A Walk Through the Pasture is Time Well Spent!

Chris Penrose, Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Professor, OSU Extension, Morgan Co. (originally published in the late fall issue of The Ohio Cattleman magazine)

When large round bales are placed early, spaced appropriately and fed as needed, the manure nutrients are spread more evenly and damage to the pastures surface minimized.

As I walk around the pastures this time of the year, especially with pasture growth starting to slow down and leaves turning color, I really notice what worked this year and what things went wrong. I also try to think of ways we can reduce tearing up our fields when we feed hay this winter. I try to notice trends that may need to be addressed for next year before they get out of control.

For example, for over 25 years, I had been mowing under my fencerows and I had been successfully controlling weeds. However, over the past 15 years, Autumn Olive has been growing and spreading along my fencerow. Whenever I mowed those plants, more would re-sprout. It got to the point where I could not see the fence in areas. Two years ago, I felt like I was left with no choice but to use a herbicide on the fencerow. It worked very well and I am getting this issue under control.

Another trend I continue to see is the spreading of Continue reading

Posted in Pasture

Fall Plant Control of cressleaf groundsel; Prevent the sea of yellow in the spring

– Dr. Diane Gerken, DVM, ABVT Veterinary Toxicologist

ODA’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab has been involved in two separate cases with animals affected by the toxicity of this plant in the past year.

This plant is Senecio glabellus or now called Packera glabella which occurs in some uncultivated Ohio fields. This is a picture indicating possible plant density in the springtime. If you made hay/haylage with this plant in it, the recommendation is to NOT feed it to livestock or horses. Also, do not use as pasture for any grazing animal.

ODA-ADDL personnel have been involved in two separate cases (one with classic pathology and the second with a positive chemical analyses for the specific pyrrolizidine alkaloids in this plant) with animals affected in the past year. This plant contains at least one toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PA), senecionine but reported to contain more. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids cause liver disease in humans and animals after Continue reading

Ag-note: The Benefits of Rotational Grazing

– Matt Blose, Marissa Friel, Courtney Hale, Maureen Hirzel, OSU Animal Science Undergraduate Students, and Brady Campbell, Program Coordinator, OSU Sheep Team

While in this Ag-note the benefits of rotational grazing were demonstrated with sheep, the advantages remain similar for all grazing species.

We are back at it again with our Ag-notes from the students of the 2018 Small Ruminant Production course. This week, students Matt Blose, Marissa Friel, Courtney Hale, and Maureen Hirzel provide us with a brief outline of the benefits of rotational grazing by providing insight on how to start and some important considerations you need to ask yourself prior to jumping into this type of management scheme.

In its simplest form, rotational grazing is described as moving grazing livestock from one paddock to another, allowing time for the previously grazed pasture to regrow prior to the next grazing event. There are many benefits to this strategy as rotational grazing allows producers to utilize their pastures more efficiently by decreasing feed costs, decreasing weed pressure present in a pasture setting, improving the health and performance of grazing flocks, and Continue reading

Posted in Pasture

Loose Animals

Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

Loose animals can be livestock like cattle and horses or wildlife like deer and elk or even dogs and alligators. Studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that vehicle-animal collisions are responsible for an annual average of 155 occupant deaths, and three out of four of these involve deer. These collisions also account for tens of thousands of injuries each year, according to the National Safety Council.

Trailer accidents, barn fires, escaped animals onto the highway, and animals caught in mud or broken through ice are all events emergency responder have been called to. Many districts do not have protocols, formal training or specialized equipment to rescue livestock. While the incidence of loose livestock is minimal in urban environments it can still happen. Loose livestock can be a frequent issue in some rural districts. Succession planning is a critical element of organization strategy. This relates to the Unites States Fire administration operational objective to Continue reading

Kentucky Beef Cattle Market Update

– Dr. Kenny Burdine, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Kentucky

Feeder cattle markets really gained some momentum during the first half of September. As I write this on September 15th, fall CME© Feeder Cattle futures had pushed up into the upper $150’s. Spring 2019 futures, which will drive our fall calf market, were trading in the low-mid $150’s. 550# steer calf prices in KY have shown very little seasonal drop from summer, still moving in the $152-$155 per cwt range on a state average basis. 850# steers were selling for $138 on a state average basis, but up into the $140’s in larger groups.

