Livestock Educational Materials in Español

The OSU Beef Team site now has some educational materials in Español.  The main focus is beef cattle but there are a couple of articles about other livestock including ruminant management in zoos.  If you have questions about these materials, you can contact Dr. Steve Boyles (

Find these materials in the Library, or use this direct link: Manejo General de Ganado

Can Greenhouse Gas Emissions be Reduced in the Beef Cattle Industry?

– Alejandro Pittaluga, Fan Yang, James Gaffney, Mallory Embree and Alejandro Relling of the OSU Animal Science Department

Greenhouse gas emissions are a major concern in the beef industry. This study entitled Effect of supplementation with ruminal probiotics on growth performance, carcass characteristics, plasma metabolites, methane emissions, and the associated rumen microbiome changes in beef cattle examined the effects of supplementation with ruminal probiotics consisting of three native ruminal microbes (NRM) for their influence on methane reduction and growth performance of beef cattle.

Eighty Angus × SimAngus-crossbred cattle were grouped by sex and weight, randomly assigned to a treatment group, control or NRM supplementation, and subsequently fed commercially relevant diets for at least 134 d with or without NRM supplementation until they reached a target finishing weight. Methane emissions and growth performance metrics were recorded at regular intervals. Cattle-fed diets with NRM had a greater average daily gain during most part of the experimental period, required fewer days to reach the finishing weight, and emitted less methane than cattle in the control treatment. Supplementing NRM can be a viable method to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while improving the performance of beef cattle-fed concentrates-based diets.

Learn more about this study here: Effect of supplementation with ruminal probiotics on growth performance, carcass characteristics, plasma metabolites, methane emissions, and the associated rumen microbiome changes in beef cattle

Bovine Venereal Diseases – Should You be Concerned?

– Dr. Michelle Arnold, UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Graphic reprinted from

“Reproductive failure” is an all-encompassing term if a cow loses a calf during pregnancy or if she fails to get pregnant. Causes of reproductive failure are frequently divided into infectious and non-infectious categories. Examples of “non-infectious” include poor cow nutrition (lack of energy and micronutrients such as selenium/Vitamin E); bull infertility, disease and injury; breeding season management errors (shortened breeding season, insufficient bull-to-cow ratios); genetic and some congenital abnormalities that result in fetal death; and toxic agents such as nitrates, phytoestrogens, and drugs including steroids and prostaglandins. “Infectious” causes are bacteria, viruses, protozoal and fungal agents that directly or indirectly damage the placenta and/or the fetus. Examples include the BVD virus, IBR virus, the protozoan Neospora caninum, the bacterium Leptospira, and the venereal diseases trichomoniasis and vibriosis, among many others. This series of articles will explore the most common infectious causes of abortion and reproductive failure in cattle and available options for control and prevention.

The most common venereal diseases of cattle are trichomoniasis and vibriosis, often referred to as “trich” and “vibrio”, respectively. Bovine trichomoniasis is caused by the protozoan Tritrichomonas foetus (T. foetus) while vibriosis is caused by the bacterium Campylobacter fetus subsp. venerealis (C. fetus) Although both are infrequently diagnosed, the results of infection on reproduction can be devastating. Both trich and vibrio are transmitted through physical contact when a bull breeds a cow. Once a cow is infected, she acts as a source of infection for other non-infected bulls within the herd which then spread disease to other cows. Infected bulls show no signs of disease, however, either pathogen in cows causes genital infection characterized by early abortions, low pregnancy rates, and prolonged calving seasons. In herds that do not check females for pregnancy, these diseases appear simply as cows coming up open that should Continue reading

Posted in Health

January 1 Cattle on Feed Declined from 2022

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

Feedlot inventories were below year-ago levels for the fourth consecutive month according to the latest USDA Cattle on Feed report.  There were an estimated 11.68 million head of cattle on feed as of January 1st, which is 3 percent lower than January 1, 2022.

December placements were down 8 percent compared to December 2022 which was in the range of pre-report expectations. All of the weight groups were lower except for the 900-999 pound group which was even with a year ago. December marketings were 6 percent and likely affected by the winter storms that impacted transportation. Overall, the lower placements, marketings, and total cattle on feed numbers were largely expected by pre-report analysts.

The feedlot supply dynamics are different this year than Continue reading

Pasture Improvements by Osmosis

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

Make plans to join us on February 17th.

The New Year evokes a spirit of willingness to change for the better. Resolutions to make healthier, cleaner, more economical, more environmentally friendly, and/or more spiritually fulfilling decisions are prevalent right now. Something about flipping the calendar gives us hope that now is a good time for change. Regardless of what day on the calendar it is, if you want to change something for the better, today is the perfect day to start.

Personally, I am a fan of the kind of resolutions that create less work for myself rather than those that create more. My day and my mind are already divided between too many things, to add another or three makes me exhausted just thinking about it. What I need is change by osmosis.

Osmosis, what does that word really mean?

It means “the spontaneous movement of a substance across a semipermeable membrane.”

