OSU Extension Beef Team News update week of 8/28/2019

Why Consider Backgrounding a Calf?

– Stan Smith, PA, Fairfield County OSU Extension

The recent packing house fire in Kansas has the potential to cause a backlog in feedyards that pressures feeder calf prices this fall. Backgrounding calves for later sale is an alternative.

Typically, when feed prices go down, we see feeder calf prices begin to climb as a corresponding move. That is, unless fed cattle prices are unstable or declining. A fire in a Kansas cattle packing plant just before a report detailing that the U.S. might have planted more acres of corn than earlier anticipated caused the perfect storm that allowed pressure on feeder calf prices at the same time as declining feed prices. With the time of year when the vast majority of U.S. feeder calves are weaned and marketed quickly approaching, there’s little time to develop a plan that might preserve or even enhance some of the value and profit in feeder calves that simply may not be in as strong of demand now as they might have been just a few weeks ago.

However, less expensive feed combined with the thought that calf prices can rebound in the coming months once we are past the seasonal tendency for lower prices and the damaged Kansas packing house comes back on-line offer incentive for developing a strategy to hold on to this fall’s feeder calves while also adding value to them.

To recap the path that’s brought us to this point, on Continue reading 

Management Considerations for Backgrounding Calves

– Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist

Consider a number of factors before retaining calves for backgrounding.

Backgrounding is the growing of steers and heifers from weaning until they enter the feedlot for finishing. Backgrounding and Stocker cattle are similar although backgrounding is sometimes associated with a drylot, and stockering cattle is thought of as pasture-based system.   However any system that takes advantage of economical feed sources can be investigated.

Why might someone consider backgrounding or growing cattle?

  • The producer has time and economical feed resources
  • The market at weaning is not as favorable and is investigating alternative marketing times
  • Some feedyards prefer buying/feeding yearlings. They can expect fewer health problems and can feed two turns of cattle in a year.
  • It could be a way of upgrading mismanaged cattle so as to add value.
  • Since the cattle can be on feed for several months, they can fit the preference by some feeders for preconditioned cattle

There are many Continue reading 

Investments for Animal Feeding: Fence vs Machinery

– Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County OSU Extension

The more tools we have that maximize the days our animals graze while minimizing the days we feed hay, the better!

Years like 2019 can test farmers and ranchers to the brink of insanity. People in this profession have to be resilient to the unpredictability of the weather, the markets, and the general chaos of life. All year thus far, we have discussed many ways to adapt our animal feeding programs, pasture systems, and hay production to the far from ideal conditions we are facing.

By now, I hope you have read articles, listened to podcasts, watched videos, talked with your neighbors and your local ag educators about what to do next. Crop selection, site management, and soil health have been a huge topics addressed regarding cover crops for prevent plant acres, damaged pastures, weeds, poor quality hay, and feed shortages.

But, I’m going to take this article a different direction . . .

If you have Continue reading 

Reconnecting Cattle and Quail

– Jason Jones, Grassland & Grazing Coordinator, Quail Forever

Warm season grasses such as indiangrass and big bluestem can provide forage at a time when cool season grasses might be in a July/August summer slump.

The “Fescue Belt” is land dominated by non-native cool season grasses, primarily tall fescue. Cool season grasses, such as fescue and orchardgrass, thrive in April to early June and October to November. However, they have obvious drawbacks; and operations that rely exclusively on cool-season forages may find it increasingly difficult to stay above the bottom line.

When the summer is at its peak, cool season grasses can be very unproductive. In contrast, native warm season grasses peak during summer months (85 – 95 F). Warm season grasses are Continue reading 

Frequently Asked Questions about Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in Farm Ponds used to Water Livestock

– Michelle Arnold, DVM-Ruminant Extension Veterinarian (UKVDL)

Water is the most essential nutrient in the diet of cattle and during hot and dry weather, it is especially important to monitor water quality if using farm ponds for livestock. What is a “harmful algae bloom” or “HAB”?

