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Managing pasture into fall, during a hot, dry summer

By Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

According to the calendar and the weather, it’s August but it seems odd with no state fair. I won’t dwindle here but will state a familiar cliché that I look forward to being true; “this too shall pass.”

The last issue was a special edition and I want to thank all that emailed me afterwards. Your comments were greatly appreciated, and I have enjoyed them as they continue to trickle in.

Distribution of rain never seems fair, especially when you are on extreme ends of it. I greatly appreciate the rain that I’ve received and am pleased with good regrowth.

It certainly has been a good year for red clover and timothy. I thought I had a tremendous take where I had frost-seeded back in February, but fields not seeded were almost as good. The clover has rebounded after grazing events better than the grasses under the drier conditions.… Continue reading

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Let’s talk about Lepto

By Dr. Michelle Arnold, University of Kentucy Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

What is Leptospirosis or “Lepto”? Leptospirosis is a complicated bacterial disease commonly associated with abortions, stillbirths and drop in milk production in cattle. However, this bacterium also causes sickness and death in cattle, dogs, sheep and horses worldwide and is an important zoonotic disease affecting an estimated 1 million humans annually. Farmers and those working in meat processing facilities are at highest risk.

What causes leptospirosis? The disease is caused by a unique, highly coiled, Gram negative bacterium known as a “spirochete” belonging to the genus Leptospira. These “leptospires” are highly motile due to their spiral shape and, once inside a host animal, they enter the bloodstream and replicate in many different organs including the liver, kidney, spleen, reproductive tract, eyes and central nervous system. The immune system will produce antibodies that clear the organism from the blood and tissues except from the kidney.… Continue reading

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OYLE market beef results

Haleigh Stephens from Ashland County had the Grand Champion Market Beef Animal at the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo with her champion crossbred.

The Reserve Grand Champion was the reserve champion crossbred exhibited by Savannah Holzen of Miami County.

Third overall was Calvin Trigg from Fairfield County with the third overall crossbred.

Fourth overall was Shayla Sancic from Stark County with champion Chianina.

Fifth overall was Caroline Blay from Portage County with the champion Maine-Anjou.

Here are more breed results.

Champion Angus Steer: Grace England, Portage Co.

 

Champion Charolais Steer: Madison Riley, Fayette Co.

Reserve Champion Charolais Steer: McKaylynne Helke, Tuscarawas Co.

 

Champion Chianina Steer: Shayla Sancic, Starke Co.

Reserve Champion Chianina Steer: Caroline Blay, Portage Co.

 

Champion Hereford Steer: Kalin Schrader, Putnam Co.

Reserve Champion Hereford Steer: Addie Sorgen, Van Wert Co.

 

Champion Maine-Anjou Steer: Caroline Blay, Portage Co.

Reserve Champion Maine-Anjou Steer: Colleen Minges, Butler Co.… Continue reading

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Commercially available cell line rapidly detects African swine fever

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have identified a new way to detect the presence of live African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) that minimizes the need for samples from live animals and provides easier access to veterinary labs that need to diagnose the virus.

“We have identified a cell-line that can be used to isolate and detect the presence of the live virus,” said ARS Scientist Dr. Douglas Gladue. “This is a critical breakthrough and a tremendous step for African Swine Fever Virus diagnostics.”

There are currently no available vaccines to prevent ASFV, and outbreak control has often relied on quarantining and removing infected or exposed animals. Until now, effectively detecting live ASFV required collecting blood cells from a live donor swine for every diagnostic test, because the cells could only be used once. The new cell line can be continuously replicated and frozen to create cells for future use, reducing the number of live donor animals needed.… Continue reading

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Asian longhorned tick confirmed in Ohio

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, has confirmed that an exotic tick, known as the Asian longhorned tick, has been found in Gallia County.

The tick was found on a stray dog originating from Gallia County, which was later transported to a shelter in Canal Winchester. The tick was identified on May 28 by The Ohio State University and sent to the federal lab for confirmation.

