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Spring Dairy Expo highlights success, challenges and opportunities

Though dairy prices continue to be serious concern, it did not slow down participants and exhibitors at the 2018 Spring Dairy Expo at the soggy/chilly/sunny/cloudy end of March.

“At the beginning of March, entries were well over 670 head entered with an additional 200-plus sale animals featuring all breeds. We were pleased to see numbers holding steady with some increases in some of the breeds,” said Angi Kaverman, Spring Dairy Expo show manager. “It has not been intolerable weather this year. The rain has not been the best but we’ve at least had decent temperatures. We started our event the morning of March 29 with the youth judging contest and we had 190 youth at the contest, which was an increase from previous years. We feel by moving that to kick off our event we generated a little more traffic flow as well as excitement from being involved.”

The Stark County Senior Team won the Ohio 4-H Dairy Judging Contest at the event.

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Milk production of Ohio dairy herds

It is always important to monitor the yield of milk and the composition of milk, especially for the individual farmer, because the income of the dairy farm depends on this source of revenue. The yields of fat and protein are the primary determinants of the price received by farmers. The proportions of fat and protein are useful in monitoring cow health and feeding practices within a farm. The income over feed costs (IOFC) and feed costs per hundred of milk are important monitors of costs of milk production.

The average production of milk, fat, and protein by breed for Ohio dairy herds in 2016 and 2017 using the Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI; http://www.dhiohio.com) program are provided in Table 1. Not all herds on DHI are included in the table below because of the different testing options offered by DHI, some herds opt for no release of records, lack of sufficient number of test dates, and given that some of the herds consist of other breeds than the ones shown.

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China announces 25% duty on U.S. pork

China has announced new tariffs on American agricultural exports as retaliation for U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.

“We regret the Chinese government’s decision to impose an additional 25% duty on imports of U.S. pork and pork variety meat. The United States is a reliable supplier of pork products to China, and this decision will have an immediate impact on U.S. producers and exporters, as well as our customers in China. We are hopeful that the additional duties can be rescinded quickly, so that U.S. pork can again compete on a level playing field with pork from other exporting countries,” said Dan Halstrom, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO. “Exports have been a key driver of growth in the U.S. pork industry, and with nearly 27% of U.S. pork production exported last year, international trade is critical to the continued success and profitability of the U.S. industry. China is a leading destination for U.S.

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Milk marketing opportunities a topic at Spring Dairy Expo

 

Though dairy prices continue to be serious concern, it did not slow down participants and exhibitors at the 2018 Spring Dairy Expo this weekend. Dale Minyo caught up Scott Higgins and Jenny Hubble with the American Dairy Association Mideast to get an update on efforts to continue expanding markets.

“It was a little chilly but a good weekend for dairy farmers to be at Spring Dairy Expo,” Hubble said. “There are three days of events and exhibit numbers are up this year.”

The Spring Dairy Expo provides an opportunity for ADA Mideast to update dairy farmers of the work being done to market the continually expanding dairy production in Ohio and around the country.

“We have been working hard to increase demand and trust for dairy foods. We don’t do what we traditionally used to do. We aren’t doing television advertising like we did back in the ‘Got Milk’ days.

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Dairy groups applaud U.S.-South Korea Trade Agreement

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) applauded the Trump Administration’s swift and effective negotiation with South Korea regarding the terms and implementation of the U.S.-Korea free trade Agreement (KORUS).

In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the two dairy groups expressed appreciation that trade officials were able to secure a result with South Korea that addressed certain dairy industry concerns while preserving the overall agreement.

South Korea is the fourth-largest U.S. dairy export market. Last year, it accounted for over $230 million in U.S. dairy sales. It is also the second-largest cheese market in the world.

“Preserving free trade agreements (FTAs) like this one is essential to strengthening our economy and expanding opportunities for America’s dairy producers and processors,” said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of USDEC.

With KORUS, the U.S. dairy industry will remain a competitive dairy exporter to South Korea in a world in which most other major dairy exporters have access to the South Korean market through a trade agreement.

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What are you calving priorities?

Calving season is underway to some degree for many producers. If you have not started your calving season, you likely will soon. Calving time is an exciting period for producers as they are seeing the results of their genetic choices and management decisions coming to reality. Warmer weather and green pastures will develop in the coming weeks. The calf crop will grow and develop quickly through the spring and summer months. While this is taking place, the producer will set the 2019 calf crop motion with the onset of the breeding season.

