Optimize vs. Maximize in 2022

By:  Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, OSU Extension (originally published in the Ohio Cattleman)

In Extension work, I learned early on as a county educator that the seasons of the year are not your typical spring, summer, fall, and winter. Instead, we tend to observe, as do many farmers around the state, a yearly calendar that looks more like planting/calving, hay season, harvest and meeting season.

Being hired during COVID, my first official meeting season in this role is on the downhill slide. From Wauseon to McConnelsville and Wooster to West Union, with several stops in between I have taught several programs and had many conversations with cattle producers across the state. At the forefront of many of those conversations have been economics, supply chain issues, and the markets. Continue reading

Mixing it Up (in the hay field or pasture!)

By:  Haley Zynda

A mixed stand of forage offers several benefits!

Pastures are really greening up in this area of Ohio and producers are antsy to turn livestock out to enjoy the lush greenery. Winter annual weeds are still thriving, patiently waiting for their summer counterparts to start germinating. Perhaps you also frost-seeded clover into pastures to improve feed quality and to cut down on nitrogen applications. If that’s the case, weed control this year will be a different story. Continue reading

Plan Now for Improving “Winter” Damaged Pastures

By:  Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County (originally published in The Ohio Cattleman)

This is a common appearance for winter feeding areas in Ohio

Ohio’s roads and highways aren’t the only things that have suffered from a winter that’s alternated between sub-freezing temperatures, and abundant rainfall on top of already saturated surfaces. As spring quickly approaches, pastures and paddocks that served as cattle feeding areas this winter are a sea of pocked up mud. While road crews will be out repairing damaged roads by tamping cold patch into the potholes, it’s simply not that easy to repair soils that are expected to support life in the form of growing plants during the coming months. Continue reading

Beef Quality Assurance Training Available on December 6

Capture more value from your market cattle and learn best management practices for your operation by becoming BQA certified on Monday, December 6 at 7:00 p.m.. Training will also count for recertification. Williams County 4-H/FFA beef exhibitors may attend as part of Ohio Youth Food Animal Quality Assurance requirement.

Location:  Edon Firehall, 326 S. Michigan St., Edon, OH 43518

No cost to attend

RSVP by Thursday, December 2 at 419-636-5608

Questions? Contact ANR Educator Stephanie Karhoff at karhoff.41@osu.edu or 419-519-6047

Fall Calving, Is It Profitable?

By:  Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, OSU Extension (originally published in the Ohio Farmer on-line)

cow with calf feeding

While fall calving may offer some unique challenges with regard to herd nutrition, there’s no arguing the cattle price seasonality benefit it affords!

Fall is my favorite time of the year, hay making is done, the feeder cattle are being marketed, and college football is in full swing. Last winter in a cow-calf webinar, I briefly mentioned the virtues of a fall calving system here in the Eastern Corn Belt. In this article we’ll look at how fall calving can be a viable and profitable system. Continue reading

Open and Late Calving Cows: The Conundrum

By:  Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, OSU Extension

Figuring out why we have a late calving female is important when deciding to keep or cull.

Being that most of the spring calving cow herds in Ohio and beyond have calved, and breeding season is upon us, there is a cow conundrum that we need to discuss. In the 9 or months that I have been in this position, my favorite questions to answer have quickly become “how quickly can I rebreed a late calving cow?” or “I have a spring calving cow that calved late or never calved at all, can I roll her over to the fall?” Continue reading

Management Considerations for Beef x Dairy Calves

This article originally appeared in the Ohio BEEF Cattle Letter at https://u.osu.edu/beef/2021/05/12/management-considerations-for-beef-x-dairy-calves/

Regardless the genetics of cattle you’re feeding, you will find value in listening to this three part webinar series.

While dairy steers have been an important part of the beef supply chain for some time, feeding half blood dairy steers sired by beef bulls has become a popular and more common practice in recent years. During the spring of 2021, Garth Ruff, Ohio State University Extension Beef Field Specialist, and Jerad Jaborek, Feedlot Systems Extension Educator at Michigan State University, hosted a three part webinar series on management considerations for beef sired calves from dairy cows that covered a variety of topics related to marketing, genetics, and management of crossbred beef x dairy cattle. Continue reading

Feed Your Cows and Your Forage

By:  Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, OSU Extension (originally published in The Ohio Cattleman)

Beef Cattle

The highest energy demand of the cow arrives approximately 60 days post calving.

Spring has arrived, a successful Ohio Beef Expo is in the rear view, and for many Ohio beef producers, there are calves on the ground. This is a critical time in the beef and forage production cycle for many producers, especially those with spring calving herds. Continue reading

Watch Vomitoxin Levels in Feed

By:  Erika Lyon, Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator, Ohio State University Extension

Reports from the field suggest that vomitoxin may be higher near tree lines around the perimeter of corn fields. Figure 1. Gibberella ear rot. Photo by the Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Bugwood.org

High vomitoxin levels are leading to the rejection of some corn at grain elevators this year. Vomitoxin detected in corn so far is enough that at some elevators, trucks are not permitted to leave scales until a vomitoxin quick test is completed. One central Ohio elevator has been rejecting corn at 5 ppm, with estimates of 10% of corn being rejected this season. The average level of vomitoxin in corn passing through central Ohio elevators is estimated at 2 ppm. What exactly does this mean for livestock owners who use this corn as a source of feed? Continue reading