What to Do with Muddy, Compacted Pastures?

Erika Lyon, OSU Extension Jefferson & Harrison Counties

During the last couple of weeks in December and into early 2021, eastern Ohio saw warmer-than-usual temperatures and a lot of rain. What does this mean for our pastures and hay fields?

With rain comes the mud, and with mud often comes compaction. Compaction in forage crops often occurs withing the top 3-4 inches of soil, but it can also appear at deeper levels, forming ‘hard pans’ that restrict the movement of water.

Compacted soils mean reduced pore space to house water and air – two important components of healthy soils. Nearly half of soils should consist of pore space, whether macro- or micro-pores to allow roots to develop deeper and water to better infiltrate downwards. Compaction can ultimately lead to increased drought and disease susceptibility of plants, even when it appears there is standing water in a field.

Another key component of healthy soils is the soil biology – microorganisms, earthworms (not the jumping worm kind), and fungi among others help to break down organic materials that improve soil structure and add pore space. When soils are compacted, these biological processes stall, leading to a Continue reading

Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council Conference, February 18

Registration for this annual conference is due February 11.

The Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council Annual Conference will be held in-person on February 18, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Beck’s Hybrids at 720 US 40 NE, London, Ohio. The program theme is “Foraging for Profit.” All Ohioans involved in forage production and feeding are invited to attend.

The keynote speakers will be Greg Braun, Victor Shelton and Bob Hendershot. All three are retired NRCS Grassland Conservationists from Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio respectively. The program is being sponsored by the Logan County Land Trust with generous support from the James Forsythe Milroy Foundation.

Additional featured speakers include Dr. Marilia Chiavegato, Assistant Professor at Ohio State University and two of her students, Ricardo Ribeiro and Marina Miquilini, who will provide a University Forage Research Update. Several producer talks will also be presented including Continue reading

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Antibiotic Stewardship in Calves – Part 2

Haley Zynda, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Wayne County, Ohio State University Extension

We’re back with the second installment of Antibiotic Stewardship in Calves, a part of Veal Quality Assurance training. The first module of this training involved understanding antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. This second module is titled “Clinical Evaluations,” an essential factor to determining proper course of action.

In part 2, the goal is to be able to evaluate and score clinical signs of disease, as pertaining to calves. Fun fact, a “disease symptom” is something you are personally feeling, while a “disease sign” is something you observe in someone else or in animals. In order to better score potential disease, it is necessary to understand what a healthy calf looks like, so a sick calf stands out and is appropriately treated. So, what factors need to . . .

Continue reading Antibiotic Stewardship in Calves – Part 2

BQA Seminar at Cattlemen’s Congress Taught the Importance of Cattle Handling Skills

Find the audio of Hayes conversation with Dr. Boyles linked below.

At this year’s Cattlemen’s Congress in Oklahoma City, Okla. a unique seminar was offered to exhibitors and producers that featured national beef industry and breed leaders with Beef Quality Assurance. The seminar also allowed folks to earn their BQA certification.

Stephen Boyles, a beef cattle extension specialist for The Ohio State University, was one of the speakers helping with producer certification at the event. He is also the 2021 BQA Educator of the Year. Ron Hays, senior reporter for the Oklahoma Farm Report, caught up with Boyles after his presentation, which focused on cattle handling best practices.

“People understand the human side,” Boyles said. “From the animal side, for their . . .

Continue reading BQA Seminar at Cattlemen’s Congress Taught the Importance of Cattle Handling Skills

We want your thoughts on the management of Ohio’s coyote population

Researchers at the Ohio State University are inviting interested rural residents and livestock producers to participate in a survey on wildlife management. Specifically, this study seeks to gather opinions on coyote management in the state of Ohio, with a focus on describing how rural residents and producers feel about a variety of human-coyote conflict scenarios. In appreciation for completing the survey, you will have the option of joining a raffle for one of five, $50 Amazon gift cards.

The summary of survey responses will help inform leaders in the state about wildlife management concerns. The online questionnaire should take about 15 minutes to complete. Your participation in this survey is completely voluntary and you have about a one in 100 chance of winning a gift card.

