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People, product and protocol — Biosecurity and African swine fever

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

The world is watching African swine fever (ASF) and it is a top concern for the U.S. pork industry.

“It would be devastating for our industry. Our industry depends on exports,” said Dave Pyburn, Vice President of Science and Technology at the National Pork Board. “Immediately in the face of an outbreak of any of the big three foreign animal diseases, (classical swine fever, foot and mouth disease, and ASF), we would see all exports stop.”

ASF is not harmful to humans, but is fatal to pigs. This particular swine disease has a near 100% fatality rate according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The ASF virus originated in sub-Saharan Africa, though most of the ASF headlines have come from China. According to a Purdue Agricultural Economics report, the USDA estimates that hog slaughter and pork production are falling sharply in China as ASF continues to devastate the Chinese pork industry.… Continue reading

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USDA moving forward with vaccine bank

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced recent progress on implementing programs funded by the 2018 Farm Bill, including moving forward with developing a Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank.

Specifically, APHIS is awarding $10.2 million to support disease prevention and emergency response training. As part of this funding, APHIS is moving forward with developing the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank. The first priority of the bank is to increase the U.S. stockpile of FMD vaccines. Last year, APHIS’ 30-day sources sought notice for FMD vaccines closed, with seven responses reviewed by the agency.

APHIS is now issuing a request for proposals, and plans to have the initial FMD vaccine contracts in place by the end of the second quarter of FY2020. The agency’s goal is to invest between $15 million and $30 million on the vaccine by the end of this year. Currently, the USDA, which has prescribed vaccination for dealing with an FMD outbreak, does not have access to enough vaccine to avoid devastating economic consequences to the U.S.… Continue reading

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Develop a plan for the year ahead

By Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

I’m glad the days are starting to be a fraction longer, even though it’s not much more yet. While I wait for some daylight, I can usually be found reading early in the morning. I’m certainly a morning person, just ask my wife. There is no other good reason to be up at 4 a.m. this time of year, especially if I don’t have to be. I am though, trying to catch up on reading while it’s a bit easier to stay inside.

There is always something to be learned, reviewed, or perhaps occasionally unlearned. I like to take a second look at old ways of doing things and reading very old agriculture books. You would be surprised to learn that things that most would think are new ideas are sometimes over a century old.

As new ideas or innovations come to light, there is always somewhat of an incentive to evaluate and try them.… Continue reading

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Beef exports (again) a key factor to watch in 2020

By Josh Maples, Assistant Professor & Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

The latest Monthly Trade data for November 2019 was released by USDA Economic Research Service. The report continued the recent trend of lower monthly exports as compared to 2018. After three consecutive years of double-digit increases (2016-2018) in beef exports, current data show January-November 2019 exports to be down 4.6% compared to the same period in 2018. There are also new and hopeful trade deals to add to the mix with Japan, Canada, Mexico, and China. Needless to say, there are plenty of moving parts for 2020.

November 2019 beef exports were 8% below the same month of 2018 at just under 245 million pounds. For January-November 2019, exports to four of the top five destinations were lower (Japan, Mexico, Canada, Hong Kong) with the exception of South Korea which is up 6.3%. Japan is still the top destination for U.S.… Continue reading

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Pig virus is easily transmitted among chickens and turkeys

Ohio State University researchers are taking a look at the potential for viral diseases to spread between livestock species, and potentially to humans. The first animal study of a pig virus’ potential to jump to another species shows that the virus, once introduced to a select group of birds, is easily transmitted to healthy chickens and turkeys.

The researchers who led this work were part of a team that previously found in a lab setting that the virus could infect cells from multiple species, including chickens and humans. In this study, birds that were given the virus developed diarrhea two days after infection. Healthy birds housed with infected chickens and turkeys also developed diarrhea two days after exposure.

That rapid spread of disease surprised the Ohio State University scientists.

“We weren’t even sure the virus would transmit from bird to bird. That’s a significant finding,” said senior author Scott Kenney, assistant professor of veterinary preventive medicine based in Ohio State’s Food Animal Health Research Program at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster.… Continue reading

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2020 Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council Conference

The Ohio Forages and Grasslands Council Annual Conference will be held Feb. 21, 2020 from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm at the Ohio Department of Agriculture in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. The program theme is “Foraging for profit.” The Keynote speaker will be Jimmy Henning, Forage Professor, University of Kentucky, who will discuss “Making good round bale silage” based on extensive research and experience in Kentucky. Henning will also be speaking on a second topic, “The clover dilemma: Do I have enough to withhold N fertility.”

