To kick off the next series of Ag-notes compiled by The Ohio State University’s AS 4004 class of 2019, I found it appropriate to hit a timely topic, parasites, especially with the previously wet and now hot and humid environmental conditions that many livestock and their producers are experiencing. Therefore, Animal Sciences students Kirsten McCollough, Kourtney Sprague, Jamie Summers, Kristi Lampton, and Hannah Whitaker chose to focus on a specific parasite that is continually becoming more difficult to manage for small ruminant producers raising sheep and goats on pasture – Haemonchus contortus. Continue reading →
We are quickly approaching the second good opportunity of the year for establishing perennial forage stands, which is in the month of August. Most of us were not able to establish forages this spring, and many existing stands were damaged by the winter followed by the heavy rainfall this year. It is time to make preparations and be ready to plant perennial forage stands in the next few weeks.
Typically, the main risk with late summer forage seedings is sufficient moisture for seed germination and plant establishment. However, many parts of Ohio have adequate soil moisture from recent rains, and the outlook for the first half of August is for normal precipitation levels. Prepare now and be ready to take advantage of planting ahead of storm fronts as they occur in late July and early August. Continue reading →
Problem: Continuous re-contamination of the paddocks with worm eggs that develop to larvae is a major cause of ongoing worm problems for sheep or goats.
Solution: Preparing low worm-risk paddocks to prevent animals from becoming heavily infected with worms is a key strategy in effective and profitable worm control.
Benefit: Low worm-risk paddocks for key classes of stock at particular times of the year reduce both production loss and the need for chemical (de-worming) intervention. In turn, fewer [treatments] result in Continue reading →
Jackie Lee, 2019 DVM Candidate, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine
(Image Source: Stonehaven Farm)
We have all heard the stories of shepherds who have been injured or even killed by rams unexpectedly. The best way to avoid these situations is to prevent them. Knowing normal ram behavior, what promotes ram aggression and methods to mitigate aggression will facilitate producer safety. As a brief aside, there were very few scientific and text resources that impart advice on ram safety and incident prevention, therefore much of this article is attributed to the personal experiences and opinions of myself as well as my colleagues and mentors.
On Friday morning July 12th, forage and grassland enthusiasts gathered in Jackson, Ohio for the annual Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council annual sheep and forage tour. A group of twenty, including livestock producers, forage managers, educators, and agricultural industry representatives, headed northwest toward Chillicothe to visit Pastured Providence Farmstead.
There they met Paul Dorrance, the owner and operator of the farm. Paul shared with the group how he came to settle down on a farm in Ohio after a career as a pilot in the United States Air Force. Although he still serves in the reserves out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, the farm is his full-time job. Paul and Continue reading →
Mike Estadt, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Pickaway County
Bob Hendershot began his career with the Soil Conservation Service (later changed to the Natural Resources Conservation Service or NRCS) as a soil scientist mapping soils for the soil survey program. He was promoted to a Conservation Agronomist and he and his young family moved to Circleville. He later was promoted to Resource Conservationist and finally State Grassland Conservationist in 1985.
Bob presently lives on the same pasture farm that his family moved to 33 years ago, raising sheep and cattle. He and his late wife Connie have three grown children. After retiring from NRCS, he started Green Pasture Services, a pasture consulting service that sells forage seed and temporary fencing materials. Continue reading →
Supported by The Ohio State University, Ohio Sheep and Wool Program, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, Ohio Farm Bureau, and a sunny summer day, the 2019 Ohio Sheep and Hay Day held on Saturday, July 13th at the Jackson Agricultural Research Station (JARS) was a success. For those not as familiar with JARS, this facility is located on 495 acres in the rolling hills of southern Ohio. Historically, this stations research interests revolved around beef cattle reproduction and forage management systems. However, in 2014 interest expanded and the research station added sheep to the list of research interests. Jackson is now home to the universities first hair sheep flock using the Katahdin breed.
To kick off the days events, attendees had the opportunity to hear from Continue reading →
Chris Penrose, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Morgan County
Many of us have harvested hay way past its prime this year, the protein and energy is low, and the fiber is high. There is a way to balance the needs of our ruminants this fall by planting some veggies.
