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.

Henry County Beef School

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. Continue reading

Ohio Beef School Podcasts Released

From OSU Extension Beef Team Newsletter

To suggest the past year has been a challenge for Ohio’s cattlemen is, at best, an understatement. The weather made it nearly impossible throughout 2018 to harvest high quality forage in a timely fashion, the constantly muddy conditions caused animals to utilize more energy than normal, and even though temperatures were moderate during much of the fall, cows with a constantly wet hair coat were expending more energy than normal. Then, as late January evolved into February, in many cases mud was matting down the winter coats of cattle reducing their hair’s insulating properties, thus causing them to utilize even more energy in cold weather. Continue reading

Cattle Inventory Up 0.5%, Beef Cows Up 1%

By: Greg Henderson
Previously published by Drovers online

The annual Cattle Inventory report issued by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) found all cattle and calves in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2019 at 94.8 million head, up 0.5% from last year’s 94.3 million head.

All cows and heifers that have calved, totaled 41.1 million head, 1% above the 40.9 million head on January 1, 2018. Beef cows, totaled 31.8 million head, up 1% from a year ago. Milk cows, at 9.35 million head, were down 1% from the previous year. Continue reading

Value and Evaluate Herd Sire In Cow-Calf Operation

By: John Grimes and Stan Smith, OSU Extension
Previously published by the Ohio Farmer online

Perhaps to the inexperienced, or uninformed, it sounds simple enough. Purchase bull; put bull with cows; calves appear in about 283 days; collect calves 205 days later; sell calves for good prices. Well, maybe it should be that simple, but I think most Ohio cattlemen will agree it is not.

When considering all of the traits of importance to today’s cattle producer, a primary focus of any cow-calf producer must be getting a live calf on the ground. That starts with fertility. While both the male and female contribute to the herd’s level of fertility and its ultimate productivity, the herd sire is the more important component. An individual cow with poor fertility will certainly affect one potential calf a year. However, the bull affects every potential calf in most Ohio beef herds or breeding pastures. Continue reading

Is AI Worth the Effort?

By: John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator (originally published in the Ohio Farmer on-line)

Artificial insemination (A.I.) in beef cattle is not a new technology as it has been available to producers for several decades. Nearly every cow-calf producer in this country has some degree of awareness of this management practice. While there is a relatively high degree of awareness amongst producers of A.I., misconceptions still exist about the value of this useful tool.

The use of artificial insemination offers several obvious advantages over natural service sires. Some of these advantages include: Continue reading

Mastitis in Sheep and Goats

Michael Metzger, Michigan State University Extension Educator
(Previously published on MSU Extension, Sheep & Goat: January 3, 2019)

Mastitis is an important disease of sheep and goats because it decreases the amount and quality of the milk produced by a dairy animal and reduces weight gain in lambs and meat kids. It can also affect the animals well-being. Mastitis is an inflammation of udder.Physical injury, stress, or bacteria can cause mastitis. There are several bacteria which are known to cause mastitis in sheep and goats including Streptococcus sp., Staphylococcus sp., Pasteurella sp., and coliforms, such as E. coli. The exact type of bacteria that is causing the mastitis can only be determined by laboratory analysis. Mastitis can either be clinical or subclinical. Clots or serum in the milk are signs of clinical mastitis. In addition the udder may become swollen, hot and/or tender to the touch. Continue reading

Are Your Cows Ready for the Last Trimester of Pregnancy?

Ken Olson And Adele Harty, South Dakota State University Extension
Previously published by Drovers online

We are beginning to enter the last 3 months of gestation for the majority of spring-calving cows. Below are a few questions that each cattle owner should ask themselves as their cows enter the last trimester of pregnancy:

  • What body condition are the cows in?
  • Is there enough forage available for them to graze?
  • If there is not enough forage to graze, is there hay available?
  • What quality is the forage?
  • Does protein or energy need to be supplemented?
  • Which feeds are considered energy and/or protein sources?

Continue reading