During periods of hot and dry weather, rapid growth of algae to extreme numbers may result in a “bloom”, which is a build-up of algae that creates a green, blue-green, white, or brown coloring on the surface of the water, like a floating layer of paint (see Figure 1). Blooms are designated “harmful” because some algal species produce toxins (poisons) when stressed or when they die. The majority of HABs are caused by blue-green algae, a type of bacteria called “cyanobacteria” that exist naturally in water and wet environments. These microorganisms prefer warm, stagnant, nutrient-rich water and are found most often in ponds, lakes, and slow moving creeks. Farm ponds contaminated with fertilizer run-off, septic tank overflow or direct manure and urine contamination are prime places for algae to thrive. Although blooms can occur at any time of year, they happen most often in the warmer months between June and September when temperatures reach 75 degrees or higher and ponds begin to stagnate. HABs can reduce water quality and intake, but more importantly, they can be deadly when ingested by livestock. Windy conditions can push algal blooms along water edges, increasing the risk for Continue reading 

Weekly Livestock Comments for August 23, 2019

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

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle traded $3 to $4 higher compared to last week on a live basis. Live prices were mainly $106 to $109 while dressed prices were mainly $175 to $176.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $108.81 live, up $3.41 from last week and $175.02 dressed, up $4.56 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $109.08 live and $172.82 dressed.

The finished cattle market experienced a soft rebound this week following last week’s precipitous decline. A few dollars were gained back by cattle feeders, but they are still below where they were prior to the news of the Tyson fire. The story in all of this is what is happening in futures. The August live cattle contract has regained half of its losses but all the deferred con-tracts continue to be bottom feeders. The deferred contracts have failed to Continue reading 

OSU Extension Sheep Team News week of 8/28/2019

2019 Ohio State Fair Carcass Lamb Results

2019 Lamb Carcasses Final
For those directly involved in the livestock business, exhibiting your animals at the county, state, or national level is always an exciting venture. In Ohio, the Ohio State Fair is a great opportunity to allow our youth to showcase their summers hard work by exhibiting their market lamb projects. While winning a purple banners is the goal for most, we must not loose sight of what the ultimate end product will be from our livestock projects. This year, our team was able to capture the carcass results from the Breed Champion Lambs at the Ohio State Fair in real time using this unique video. Remember, regardless of the species, your livestock project goes beyond ring appeal.  For those of you with questions regarding carcass quality and evaluation, feel free to contact us. Enjoy!

Find the Right Cool-season Annual Grass

Michaela King, Hay and Forage Grower summer editorial intern
(Previously published in Hay & Forage Grower: August 20, 2019)

They say that repetition is the key to learning. Over the past several months, Extension educators and researchers have discussed and provided many options for producers to increase the amount of high quality forage that can use to feed their livestock with for the upcoming year. Be sure to take a quick look at this short piece as it quickly outlines some of the important basics of some common forages options and soil health considerations.

When Southern warm-season grasses go dormant and become unproductive, there are a wide variety of cool-season annual grasses that can be used to extend grazing periods into the winter and spring months. Continue reading 

Water Quality Problems that Affect Livestock Production

Sandy Smith, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Carroll County
(Previously published in Farm & Dairy, August 22, 2019)

(Image Source: Farm & Dairy)

We have all been really concerned with the effects that the unpredictable weather has had on forage production this year.

First, we had so much rain and even flooding that delayed forage growth and quality haymaking. Now we are experiencing areas of semi-drought conditions in some areas.

We all have had places in our counties that it rained 3 inches in one area and three miles down the road, or less as the crow flies, they may only have received a half an inch. Continue reading 

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A Day in the Woods Programming

Our next A DAY in the WOODS program “Timber Harvesting-Things to Consider” will be offered at the ODNR Complex at Zaleski State Forest on Friday, September 13.   Click on the following link to learn more about this program.  If you plan to attend please RSVP by September 9 so we can be sure to have a lunch for you. For our  2019 A DAY in the WOODS brochure  and maps at this link:   http://u.osu.edu/apsley.1/2019/08/15/timber-harvesting-things-to-consider-program-held-at-zaleski-state-forest-on-friday-september-13/

Image result for a day in the woods osu.eduPhoto from previous “Family Day in the Woods” event at Vinton Furnace State Forest as part of the Ohio Woodland Stewards program offered through OSU Extension. 