“Due to the nature of this pest, the female ticks can reproduce without a male, so it only takes one tick to create an established population in a new location,” said Dr. Tony Forshey, ODA State Veterinarian. “This pest is especially fatal to livestock, so producers should practice preventative measures and be on the lookout for this new threat.”

The Asian longhorned tick is an exotic East Asian tick that is known as a serious pest to livestock.… Continue reading

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OYLE market lamb results

Despite the heat (and then the rain), all those outside of the show ring were donning masks at Monday’s Ohio Youth Livestock Expo

market lamb show that featured over 600 entries. The show went (very) late into the night, but exhibitors and volunteers pushed through until the end. Here are the top five exhibitors.

Grand Champion: Bailee Amstutz, Union Co., with the champion black face cross

Res. Grand Champion: Clay Johnson, Wayne Co., with the champion Hampshire

Third: Elizabeth Shatto, Shelby Co., with the reserve champion black face cross

Fourth: Ava Shroyer, Logan Co., with the reserve champion Hampshire

Fifth: Elizabeth Shatto, Shelby Co., with the champion Oxford

Along with grand champion honors, Amstutz received a check for $3,500. Reserve champion was awarded $2,500. Third place received $2,000, fourth $1,500 and fifth overall received a check for $1,000. The exhibitors wanted to thank generous sponsors and the many volunteers who put on the effort.… Continue reading

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Ava Shroyer | OYLE Champion Market Goat Exhibitor

Ava Shroyer of Logan County exhibited the Grand Champion Market Goat at the 2020 Ohio Youth Livestock Expo. Our Matt Reese caught up with her moments after being named champion via video conference.
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OYLE market goat show results

Ohio youth livestock exhibitors may not enjoy the thrill of the Ohio State Fair this summer, but they will have a competitive arena to finish their beef, sheep, swine, and boer goat projects. Led by a group of agriculture industry volunteers and livestock show enthusiasts, the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo (OYLE) will host a show for junior exhibitors over a series of dates in July and August.

More than 900 Ohio 4-H and FFA members will exhibit nearly 3,280 individual entries at the inaugural event.

Beef cattle, sheep, and boer goat projects will show at the Darke County Fairgrounds in Greenville, Ohio, with shows beginning July 25 and ending August 5. The market goat show was held July 26. Here are the results.

  1. Ava Shroyer, Logan Co.
  2. Tiffany Sunday, Pickaway Co.
  3. Isaac Beal, Miami Co.
  4. Paige Pence, Clark Co.
  5. Anara Shroyer, Logan Co.
  6. Cadin Reveal, Clinton Co.

 

Champ. Lightweight Champ: Anara Shroyer, Logan Co.… Continue reading

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Grazing in dry pastures

By Matt Reese

Dry conditions are hit and miss around Ohio, but by mid-July areas of “moderate drought” were starting to show up in northwest (Williams, Defiance, Paulding, Van Wert) and west central (Hardin, Logan and Champaign) counties. Along with hurting corn and soybeans, pasture ground around the state was really starting to suffer.

“Once it gets dry, the best option you’ve got is to pull your stock off. Most farms have some woods or marginal areas you can graze that would help a little bit. You can de-stock and cull surplus livestock. Or, you can design your system so that you have got stock that can be sold off,” said David Barker, Ohio State University grazing specialist. “It all takes planning. Without planning, people will graze the pastures down to the dirt. Once the pasture is that short, the ability to recover isn’t there. If a rain does come there is no vegetation to hold the water there.… Continue reading

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Study quantifies value of red meat exports to U.S. corn, soybeans

Since 2015, indirect exports of corn and soybeans through beef and pork exports has been the fastest-growing category of corn and soybean use, delivering critical returns for corn and soybean farmers. These producers support the international promotion of U.S. beef, pork and lamb by investing a portion of their checkoff dollars in market development efforts conducted by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

