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Protect pasture leaf area in the fall

By Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Athens County, Buckeye Hills EERA

I’ve gotten some questions recently about pasture management during dry fall conditions. Specifically, how will future pasture production be affected by grazing off pasture leaf area now, in the fall? The short answer to that question is that pasture production will be harmed by grazing off leaf area at this time. Now, let’s examine the reasons behind the answer and some management options.

Fall is the time when the perennial plant prepares for winter. As a perennial plant, the root system remains alive over the winter and depends upon stored carbohydrate reserves to survive and to regenerate new growth the following spring. Manufacture of those carbohydrate reserves depends upon photosynthesis. Photosynthesis depends upon leaves capturing sunlight. More leaf area equals more sunlight captured, higher photosynthetic rates and higher levels of carbohydrates produced for winter storage. As we go farther into the fall, grass growth rate slows down considerably, but photosynthesis can still occur at productive rates, provided there is adequate leaf area.

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Federal Court decides Ohio dairy labeling case

By Peggy Hall, Ohio State University Extension

The federal Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled in International Dairy Foods Assoc. v. Boggs, a controversial case long anticipated by Ohio’s agricultural interests.  At the center of the controversy is Ohio’s dairy labeling rule, adopted  by the Ohio Department of Agriculture in 2008.  Prior to the rule, many dairy producers who did not use the genetically engineered hormone called recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST) included language on their product labels that indicated the product as “rbST free” or “from cows not treated with rbST.”  Many others in the agricultural and dairy industries objected to such language, claiming that it was false and misleading and suggested that  “rbST free” dairy products were superior to others.  In response to such concerns, Governor Strickland directed the ODA to “define what constitutes false and misleading labels on milk and milk products” and to require dairy producers claiming that they do not use rbST to submit supporting documentation and create labels containing representations consistent with the Food and Drug Administration’s findings that there is no significant difference between milk from rbST-treated and untreated cows.

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The market for club pigs: This little piggy sold online

By Brian Roe and Tim Wyszynski, Ohio State University

The performance of brick and mortar institutions relative to Internet alternatives is of increasing interest for agriculture.  With Internet penetration rising steadily among US farm households (59% in 2009 vs. 29% in 1999), online markets hold great promise for increasing market efficiency, particularly for items where local markets are thin and search costs are high.  However, online markets must overcome issues of trust (Does the item meet its description? Will the seller actually send it?).  Furthermore, Internet markets are newer and need to attract enough buyers and sellers away from traditional markets in order to have a liquid market.  Once these barriers are overcome, questions still remain about whether online prices are comparable to prices in traditional markets.  For example, Ohio State research found that used tractor prices on eBay were 30% lower than similarly described tractors sold in traditional auctions.

One place where Internet sales have developed a foothold is in the club pig market. 

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The Man Behind the Mask, Hiding From Responsiblity

By Ken E. Knight (posted with special permission)

As the state and county fairs around the country complete a very successful year, for many, the first in several years, and for some a complete turn around from the brink of extinction to a new found hope, it gives us a chance to reflect back on a very pivotal time in the life of 4-H.

After completing a series of several 4-H articles that addressed the concerns of a program that wasn’t being funded or even supported, it was obvious that we had made considerable progress in bringing attention to the plight of 4-H. But, unfortunately there were several county commissioners in cooperation with state officials that had officially decided to discontinue 4-H at the end of this past year. These are the people that have turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to the importance of 4-H. This kind of decision making is irresponsible and falls into the category of hiding behind the mask.

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Ohio Forages and Grasslands Council Annual Meeting

The Ohio Forages and Grasslands Council Annual Meeting will be February 11, 2011 from 8:30 to 4:00 p.m. The focus will be “The Plant and How It Grows”.  Dr.Glen Schmaker, Forage Specialist, Extension Assistant Professor from University of Idaho will do sessions on making hay, understanding how to maximize grazing based on the time of day and cool season plants. Dr. Marvin Hall, Penn State Professor of Forage Management will have sessions on plant growth and how animals utilize the plants. Besides the keynote speakers, Ohio producer panel will share their observations and experiences with plant production and harvesting practices.   The meeting will be held at Ohio Department of Agriculture at Reynoldsburg, Ohio.  For more information, call Leah Miller at 740.545.6349.

