Effect of Energy and Protein Supplementation on Body Condition Score and Reproduction

Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist

Feeding a balanced diet to beef females in the last trimester of pregnancy through the breeding season is critical. Nutritional demands increase from early gestation to lactation. Reproduction has low priority among partitioning of nutrients for the subsequent pregnancy. Consequently, thin cows at calving typically remain thin because excess energy in the diet is directed to milk production first.

The common theme is, at least for spring-calving cows, body condition score at calving is related to postpartum interval and rebreeding performance. Plane of nutrition the last 50 to 60 days before calving affects postpartum interval.  It is a challenge to increase body condition after calving or elicit a reproductive response to high energy intake in postpartum beef females.

Excessive protein and energy in the diet of beef females can result in reduced conception rates and increased feed costs. Excessive dietary nutrients during the last trimester of pregnancy may negatively influence Continue reading

The Goal: Feed Less, Graze More

– Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

Winter; time to catch up on reading and sharpening the pencil and mind.

I often talk about upcoming grazing conferences this time of year. Right now, meetings in person are scarce and perhaps rightly so. I still encourage you to continue learning whether it’s from watching YouTube videos, reading books or articles, or attending a virtual meeting or conference.

It is also the time of year when I start thinking more about finding a comfortable chair, a warm blanket and some good reading material — especially when the snow flurries start. Winter is a great time for me to catch up on reading after checking on livestock in the cold, as long as I don’t get too warm and nod off. But, that said, winter chores still must be done! I’m never mentally prepared for winter, but that won’t stop it from happening. What’s a perfect winter to me? It includes stockpiled forages lasting for as long as possible, dry or frozen ground and as little hay needed to be fed.

You certainly can’t control the weather. You need to instead learn how to Continue reading

The New Tick on the Block in Ohio – Gulf Coast Tick

Tim McDermott DVM, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County (originally published in Farm and Dairy)

The Gulf Coast tick has a very long history of impacting the livestock industry in the US.

Right now you are probably getting tired of hearing from me about new tick species and the diseases and potential allergies they vector to producers, livestock, and companion animals in Ohio that we have to worry about.  I wrote an article for All About Grazing back in June of 2019 warning about the mammalian muscle allergy that can make you allergic to red meat from a Lone Star tick bite. My colleague Erika Lyon submitted an All About Grazing article introducing you to the Asian Longhorned Tick in January of 2019 and I submitted an article as a follow up to the Asian Longhorned tick in Ohio in July of 2020.  Now we have a confirmed case of that invasive in Gallia county and are keeping our eye out for further spread. It is enough to make your head spin even further in this challenging 2020 year.

The tick we are going to talk about today is the Gulf Coast tick, Amblyomma maculatum Koch.  This tick is not an invasive like the Asian Longhorned tick, but instead has a very long history of impacting the livestock industry in the United States.  First described in 1844 this tick has had a historical habitat range of coastal grassy areas as its name implies, mostly in the southeastern United States. The tick played an important role in the spread of the devastating screwworm outbreaks in the southern United States in the early 1900’s  through infestations of livestock.  The bite of the Gulf Coast tick can cause severe Continue reading

2020 OCA Replacement Female Sale Results

John F. Grimes, OCA Replacement Female Sale Manager

The 2020 sale represented a $462 per head average price increase over the 2019 sale!

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) held their eighth annual Replacement Female Sale on November 27 at the Muskingum Livestock Auction Company in Zanesville, Ohio.  A large crowd was on hand to bid on 83 high quality females in the sale.  The sale represented an excellent opportunity for cow-calf producers to add quality females with documented breeding and health records to their herds.

Buyers evaluated 83 lots of bred heifers, bred cows, and a cow-calf pair at the auction.  The sale included 50 lots of bred heifers that averaged $1,659, 32 lots of bred cows that averaged $2,129, and one cow-calf pair that sold for $1,950.  The 83 total lots grossed $153,025 for an overall average of $1,844.  The females sold to buyers from Ohio and West Virginia.  Col. Ron Kreis served as the auctioneer.

The 2020 sale marked a major improvement over the previous year’s sale.  The 2020 sale represented a Continue reading

Posted in Events

The Likelihood of Regional Triggers Under the Industry’s Proposed “75% Rule”

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

Concern about packing concentration has led to numerous requests for USDA to investigate the potential connection between packet concentration and depressed cattle prices. These calls for investigations and concerns about meatpacking concentration and impact on cattle prices are not new.[1] The most recent concern raised by cattle producers about packer concentration was due to depressed fed cattle prices post-Holcomb fire and COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a USDA report and pending DOJ investigation.

