Adding Value to Beef Cuts and Growing Your Business

This 1-day workshop, being held on January 15 in the Animal Sciences Building on the OSU Campus, is designed for beef producers and culinary businesses who are looking to grow their business. This training was inspired by findings from the Catalyzing Food Entrepreneurship research project, partially funded by the Ohio State University’s Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation. The research found that there is a gap in entrepreneurial trainings for small-scale food producers who want to scale up and access new markets. This training was designed as a pilot to fill that gap in Ohio.

To register today, contact Elizabeth Schuster at schuster.229@osu.edu

Do’s and Don’ts of Local Beef

By Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, OSU Extension

If you just glanced at the title of this column, you maybe surprised as to how the next few paragraphs unfold, however there are a couple of points that I want to make, and feel are warranted after seeing some misleading/untruthful advertisements for local/freezer beef here recently.

First off, I am a big supporter of local food production and direct marketing. When done properly in some production systems there are opportunities to capitalize on demand for locally produced food, serve as a direct link for consumer education, enhance economic sustainability of the farm enterprise, among other benefits.

I have taught dozens of programs on local foods and direct marketing in the last five or so years. In each of those programs I remind participants of these two things with regards to labeling and direct marketing;

  1. Do not misrepresent your product and
  2. Do not misrepresent or make false statements about the product of other producers.

Recently several friends of mine have shared with me several instances of both of the above scenarios. In one such instance a freezer beef producer’s (who shall not be named) attack on beef produced by other producers and the beef industry was egregious enough to get me wound up; and I try not to get too wound up about things seen on social media. Spreading falsehoods about the wholesomeness of beef is something as an industry we should not tolerate, and I hope that you as producers feel the same.

Continue reading

Livestock and Grain Producers: Dealing with Vomitoxin and Zearalenone

Vomitoxin in the 2020 corn crop continues to plague both livestock and grain producers. Livestock producers are trying to decide how best to manage corn and corn by-products with high levels of vomitoxin, and those who grow corn are trying to decide how best to avoid vomitoxin contamination in 2021.

In the 15 minute video below, OSU Extension Educations John Barker, Rob Leeds, and Jacci Smith discuss where and why this year’s vomitoxin issues originated, considerations for avoiding problems in coming years, how it impacts livestock, and what’s involved in testing grain for vomitoxin.

Certified Livestock Managers Continuing Education Opportunity

The Ohio Pork Council, The Ohio State University Extension and The Ohio Department of Agriculture are hosting two Certified Livestock Managers Webinars in December. Individuals can obtain 2.0 CLM CE Credits for attending each webinar. Programming for each webinar is as follows:

December 2: 2.0 CE Credits

  • Biosecurity Breaches – Andreia Arruda, DVM, OSU Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine
  • Livestock Mortality Composting Update – Dr. Steve Moeller, OSU Swine Extension Specialist
  • Worker Safety – Dr. Dee Jepsen, OSU Ag Safety and Health Leader

Continue reading

International Beef Trade Dynamics

By: Josh Maples, Assistant Professor & Extension Economist, Mississippi State University

The latest monthly trade data were released by the USDA Economic Research Service last week. The September data continued to show adjustments from the beef production and beef price changes earlier in the year as well as the impacts of global beef demand. According to the ERS data, beef exports totaled approximately 239 million pounds during September. This was down 5.6 percent from September 2019. Through September, beef exports in 2020 were about 6 percent lower than during the first 9 months of 2019.

September showed stronger exports to South Korea, Canada, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Exports to Japan, the largest volume destination for U.S. beef exports, were down slightly according to the ERS data. Beef exports to Mexico continued to lag behind the 2019 pace. During September, beef exports to Mexico were about 38 percent lower than in September 2019 and were 40 percent lower for the first 9 months of 2020 compared to the first 9 months of 2019. Exports to Mexico were 14 percent of total January-September 2019 beef exports in 2019; in 2020, that share has dropped to about 9 percent. Continue reading

Record Levels of Prime Grading

By Josh Maples, Assistant Professor & Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

The percentage of steer and heifer carcasses grading prime so far during 2020 has outpaced normal levels. The average percent prime for the first seven months of 2020 was 10.6 percent which is the highest January-July average on record and about two percent higher than during the first seven months of 2019.

