Heat Stress and Beef Cattle

Stephen Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

High temperatures raise the concern of heat stress on cattle. Heat stress is hard on livestock, especially in combination with high humidity. Hot weather and high humidity can reduce breeding efficiency, milk production, feed intake, weight gains, and sometimes cause death. Livestock should be observed frequently and producers should take precautions when hot and humid weather is forecast. Work cattle early in the morning to decrease the risk of heat stress. A danger sign in cattle is Continue reading

Alfalfa Management Considerations in a Drought

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator Wayne County and Crossroads EERA & Mark Sulc, OSU Extension Forage Specialist

An established alfalfa plant has a deep taproot that enables the plant to extract moisture from the soil and continue growing even under drought conditions. In addition the alfalfa plant has the ability to go into a prolonged dormancy under severe moisture stress and then recover once rainfall begins again. Many areas across the state of Ohio are facing drought conditions and the short term forecast is not encouraging. There are reports of alfalfa regrowth beginning to bloom at 4 to 6 inches Continue reading

It’s Deja Vu . . . again!

Stan Smith, PA, Fairfield County OSU Extension

In the words of old Yankee Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, it sure seems like deja vu all over again. Much of Ohio and large parts of the Midwest saw it in 1999, and 2002, and 2005, and yet again in 2007 . . . significantly below normal precipitation in spring and early summer which set the stage for below normal production of high quality hay and pasture.

Here in Fairfield County, a few spots in the northwestern half of the county received up to an inch of well needed rainfall last Sunday. In the lower part of the county, it amounted to only 1 to 3 tenths of an inch. Since April 1, we are more than 5 inches below normal Continue reading

Dry Season Pasture Management

Mark Landefeld, Agricultural Extension Educator Monroe County

Showers crossed the state last weekend (6-17-12), but in many cases it was only enough to settle the dust for a few hours. The dry conditions in our area continue to challenge farm managers and their ability to keep forages growing and productive.

While we can’t control rainfall, we can control our livestock and provide forage plants the opportunity to remain productive during and, maybe more importantly, after drought Continue reading

Is it Time to Alter Your Grazing Management?

Jeff McCutcheon, Extension Educator, Morrow County

Talk about extremes. Last year we were still talking about planting at this time. This year, first cutting hay is in the barn and we are wondering if there will be any more. According to the information in the Ohio Pasture Measurement Project forage growth has not been what we have come to expect the last few years. With no rain in the forecast what is a grazier to do? Continue reading

Is it Time to Consider Early Weaning?

– Dr. Thomas B. Turner, Emeritus, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University (originally published here in June, 2005)

For most beef producers with spring calving cow herds, summer is a time to focus on other things. It seems like the one season of the year when we can reduce the hours per week spent with the beef enterprise. Things appear to be okay and they probably are “okay” but are there potential profits being lost? Consider the following Continue reading

Establish High Reproduction Standards for Heifers

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

As we move into the month of June, most cow-calf producers are involved in some aspect of the breeding season. Some are winding down their breeding season while others are just getting started. Last year in the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter we discussed the significant merits of keeping a breeding season as short as possible (“The Shorter the Better!”, Issue #735). The shorter calving season can apply to any herd but should absolutely be utilized Continue reading

“Summer” Pasture Management has Begun!

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator Wayne County and Crossroads EERA

Pasture is an important component for many livestock enterprises. Most of our common pasture forage species are classified as cool season species. This includes bluegrass, orchardgrass, tall fescue, brome, timothy, white clover and alsike clover. These forages grow best when there is adequate moisture, air temperatures in the 50 to 70 degree range and soil temperatures in the 50 to 65 degree range. I bring this up because our current weather pattern and the extended forecast are definitely not Continue reading