Turnips, rape, kale, rutabagas, and swedes are all examples of some veggies from the brassica family we can plant for livestock for feed this fall with turnips being the most common.
Many studies and producer experiences reinforce that brassicas are a viable option to extend the grazing season, and reduce stored feed costs. They tend to have good protein and energy, and are low in fiber (see how this can make for good feed supplemented with poor quality hay). Continue reading →
Rachael Gately, DVM, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University
Ovine Progressive Pneumonia (OPP) is a viral disease of sheep that has been reported to affect over 25% of sheep in North America. Ovine Progressive Pneumonia is closely related to Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis (CAE) that affects goats. Both diseases manifest similarly in each species. Ovine Progressive Pneumonia can cause a variety of clinical diseases ranging from chronic and progressive weight loss, difficulty breathing, swollen joints and lameness, as well as hard, unproductive udders. The most common presentation of the disease; however, has no clinical signs of illness. Unfortunately, sheep exhibiting any of the presentations listed above can spread the disease through nose-to-nose contact or through infected colostrum and/or milk. Once a sheep becomes infected, they are infected for life. Continue reading →
As summer progresses and forage quality declines, we are quick to think of shortfalls in protein and energy in nutritional management yet tend to overlook micronutrients such as trace minerals. Even though these are required in relatively smaller quantities than protein and energy, they are essential for basic physiological functions and should be prioritized.
Essential macro minerals, including calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur make up major components of skeletal and nervous systems and are usually expressed as a percentage of the diet. In contrast, micro minerals, or trace minerals, are required Continue reading →
It’s turned into another challenging and frustrating year to make hay as above normal rainfall continued through the end of June. I recently read an article in Hay and Forage Grower on-line entitled “Cursing the raindrops”, in which author Mike Rankin addressing this year’s weather patterns said, “Those putting up high-moisture forage have an uphill battle. If you’re in the dry hay business, it’s a Mount Everest situation.” The age-old question for anyone trying to make hay with rain in the forecast is mow sooner rather than later and risk rain on the cut forage, or wait for a weather break and lose quality as the forage continues to mature?
Rain on mowed forage causes a reduction in quality and can result in dry matter (quantity) losses as well. According Continue reading →
To capitalize on the niche market of grass-fed lamb products, have you ever considered placing a group of feeder lambs on pasture? The utilization of pastureland and the financial return from grass-fed products makes this type of production system profitable. However, grass-fed lamb production does not come without challenges. According to the USDA, in order for a product to be labeled as grass-fed, the animal must be fed solely forages, with the exclusion of its mother’s milk prior to weaning. From a production standpoint, this can be a difficult as research has shown that lambs finished on pasture take a longer period of time when compared to their counterparts fed grain. Lambs on pasture also face the challenge of parasitic infection. In an effort to decrease the effects of parasites and increase lamb body weight gain on pasture, producers may choose to supplement lambs while on pasture. However, supplementation of grain or grain by-products is not permitted by Continue reading →
Chris Penrose, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Morgan County
We are starting to get an idea of how much stored feed we will have for the winter and in many circumstances, the quality will be low. Even if our livestock get plenty of hay this winter, the quality may be so low that the hay cannot meet their nutritional needs. There may need to be supplementation. We have a couple options: we can purchase supplements, utilize harvested crop residue, or we still grow some crops for fall and winter supplementation.
One product many producers buy is protein tubs. While the animals really like these products, it does not address their most pressing need: energy. The most commonly used product used to supply energy is corn. Adding some corn or Continue reading →
Livestock producers have had a lot on their plates lately. The weather including constant rain has damaged pasture as well as made timely hay making difficult. While I do not want to add to this list of worries, I want to make sure to educate producers that there is a new-ish tick concern that can dramatically affect the lifestyle of a producer of swine, cattle, and small ruminants. Over the last decade we have seen an increase both in the spread of new tick species into our region as well as new diseases and allergic syndromes that can be vectored to producers from these invasive species. Lyme disease was Continue reading →