Sacrificing Clovers for the Greater Good

Christine Gelley, OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County (originally published in The Ohio Farmer on-line)

While we may all agree having clover in the pasture mix is good, occasionally they may need to be sacrificed for the greater good of the pasture!

As our world becomes increasingly connected, weed pressures and populations continue to expand. The diversity of a typical mid-west pasture creates difficulties when it comes to dealing with weed populations. These pastures usually contain a mixture of grasses, legumes, and forbs, some of which are beneficial and some of which are weeds. Eliminating the weeds while preserving the beneficials is a challenge and sometimes a sacrifice needs to be made for the greater good of the pasture and in turn, your livestock.

The list of weeds you may find in your pasture is nearly endless. Some of the most ominous weeds in Ohio pastures are Palmer amaranth, thistles, marestail, and coming soon to a pasture near you- spotted knapweed. Due to Continue reading

Cutting Height in Hay Fields: How Low Can You Go?

– Dwane Miller, Extension Educator, Agronomy, Penn State University

While many parts of Pennsylvania have yet to take a cutting of hay in 2018, I was on a farm in Chester County on Monday (5/7/18) where first cutting alfalfa/orchardgrass was made last week. As you head to the field this year, it’s important to pay attention to cutting height in your hay crop. One of our goals as farmers is to maximize our yield; however, cutting a hay crop too low can lead to several negative issues. The introduction of the disk-type mowers (discbines) allows for cutting very close to the ground. I’ve seen many fields that have been “scalped” right to ground level. This differs considerably from the older sickle bar mowers (haybines), whose technology required some level of stubble height remain. Stand longevity can be compromised when the crop is cut too low. As a general rule, alfalfa can be cut closer to the ground than our grass hay crops. We need to think about where energy reserves are stored in the crop. For alfalfa, carbohydrates are stored below ground in the taproot. Our grass hay crops store their energy above Continue reading

Who Can Work on Your Farm

Emily G. Adams, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Coshocton County, Ohio (previously published in the Ag Safety S.T.A.T. electronic newsletter)

The law treats the children you hire differently depending on their relationship to you.

It won’t be long until hay season will be upon us. For some farms that means more labor than usual is required to get all the jobs done. That labor may include your own children or grandchildren. Today we’ll take a look at what the law allows and also consider what types of jobs kids are capable of handling from a developmental standpoint.

One great reference to guide these considerations are “Youth on the Farm: What Type of Farm Work Can They Perform” by Peggy Hall and Catherine Daniels in the OSU Agricultural and Resource Law Program. Another very helpful publication is Continue reading

Expression of Estrus Before Fixed-time AI Affects Conception Rates

– B. Richardson, S. Hill, J. Stevenson, G. Djira, and G. Perry (summarized by Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist)

Expression of estrus after Prostaglandin administration and before fixed-time AI has been reported to change the uterine environment, increase accessory sperm numbers, fertilization rates, and overall embryo survival. Thus, expression of estrus can strongly impact overall pregnancy success. Because of variation in percentage of beef females detected in estrus and number of animals per study, it can be difficult to detect a significant effect of estrus on pregnancy success. Thus, a meta-analysis was conducted using data from 10,116 beef females in 22 studies that utilized variations of the 5 most common fixed-time AI protocols (CO-Synch, 7-day CO-Synch + CIDR, 5-day CIDR, PG 6-day CIDR, and the 14-day CIDR protocols) to examine the effect of detection in standing estrus on subsequent fixed-time AI pregnancy success.

Overall there was a positive effect of estrus on conception rates with Continue reading

Kentucky Beef Cattle Market Update

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

After focusing on cattle inventory in February, summer stocker programs in March, and fall calving cow-calf profitability in April, I want to focus more specifically on the market this month. Overall, the first four months of 2018 have not been kind to cattle producers. Fed cattle prices fell by more than $10 per cwt from late February to early April. While slaughter has been up in 2018 (especially for cows), uncertainly about trade was also at play. Cash fed cattle prices had actually improved some by early May.

It’s really the expectation for late fall / early winter fed cattle prices that is driving our current feeder cattle market. As I write this (May 9, 2018), December CME© Live Cattle futures had decreased by $7 to $8 per cwt from where they were in late winter. This translates back directly into feeder cattle values and Continue reading

2018 Beef Exports Off to a Strong Start

– Josh Maples, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

Beef exports during the first quarter or 2018 have continued (and built upon) the increases seen last year. According to the latest Livestock and Meat International Trade Data released on May 4th by the Economic Research Service (ERS), beef and veal exports during the month of March totaled approximately 261 million pounds. This is the largest total for the month of March on record and is an 11.4 percent increase over March of 2017. This follows year-over-year increases in January and February. Year-to-date, exports are Continue reading

Monitor for Ticks When Working Pasture

Timothy McDermott DVM, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County

Despite an increase in tick-vectored diseases throughout Ohio, it’s common to believe that ticks such as this deer tick are only present during spring or summer.

There has been an increase in tick-vectored diseases in Ohio to livestock, companion animals and humans over the last several years. This has occurred as the different tick species that inhabit Ohio have increased their habitat range and gradual spread from the south and east towards the north. The increase in awareness of tick-vectored diseases is now only starting to catch up as a public and livestock health awareness priority. Ticks have been found to vector not only bacterial diseases, but new-vectored viral diseases as well as allergic reactions have increased in frequency and severity. As the producer gets ready for spring production work, they have multiple potential chances to interact with ticks. This might include inspecting fence for post-winter repair, checking on spring calving, walking pasture to evaluate forage stands or moving cattle to different paddocks to take advantage of lush spring growth. Understanding tick habitat preferences, knowing what life cycle stages are present and making a personal protective biosecurity plan will allow the producer to Continue reading

Hauling Pen-Pack Manure

Glen Arnold, CCA, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management

While the nutrients and organic matter in pen-pack manure are an excellent addition to farm fields, we always want to keep water quality in mind when handing manure.

Since spring has arrived, both large and small livestock owners with pen-pack manure are looking to apply the manure as soon as field conditions allow. Across the state I have seen stockpiles of pen-pack manure outside of sheep, horse, cattle, and dairy buildings. The nutrients and organic matter in pen-pack manure are an excellent addition to farm fields.

We always want to keep water quality in mind when handing manure. The goal is to make Continue reading

On Day 21 Following Bull Turnout, 60 Percent of Cows Bred

– Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension

Are the cows ready to breed, and will 60 percent conceive a calf within 21 days following bull turnout?

In reality, cattle never should be out of shape for breeding. Weather and feed supplies always should be managed so animals are in good condition. The important point, however, is to know where the cattle operation is at, avoiding unforeseen disappointments next fall.

Let’s talk about cows. Typical 1,300-pound cows consume 25 to 30-plus pounds of dry matter a day, depending on the stage of pregnancy and milk production. Dry, pregnant cows will be at the lower end of total feed needs. Lactating cows may very well exceed the upper end.

Remember, as cows climb the body weight ladder, to 1,500 to 1,600 pounds, they are going to need Continue reading

Plan Now for the 2018 OCA Replacement Female Sale

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

Each of the first five OCA Replacement Female Sales have enjoyed large crowds and active bidders.

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is announcing an event of potential interest for both the buyers and sellers of beef breeding cattle. On Friday evening, November 23, the OCA will be hosting their sixth annual Replacement Female Sale. The sale will be held at the Muskingum Livestock facility in Zanesville and will begin at 6:00 p.m.

The 2018 Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Replacement Female Sale will provide an opportunity for both buyers and sellers to Continue reading

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