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Beef breeding programs help producers capitalize on prices

Artificial insemination breeding programs can help cattle producers capitalize on prices that are at an unprecedented high, a Purdue Extension beef specialist says.

While many cow-calf producers shy away from artificial insemination because of the extensive management requirements, Ron Lemenager said incorporating an estrous synchronization program into the breeding plan can reduce time spent detecting estrous and increase the number of cows bred in the first week of the breeding season.

“Cow numbers are the lowest since 1952. This puts the cow-calf producers in the driver’s seat if they play their cards right,” he said. “A bred cow is worth about twice as much as an open cow, so it’s important to get these cows bred as early as possible.”

Getting cows bred the first week of the breeding season helps ensure that calves are older and heavier at weaning. It also means more uniform calves.

Lemenager recommended that producers consider an estrous synchronization program such as the 5 Day CO-Synch + CIDR.… Continue reading

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Sheep and goat health issues addressed in WebEx series

By Breanna Pye, OCJ field reporter

The mission of Extension is to disseminate the vast and detailed research information generated from land grant universities, which has not changed in 150 years. The delivery of that information, however, has changed. A recent example of this change was the four-part WebEx lecture series that offered in depth coverage and insights on sheep and goat health issues via the Internet.

Ohio State University Extension, in conjunction with and the Ohio State University Sheep Team, teamed up with the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association (OSIA) to sponsor the new WebEx series that replaced the more traditional district programs. Instead of speakers traveling across counties to attend the district meetings, the new Web series consisted of a centralized “live” site in Knox County, with 13 other viewing locations positioned in various counties across the state and the chance for online users to listen in as well. A combined average of 200 producers attended each session of the series that finished up earlier this week.… Continue reading

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Pork Checkoff makes progress on PRRS

Building on work originally funded by the Pork Checkoff, a consortium of scientists from around the country has discovered a genetic marker in pigs that identifies whether or not a pig has a reduced susceptibility to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) — a disease that costs the U.S. pork industry an estimated $664 million per year.

The researchers found a genetic marker, called a quantitative trait locus, on swine chromosome 4 that is associated with resistance to PRRS virus infection. According to Joan Lunney, a research scientist at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Beltsville, Md., this is especially important as this location also is associated with improved growth of pigs that are infected with the PRRS virus. She says results indicate a positive effect for PRRS resistance and higher weight gain.

“PRRS is one of the industry’s top ongoing issues, so this research discovery is a major step in the right direction,” said Lisa Becton, Checkoff’s director of swine health and information.… Continue reading

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Turkey Run Angus Farm moving seedstock forward

 

By Matt Reese

Back in the 1950s, the $12-per-acre going rate for land in Adams County caught the attention of Frank Bauman. The land prices were low enough to entice him to move from

his home in Indiana and settle down on 400 acres among the rolling hills of southern Ohio. For years after that, tobacco was the main focus of the farm, with Angus cattle and other crops as well.

This, of course, has changed in recent years. The farm’s tobacco production acreage has steadily declined since it was up to 61 acres in 2001. Since then, Frank, his son, Kent, and daughter-in-law Joy, have been transitioning the farm to a focus more on the registered purebred Angus seedstock that has been a part of the farm operation since 1956.

“We have been able to build our herd through cost-share assistance from the Southern Ohio Agricultural and Community Development Foundation (SOACDF) with grants for our farm over the last 10 or so years that have helped us grow our herd and expand that business by building a new calving barn and buying new equipment,” Joy said.… Continue reading

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Miller Livestock Co. first Ohio farm to recieve Food Alliance certification

Food Alliance, a nonprofit offering comprehensive, third-party certification for sustainable agricultural and food handling practices, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), recently announced the certification of Miller Livestock Co., Inc.

Located on 140 acres in northern Trumbull County, OH, Miller Livestock (http://millergrassfed.com/) has been owned and operated by Aaron & Melissa Miller since 1986. The Millers are committed to being good environmental stewards, and have raised pastured livestock since 1999 including pork, lamb, poultry and beef.

Miller Livestock is the first farm in Ohio to achieve the esteemed Food Alliance certification, and is only the 10th farm in the Mid-Atlantic region to receive the certification. Through an independent inspection and audit, their entire operation met rigorous criteria for social and environmental responsibility. All of the pork and lamb raised by the Millers will now bear the Food Alliance Certified seal.

Food Alliance certification standards for farm and facility operations address a range of social and environmental issues including safe and fair working conditions, humane animal treatment and careful stewardship of natural resources.… Continue reading

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Dairy concerns with New Zealand trade deal

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said that a new report on the anti-competitive practices pervasive in the New Zealand dairy industry highlights why the U.S. dairy farmer sector is so concerned with including U.S.-New Zealand dairy trade in a potential Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement (FTA). NMPF submitted comments to the Obama Administration on TPP, including in its 2010 testimony to the U.S. International Trade Commission. NMPF applauded the new report’s effort to shed more light on this critical concern.

