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.

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.