Are You Ready? All Antibiotics will be Prescription-only in 2023

Dr. Sandy Stuttgen, DVM US-Madison Division of Extension, Taylor County
(Previously published in Ohio Farmer: August 4, 2022)

The Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine’s plan for supporting veterinary antimicrobial stewardship will be fully implemented in 2023 when all remaining over-the-counter antibiotics are switched to prescription-only status.

The medically important antibiotics (used by humans and animals) becoming prescription-only include injectable tylosin, injectable and intramammary penicillin, injectable and oral tetracycline, sulfadimethoxine and sulfamethazine, and cephapirin and cephapirin benzathine intramammary tubes. In addition, the OTC status of the swine antibiotics lincomycin and gentamicin is switching to prescription-only.

Vaccines, dewormers, injectable and oral nutritional supplements, ionophores, pro/prebiotics and topical non-antibiotic treatments will not require veterinary prescription.

The Center for Veterinary Medicine evaluates the safety of drugs used in food-producing animals, the impact drug resides have on human intestinal microflora, and the development of human antimicrobial resistance. Drug residues in meat, milk, eggs and honey from treated animals expose bacteria to trace amounts that don’t kill them, but rather allow for the development of antibiotic resistance. Veterinarians are tasked to slow the rate of bacterial resistance by using antibiotics only when necessary to treat, control or prevent disease. Doing so preserves antibiotic efficacy for humans and animals. Continue reading Are You Ready? All Antibiotics will be Prescription-only in 2023

Transform a Poor Pasture into a Good One

Mike Rankin, Hay and Forage Grower Managing Editor
(Previously published in Hay & Forage Grower: November 29, 2022)

It’s not an unusual situation for people to suddenly find themselves as the not-so-proud owner or long-term renter of a previously abused or neglected pasture. In such situations, questions often arise as to what the best plan of action is to bring an abused pasture back to full productivity.

According to Chris Teutsch, a forage extension specialist at the University of Kentucky, there are a number of reasons why formerly good pastures can turn bad. These include too much or too little water; poor fertility or low soil pH; poor grazing or, in the case of a hayfield, mowing management; a poor choice of forage species; and an influx of weeds likely caused by one of the previously mentioned factors. Often, a poor pasture is the result of a combination of several negative stresses.

“Pasture renovation does not always mean having to reseed,” Teutsch said at last fall’s Kentucky Grazing School. “In fact, spraying out an old pasture and then reseeding should be considered a last-resort option. We can often renovate a pasture without reseeding it.” Continue reading Transform a Poor Pasture into a Good One

Using Heat Lamps: Proceed with Caution!

Sabrina Schirtzinger, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Knox County

As temperatures get cold livestock owners search for ways to keep their livestock warm. Often livestock owners are in a hurry and think hanging a heat lamp will be temporary. In a hurry they quickly hang the heat lamp up in the corner of a stall using baling twine to keep a newborn kid or day-old chicks warm for the night. This is an accident waiting to happen! With any electrical appliance or heating source they need to be used carefully.

If you must use a heat lamp, follow these tips: Continue reading Using Heat Lamps: Proceed with Caution!

Constructively Thankful

Christine Gelley, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Noble County

In the season of Thanksgiving, we gravitate to each other to express gratitude for blessings of all kinds. It feels good to be thankful and to be with grateful people. I hope that as you prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday that you take the time to meditate on the blessings in your life and on the farm and that it fills you with satisfaction.

When listing our many blessings, we often skip expressing thankfulness toward our learning experiences we gain through less than perfect scenarios. Yet, I think those scenarios are often more worthy of recognition than our obvious successes, because through challenges, we grow.

Along with your lists of blessings, I suggest making a list of things that went less than perfect in your operation this season, recognizing lessons learned in the process, and identifying ways to improve moving forward. It sounds a lot like “constructive criticism”, but I prefer to think of it as “constructive thankfulness”.

