Beef Cattle A.I. Workshop hosted in Muskingum County

Register today, space is limited.

OSU Extension Muskingum County will host an introduction to artificial insemination of beef cattle on July 30 and August 1, 2024 from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at the Extension Office in Zanesville. This two-night workshop is a classroom event starting on night one and concluding with hands-on-practice on night two.

Topics that will be covered during this workshop include: Advanced Reproductive Tract Anatomy and Physiology, Estrous Synchronization, Pasture Considerations, Expected Progeny Differences (EPD’s), and Tools, Equipment, & Techniques. Program cost is $20 per person and RSVP’s are due July 25.  The classroom location is the meeting room at the Rural Services Building, 225 Underwood St, Zanesville, OH.

Please RSVP and register using the Continue reading Beef Cattle A.I. Workshop hosted in Muskingum County

Breeding season: Know performance and history; cull when necessary

Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, Ohio State University Extension (originally published in Ohio Farmer on-line)

Knowing the pregnancy status of a cow allows for timely decision-making.

Pastures are in their prime, and for many spring-calving cow herds, breeding season is either here — or soon to be here.

As we progress through this cow breeding season, there are several economic drivers to consider when we evaluate reproduction within the beef herd:

Monitor cow performance. The start of breeding season is a good time to monitor cow production. Recording body condition scores (BCS) at breeding is an indicator of cow performance. If a cow is struggling to maintain body condition, is it because she is heavily lactating and nursing an above-average-weight calf, or are there underlying factors to consider? Continue reading Breeding season: Know performance and history; cull when necessary

The Cow: Should She Stay, or Should She Go?

Stan Smith, PA, Fairfield County OSU Extension

If she’s bred, today, is a bad udder reason for culling an otherwise healthy cow?

Fed cattle and feeder calf prices are presently ranging in the vicinity of historical highs. But then, so are cull cow prices. Knowing historically the income resulting from cull cows in a beef herd has made up roughly 20% of the beef cattle farm’s annual income, today with careful management it could be even greater.

Presently at a time when cattlemen might be trying to retain any breeding female that can produce a live and marketable calf, let’s carefully consider how we might optimize the profitability of the beef herd by employing a strategic culling plan.

Typically, when discussing culling considerations it might start by Continue reading The Cow: Should She Stay, or Should She Go?

Preg Checking has never been more affordable!

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

Considering the current value of a cull, preg checking a cow at the conclusion of the breeding season has never been more affordable. There’s seldom been a time when the reproductive and ultimately the economic efficiency of a beef herd has been more easily enhanced by performing a post breeding pregnancy examination for every cow and heifer.

During the fifth session of the 2021 Ohio Beef Cattle Management School that was hosted via ZOOM by the Ohio State University Extension Beef Team, a portion of the program included discussion on the economic significance of confirming pregnancy in beef cows and the various diagnostic methods that are available. Keeping in mind this presentation was recorded 3 years ago, listen in below as OSU Extension Educator Al Gahler discusses the economic returns to the operation realized through pregnancy checking cows in a timely fashion, and the various methods through which it can be accomplished.

Breeding, Growing, Processing and Marketing Local Beef

Find each session’s recording linked below.

Regardless if you presently are, or have an interest in the future to breed, grow, process and market local beef direct to the consumer, a review of this winter’s Virtual Beef School is a must! Each session was recorded and posted to YouTube and can be accessed and reviewed at your convenience. The presentations included:

* on January 18, 2024
Genetic Selection: What Matters; See recorded video presentation
Allen Gahler, OSU Extension Sandusky Co.
Planned Calving to Meet Demand; See recorded video presentation
Dean Kreager, OSU Extension Licking Co.

* on February 15, 2024
Feeding to a Harvest Date; See recorded video presentation
Garth Ruff, OSU Extension, Beef Cattle Field Specialist

* on March 21, 2024
Selling Retail vs Wholesale, Yield and Added Value;  See recorded video presentation
Lyda Garcia, OSU Extension Fresh Meats Specialist

* on April 18, 2024
Producer Roundtable: What Works, What Doesn’t?; See recorded video presentation
The featured pproducers included:
Krysti Morrow – Rocky Knob Farms
Brad Berry – Berry Family Farms
Lindsey Hall – Maplecrest Meats & More
Dale Phillips – Phillips Meats

Practical Considerations for the Use of Sexed Semen in Beef Herds

– Pedro Fontes, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Georgia Extension Specialist

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the use of sexed semen in beef cattle.

