– Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County, OSU Extension
This Thanksgiving turkey is certainly very palatable! Are you equally confident your livestock feeds are palatable?
I doubt anyone has ever wished you a “palatable Thanksgiving” before. It seems like a strange greeting, but it is genuine from me to you, and also to any animals that you are feeding at home or on the farm. I hope the interactions you have consist of sweet and savory words, rather than bitter or sour ones as you gather around the table for dinner. I hope the same for the food!
Why did I use the word “palatable”? Well, let me explain.
On two difference occurrences in November, I had the chance to talk with groups about how important palatability is for animal intake of feed rations.
The word “palatable” is an adjective. It describes the how preferable an experience is, most often, an eating experience. The scale of preference though is very difficult to quantify. Especially when we think about animal intake, because Continue reading →
– Garth Ruff, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator, OSU Henry County Extension
While there are some visual and sensory characteristics to look at, the only sure fire way to determine quality is to pull a sample and do a forage analysis.
As 2018 was a lousy year for making dry hay across the state, 2019 wasn’t much better or perhaps worse yet. For those who have to purchase hay this winter there are a few things to consider in terms of hay quality and value. There are some visual and sensory characteristics we can look at, as a gross indication of forage quality. The presence of seed heads (grass forages), flowers or seed pods (legumes), indicate more mature forages. Good-quality legume forages will have a high proportion of leaves, and stems will be less obvious and fine. While we tend to favor bright green forages from a visual perspective, color is not a good indicator of nutrient content, but bright green color does suggest minimal oxidation.
Smell of the forage and moisture content are also valuable indicators in determining hay quality. Good quality hay will have a Continue reading →
There are basically only two ways to increase profits . . . we must either increase the income, or reduce expenses. In this video OSU Extension Beef Specialist Steve Boyles offers tips for controlling costs.
Approximately 95 females, either bred or with calf at side and less than 5 years old, will sell Friday evening.
This is the final reminder to attend the seventh annual Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Replacement Female Sale. The sale will be held this Friday, November 29, at the Muskingum Livestock facility located at 944 Malinda Street in Zanesville and will begin at 6:00 p.m. This sale represents an excellent opportunity for anyone looking to add quality young replacement females to their herd.
There are approximately 95 lots selling in the sale consisting of bred heifers, bred cows, and cow-calf pairs. All females selling are less than five years of age at sale time. A detailed listing of the cattle selling with complete breeding information and videos of the cattle have been posted at Continue reading →
– Dr. Kenny Burdine, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Kentucky
It seems like I could have written the same thing for each of the last three months. Heavy feeder cattle prices have held reasonably well and been supported by some significant gains in the futures’ market since early September. But the calf market has really been struggling and dropped a little further from September to October. While I can’t say for certain, I expect calf prices to increase slightly for November and the second week of this month pointed in that direction. This fall calf market has been the lowest since 2016, and prior to that, I would have to go back to 2011 to find a fall where prices were lower.
Source: USDA-AMS, Livestock Marketing Information Center, Author Calculations
I almost always show a steer calf price chart, but wanted to talk a little Continue reading →
– David P. Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
NASS released its November Cattle on Feed report on Friday November 22. The report indicated more cattle on feed than a year ago for the first time since August, 2019. On feed inventories totaled 11.8 million head, 139,000 head more than November, 2018. In percentage terms on feed was up 1.2 percent.
Inventories grew on the strength of the largest October placements, 2.477 million head, since October, 2010 when 2.5 million head were placed. October is typically the largest placement month of the year due to large numbers of calves being weaned and sold and cattle coming off long summer grazing programs. Slightly fewer cattle were placed weighing less than 700 pounds than a year ago, 1.14 million in 2019 compared to 1.165 million last year. But, all the decline came from the lightest weights, those under 600 pounds which numbered 40,000 fewer than last year. The under 600 pound category was the only category in which fewer cattle were placed than a year ago. Placements of cattle weighing more than 700 pounds were Continue reading →
– Allen Gahler, OSU Extension Educator, Ag and Natural Resources, Sandusky County
Without a doubt, the hay sampling probe will be one of the most valuable tools you utilize in 2019!
By now you are certainly aware that the shortage of forage type feeds for all classes of livestock is a significant issue for livestock producers in Ohio and all around the country. Mother nature crippled many hayfields over the winter and early spring, and then did not allow us to make good hay in a timely manner due to constant rains throughout spring and early summer. This reality, combined with an abundance of prevented plant acres from traditional crops that were not put in the ground led to many cover crops being grown all over the state with intent to be harvested for forages.
While many of these cover crops are being grazed now and will continue to be into winter and even spring, many of them were grown in places that we simply cannot get livestock too, and in some cases, we simply needed to process that feed anyway in order to utilize it in complete rations. This scenario has certainly helped alleviate the hay shortage issue, but in some cases has created some potential issues that most Continue reading →
Forage analysis is suggesting that in some cases soil conditions at harvest of some of our cover crop forages is increasing ash concentration by 6 or more percentage points.
We have received reports of some forages, including cover crops that were planted in later summer, having very high concentrations of ash. Ash in forages is comprised of minerals contained within the plant (for example, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and copper) and soil contamination that was either splashed onto the surface of the plant while in the field or was picked up during harvest. On average cool season grasses such as orchardgrass or fescue harvested as hay or silage have about 7-9% ash and legumes such as alfalfa harvested as hay or silage average 10-12% ash. Generally mineral concentrations decrease as plants mature and is greater in forages grown in soils that contain high concentrations of available potassium (luxury consumption). These factors will change plant ash concentrations but generally by only a few percentage points.
On the other hand, harvest practices and soil conditions at harvest can increase ash concentrations by 5 to more than 15 percentage points with only small changes occurring in major mineral concentrations. Soil contamination can greatly increase concentrations of trace minerals especially iron, manganese, and aluminum. A study from the University of Delaware evaluated the composition of Continue reading →
– Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator, Wayne county
Over the past several weeks, a considerable amount of corn has been harvested for grain. The corn stalk residue or fodder that remains offers another grazing opportunity for beef cattle or sheep. According to a Penn State Extension publication entitled “Grazing Corn Stalks with Beef Cattle”, for every bushel of corn there are approximately 18 lbs. of stem/stalk, 16 lbs. of husk and leaves and 5.8 to 6.0 lbs. of cob left as residue.
According to a University of Nebraska beef production site, for a quick estimate of corn stalk grazing days for a 1200-pound non-lactating cow, divide the corn grain bushel yield by 3.5. Corn stalk residue does provide energy and crude protein but is low in mineral and vitamin A content, therefore a well-balanced mineral and vitamin mix should be provided free choice along with salt.
Cattle and sheep grazing corn stalk residue select and eat the grain first, followed by the husk and leaf and finally the cob and stalk. Typically, there is less than one bushel of corn ears dropped per acre unless the field has experienced high winds. One potential issue with selectively consuming the grain first is digestive upset/ acidosis, or in severe cases Continue reading →
This is a reminder to attend the seventh annual Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Replacement Female Sale. The sale will be held Friday, November 29 at the Muskingum Livestock facility located at 944 Malinda Street in Zanesville and will begin at 6:00 p.m. This sale represents an excellent opportunity for anyone looking to add quality young replacement females to their herd.
At the time of this writing, there are approximately 100 lots selling in the sale consisting of bred heifers, bred cows, and cow-calf pairs. All females selling are less than five years of age at sale time. A detailed listing of the cattle selling with complete breeding information and videos of the cattle will soon be posted at the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association web site: http://www.ohiocattle.org/ . Look under the “Events and Programs” tab and click on “Replacement Female Sale”.