Crop Report Helps Out Livestock

– David P. Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University

USDA released its August crop report on the 10th with some real surprises for the trade. What was bad for the crop side was good for livestock producers.

Starting with corn, the report indicated a crop of 14.2 billion bushels, tied for the second largest on record (2014), behind only 2015’s 15.1 billion bushel crop. The estimated average yield was 169.5 bushels per acre. While yields were estimated to be below last year’s in the central and Western Corn Belt, yields were higher across the Continue reading

Weekly Livestock Comments for August 18, 2017

– Andrew P. Griffith, University of Tennessee

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle traded $5 lower compared to last week on a live basis. Prices on a live basis were primarily $109 to $110 while prices on a dressed basis were mainly $173 to $175.
The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $109.72 live, down $5.45 from last week and $175.26 dressed, down $8.63 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $117.54 live and $186.06 dressed.

After weeks of holding the line, finished cattle prices are being driven down by seasonal supply and demand factors. The price decline this week was larger than most analysts in the industry were expecting over a seven day period. Additionally, cattle feeders recognize Continue reading

Did My Feed Grinder Cause My Cattle to Bloat?

Dr. Francis L. Fluharty, Research Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

Acidosis is a prerequisite to classic feedlot bloat. Acidosis is most prevalent when high-grain diets are fed.

1) whole corn kernal; 2) whole corn kernal split in half; 3) whole corn kernal quartered; 4) one whole corn kernal broken into many smaller pieces. Each time corn or other grains are ground or split further the total surface area of the feed increases, and the rate of ruminal fermentation is increased.

When cattle are over-fed large amounts of starch Streptococcus bovis bacteria that make lactic acid increase rapidly. In this instance, bacteria that use lactic acid (Megasphaera elsdenii, Selenemonas ruminantium, and  Selenomonas lactilytica) cannot keep up with production of the lactic acid.

The normal rumen pH with cattle fed high-grain diets is between 5.5 and 6.2, but when lactic acid is over-produced, the rumen pH continues to decline and can fall below 5.5, at which point many other rumen bacteria species begin to reduce their reproductive rates. When the rumen pH drops below 6.0, bacteria that digest fiber decrease Continue reading

Forage Seeding; Do you always have time to do it over?

– Dr. Jimmy Henning, Extension Professor, Forage Specialist, University of Kentucky

You always find time to do it over.

My father used to tell me, “You never have time to do it right, but you always find time to do it over”. You can imagine the context. In defense, it is human nature (at least my nature) to be in a hurry, to skip steps in a process that seems to be less than absolutely necessary. Few processes on the farm provide as much temptation for this ‘skip a step’ thinking as forage establishment.

The following is a typical exchange Continue reading

Posted in Forages

Late Summer Temperatures Shorten Gestation Length of Fall-calvers

– Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Extension

Each year in August, it is time for an important reminder. Fall-calving season is here. In fact, the start of the fall calving season often begins before some producers expect it. The target date for the beginning of fall calving very often is September 1. Most printed gestation tables predict that calving will take place 283 days (some 285 days) after artificial insemination or natural breeding. Cows and heifers that gestate in hot weather will often calve a few days earlier than Continue reading

New World Screwworm Still a Threat

Timothy McDermott DVM, OSU Extension Educator, Hocking County (published previously in Farm and Dairy)

On September 30th, 2016 entomologists at the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Services (USDA-APHIS-VS) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa confirmed a diagnosis of screwworm in a Key Deer from Big Pine Key, Florida.  The New World Screwworm (Cochliomyia hominivorax) was identified as the cause. (1)

The New World Screwworm is a devastating predator of warm blooded animals including livestock, companion animals and humans.  It was eradicated in the United States starting the 1950’s by releasing large numbers of male flies that were sterilized via radiation to disrupt mating.  What differentiates this from other fly/maggot problems is Continue reading

Posted in Health

Kentucky Beef Cattle Market Update

– Dr. Kenny Burdine, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Kentucky

The overall tone of the feeder cattle market has not been encouraging over the last month. CME© Feeder cattle futures have moved into the low $140’s. We were around these levels in late April, late June, and early July.

I’m not a technical analyst, but I think holding this level is pretty important. Local basis has actually been quite strong with a lot of groups of 9wt steers selling in the upper $130’s and low $140’s. A few groups on the lighter end of the 8wt range reached Continue reading

Weekly Livestock Comments for August 11, 2017

– Andrew P. Griffith, University of Tennessee

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle traded $2 lower compared to last week on a live basis. Prices on a live basis were primarily $114 to $116 while prices on a dressed basis were mainly $183 to $185.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $115.17 live, down $2.13 from last week and $183.89 dressed, down $3.46 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $116.91 live and $186.86 dressed.

Seasonal summer softness edged its way back into the finished cattle market as packers were able to drive prices a little lower this week. The live cattle market will Continue reading

Minimize Forage Ash Content

Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator, Wayne County

Forage ash content comes from both internal and external sources. Internal sources include minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and potassium found in the leaves and stems of forage plants. External sources include things like soil, bedding, and sand that are deposited on the surface of the forage. An average internal ash content for alfalfa is around 8 percent and for grass forages around 6 percent. Values above that represent Continue reading

Grazing Bites for August

– Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

It’s August, and I know it’s August without looking at a calendar. The days are getting shorter and it’s state fair time. August is always a busy month for me and I am usually left wondering what happened to it all. I start thinking about assessing pastures, how much forage is present, and how much more forage can be grown between now and dormancy. It’s sad, but winter is already on my mind. Not that I’m looking forward to it, I’m not, but it’s time now to start preparing.

I want to be able to graze as long as possible, so like the games of chess or checkers, you’re better off planning your next move far ahead. I like as much stockpiled forage as possible which means I better be Continue reading