Once again we will be having a “Family Day in the Woods” at the Vinton Furnace State Forest.   This program is designed for kids of all ages and will take place on September 14 from 9 am to 3 pm.  For more information:http://u.osu.edu/apsley.1/2019/07/22/family-day-in-the-woods-offered-to-kids-of-all-ages-at-the-vinton-furnace-state-forest-on-saturday-september-14th/


Image result for horse vet


Disease spread by mosquitoes is preventable in horses with proper vaccination

REYNOLDSBURG, OH (Aug. 29, 2019) – Ohio Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey today confirmed one case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a horse in Ashtabula County and is urging horse owners to contact their veterinarian to ensure the animal’s EEE vaccine and boosters are up to date.

“This is a serious disease and the most effective way to prevent your horses from getting EEE is to have the animals vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian,” said Dr. Forshey. “It is spread through mosquitoes and can also affect people, so taking steps to manage the mosquito population, such as eliminating standing water, will also help prevent EEE and other vector-borne viruses, like West Nile virus.”

The virus responsible for EEE is transmitted to horses by mosquitoes and attacks the animal’s central nervous system. In horses, onset is abrupt and usually fatal. Symptoms include unsteadiness, erratic behavior, a marked loss of coordination and seizures. Horses are particularly susceptible but the virus can also cause serious illness in people as well as other animals such as poultry and deer.

Because EEE can also be transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes, animals sick from EEE are a sign that people should also take steps to guard themselves against mosquitoes by applying repellent and wearing protective clothing. The disease is very rare in humans, and only a few cases are reported in the United States each year. There are no confirmed human cases associated with this outbreak in Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is working with the Ohio Department of Health and local health officials to monitor the outbreak. Suspect horse cases should be reported to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Citizens who are concerned about an illness should contact their physician.

For more information on EEE, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/EasternEquineEncephalitis/gen/qa.html

– 30 –


Shelby Croft, (614) 752-9817, shelby.croft@agri.ohio.gov

Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District Annual Meeting and Banquet

Clermont SWCD Annual Banquet Tickets On Sale

Tickets are on sale now for Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District’s 76th Annual Meeting and Banquet, scheduled for September 12 at the Multi-Purpose Building on the County Fairgrounds. Doors open at 5:30 with dinner at 6:30. Entertainment will be provided by Raptor, Inc., which will have their ambassador birds on hand. Tickets are $12 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under. For more information visit www.clermontswcd.org


Absentee Voting is Open for Clermont SWCD Board of Supervisors

If you are a Clermont County resident or landowner, please consider voting in Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District’s election for its Board of Supervisors. One person will be elected for a three year term commencing January 1, 2020. Candidates for the election include Laura Carlier and Connie O’Connor. Biographies for each of the candidates can be viewed at www.clermontswcd.org.

Corn Newsletter : 2019-27

Join the CORN Newsletter to get the weekly news about crops across the state.


C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.

Tickets Available for Farm Science Review 2019

SEPTEMBER 17, 18, & 19 2019

Tuesday and Wednesday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Thursday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Presale tickets are available for $7 from your local OSU Extension Office now through September 13th and support your local Extension Office.  Children 5 and under are free.

Tickets at the gate are $10 each.

For more information about this years review, visit this link.

Pesticide Container Recycling Day

Friday September 20, 2019

11:00 AM to 3:30 PM

Monday September 23, 2019

9:00 AM to 3:30 PM

Location:  Nutrien Ag Solutions (Melvin Location)

6704 E US Highway 22 3, Wilmington, OH 45177

What can be Recycled?

Agriculture Pesticides Containers -jugs, drums up to 55 gallons, and mini bulks (if cut into strips) will be accepted for recycling free of charge.  


