Manure Science Review; a Day for Making the Most of Manure

Expect plenty of fertile conversation at Manure Science Review.

Designed to share ways to put manure to good use, and to do it while protecting the environment and water quality, the annual event is on August 7 at JIMITA Holsteins, a 400-plus-acre family dairy farm in Strasburg. Strasburg is about 20 miles south of Canton in northeast Ohio.

Manure offers nutrients that crops need to grow and . . .

Read more about the Manure Science Review

Posted in Events

Weekly Livestock Comments for July 5, 2019

– Dr. Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle traded steady compared to last week on a live basis. Live prices were mainly $108 to $111 while dressed prices were mainly $178 to $182.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $111.17 live, up $0.59 from last week and $180.10 dressed, up $0.74 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $110.00 live and no dressed trade.

Most of the finished cattle trade this week occurred prior to Independence Day which made for a quiet day in feedlot country on Friday. Feedlot managers were likely to be satisfied in that they held the price line with the previous week’s prices, but they were probably still a little disappointed. Cattle continue to be marketed with a positive basis as the early week trade on August live cattle futures was mainly $104 to $105. It would appear that many in the industry are antsy about Continue reading

Finding a Bottom Through Grains and Holiday Meat Demand

– Elliott Dennis, Assistant Professor & Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Nearby and deferred live and feeder cattle contracts settled up this past week. The nearby August feeder cattle contract settled at 138.825 up nearly $7 from the contract low 10 days ago. The nearby August live cattle contract settled at 107.000 up nearly $5 from its contact low likewise 10 days ago. While the last 10 days have been relatively positive for live and feeder cattle futures contracts, the markets are still significantly lower over the last 60 days. The nearby, and deferred, contracts for both livestock products appears to have found a bottom. This strong upward movement appears to be supported by both fundamental and technical information. Bottoming prices appears to have been driven by projected grain supplies, weather driven pasture conditions, and wholesale meat demand.

There was some market confusion about the “true” number for corn and soybean acreage reported by the USDA on June 28th. Corn acreage handily outpaced market expectations while soybeans were well below market expectations. In response and to paint a more accurate crop size and planted area, the USDA announced that it would Continue reading

“Increase the feed, or reduce the need”

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

Seldom have we ever been challenged by wet weather, mud and adverse conditions for such an extended period of time!

Seldom do we talk about forage shortages and above normal precipitation in the same breath. Regardless, that’s where we are now throughout Ohio and much of the Midwest. Over the past year abundant rainfall has allowed us to grow lots of forage. Unfortunately, it seems the weather has seldom allowed us to harvest it as high quality feed.

Since last fall the demand for quality forages has been on the increase. It began with a wet fall that forced us from pasture fields early. Followed by constantly muddy conditions, cattle were requiring more feed and energy than normal. At the same time, even though temperatures were moderate during much of the fall of 2018, cows with a constantly wet hair coat were, yet again, expending more energy than normal to remain in their comfort zone. Then, as a cold late January 2019 evolved into February, in many cases mud had matted down the winter coats of cattle reducing their hair’s insulating properties, thus causing them to require even more energy in the cold weather.

Reduced supplies of quality forages coupled with increased demand over the past year have led us to Continue reading

FAQs: Forages, Cover Crops and More

Stan Smith, PA, Fairfield County OSU Extension

It goes without saying, for many, what we’ve experienced in the beef cattle industry beginning last year and continuing to this point in 2019 is uncharted territory. In response to the struggle to get corn planted and hay made this year, lots of questions have resulted. Following are responses to a few of those most Frequently Asked Questions thus far:

I didn’t get my hay fields fertilized last fall or this spring. Can I fertilize it now that first cutting just came off without “burning it up?”

Yes, in fact immediately Continue reading

Keeping Hay Fields, Hay . . . and Pasture Fields, Pasture

– Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

Saturated soils with little cover create opportunities for weeds and lost production.

I find it hard to believe that it is already July. I was beginning to think we were stuck in April showers. I generally think of the 4th of July as the beginning of the second half of summer, but this year it seems more like the beginning. There is also a limited amount of corn that is knee-high. It’s an odd year, no one will argue with you about that.