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NPPC Wants Restrictions On Cuba Trade Lifted

U.S. pork exports to Cuba will more than triple if restrictions on travel and export financing for products going to the Caribbean island nation are lifted, according to an Iowa State University analysis.
The National Pork Producers Council is urging House lawmakers to take up legislation (H.R. 4645) that would let U.S. citizens travel to Cuba and allow direct transfers of funds from Cuban to U.S. financial institutions for products authorized for sale under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000. That law granted exceptions for agricultural and medical products to the unilateral trade embargo the United States placed on Cuba in 1960 after that country nationalized the property of U.S. citizens and corporations.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee is expected to mark up the bill tomorrow. In a letter sent today, NPPC asked the panel’s members to support H.R. 4645 and to oppose any amendments to it.
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Anaplasmosis Diagnosed in Ohio

By William Shulaw, Extension Veterinarian, Ohio State University

Anaplasmosis is a disease that does not get a lot of attention in Ohio although I have gotten calls about it about every 2-3 years since I have been in Veterinary Extension (1988). One of my colleagues indicated to me several years ago that he had diagnosed it in at least one Ohio herd as far back as the mid-1970s. We know very little about the prevalence or natural history of the disease in this state, however, it occurs in many states in the southeastern US, the Gulf Coast states, and some regions of the West.

Anaplasmosis is a disease affecting the red blood cells of cattle and is caused by a rickettsial parasite called Anaplasma marginale. Parasitized red blood cells are removed from the circulation and destroyed by the spleen and liver. When high levels of parasitized cells occur, usually shortly after a cow is first infected, severe anemia can result; sometimes resulting in deaths or abortions.

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Animal rights versus welfare to be discussed at forum

Ohio has always been known as a leader in agriculture, and that view was further enhanced when just last year the Center for Food and Animal Issues was launched by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. The center operates as an outreach and education department engaging the public about the importance of all animals and the contributions they make in society.

Leah C. Dorman, DVM, director of food programs, Center for Food and Animal Issues at the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, will present “We’re not in Kansas anymore: Animal Rights versus Animal Welfare” on Thurs., Oct. 21 from 7:30 – 9 a.m. at the monthly Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum. The program begins at 8 a.m. with informal networking prior, hosted by the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation, north of Bowling Green, OH.

Dr. Dorman will discuss animal rights versus animal welfare, and the history behind the creation of the Livestock Care Standards Board – a board which sets standards for livestock and poultry care that take into account issues of food safety, local availability and affordability of food, and best farm management practices for animal well-being.

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Corn prices rising and hurting pork expansion opportunities

Hog producers were ready to expand this fall. That may have been appropriate when 2010 corn prices were expected to close at $3.50 in early July, but that is no longer an acceptable conclusion with expectations closer to $5.00, said Purdue University Extension economist Chris Hurt.

“Higher corn prices will cut margins over the coming 12 months, but hog producers can now avoid an expansion that would plunge margins deep into the red in late 2011 and 2012,” he said.

“The clear message for the industry is: Don’t expand and margins will be okay. The other important message is: The next two years will not be a repeat of the large losses of 2008 and 2009,” he added.

Fortunately, the September USDA survey indicates there are no signs of expansion yet. Producers report they have 2 percent fewer animals in the breeding herd than a year ago, he said.

The primary story is in North Carolina where breeding herd numbers were down 110,000 head over the past year.

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Ohio hog numbers down slightly

Ohio hog producers had 2.04 million hogs on hand September 1, 2010, down slightly from a year ago. The number of market hogs, at 1.88 million head, down 1 percent
from last year. Breeding stock, at 165,000 head, was unchanged from last quarter but up 3 percent from last year.
U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on September 1, 2010 was 65.0 million head. This was down 3 percent from September
1, 2009. Breeding inventory, at 5.77 million head, was down 2 percent from last year.  Market hog inventory, at 59.2 million head, was down 3 percent from last year.
Ohio pork production ranks ninth in the nation with 3,700 hog farms, the vast majority of which are family owned. With 10,860 jobs related to the pork sector in the state, which contribute more than 1.3 billion dollars annually to the economy.