Here are some examples: Continue reading Constructively Thankful

3 Challenges in Ohio Sheep Production Systems

Dr. Brady Campbell, Assistant Professor, OSU State Small Ruminant Extension Specialist

Ohio sheep production faces many challenges, however, in my opinion, some of the greatest arise from environmental changes, land mass availability, and predators. To start, we’ll discuss the environmental challenges that producers commonly face. The biggest environmental challenge in my opinion is directly related to excessive rainfall that much of the state has experienced in the recent past. As of late, because of excessive and unpredictable rainfall events, both crop and livestock producers have been unable to harvest and store quality feedstuffs in a timely fashion. Arguably, the spring of 2020 alone presented the greatest challenge as excessive rain events led to delayed planting of crop fields, making of hay, in addition to resuming normal pasture grazing. As a result, crop planting and harvesting was delay, if at all. Excessive moisture in the fall of 2020 was just as challenging during harvest as it was during planting. As a result, issues with mold at harvest became a quick reality. Over the last 5 years, hay of adequate quality has become scarce, mainly due to delayed harvest resulting in the production of poor-quality hay as the result of increased forage maturity. Pastures in general also took a hard hit as excessive rainfall in the spring seemed to have drowned out pasture growth, thus resulting in a lack of  a ‘spring flush’ as we are normally accustomed to. In 2022, the saga continues. Pop up showers with enough moisture to ruin the chances of dry hay production seemed to foil the most well thought out plans. As we have discussed here in the past, prior to making hay you must decide if Continue reading 3 Challenges in Ohio Sheep Production Systems

Grain and Livestock Producers: Dealing with Vomitoxin and Zearalenone

Yet again, reports from the 2022 harvest have indicated concerns with Vomitoxin and Zearalenone in grains harvested this fall. Some species of livestock are able to tolerate these toxins better than others. However, how do you know if you have a problem this year? Thankfully, our OSU Extension team from Delaware County reviews important considerations when addressing these concerns.

Known Bale Weights are Critical this Year

Mike Rankin, Hay and Forage Grower Managing Editor
(Previously published in Hay & Forage Grower: November 15, 2022)

(Image Source: Hay & Forage Grower)

As a hay industry, there are still a number of hay sales that occur “by the bale.” Yes, it’s easier, but if the sale is made without factoring in bale weight and moisture, there’s a good chance the buyer is paying either too much or not enough.

You’ve probably heard this issue reiterated many times over the years, but it’s a safe bet that you’ve never heard it when the price of hay is as high as current values.

For a large swath of the western U.S., drought was the dominating factor during the past growing season. Many livestock producers know they will be short on winter hay or will cut it pretty close. Accurate inventories will no doubt mean the difference between having enough hay or having hungry, low-performing [livestock].

My point is that known, accurate bale weights have Continue reading Known Bale Weights are Critical this Year

Alternative Feeds: Is Variety the Spice of Life?

Eastern Alliance for Production Katahdins (EAPK) Communications Committee
(Previously published online with EAPK: November 6, 2022)

When it comes to sheep feed…it depends. With staggering increases in feed costs due to inflation, supply chain disruptions, impacts of international conflicts affecting energy, grain and fertilizer production along with regional weather events, now might be a good time to investigate alternative feedstuffs. Alternative feeds are those that are not commonly used on a regular basis as part of the usual livestock feed ration and are often cheaper than typical feed, such as corn and soybeans. Availability and cost of certain alternative feeds will vary based on geographic region so it pays to do some research on what might or might not be available in your area. Most alternative feeds are by-products or residuals, and so the energy, protein, and mineral content, as well as the costs can vary widely. As with any feed, there are potential concerns with some alternative feedstuffs that producers should be aware of prior to incorporating them into their sheep feeding program.

Dried Distiller’s Grains:
DDGs are a by-product of bioethanol production from grains, usually corn. It can be an inexpensive source of Continue reading Alternative Feeds: Is Variety the Spice of Life?

The Many Faces of Forage Testing

Mike Rankin, Hay and Forage Grower Managing Editor
(Previously published in Hay & Forage Grower: September 6, 2022)

If you grow or harvest forage, develop forage products, sell stuff to people who grow forage, educate people who grow forage, do research for people who grow forage, or just buy forage, then consider yourself a card-carrying member of the forage industry.

Wherever you fit into this unique band of brothers and sisters often helps form your opinions on a variety of forage topics and issues. Sometimes, those opinions differ. I could pick any number of topics to demonstrate this, but let’s focus on forage testing and analysis. First, some full disclosure on my part.

My past has long been grounded in forage crops, but specifically as they are produced and utilized in the Midwest dairy industry. That is probably still my measuring stick, although in my current journalistic endeavors I have had the opportunity to interact with many other types of forage and livestock producers from across the United States.

Forage testing, or more specifically fiber analysis, Continue reading The Many Faces of Forage Testing