Forage Shortage: Considering Early Weaning

By Garth Ruff, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension, Henry County

Low hay inventory this past winter combined with poor pasture stands due to excessive moisture have led to a greater proportion of thin beef cows both across the countryside and on the cull market. As we evaluate the toll that this past winter took on forage stands, especially alfalfa, hay is projected to be in short supply as we proceed into next winter as well. Continue reading

USDA Enhances African Swine Fever Surveillance Efforts

Source: USDA Press

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is furthering its overall African Swine Fever (ASF) preparedness efforts with the implementation of a surveillance plan. As part of this plan, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will work with the swine industry, the states, and veterinary diagnostic laboratories to test for ASF.

ASF is a highly contagious and deadly disease affecting both domestic and feral (wild) pigs. It does not affect human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans. ASF has never been detected in the United States. Continue reading

Can Cattle Be Confined By A Virtual Fence?

By: Ohio State University, previously published by the Ohio Farmer

Animal science researchers with the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) will be testing a virtual fence for cows and other livestock this summer. It’s akin to an invisible fence for a dog, triggering a harmless but attention-getting shock if the animal crosses an unseen boundary.

“It’s not a sharp pain. It’s like a mild punch,” says Anthony Parker, a professor of animal sciences and one of the CFAES researchers who will test the virtual fence.

Each cow or other animal will wear a smart collar guided by GPS. Then, using a device called eShepherd, the farmer will be able to remotely monitor the animals’ location at any time. Even when a farmer is a country away from the herd, he or she will be able to move the fence, redrawing the line on a laptop screen. Continue reading

Calving: How and When To Intervene

By: Stan Smith, Fairfield County PA, OSU Extension

With calving season progressing across Ohio, one question that is often asked is when, if and how should one intervene to help with the birthing process?

During a portion of his presentation during the 2019 Ohio Beef School, Dr. Justin Kieffer discussed intervention in the birthing process, and how to properly pull a calf. Find that portion of Dr. Kieffer’s presentation above.

Evaluate Udder Soundness Soon After Calving to Use as Culling Criteria

By: Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Extension

Every year at “preg” checking time, ranchers evaluate cows and make decisions as which to remove from the herd. One criteria that should be examined to cull cows is udder quality. Beef cattle producers are not as likely to think about udder health and shape as are dairy producers, but this attribute affects cow productivity and should be considered. Continue reading

ASF Outbreak in China Could Create a 12 MMT Global Meat Shortage

By: Tyne Morgan, US Farm Report

African Swine Fever continues to spread through China, but the tallies on death tolls are misleading to some analysts. The disease hit a major livestock production province of Shandong. Even though there’s been one reported case, Arlan Suderman of INTL FCStonesays the official reports aren’t accurate.

“We see the breeding herd in Shandong down 42%, even though they’ve only had one reported case in Shandong,” said Suderman. Continue reading

Consider Economics of Spring vs. Fall Calving Season

By: Jason Bradley, Agricultural Economics Consultant, Noble Foundation

Have you ever stopped and thought about the reasons why you manage your cattle herd the way you do? Can you justify your calving season?

You could calve in the spring and market calves in the fall. Or maybe you calve in the fall and market in the spring. Perhaps you have a continuous calving season throughout the year.

What to Consider When Choosing a Calving Season

I’m not going to try to convince you that you should be using one calving season over another.

There are endless things to consider when you are looking at how and when to market your yearling cattle, including:

  • Nutritional demands.
  • Forage availability.
  • Seasonality of yearling calf prices.
  • Seasonality of feed prices.
  • Availability of labor.

Continue reading

When Is The Best Time To Castrate Bull Calves?

By: W. Mark Hinton, Previously published by Drover’s online

A Kansas State University study showed that bulls castrated and implanted at an average of 3 months of age weighed 2 pounds more at 7.5 months of age than did the intact bull calves in the same study. At 7.5 months, the bulls were castrated, and then both groups were weighed 28 days later to assess gain.

The steers castrated as calves gained 48 pounds, while the bulls that were cut at an average of 578 pounds only gained 33 pounds. That is a lost potential gain of 15 pounds, as these late-castrated bulls had to deal with the stress of healing from surgery. Continue reading

APHIS Announces Updates To Scrapie Regulations

From: Ohio Ag Net

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is updating its scrapie regulations and program standards. These updates include several major changes, which are needed to continue the fight to eradicate scrapie from American sheep flocks and goat herds. Scrapie is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy disease that affects the central nervous system in sheep and goats, and is eventually fatal. Continue reading

Henry County Beef School Series Begins March 25

Beef producers, are you interested in improving the efficiency and profitability of your beef operation? If so, the 2019 Henry County Beef School is the program for you. This free four week offering is designed to cover the fundamentals of raising beef cattle; Forage Production, Genetics, Nutrition, and Marketing.

I think we can all agree that the 2018 season was one of the poorest in terms of making high quality dry hay. On Monday evening, March 25, Jason Hartshuch from OSU Extension Crawford County will be covering forage quality and storage. Feel free to bring a forage analysis to compare and take notes.

Have you ever had questions regarding what to look for when purchasing a bull or semen? Part two of the program on April 1, will feature Al Gahler, Extension Educator in Sandusky County. Al is going to discuss selection criteria and what to consider when making breeding decisions for your operation.

Week three, April 8 will offer a look at nutrition and feedlot management with Kyle Nickles of Kalmbach feeds. The goal of this session is to evaluate nutrition and implant strategies that have a positive economic impact to the beef feeding operation.

Finally, the series will wrap up on Monday, April 15. The final session will take a deeper look at marketing strategies for all types of cattle for a variety of markets and market specifications. We will cover value based pricing (aka the grid), selling feeder cattle, and niche, direct-to-consumer marketing opportunities.

The program is designed for producer to select topics in an a la carte fashion, where the can pick and choose sessions or attend all four. All sessions will be held at Crossroads Church, 601 Bonaparte Dr., Napoleon, Ohio 43545 and start promptly at 6:30 pm. We ask that anyone interested in attending RSVP to OSU Extension Henry County by Thursday March 21, 2019.

To save as your reminder, feel free to print the Henry County Beef School flyer, linked here.