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Ohio hog farmers discuss key pork issues in Washington

During the 2010 Fall Legislative Action Conference, hosted by the National Pork Producers Council, 16 Ohio hog farmers traveled to Washington D.C. where they discussed and educated Congressmen on agriculture legislation important to the pork community.

“Ohio hog farmers can take great pride in the OPPC leadership that participated in our trip to Washington,” said Dick Isler, executive vice president for the Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC). “This group spoke with all 18 of our congressional members and two U.S. Senators, explaining the importance of these key issues and the impact they could have on Ohio’s pork community.”

Throughout each of the visits, farmers discussed key pork issues, such as the poor impact the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule could have on marketing hogs across the country. In addition, Ohio hog farmers stressed the importance of passing free trade agreements with Columbia, Korea and Panama, which would not only be great opportunities for continued pork exports, but would have significant positive impact on the U.S.

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OCA and OBC offer winter internship opportunities

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and the Ohio Beef Council through their goal of providing great opportunities to young people interested in developing their potential for career success announce five winter internships beginning in January and continuing through the Ohio Beef Expo in late March. They will require approximately 20 hours per week and are flexible based upon course schedules. Each successful intern will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and résumé to the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Attn: Internship, 10600 U.S. Highway 42, Marysville, Ohio 43040 prior to Oct. 20, 2010. For further information call 614-873-6736.

Industry Relations Intern

The primary responsibility of this intern will include assisting with the preparation and implementation of the Ohio Beef Expo’s Trade Show. This intern will also assist with communications of the Ohio Beef Expo including advertising and event photography. This position will assist with preparation of the Ohio Cattleman magazine and the OCA Annual Meeting & Banquet including developing award winners’ press releases.

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House approves legislation to reauthorize the law requiring price reporting

The National Pork Producers Council applauded the House for approving legislation to reauthorize the law requiring meat packers to report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture the prices they pay producers for animals. The legislation, which previously was approved by the Senate, now goes to the president to be signed into law. It reauthorizes for five years the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act, which was set to expire Sept. 30, and includes new provisions requiring weekly reporting of pork exports – by price and volume – and of wholesale pork cuts. NPPC President Sam Carney said the addition of export and wholesale cuts reporting will further help producers like me make business and production decisions. “The Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act is what provides transparency and certainty in the livestock markets and allows competition to thrive,” Carney said. “The new provision for wholesale pork reporting will make pricing data more fully reflect the marketplace today.

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association sets membership record

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association closed its books for the 2010 membership year with a new membership record. Membership numbers for 2010 broke the previous record that was set in 2009. This new record was set thanks to the dedication of past members renewing their memberships as well as the 386 families that joined OCA for the first time in 2010.

“We are very excited that so many of Ohio’s beef producers have again recognized the importance of belonging to OCA,” said Dave Felumlee, OCA President. “Membership is the lifeblood of any organization and our members have done a great job ensuring that the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association is a strong and viable organization for years to come.”

The membership committee is working on securing additional member benefits and incentives for 2011. The committee is proud to announce that the TSC coupon will be continued in 2011, which will give an OCA member 10 percent off a purchase at one of Ohio’s 68 TSC stores.

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Pasture management in the fall

By Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Athens County, Buckeye Hills EERA

The fall period, particularly the months of September and October, is an important time to manage pastures. Specifically, pastures must be managed to insure that the desirable grass and legume plants are able to build up and store carbohydrate reserves for the winter period. It is this ability to store carbohydrate reserves and thus keep a root system living over the winter months that distinguishes a perennial plant from an annual plant. It is during the short day, long night periods in the fall of the year that flower buds are formed/initiated on the crown of the plant. While the leaf tissue dies during the winter, the buds and roots of the plant remain as living tissues over the winter and continue to respire and burn energy. If root reserves are insufficient the plant may die over the winter. If the plant survives but root reserves are low, spring re-growth and vigor of the plant is reduced.

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CLARIFIDE now available from Pfizer Animal Genetics

CLARIFIDE, a new genomic test for comprehensive evaluation of dairy females, is now available from Pfizer Animal Genetics, a business unit of Pfizer Animal Health.