So, that makes my body and soul the semipermeable membrane and new Continue reading

Consider Feeding Options for Challenging Conditions

– Victor Shelton, Retired NRCS Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

Strategically placed large round bales, where they will be fed, can work well under good soil conditions.

I probably have said it before, but I think it was Robert Frost that said, “You can’t get too much winter in the winter.” I disagree! I already miss not seeing grass on the landscape and I know that there are a lot of livestock that feel the same way.

I’m not a stickler to making or keeping new year resolutions and maybe I should be.  As the old year becomes even more a piece of the past with the changing of a digit, my first thought is usually what can I do differently in this new run of 12 months that I wasn’t successful doing in the last.

We all make mistakes or make wrong decisions.  A wise man recognizes those errors and works to not make them again.  Life is full of lessons. You just have to pray that you learn them right the first time.  Instead of making resolutions that you probably won’t keep, take some time and really study something that didn’t work last year and figure out how to improve it.  For me, that’s time management.  I’m not “old,” but I’m also not young and winter is Continue reading

Frost Seeding Clover: A Recipe for Success

– Chris D. Teutsch, S. Ray Smith, and Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky

Figure 1. Clover and other legumes are an important part of sustainable grassland ecosystems. They form a symbiotic relationship with Rhizobium bacteria in which nitrogen from the air into a plant available form, improve nutritive value, and help to alleviate tall fescue toxicosis. (Photo by Chris Teutsch)

Legumes are an essential part of a strong and healthy grassland ecosystems (Figure 1). They form a symbiotic relationship with Rhizobium bacteria in which the bacteria fix nitrogen from the air into a plant available form and share it with the legume. Clover also increases forage quality and quantity and helps to manage tall fescue toxicosis. In the past, the positive impact of clover on tall fescue toxicosis has always been thought to simply be a dilution effect, but new research from the USDA’s Forage Animal Production Unit in Lexington shows that compounds found in red clover can reverse vasoconstriction that is caused by the ergot alkaloids in toxic tall fescue. The primary compound found in red clover is a vasodilator called Biochanin A.

Clover stands in pastures thin overtime due to various factors and require reseeding every three to four years. There are several techniques for reintroducing clover into pastures including no-till seeding, minimum tillage, and frost seeding. Of these techniques, frost seeding requires the least amount of equipment and is the simplest to implement. Frost seeding is accomplished by broadcasting clover seed onto existing pastures or hayfields in late winter and allowing the Continue reading

Two Cattle Feeding Programs Offered on February 6

Join us for a beef feeding school with a focus on dairy beef.

Join the OSU Extension Beef Team for two opportunities to learn more about cattle feeding in 2023. The program will be offered at 12:00 p.m. at the Hancock County Extension office in Findlay and again at 6:00 p.m. at the Shisler Conference Center on the OARDC Campus in Wooster. This year’s featured speaker is Dr. Jerad Jaborek from Michigan State University. Jerad is the Extension Feedlot Specialist at MSU and will be speaking on Feedlot Management and Feeding Dairy and Beef x Dairy Cattle.

Following Jerad will be Eric Richer, Farm Management Field Specialist for OSU Extension. Over the past few years Eric has conducted several research projects with fed cattle manure and will be discussing How to Optimize Value of Pen Pack Manure.

Finally, Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist with OSU Extension will give a brief Cattle Market Outlook presentation to round out the program.

Registration can be made at both the Hancock and Wayne County Extension offices for their respective site. See additional detail and registration information regarding the program at: Ohio Beef Cattle Feeding School

Posted in Events

Ohio Cow-Calf Field Day to be held in Morgan County

Make plans to join us, register today!

The first of two statewide cow-calf field days will be held Monday, February 20 at Clemens Farms in Morgan County. The program will begin at 9:00 a.m. and focus on Optimizing Herd Fertility. Heifer development and cow-calf nutrition will be the primary topics of the day. OSU Extension Beef Cattle Field Specialist Garth Ruff, as well as a team of local county Extension professionals will teach the morning program. A hot lunch will follow, and the event will conclude with a farm tour looking at animal handling facilities and conservation practices. The morning program and lunch will take place in a heated farm shop but, dress appropriately for the afternoon activities.

Registration is required ahead of time. The program fee is $10. Contact the Morgan County Extension office to register or send in the registration form linked here: Ohio Beef Cow/Calf Workshop – Optimizing Herd Fertility

Posted in Events

U.S. Hay Production Declined 9 Percent in 2022

– James Mitchell, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Arkansas

Last week USDA-NASS published the 2022 Crop Production Summary. The report includes information about U.S. hay production, acreage, and yield. The report also includes data for December 1 hay stocks. The report splits the data into two categories, alfalfa and other hay. For producers in the southeast, other hay is the relevant production.

The hay marketing year starts in May and ends the following April. For example, the 2022-2023 hay marketing year began in May 2022 and will end in April 2023. May 1 hay stocks were tight, totaling 16.77 million tons or 7% lower year over year. May 1 stocks, combined with lower 2022 hay production, put hay supplies at the lowest level on record since the data began in 1974. The previous record low in hay supplies was Continue reading