There have been considerable improvements in sexed semen products over the years and producers have been taking advantage of this technology. Sexed semen straws have a greater proportion of viable sperm from a given sex, which allows beef cattle producers that make use of artificial insemination or embryo transfer to increase the percentages of males or females in their calf crop, depending on their production goals. This short article provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the use of sexed semen in beef cattle.

Continue reading: Practical Considerations for the Use of Sexed Semen in Beef Herds

Pushing EPD’s into Dollars

Dirk Dempsey, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator, Pike County (originally published in Ohio Farmer on-line)

EPDs are one of the tools to use when selecting a herd sire.

An expected progeny difference, better known in the beef world as an EPD, attempts to quantify the performance of potential progeny from one animal to another based on the lineage within a singular breed. No matter which beef breed you choose, there are similarities and differences between recognized traits from the respective breed association. A visual appraisal is one of the first recommendations many within the industry will say to start with when utilizing known EPDs. As a beef producer, this allows you to see whether this animal is useful or unusable. A purely visual appraisal may deem the animal suitable; however, if that animal has poor EPDs, it will likely result in an unfavorable outcome for the buyer. Also, another unfavorable outcome would be if the animal has a fantastic set of EPDs but with structural issues noted in the visual appraisal; this will also lead to an unfavorable outcome. We expect to push into Continue reading Pushing EPD’s into Dollars

Intersection of Innovative, Intriguing, and Insanity

Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, Ohio State University Extension (originally published in The Ohio Cattleman)

Consider spending some of the additional income dollars on improved genetics.

January through March is what we in Extension call “Meeting Season.” While in most cases I am teaching at the meetings I attend, I often learn several things about beef production from producers and other speakers that often fall into one of three categories: Innovative, Intriguing, or Insanity.

Let’s start with the innovative. Farmers are some of the most innovative people I know when it comes to creative solutions to a given problem. As they say, “necessity is the mother of Invention.” Cattle handling facilities are some of the first things that come to mind in this area, functional handmade solutions to a common issue. Discussions about whole herd management, logistics, trial and error, I really enjoy these conversations.

Intriguing – These are the things that I go back to the office and take a deeper look at. These are often statements made from other presentations at meetings that are often cutting-edge precision technology, advancements in genetics, risk management, and farm economics. These are the most Continue reading Intersection of Innovative, Intriguing, and Insanity

Ohio Beef Cow/Calf Workshop – Optimizing Herd Reproduction and Genetics

Don’t miss this!

Reproduction and genetics are important factors for a cow-calf operation. The long-term investment of genetics plays a critical role in the development and management to ensure longevity within a herd. Join OSU Extension in Licking County on March 8th to discuss and demonstrate the practices that you might apply on your farm to improve your operation with regards to optimizing reproduction and genetics.

Click here for more detail or a registration form.

Don’t overlook nutritional needs of 2-year-old cows

– Bill Halfman, Agriculture Agent, Monroe County, Wisconsin

If the young cows are left in with the rest of the herd they can be pushed away and not have sufficient access to feed.

A frequently heard recommendation for beef farms is to separate the 2-year-olds and thin cows from the main herd during the winter-feeding period. Three-year-olds may also benefit from being in this group because they are still growing. This is important every year, and likely even more important during years of limited forage resources.

For the first time in their lives, 2-year-old heifers have a lot going on over the spring and summer when they calve for the first time. They are feeding a calf and recovering from calving. They also need to rebreed within 80 to 85 days of calving to get on a 12-month calving interval and remain valuable members of the herd.

Amid all these events, they are still growing themselves. Their rumen capacity is lower than . . .

Continue reading Don’t overlook nutritional needs of 2-year-old cows