Prepare for Late Gestation Nutrition

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Athens County and Buckeye Hills EERA

Recently a first cutting hay test crossed my desk that had a crude protein value of 8% and a TDN level of 55%. This is similar to many first cutting hay quality results across the state. This hay will work for a mid-gestation cow under decent environmental conditions. It is certainly not going to meet the nutrient needs of a cow in late gestation. Continue reading

The Impact of AI: One On-Farm Example

Dr. Les Anderson, Beef Extension Specialist, University of Kentucky

Commercial beef producers have resisted using estrus synchronization and AI (ES/AI) for years. Recent USDA estimates indicate that fewer than 10% of all beef producers incorporate AI into their breeding programs. One of the main issues limiting the use of ES/AI is that most ranchers don’t feel that they are able to recover the additional costs associated with ES/AI. In recent articles, we have compared the cost of pregnancy for natural service and ES/SI and discovered that ES/AI adds $15-25 per pregnancy. However, we have demonstrated that ES/AI can increase weaning weight by about 70 pounds, increase the number of calves born (higher weaning percentage), and thus can increase profits by about $140 in today’s market. The question remains whether Continue reading

What Does the Choice-Select Spread Mean to You?

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

The current beef quality grading system was established by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1923 as a means to differentiate value in carcasses. The grades of Prime, Choice, Select and others have established themselves in today’s market and are assigned specific dollar values. The vast majority of cattle graded in this system will grade either Choice or Select.

Today, marketing of fed-cattle is evolving towards value-based systems or grids. Currently, more than 60% of fed cattle are sold in a system where pricing is based on carcass quality grades. The difference between the Choice and Select boxed-beef cutout (primal cut values assembled into a composite number) is referred to as the Choice-Select spread. This is a major factor in determining Continue reading

Rain Makes Grain, and Forage Too!

Stan Smith, PA, Fairfield County OSU Extension

The yields of corn and beans we’ve experienced around much of Ohio this fall is nothing short of remarkable. This, despite planting most of the crop a month or more late last spring. The same is true for the fall growth of forages, especially oats that were planted after wheat harvest or into acres which remained unplanted due to last spring’s horrible planting conditions.

As we’ve visited with a number of Ohio cattlemen who planted oats for a late forage crop during the summer and early fall, there seems to be two comments consistently being shared: a) yield and quality is very good with most reporting 3 to 5 tons of dry matter per acre being produced, and b) now that we’ve grown it, how do I Continue reading

Lice on Cattle

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Athens County and Buckeye Hills EERA

If lice are going to be a problem, winter is the time when they will show up. In Ohio, cattle can become infested with both biting and sucking lice. Both types of lice can build up to very high numbers on cattle during the winter months. In most herds, 1-2% of the animals may be carriers, most often bulls and/or older animals. During the summer months the thin hair coat of the animal permits self-grooming, sunshine, and rain to keep lice populations at low levels. However as hair coats thicken in the late fall into winter period, it becomes easier for the lice to survive and thrive. Winter stress and inadequate nutrition are contributing factors to a lice problem on cattle. Lice are spread between animals by Continue reading