Fall Grazing Guidance

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

“Pasture walks” are an opportunity to explore what others are successfully doing.

Recently the East Central Grazing Alliance visited Randy Depuy’s farm in Caldwell for a pasture walk and it was a wonderful event of social and educational enrichment. It was one of my first in-person events since returning from maternity leave and it was refreshing to be with a captive audience to talk about forages and grazing.

For those that were unable to attend, here are some of the key points from my presentation on fall grazing tips. They are they divided into recommendations for established forages and new seedings.

Established Perennial Forages:

Cool-Season Forage Mixes – If stockpiling pasture for fall/winter grazing, stop Continue reading

Posted in Pasture

Nutritional Strategies for Receiving and Feeding Early-Weaned Calves

Francis L. Fluharty, Department Head and Professor, Department of Animal and Dairy Science, University of Georgia

  • Provide clean water and grass-legume hay directly off the truck and allow cattle a rest period before processing them. Adding an electrolyte solution to the water calves drink immediately off the truck is a good way to restore needed sodium and potassium salts.
  • Receiving diets should have .3 ppm Selenium and 1.0% Potassium on a dry matter basis, for the first two weeks, because of low feed intake. After that, Potassium should not be higher than .7% of the diet on a dry matter basis.
  • Provide 1.0 to 1.5 ft of bunk space per calf if possible.
  • Urea can be added up to .5% of diet dry matter, but higher levels may depress feed intake.
  • Ionophores should not be used (at the upper levels they are approved for) during the first 14 days due to reductions in feed intake, however, lower levels may be beneficial in high-grain diets.
  • Research at The Ohio State University has shown that feed intake on stressed calves is severely reduced during the first week. Therefore, receiving diets for calves should be approximately 16-18% crude protein, on a dry matter basis, for the first seven days. The protein concentration used should be increased to the upper levels of this range with highly stressed calves that have very low feed intakes. After the first two weeks, feed intake increases and the crude protein can be dropped to 14% of diet dry matter. After third week, the crude protein level can be reduced to 12.5% to 13%, since the cattle should be on full feed by then.
  • After cattle have reached approximately 1.5% of body weight in feed intake (dry matter basis), increase the amount of feed offered every other day. Increases should be no more than 5% of intake. High-concentrate diets require that calves are brought on feed more slowly than high-forage diets. Bringing calves onto feed more slowly will help prevent acidosis and reduce nutritional stress.
  • Soybean meal may be the protein source of choice due to cost and availability, but using a source of higher rumen bypass protein such as distillers grain in combination with soybean meal is good.
  • Feeding hay during the receiving period reduces the energy density of the diet. Intake is the main problem during this feeding phase. Therefore, a 60% to 70% concentrate diet should be fed to ensure the calves have adequate energy intakes (Remember that corn silage is approximately 50% concentrate and 50% roughage on a dry matter basis).
  • Microbial data from The Ohio State University indicates that cattle do not have a need for hay in order to increase their bacterial numbers after feed and water deprivation and transportation. In fact, a higher energy, protein dense diet provides the bacteria with more substrate to grow on.
  • Receiving diets should be formulated to provide the animal with the actual amount of protein required (in grams) rather than a percentage of protein in the diet during the first two weeks. Therefore, the level of feed intake should determine the percent protein fed.
  • Corn silage is fine, but it MUST be kept fresh. Clean out feed bunks daily and remember not to push feed to the back of the bunks where calves can’t reach it. Keep feed about in the middle of the feed bunk.

Feed Bunk Management and Feed Intake Control: “The most important operation in the feedlot”

Defined as the Continue reading

What is this new tick disease?

– Dr. Michelle Arnold, UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Office of the State Veterinarian is warning beef producers to look for signs of Theileria infection (“theileriosis”) in cattle, with two confirmed cases in beef cattle recently reported in Kentucky. Theileria orientalis Ikeda is a microscopic protozoan parasite that infects the red blood cells of cattle, causing anemia. The disease is primarily transmitted by the bite of an infected Asian Longhorned Tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) or by blood transfer through the use of contaminated needles and equipment. The tick can feed on many animal species, including humans, but the blood parasite only affects cattle. Once a cow is infected, it may take 1-8 weeks before she shows symptoms of disease.

Figure 1: Three life stages of the Asian Longhorned tick sized relative to the head of an insect pin. Nymphs and adults can transmit Theileria to cattle. Photo used with permission from Dr. Matt Bartone, NC State

There is a spring peak in disease incidence in March-April and a fall peak in September-October. There is no effective treatment for sick cattle or vaccine to prevent infections. However, once infected, cattle become carriers and are protected from new infections. There are no recognized long-term health or production effects from persistent infection. Theileria is not a public health concern and contact with affected cattle doesn’t pose a Continue reading

Posted in Health

Feed Price Implications for Fall

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

As we move into fall, we have a pretty good feel for the size of the 2022 corn crop. Acreage is down significantly from last year and yield projections were reduced by almost 3 bushels this month to 172.5 per acre. After spending some time below $6 per bushel this summer, CME© December corn futures are in the upper $6 per bushel range. Barring a major shock on the demand side, feed prices are going to be a challenge for cattle operations this winter. So, I wanted to briefly talk through some implications of high feed prices on feeder cattle marketing and management.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that cost of gain and value of gain are correlated. Feedlots prefer to place heavier feeder cattle when feed prices are high, so the price discount on higher weights gets smaller. This narrowing of price slides increases the value of Continue reading

