National Use of Livestock Insurance Products Offered by USDA-RMA

– Elliott Dennis, Assistant Professor & Livestock Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

EDITOR’s NOTE: Beyond what you find in this article, learn more about Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) and Livestock Gross Margin (LGM) insurance this evening during the OSU Extension Beef Team’s Ohio Cattle Feeding School webinar beginning at 6 p.m. It’s offered free, but registration is required. Find more information linked here, or just click here to register.〉

The changes to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) insurance plan took effect on January 20, 2021, for the crop year 2021 and succeeding crop years. These changes included: (a) increasing livestock head limits for feeder and fed cattle to 6,000 head per endorsement/12,000 head annually and swine to 40,000 head per endorsement/150,000 head annually; (b) modifying the requirement to own insured livestock until the last 60 days of the endorsement; (c) increasing the endorsement lengths for swine up to 52 weeks; and, (d) creating new feeder cattle and swine types to allow for unborn livestock to be insured. These changes, in addition to the dramatic changes in subsidy levels and allowing premiums to be paid at the end of the coverage endorsement period, should significantly improve the use of LRP. How much so likely depends on several factors including Continue reading

Frost Seeding Legumes for Pasture Improvement

Clif Little, OSU Extension, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Guernsey County (originally published in the Farm and Dairy)

Frost seeding of legumes in February and early March can be used to improve pasture, hay quality and yield.  Red and white clover are the most frequently utilized legumes in frost seeding. The freezing and thawing of late winter and early spring can provide good legume seed to soil contact and germination.  The following steps will help to ensure frost seeding success.

Site selection – Choose a pasture that has been closely grazed, as a thin sod will likely reduce competition and allow for seed to soil contact. Legumes do best in well drained areas, and a southeasterly facing slope will receive more sunlight and favor legume growth. Animals may be utilized to help trample seed in for better soil contact.  However, to allow forage plants a chance to establish a strong root system, remove them when seed germination occurs in the spring and Continue reading

Posted in Pasture

The Do’s and Don’ts of Making High Quality Baleage

The second session of the 2021 Ohio Beef Cattle Management School was hosted via ZOOM by the Ohio State University Extension Beef Team on January 25th. During that second session, one focus of the evening was effectively utilizing plastic wrap for fermenting baled forages and making baleage. In the excerpt of that evening’s presentation that follows, Jason Hartschuh answers the question, “How much plastic wrap do I put on each bale for baleage?

In the entirety of the presentation, Hartschuh discussed harvest options, correct harvest moisture, and properly baling and wrapping wet forages. You can find that entire presentation, “The Do’s and Don’ts of Making High Quality Baleage” embedded below.

Find details of the 2021 Ohio Beef School sessions that continue each Monday evening through February 22nd linked here.

The Buckeye Beef Byte; a Conversation with OSU’s Meat Lab Manager Ron Cramer

Ron Cramer is the Manager of the Meat Laboratory at the Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences. In this episode we discuss trends in the beef industry, the current status of beef processing, getting involved in meat processing, and the daily student education that goes on in the Meat Laboratory. If you’re involved in any aspect of the beef supply chain, take a few minutes and listen in to this conversation with a man that’s been involved in the meat processing industry for 40+ years!

Will higher corn prices temper the expectation for higher feeder cattle prices?

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

Will higher corn prices or the expectation of higher corn prices temper the expectation for higher feeder cattle prices this year?

The simple answer is yes. If input costs increase then that means there is less money available for the feedlot to pay for feeder cattle. However, live cattle futures have been gaining strength which provides support for feeder cattle prices. Thus, corn and other feedstuff prices are increasing which is putting pressure on feeder cattle prices while the expectation for finished cattle prices is supportive of higher prices. This means that the two most important aspects of the feeder cattle market are pulling market prices in opposite directions. It is not known at this time which one will exert more force and win the tug of war, but what is known is that they will temper each other.

What is known at this time is that the futures market and livestock risk protection insurance are providing an opportunity to hedge summer and fall cattle sales at profitable prices. It may be worth considering.

Hay Quality; What a difference a year makes, or does it?

Ted Wiseman, OSU Extension, Perry County (originally published in Farm and Dairy)

We can certainly say this past year has had its challenges. However, quality of forages made in 2020 was much better for most compared to the previous two years.  Weather conditions were more favorable especially for first cutting. The late frost in May set our forages back and for many first cutting forage yields were extremely low. Second, third and four cuttings were better, but overall hay supplies are tight again for some.

Again in 2020 Extension Educators in 10 counties have collected forage samples from across the state. Chart 1 is data collected in 2019. I know we would like to forget the condition of forages in 2019, but I have included it for comparison to forage quality in chart 2 for 2020. To clarify most of these samples are not from the same producer or the same fields. This demonstration is to make a simple comparison of the overall quality of Continue reading

Analyzing Forage Quality to Meet the Nutritional Needs of the Beef Cow

The third session of the 2021 Ohio Beef Cattle Management School was hosted via ZOOM by the Ohio State University Extension Beef Team on February 1st. During that third session the focus shifted to preventing storage losses in harvested forages, analyzing harvested forage quality, and meeting the nutritional needs of the cattle being fed. To begin the first segment from that evening, OSU Extension Beef Field Specialist Garth Ruff introduced Extension Educator Ted Wiseman and his presentation found below in its entirety on forage quality analysis and meeting the nutritional needs of the cow.

Find recordings from all the 2021 Ohio Beef School sessions linked here.

Cold Stress and Beef Cows

Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

Factors that create stress during the winter months are cold, wind, snow, rain and mud. The primary effect on animals is due to temperature. All these factors alter the maintenance energy requirement of livestock. Maintenance requirement can be defined, as the nutrients required for keeping an animal in a state of balance so that body substance is neither gained or lost. An interesting thing to note is that while energy requirements increase, protein requirements remain the same.

Some published sources contain nutrient requirements for beef cattle that include guidelines for adjusting rations during winter weather. Even without published sources, competent livestock producers realize the need for more feed during cold weather. Make sure that water is available. If water is not supplied, cattle will reduce feed intake.

Daily dry matter intake of beef cows with respect to lower temperatures

Temp, F < 5 5-22 22-41 59-77
Intake, % Change 1.16 1.07 1.05 1.03

The metabolic response to the stimulus of cold involves practically all Continue reading

The Buckeye Beef Byte; a Conversation on Reproductive Management with Alvaro Garcia Guerra, Assistant Professor, OSU Dept of AnSci

In this third of a six-part series of discussions with Beef Industry specialists at OSU and in Ohio, we visit with Alvaro Garcia Guerra, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the Ohio State University. In this conversation we discuss reproductive management in the beef herd, trends in management, and current and future research projects.

You can also find a draft of the transcript of the conversation with Dr. Garcia Guerra linked here.


Resource Kit Available for Those Exploring a Meat Processing Business

This “Tool Kit” is designed to be intuitive as entrepreneurs move through the business planning process.

A team of Ohio State business and meat science specialists have compiled a Meat Processing Business Tool Kit for people who are exploring the meat processing business. Designed as a decision making aid for people exploring investing in or expanding a meat processing facility, this online tool kit can help entrepreneurs evaluate the business and navigate business planning. The Meat Processing Business Tool Kit may be found linked here on the OSU South Centers webpage.