Storing Hay With a Plan

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

We are currently in the midst of first-cutting hay season in Ohio. The weather has been reasonably cooperative to allow timely harvest of forages so far this season. Reports of yields to this point have been mixed with several individuals that I have spoken with indicating that tonnage may be down slightly from last year due to freezing temperatures late in April and below average rainfall in May. An earlier harvest season in 2015 may have also impacted yields but should also allow for improved quality.

Much has changed over the years as to how we bale and store hay on the farm. I can recall (not necessarily fond memories!) of nearly all of our hay being made in small, rectangular bales that were stored under roof. The harvest process has evolved over the years to Continue reading Storing Hay With a Plan

Food and Drug Administration Antibiotic Ruling 2013

– Dr. Lew Strickland, Extension Veterinarian, University of Tennessee

In December 2013 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed two documents, Guidance for Industry (GFI-209 & GFI 213), to phase out the use of “human medically important” antimicrobials in food animals when used to enhance growth or improve feed efficiency. This ruling will take effect December 2016 – January 2017.

What Does This Mean for Producers?

FDA is taking action Continue reading Food and Drug Administration Antibiotic Ruling 2013

Beef Industry Traveling to a Different Drummer this Year

– Chris Hurt, Extension Economist, Purdue University (originally published in farmdocDAILY, 5/4/15)

The beef industry stands alone in 2015 in its continued reduction in supplies available to consumers. The year of 2014 was a special year for the animal production industries with record high farm level prices for cattle, hogs, broilers, turkeys, milk and eggs. For 2015, a surprisingly fast expansion of poultry, pork and milk production will cause lower prices for those commodities. Beef stands alone in the continuation toward lower production, but Continue reading Beef Industry Traveling to a Different Drummer this Year

Premium Beef Markets, Let’s Plan for the Future

– Dan Loy, Iowa Beef Center Director (originally published in the Iowa Beef Center Growing Beef newsletter, May 2015)

We celebrate Beef Month with near record highs of cattle and the beef product values. We have been accustomed to strong consumer demand and near shortages in fed beef supplies. This has led to increased carcass weights to make up for supply shortfalls and a resultant trend in carcass quality with the percent of cattle grading USDA Choice and Prime at historic levels. This trend will likely continue until Continue reading Premium Beef Markets, Let’s Plan for the Future

Beef Quality Assurance and Reproduction Protocols

Steve Boyles, Beef Extension Specialist

Lauren Mabry at North Carolina State University conducted a study comparing estrous synchronization protocols in beef cattle regarding injection sites on cattle. Beef quality assurance protocols have been very important for improving the quality of beef that producers provide for consumers. One of the main recommendation points of many beef quality assurance protocols is to alter the injection sites to the neck to avoid injection blemishes in the more valuable cuts of beef from the rump. One misconception could be that drugs administered in the rump might be more effective due to the close proximity of the reproductive tract. Continue reading Beef Quality Assurance and Reproduction Protocols

Hay Quality Is Improved by Understanding How it Dries

Stan Smith, PA, Fairfield County OSU Extension

The late spring and seemingly slow early growth of our forages this year may fool some into thinking that we can delay harvest in order to capture more tonnage without sacrificing quality. Don’t be fooled! While the early growth of forages may have been less than we hope for, maturity of those forages is arriving right on schedule. See the orchard grass that was photographed in Fairfield County last evening. Fescue and cereal rye can also Continue reading Hay Quality Is Improved by Understanding How it Dries

Hauling Pregnant Cows

Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist

Sarah Fields and George Perry from South Dakota State University published a paper presenting the effects of stress on embryonic mortality in cattle. Shipping cows between days 5 and 42 causes around a 10% decrease in pregnancy rates. Research has also demonstrated that shipping cattle 45 to 60 days after insemination can result in Continue reading Hauling Pregnant Cows

Beef Demand Strength Update and Implications . . .

– Glynn T. Tonsor, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University (originally published by the Livestock Marketing Information Center on 5/5/2015)

The combination of substantial $/cwt changes in cattle market prices since the start of this year coupled with the sheer amount of money at stake in each managerial and marketing decision continues to magnify producer interest in current information regarding supply and demand fundamentals. While a wealth of information is available on current (and upcoming) meat and livestock supplies (e.g. reports including Cattle Inventory, Cattle on Feed, and Cold Storage), there comparatively is much less information available regarding demand strength. Nonetheless, nearly all economists highlight it takes an understanding of Continue reading Beef Demand Strength Update and Implications . . .