Stockmanship and Stewardship Tour for the Beef Industry Hosted in Caldwell, Ohio

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

Get BQA Certified at this event on September 29-30

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) in partnership with Merck Animal Health and the checkoff funded Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program, are hosting four regional Stockmanship and Stewardship (S&S) events across the nation. These regional events are intended to bring together cattle producers from a large area for a two-day cattle handling and educational program. Events will highlight proper stockmanship techniques as well as local stewardship information.

We are pleased to announce this year one of these events is being hosted in Caldwell, Ohio on September 29 and 30, 2023! This unique Stockmanship and Stewardship event is focused on live low-stress cattle handling demonstrations, Beef Quality Assurance training, and industry updates you won’t find anywhere else.

Participants will gain an edge on learning about consumer concerns regarding beef sustainability and livestock welfare, how those concerns have impacted the industry, and the role that Beef Quality Assurance plays in the conversation. Stockmanship experts Curt Pate and Ron Gill are among the presenters to learn from. Producers who attend not only receive hands-on training in best management practices to help improve their operation, but also the chance to get BQA certified (or re-certified).

Friday’s program will feature the Continue reading

Corn Silage Pricing Tool

– Ohio State CFAES Knowledge Exchange

This online decision tool is an aid for valuing corn silage.

Unlike corn grain, quoting the price of silage is challenging with no public market providing official prices. This online decision tool for corn silage sales in Ohio was developed to help producers determine pricing for corn silage sales, based on various resources including extension tools from several land-grant universities and agronomy research.

Some values are guided based on localized and timely information including Ohio county-level cash corn prices from and operation costs in Ohio from Ohio State University Extension. These values will be updated yearly. This tool should only be used for reference and users are encouraged to adjust the value of silage based on their individual circumstances. The full spreadsheet is available for download at Corn Silage Pricing Tool.

August Hay Production Estimates are Encouraging, but Variation Still Exists

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

USDA’s August Crop Production report serves as an initial estimate of the size of the year’s hay crop and includes state-by-state estimates. This has implications for winter feed supply and winter feed costs for cattle operations. This year’s hay crop will be especially important following the widespread drought across much of the US last year. Estimated May 1 Hay stocks were down by more than 13% nationally this spring (see figure below), which was driven by a combination of the small hay crop last year and a large number of hay feeding days last winter. Like any estimate, a lot can still happen for the remainder of the growing season, but it does provide some perspective on what can be expected from hay supplies going into fall.

For the purposes of this discussion, I am going to focus on what USDA refers to as all other hay. In most states, this means that Alfalfa and Alfalfa mixes are excluded. I am simply doing this since that is the category that is most associated with winter feeding implications for cow-calf operations. At the national level, all other hay production is estimated to be Continue reading

Feed Situation

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

Beef cattle inventory levels have been expected to continue to remain low. Feed availability has been a limiting factor in recent years. Its attending cost has also limited profits for cow-calf producers. Heading into fall, there are a few signs of changing aggregate conditions that may allow for some expansion to begin. The largest change is probably on the range and pasture side where the latest conditions show much higher percentages in the continental U.S. in good or excellent compared to a year ago. There are also much lower percentages in very poor or poor relative to last year. While conditions are subjective, their consistency and direction would be considered an improvement. The reduction in inventory levels has also meant less demand on the pastures. In general, the conditions are better in the eastern U.S. and worse in the southwest U.S.

The Economic Research Service tracks and builds indexes of grain, high protein, and roughage consuming animal units. The roughage consuming units are dominated by cattle, mainly grazing and then dairy animals. Several years in a row of Continue reading

Mineral Supplementation on Pasture

Ted Wiseman, OSU Extension, Perry County (originally published in Farm & Dairy)

Grazing livestock require minerals to promote growth, milk production and several metabolic functions. How do we know that our mineral program is adequate to meet the needs of our grazing livestock? In previous articles we have stressed the importance of analyzing hay samples for winter feeding. But how many of us have sampled our pastures for nutrient content? We know that magnesium in early spring is important to prevent grass tetany, but what about the rest of the year?

