Feedbunk Management: Key to Animal Health and Performance

By: Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist (originally published in The Ohio Farmer)

A properly managed bunk impacts profitability of the feedyard!

Feedbunk management plays an important role in both animal performance and preventing acidosis in the feedyard.

A part of feedbunk management is estimating how much feed cattle will eat. Factors such as cattle size, weight, breed, ration-type, weather and health must be taken into account. Previous history of feed intake for a pen of cattle can help in estimations.

How much work do you want to put into gaining an estimate of how your steer or a group of cattle are eating? Estimates can be made prior to a morning feeding, if you are providing a morning feeding, with two additional observations made during the day. Continue reading

Consumers Prefer Real Beef Over Alternatives

By: Greg Henderson (previously published by Drovers online)

Alternative protein products may have drawn rave reviews and national headlines this year, but consumers still prefer real beef produced on real farms.

That’s the conclusion of a survey of about 1,800 U.S. food consumers conducted by Purdue University’s Jayson Lusk, Ghent University post-doctoral research fellow Ellen Van Loo and Michigan State University agricultural economist Vincenzina Caputo. 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

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

“Increase the Feed, or Reduce the Need”

By: Stan Smith, PA, Fairfield County OSU Extension (published originally in The Ohio Farmer on-line)

Seldom have we ever been challenged by wet weather, mud and adverse conditions for such an extended period of time!

Seldom do we talk about forage shortages and above normal precipitation in the same breath. Regardless, that’s where we are now throughout Ohio and much of the Midwest. Over the past year abundant rainfall has allowed us to grow lots of forage. Unfortunately, it seems the weather has seldom allowed us to harvest it as high quality feed. 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

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.