Considerations for Corn Silage Harvest

Moisture, maturity and the potential for high nitrates must be considered as corn silage harvest begins.

Corn silage harvest has begun in parts of Ohio, and is still weeks away in other places where corn planting was delayed by the spring weather. At the same time, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, all of Ohio remains rated as Abnormally Dry causing concern for the potential for nitrate problems.

In this week’s C.O.R.N. newsletter, Laura Lindsey, Mark Sulc, Peter Thomison and Bill Weiss have contributed to following articles regarding corn silage harvest considering the present crop and weather conditions.

Making Corn Silage in Dry ConditionsBill Weiss

Corn Silage Harvest TimingMark Sulc, Peter Thomison, Bill Weiss

Potential for Nitrate Problems in Drought Stressed Corn – Peter Thomison, Laura Lindsey

Late Season Forage Harvest Management

Mark Sulc, OSU Extension Forage Specialist

There are risks to consider when making a fall harvest of forage legumes after the first week of September.

The best time to take a last harvest of alfalfa and other legumes is sometime in early September in Ohio, for the least risk to the long-term health of the stand. These forages need a fall period of rest to replenish carbohydrate and protein reserves in the taproots that are used for winter survival and regrowth next spring.

Many forage producers around the state have been cutting this past week and are continuing into this week. It will be ideal if this is indeed the last harvest of the season. But some growers might try to squeeze out another late cutting, and others have fields that are not quite ready for harvest right now. Like most farming decisions, there are trade-offs and risk factors to consider when making a fall harvest of forage legumes after the first week of September. This article reviews best management practices and risk factors affecting fall cutting management.

The decision of when to take the last harvest with the least risk to the stand can be boiled down to two choices: 1) cut early enough . . .

Continue reading Late Season Forage Harvest Management

Posted in Forages

Forage Focus: A Virtual Pasture Walk in Noble County

Christine Gelley, Noble County OSU Extension Educator

The East Central Grazing Alliance is a grazing interest group in Ohio with the mission of promoting best management practices of natural resources in grazing systems. We bring together people in Belmont, Guernsey, Monroe, and Noble Counties to offer practical peer focused learning experiences. Our pasture walks were canceled for the summer of 2020, but we are able to offer a virtual version of our Noble County Pasture Walk with Mr. Brian Welch, a beef farmer and forage grower in Lower Salem, Ohio. Enjoy that virtual walk embedded below.

To spray or not to spray

– Jimmy Henning, Extension Professsor, Livestock Forage Specialist, University of Kentucky (first published in August 6th issue of Farmer’s Pride)

Would you spray this field? Tough question to weigh the value of a good stand of vigorous red clover (18 inches tall) compared to freedom from ironweed (24 inches tall). The decision to spray is a subjective process depending on many factors, including weed pressure, invasiveness and/or toxicity of the weed, cost of the control measure, forage value of the weed and its life cycle, and the ability to restore the pasture stand.

‘Should I spray this field?’ is such a common question, it should be easy to answer, right? Turns out, it is not. I was recently looking at an excellent orchardgrass/red clover pasture (with occasional ironweed and Queen Anne’s lace) when the producer asked me if he should spray the field. I think he was surprised when I said no. Spraying was not warranted for several reasons, but mainly because spraying to kill the problem broadleaf weeds would completely take out the clover, which was significant.

Here are some guidelines that help me formulate a weed control plan. I will be the first to admit this is a highly subjective set of guidelines or suggestions.

Weed management is more than chemical control.

Farmers have other options besides spraying herbicides. Sometimes the best approach is to use Continue reading To spray or not to spray

Weekly Livestock Comments for August 21, 2020

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

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle traded $2 higher compared to last week on a live basis. Pric-es on a live basis were primarily $106 to $108 while dressed prices were mainly $168 to $170.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $106.62 live, up $2.13 com-pared to last week and $169.11 dressed, up $1.05 from a week ago. A year ago, prices were $108.81 live and $175.02 dressed.

Fed cattle prices garnered a couple more dollars this week which should put some cattle feeders back into black ink. Positive returns are welcome, but suffering through the long period of depressed prices with a lot of red ink to show for it means cattle feeders have a hole to fill in over the next several months. They should be able to recoup some of those losses now that fin-ished cattle prices have rebounded a little and many of the cattle coming off feed the next couple of months will have been purchased at much lower prices. A $20 to $30 per head profit will not do much to Continue reading Weekly Livestock Comments for August 21, 2020

Assemble a Calf Crop Resilient to the Challenges of Disease

Justin Kieffer, DVM, Clinical Veterinarian, Assistant Professor, Office of the Attending Veterinarian and Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

Completing a number of management techniques and vaccine protocols prior to the stress of weaning, commingling and transport will help assemble a calf crop more resilient to disease challenges.

Now that calving is completed, the days are longer, and the grass is growing (hopefully), it is time to start preparing for the weaning and eventual sale or feedlot finishing of your calf crop and development of your replacement females. Once the cow calf pairs have been kicked out to pasture in the spring, there is a tendency to put off or ignore the steps needed not only to set the feedlot calf up for success, but also to lay the groundwork for proper health for your new heifers.