  • Remove Caps off of jugs, and lids off of 55 Gallon Drums
  • Remove loose leaf labels
  • Mini Bulks need to be cut into 2 x 2 foot sections with no lid, no valve, and no screws.

Strictly Enforced!!! – If containers are not clean, dry and in small sizes (mini-bulks) they will not be accepted!!!!!!!


FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact the Clinton County Extension Office at (937) 382-0901 or email Tony Nye at nye.1@osu.edu

“Estate Planning for Farms and Small Businesses” Meeting to be held in Chillicothe Ohio

OSU Extension in Ross County is pleased to announce it will be offering a meeting titled “Estate Planning for farms and Small Businesses” on Thursday, September 5, 2019. The workshop will be held at the Ross County Service Center Room D, located at 475 Western Avenue in Chillicothe, Ohio starting at 6:30 pm until 9:00 pm.

Featured speakers include Chris Bruynis, Associate Professor, Ohio State University Extension and Robert Moore, Wright & Moore Law Co. LPA.  Speaker will cover topics about current laws, tools and strategies to successfully transition your business to the next generation of managers and owners. Specifically the following topics will be highlighted:

  • Strategies to Improve Generational Communication
  • Treating Heirs Equitably
  • Preventing Unnecessary Disputes between Family Members
  • Using Trusts to Manage Estate Transfers
  • Gifting, Irrevocable Trusts, and Other Wealth Transfer Tools
  • LLC Agreements to protect Business and Personal Assets
  • Federal Estate Taxes and their Impact on Business Operations

Registration is required by August 27, 2019 and can be made by calling the OSU Extension, Ross County office at 740-702-3200. The registration fee for the program is $15.00 per person or $25.00 per family which includes handouts and refreshments. Payment can be made at the door with cash or check payable to OSU Extension, Ross County.

This program is brought to you by OSU Extension and the Ross County Chamber of Commerce.

More information can be obtained by calling the Ross County Extension office at 740-702-3200.

More Ohio Counties Added Under USDA Natural Disaster Designations

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced that 10 more counties have been added to the list of Ohio counties covered by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretarial disaster designations.

The new designations bring the total to 54 Ohio counties where farmers can seek potential relief from the USDA following Secretarial disaster designations in their counties or contiguous counties due to rain, flooding, or other weather conditions.

In letters dated Aug. 2, 2019, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said there were sufficient production losses to warrant a Secretarial natural disaster designation that adds the following 10 Ohio counties to the list of Ohio counties covered by the disaster designations:

  • Adams
  • Ashland
  • Brown
  • Clermont
  • Clinton
  • Hamilton
  • Highland
  • Lorain
  • Richland
  • Warren

Last week, Governor DeWine announced USDA Secretarial disaster designations covering farmers in the following 44 other Ohio counties:

  • Allen
  • Athens
  • Auglaize
  • Coshocton
  • Crawford
  • Defiance
  • Delaware
  • Erie
  • Fairfield
  • Franklin
  • Fulton
  • Hancock
  • Hardin
  • Henry
  • Hocking
  • Huron
  • Knox
  • Licking
  • Logan
  • Lucas
  • Marion
  • Meigs
  • Mercer
  • Monroe
  • Morgan
  • Morrow
  • Muskingum
  • Noble
  • Ottawa
  • Paulding
  • Perry
  • Pickaway
  • Putnam
  • Ross
  • Sandusky
  • Seneca
  • Shelby
  • Union
  • Van Wert
  • Vinton
  • Washington
  • Williams
  • Wood
  • Wyandot

According to the USDA, a Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary and contiguous counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency, which may include FSA emergency loans.

In June, Governor DeWine requested a USDA Secretarial disaster designation for Ohio and met with farmers about the effects of heavy rainfall this year.

Farmers should contact their local FSA offices for additional information. Additional information on USDA’s disaster assistance program can be found at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

Clermont FSA office is open on Tuesday and Wednesday from 7:30am – 4:30pm at the Ag Center Building on the Clermont County Fairgrounds. Clermont residents may also be served at the Brown County FSA office in Georgetown with business hours Monday thru Friday. 

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