Livestock Medication Records: Are They Really Necessary?

Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR, Tuscarawas County and Gustavo M. Schuenemann, Professor and Dairy Extension Veterinarian, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Ohio State University Extension

Maintaining accurate and proper treatment records is just as important as having adequate working facilities!

At a recent Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training session, we discussed livestock drug use, proper administration, the importance of following the label (and veterinary instructions), and the importance of keeping records of drugs administered.

Real-Life Example

A producer attending the session stood up and described to the group what happened when he had an animal test positive for a drug residue.  An official from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came to his farm multiple times until finding him at home.  He was required to write a letter explaining what steps he would take to prevent the issue from arising again.  The FDA determined the first letter wasn’t adequate in addressing their concerns.  He was provided with websites to consult and had to write another letter addressing the concerns.  The producer now keeps detailed medication records and strongly encouraged every Continue reading

Spotted Knapweed is Blooming

Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County OSU Extension

Don’t confuse chicory (top) with spotted knapweed (bottom).

A detrimental weed that has been heavily on the agricultural radar in recent years is currently blooming in Noble and some surrounding counties. Its name is spotted knapweed. Everyone in Noble County should be aware of this plant and be working to remove it from sensitive areas. While the flowers are pretty and it is attractive to pollinators, it is not a plant that we want in our landscapes.

The color of the flower is similar to that of red clover, the growth habit is similar to chicory, and the flower shape is similar to Canada thistle and ironweed. However, the combination of growth habit, color, and flower shape is unique to spotted knapweed. Spotted knapweed may possess as many as 200 pink to purple blooms per plant. The mature seed heads resemble Canada thistle, a tight cluster of seeds with a fluffy pappus attached. The pappus helps the Continue reading

Weaning – Part 2: The Ugly and The Good

– Kirsten Nickles, Graduate Research Associate and Anthony J. Parker, Associate Chair and Associate Professor. Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio State University

“The Ugly” – A stressful weaning experience negatively affects the growth rate and health status of feeder calves. Stressed calves become susceptible to pathogens and succumb to respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases during weaning (Campistol, 2010). Subjecting cattle to stressful periods such as weaning also impacts how society perceives the beef industry and the welfare standards currently implemented.

Modern consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with food animal agriculture and the production processes being utilized by producers (Olynk et al., 2010). Abruptly weaning calves onto a truck and into the marketing chain without conditioning the animals for the health and welfare challenges can be avoided with improved calf management.

The types of stressors endured by livestock at weaning can be divided into three distinct categories: psychological, physiological, and physical (Carroll and Forsberg, 2007). Exposure to new environments, restraint, and unfamiliar noise are psychological stressors. Physiological stressors are characterized as anything that causes deviation from homeostasis in the body such as not meeting nutrient requirements or disruptions to the endocrine system. Physical stressors are defined as anything causing Continue reading

Summary of the August Cattle on Feed Report

– Josh Maples, Assistant Professor & Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

USDA released the August Cattle on Feed report on Friday, August 20th. August 1st cattle on feed inventories for feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 head or more is estimated at 11.1 million, a 1.9 percent decline from August 1st of 2020. Cattle on feed inventories have been running above 2020 levels for most of the year. This month’s report is the second consecutive month with cattle on feed inventories below 2020. Seasonally, on-feed inventories decline through September before feedlots reload during the fall calf market.

Feedlot placements during July are estimated at 1.74 million head, an 8.1 percent decline from July 2020. Historically, the seasonal trend has been for feedlot placements to decline in July from the previous month. This year, July feedlot placements were 4.1 percent higher compared to June. Compared to June, placements were 23 percent higher this month in Colorado, 27 percent higher in Iowa, 6 percent higher in Nebraska, and 5 percent higher in South Dakota.

Notice that most of the increase in placements came from drought-impacted regions. August and September are generally good months for Continue reading

Science based weaning methods for beef calves

– Kirsten Nickles, Graduate Research Associate and Anthony J. Parker, Associate Chair and Associate Professor. Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio State University

Weaning strategy should be designed to reduce stress in order to avoid BRD (photo credit:

Weaning is the start of an independent life for the beef calf. Though weaning can be a stressful time for the calf, beef cattle producers can minimize the stress at weaning by using science based weaning methods. A negative weaning experience can be a catalyst for disease and death in feeder calves, however, a positive weaning experience can help minimize disease and stress through the marketing system.

The most common weaning strategy in the U.S. beef industry is the abrupt removal of calves from their dams at approximately 180-220 days of age (Rasby, 2007). Abrupt weaning is not a good weaning method because it places a great deal of stress on the calf. The immediate cessation of milk in the diet of a calf and the complete maternal separation associated with abrupt weaning are often exacerbated by other stressors that have negative effects on the calf. An unfamiliar environment, a new diet, transportation, co-mingling with unfamiliar calves, and pain from husbandry practices such as castration while also being denied social contact and care by the cow will stress a calf. When calves undergo prolonged periods of stress they are predisposed to disease and Continue reading

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease and Bluetongue in Cattle

– Michelle Arnold, DVM (Ruminant Extension Veterinarian, UKVDL)

Information regarding insect control in this article was provided previously by Lee Townsend PhD (Retired Extension Entomologist, UK Department of Entomology)

EHD has been correlated with droughts because deer tend to concentrate around the wet areas available and these are where the gnats breed.

Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) virus is a pathogen of wild and domestic ruminants, especially white-tailed deer. EHD occasionally causes serious epidemics in wild deer populations that can spill over into domestic animals, including cattle. Bluetongue (BT) virus is very similar to EHD although sheep are the most susceptible animal to bluetongue and it can cause tremendous losses to this industry. Cattle are susceptible to both EHD and BT infection, although it is generally a mild infection with fever and weight loss as the most common symptoms. Both viruses that cause EHD and BT belong to the genus Orbivirus, family Reoviridae, and the viruses are primarily transmitted through the bite of blood feeding gnats, or midges, of the Culicoides genus. Bluetongue significantly affects the cattle industry due to restrictions on the sale and movement of cattle that test positive for the virus.

EHD and BT have a very predictable pattern with cases concentrated in the months of August, September and October. Deer are often Continue reading

Posted in Health

Using Native Warm Season Grasses in a Grazing System, Field Day Workshop

Register by August 20 to enjoy this free twi-light workshop

During this field day workshop participants will learn best management practices for establishing and grazing native grasses and how native grasses can be implemented into a grazing system to maintain grass vigor and animal performance through the summer months.

Topics covered:

  • Pasture walk in two newly seeded native warm season grass pastures
  • Benefits of establishing native warm season grasses in your grazing system
  • Native warm season grass establishment techniques
  • Animal performance and economics of using native warm season grasses
  • Rotational grazing equipment and strategies
  • NRCS financial and technical assistance options for native warm season grasses

This workshop is hosted by Clinton SWCD and Adams County SWCD and is free, but pre-registration is required. Contact Clinton SWCD at (937) 382-2461 ext. 3  by Friday, August 20 to reserve your spot. Find more detail linked here.

Posted in Pasture

What are the expectations of cattle inventory the next few years?

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

This week a question rolled in related to cattle inventory and expectations of cattle inventory the next few years and its influence on market prices. Answering this question correctly is easier than Rocky the Flying Squirrel carrying Bullwinkle.

Relatively low cattle prices the first half of 2021 and drought concerns in some major cattle producing regions will definitely result in a lower beef cattle inventory on January 1, 2022. This means a reduced supply of calves and feeder cattle, which should support prices in 2022. As prices increase, more heifers will be expected to be retained. This time of retention will further support feeder cattle prices. There is a chance that beef cattle inventory sees a slight increase in 2023 but certainly by 2024. However, the Continue reading

Market Update and Video

– Josh Maples, Assistant Professor & Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

James, Kenny, and I got together again last week to record another quarterly video update (embedded below). We took a different approach this time – James opened by discussing the market setting, then Kenny covered some of the positive (bullish) factors impacting markets, and I closed with some of the bearish factors to watch. I’ll cover a few of the topics discussed in this article.

For the market overview, James discussed the stronger market setting as we enter the fall this year as compared to a year ago. Prices for 500-600 lb. and 700-800 lb. steers are higher and live cattle prices are significantly higher than a year ago. Boxed beef prices have declined since the peak earlier this summer but remain strong compared to previous years.

Kenny had the fun section of the presentation as he talked about the reasons for optimism in the cattle markets. He focused on supplies and the improved feedlot situation in both the short-run and long-run. Exports have been strong in 2021, especially the continued growth in exports to China. Kenny also talked about drought and beef cow numbers and the expectation for lower cow numbers. The tightening supply situation combined with strong domestic and international demand are key reasons for Continue reading

A Look Ahead at COF and Beef Production

– David P. Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Friday, August 20th brings the next USDA Cattle on Feed report fewer placements, marketings, and cattle on feed than a year ago. The report will have some implications for beef production in coming months.

July marketings are expected to be down about 3 percent from last year. Given one less “slaughter day” in July 2021 than in 2020 that means daily average marketings will likely be higher than last year. In relation to feedlot marketings and cattle slaughter, slaughter cattle imports from Canada were up in July about 23,000 head from last year. That data, however, includes both fed cattle and cull cows headed for a U.S. plant, so it’s difficult to parse out what might be contributing to fed cattle supplies and what is contributing to cow slaughter.

Placements are expected to be below last year, by some 6-7 percent. Feeder cattle imports in July from Mexico and Canada were below a year ago by about 45,000 and 20,000 head, respectively. Over the last 5 years, on average, placements have tended to decline slightly from June to July with last year being the exception. One area of interest in the report will be Continue reading