If interested in participating you may access the survey at this link: http://go.osu.edu/coyotebtn

December Cattle on Feed

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

The latest Cattle on Feed report was released last Friday and included larger than expected placements of cattle on feed during December 2021. This contributed to total cattle on feed number of just over 12 million head on January 1, 2022 which is up 0.6 percent over January 1, 2021. This total marked the sixth highest cattle on feed inventory on record.

Placements during December 2021 totaled 1.96 million head which is about 6.5 percent above placements during December 2020. The biggest increase in placements was seen in cattle weighing less than 700 pounds. Placements of this category were up 9.5 percent compared to a year ago. Heavier placements (over 800 pounds) were only Continue reading

Timely Frost Seeding Improves Pasture, Hay Stands!

Chris Penrose, Extension Educator, OSU Extension, Morgan County

If and when the seed can reach the soil in late winter while there is still freezing and thawing activity, clover can fill in bare spots and add to the density of the pasture stand.

In the past as we’ve talked about the virtues of frost seeding, we’ve suggested it’s something that is best to occur in February or March during the period when the ground is freezing and thawing almost daily. In recent years freezing and thawing temperatures haven’t always happened after mid-February. Since it’s the freezing and thawing over time that gives frost seeding a great chance to work, the time for frost seeding may be upon us soon.

Frost seeding is a very low cost, higher risk way to establish new forages in existing fields by spreading seed over the field and let the freezing and thawing action of the soil allow the seed to make “seed to soil” contact allowing it to successfully germinate. When you see soils “honeycombed” in the morning from a hard frost, or heaved up from a frost, seed that was spread on that soil has a great chance to make a seed to soil contact when the soil thaws. I think the two biggest reasons why frost seeding fails is Continue reading

Antibiotic Stewardship in Calves – Part 1

Haley Zynda, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Wayne County, Ohio State University Extension

You’ve likely heard of Beef Quality Assurance, but what about Veal Quality Assurance? Essentially, it is the same type of certification for the well-being and proper handling of veal calves. However, a new addition to the certification training is antibiotic stewardship – a concept translatable to almost every livestock operation out there. The goal of the program is for farm personnel to correctly identify calves for treatment using a treatment protocol written by the herd veterinarian, thus improving responsible use of antibiotics. Drs. Jessica Pempek and Greg Habing put together a three-part training, of which I’ll summarize each with their own article.

Part 1 of the Antibiotic Stewardship in Calves is titled “Antibiotic Use and Resistance.” Before we jump into details, do you know the specifics on different types of medication? What do antibiotics treat? If you answered viral, fungal, protozoal, or parasitic infections, unfortunately you’d be incorrect. An antibiotic is a medicine that inhibits the growth of or kills bacteria. Antibiotics are not . . .

Continue reading Antibiotic Stewardship in Calves – Part 1

Virtual Beef School Begins Next Week With ‘Outlook’

Register today and listen in on one, or all!

The OSU Extension Beef Team isl offering a Virtual Beef School with one webinar per month beginning next week and concluding in April. The first webinar features economist Dr. Andrew Griffith of the University of Tennessee presenting on Beef Markets and Outlooks at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, January 24, 2022. Interested attendees can register for this and any of the other webinars for free by visiting: https://go.osu.edu/beefschool22.

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USDA offers free RFID tags

Ohio cattlemen can request the free, white 840 tags.

In further support of their effort to transition to 840 radio frequency identification (RFID) tags for official identification for cattle and bison throughout the U.S., the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making 840 RFID tags available free to cattlemen and veterinarians. In Ohio, both the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and the Ohio Department of Agriculture have been approved to distribute these free tags while they last.

The RFID tags are only intended for use in replacement stock. There are both white “840” button tags and orange “840” calfhood vaccination (OCV) button tags available. All RFID tags are low frequency tags. Veterinarians may receive both white and orange tags, while cattle producers may only receive the white 840 tags.

A Premises Identification Number (PIN) is required to order the free RFID tags. To obtain a PIN, Continue reading