Dressed weights have also been higher during 2020. Average steer and heifer dressed weights were 899 and 829 pounds, respectively, during the first 8 months of 2020. For steers, that was a 32-pound increase over the same period in 2019 while it was a 25.5-pound increase for heifers. Cattle dressed weights are usually seasonally lowest during late spring and then peak in late fall. In 2020, the seasonal decline in the spring did not materialize due to the processing disruptions forcing cattle to stay on feed longer. Continue reading

A conversation with OSU Extension Beef Field Specialist Garth Ruff

From the Ohio Beef Cattle Letter

Last week OSU Extension Educator Clifton Martin had the opportunity to visit with Garth Ruff about Garth’s recent hiring as the OSU Extension Beef Specialist and current trends in the Beef Industry. During that conversation they covered trends in Ohio, the role of the OSU Extension Beef Specialist, opportunities for outreach, the status of Beef Quality Assurance, and key opportunities for producers to stay ahead of the curve.

Enjoy that conversation here:

The transcript of this recording may be found in PDF format linked here.

Clifton Martin and Garth Ruff may be contacted at:

Clifton Martin
Extension Educator, CCA
Agriculture and Natural Resources
CFAES Extension
225 Underwood St, Zanesville, OH 43701
740-454-0144 Office
martin.2422@osu.edu / muskingum.osu.edu

***

Garth Ruff
Field Specialist, Beef Cattle
Ohio State University Extension
16714 State Route 215, Caldwell, Ohio 43724
740-651-7140 Cell
ruff.72@osu.edu
beef.osu.edu

Fertilizing Hay Fields

By Stan Smith, OSU Extension

As first cutting hay harvest rapidly progresses and even winds down in parts of the State, perhaps it’s a good time to consider replacing the soil nutrients that are removed with harvest. Recognizing that fertilizer is a significant investment in hay production, it’s also important to note that since we agree you can’t starve a profit into a cow, likewise, you can’t starve production or profit into a forage field either.

Each ton of hay that’s harvested and removed from a field in the harvest process takes with it 13 pounds of P2O5 (phosphorus) and 50 pounds of K2O (potash) regardless the calendar date or quality of the material that’s harvested. To maintain productivity and plant health, fertility that’s removed needs to be replaced. Since nearly all the phosphorus sources we presently have available include some nitrogen, those replacing fertility immediately after the first cutting will enjoy some benefit for grass based hay fields from the nitrogen that comes along with the P. Continue reading

Why are we importing beef?

By Stan Smith, OSU Extension

Two weeks ago we discussed how COVID-19 has caused challenges for consumers and farmers alike regarding beef supply and demand. As consumers concern themselves with providing quality food for family members that are now eating more meals at home, cattlemen struggle with a backlog of finished cattle that packers can’t get harvested. That causes some to ask, “Why are we importing beef?”

At first glance it seems like a movement that resulted in American consumers eating only domestic beef would provide a simple and logical solution for both consumers and cattlemen. Under closer inspection, we find a move to no longer eat imported beef would mean our days of frequenting most fast food restaurants could be over, and the net value of our U.S. cattle would be even less. All the while, U.S. beef harvest capacity would remain at the mercy of COVID-19 and packing plant employee health. Continue reading

2019 Forage Quality Concerns

By Ted Wiseman and Dean Kreager OSU Extension Educators

Much of Ohio’s 2019 first cutting grass hay was beyond optimum maturity when it was harvested. Laboratory analysis indicates little if any first cutting has adequate quality to meet the nutritional needs of bred cows in late gestation or lactation.

You may be thinking enough already with the hay quality talk. Many articles have been sent out on this topic starting before some people even baled their first cutting. Last year a lot of the hay was very poor quality and many animals lost significant weight through the winter. Some animals even died with hay in front of them because the hay did not have enough nutritional value. Hay quality affects all types of livestock but I will concentrate on beef cows since they are less likely to receive supplemental feed than most other animals. Continue reading