Goals Rather Than Resolutions

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

As we come to the end of 2017, you may hear people talk about making New Year’s Resolutions. While it is admirable to set targets for areas of personal improvement, much of the enthusiasm surrounding these resolutions peaks early in the calendar year and typically fade away after a few weeks. Maybe you have had more success with resolutions than I have!

I would suggest that a more business-like approach to your beef cattle operation would involve setting goals for improvement. Every business needs to set aggressive goals for improvement to remain competitive and profitable in today’s challenging economy. The following are a few realistic goals that Continue reading

Even with forages, the end of the year is the time to plan!

Chris Penrose, Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Morgan County (originally published in the Winter issue of The Ohio Cattleman)

The month of December is a great time to plan. We still have the opportunity to make changes to the 2017 year and plan for 2018. When I think of 2017, especially as it relates to forages, two things come to mind for me. First, what worked and what went wrong? Next, is there anything that can be done to improve the operation for this and next year?

What worked and what went wrong?

For many of us, the growing season for the most part was Continue reading

Preparing Your Cows for A Successful Breeding Season

– Dr. Les Anderson, Beef Extension Specialist, University of Kentucky

A successful breeding season actually begins with management decisions made prior to calving. As we move into the winter feeding period, cattlemen need to review their management plan to ensure optimal rebreeding and success. Rebreeding efficiency can be optimized by focusing on body condition score (BCS), early assistance during calving difficulty, scheduling a breeding soundness exam for the herd sires, planning their herd reproductive health program, and developing a plan to regulate estrus in their first-calf heifers and late-calving cows.

Reproductive management begins with evaluation and management of Continue reading

Are You Ready and Willing to Change?

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator (originally published in The Ohio Farmer)

There is no doubt that in nearly every aspect of life, change is inevitable. You don’t have to look too hard to find examples of this in everyday life. Changes such as automated steering in farm equipment, self-driving cars, the home delivery of meal kits, “smart” phones, DNA tests in humans and animals to identify genetic traits and defects, Facebook, and YouTube are a few of the changes that have impacted countless lives since the turn of the century. These changes remind me of the phrase that goes “Not all change is progress but progress is certainly change!”

The cow-calf sector of the beef industry is currently undergoing Continue reading

Age and Source Verification Can Work

– Kris Ringwall, NDSU Extension Service

A decade has passed since the Dickinson Research Extension Center summarized a calf-tagging program to improve market traceability.

The data, when revisited, tells an old story. From 2004 to 2006, a total of 14,432 calves were tagged individually and followed. Data showed 19.5 percent remained on the ranch or farm of birth as replacement cattle.

Of the calves sold, 13 percent were traced to backgrounding lots (lots designed for slower growth prior to a full finishing program), 29.3 percent were traced to feedlots for finishing and 27.5 percent were traced to the point of harvest. Additionally, 10.3 percent were unable to be traced and effectively lost. Continue reading

5 ways we are getting better at cattle handling

– W. Mark Hilton, DVM, PAS, DABVP, clinical professor emeritus, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine; and senior technical veterinary consultant, Elanco Animal Health.

We like to pat ourselves on the back (and rightly so) for improvements in nutrition and animal health. But we never give ourselves enough credit for the major improvements in cattle handling. Cue the applause.

Think about your beef operation today, and then reflect back 10 to 20 years. What has improved, and what is the same? My guess is that Continue reading

ODA Announces Changes to Ohio’s Livestock Care Standards

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (Nov. 13, 2017) – The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) wants to remind producers and livestock owners about upcoming changes to Ohio’s livestock care standards.

Effective January 1, 2018, veal calves must be housed in group pens by ten weeks of age. Additionally, whether housed in individual stalls or group pens the calves must be allowed to turn around and cannot be tethered. Also effective January 1, tail docking on dairy cattle can only be performed by a licensed veterinarian and if only medically necessary.

The above changes were recommended by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, a group of 13 members from Continue reading

EPA Delays Hazardous Substance Release Notification Deadline

Late in the day on November 15, 2017, the EPA announced that farms with continuous hazardous substance releases as defined by CERCLA do not have to submit their initial continuous release notification until the DC Circuit Court of Appeals issues its order, or mandate, enforcing the Court’s opinion of April 11, 2017. While it appears the reports will be required sometime, producers may Continue reading

Requirements of Hazardous Substance Reporting by Livestock Farms are Further Clarified

Stan Smith, PA, Fairfield County OSU Extension

Posted here in last week’s Ohio BEEF Cattle letter, Peggy Kirk Hall and Ellen Essman from OSU’s Agricultural and Resource Law office explained that beginning November 15, 2017, many livestock, poultry and equine farms were required to comply with hazardous substance release reporting requirements under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) section 103. Since that release last week, EPA has offered some further clarification of those requirements. In addition Continue reading

Temperament; Convenience or Performance Trait?

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

We often consider temperament a convenience trait. Looking for bulls to use, we study pedigrees, pictures, performance data and now videos until we develop a list of prospective herd sires. The final call before bidding: is he docile enough? Replacement heifer candidates will follow a similar pattern with “attitude” a deciding factor after you consider many other traits.

Even if it’s the last thing you think about at decision time, recent work at Texas A&M suggests disposition affects performance at many points in Continue reading