CLARIFIDE is a 3,000-marker (3K) DNA panel that was developed through collaboration between USDA-ARS and Illumina. CLARIFIDE delivers Genomic Predicted Transmitting Ability (GPTA) values for 30 production, health and type traits, and nine composite indexes. These predictions provide insights into animals’ future genetic potential early in an animal’s life.

“CLARIFIDE provides a cost-effective way for commercial dairy producers to take advantage of the many benefits of genomic testing,” says Nigel Evans, vice president of Pfizer Animal Genetics. “Genomics has been available in the dairy industry for the past few years, but has only been practical for a small number of elite animals. CLARIFIDE now puts genomic testing into the hands of commercial dairymen.”

With CLARIFIDE, commercial dairy producers can optimize selection, mating and management of Holstein, Jersey and Brown Swiss females.

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Latest undercover “animal abuse” video more fabrication than fact

On Aug. 31, Mercy For Animals (MFA), the same group that released the footage from the Conklin Dairy in Plain City earlier this year, released hidden video taken from Buckeye Veal

Farm in Apple Creek. The animal rights group claimed the video showed “cruel” behavior and hoped it would prompt action by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.

“As the appointed body to create minimal standards for Ohio’s agricultural

community, it is your responsibility to ensure that farmed animals in Ohio are not forced to suffer egregious cruelty; however, the Board has yet to implement a single standard,” said MFA in a letter sent to members of the OLCSB the day the Buckeye Veal footage was released. “MFA urges you to immediately implement standards phasing out crated veal production.”

MFA called on the OLCSB to honor an agreement reached in June by leaders of Ohio’s farm community, humane organizations and Governor Ted Strickland that would, among other

things, phase out the confinement of calves in veal crates by 2017.

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Consumers Are Key Focus of Proposed 2011 National Pork Board Budget

Consumer perspectives of pork and pork production are the central focus of the National Pork Board’s proposed 2011 budget that will be debated next week in Des Moines. More than 50 pork producers will gather from across the country to help guide the investment of Pork Checkoff dollars into consumer information, research, and producer education programs. The programs are designed to help pork producers provide consumers with safe, affordable, quality pork products.

The board’s planning and budgeting process began earlier this summer when producer-led committees identified action steps for achieving the board’s new five-year strategic plan. These objectives fall under one of three major goals:

• Refresh and reposition pork’s image to increase domestic and international consumer demand.

• Protect the rights and ability of U.S. farmers to produce pork in a socially-responsible and cost-competitive manner.

• Pursue strategies to enable U.S. pork producers to remain highly competitive, long term, on a global basis.

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Test Finds E. coli in Beef Faster, Could Better Trace Outbreaks

Infrared spectroscopy can detect E. coli faster than current testing methods and can cut days off investigations of outbreaks, according to a study at Purdue University.

Lisa Mauer, an associate professor of food science, detected E. coli in ground beef in one hour using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, much less than the 48 hours required for conventional plating technology, which requires culturing cells in a laboratory. Mauer said spectroscopy could be done in the same laboratories, just in much less time.

The spectroscopy method also differentiates between strains of E. coli 0157:H7, meaning outbreaks could be tracked more effectively and quickly. Current tests are multistep and take almost one week to get results.

“Even with all the other bacteria present in ground beef, we could still detect E. coli and recognize different strains,” said Mauer, whose findings were reported in the August issue of the Journal of Food Science.

Mauer demonstrated two methods for separating bacteria from ground beef for testing.

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Ohio Cattlemen’s President says agreement with HSUS was the right choice

By: Dave Felumlee, President Ohio Cattlemen’s Association

To all Ohio Cattlemen’s Association members and stakeholders,

After many phone calls, e-mails and discussions, I writing this to elaborate on the reasons why I believe the correct decision was made to reach an agreement with HSUS. There were many, many factors that contributed to this decision and it was made with much thought, and even some pain of conflict with my own emotions. I feel very fortunate that the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association was at the table to express our concerns and thoughts throughout the process.

From the beginning, the commodity groups and Farm Bureau agreed that it was in everyone’s best interest to work together and be unified as one voice. This began in the issue 2 campaign, and has remained this way even today. This is Ohio agriculture’s fight! Each individual at the table had an equal vote and an equal voice.

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