Small Ruminant Production Workshop – Wilmington Ohio

By: Brady Campbell, OSU Animal Sciences

Small ruminant production continues to grow across the nation as the market for this industry remains strong. Small ruminants, including sheep and goats, are two livestock species that are most easily adapted to any type of production system. Regardless if you are someone that is interested in just getting into the industry or a seasoned veteran, I encourage you to attend the latest small ruminant production workshop.

Sponsored by the OSU Sheep Team, The Ohio State University Extension, Wilmington College, and Ohio Sheep and Wool Program, I’d like to invite you to the Small Ruminant Production Workshop – Addressing Needs for a Successful Production Season. This workshop will be held on Friday, October 4, 2019 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm at the Wilmington College Academic Farm in Wilmington, Ohio. Over the course of the day, attendees will hear from Extension specialist and Animal Science faculty and staff members covering an array of topics including flock and herd management, facilities and handling, nutrition and health, forages and marketing, as well as carcass quality and fabrication. Continue reading

Adding Value to Your Feeder Calves This Fall

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

As summer slips past us yet again and with fall rapidly approaching it is time to discuss how to maximize the value of feeder calves that will be hitting the market in late September and October. If you have been following the cattle futures both fed cattle and feeders have been on a roller coaster here as of late. With that in mind there are some things we can do management wise to capitalize on this year’s calf crop. Continue reading

The Economic Importance of U.S. Animal Agriculture

By: Chris Hurt, Department of Agricultural Economics Purdue University, farmdoc daily (9):158

Diversified grain and livestock farms were once the model of U.S. agriculture. Farms often had crop and animal enterprises to help capture their complementary nature such as spreading the use of family labor throughout the year and recycling animal waste as nutrients to the crop enterprise.

Today, farms are much more specialized in crops or animals, and many fewer are in both. Has this changed the relative economic importance of crop and animal agriculture in the U.S.? Continue reading

BQA: One Year Later

By: Garth Ruff, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension, Henry County (originally published in The Ohio Cattleman summer issue)

Early last year I wrote an article titled Understanding Customer Relations in a Changing Beef Industry, which examined the factors that drove the demand for cattle producers to complete Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training.

Now after a years’ time, with nearly 100 in-person trainings taught, and almost 7,250 Ohio cattle producers BQA certified in-person and another 2,100 online, where do things stand?

As a refresher, the push to have producers trained in BQA was at the request of Tyson, one of the major packers’ decision to only source fed cattle from cattle feeders certified in BQA by 2019. Tyson’s decision was largely due to the commitment of Wendy’s to do the same, at the demand of their customers. As we have seen in all segments of food production the consumer, now more than ever, wants to know how their food is produced. Often in the case of meat, consumers want to be assured that the animal was raised humanely and cared for under good production practices, the basic principles of any livestock quality assurance program. Continue reading

Beef Herd Expansion Near End?

By: Chris Hurt, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University

Looking back a decade or so, the high feed price era from 2007 to 2013 caused downsizing of the beef industry. Beef cow numbers reached a low in 2014 which resulted in record high finished cattle prices near $148 per live hundredweight in 2015. Record high calf prices then stimulated expansion of the breeding herd. As an example, Kentucky 500 to 550 pound calves were $236 per hundredweight in 2015.

From the low point in 2014, beef cow numbers have expanded by nine percent. Total cow numbers including dairy cows are up seven percent. Commercial beef production has increased by 11 percent a combination of seven percent more cows and a four percent increase in beef output per cow. Continue reading

Impact of Higher Corn Prices on Feeding Cost of Gain for Cattle

By: Michael Langemeier, Center for Commercial Agriculture Purdue University. farmdoc daily (9):124

Corn price futures for the December 2019 contract increased from $3.79 per bushel for the week ending May 10 to $4.55 for the week ending June 28.  Even though corn futures prices weakened after the release of the June crop acreage report, using the iFarm Price Distribution Tool (here) there was still a 13 percent chance on July 1 that corn futures prices will be above $5.00 per bushel.  Moreover, due to continued questions related to U.S. corn acreage in 2019, there is tremendous uncertainty regarding corn prices during the rest of the year.  To address this uncertainty, this article examines the impact of potentially higher corn prices on feeding cost of gain for cattle finishing. Continue reading

Will Pork Producers Have a Profitable Year?

By: Chris Hurt, Department of Agricultural Economics Purdue University. farmdoc daily (9):125

The pork outlook started this year on a downbeat, then in March and April markets recognized that African swine fever in China could cause global pork shortages and lean futures and industry optimism sailed upward. Summer lean futures exceeded $100, but cash prices could only reach the low $80s and futures came tumbling down. Then in June, hog numbers surprisingly surged nearly nine percent.

So, we are left with three key questions to sort out. First, what will happen to pork supplies in coming weeks and months? For that we will review the latest Hogs and Pigsreport. Secondly, will U.S. pork exports grow by enough to support stronger prices? Third, how will feed costs impact profits? Continue reading

Plan Now For The 2019 OCA Replacement Female Sale

By: John F. Grimes, OCA Replacement Female Sale Manager

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is announcing an event of potential interest for both the buyers and sellers of beef breeding cattle. On Friday evening, Nov. 29, the OCA will be hosting their seventh annual Replacement Female Sale. The sale will be held at the Muskingum Livestock facility in Zanesville and will begin at 6:00 p.m.

The 2019 Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Replacement Female Sale will provide an opportunity for both buyers and sellers to meet the need for quality replacements in the state. Consignments may include cow-calf pairs, bred cows and bred heifers. Continue reading

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