Before the start of this breeding season, I would encourage producers to critically evaluate the production goals for your herd. Do the type of cattle that you produce adequately target your chosen market? If you sell your calves as feeder calves in the fall, your goal should be to sell as many healthy feeder calves with excellent weaning weights as possible.

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Omnibus bill addressed milk labeling concerns

The massive congressional spending bill signed into law last week  expresses Congress’ concern that many plant-based foods and beverages are not properly labeled. It builds on language from the DAIRY PRIDE Act (DPA), a bipartisan bill introduced last year in both chambers of Congress, to compel the Food and Drug Administration to act against misbranded imitations.

Given the existing definition of milk as a product of a dairy animal, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said that Congress’ instructions to FDA in the omnibus bill should restrict the ability of beverages made from plant foods from using the term “milk” on their labels. This will also affect products misusing other dairy food names such as “cheese” and “yogurt” that are defined in the Code of Federal Regulations and cited in the congressional bill.

Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF, expressed appreciation for the support of congressional members in both parties to ensure the spending bill included these and other priority issues of importance to dairy producers.

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Understanding corn protein variability is important for feed rations

Agriculture in general is highly variable due to the fact that living plants and animals are a part of production systems. As such, all parts of the production chain must adjust to the variability accordingly.

With reports of potentially wider than normal variations in corn protein levels in recent years, adjustments may need to be made to livestock feed.

“You’re always going to have variability in ingredients. Every year is different,” said Paul Kalmbach, Jr. with Kalmbach Feeds, Inc. “We deal with it first by performing extensive testing of our ingredients, especially around harvest, and also by formulating diets based on the results. We test many ingredients before we allow them into the plant. The protein testing is done onsite with a Near Infrared Reflectance spectroscopy (NIR) machine and we get results back in less than 10 minutes which allows us to adapt quickly to changes and saves significant cost. We also confirm our results with third party labs which costs more and takes longer.

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The Ohio Pork Council partners with Brookside Laboratories to provide discounted soil and manure samples

The Ohio Pork Council is pleased to announce its partnership with Brookside Laboratories to provide discounted soil and manure samples for all Ohio pig farmers. To help farmers better utilize their resources, Brookside Laboratories has generously offered to provide soil samples for $3 per sample and manure samples for $20 per sample for all Ohio pig farmers.

To qualify for the discount, farmers must complete a survey at www.ohiopork.org/soilsample.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Ohio’s pork farmers as they work towards continual improvement of water quality and best nutrient management practices,” said Luke Baker, Brookside Laboratories.

Once completed, farmers will be provided an email with further instructions, a unique identifying code and an order form to be submitted with their soil and manure samples. Special soil sample bags and manure containers will be provided though select integrators and county extension offices for farmers to use in this process.

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2018 Ohio Beef Expo Junior Show champions

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) Junior Show was held Sunday, March 18 during the 2018 Ohio Beef Expo at the Ohio Expo Center, Columbus, Ohio. The annual show spotlighted nearly 900 steers and heifers. Mark Johnson, Oklahoma, evaluated the breeding heifers while Amanda Schnoor, California, assessed the market animals. For a complete list of sponsors, visit www.ohiobeefexpo.com. The champions of the event were as follows:

 

Breeding Heifers

 

Grand Champion                                 Addison Jones, Allen County – Champion Angus

Reserve Champion                             Caitlin Schaub, Auglaize County – Champion % Simmental

3rd Overall                                              Paige Pence, Clark County – Reserve Champion Angus

4th Overall                                              Samantha VanVorhis, Wood County – Champion Purebred Simmental

5th Overall                                              Hailee Carter, Holmes County – Champion MaineTainer

6th Overall                                              Kathy Lehman, Richland County – Champion Chianina

7th Overall                                              Karlie Kennedy, Adams County – Champion Crossbred

8th Overall                                              Hanna Schroeder, Putnam County – Champion ShorthornPlus

9th Overall                                              Olivia Wood, Clinton County – Champion Shorthorn

10th Overall                                            Chris Tooms, Muskingum County – Reserve Champion MaineTainer

 

