Spring Grazing Management

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator Wayne County (originally published in the April, 2015 issue of the Ohio Cattleman magazine)

Well begun is half done is an old saying that is used to capture the importance of making a thoughtful, planned and managed beginning to a project. That type of beginning can reduce or eliminate later problems, saving time and money. All of this holds true for use of our pasture resource. A good beginning with attention to spring grazing management can help to insure that our summer and fall pasture forages will be more productive. A gross oversimplification of grazing management during the spring period is to Continue reading

Managing Spring Cover Crops for Feed

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator Wayne County

Cover crops are planted for a variety of reasons; erosion control, to improve soil structure and health, to provide supplemental forage, as part of a nutrient management plan for manure application or for a combination of these reasons. Depending upon the species of cover crop planted, the crop will not be killed over the winter, but growth will resume in the spring and the grower must make some decisions regarding how to manage that crop in the spring. The management options depend Continue reading

Calves = Very Valuable; Bulls Deemed “Satisfactory Potential Breeders” = Priceless!

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator and Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

Yes, you likely do recognize that same title from previous years in this publication but, we think it deserves repeating. Sounds simple enough: purchase bull; put bull with cows; calves appear in ~ 283 days; collect calves 205 days later; sell calves for good prices! Well maybe it should be that simple, but . . . I think most Ohio cattlemen will agree it isn’t!

When considering all of the traits of importance to today’s cattleman and current market prices for all classes of beef cattle, the primary focus of any cow-calf producer should be Continue reading

Hillsboro Seedstock Improvement Sale Results

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association hosted their annual Seedstock Improvement Sale on April 11 at the Union Stock Yards sale facility in Hillsboro. A total of 29 yearling and two-year-old and older bulls were sold for a total of $93,600 to average $3,228 per head. This represents a nearly $600 per head increase over Continue reading

Utilize the K.I.S.S. Method

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

The acronym used in the title of this article can mean a couple of different things depending on your perspective. Most of us have probably heard the less politically correct version of the K.I.S.S. acronym: “Keep It Simple, Stupid!” However, when referring to the current beef cattle calving season and imminent breeding season, I prefer Continue reading

Beware of “Dr. Google”- Grass Tetany Myths Debunked

– Dr. Michelle Arnold, Ruminant Extension Veterinarian, University of Kentucky

Although the Internet provides a wealth of good information, all too often it contains false or misleading advice because no one directly oversees the content nor questions its validity. Often it is difficult to separate the good from the bad, especially when the author’s credentials seem credible and the journal or magazine seems reputable. With the prefix “Dr.” and a long list of possible suffixes (DVM, PhD, MD, Board-Certified), the reader is willing to believe and accept “expert” conclusions, even if drawn only on observation and never tested critically or reviewed by other experts in the same field. Blanket statements such as “wrestling is real”, “Elvis is alive”, “the IRS is here to help you” and “salt prevents grass tetany” all contain some grain of truth yet should also raise a flag of doubt. While the debate over wrestling, Elvis and the IRS may never be solved, the prevention of grass tetany has been thoroughly studied and high magnesium mineral supplementation is the clear winner.

What is “Grass Tetany” and when are cattle susceptible: Continue reading

Increasing the Digestibility of Forages = Economic Benefits!

Francis L. Fluharty, Ph.D., Research Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University (originally published in the March issue of The Ohio Cattleman and presented at the Ohio Beef Expo on March 20, 2015)

Despite the decline in prices over the past year, feed costs remain the majority of the expense of maintaining a beef cattle operation. Corn prices remain around $3.60 to $3.70 per bushel as I write this. This averages 6.5 cents per pound, or $130 per ton. Dried distillers grains are currently in the price range of $190 to $210 per ton, and the price of corn gluten feed is keeping pace on an energy and protein basis, at approximately $150 to $160 per ton, so there are no cheap supplemental feeds for cow-calf producers or stocker cattle operations. Therefore, forage-based operations must utilize Continue reading

Preparing Cows for Breeding

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

A successful breeding season actually begins with management decisions made at calving. Cattlemen can impact rebreeding efficiency by focusing on body condition score (BCS), early assistance during calving difficulty, scheduling a breeding soundness exam for the herd sires, planning their herd reproductive health program, and developing a plan to regulate estrus in their first-calf heifers and late-calving cows.

Reproductive management begins with Continue reading