The Feed Grinder Mixer, Friend, or Foe?

Richard Purdin, ANR/CD Educator, OSU Extension Adams County

For many livestock producers, the feed grinder is their most cherished tool.

You could say grinding feed runs in my blood. A matter of fact this was one of the first farm chores that I can remember helping dad with. If you were to ask a farmer what are the most vital pieces of equipment on the farm, you would probable expect to hear answers such as combine, tractor, skid steer loader, etc. For a farrow to finish hog, market steer, and feeder lamb operation, could there be a worse situation arise than the grinder mixer breaking down! There is not a day that the grinder mixer is not used on my farm and for many other livestock operations it would probably be considered one of the most used equipment on the farm.

It is thought that grinding grain for livestock feed started around 1860 and one of the first feed grinders invented was called the burr mill made by the Letz manufacturing company in Crown Point Indiana. By 1930 the hammer mill was created revolutionizing speed and quality of grinding feed. The grinder to this day is still highly used and the selling point remains the same – to Continue reading The Feed Grinder Mixer, Friend, or Foe?

Answering the age-old question: Is cottonseed going to make my bulls infertile?

Will feeding cottonseed impact the fertility of your bull?

As winter slowly approaches and producers are planning their winter supplementation, the question comes in each year; can I feed whole cottonseed to my bulls or will it make them infertile? This article will go over the impacts of cottonseed on bull fertility and describe how to safely take advantage of cottonseed without negatively impacting fertility.

Go here to read Answering the age-old question: Is cottonseed going to make my bulls infertile?

Demand Part 2: Beef Demand Determinants

– James Mitchell, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Arkansas

Last week, Kenny did an excellent job discussing the price-quantity relationship for beef. This week, I want to focus on factors impacting consumer demand for beef. It’s important to continue last week’s discussion because beef demand will be one of the most important things to monitor in 2023. Supply fundamentals will support cattle prices next year, but there is still uncertainty about what consumer demand will look like, largely reflecting macroeconomic concerns.

The prices of complements and substitutes will affect beef demand. The two main competing proteins for beef are pork and chicken. The first graph above shows average retail meat prices for beef, pork, and chicken. These are composite prices and do not Continue reading Demand Part 2: Beef Demand Determinants

Strong Counter Seasonal Finish to the Year in Process

– Stephen R. Koontz, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University

Thanksgiving week is a very slow week for cattle markets. But there are a few much talked about market events that are worth repeating and emphasizing. The feeder cattle and calf movements were light the holiday week. But prices were strong and buyer interest was moderate to good. The summary for Colorado revealed trade of 22 hundred head down from the 26 hundred for the same week last year. Prices for Medium and Large #1 under 400 pounds were greater than $2 per pound while animals between 5-7 hundredweight were $1.65-$1.90 per pound. The heaviest animals were about $1.65. Trading in western Nebraska and Wyoming was similar – volumes even to down about 10% while buyer interest and prices were strong especially for lighter animals.

Hay and forage markets were somewhat similar. Modest volumes with strong interest.  Much of the hay trade in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming – that is not horse hay – is headed out of state and mainly south. Weather from the prior two weeks is resulting in the need to increase hay feeding in both the northern and southern plains. Fair quality hay in Colorado is firmly $300 per ton. And there is some price reporting of trade in corn stalks, mainly in Nebraska, that is Continue reading Strong Counter Seasonal Finish to the Year in Process

Constructively Thankful

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

In the season of Thanksgiving, we gravitate to each other to express gratitude for blessings of all kinds. It feels good to be thankful and to be with grateful people. I hope that as you prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday that you take the time to meditate on the blessings in your life and on the farm and that it fills you with satisfaction.

When listing our many blessings, we often skip expressing thankfulness toward are the learning experiences we gain through less than perfect scenarios. Yet, I think those scenarios are often more worthy of recognition than our obvious successes, because through challenges, we grow.

Along with your lists of blessings, I suggest making a list of things that Continue reading Constructively Thankful

Winter Application of Manure

Glen Arnold, Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management

Although not required by law, winter manure application should follow the NRCS 590 standards.

An unusually dry fall has allowed manure application to farm fields to be ahead of the normal schedule. Nevertheless, there will still be some application of manure to frozen ground or snow-covered ground.