A report was prepared by the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and provided confidentially to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The accompanying letter notes that New Zealand’s largest company has been provided special privileges by the government that enable it to maintain a roughly 90% market share of the milk produced in New Zealand. This advantageous position has given this single dairy company direct control of more than one third of world dairy trade, without even accounting for the additional sales controlled through its many production and distributor relationships around the world.… Continue reading

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Trade an important tool for the livestock sector

United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced Tues., Feb. 21, 2012, that the free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea (KORUS FTA) will be implemented on March 15, 2012.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President J.D. Alexander praised the announcement.

“When the KORUS FTA is implemented, our competitive advantage will be secured. The KORUS pact will phase out a 40% tariff on U.S. beef over the next 15 years, which will result in more Korean consumers buying more U.S. beef at a more affordable price,” Alexander said. “This may very well be the most monumental bilateral trade pact our industry has ever witnessed.”

Alexander said while the immediate effects of increased exports are positive for cattlemen, he urged them to think long term about the effects increased demand will have on already tight beef supplies.

“With increasing demand and tightening supplies, movement of the KORUS FTA should encourage cattlemen and women to think beyond the current prices for live cattle and think long term,” he said.… Continue reading

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Beef Expo coming soon

 

March 16marks the first day of the celebration of the 25th Ohio Beef Expo. The three-day event takes place March 16 – 18 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, and is the premier event of Ohio’s Beef Industry. This year’s schedule includes breed sales, shows, educational seminars, trade show and a highly competitive junior show. Attendees will also be able to take part in a silent auction and social hour on Friday and Saturday.

The trade show, kicking off the Expo at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, will run throughout the event and features more than 100 exhibitors from 15 states. An array of educational seminars will also begin on Friday morning. The seminars will be offered throughout the day on Friday and Sunday, giving producers an opportunity to gain useful knowledge from industry experts about advancements and current trends. Information provided will allow producers to better their own operations in areas such as marketing and herd management.… Continue reading

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Expert panel reviews “hidden camera” video

Hidden camera investigations at livestock farms have heightened public attention on animal care issues. In an effort to foster a more balanced conversation and to provide credible feedback to promote continuous improvement in farm animal care, the Center for Food Integrity (CFI) has created an Animal Care Review panel.

The Panel, made up of recognized animal well-being experts, will examine video footage and report back to the public. The process has been established initially for the pork industry but CFI is willing to engage with other sectors of animal agriculture as they show interest.

The Panel will include an animal scientist, a veterinarian and an ethicist to assure various perspectives are represented. CFI is recruiting several experts to participate in the process, but for the video investigation at a swine operation in Iowa released last week by Compassion Over Killing, the panel is comprised of Dr. Temple Grandin, Colorado State University; Dr.… Continue reading

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PRRS popping up in Ohio hog herds

By Matt Reese

The soggy winter is at least partially to blame for the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) virus problems that have been plaguing hog producers in eastern Indiana and western Ohio in recent months.

The cagy virus is tough to corner because it can change so quickly.

“PRRS is programmed to very rapidly mutate. That is one of the problems in trying to develop a good vaccine that can work against the virus,” said Dr. Bill Minton, of Minton Veterinary Service in Mercer County. “When that virus infects mature animals it can cause reproductive problems including failure to breed, or pregnancy losses. It can ultimately become serious enough that it causes death. In growing pigs it is primarily a respiratory disease. We’ll see mild signs of pneumonia to severe pneumonia followed by sudden death.”

Along with being a problem itself, PRRS can also worsen symptoms of other pathogens.… Continue reading

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Cattle stolen from Allen Co. farm

Last week, more than two dozen hogs were stolen in Mercer County and those thieves caught. Now, more than a dozen steers valued upwards of $10,000 have been stolen from an Allen County Farm.

“I had noticed that the first pen on the end of our cattle barn looked a little thin. I said something to my brother about it. We didn’t do anything about it until a few days later when we cleaned the pen out and we were able do a physical count. That’s when I knew it didn’t match up with number of steers we put in there a month prior, ” said Ray Bonifas who feeds out steers with his brother Larry west of Delphos.

Neither of the brothers live at the actual farm site. They asked a neighbor if he had seen or heard anything unusual. He had indeed heard noises and commotion late in the evening the night prior to Ray’s speculation that steers were missing.… Continue reading

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Ohio EPA addressing big issues in ag

A conversation with Scott Nally, director, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency

OCJ: What is your experience in agriculture, and what are your general thoughts about Ohio’s agricultural industry?

Scott: My agricultural experience includes management positions with Rose Acre Farms and Perdue Foods. Ohio’s agricultural industry is very healthy, and the intra-agency cooperation has been refreshing.

 

OCJ: What is your experience in environmental management, and what led you to become the director of the Ohio EPA?

Scott: I have more than 20 years of experience in the field of environmental management. My private sector experiences have given me the opportunity to deal with environmental regulatory schemes from many states. Most recently, I was the assistant commissioner in Indiana before becoming director for Ohio EPA.

 

OCJ: Could you please describe the relationship between the Ohio EPA and the U.S. EPA?

Scott: My relationship with U.S. EPA, both nationally and regionally, has been cultivated for many years.… Continue reading

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NPPC responds to McDonald's gestation stall announcement

The decision by the McDonald’s Corp. to study its suppliers’ use of individual sow housing is an opportunity for the pork industry to respond to its customers. The National Pork Producers Council stands ready to offer its assistance to McDonald’s as it assesses sow housing.