Feeder Markets

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

The fall run of calves is underway for the Great Plains and mountain states.  Price reporting for feeder cattle and calves are rather thin – especially in Colorado – through the summers and the past three weeks have revealed more substantial numbers of transactions.  A counter seasonal rally in feeders occurred from May through August but the recent $1 plus per bushel increase in the harvest corn contract price has stopped this.  It will be interesting to talk to producers and lenders during the rest of the year regarding LRP strategy.  The story about insurance purchased in the late spring and early summer will be rather different that purchased in the early spring when the feeder cattle market was moving higher.  Sell hedges when the market is under duress are routinely disappointing.

Feeder markets from Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Utah are all showing strong prices.  Down from the price peaks in mid-July – if there was trade then – but good demand, strong interest, and prices between the high-$170s and mid-$180s for 6-7 cwt steers.  Heifers are typically $10 back from the steer price.  Calve and feeder cattle prices in Nebraska and Missouri are stronger yet bringing from Continue reading

Know to Tow

Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

Always inspect the trailer floor to make sure it is sturdy and clean.

Some trailers are attached to a tow vehicle’s receiver hitch or via a bumper hitch. A gooseneck is different from traditional enclosed trailers both in its namesake shape and because of the gooseneck hitch attachment within the vehicle’s bed. This allows a gooseneck trailer to be attached to the tow vehicle over the rear axle which is different from a hitch receiver, located at the rear of the vehicle. Also, because of the closer proximity of the trailer to the tow vehicle, a gooseneck trailer will typically have a tighter turn radius over other enclosed trailers.

Know Your Numbers

Your tow vehicle needs to  have the capability to Continue reading

Livestock Trailer Rollover and Emergency Training for First Responders

Save the date, October 22, 2022

Livestock accidents add a level of complication to an already challenging situation. Having a plan in response is valuable for all that may be involved.

The objective of a Bovine Emergency Response Plan (BERP) is to develop a framework that local law enforcement, first responders, emergency management, and veterinarians can use to more appropriately address accidents involving cattle transport vehicles. This framework is rigid enough to cover all the critically needed areas but flexible enough to fit the needs of local municipalities.

On Saturday, October 22 from 9 until 2, join OSU Extension Beef Specialist, Dr. Stephen Boyles and Ashtabula County Ag Educator, Andrew Holden, for this important training that will help make everyone more prepared in the case of livestock emergencies. The program will be held at the Bloomfield Livestock Auction in North Bloomfield, Ohio.

For reservations or more information contact Andrew Holden (440-576-9008).

Autumn Forage Harvest Management

Mark Sulc, OSU Extension Forage Specialist

Forages need a fall period of rest to replenish carbohydrate and protein reserves.

Every year we remind forage producers that the best time to take a last harvest of alfalfa and other legumes is in early September in Ohio, for the least risk to the long-term health of the stand. These forages need a fall period of rest to replenish carbohydrate and protein reserves in the taproots that are used for winter survival and regrowth next spring. And every spring we hear of weak stands coming out of the winter, and after asking questions we learn that in many of those cases of weak stand in the spring, they had been harvested the previous autumn during the fall rest period, which weakened the stand going into the winter.

Forage producers around the state have been finishing the third cutting of alfalfa and a few have taken the fourth cutting the past week or two. It will be ideal if these harvests are the last of the season. But some growers might try to squeeze out another late cutting, and others have fields that are not quite ready for harvest right now. Like most farming decisions, there are trade-offs and risk factors to consider when making a . . .

Continue reading Autumn Forage Harvest Management

Posted in Forages

Using Cover Crops with Fall Manure Applications

Glen Arnold, CCA, Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management

Manure Application with a drag line

Corn silage harvest started last week in Ohio, and this will free up farm fields for manure application. Livestock producers and commercial manure applicators have started the fall manure application season which will continue through soybean and corn harvest next month. To best capture the nutrients in manure, manure should be incorporated during application or as soon as possible afterwards. Livestock producers should also consider using cover crops to capture more of the manure nutrients, especially the nitrogen, and also prevent soil erosion.

The most common cover crops used with livestock manure are cereal rye, wheat, and oats. However, farmers have also used radishes, clover, annual ryegrass, Sudan grass or almost anything they are comfortable growing. If a farmer is participating in . . .

Continue reading Using Cover Crops with Fall Manure Applications

Heifer and Cow Slaughter

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

Increased cull cow slaughter and number of heifers in the feedlot mix have been key factors to watch in 2022. Each have implications for beef production and cattle supplies both this year and moving forward.

Beef cow slaughter has been stronger throughout 2022. During August, beef cow slaughter was up about 9 percent above a year ago which is about 24,000 head higher while dairy cow slaughter was estimated to be down 1,600 head. Year to date, beef cow slaughter is about 13 percent above 2021.

Regionally, cow slaughter in the Southern Plains is much higher than in 2021 where drought has been a major factor. Region 6 consists of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas and beef cow slaughter in this region is about 30 percent higher year-to-date in 2022 than in 2021. That is more than 150,000 head higher than a year ago in this region. These are very Continue reading