Everyday Biosecurity Recommendations for Dairy and Beef Cattle Farm Personnel

Having a biosecurity plan with clear plans and protocols is crucial to protect your animals and farm personnel while also preventing the spread of disease to others or through outside visitors. With the recent outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in dairy cows, livestock producers should heighten their biosecurity practices on the farm. According to the latest announcements by American Veterinary Medical Association and American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP), the disease syndrome in cattle does not cause high morbidity and mortality as it does in birds. The AABP announced April 7, 2024 that it will call this emerging disease Bovine Influenza A Virus (BIAV) to better distinguish the disease syndrome in cattle from the pathogenesis observed in birds.

Continue reading

Forage Weeds: Fall Forgotten and Spring Startups

Alyssa Essman, OSU Extension State Specialist, Weed Science, Christine Gelley, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Noble County, Kyle Verhoff, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Defiance County

Spring means rapid forage growth, but it also means rapid weed growth. Due to the variability of spring weather, there are often only a few opportunities to control emerging summer annual weeds, winter annuals missed in the fall, and biennials that are small enough to effectively control. To manage weeds before they become a problem in forages, it is important to scout and plan accordingly. Forage is a broad category, and the spring weed control plan can look very different between species and operations. The problem weeds and whether control is necessary are going to be different between permanent pasture systems and alfalfa fields, and highly dependent on the consequences of specific weeds.

In established alfalfa, the decision for weed control of some winter annuals like henbit and field pennycress will depend on the severity of the weed presence, the age of the stand, and the end purpose of the forage. If the weed pressure is high, the stand is young, or the lower forage quality of the weeds interferes with the goal of producing dairy-quality hay, the weed control treatment may be worth the associated cost. In a grazing system, it may be more pertinent to control weeds in the spring to ensure weeds that aren’t grazed don’t go to seed. Numerous weeds can be a problem in forage systems. Reference the 2024 Weed Control Guide for specific recommendations following this general overview.

Continue reading

What to watch for with Asian longhorned ticks and Theileria in Ohio in 2024

– Tim McDermott DVM, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County (originally published in Farm and Dairy)

Visit go.osu.edu/BITE, your guide to ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting pests. Photo: Anna Pasternak, UK entomology graduate student

One of the worrisome things about ticks in Ohio has been the increasing numbers of ticks of medical importance to humans, companion animals, and livestock as we have gone from one tick of medical importance twenty years ago to five now, including two new ticks in the past few years. While ticks have always been a problem in cattle, the invasive Asian longhorned (ALHT) tick that was first discovered in Ohio in 2020 has demonstrated the ability to not only vector, or transmit disease to cattle, but to cause mortality in cattle through high numbers of ticks feeding upon the animals. I first wrote about ALHT  in All About Grazing in July of 2020 with the article “The Threat of Asian longhorned tick continues” and then followed up with a March 2nd, 2023 article “Managing Asian longhorned ticks on pasture” so I want to provide an update on where we are in the state of Ohio with ALHT right now.





Continue reading

OSU Deoxynivalenol, DON, Resistance Screening Program-2024

This past year, with support from Ohio Corn and Wheat through the Corn Check Off, we established a pilot corn deoxynivalenol (DON) hybrid susceptibility screening trial. The objective of this project was to identify hybrids with partial genetic resistance to DON. Use these results with caution because this is our first year of data. This trial was conducted at three locations across the state that represent different production regions:  Apple Creek, Bucyrus, and South Charleston. While we had three different environments, the fact that the hybrids vary in maturity means that there is a chance that the weather was not conducive to ear infection and DON production by the fungus Fusarium graminearum during each individual hybrid pollination window. All locations had natural infection across all maturity groups, but to help increase the change of Gibberella ear rot (GER) development, and consequently, DON contamination of grain, we also inoculated plots at Bucyrus and Apple Creek. Since average DON contamination was not significantly different between inoculated and naturally infected plots at these two locations, the results are summarized, and hybrids are compared, by location. With a relative maturity spread of 18 RM, the pollination window at all 3 sites was 3 weeks from the time the first silks emerged until only brown silks were found.

We have been researching several management strategies to reduce grain contamination with this mycotoxin, but less emphasis has been placed on genetic resistance. Results from our previous work with a very small number of hybrids showed that partially resistant hybrids with naturally and consistently lower DON levels are easier to keep low than those that were highly susceptible. A total of 80 hybrids from 8 seed companies were included as part of this screening. While this is only a small subset of the hybrids that are planted in Ohio, the results below not only show the importance of hybrid selection but also can be used to help you begin to select hybrids with natural partial resistance to DON, or at the very minimum, avoid highly susceptible hybrids. With one year of data, we cannot guarantee that the hybrids with low DON this year will always have low DON across all environments. The only thing we can guarantee is that the high-DON hybrids are susceptible. This is an excellent place to start.

Read the complete post here


2024 Small Farm Conference

The deadline to register for the 2024 Small Farm Conference and Trade Show is approaching on March 28th,  we don’t want you to miss out on this great opportunity.

Register today at: https://go.osu.edu/2024osusmallfarmconference

Conference Details: https://u.osu.edu/gofarmohio/programs/new-and-small-farm-conference/

Winter application of manure in Ohio: what’s allowed?

Last week’s snow was a reminder that we’re still in the middle of winter in Ohio, with more cold weather yet to come.  Winter weather is a challenge for those who handle manure, and it’s equally challenging to know the laws for applying manure on frozen and snow covered ground.  Those laws vary according to several important factors:  whether ground is frozen or snow covered, whether a farm is operating under a permit, and the geographical location of the land application.  Here’s a summary of the different winter application rules and standards in effect this winter.

What is frozen ground?  Ohio’s rules don’t define the term frozen ground, but generally, ground is considered frozen if you cannot inject manure into it or cannot conduct tillage within 24 hours to incorporate the manure into the soil.

Farms with Permits.  Farms with permits from the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) or Ohio EPA operate under different rules than other manure applications in Ohio, and they cannot apply manure in the winter unless it is an extreme emergency.  Movement to other suitable storage is usually the selected alternative.  Several commercial manure applicators have established manure storage ponds in recent years to help address this issue. Continue reading