Changes = Economic Realities in the Beef Cattle Industry!

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County (originally published in the Ohio Farmer on-line)

Age and source verification is already a requirement for beef exports to China

As always, there are seemingly lots of changes on the horizon for cattlemen. Some changes involve management decisions and will be made by choice. Others will soon be required to simply continue to have market access. As we move into 2018 the OSU Extension Beef Team has made plans to focus programming on the practices cattlemen will need to embrace in order to insure Continue reading

Behind the Static, 560-lb. Weaning Weights

– Justin Sexten, Ph.D., Director, CAB Supply Development

It looks like weaning weights have gone pretty much nowhere for 15 years. That’s according to a summary of North Dakota State University’s Cow Herd Appraisal of Performance Software (CHAPS) that presents genetic progress as functionally static since 2003. I couldn’t miss that summary, well-publicized and pointed out by just about every contact and source I know.

Static being a relative term – there were fluctuations in the data – weaning weight hovered around 560 pounds (lb.), weaning age was 193 days and average daily gain was 2.5 lb. Seeing the flat trends, author Kris Ringwall suggests genetic progress in the commercial cow-calf sector is “mature.”

The topic came up during a “Bull-Pen Session” at the Range Beef Cow Symposium in Cheyenne, Wyo., in December, where the discussion suggested the beef industry has gone astray, utilizing growth genetics while failing to Continue reading

What are Bulls Worth?

– Reprinted from CattleFax Mid-September 2017 issue of TRENDS, with permission

With winter and spring bull sales are not far away, it is time to start having the discussion about what to look for and how much to pay for a bull by taking a look at both the genetic influence as well as the economic influence to your cowherd.

Every decision that a cow-calf producer makes, with regard to adding/culling cows, which heifers to retain and which bulls to use to breed the cowherd, not only has implications for the following calf crop but has a genetic influence for 5 to 10 years at minimum. These influences accentuate when using Continue reading

Livestock Predator Workshop

USDA-Wildlife Services, the Scioto County Soil and Water Conservation District, and The Ohio State University Extension will be hosting a Livestock Predator Workshop on February 17, 2018 at The Ohio State University South Centers in Piketon, Ohio. Intended for livestock producers, this will be an all-inclusive workshop where attendees will learn how to use lethal and Continue reading

Efficiency and Cow-calf Production

– Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension

Cow-calf producers use a variety of efficiency measures to help manage production systems. Many of these are technical efficiencies that capture physical measures of output and input use and range from very specific measures to more broad-based values that incorporate a range of production components. For example, pregnancy percentage focuses on breeding efficiency and highlights management of cow body condition and can indicate reproductive failures in cows and bulls. Calving percentage incorporates pre-natal calf mortality in addition to Continue reading

Weekly Livestock Comments for January 12, 2018

– Andrew P. Griffith, University of Tennessee

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle traded $2 lower a live basis compared to last week. Prices on a live basis were mainly $120 while prices on a dressed basis were mainly $192.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $120.07 live, down $1.58 from last week and $191.92 dressed, down $2.42 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $118.44 live and $186.00 dressed.

Is it the large number of cattle on feed, softness in the beef market, or something else causing finished cattle prices to soften? “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?” The answer to these two questions may be the same. “The world may never know.” However, Continue reading

Not All Corn is Created Equal!

Jeff Fisher, OSU Extension Educator, Pike County and Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

Even reported “book” values for crude protein in corn vary by as much as 3%

Since the completion of fall harvest it seems concerns and questions have been circulating throughout Ohio regarding varying levels of protein content in corn. In fact, corn quality – particularly protein content – has been the topic of conversation in some parts of the state off and on for some years.

As we’ve visited with feed mill operators, representatives from feed manufacturers, livestock dietitians and others who have had reason to test the nutrient levels of corn, hearing protein levels varying anywhere from nearly 9% down to Continue reading

What accounts for variability in grain protein levels in corn?

–  Alex Lindsey, Assistant Professor, Hort & Crop Science; Peter Thomison, OSU Extension Corn Specialist; Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA

We’ve recently heard comments and questions concerning the varying levels of grain protein levels being found in shelled corn. Some feed companies have reported seeing many samples in the upper 6% and lower 7% protein range this year but there are reports of levels that are nearly 9%. Some feed mill operations are using 7% as the default value based on this year and last year’s levels. However, in the past, higher grain protein levels (% +2) have been cited for corn. Are the reports of low levels in 2016 and 2017 an anomaly? What could be accounting for these varying protein levels in corn?

Environmental conditions (esp. those affecting soil moisture), cultural practices (nitrogen fertilization, plant population, drainage) and hybrids genetics all influence Continue reading

Next breeding season starts now

– Justin Sexten, Ph.D., Director, CAB Supply Development

We can debate the single largest factor in reproductive success for the cowherd depending on gender: Is there a fertile and able bull in the herd? Are the cows cycling? A failure in either of these systems results in a miserable day come preg-check time, and anyone who has been the victim of a bull gone bad would swear the male side of this equation is the most important. While a fertile bull is important, he is of little use to a cow that is not cycling.

Breeding soundness exams provide a foundation to sort out infertile bulls prior to breeding. On the dam side, we can’t assess reproductive abilities through a single test prior to the breeding season. However, we can Continue reading

Beef Cattle Artificial Insemination School Hosted by OSU Extension

Clif Little, OSU Extension Guernsey County

Participants will learn techniques for artificial insemination, semen handling, reproductive anatomy and physiology, and will practice inseminating cattle.

Ohio State University and the OSU Eastern Agriculture Research Station (EARS) in Belle Valley will be offering beef cattle artificial insemination (A.I.) school May 1, 2 and 3.  Classes will run from 9 a.m. to approximately 2:30 p.m. each day at EARS.

Producers will learn the basics of utilizing Expected Progeny Difference (EPD’s), techniques for artificial insemination, semen handling, reproductive anatomy and physiology, and Continue reading