Champion Angus                                 Addison Jones, Allen County

Reserve Angus                                     Paige Pence, Clark County

Champion Chianina                           Kathy Lehman, Richland County

Reserve Chianina                                Abbie Collins, Preble County

 

Champion Hereford                            Jenna Phelps, Union County

Reserve Hereford                                Maddox Cupp, Fairfield County

 

Champion High % Maine-Anjou     Samantha VanVorhis, Wood County

Reserve High % Maine-Anjou         Lori Millenbaugh, Crawford County

 

Champion MaineTainer                     Hailee Carter, Holmes County

Reserve MaineTainer                         Chris Tooms, Muskingum County

 

Champion Shorthorn                          Olivia Wood, Clinton County

Reserve Shorthorn                               Caroline Winter, Pickaway County
Champion ShorthornPlus                   Hanna Schroeder, Putnam County
Reserve ShorthornPlus                       Reed Hanes, Mercer County

Champion Purebred Simmental        Samantha VanVorhis, Wood County

Reserve Purebred Simmental            Justin Reed, Sandusky County

 

Champion % Simmental                    Caitlin Schaub, Auglaize County

Reserve % Simmental                        Reed Hanes, Mercer County

 

Champion Miniature Hereford         Isaac Wiley, Morrow County

Reserve Miniature Hereford              Andrew Johnson, Preble County

 

Champion High % AOB                     Hudson Drake, Ross County

Reserve High % AOB                         Brooke Egbert, Auglaize County

 

Champion Low % AOB                     Morgan Neill, Huron County

Reserve Low % AOB                         Kathy Lehman, Richland County

 

Champion Crossbred                          Karlie Kennedy, Adams County

Reserve Crossbred                               Kathy Lehman, Richland County

 

Market Animals

 

Grand Champion                                 Brooke Egbert, Auglaize County – Champion Crossbred, Division III Champion

Reserve Champion                             Brady Turnes, Perry County – Reserve Champion Crossbred, Division II Champion

3rd Overall                                              3rd Overall                                             Elizabeth Heintz, Auglaize County – Third Overall Crossbred, Division II Reserve Champion

4th Overall                                              4th Overall                                             Elizabeth Heintz, Auglaize County – Champion Chianina

5th Overall                                              5th Overall                                             Micayla McClure, Hamilton County – Champion Maine-Anjou

6th Overall                                              6th Overall                                             Addie Shaffer, Lake County – Fourth Overall Crossbred, Division III Reserve Champion

7th Overall                                              7th Overall                                             Kassidy Thompson, Miami County – Champion ShorthornPlus

8th Overall8th Over                              8th Overall                                             Fox Morgan, Perry County – Fifth Overall Crossbred, Division I Champion

9th Overall                                              9th Overall                                             Hudson Drake, Ross County – Reserve Chianina

10th Overall                                            10th Overall                                           Harrison Blay, Portage County – Reserve Maine-Anjou

 

Champion Angus                                 Carly Sanders, Highland County

Reserve Angus                                     Avery Wood, Clinton County

 

Champion Chianina                           Elizabeth Heintz, Auglaize County

Reserve Chianina                                Hudson Drake, Ross County

 

Champion Hereford                            Ross Michael, Montgomery County

Reserve Hereford                                Ashton Bain, Highland County

 

Champion Maine-Anjou                    Micayla McClure, Hamilton County

Reserve Maine-Anjou                        Harrison Blay, Portage County

 

Champion Shorthorn                          Abigail Thornton, Fairfield County

Reserve Shorthorn                               Taylor Muhlenkamp, Mercer County

 

Champion ShorthornPlus                   Kassidy Thompson, Miami County

Reserve ShorthornPlus                       Delaney Chester, Warren County

 

Champion Simmental                        Carter McCauley, Guernsey County

Reserve Simmental                             Grant Belleville, Wood County

 

Champion Miniature Hereford         Noah Smith, Sandusky County

Reserve Champion Miniature           Seamus Bly, Lake County

 

Champion AOB                                   Sydney Sanders, Highland County

Reserve AOB                                        Wally Minges, Butler County

 

Champion Market Heifer                   Josh Champer, Madison County

Reserve Market Heifer                       Payton Freed, Muskingum County

 

Champion Division I Crossbred       Fox Morgan, Perry County

Reserve Division I Crossbred            Hayden Belleville, Wood County

 