While I am certain there are many that are not happy with the current cattle market, I truly feel like the market has been incredibly resilient. Production of all three major meats are significantly higher in 2018 and I was very concerned all year how the increased per capita availability would impact prices. Put simply, the cattle market has held better than I thought it would. And, despite a lot of uncertainty surrounding trade, beef exports have Continue reading

Neighborly Fence Care

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

The easiest way to decide on a plan for line fence care is communicating with your neighbor.

Fence care can make tempers flare between neighbors. Typically, when neighbors have similar goals, an agreeable strategy for fence maintenance can be worked out easily. When land use pursuits differ, there is a higher likelihood for conflict.

One of Ohio’s oldest rural laws is built around the care of partition fence. Ohio R.C. Chapter 971 defines a partition fence or “line fence” as a fence placed on the division line between two adjacent properties. In 2008, the law was updated to state “Partition fence includes a fence that has been considered a division line between two such properties even though a subsequent land survey indicates that the fence is not located directly on the division line.”

If both neighbors utilize the fence for similar purposes then the Continue reading

Utilizing Corn Stalks and Extending the Grazing Season

– Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

Corn stalks can be an option to allow more time for more forage growth.

The older I get, the more I tend to philosophize about things. I’ve been asked a few times why I am such an advocate for sound grazing practices. Best management grazing practices, just like conservation practices for reducing or preventing soil erosion on cropland, help preserve and or regenerate resources not only for present generation, but also for future generations. Keeping a field in forages will save more soil and conserve more water than almost all other erosion control practices. As the world population continues to increase and the acres of viable land that we can grow food on continues to decrease, we have to be more efficient and more productive with what remains while also maintaining and improving water quality. Food quality and nutrient density need to also improve.

I’ll refrain from getting too deep and prevent you from possibly thinking you need to put on Continue reading

Effect of Corn Residue Grazing or Baling on Subsequent Crop Yield and Nutrient Removal

– Kristen Ulmer, Jordan Cox, Manbir Rakkar, Robert Bondurant, Humberto Blanco-Canqui, Mary Drewnoski, Karla Jenkins, James MacDonald, and Rick Rasby. Condensed from the Nebraska Research Report on Grazing or Baling Corn Residue by S. Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist

For every bushel of corn, 18 lbs. of stems, 5.8 lbs. of cobs and 16 lbs. of husks and leaves are produced. Opportunities exist to remove the corn residue from the field for feeding later, or grazing residue in the field. There continues to be questions about the effect of residue removal on corn grain yields in subsequent years. Because yields are the most important profit indicator for a crop farmer, it is necessary to evaluate possible changes in grain yield with residue removed either by baling or grazing. With corn residue baling, it is important to determine the amount of nutrients removed per acre from the field to determine potential impacts on Continue reading

Posted in Forages

Seasonality of Feeder Futures

– Matthew A. Diersen, Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Economics, South Dakota State University

Last spring I had the privilege to teach an SDSU course titled “Trading in Agricultural Futures and Options”. An assigned exercise was to propose and evaluate a strategy that could be routinely implemented. Seasonality was a common theme, asking things like “When do new-crop soybean futures peak in price?” After hearing some of the pitches by students, I wrote a note to myself to evaluate seasonality of feeder cattle futures prices.

Conventional wisdom says that markets are efficient and that any pattern that could be exploited should be arbitraged or bid away by speculators. At the same time, this is the feeder cattle market, which is a little thinner and more difficult to trade than many markets. As it is approaching the time of year for potentially backgrounding calves in the northern plains, the focus will be on the March feeder cattle futures. Thus, someone with calves may be following the Continue reading

Today, BQA Means More Than Just Needles in the Neck!

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

Simply becoming BQA certified is a start, but it isn’t enough anymore. Consumers want to be confident what we produce is nutritious, sustainable and humanely raised.

Do you remember when nearly everyone had a friend, neighbor or relative who had farm raised eggs, fresh from the farm raised meat, or milk straight from the cooler that you could make ice cream with? What about the days when no one questioned your livestock or crop management practices, didn’t question why you treated a sick animal with antibiotics in hopes of getting it well, and simply knew that if you were feeding it to your family, it was equally safe and nutritious for their family?

Unless you’re at least 40 or 50+ years old, perhaps you don’t.

Today, consumers are increasingly expressing concern for not only safety and quality in the foods they feed their families, but also animal health and the sustainability of the production systems their food’s raised in. These evolving consumer concerns have caused Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) to come to the forefront in most any recent conversation involving the future of our beef cattle market.

BQA originated in the ‘80’s due to injection-site lesions on cattle that started drawing the negative Continue reading