Fall Marketing and Fall Born Calves

– Dr. Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

October and November are busy months for most cow-calf producers. The majority of producers are in the midst of selling the spring calf crop and their less productive cows while most other cow-calf producers are in the middle of the calving season and preparing for breeding season. These may be busy times for both groups from a production standpoint, but several dollars can be earned this time of year if Continue reading

Cattle Price Slide Presents Buying Opportunities

– Brian R. Williams, Assistant Extension Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

While it is common knowledge that cattle prices have been on a downward slide for the last year and a half, what has been talked about much less is a tightening in the feeder cattle price slide. In January of 2015, when markets were near their peak we had a difference of nearly $100/cwt between cattle weighing 400-500 pounds and cattle weighing 800-900 pounds while last week that difference narrowed to about $20/cwt for the same weight ranges. Even when we factor in the lower prices in general, we have gone from Continue reading

Election 2016 – What does it mean for the cattle markets?

– Brenda Boetel, Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Last Tuesday, Donald Trump became the President-elect.  Although the US stock market initially declined, the losses were made up later that day and the market has continued to react positively. What will happen long-term is up for debate.  The question for this report however is what immediate decisions President-elect Trump will make that will have long-term impacts on the cattle markets.

President-elect Trump will be making many Continue reading

Manure Spreader Calibration

Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator, Wayne County

Invariably when I talk about manure spreader calibration there are a few chuckles.  The image of a manure spreader doesn’t call to mind a piece of equipment that needs calibration; it is the equivalent of a hammer in a carpenter’s toolbox.  No calibration or explanation needed; you just use it.  However, as nutrient management and its corresponding linkage to water quality continue to grow in importance, all livestock owners and anyone who hauls and applies manure needs to Continue reading

Looking to save money? It’s foolish to cut preg-checking

– W. Mark Hilton, DVM, PAS, DABVP, clinical professor emeritus, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine; and senior technical veterinary consultant, Elanco Animal Health

As cattle margins tighten, there is a temptation to cut costs to improve profits . . . and I’m all in favor of it if the cost cutting actually makes your beef business stronger.

The first place to look at cost cutting is in feed cost, which accounts for around 50% of the total cost of keeping a cow. Are you feeding Continue reading

Deciding Who to Cull

– Michelle Arnold, DVM, Ruminant Extension Veterinarian, UKVD

Which cows in your herd are making you money and who is losing you money? Every year, the cow-calf producer needs to critically evaluate each animal in the herd and decide if she is paying her upkeep. Open cows (those that are not pregnant) at the end of breeding season obviously are the top of the cull list. With variable costs running $400-$500 per year per head and an additional $100-$300 in fixed costs, keeping open cows is a financial black hole. Beyond pregnancy status, what other variables are Continue reading

OCA Members to Offer Over 100 Consignments in Replacement Female Sale

Several members of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will sell over 100 consignments in the OCA Replacement Female Sale on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, at 6 p.m. at the Muskingum Livestock Auction Company facility in Zanesville, Ohio. Consignments include approximately 20 mature cows, less than five years of age, and approximately 90 bred heifers.

Breeds represented will include Continue reading

Substantial Seasonal Price Weakness Through Fall

– Stephen R Koontz, Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University

We are a little better than halfway through getting this fall’s calf crop marketed and the seasonal weakness in prices has been an eye-opener.  I have spoken to producers that sold calves in October who received close to zero basis for 4-5 weight animals.  This was $15-25/cwt weaker than expected.  A review of USDA AMS price reported for feeder cattle revealed these sales were small loads, in smaller regional Colorado markets, and were not all that common – but neither were these Continue reading

Grazing Corn Residue

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator Wayne County

A lot of acres of corn have been harvested in our area. The residue that remains after corn grain harvest includes husks, leaves, stalks, and some corn grain.  That residue represents a potential feed source for ruminant livestock that can be utilized to decrease stored feed costs and /or to stretch stockpiled forage.  Livestock in mid-gestation can do well on corn residue without additional supplementation provided they are not forced to Continue reading

Invasives, Fertility and Feeding

Chris Penrose, Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Associate Professor, OSU Extension, Morgan County (this article first appeared in the 10/20/16 issue of Farm & Dairy)

As I walk around the pastures this time of the year, especially with pasture growth slowing down and leaves falling off trees, I really notice what worked this year and what thing went wrong, and I also try to think of ways we can reduce tearing up our fields when we feed hay this winter. I also 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 Continue reading