The USDA initiated the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) in 1983 to collect, analyze, and disseminate data on animal health, management, and productivity across the United States. The NAHMS team conducts national studies on the health and management of United States domestic livestock populations. These studies are designed to meet the information needs of the industries associated with these commodities, as identified by people within those industries.
Presently through April 7, 2019, NAHMS is conducting a needs assessment survey to gather input from cattle producers and other stakeholders about priorities regarding cattle health that should be included in the upcoming study titled “Health Management on U.S. Feedlots, 2020.” To participate and offer your input, go to this SurveyMonkey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/feedlothealth
– Dr. Kenny Burdine, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Kentucky
After some delay due to the federal government shutdown, USDA released their January 1 estimates for cattle inventory on February 28th. At the national level, beef cow numbers were estimated to have grown by 1% from 2018. This is a lower rate than was seen last year, but growth nonetheless. Going back to 2014, the beef cow herd has grown by almost 10%. Heifer retention estimates provide further evidence that herd growth is slowing as the number of heifers held for beef cow replacement was down by 3%.
My preferred way to consider heifer retention is to look at it as a percentage of beef cow inventory. Based on these most recent estimates, heifer retention is running at 18.7% of beef cow inventory, which is slightly above the average going back to 1973 (see figure 1). Figure 1 really illustrates how high Continue reading →
– Matthew A. Diersen, Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Economics, South Dakota State University
Following the shutdown, fundamental information is slowly returning to normal. The February Cattle on Feed report was released last Friday, with the March report scheduled for its normal date of March 22. The February report gives the January activity and February 1 totals. Also, the report contains the monthly and quarterly summaries of prior-year activity and includes an annual breakdown by feedlot size. Thus, it is a good reference report.
The trade expectations were for lower placements and higher marketings compared to a year earlier, which would have resulted in slightly higher on-feed totals. The actual numbers had placements at 95% and marketings at 103% of last year’s levels, both at the upper end of expectations. The resulting on-feed total of 11.7 million head was Continue reading →
Rapid freeze/thaw cycles and saturated soil conditions have created the potential for heaving with taprooted legumes like alfalfa and red clover.
Forage stands will begin spring greenup in the next few weeks, especially in southern Ohio. While winter injury in forages is very hard to predict, this winter has presented some very tough conditions for forage stands. This is especially true of legumes like alfalfa and red clover. Producers and crop consultants should be prepared to walk forage stands early this spring to assess their condition in time to make decisions and adjustments for the 2019 growing season.
We had some days with very cold air temperatures, but the soil temperatures have been much more moderate than you might expect. The soil temperature at the 2-inch depth is associated with the temperature of plant crowns. The coldest 2-inch soil temperatures recorded since January 1 at the Ohio State University Agricultural Research Stations occurred in late January to early February, falling to 17.8 F at Northwest, 25.4 at Ashtabula (mid-January), 30.3 F at Western, 32.3 F at Wooster, and 32.6 at Jackson. To put this in perspective, temperatures in the 5 to 15 F range as measured at or just below the soil surface can begin to damage Continue reading →
Beef producers, are you interested in improving the efficiency and profitability of your beef operation? If so, the 2019 Henry County Beef School is the program for you. This free four week offering is designed to cover the fundamentals of raising beef cattle; Forage Production, Genetics, Nutrition, and Marketing.
I think we can all agree that the 2018 season was one of the poorest in terms of making high quality dry hay. On Monday evening, March 25, Jason Hartshuch from OSU Extension Crawford County will be covering forage quality and storage. Feel free to bring a forage analysis to compare and take notes.
– Dr. Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee
A couple of questions have come up recently about price risk management tools and how certain tools can be used in cattle operations. The simple answer to this question is there is Livestock Risk Protection insurance for any size operation, futures contracts for operations that can either fill a 50,000 pound feeder cattle contract or a 40,000 pound live cattle contract, and then there are forward contracts if they can be had.
For small cattle producers, there are no good price risk management tools worth using or worth the cost of the insurance. That does not mean there are not some local opportunities when working with an individual, but those opportunities are Continue reading →
– Josh Maples, Assistant Professor & Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University
The USDA Cattle report was released last week and it showed an estimated 0.5 percent growth in all cattle and calves for a total of 94.8 million head in the U.S. on January 1, 2019. The U.S. calf crop estimate of 36.4 million head showed 644,500 (1.8%) more calves were born in 2018 than in 2017 which marked the fourth consecutive year of calf crop increases. This report was mostly the expected mix of slight growth and hints of lower growth in the future. A larger calf crop in 2018 implies beef production will again be higher in 2019 and likely into 2020 but the cow and heifer numbers point toward smaller increases in calf crops in the future.
The inventory of beef cows was 31.8 million head which was up about one percent. However, the number of beef replacement heifers was Continue reading →
Perhaps to the inexperienced, or uniformed, it sounds simple enough: purchase bull; put bull with cows; calves appear in ~ 283 days; collect calves 205 days later; sell calves for good prices! Well maybe it should be that simple, but . . . I think most Ohio cattlemen will agree it is not!
When considering all of the traits of importance to today’s cattleman, a primary focus of any cow-calf producer must be getting a live calf on the ground. That starts with fertility. While both the male and female contribute to the herd’s level of fertility and its ultimate productivity, the herd sire is the more important component. An individual cow with poor fertility will certainly affect one potential calf a year. However, the bull affects every potential calf in Continue reading →
With calving season in full swing throughout much of Ohio, breeding season is right around the corner. That means bull buying season is here.
In this edition of Beef AG NEWS, show host Duane Rigsby visits with OSU Extension Beef Coordinator John Grimes about herd sire selection considerations including everything from selecting a breeder to work with, to the specifics of actually selecting the bull you ultimately choose to purchase.