Champion Division II Crossbred      Brady Turnes, Perry County

Reserve Division II Crossbred          Elizabeth Heintz, Auglaize County

 

Champion Division III Crossbred    Brooke Egbert, Auglaize County

Reserve Division III Crossbred        Addie Shaffer, Lake County

 

Champion Division IV Crossbred    Amelia Willis, Pike County

Reserve Division IV Crossbred        Kade Gowitzka, Richland County

 

Champion Division V Crossbred      Samantha Augustine, Ashland County

Reserve Division V Crossbred          Adam Kinsman, Fulton County

 

Champion Crossbred                          Brooke Egbert, Auglaize County – Division III Champion

Reserve Crossbred                               Brady Turnes, Perry County – Divsion II Champion

3rd Overall Crossbred                           Elizabeth Heintz, Auglaize County – Division II Reserve Champion

4th Overall Crossbred                           Addie Shaffer, Lake County – Division III Reserve Champion

5th Overall Crossbred                           Fox Morgan, Perry County – Division I Champion

 

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Ohio Beef Expo enjoyed success in 2018

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) hosted more than 30,000 participants and attendees at the Ohio Expo Center in March for the 2018 Ohio Beef Expo.

The Expo provides an annual opportunity for those in the cattle industry in Ohio, and across the nation, to learn and enhance their operations through a three-day trade show, cattle sales, youth events and educational seminars.

Five breed shows and two breed parades were featured Friday, as well as numerous breed displays representing the Angus, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Hereford, Maine-Anjou, Miniature Hereford, Murray Grey, Red Angus, Simmental and Shorthorn breeds. The Genetic Pathway, located in the Showbloom breed’s barn, had the industry’s most popular sires and donor prospects on display throughout the weekend. Six breed sales brought in large crowds on Saturday, March 17, selling 374 lots with an average price of $2,864 and a gross of $1,197,125.

BeefExpo

Two recipients were honored with the Friend of the Expo Award for their contribution to the Expo’s annual success.

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House bill exempts farms from reporting emissions

A bipartisan bill to exempt farmers from reporting to the U.S. Coast Guard emissions from the natural breakdown of manure on their farms yesterday was introduced in the U.S. House. The National Pork Producers Council strongly supports the legislation, which is similar to a bipartisan bill introduced last month in the Senate.

Sponsored by Reps. Billy Long, R-Mo., and Jim Costa, D-Calif., along with 85 cosponsors, the “Agricultural Certainty for Reporting Emissions (ACRE) Act,” H.R. 5275, would fix a problem created last April when a U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that exempted farmers from reporting routine farm emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).

CERCLA, more commonly known as the “Superfund Law,” is used primarily to clean hazardous waste sites but also includes a mandatory federal reporting component.

The appeals court ruling could force more than 100,000 livestock farmers to “guesstimate” and report the emissions from manure on their farms to the Coast Guard’s National Response Center (NRC) and subject them to citizen lawsuits from activist groups such as the Humane Society of the United States.

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Dairy price woes continue

The world is awash in milk, it seems. Production is up, consumption is down and grim economic reality is settling in for many dairy farms.

Ohio State University Extension field specialist for dairy production economics Dianne Shoemaker does not see much light at the end of the tunnel for dairy prices.

“Sadly, I am not hearing a lot that is hopeful — too many cows, lots of heifers coming up behind them, too much milk. It sounds like New Zealand is having some weather issues, so if that results in lower than expected milk production, that means less milk for export to the international market,” Shoemaker said. ‘It is a bleak picture of the next 12 months. Top this off with uncertainty about NAFTA and proposed tariffs, and it is hard to be terribly optimistic. In spite of the oversupply of milk, farmers have to manage their businesses on an individual basis, which means they are likely to produce more milk and focus on components.”

The U.S.

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Livestock haulers get another waiver from ELD rule

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) granted drivers who haul livestock an additional 90-day waiver from a regulation that could have negative effects on animal well-being.

A DOT rule issued in 2015 required truckers of commercial vehicles involved in interstate commerce to replace their paper driving logs with Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) by Dec. 18, 2017. In September 2017, the National Pork Producers Counci petitioned the agency for a waiver and exemption from the requirement, and DOT provided an initial 90-day waiver — until March 18 — from the mandate for livestock haulers. A final decision on the request for an exemption still is pending.

