Beef AGRI NEWS Today, the July Podcast

In this month’s podcast of Beef AGRI NEWS Today, show host Duane Rigsby visits with OSU Extension Beef Coordinator John Grimes about the winding down of breeding season, pregnancy checking, culling considerations, and late summer forage and hay management options.

A Blast from the Past, Genetic Decisions, Yellow Fat and Niche Markets

– Dr. Roy Burris, Beef Extension Professor, University of Kentucky

It was 1974 and I had just started my career as a beef cattle researcher for Mississippi State University. I was part of projects on grazing systems and crossbreeding but was also starting a new project on finishing cattle in south Mississippi. We were in the process of building a research feedlot but I needed to get something going right away. Fortunately, at that time, finishing cattle on grass was receiving a lot of attention in the southern region. Since I had ryegrass and cattle, one of my first trials was “Finishing Steers on Ryegrass-clover Pastures with Supplemental Grain”. Some of the things that we learned then are still relevant 42 years later.

Steers were grazed for 150 days during the winter and received either (1) no grain, (2) one percent bodyweight (BW) of cracked corn throughout, or (3) cracked corn the last 64 days. Dr. Neil Bradley (UK) always said that it takes Continue reading

Heat Stress in Feedlot Cattle

Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist (This article derived from: Kevin F. Sullivan and Terry L. Mader. June 2018. Managing heat stress episodes in confined cattle. Vet Clin Food Anim 34: 325–339 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749072018300161)

Feedlot cattle consuming large amounts of feed and gaining rapidly generate significant amounts of metabolic heat begin to challenge and animals ability to handle heat stress. An animal can endure high ambient temperatures if heat gain during the daytime hours is balanced with heat loss during the nighttime hours. If nighttime ambient temperatures remain high, especially if the relative humidity is also high, there is no time for recovery.

Assessing Heat Stress in Feedlot Cattle

The ability to predict a heat stress event allows for preparation and mitigation of the effects on animal well-being and animal performance. Temperature-Humidity Indexes have been used for more than 40 years to assess heat stress in cattle. There are also Heat Load Indexes for cattle. Such indexes exits in Continue reading

Water; Vital to Beating Summer Heat

– Aerica Bjurstrom, UW-Extension Kewaunee County

Water is the most important nutrient an animal requires and consumes daily. Depending on weight, production stage, and environmental temperature, cattle require varying amounts of water. A University of Georgia publication suggests for cattle in 90 °F temperatures, a growing animal or a lactating cow needs two gallons of water per 100 pounds of body weight. A nonlactating cow or bull needs one gallon of water per 100 pounds of body weight. Using these figures, a single cow/calf pair can require roughly 25 to 40 gallons of water daily. A nursing calf with have a portion of its daily water needs from its dam’s milk. Providing multiple water sources or tanks in the pasture will increase consumption and decrease competition and fighting at the water tank.

Water quality is just as important as water volume intake. Compromised quality can reduce water intake, which can lead to illness and metabolic issues. Testing water for salinity, nitrates, and sulfates is recommended. Cattle prefer water that contains small amounts of salt, however, water that contains high amounts of total dissolved salts (TDS) can result in reduced performance. Guidelines suggest that water containing Continue reading

Livestock Handling Safety

Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

There are many activities during the summer that involve working with livestock. No matter if you are moving animals to different pastures, providing veterinary care, or youth working with 4H animals for the fair, safety should be a priority when handling livestock. Animal behavior can be unpredictable at times and livestock can revert to instinctual reactions when they feel threatened or stressed. Individuals can be injured due to preoccupation, haste, impatience, or even anger. Injuries that are common when working with livestock include bites, kicks, being stepped on, pinned against a solid surface, or overcome by a single animal or the whole herd. Some general guidelines when working with livestock include:

Determining a Manure Application Rate

On a recent show from WQKT Farm Hour Radio, OSU Extension Educator Rory Lewandowski discussed how to determine a proper application rate for livestock manure. You can find that 12 minute conversation embedded below.

Sidedressing Manure into Newly Planted and Emerged Corn

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

Ohio State University Extension has conducted manure research on growing crops for several years in an effort to make better use of the available nutrients. Incorporating manure into growing corn can boost crop yields, reduce nutrient losses, and give livestock producers or commercial manure applicators another window of time to apply manure to farm fields.

Our research started with using manure tankers modified with narrow wheels and in recent years progressed to using drag hoses on emerged corn. We now feel confident that liquid livestock manure can be surface applied or incorporated into corn from the day of planting to the V4 stage of development.

In Darke County, Harrod Farms has used a drag hose to apply 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

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

“This is a Family Business!?”

– Dr. Roy Burris, Beef Extension Professor, University of Kentucky

After more than forty years of visiting farms, I still cringe when folks describe their farming operation as a “family” business. That’s the way it should be and there’s no better place to raise a family, but I still find that statement “cringe worthy”. It’s because family is family and Business is Business! A family business may have to ultimately decide whether it is a family or a business. And sadly, business principles usually win out. I’ve seen that too many times.

Dave Pratt, a ranch management consultant, says that we have only three choices in any business: (1) We can be profitable, (2) We can subsidize the business, or (3) We can go out of business (bankruptcy). Many family farms choose the second option until they are sometimes forced into the third one. Any business needs to be profitable and all family members or employees need to work toward that goal.

I was on a recent farm visit when I suddenly realized that I had been there before – many years before. This farm had been Continue reading