Temperature Swings Offer Seeding Opportunity

Chris Penrose, OSU Extension, Morgan Co. and Gary Wilson, retired Hancock Co. Ag Educator

If you don’t like the weather you’re experiencing this minute, give it an hour or two and it will likely be different. Particularly in recent weeks it seems Ohio temperatures have either been above normal, or way below normal. While that may not be comfortable to man or beast, it creates an environment where certain forage species can be added to thin pastures relatively easy.

This is the time of year when farmers will want to think about re-seeding their pasture and hay fields. This method of seeding is called “frost seeding” which is where you apply seed to the ground and the freezing and thawing of the soil in February and early march will provide Continue reading

When do we intervene and assist a cow or heifer in labor?

– Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist

Before the spring calving season commences, now is the time to put together and post a protocol for family members and hired employees to follow when they find a cow or heifer starting in the process of calving. An issue facing the rancher at calving time, is the amount of time heifers or cows are allowed to be in labor before assistance is given. Traditional text books, fact sheets and magazine articles stated that “Stage II” of labor lasted Continue reading

A Training Camp for Young Athletes?

– Dr. Roy Burris, Beef Extension Professor, University of Kentucky

I’ve been thinking about a second career after my retirement from U.K. It should be something different than what I presently do but something which will also allow me to draw on my experience with beef cattle. I’ve got it! I’ll run a training camp for young athletes – maybe aspiring Olympic athletes even. I have the perfect model for my new business venture – and that is the way we presently develop yearling beef bulls for breeding. They’re athletes too, aren’t they? I’ll just use a similar plan for my new venture.

The first thing that I’ll do to get them in shape is Continue reading

Be Aware when Feeding Ionophores to Cattle – an Overdose May Prove Deadly

Michelle Arnold, DVM (Ruminant Extension Veterinarian, UKVDL), University of Kentucky (A special thanks to Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler, UK Beef Extension Specialist, for his valuable input and comments in the development of this article.)

Ionophores have been used for many years in the beef and poultry industries for improved feed efficiency and control of coccidiosis. Generally, ionophores are considered safe and effective in the correct (target) animals receiving the recommended amounts. However, poisonings do occur and are often due to accidental contamination of feed and feed supplements for the wrong species (horses, for example) or errors in feed mixing resulting in excessive concentrations in the diets of cattle. The ionophores approved for use in cattle include monensin (Rumensin®), lasalocid (Bovatec®) and laidlomycin propionate (Cattlyst®). Although all ionophores can be toxic, this Continue reading

Cattle on Feed Report

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

The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA, NASS) released their monthly Cattle on Feed report on Friday January 26, 2018. The latest numbers released by the USDA were neutral in numbers of cattle on feed, total numbers of placements and marketings as compared to trade expectations. Total cattle on feed on January 1, 2018 numbered 11.5 million head, up 8.3 percent from January 2017 levels, at industry expectations. The number of cattle on feed is Continue reading

Five Pasture Improvements to Begin in January

Dean Kreager, OSU Extension AgNR Educator, Licking County (this article originally published in Farm & Dairy)

New Year’s Day has come and gone, as have some of our New Year’s resolutions: eat less junk food, go to the gym more often, lose weight, and the list goes on.

I hope our pasture management goals for the year last longer. As I contemplate the projects I have completed and those that are still on the list for another year, I think about how I can get more production from my pasture or how I can feed more animals on the same amount of land.

Today, I will stick with the “5 Things” theme in this issue and will touch on five areas of pasture management you can work on in January to improve utilization of your pastures through the Continue reading

Time to Double Check Your Heifer Development Program

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

The first of January is an important “check-point” in spring heifer development programs. The key to proper heifer development lies in understanding the factors that influence conception in yearling heifers. One key factor regulating heifer fertility is age at puberty. Most producers don’t consider age at puberty of their heifers to be a major problem, yet few know how many heifers are actually cyclic at the beginning of the breeding season. A Nebraska study demonstrated that the proportion of heifers that were pubertal on the first day of the breeding season varied greatly over 5 consecutive years in a single a herd. The percentage of heifers that were pubertal on the Continue reading

Use the Numbers When Bull Buying

– Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

The future is now: the bull-buying season.

The future is in the numbers. The future requires knowledge, so study hard.

For me, bull-buying season means bull-buying workshops where I can meet with small groups of producers to look at numbers, the expected progeny differences (EPDs). EPDs have been around a long time, but the utilization of EPDs is still an ongoing process as more producers annually incorporate EPDs into bull selection.

Interestingly, the extent to which EPDs are utilized on individual operations varies widely. However, no better selection tool is available that will help a beef operation meet future goals.

Just as with buying equipment, the spec sheet informs potential buyers what is Continue reading

China not a factor in U.S. beef exports . . . yet

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

The latest beef trade data for November shows continued improvement in beef exports. November beef exports were 260.7 million pounds, up 2.7 percent over exports in November, 2016. Beef exports have increased year over year each month in 2017 for the first 11 months of the year. For the year-to-date, beef exports are up 13 percent over one year ago.

Beef exports to the five major destinations are each up for the year-to-date. Exports to Japan are up 27.6 percent year over year. Japan is the largest U.S. beef export market and accounts for 29.5 percent of total exports for the year-to-date. Second largest is Continue reading

Weekly Livestock Comments for January 19, 2018

– Andrew P. Griffith, University of Tennessee

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle trade was not established at press with bid prices on a live basis at $118 while asking prices on a live basis were $125.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $120.61 live, up $0.54 from last week and $193.00 dressed, up $1.08 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $121.89 live and $194.82 dressed.

Fed cattle trade was slow to be established this week as packers and feedlots were separated by as much as $7 on a live basis. This price separation was largely due to packers holding on to prices from last week’s trade and early week futures market prices. However, cattle feeders were basing ask prices on late week futures which were $3.80 higher than the close on Tuesday and more than $4.50 higher than the close last Friday. Given the futures close for the week, cattle feeders hold a little leverage over Continue reading