ELDs, which can cost from $200 to $1,000 plus a $30 to $50 monthly fee, record driving time, engine hours, vehicle movement and speed, miles driven and location information. They electronically report that data to federal and state inspectors and supposedly help the DOT enforce its Hours of Service regulation.

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USDA scraps organic livestock and poultry rule

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) withdrew the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule, a set of standards that organic producers would have had to meet to qualify for the voluntary organic label for livestock and poultry.

Many think the rule went well beyond the original intent of the Organic Production Act by allowing for animal welfare standards and metrics to become part of the organic label.

The rule was originally to be finalized on Nov. 14, 2017, but Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue last fall announced a 180-day extension, making May 14, 2018, the new implementation date. Perdue ultimately heeded the request of organic livestock and poultry farmers and the organizations that represent them, including Farm Bureau, to abandon the rule altogether.

“Livestock health and well-being is a priority for all farmers and ranchers. We rely on trained professionals, including animal scientists, nutritionists and veterinarians, to ensure the health and safety of our food.

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Dairy safety net strengthened but more work needs done

After Congress made significant improvements in February to the dairy safety net, the National Milk Producers Federation is now urging U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to move swiftly to re-open 2018 enrollment for the Margin Protection Program (MPP) so farmers can take advantage of the program in the face of challenging on-farm economic conditions.

Congress passed a major supplemental assistance bill on Feb. 9 that contained $1.2 billion in budget authority to both strengthen the MPP and remove the annual budget cap on the Livestock Gross Margin (LGM) program for dairy. Congress has worked for nearly a year to find the budgetary resources to implement necessary improvements to the MPP, a program which has failed to offer meaningful safety net support to farmers in its first three years of operation. The budget package approved in February will allow farmers to insure more of their milk production history at a lower cost.

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January meat exports show a strong start to 2018

January exports of U.S. beef were significantly higher than the large totals of a year ago while pork exports were steady in volume and increased in value, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Beef exports totaled 105,486 metric tons (mt) in January, up 9% year-over-year, while export value surged 21% to $624.4 million. Exports accounted for 12.4% of total beef production in January, up slightly from a year ago. For muscle cuts only, the percentage exported increased from 9.5% to 10.1%. Beef export value averaged $293.06 per head of fed slaughter, up 14% year-over-year.

January pork exports totaled 203,488 mt, steady with last year’s strong volume, while export value increased 7% to $545.6 million. Pork exports accounted for 24.7% of total pork production, down from 26.2% a year ago. For muscle cuts only, the percentage exported declined slightly to 21.5%. Pork export value averaged $50.93 per head slaughtered, up 1% year-over-year.

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Livestock transport rules still unclear

The National Pork Producers Council recently met with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator Raymond Martinez, urging his agency to come up with equipment and rules related to interstate trucking that meet the unique needs of the livestock industry.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) in 2015 issued a regulation that all commercial truckers replace their paper driving logs with Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) by Dec. 18, 2017. Livestock haulers got a 90-day waiver, which expires March 18, from the ELD mandate because, argued NPPC and other groups, it is incompatible with DOT’s Hours of Service (HOS) rules. Those regulations limit commercial truckers to 11 hours of driving time and 14 consecutive hours of on-duty time in any 24-hour period. Once drivers reach that limit, they must pull over and wait 10 hours before driving again.

Truckers hauling livestock within a 150-air-mile radius of the location at which the animals were loaded are exempt from the HOS rules, but the exemption is not uniformly recognized and its implementation varies by state.

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Do some selection tools result in unintended consequences?

You hear more about mature cow size and growth potential of calves, now that profit ebbs and flows with the cycle. We’ve written about mature size, but not much about how to use the relevant tools to change it. So now, let’s examine the strategies and tools available, and the unintended consequences of ignoring them.

Commercial breeders can draw on more selection tools than ever before to improve the next generation of cows to match the market and ranch environments. Genomic testing can identify sires in multi-bull pastures while indexing heifer genetic potential and sorting outliers for adaptability and docility. You could start with cow records and docility notes early on, then cull heifers at weaning that don’t make the obvious phenotypic and docility cuts.

With all the concern of increasing mature size in the cow herd, I am curious: how many heifers do you cull at weaning for being too large?

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