Permitted farms are not allowed to apply manure in the winter unless it is an extreme emergency, and then movement to other suitable storage is usually the selected alternative. Several commercial manure applicators have established manure storage ponds in recent years to help address this issue.

In the . . .

Continue reading Winter Application of Manure

Meat Judging Programs and Why They Matter

Meat judging programs expose students to a multitude of skills.

Meat judging programs are currently the most effective tool for the recruitment and development of future meat science technologists. Meat judging is more than just the determination of the quality and lean meat yield of a carcass or wholesale cut; the program serves as a training tool to develop young leaders in the meat and livestock industries. Judging is a competitive event for youth through collegiate-age students and it has a deep-rooted history with the meat industry.

To learn more about meat judging programs and why they matter, see this new OSU Extension fact sheet authored by Dr. Lyda G. Garcia, Associate Professor Meat Science Extension Meat Specialist Fresh Meat Processing, and Meat Judging Coordinator in the OSU Department of Animal Sciences: Meat Judging Programs and Why They Matter

Do Beef Prices Drive Consumption or Does Beef Consumption Drive Prices?

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

I open a lot of my Extension programs by showing the retail price chart seen below and discussing general trends in production levels for our three main meats (beef, pork, and chicken). By the end of 2022, pork production is going to be down year-over-year and the increase in broiler production is going to be relatively small. Beef production will actually be a little bit higher than last year, primarily due to very high cow and heifer slaughter. However, that trend is likely to reverse in a big way for 2023 and we should see a reduction in beef production of 5% or more.

As I walk through this discussion, someone in the audience will sometimes ask something like, “given that retail beef prices are already very high, and production is likely to get even smaller next year, will retail beef prices get so high that consumers move away from purchasing beef at the grocery store?” When this comes up, the person asking the question is genuinely concerned that beef could price itself off the average plate. I thought this idea would be worth discussing in this week’s article.

I want to begin by Continue reading Do Beef Prices Drive Consumption or Does Beef Consumption Drive Prices?

Cattle on Feed

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

The expectations before the November Cattle on Feed report were for fewer placements, more marketings, and fewer cattle on feed compared to a year ago. Several analysts expected placements to be down about five percent. The actual placements came in below the average expected as did the actual on-feed total. Feedlots in Colorado and Kansas have on-feed totals sharply lower than a year ago. Texas had a sharp decline in placements compared to last year, and those were uniformly lower across weight classes. Perhaps tight feed supplies are pressuring those feedlots. Idaho and Washington stood out slightly with increased placements compared to a year earlier. Overall, the report would be slightly supportive of nearby fed cattle prices as it indicates tighter supplies of market-ready cattle.

The on-feed situation is a continuation of a couple of longer-run patterns. In the October report the heifer mix in feedlots was reported at 39.7 percent of cattle on feed. This was an increase from a year earlier and from the prior quarter. It was also the highest heifer mix since 2001. The supply of feeder cattle outside of feedlots as of October 1 continued to decline. Note that the supply level outside feedlots was down Continue reading Cattle on Feed

Tenth Annual OCA Replacement Female Sale Features 86 Lots

Selling bred heifers, bred cows and and one pair, all less than 5 years old.

Details for the 86 bred females consigned to the 10th annual OCA Replacement Female Sale have been posted. The sale is being held Friday, November 25, at the Muskingum Livestock facility located at 944 Malinda Street in Zanesville and will begin at 6:00 p.m. This sale represents an excellent opportunity for anyone looking to add quality young replacement females to their herd.

Approximately 64 bred heifers, 21 bred cows and 1 cow/calf pair are being offered at this year’s sale. Females selling will have pregnancy status verified within 60 days of sale and are eligible for interstate shipment. Breeds represented include Angus, Red Angus, Hereford, Crossbred, LimFlex and Simmental.

All females selling are less than five years of age at sale time.  Find breeding information along with more detail including videos of the consignments on the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association web site at:

Take advantage of this opportunity to add quality and quantity to your herd.  If you have questions about the sale, contact Garth Ruff, sale manager, 740-651-7140 or or the OCA office at 614-873-6736 or