Controlling Cocklebur in Pasture Can Be A Challenge

Chris Penrose and Ted Wiseman, OSU Extension Educators, Morgan and Perry Counties

Cocklebur, a growing problem in Ohio pastures!

Over the past 20 years, we have seen more and more cocklebur becoming established on our farms and many farmers in the area have noted that as well. On Chris’ farm, I think it started when I fed whole shelled corn to my cattle out in the pastures to extend hay supplies in the winter. You would think this summer annual would be easy to control but it is more of a challenge. We and several of our colleagues recently finished a five year trial on timed mowing of pastures in the summer and one year after concluding the study, we went out to the site in September, it had not been mowed yet, and it was completely engulfed with cocklebur. No matter when or how often we mowed, after doing the same thing for five years, there was no difference.

One would think that if we went out and mowed a summer annual when the stem is elongating with immature seeds and cut below the seeds, we would kill the plant, and that still may be the case. However, how about the 10% that were too short to mow or still immature? During the trial, we noticed many Continue reading

Cattle Handling and Stockmanship Influence on Animal Performance

– Bill Halfman, UW Agriculture Agent, Monroe County.

Cattle handled using low-stress stockmanship practices have been observed to have improved rates of gain.

We often hear and see reports on how sickness or the use of technologies such as fly control, implants, ionophores, and others influence animal performance and profitability.

Low-stress cattle handling methods have been discussed and promoted for many years, but the influence on animal performance is not often part of those discussions. Some research has been done to investigate the influence that stockmanship has on disposition and animal performance and more is being done.

Good stockmanship and low-stress handling methods include utilizing the animals’ natural tendencies to the handlers’ advantage while working or handling cattle. It includes calm and quiet action and movements by the handlers, changing and remodeling equipment and facilities if there are problem areas that impede cattle flow, and acclimating the . . .

Continue reading Cattle Handling and Stockmanship Influence on Animal Performance

Feeder Cattle Prices Gaining Strength

– Dr. Kenny Burdine, Extension Professor, Livestock Marketing, University of Kentucky

The feeder cattle market has really flexed its muscles as we have moved through summer. The October CME© feeder cattle futures contract has increased by more than $10 per cwt since May and this can been seen in the market for heavy feeder cattle. Heavy feeders typically make their highs around this time of year, but calf markets are increasing counter-seasonally. A strong calf market going into fall is a good sign for cow-calf operators that calve in the spring and will be marketing calves in the coming months. The chart below shows steer calf prices in the Southern Plains, which have been increasing through July and August.

It is becoming more apparent that the supply of calves is going to be very Continue reading

Tensions Surrounding U.S. Beef Exports to China

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

Over the last several weeks there have been ongoing heightened tensions between the US and China over the Taiwan situation. This has caused some concern among producers about the sensitivity of the U.S. beef industry to Chinese purchases. Only several years ago, President Trump signed a trade deal with China in which the Chinese committed to purchasing additional U.S. exports in two phases. This has significantly raised the total quantity and value of beef leaving the U.S. to mainland China and strengthening the U.S. wholesale beef price. Even with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese have continued to purchase U.S. beef.

U.S.-China Trade Agreement

The U.S.-China trade agreement did five primary things for the U.S. beef industry. One, it allowed for the continued protocol for the importation of U.S. beef and beef products into China. Two, China eliminated the cattle age requirements for the importation of U.S. beef and beef products. Three, China recognized the U.S. beef and beef products traceability system, acknowledged that there was a negligible risk of bovine disease, and agreed to follow the OIE standards if the U.S. health status would change. Four, it allowed for the Continue reading

Asian Longhorned Tick found in Morgan County

Chris Penrose, Professor & Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, OSU Extension, Morgan County

The Asian longhorned tick attacks wild and domestic animals and humans. Photo by Anna Pasternak, UK entomology graduate student.

I became disheartened a few weeks ago after I sent a bunch of ticks to a lab on campus to get identified and they confirmed what I feared: that we have the Asian Longhorned tick here in Morgan County. If I am correct, that makes five types of tick we likely have present in the county and many parts of Ohio. Ticks can give us Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and a disease that makes us allergic to red meat.

The Asian Longhorned tick (ALT) was found last year in a couple of Ohio counties and the populations of ALT became so high on some cows that they died. That scares me. The good news is there is a team of professionals from OSU, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Department of Health and United States Department of Agriculture that is on top of this and have been very responsive.