There was finally a long enough break between rains for a lot of hay to get laid down in most of the state. That didn’t mean there were not challenges getting it dried. Some soils were so saturated that you would see wet tires cutting hay. When there is that much water on the soil surface and upper horizon, it’s hard to dry hay. Cutting the hay just a bit higher than normal and then tedding it can help. That little bit of extra Continue reading

Rain Damage to Hay

Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator, Wayne County

It’s turned into another challenging and frustrating year to make hay as above normal rainfall continued through the end of June. I recently read an article in Hay and Forage Grower on-line entitled “Cursing the raindrops”, in which author Mike Rankin addressing this year’s weather patterns said, “Those putting up high-moisture forage have an uphill battle. If you’re in the dry hay business, it’s a Mount Everest situation.” The age-old question for anyone trying to make hay with rain in the forecast is mow sooner rather than later and risk rain on the cut forage, or wait for a weather break and lose quality as the forage continues to mature?

Rain on mowed forage causes a reduction in quality and can result in dry matter (quantity) losses as well. According to a July 2017 University of Delaware blog post quoting Brian Pugh, Oklahoma State Extension Area Agronomy Specialist, there are four ways rain reduces forage quality and causes dry matter loss. Rain results in leaching of soluble carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, rain can increase and prolong plant respiration, can cause leaf shattering and can increase the microbial breakdown of plant tissue. The extent of the rainfall damage depends upon the moisture level of the forage when rain occurs, the amount of rainfall received, the intensity of the rain, and the length of time over which the rainfall occurs.

The best-case scenario for rain and mowed forage is Continue reading

Do Not Let a Tick Bite Make You Allergic to Dinner

Tim McDermott DVM, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County (originally published in Farm and Dairy)

The Lone Star Tick, a tick species that entered Ohio over the last decade, has become known for causing an allergic syndrome in people called Mammalian Muscle Allergy.

Livestock producers have had a lot on their plates lately. The weather including constant rain has damaged pasture as well as made timely hay making difficult. While I do not want to add to this list of worries, I want to make sure to educate producers that there is a new-ish tick concern that can dramatically affect the lifestyle of a producer of swine, cattle and small ruminants. Over the last decade we have seen an increase both in the spread of new tick species into our region as well as new diseases and allergic syndromes that can be vectored to producers from these invasive species. Lyme disease was seldomly diagnosed over ten years ago and has now become commonplace with the spread of the Black Legged (Deer) Tick. Viral diseases vectored to humans that had not been found before outside of Asia are now being diagnosed with increasing regularity in the United States. Today we are going to discuss an allergic syndrome that a producer can develop after getting bitten by a fairly new to the Midwest tick invader.

The Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma americanum) is a tick species that Continue reading

Posted in Health

Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) to Cost Less

– Matthew Diersen, Risk & Business Management Specialist, Ness School of Management & Economics, South Dakota State University

Feeder cattle have been under seasonal price pressure, similar to last year. Thus, locking in cattle prices or spending money for insurance may not be a high priority at this time. However, it is never a bad time to plan nor to look for cost-effective ways to manage risk. Livestock Risk Protection (LRP), price coverage sold by insurance agents, is similar to the purchase of put options on cattle futures contracts. LRP is administered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) with a federally-subsidized premium that is set to increase soon.

Interest in and usage of LRP has fluctuated since first being offered in the early 2000s. Nationally, coverage with the feeder cattle endorsement peaked at over 300,000 head in crop year 2014. Such a total was still less than 1 percent of the U.S. calf crop. Coverage for the most recent crop year, which ends on June 30, is unlikely to exceed 90,000 head. Demand for the product has fallen with lower prices. Demand in South Dakota remains relatively high at over 27,000 head covered in crop year 2019, but the absolute level covered remains Continue reading

Surprises in Reports

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

The USDA NASS Acreage report and Hogs and Pigs reports released last week were quite the surprise. A good indicator of that is the amount of follow up discussion by folks that don’t do surveys – like myself – that the numbers in the reports may change – I will resist piling on. Corn acreage was surprisingly large and soybean acreage was surprisingly small compared to the pre-report trade expectations. Both USDA statistics were well outside the anticipated ranges. The pre-report trade estimates of corn acres were an average of 87.0 million acres with a range of 85.6-88.8 million. The report statistic was 91.7 million acres. The acreage estimate from the Prospective Plantings report in March had corn acres at 92.8 million. The pre-report trade estimates of soybean acres were an average of 84.7 million acres with a range of 82.6-86.5 million. The report statistic was 80.0 million acres. The acreage estimate from the Prospective Plantings report in March had soybean acres at 84.6 million. The trade talk between March and June was about the delays in corn planting due to cool wet weather and the potential shift to soybeans. The report clearly does not communicate Continue reading