Goals Rather Than Resolutions

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

As we come to the end of 2017, you may hear people talk about making New Year’s Resolutions. While it is admirable to set targets for areas of personal improvement, much of the enthusiasm surrounding these resolutions peaks early in the calendar year and typically fade away after a few weeks. Maybe you have had more success with resolutions than I have!

I would suggest that a more business-like approach to your beef cattle operation would involve setting goals for improvement. Every business needs to set aggressive goals for improvement to remain competitive and profitable in today’s challenging economy. The following are a few realistic goals that Continue reading

Hay Testing for Efficient Winter Feeding

Christine Gelley, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Noble County

As this year comes to an end, most Ohio graziers are probably feeding a good portion of hay as a part of their animals’ daily ration. Even if there is a supply of stockpiled forage available, we tend to make hay available just in case they need a little extra. It is likely that grain is also part of that daily ration. Well, how do you know how much hay, grain, and pasture they need? No one wants to leave their animals hungry. In addition, we do not want to waste time or money with unnecessary feeding. Figuring out the balance can seem like a guessing game, but the place to start is with a hay test.

Testing the hay you are feeding is well worth the price of sample analysis. Collecting a sample is not complicated and typically Continue reading

Ohio Beef Forage Contest is Accepting Entries

Are you Ohio’s best beef forage manager?

The first annual Ohio Beef Forage contest is now accepting hay sample entries for a chance win prizes for the best forages in the east. Sponsored by ADM Animal Nutrition, Inc. (ADM ANI) and International Stock Food (ISF), with sample analysis performed by Rock River Laboratory, Inc., the new contest aims to improve beef forage management in Ohio and other eastern US states.

Beef forage producers from Ohio Continue reading

Label Language Continues to Confuse Consumers

Garth Ruff, AgNR Extension Educator, OSU Henry County Extension

I have always been curious about what goes through a person’s mind while shopping at the grocery store. In the past couple of weeks, I have read several articles regarding consumer surveys, gauging consumer wants and purchasing habits when at the grocery store. I shared one such article in my weekly online newsletter titled, Informed Consumers Won’t Pay More For ‘Natural’. In this experiment researchers at Arizona State University polled 663 beef eaters about Continue reading

Will the real truth about meat please stand up?

Troy Marshall (reprinted with permission of the author from BEEF Magazine on-line)

I’m terribly guilty as a cattle rancher. Don’t get me wrong; I believe in what I do, and I know the integrity and quality of people involved in this business. As a result, while I occasionally read the propaganda and the falsehoods that are accepted as truth about our industry, I also tend to dismiss them. Truth has a way of always winning out, right?

Well, in today’s world science and facts are not what they used to be. Truth is some malleable concept that is determined by consensus. Truth is determined by those who are the most effective in delivering their version of it. And that’s why I’m guilty as a Continue reading

Beef Consumption and Beef Demand

– Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Livestock Marketing Specialist

U.S. domestic beef consumption is projected to be 56.6 pounds per capita for 2017, up from 55.4 pounds in 2016 (retail weight). That is a 2.2 percent year-over-year increase. Beef consumption is higher because beef production is increasing; in fact, it is projected to be up 3.8 percent year over year from 2016.

Domestic consumption is up less, in percentage terms, than beef production for a couple of reasons. First, Continue reading

Even with forages, the end of the year is the time to plan!

Chris Penrose, Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Morgan County (originally published in the Winter issue of The Ohio Cattleman)

The month of December is a great time to plan. We still have the opportunity to make changes to the 2017 year and plan for 2018. When I think of 2017, especially as it relates to forages, two things come to mind for me. First, what worked and what went wrong? Next, is there anything that can be done to improve the operation for this and next year?

What worked and what went wrong?

For many of us, the growing season for the most part was Continue reading

Preparing Your Cows for A Successful Breeding Season

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

A successful breeding season actually begins with management decisions made prior to calving. As we move into the winter feeding period, cattlemen need to review their management plan to ensure optimal rebreeding and success. Rebreeding efficiency can be optimized 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 evaluation and management of Continue reading

Dodder (Cuscuta spp.) in Western Ohio Red Clover Stands

Mark Loux, OSU Extension Weed Specialist

Photo: uwyo.edu

We have had reports of dodder in some red clover fields. Dodder is a parasitic plant without any leaves or chlorophyll to produce its own energy. It lives by attaching to a host with small appendages (called ‘haustoria”), and extracting the host plant’s carbohydrates. The stems are yellow-orange, stringlike, twining, smooth and branching to form dense masses in infested fields. Although neither toxic nor unpalatable to some livestock, dodder can weaken host plants enough to reduce yield, quality, and stand. If infestations are severe enough, dodder may kill host plants.

Dodders are annuals that spread by Continue reading

Weekly Livestock Comments for December 15, 2017

– Andrew P. Griffith, University of Tennessee

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle trade was not well established at press. Asking prices on a live basis were mainly $119 while asking prices on a dressed basis were mainly $190.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $117.36 live, down $0.11 from last week and $184.39 dressed, down $2.64 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $110.23 live and $170.31 dressed.

Cattle feeders and packers were slow to trade cattle this week and that could be to the detriment of the packer as December live cattle futures made a strong forward jump on Friday. The strong move on the futures market had cattle Continue reading