What do we know? They are asexual, meaning they do not need a mate to reproduce. Each tick can lay up to 2000 eggs. They move slowly so the spread is very slow unless they Continue reading

Posted in Health

eBarns – Putting Data in Producers’ Hands

Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist

Find the results of our recent livestock, forage, and manure management research in eBarns

In 1914, the Smith-Lever Act called for establishment of Extension program within land grant universities. The Act spells out that Extension is to disseminate “useful and practical information on subjects related to agriculture” and to disseminate reach being conducted at the experiment stations (OARDC here in Ohio).

Over the year’s this “translation” of research has been done variety of ways including field days, seminars, one-on-one instruction, and via printed or digital newsletters. Traditionally, faculty who had Extension responsibilities on campus led research efforts, wrote academic journal articles, and then it was up to someone to share and interpret data that was meaningful to clientele in the counties across the state. eBarns, much like Ohio State Extension’s eFields publication does just that, putting the data of applied research into the hands of producers who can then interpret the research to make production decisions.

eBarns in new in 2022, focusing on Continue reading

Be Prepared for More Open Cows

– Dr. Les Anderson, Extension Professor, University of Kentucky

Shew, it’s been a rough summer. On top of high fuel costs, current inflation, and high input costs, beef producers have had to deal with drought and extreme heat. Heat stress is normal for cattle in Kentucky because most of our cattle graze endophyte-infected fescue but the early onset this summer may cause some serious issues with pregnancy rates and calving rates.

Heat stress has profound impacts on many biological processes that can lead to poor reproductive rates. Prior to estrus, heat stress reduces follicle growth, hormone production, and oocyte (the egg) competency. Combined, this reduces fertilization rates. Once fertilized, heat stress also reduces the growth of the newly formed embryo. This reduction in the growth of an embryo is likely the result of increased cell death and/or a smaller corpus luteum (CL) that producers less progesterone. This reduced growth rate and increased embryonic cell death leads to more embryos lost during the first week of gestation. Unfortunately, heat stress continues to impact embryonic growth through the first 21 days which also increases the loss of these early pregnancies.

Issues with heat stress continue throughout gestation. Exposure of early pregnancies (day 24-45) to heat stress reduces fetal growth and can result in Continue reading

Lighter Cattle Drive Increased Feedlot Placements During July

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

The August 1st Cattle on Feed report was released on Friday and showed feedlot inventories declined seasonally but remained above year-ago levels. As James mentioned last week, drought continues to play a key role in the movement of cattle into feedlots this summer. Placements again exceeded expectations driven by large placements of lighter-weight cattle.

Placements of cattle into feedlots during July were up about two percent above July 2021. This was above pre-report expectations and was driven by placements of lighter cattle. Placements of cattle weighing less than 700 pounds were about 10 percent above July 2021 levels while placements of cattle weight less than 700 pounds were down 2.5 percent. This continues the trend that has occurred most of the year – feedlots inventories continue Continue reading

Weekly Livestock Comments for August 19, 2022

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

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle traded $2 to $3 higher compared to last week on a live basis. Prices on a live basis were mainly $142 to $143 in the South and $148 to $150 in the North while dressed prices were mainly $234.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $146.76 live, up $2.42 compared to last week and $234.03 dressed, up $4.08 from a week ago. A year ago, prices were $125.48 live and $201.07 dressed.

Nothing has changed from last week or the week before that. The anticipated future reduction in market ready cattle is the driver of the market, which means packers will compete for today’s cattle knowing they will be paying higher prices six months from now and even higher prices a year from now. One may figure that beef prices will Continue reading

Carbon . . . a new source of income for grazers?

Mike Estadt, OSU Extension Educator, Pickaway County

Open any farm publication, print or digital, and one is likely to see articles related to carbon markets.  There are several active companies in the agricultural sector recruiting farmers and landowners to enroll into a carbon credit programs.  This proliferation of markets has been due to several factors, but in part it is largely due to the increasing amount of attention by world governments and corporations related to the magnitude of climate change impacts attributed to atmospheric greenhouse gases.

The purpose of this article is to briefly explain why these markets exist, what opportunities grazers and livestock producers may want to give future consideration to and provide you with some additional information that may help one make an informed decision.  A key point to be made is that these are voluntary carbon programs, and each farm and ranch is unique as to how it may use a grazing management system or other conservation programs to be eligible for these carbon markets.

Agricultural lands and woodlands owners are being recruited by companies to offset carbon emissions associated with the burning of fossil fuels.  Grasslands and trees use the exchange of carbon dioxide in the process of photosynthesis to provide us food, fiber, and energy.  How farmers and grazers manage these exchanges will potentially affect the amount of carbon stored in the soil and the amount of greenhouse gases that remain in the atmosphere.

Will carbon offsets solve the climate problem?  There is much debate over this question.  An offset allows the Continue reading