What’s Your Baled Forage Worth?

Lee Beers, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Trumbull County

Depending on your perspective, the dry weather in northeast Ohio has either been a blessing or a curse. 

This hay season has been relatively stress-free so far without a fear of rain, but if it doesn’t rain soon, we will be looking at reduced tonnage for second and third cuttings. Not to mention that we are fast approaching corn pollination and we will need some significant rain during pollination for a good yield.

 Yields have been good for baled forage in northeast Ohio, and with lots of time to make dry forage, some farmers are prepared to sell extra hay. If you find yourself in a similar situation, be sure to consider all costs before you put a price on your forage. Unlike some other items you sell off your farm, you get to choose the price for your forage. It’s easy to say, “I just want to get rid of it” and price it low to move it off your farm quickly, but that may be a costly strategy. 

Adding up the costs
Before you “just get rid of it”, let’s consider the cost of that bale. We all know fertilizer prices are Continue reading

Lamb and Goat Production Seminar: Facility Design

Although a bit lengthy, this video highlighting concepts for improved feeding systems and converting existing structures to house small ruminants by Mike Caskey from Southern Arkansas University is worth the listen. If there is a topic that you are more interested in, feel free to select that section within the video using the Youtube app. Trust me, there are some note worth pieces shared here. Enjoy!

The Great Pasture-clipping Debate

Amber Friedrichsen, Hay and Forage Grower 2021 editorial intern
(Previously published in Hay & Forage Grower: June 15, 2021)

As the saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side. But is the grass always mowed on the other side? Deciding whether or not to mow or clip pastures can leave farmers stuck on the fence.

Possible reasons for mowing are site-specific. Producers sometimes wish to eliminate seedheads, promote even grazing, and provide weed control. However, the costs of mowing can outweigh these benefits, wasting farmers’ time and money.

Vegetation restoration
As forages mature, their palatability and nutrient availability decline. Mowing pastures is one way to Continue reading

Lamb Prices Remain Elevated

Livestock Monitor- A Newsletter for Extension Staff
Livestock Marketing Information Center – State Extension Services in Cooperation with the USDA
(Previously published online: April 8, 2022)

(Image Source: Livestock Marketing Information Center)

The Easter holiday season is approaching, and this year the holiday falls a little later, on April 17th. This year has seen a slower pace to lamb slaughter leading up to the holiday compared to past years. Through the first quarter this year, weekly lamb slaughter has averaged about 30,000 head per week which is down 24% from the prior year. Typically, in the weeks leading up to Easter, lamb slaughter will climb. In 2022, a similar increase has started with the last week of March increasing more than 4,800 head (15%) from the prior week to over 36,100 head indicating producers are marketing lambs for Easter. Estimated (sheep and lamb) slaughter for the first two weeks of April was reported at 36,000 head, below the last week of March.

Consumers will be facing much higher lamb prices for Easter this year. The lamb cutout value has averaged over Continue reading

United States is Open to Canadian Sheep and Goats

United States Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
(Previously published online: April 4, 2022)

As of this week, live-breeding sheep and goats are eligible for import into the United States from Canada.

Importers must provide supporting documentation showing the scrapie-free status of the Canadian flock of origin at the time an import permit application is submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Importers must also contact the United States port of entry at least 10 business days before the intended date of arrival. Post-entry requirements about traceback of imported animals and recordkeeping will apply.

Post-entry Requirements for Imported Live Breeding Sheep and Goats from Canada

The following provides additional details pertaining to the post-entry requirements for imported live breeding sheep and goats (for purposes other than immediate slaughter or restricted feeding for slaughter) as outlined in 9 CFR 93 and 9 CFR 98. Continue reading

Sheep Pelts: Asset or Liability?

Susan Schoenian, Sheep & Goat Specialist, University of Maryland Small Ruminant Extension Program
(Previously published on the Maryland Small Ruminant Page)

It Depends.

Loss of Export Market
According to the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI), “there is currently no market for American sheep skins. The highest quality, unshorn premium pelts have lost 95% of their value since March.” Currently (as of 11/08/2019), sheepskin pelts have a negative value. Producers have to pay the processor to get rid of them [10].

In past years, it was common for the US to export more than 1 million pelt pieces worth an estimated $15 million. Over 80% of the pelts went to China. China was the biggest importer of sheep and lamb hides, receiving 74% of all skins exported worldwide in 2015 [9]. Turkey, Russia, and Italy import smaller numbers of pelts. Continue reading