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.

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

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

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.

Tyson Foods Is Using DNA to Prove the Pedigree of Premium Beef

From: Bloomberg, previously published by Drover’s online

Responding to consumer demands for traceability, Tyson Foods Inc. plans to use DNA samples from elite cattle to track steaks, roasts and even ground beef back to the ranches the animals grew up on.

Consumer research keeps showing that shoppers are demanding to know where their food comes from, said Kent Harrison, vice president of marketing and premium programs at Tyson Fresh Meats. A majority of Americans want to know everything that’s in their food, and more are trying to buy healthy and socially conscious products, according to Nielsen. Continue reading

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