Some legislation has been enacted as a result of previous investigations; most notably the Packers and Stockyards Act in the early 1920s. The recently proposed legislation has largely focused on the potential connection between these market shocks and the level of negotiated trade that occurs. One overarching concern is that to achieve price discovery that is informative in the marketplace, a regional sufficient level of negotiated trade must occur. To help achieve these goals, three bills have been proposed: Senator Grassley’s “50-14” rule, Senator Fisher’s “Cattle Transparency” bill, and Congressman Johnson’s “PRICE” act. These primarily aim to increase the level of negotiated trade, and, in some cases, create a cattle contracts library similar to the one available in the hog industry.

The industry has long been opposed to government regulation that could distort market signals. It responded to proposed legislation by Continue reading

Body Condition Scoring, Beef Cow Nutrition and Reproduction

Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist

Net calf crop or number of calves weaned per cow exposed is an important calculation for commercial cow-calf producers.  A 9-point system is commonly used to condition score beef cows. The importance of body condition at calving on subsequent reproductive performance has been documented extensively.   Cows should have an optimum Body Condition Score (BCS) of 5 to 6 at calving that should be maintained through breeding to ensure optimal reproductive performance. The most important factor influencing pregnancy rate in beef females is body energy reserves at calving.  In addition, low energy intake before calving appears to be the major culprit to reduced reproductive performance during the subsequent breeding season.   Body condition score is a better indicator of the nutritional program than is body weight.

Calving Interval and Profitability: One of the major constraints in the improvement of reproductive efficiency of beef cows is the postpartum interval (PPI), defined as the period from calving until cows resume estrus activity. Calving interval, defined as the period between the birth of one calf until the birth of the next calf, is significantly affected by the postpartum interval. If a cow is to calve on a 365-day interval, with a 283-day gestation length, she has to conceive within 82 days of calving. It takes approximately 40 days for the uterus of a well managed cow to recover after calving, and this leaves a 42-day window in which to conceive. Cows that Continue reading

Grouping the Cowherd for Winter Feeding

Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist

Young-bred heifers and young cows that have just weaned their first calf should be fed separately from the mature cows in the herd. The young animals are smaller, still growing, and are replacing their temporary teeth. They may be pushed away from feed by cows in their prime and settle for what hay is left and is likely of lower higher quality. The results of feeding young stock with the main cowherd is thin heifers and maybe overfed cows.

Older cows that are kept for being exceptional producers (or are just special to the cattle producer) merit some special attention. Consider feeding them with the younger heifers and cows. Keep a close eye on this groups because they may be missing some teeth and decline in body condition.

Grouping the herd according to fall body condition could allow for thinner cows to catch up with cows are already in adequate condition. Admittedly, wintering facilities and number of feeding areas can limit the degree of grouping of cows. Grouping cows will also allow you to ask the question, “which cows are my easy keepers and which cows are my hard keepers?”

OCA Replacement Female Sale Catalogues 84 Lots

John F. Grimes, OCA Replacement Female Sale Manager

84 quality replacement females sell this Friday, November 27

This is the final reminder to attend the eighth annual Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Replacement Female Sale.  The sale will be held this Friday, November 27, 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.

There will be approximately 84 lots selling in the sale consisting of bred heifers, bred cows, and a cow-calf pair.  Breeds represented include Angus, Hereford, Limousin, Maine, Red Angus and Simmental. All females selling are less than five years of age at sale time.  A detailed listing of the cattle selling with complete breeding information and videos of the cattle have been Continue reading

Weekly Livestock Comments for November 20, 2020

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

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle traded steady com-pared to last week on a live basis. Prices on a live basis were primarily $108 to $110 while dressed prices were mainly $170 to $172.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $109.59 live, up $0.13 com-pared to last week and $171.73 dressed, down $0.15 from a week ago. A year ago, prices were $115.96 live and $183.56 dressed.

The steady trade compared to last week can probably be considered a win in that margins on most cattle remain positive. Packers continue to demand cattle to fill the holiday pipeline. It will be interesting to see if holiday meat purchases are different this year given that many family gatherings will be smaller and less traveling. If consumers lean heavier on beef then packers will continue to have a strong demand for cattle to keep the pipeline full and to re-stock meat counters following the holiday purchases. Heavy cattle continue to put pressure on some regional markets, but it is becoming Continue reading