USDA Detects a Case of Atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in Alabama

– USDA APHIS, Washington D.C., July 18, 2017, Contacts: Donna Karlsons and Lyndsay Cole

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an atypical case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), a neurologic disease of cattle, in an eleven-year old cow in Alabama.  This animal never entered slaughter channels and at no time presented a risk to the food supply, or to human health in the United States.

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) have determined that this cow was positive for atypical (L-type) BSE.  The animal was showing clinical signs and was found through routine surveillance at an Alabama livestock market.  APHIS and Alabama veterinary officials are Continue reading

The EU-Japan Agreement and Implications for U.S. Beef

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

It was announced two weeks ago that the European Union (EU) and Japan have agreed in principle to an Economic Partnership Agreement. The agreement will gradually lower import tariffs on EU beef and pork entering Japan with an expected start date in early 2019. This deal is significant to the U.S. beef industry because it will give EU beef and pork an advantage in one of the most prominent U.S. beef export markets. Approximately one-quarter of total Continue reading

Adding Value to Feeder Calves

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator (this article was published previously in the Ohio Farmer magazine at

As we move towards mid-summer, it is interesting to note the changing priorities of the cow-calf producer.  Back in the winter and early spring, we had the excitement of a new calving season and opportunity to evaluate the genetic choices made in 2016.  We then transitioned into the spring and early summer and the typical breeding season for most producers.  This marks the chance to make improvements in the breeding program or continue on the path of proven successful matings.

There is plenty of summer left to enjoy but it is not too early to start thinking about the fall.  Let’s not get ahead of ourselves by already thinking about cooler temperatures and the beautiful colors of fall foliage.  However, I am asking you to start thinking about management practices that can ultimately impact the value of the 2017 calf crop.

Most cattlemen will Continue reading

Priming the Calf Immune System for the Challenges Ahead

Justin Kieffer, DVM, Clinical Veterinarian, Assistant Professor, Office of the Attending Veterinarian and Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

Now that calving is completed, the days are longer, and the grass is growing (hopefully), it is time to start preparing for the weaning and eventual sale or feedlot finishing of your calf crop and development of your replacement females. Once the cow calf pairs have been kicked out to pasture in the spring, there is a tendency to put off or ignore the steps needed not only to set the feedlot calf up for success, but also to lay the groundwork for proper health for your new heifers.

Management techniques such as castration and dehorning should take place Continue reading

Should I clip/mow my pasture?

– Travis Meteer, Extension Educator, Commercial Agriculture, Orr Agricultural R&D Center

A frequent question for early summer time is “Should I clip my pasture?” In most cases, the farmer is seeking a yes or no answer…and hopefully validation of their current practice. Unfortunately, the answer is somewhat dependent on your previous pasture management and current grazing system.

If you have pastures with heavy weed pressure, encroaching woody species, and a predominantly continuous grazing system… then clipping pastures is most Continue reading

U.S. Animal Agriculture’s Future Role in World Food Production

Stephen Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

This information is synthesized from the National Institute for Animal Agriculture’s Annual Conference, “U.S. Animal Agriculture’s Future Role in World Food Production – Obstacles & Opportunities” conducted in 2017, Columbus, Ohio. Full presentations are available online at

The human population has risen from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 7.2 billion with a further 3 billion projected by 2050. Food consumption, particularly meat consumption per capita, has increased as living Continue reading

USDA Sued over Country of Origin Labeling Regulations

– Ellen Essman, Law Fellow, OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program

On June 19, 2017, the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) and the Cattle Producers of Washington (CPoW) sued the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, over the legality of the current country of origin labeling (COOL) regulations. R-CALF USA and CPoW claim that USDA’s current COOL regulations do not require foreign beef and pork products to be labeled as such, and that in fact, the regulations allow the foreign meat to “be passed off as domestic products.” This, they argue, hurts U.S. cattle and hog producers, as well as Continue reading

Cattle Prices Hit Summer Swoon

– David P. Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University

Fed cattle prices took another step lower to end June, finishing up in the low $120s per cwt across fed cattle country. Prices dropped about $17 per cwt over the course of the month. While the average price for the week remained just above last year’s price the ratcheting down of cattle prices looks a lot like last year’s price chart pattern. Not only have cattle prices declined, but the Choice beef cutout is down about $25 per cwt over the same time period.

Why lower prices? One reason is Continue reading

Options to Extend the Grazing Season

Chris Penrose, OSU Extension Educator, Morgan County

There have been numerous articles over the years in the Ohio Beef Cattle Letter about how to extend the grazing season and now is the time to consider those options. Today, I thought I would approach it from the amount of time and effort that will be required to extend the grazing season. I think one of the easiest ways to extend grazing, if you have the option, is to Continue reading

Wean Early and Save 25 Percent of Pasture Forage

– Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Did you know you can save more than 25 percent of available forage by weaning calves early?

The current dryness affecting the land has caused all livestock producers to review options. For some in a drought situation, the only real solution is rain. But producers need to take charge, whether the season is dry or wet.

The Dickinson Research Extension Center has and will continue to manage during dry times. The center is in a semiarid climate and dryness is not a stranger.

Managing grazing time and stocking rate is critical. As a result, the center has measured available biomass on the range when cows have their calves removed in mid-August versus early November.

The thought is that removing calves would lessen the impact on the production unit during times when rain is scarce. First, no drought plan works if there is no grazing plan to start with.

To begin, a Continue reading