USMEF has released an updated version of the independent study aimed at quantifying the value red meat exports provide to U.S. corn and soybean producers. The original study was conducted in 2016 with updates also released in 2018 and 2019. Key findings from the latest version, which utilizes 2019 export data, include:

 

Value of red meat exports’ feed use of corn and soybeans

  • In 2019, U.S. beef and pork exports used 480 million bushels of corn. Corn revenue generated by pork exports totaled $1.8 billion (480 million bushels x average annual price of $3.75 per bushel).
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Pork producers facing a national COVID crisis

U.S. hog farmers continue to face an unprecedented emergency as a result of COVID-related challenges, with an estimated two million hogs still backed-up on farms according to an analysis by Steve Meyer, an economist with Kerns & Associates. At a press briefing in July, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) described the damage exacted on hog farmers and urged Congress to act swiftly to preserve their livelihoods.

Meyer said U.S. hog farmers face massive losses due to multiple COVID-19 crisis-related factors, which have turned profit potential for 2020 from robust to disastrous. According to his analysis, based on lean hog futures prices on March 1 and July 10 and actual hog prices in the interim, potential 2020 revenue from hog sales has been reduced by roughly $4.7 billion. Other losses associated with euthanasia, disposal and donation of pigs with no market outlet and insufficient space to hold them mean U.S. pork producers have lost nearly $5 billion in actual and potential profits for 2020.… Continue reading

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OYLE to feature 3,000+ entries

Ohio youth livestock exhibitors may not enjoy the thrill of the Ohio State Fair this summer, but they will have a competitive arena to finish their beef, sheep, swine, and boer goat projects. Led by a group of agriculture industry volunteers and livestock show enthusiasts, the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo (OYLE) will host a show for junior exhibitors over a series of dates in July and August.

More than 900 Ohio 4-H and FFA members will exhibit nearly 3,280 individual entries at the inaugural event.

Beef cattle, sheep, and boer goat projects will show at the Darke County Fairgrounds in Greenville, Ohio, with shows beginning July 25 and ending August 5.

Hogs will show at the Pickaway Agriculture & Events Center in Circleville, Ohio, with shows beginning August 9 and ending August 18.

Hosting the Expo across a range of dates at two different sites is designed to provide a livestock show environment that also fosters adequate social distancing.… Continue reading

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Soy in diet protects hogs from viral pathogens

Pigs that eat soybean as a regular part of their diet may be better protected against viral pathogens, a new study from University of Illinois shows. The researchers attribute the effect to isoflavones, a natural compound in soybeans.

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a widespread disease that costs U.S. swine producers around $650 million every year. There is evidence that feeding soy helps protect pigs against the disease, but it’s not clear why or how it works, said Ryan Dilger, co-author on the study and associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences, Division of Nutritional Sciences, and Neuroscience Program at U of I.

Dilger and his collaborators previously pointed to dietary soy isoflavones as the active ingredient, and they wanted to explore that hypothesis further.

“In this study, we’re looking specifically at isoflavones and whether they have a beneficial effect on the immune response,” Dilger said. “We wanted to understand how we can take a primary protein source in a diet that’s already used for pigs and provide a practical way for producers to combat the endemic PRRSV.”

Isoflavones are a flavonoid compound that occurs naturally in plants, with a particularly high concentration in soybeans.… Continue reading

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Opinion: Ag Twitter grills Burger King over methane reduction campaign

By Kolt Buchenroth, Ohio Ag Net

Ag Twitter — the term given to the larger agricultural community on the popular social media app — practically melted down Tuesday after fast food brand Burger King announced that they were changing their “#CowMenu” to reduce their methane emissions.

Burger King included a (rather strange) video features Mason Ramsey, the yodeling boy, singing about none other than bovine flatulence. The twittersphere leaped to life blasting the burger joint for its video and it’s stance.

