grains and the postmortem addition of antioxidants on the shelf life of ground beef products. Continue reading

Kentucky Beef Cattle Market Update

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

The feeder cattle market continues to hold reasonably well as we move further into fall. As I write this on October 18, 2017, fall CME© Feeder Cattle futures contracts are trading in the low $150’s with spring contracts in the mid-$140’s. The fed cattle market did seem to find a bottom in early September and has moved upward from there. This was welcome news across the entire complex. Corn prices have been pretty steady since last month. USDA raised their Continue reading

Technicals Suggest Weaker Future Cattle Prices

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

I have been impressed by the strength of feeder cattle and calf markets through the fall. But what do the technicals say?: Very clearly sell. The feeder cattle futures have shown weakness early this week after holding fast last week and rallying to fill the gap down in late September the prior two weeks. In mid-September the market rallied close to resistance formed May and June. My interpretation of the feeder cattle futures rally through most of late August and early September was that it was Continue reading

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