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

Can Cattle Be Confined By A Virtual Fence?

By: Ohio State University, previously published by the Ohio Farmer

Animal science researchers with the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) will be testing a virtual fence for cows and other livestock this summer. It’s akin to an invisible fence for a dog, triggering a harmless but attention-getting shock if the animal crosses an unseen boundary.

“It’s not a sharp pain. It’s like a mild punch,” says Anthony Parker, a professor of animal sciences and one of the CFAES researchers who will test the virtual fence.

Each cow or other animal will wear a smart collar guided by GPS. Then, using a device called eShepherd, the farmer will be able to remotely monitor the animals’ location at any time. Even when a farmer is a country away from the herd, he or she will be able to move the fence, redrawing the line on a laptop screen. 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.

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

From Across the Field – Winter Has Arrived

Well we got a good shot of winter weather over the last week. In typical Midwesterner fashion, I don’t think the below freezing temperatures aren’t all that bad, if the wind isn’t howling. The wind on the other hand is another beast, as there was a waist high snow drift in my driveway on Sunday morning. With drifting snow and frigid cold, it sure makes one appreciate the road crews that are out and about making sure we can travel safely. Back in southern Ohio a similar snow event would have resulted in a week off of school as the roads are a bit more treacherous, due to the winding hilly topography of the area. Continue reading

NW OH “Seeds for Success” Small Farms Conference & Trade Show

The 2019 NW Ohio Seeds For Success Small Farm Conference will be held on Saturday, March 16 at Northwest State Community College, located at 22600 State Route 34, Archbold Ohio.  The conference provides education and topics of interest for small farm and rural landowners.  Participants will walk away from the conference with knowledge and ideas of how to improve existing enterprises or marketing opportunities.  For those who have some acreage but don’t yet know what to do with it, the conference is an opportunity to consider possibilities, gather information and make contacts.

Continue reading

Is Your Livestock Barn At Risk For A Fire? Here’s A Safety Checklist

By: Sara Brown, previously published by Farm Journal’s Pork

It seems there have been more livestock barn fires in 2018 than years prior, according to coverage on Agweb.com and sister publications Farm Journal’s PORKDrovers and Dairy Herd Management.

While wildfires are nearly impossible to prepare for, stationary livestock barns can be modified to lower the risk of fire. During winter months, it’s even more important that farmers inspect livestock facilities before installing additional heaters and inspect electrical wiring for damage.

The National Fire Protection Association and Iowa State University offers these tips to lower fire hazards on the farm: Continue reading