Management techniques such as castration and dehorning should take place as soon as possible. Waiting too long to remove the testicles, either by banding or cutting, increases the risk of bleeding and infection, and knocks the calf off feed for an extended period of time. The smaller the calf, the less attached they are to their testicles. Removal of horns, if present, can be done at birth or shortly thereafter using caustic dehorning paste on the horn buds. If scooping of the horns is the method you employ, make sure to do this before the horns reach 2 inches in length to avoid having an open sinus cavity in the head, which is prone to infection and fly-strike. In both of these techniques, pain control for these procedures is highly recommended and easy to perform. This is critical both from a welfare perspective, and the added bonus of keeping the calf on feed during the healing process.

Vaccinations are also a critical aspect of calf prep that are often misunderstood or under-utilized. As you may know, when a calf hits the ground they have no immune globulin proteins circulating in Continue reading Assemble a Calf Crop Resilient to the Challenges of Disease

Ownership and Marketing Agreements for Custom Fed Cattle

Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

Last week in the OSU Beef Team Newsletter we had an article on Custom Cattle Feeding; a Retained Ownership Option.  A cattle feeder and reader of the article shared this valuable, additional information on ownership and marketing topics.

Having fed in several custom lots, I would not deliver cattle without having a Bailor/Bailee Agreement in place. This is different than a lien. The banks put liens on you, the cattle are collateral. They don’t care if they get paid from the sale of cattle or a load of turnips.

The Bailor/Bailee Agreement shows all parties involved (cattle owner, feedlot and should it get to this, banks, stockyards, packers, sheriff, courts) who is/are the owner(s) of the cattle. Without this it’s one person’s word against another’s regarding who’s cattle they are. I could tell you some real horror stories and unfortunately, possession Continue reading Ownership and Marketing Agreements for Custom Fed Cattle

Opportunities With the 2020 OCA Replacement Female Sale

John F. Grimes, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Replacement Female Sale Manager

Consignment deadline is October 1.

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is providing an opportunity for both the buyers and sellers of beef breeding cattle this fall.  On Friday evening, November 27, the OCA will be hosting their eighth annual Replacement Female Sale.  The sale will be held at the Muskingum Livestock facility in Zanesville and will begin at 6:00 p.m.

The 2020 Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Replacement Female Sale will provide an opportunity for both buyers and sellers to meet the need for quality replacements in the state.  Consignments may include cow-calf pairs, bred cows and bred heifers.  Females must be under the age of five as of January 1, 2021 and may be of registered or commercial background.  Bred females must be bred to a bull with known EPD’s and calves at side of cows must be sired by a bull with known EPD’s.  Pregnancy status must be verified by an accredited veterinarian through traditional palpation, ultrasound or by blood testing through a professional laboratory.  Analysis must be Continue reading Opportunities With the 2020 OCA Replacement Female Sale

Posted in Events

Valuing Bred Beef Heifers

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

Several weeks ago, there was a discussion on rules of thumb for valuing bred beef heifers. This led to a question this week about rules of thumb related to valuing bred cows and their appreciation and depreciation.

There are no rules of thumb, but there was some research performed at Oklahoma State University that can be helpful in determining bred cow value. The study found several factors including animal age, weight, overall quality, stage of gestation, hide color, and time of year influence price. Based on the study findings, bred heifers and three year old animals have the highest value, but bred cows hold their value fairly well until age six. Bred cow values increases the longer bred an animal is and the heavier she is.

There are some rather useful details in the study that can be used to Continue reading Valuing Bred Beef Heifers

Livestock Gross Margin Revisited

– Matthew Diersen, Risk & Business Management Specialist, Ness School of Management & Economics, South Dakota State University

Recently the Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced changes to Livestock Gross Margin (LGM) insurance. The premium subsidy now ranges from 18 percent to 50 percent depending on the deductible level. In addition, the premium payment date was moved from the time of purchase until the end of the coverage period. LGM covers the finishing margin for cattle. The margin mirrors a “cattle crush”, where one sells live cattle and buys corn and feeder cattle. As a product, LGM-Cattle is available in states throughout the central U.S., but it has not been widely used. After some initial interest in 2006, the only year with noticeable volume was 2017, with 13,012 head insured across 19 policies with premiums paid. In 2020 (the fiscal year that just ended on June 30) there were only 633 head covered in the U.S. by producers in Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin. The premium changes may make the product more attractive.

The expected and actual margins are reasonable indicators of what happens to feeding margins through time for unhedged or cash-only feedlots. The LGM margin is a little unrealistic, as it assumes a 750-pound yearling is fed 50 bushels of corn (as part of a ration) to an out-weight of 1250 pounds. Consider the LGM margin for yearlings that are six months from marketing as fed cattle. There is a formula that takes Continue reading Livestock Gross Margin Revisited