Minerals are separated into two categories. Minerals that are needed in higher amounts are called major or macro minerals. These are listed on feed tags as a percentage and include calcium, phosphorus, chlorine, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. Minerals needed in lesser amounts are called minor or micro minerals which are copper, chromium, cobalt, iodine, iron, manganese, nickel, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc. These minerals are often listed in parts per million (ppm). Regardless of the type of mineral all are equally important for metabolic functions. A deficiency of any mineral can have major effects on animal health and performance regardless of amount needed. The mineral requirement is dependent upon Continue reading

What makes a “Good Complete” Mineral?

– Dr. Katie VanValin, Extension Specialist, Department of Animal and Food Science ,University of Kentucky

You’ve probably heard it a dozen times, “Make sure you put out a good complete mineral,” but what does this mean? Like many aspects of beef production, one perfect recipe for a mineral that will meet the needs of all cattle throughout the year does not exist. A good mineral is a product that can provide supplemental minerals in a form and source that allow cattle to consume enough minerals to prevent deficiencies. Unfortunately, not every mineral product on the shelves at the local farm store will meet this definition. Here are a few considerations when looking for a “good” mineral.

The first thing to consider is the form of mineral you are looking for. The form typically refers to how the mineral is delivered to the cattle and includes blocks, loose free-choice minerals, loose minerals for mixing in feed, or injectables. While blocks continue to be a popular choice, these products are typically 95-99% salt. These products are often missing minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, and even when trace minerals such as copper, zinc, or selenium are included, the concentrations are so low that cattle cannot consume enough of the product for this form of supplementation to be effective. Injectable mineral products are an effective method of delivering a dose of minerals quickly. However, this form of mineral supplementation does not contain all recommended supplemental minerals and shouldn’t be used as a complete mineral program. When cattle are on feed, selecting a Continue reading

Fewer Cattle on Feed and Lower Placements

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

The latest Cattle on Feed Report was released on Friday and delivered a bit of surprise in the number of cattle placed on feedlots during July. The broader takeaway from the report is tighter feedlot supplies and plenty of support for cattle prices. However, there were some interesting details under the surface of the headline.

Placements into feedlots with 1,000 or more head capacity totaled 1.62 million head. This was an 8.3 percent decline from July 2022 and was on the low end of pre-report expectations. With the abnormal exceptions of March and April 2020, this was the lowest monthly placement total since Continue reading

Weekly Livestock Comments for August 18, 2023

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

Fed cattle traded $3 lower on a live basis compared to last week with prices in the South mainly between $178 and $180 while prices in the North were mainly $293 to $295.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $185.14 live, down $3.27 compared to last week and $294.12 dressed, down $2.94 from a week ago. A year ago, prices were $146.76 live and $234.03 dressed.

As cattle market participants continue to prepare to compete for fewer animals to place on feed and then on the rail, they appear to be like Mike Tyson fighting Evander Holyfield. They are all looking for an opportunity to Continue reading

The Weaning Process, and Assuring Quality

Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

Learn more weaning management at Stockmanship & Stewardship, Sept 29-30.

The weaning process can have a significant impact on the health and future productivity of the calf. Proper weaning management and assuring that quality and performance of the calf are optimized will be included in a number of presentations by quest veterinarians during the upcoming Stockmanship & Stewardship program in Caldwell, Ohio on September 29 and 30. Find more details about the Stockmanship & Stewardship program below, and in the meantime consider the following concerns regarding weaning management.

THE WEANING PROCESS:  Weaning can be one of the most stressful events in the life of a calf.  Once these stressors occur within a matter of days, you Continue reading

Considerations for Preconditioning Calves this Fall

– James Mitchell, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Arkansas

As fall approaches, producers should already be thinking about preconditioning programs as part of their broader marketing plan. A few months ago, Kenny discussed always doing the “little things”, even when times are good, and prices are high. Preconditioning is a “big thing” that producers should continue to do to add value to their calves. That preconditioning process includes castrating bull calves, removing horns, vaccinating calves for respiratory disease and blackleg, treating calves for internal parasites, and keeping calves at least 45 days after weaning. I’d argue 45 days isn’t long enough and should be considered the minimum number of days to keep calves after weaning.

This year in Arkansas, preconditioned steer calves are bringing a $14/cwt premium. Preconditioned heifer calves are averaging a $17/cwt premium at auction. For a 500-pound calf, that’s an additional $72/head and $83/head for steers and heifers. That price premium does Continue reading