To suggest the past year has been a challenge for Ohio’s cattlemen is, at best, an understatement. The weather made it nearly impossible throughout 2018 to harvest high quality forage in a timely fashion, the constantly muddy conditions caused animals to utilize more energy than normal, and even though temperatures were moderate during much of the fall, cows with a constantly wet hair coat were expending more energy than normal. Then, as late January evolved into February, in many cases mud was matting down the winter coats of cattle reducing their hair’s insulating properties, thus causing them to utilize even more energy in cold weather.
In combination, this created potential for the “perfect storm” that reportedly is resulting in a challenging calving season in parts of Ohio, as well as concern for conception rates as we move into the subsequent breeding season.
Taking all those concerns into account, the 2019 Ohio Beef School consisted of a single ‘live’ webinar on February 5th that featured three different speakers. Collectively, the overall theme of Beef School was Winter Management of the Cow Herd to Insure a Productive 2019. Each of the Beef School’s approximately 30 minute presentations are embedded below under the listing of the featured speaker and topic.
Dr. Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist, OSU Department of Animal Sciences, discussed the nutritional requirements of the beef female for optimal performance from the last trimester through breeding season.
Dr. Alvaro Garcia Guerra, Assistant Professor, OSU Department of Animal Sciences, focused his presentation on the impacts of nutrition on heifer development and conception rates of heifers, and also the impact of nutrition on days to return to estrus and conception rates of lactating females.
Justin Kieffer, Clinical Veterinarian, Professional Practice, Assistant Professor, OSU Department of Animal Sciences, discussed the management of calf health when born into stressful situations: weak calves, importance of amount and timing of colostrum intake, colostrum replacers or supplements, suggested newborn treatments and vaccinations, etc.