Conversations That Matter; The What, How & Where of Connecting With Consumers

Cambell Parrish, Ohio Beef Council Director of Public Relations and Consumer Marketing (Originally published in the Winter 2017 issue of The Ohio Cattleman)

Visit the Ohio Beef Council on Facebook

Communicating with strangers can be a daunting task. The further away our consumer base gets from production agriculture the more like strangers we seem to become. Bringing them back to the table with the people that bring food to it is a challenge that the Ohio Beef Council embraces every day through the use of your beef checkoff dollars. Reflecting on this challenge reminded me of what a mentor of mine once told me.  Communicating and public speaking have very little to do with what you actually say. It’s a ratio; 70 percent how you look, 20 percent how you say it and 10 percent of what you actually say. While communicating with consumers is a little bit more balance of a Continue reading

How You Can Help the Sun Make Hay When It Shines!

Mark Sulc, OSU Extension Forage Specialist
Most of this article is adapted with permission from an article published in Farm and Dairy on 2nd June 2010, available to view under this link. It still applies now.

In a recent CORN newsletter article I encouraged patience in waiting for soils to firm up before attempting to make our first cutting of hay after the heavy rains we received over the weekend. Once the soils are firm enough, there are several proven techniques that can speed up the hay curing process.

Haylage vs. hay.

Consider making haylage/silage or balage instead of dry hay. Since haylage is preserved at higher moisture contents, it is a lot easier to get it to a proper dry matter content for safe preservation. Proper dry matter content for chopping haylage can often be achieved within 24 hours or less as compared with 3 to 5 days for dry hay.

Proper dry matter content for silage ranges from Continue reading

Reducing Forage Harvest Losses

– Andrew Frankenfield, Penn State University Extension Educator, Agronomy

Much of the alfalfa will go for haylage or baleage but some alfalfa mixed with orchard grass will likely be dried for hay. As alfalfa dries down the potential for dry matter loss increases. While some dry matter loss is unavoidable; there are some techniques and specialized equipment that can reduce the amount of loss.

This winter at the PA Forage and Grassland Council Conference, one of the speakers said that they Continue reading

Grazing Residue Height Matters

– Jessica A. Williamson, Ph.D., Penn State University Extension Forage Specialist

Any grazier knows that pasture management is as much of an art as it is a science. Skilled and seasoned graziers understand how important it is to keep a close eye on pastures as livestock are grazing, and often a drive-by evaluation of a pasture is not good enough to fully see what is going on out there – it requires us to get out of the truck and get our boots on the ground, walking the field to evaluate the current status. Often over-grazed pastures can appear to have more residue – or stubble – than they actually have when driving by or viewing from a vehicle window.

In the spring when conditions are favorable for Continue reading

Effect of Oscillating Time of Feeding and Oscillating Diet Formulation on Performance and Carcass Characteristics in Feedlot Steers

– Alejandro E. Relling, Gary Lowe and Francis L. Fluharty, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University, Wooster Ohio, Professional Animal Scientist: Volume 33, Issue 2, April 2017, Pages 160–165

Smaller farms often lack the control over feeding and weighing that commercial feedlots possess. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effect of oscillating feeding time and oscillating diet formulation on growth performance and carcass characteristics in feedlot cattle fed dry, whole shelled corn–based diets. A total of 168 steers were allotted to 24 pens. Pens were assigned to 1 of 3 treatments: (1) control, fed the same diet and at the same time each day; (2) oscillating feeding time, fed the Continue reading

Weekly Livestock Comments, May 19, 2017

– Andrew P. Griffith, University of Tennessee

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle traded $4 lower on a live basis compared to last week. Prices on a live basis were mainly $133 to $135 while dressed prices were mainly $210 to $213. The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $134.27 live, down $3.59 from last week and $212.74 dressed, down $7.79 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $131.14 live and $204.03 dressed. Finished cattle prices experienced two consecutive weeks of large price declines which likely solidifies that the spring price peak occurred two weeks ago. Elevated prices have resulted in strong profit margins for cattle feeders for several weeks and this week’s prices continue to result in solid profits at the cattle feeding level despite Continue reading

Optimum Hay Yields Require Optimum Fertility!

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County (this article was published previously in the Ohio Farmer magazine at

Each ton of forage harvested removes 13 pounds of P2O5 and 50 pounds of K2O

With the weather finally allowing hay harvest to get underway across Ohio, it’s also a good time to consider strategies for replacing the soil nutrients that are removed during harvest. Since hay is the basis for most Ohio winter beef cow rations, it’s common for cattlemen to occasionally pull soil samples from hay fields that don’t seem to be as productive as they once were. Often times they’re surprised to discover the fertility is low, especially in fields that have been in hay for some time.

It’s not uncommon to Continue reading

Forage Maturity: The Most Important Factor Affecting Forage Quality (and Yield?)

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

Considering the weather Ohio experienced the first two weeks of May this year, the last thing a farmer wants to hear is anyone suggesting that hay needs to be made now . . . and in fact, right now! I realize that most folks who have hay to make also have row crops to plant and care for, and perhaps also have cows to breed, pastures to rotate and any number of other spring time chores. Regardless, you’ve heard it before and will hear it again, young leafy forages are high in protein and total digestible nutrients. And, once those plants begin to make seed heads, quality and digestibility decline quickly.

The ages old argument for not making hay now is that if we wait Continue reading

Speed Up Hay Drying Time with Properly Adjusted Conditioning Rolls

– Duane Miller, Penn State University Extension Educator

While some first cutting has taken place in the southern areas of Pennsylvania, there still remains a large amount of forage that has yet to be cut. With first cutting, we try to encourage timely harvest so producers can maximize forage quality, while setting up a good schedule for future cuttings. The problem is that often times, our weather patterns don’t cooperate and we don’t get those sunny, hot days that dry hay well.

To ensure that you’re getting every advantage you can to bale your crop as quickly as possible, there are several items you should Continue reading

Fresh Grocery Produce as a Supplement for Livestock Feed

– V. Fellner, J.M. Rice and M. Boersig, The Professional Animal Scientist 33:151–159

The fact that almost a third of the annual food produced in the United States is not consumed by humans has drawn wide attention in recent years. Typically, 97% of wasted food is disposed in landfills. The use of food waste as animal feed is one partial solution to this problem. Grocery stores in the United States generate significant amounts of food scraps from trimmings and other excess product that has deteriorated beyond saleable quality for human consumption. Food scraps consist of portions of produce that have become unwholesome due to deterioration, discoloration, or general loss of freshness.

Historically, much of this excess organic material has been discarded into landfills. However, the Continue reading