When Should We Mow Pastures?

Chris Penrose, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Morgan County (originally published in the Ohio Farmer on-line)

The spring of 2018 was the latest I can remember feeding hay to cattle and many producers were searching at the last minute to find some extra hay. Pastures were very slow growing this spring until it finally warmed up in early May. On my farm, common orchardgrass typically starts heading out in late April and it was two weeks later this year. The late arriving spring brought many challenges around farms and the rush to get crops in the ground and to make hay has put mowing pastures on the back burner. However, now may be a great time to mow pastures.

Our perennial grasses go through two stages during the growing season: the reproductive stage and then the vegetative stage. When grass starts growing in the spring, its’ main objective is to reproduce, resulting in a seed head. The net movement of energy is up. Once it has produced a seed head, it will transition from the reproductive stage to the vegetative stage and hopefully the Continue reading

The Hay Debate: Quality versus Quantity

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

One of the greatest debates in the cattle industry may revolve around the hay industry since most cattle operations utilize hay at some point through the year. The crux of the debate is quality versus quantity.

In Tennessee, cool season grasses are the primary forage for most operations, and forage species such as tall fescue have already started to produce a seed head which means the quality of the forage is starting to decline. There is a balance between quality and quantity and what individual operations need from a quality standpoint may differ based on Continue reading

Discover Native Warm-Season Forages on June 16, 2018

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

Learn about warm-season forages and enjoy a tour of the Hopeton Earthworks site

On Saturday, June 16, 2018, the National Park Service will host a collaborative program called “Discover Native Warm-Season Forages” from 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park (Mound City Group Visitor Center:16062 State Route 104 Chillicothe, OH 4560).

This free event is a combined effort of the National Park Service, The Ohio State University, Ohio Division of Wildlife, Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council, Pheasants Forever, Inc. and Quail Forever to share information about the versatility of native warm-season forages for conservation, wildlife, and livestock production.

From 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. an Continue reading

Start Now to Prevent Anaplasmosis This Fall

– Michelle Arnold, DVM (Ruminant Extension Veterinarian, UKVDL), University of Kentucky

Anaplasma marginale is an organism that lives in red blood cells and causes the only major “tick-borne” disease in the US affecting cattle production. Although ticks are important for this organism to survive year after year, transmission is by any transfer of infected red blood cells from infected to susceptible cattle. This includes biting insects (mosquitoes, horse flies, stable flies) and/or using blood contaminated instruments such as dehorners, ear taggers, castration tools, and implant guns. Probably the most common way it is transmitted is using the same needle on multiple animals when administering vaccines to the herd.

The disease usually affects adult cattle in the fall of the year with the majority of cases submitted to the UK Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (UKVDL) starting in late September and continuing through the first 1-2 weeks of November. This organism causes anemia in adult cattle which means there is a very low number of red blood cells in the bloodstream. Lack of red blood cells results in a lack of oxygen to the vital organs in the body. Infected cattle will show signs of Continue reading

Posted in Health

A survey of recommended practices made by veterinary practitioners to cow-calf operations in the U.S. & Canada

– G. Fike, J. Simroth, D. Thompson, E. Schwandt, R. Spare, A. Tarpoff; Contributed by S. Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist.

Veterinary practitioners provide constant advice and recommendations to beef cow-calf operations across the United States and Canada regarding health, well-being, and production practices to gain satisfactory health status and optimum herd performance. Practicing veterinarians (n = 148) who service commercial beef cow-calf herds responded to a survey describing general recommendations made to their clients in terms of vaccine protocol, health, and production practices. Responding veterinarians represented 35 states in the United States and 3 provinces in Canada. More than 50% of responding veterinarians devote over 50% of their practice to Continue reading

Posted in Health

Weekly Livestock Comments for May 25, 2018

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

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle trade was not well established at press. Asking prices on a live basis were mainly $127 to $128 while bids were $120 to $122.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $121.21 live, down $3.75 from last week and $191.75 dressed, down $1.87 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $137.86 live and $220.53 dressed.

There has been movement towards narrowing the basis on finished cattle, but it appears the way packers want to narrow basis is through lower cash prices which would be to their benefit. There were mod-est gains for June live cattle compared to last Friday with the futures price whittling off about $1.50 of the basis. On the cash side, cattle feeder and packers were slow to come to terms on finished cattle prices this week. Packers were trying to purchase cattle $4 to $5 lower than the previous week while cattle feeders were aiming to gain $2 compared to a week ago. Ask and bid prices placed a serious divide between Continue reading

Gaining Greater Market Access for Ohio Feeder Calves

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

You do not have to look long and hard to find plenty of evidence that feeder calf marketing is undergoing significant changes across the country. The market is currently sending a clear message that buyers are demanding more for their purchasing dollars. Significant discounts are occurring in the market place for feeder calves that are not weaned 45-60 days, castrated & healed, dehorned, and given 2 rounds of a modified live vaccine for the shipping fever complex. In 2019, a major restaurant chain is going to start requiring their suppliers of fed cattle to be Beef Quality Assurance certified. This will in turn be pushed down to the producer level. Exports to China and other countries are going to require age and source verification. These are growing realities for cow-calf producers if they want access to as many markets as possible.

The OSU Extension Beef Team is pleased to announce that they have completed two pre-recorded presentations under the theme of “Gaining Greater Market Access for Ohio Feeder Calves”. These videos contain Continue reading

Sidedressing Manure into Newly Planted and Emerged Corn

Glen Arnold, CCA, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management

Ohio State University Extension has conducted manure research on growing crops for several years in an effort to make better use of the available nutrients. Incorporating manure into growing corn can boost crop yields, reduce nutrient losses, and give livestock producers or commercial manure applicators another window of time to apply manure to farm fields.

Our research started with using manure tankers modified with narrow wheels and in recent years progressed to using drag hoses on emerged corn. We now feel confident that liquid livestock manure can be surface applied or incorporated into corn from the day of planting to the V4 stage of development.

In Darke County, Harrod Farms has used a drag hose to apply Continue reading

Beef AGRI NEWS Today, the May Podcast

In this month’s podcast of Beef AGRI NEWS Today, show host Duane Rigsby visits with OSU Extension Beef Coordinator John Grimes about breeding season and the multitude of management considerations that come into play this time of year. (FYI, there’s likely an audio glitch that begins about 5 minutes into the podcast. Slide past it and the audio resumes properly for the balance of the recording.)

Short Pastures and Supplementation Considerations

– Jeff Lehmkuhler, Extension Beef Cattle Specialists, University of Kentucky

Several county Ag Agents have reported producers asking what to do supplement-wise for grazing livestock with the slow pasture growth this spring. A lot of this is related to the fact that we are roughly 100 growing degree days less this year than the same time frame a year ago. Combine this with the wet weather leading to muddy feeding conditions, producers were happy to see cows begin to pick grass. Low hay stocks also contributed to producers pulling hay away a bit prematurely. Cooler temperatures has resulted in slow pasture forage growth and cows are nipping it off faster than it is growing. This situation has led to several questions regarding supplementing grazing cattle under these conditions and I’ll try to share a few things to consider.

1) No free lunch – Grazing energy expenditure based on research is significantly greater than the energy required to walk, stand, and other activities. A cow grazing an acre would expend more energy than simply walking that same distance. The energy to Continue reading