Farmers constantly are evolving and improving their operations to adapt to market conditions. A generation ago, pork demand was sagging because the product didn’t meet consumer demands. Farmers changed their practices. Today’s pork is leaner and more nutritious than ever, and today’s farmer is committed to responsible production.

Farmers and animal care experts know that various types of housing systems can provide for the well-being of pigs. After an extensive review of scientific literature, the American Veterinary Medical Association determined that both individual sow housing and group housing can provide for the well-being of sows.

Perhaps most importantly, today’s announcement reflects the best process for meeting evolving consumer demands – through the market, not through government mandates.… Continue reading

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NPPC responds to McDonald’s gestation stall announcement

The decision by the McDonald’s Corp. to study its suppliers’ use of individual sow housing is an opportunity for the pork industry to respond to its customers. The National Pork Producers Council stands ready to offer its assistance to McDonald’s as it assesses sow housing.

Farmers constantly are evolving and improving their operations to adapt to market conditions. A generation ago, pork demand was sagging because the product didn’t meet consumer demands. Farmers changed their practices. Today’s pork is leaner and more nutritious than ever, and today’s farmer is committed to responsible production.

Farmers and animal care experts know that various types of housing systems can provide for the well-being of pigs. After an extensive review of scientific literature, the American Veterinary Medical Association determined that both individual sow housing and group housing can provide for the well-being of sows.

Perhaps most importantly, today’s announcement reflects the best process for meeting evolving consumer demands – through the market, not through government mandates.… Continue reading

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Ohio Beef Council receives national grants for projects

  Federation Initiative Fund Awards Grants for Beef Promotion in High Population Areas

The Federation of State Beef Councils executive committee has awarded $181,325 in grants from its Federation Initiative Fund for beef promotional events in high population areas of 10 states. The awards were announced Jan. 31, just prior to the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn.

The Initiative Fund is supported by voluntary contributions from state beef councils, particularly those states with large cattle numbers and high checkoff collections. Grants are awarded twice a year to support the Federation’s long-standing commitment to invest checkoff dollars “where the people live,” according to Federation Chair Craig Uden, a cow-calf operator and cattle feeder from Elwood, Neb.

Grant applications are judged on several criteria, including a fit with the industry’s long range plan and the project’s potential to help move the needle upward on beef demand, Uden added.… Continue reading

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McDonalds takes action towards ending gestation stall use

McDonald’s Corporation today announced that it will require its U.S. pork suppliers to outline their plans to phase out the use of sow gestation stalls, a move supported by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

“McDonald’s believes gestation stalls are not a sustainable production system for the future. There are alternatives that we think are better for the welfare of sows,” said Dan Gorsky, senior vice president of McDonald’s North America Supply Chain Management. “McDonald’s wants to see the end of sow confinement in gestation stalls in our supply chain. We are beginning an assessment with our U.S. suppliers to determine how to build on the work already underway to reach that goal. In May, after receiving our suppliers’ plans, we’ll share results from the assessment and our next steps.”

“The HSUS has been a long-time advocate for ending the use of gestation crates, and McDonald’s announcement is important and promising,” said Wayne Pacelle, The HSUS’ president and CEO.

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SFP launches More Than Manure

SFP introduces More Than Manure® Nutrient Manager, referred to as MTM™, the first and only product to protect both phosphorus (P) from lock-up and nitrogen (N) from leaching, denitrification and volatilization in applied manure. MTM maximizes P and N in all manures and litters – both dry and liquid. Increasing availability of these valuable nutrients can lead to yield increases and better overall crop performance.

“Improving yield potential and grower return on investment is always our ultimate goal,” says Larry Sanders, Ph.D., SFP president and CEO. “MTM overcomes nutrient management challenges for growers using any manure as fertilizer – optimizing phosphorus and nitrogen use.”

Of the 15.8 million U.S. cropland acres fertilized with manure, varied percentage of N and P is lost during handling and storage as well as after application, leaving both nutrients unavailable for crops.

MTM has proven to successfully increase P and N availability when added to confinement lagoons or pits, or in transportation and application equipment (liquid), or when sprayed over-the-top of dry-applied litter or manure.… Continue reading

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Four people arrested in Mercer Co. hog thefts

It appears everyone is cashing in on higher hog prices, even thieves.

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey said his office had received several reports in the last few weeks indicating the theft of hogs from a farm on the Ohio-Indiana state line near Fort Recovery.

An investigation determined that the two men were removing hogs from a farm in Mercer County and taking them to a site near Bryant, Indiana in Jay County. Two women were arrested at a nearby livestock company attempting to sell the stolen hogs.

The men took  more than two dozen, 130-pound animals from a barn after dark over the course of ten weeks. They apparently loaded them into the back of a Chevy S10 pickup truck equipped with a camper top and then drove them to Indiana.

On Wednesday, both Ricky Crouch and Chad Crouch were arraigned on charges of  breaking and entering and theft. Their bonds were set each at $50,000 in cash.… Continue reading

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