Much of today’s society is developing into a cancel culture which refers to boycotting public figures or companies after they do something controversial.… Continue reading

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New job board for Ohio’s pork industry

To keep up with the ever-growing pork industry, members of the Ohio Pork Council have made it their mission to bridge the gap between rising unemployment and a deficit workforce. This summer, the Ohio Pork Council is pleased to launch Ohio Pork Careers – a job board website that farmers can use to inform jobseekers about entry-level job opportunities available on Ohio’s pig farms.

“It is super easy to add a job in minutes with this website. If a farmer wants to post jobs on our site they have to go through a short application process. We are actually fielding all of those registrations here in house to make to ensure this website is only being used by farmers. As far as the hiring process, we turn that over to farms themselves, but we are doing an extra level of security as far as the employee registration process to make sure we are not having any issues,” said Meghann Winters, with the Ohio Pork Council.… Continue reading

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Fairs are finding a way to make it work for livestock exhibitors

By Matt Reese, Dusty Sonnenberg, Kolt Buchenroth and Dale Minyo

So far, 2020 has been a tough year for 4-H.

Jane Warnimont is a Putnam County 4-H advisor and mother of 4-H members who has seen the ups and downs first hand.

“Back in February when things started occurring you got the inkling that something was coming down the pike. March, though, is kind of when things really shut down. That included 4-H and we couldn’t meet with our 4-H members. Those are critical moments for getting things done,” Warnimont said. “Clubs usually start meeting in January and February. Most clubs are really starting to meet their checkpoints in April or May in a normal year. Zoom meetings are helpful but you don’t have that one on one if kids are having problems. This was really tough for first year members too.”

It was maybe toughest for those with livestock projects.… Continue reading

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Congress pushing for greater dairy access in Japan

Members of Congress representing dairy districts from across the country joined together this week to send a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue asking them to work together to build upon the successes secured in a Phase One agreement with Japan and swiftly pursue a Phase Two agreement that addresses any remaining gaps and inequalities in market access and establishes robust commitments on nontariff issues that can significant impact dairy trade.

This bipartisan letter was led by Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI), Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), Josh Harder (D-CA) and Roger Marshall (R-KS). They were joined by numerous House colleagues, amounting to 51 in total, writing, in part:

“Given the fact that our domestic market is a top destination for Japanese exports, Japan must ensure that the terms of trade offered to the United States are better than those offered to other, less valuable, markets.… Continue reading

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May margin triggers Dairy Margin Coverage Program payment

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that the May 2020 income over feed cost margin was $5.37 per hundredweight (cwt.), triggering the third payment of 2020 for dairy producers who purchased the appropriate level of coverage under the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

“This payment comes at a critical time for many dairy producers,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “DMC has proved to be a worthwhile risk management tool, providing dairy producers with much- needed financial support when markets are most volatile.”

To date, FSA has issued more than $176 million in program benefits to dairy producers who purchased DMC coverage for 2020.

Authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, DMC is a voluntary risk management program that offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. Over 13,000 operations enrolled in the program for the 2020 calendar year.… Continue reading

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Pasture management in dry weather

By David Barker, Ohio State University

Dry weather in recent weeks throughout Ohio has raised several questions about how pastures should be managed during drought. Although the experts don’t all agree if this period of dry weather meets the definition of a drought (yet), there is no doubt that pasture growth will slow to zero. How should we be grazing our pastures in mid-summer?

Avoid over-grazing

Unfortunately, without rain or irrigation pastures will not grow, and close grazing will exaggerate this effect. Leaf removal by grazing (or mowing) results in a roughly similar proportion of root death. During moist conditions, roots can recover quite quickly, however, grazing during drought will reduce water uptake due to root loss. As a general rule of thumb, grazing below 2 or 3 inches will accelerate drought effects on pastures, and also, slow recovery once rain does come. Of course, optimum grazing height and management varies with pasture species.… Continue reading

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