Another featured speaker to address new fencing technologies is Tony Parker, associate professor, Ohio State University Animal Science, speaking on “Current and future technologies for grazing animal management.”

Several producer talks will also be presented which includes beef producer Jonathan Berger from Wooster, Ohio, dairy producer, Jeff Miller from Winesburg, Ohio, stored forages producers, Miles and Caleb vonStein from Jenera, Ohio and sheep producer, Brady Campbell from Waterford, Ohio.… Continue reading

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OSU Extension to host two winter beef programs

Mark your calendars now for the Ohio Beef Cattle Nutrition and Management School, targeted for anyone raising, feeding, or marketing any class of beef cattle.

Session 1 (6 to 9:00 p.m. Jan. 29 at Luckey Farmers Inc. main office in Sandusky County, and Jan. 30 at the OSU Newark Campus in Licking County) will feature former OSU research nutritionist and current University of Georgia Department of Animal Sciences Chair, Francis Fluharty discussing the use of small grains, by-product feeds, and cover crop forages in both feedlot and beef cow diets. Session 2 (Feb. 12 in Sandusky County, and Feb. 13 in Licking County, both 6 to 9:00 p.m.) will feature talks by OSU Extension educators on marketing strategies, feeding and managing for carcass quality, forage testing, and managing annual forages for grazing and hay, as well as discussion led by OSU Clinical Veterinarian, Dr. Justin Kieffer on herd health, parasite management, and vaccination protocols.… Continue reading

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2020 OCA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet highlights

By Madi Kregel, OCJ field reporter

The 2020 Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet showed the bright future members needed on a very gloomy and rainy Saturday.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association vice president of government affairs, Ethan Lane, spoke multiple times during the event about key issues at the federal level for the beef industry. Lane explained the NCBA aims to continue to work with the current presidential administration’s interest in trying to help the agricultural community. On the regulatory front, NCBA had a significant recent victory with an announcement by President Trump promulgating new regulations to implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

NEPA was first enacted in 1970 to “create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony,” and has not undergone substantive regulatory revision since 1986. Ranchers must undergo NEPA reviews for many reasons, but common examples include renewal of a term grazing permit, construction of range improvements, or to become eligible for participation in USDA programs.… Continue reading

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Borden second major milk seller to declare bankruptcy

Dallas-based Borden, one of America’s largest dairy companies founded in 1857, announced this month that it initiated voluntary reorganization proceedings in the District of Delaware under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Borden is the second major U.S. milk seller to declare bankruptcy in recent months after Dean Foods Company announced bankruptcy in November.

Borden intends to use the court process to pursue a financial restructuring designed to reduce its current debt load, maximize value and position the company for long-term success. Borden plans to continue operating in the ordinary course of business, under the court’s supervision.

“Borden is EBITDA-positive (earning before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) and growing, but we must achieve a more viable capital structure,” said Tony Sarsam Borden CEO. “This reorganization will strengthen our position for future prosperity. Over the past 163 years, we have earned the distinction of being one of the most well-recognized and reputable national brands.… Continue reading

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2020 OSIA LEAD Marketing Advantage Sale date set

The date has been set for the second annual Marketing Advantage Sale for the OSIA LEAD Council and the Ohio State Fair — January 14, 2020. The event is hosted online by Breeders World.

The Marketing Advantage Sale is the exclusive opportunity to secure advertising visibility during market lamb and breeding sheep events at the 2020 Ohio State Fair through the purchase of one or more sale lots.

New for 2020, the sale will also include expanding marketing opportunities at the LEAD Council’s premier spring educational event, the No Show Lamb Show. There will be four unique sale lots featuring options such as booth space during the event to display business or products to an audience of parents and other adults in attendance at the No Show Lamb Show.

The Marketing Advantage Sale has been established as the primary funding source for the Ohio State Fair Market Lamb and Breeding Sheep Programs.… Continue reading

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Ohio Beef Expo set for 2020

The Ohio Beef Expo, the premier event of Ohio’s beef industry, will take place March 19 through 22 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. This annual event, coordinated by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA), includes a kick-off social; breed sales, shows and displays; beef quality assurance sessions; a multi-day trade show and a highly competitive junior show.

The Ohio Beef Expo will officially kick-off with the opening of the trade show at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 19. This is the second year for the Expo to open on Thursday, allowing more time for attendees, especially those that exhibit cattle at the Expo, to visit with vendors in the Voinovich building. The Expo trade show features over 140 vendors from 25 states that offer products and services beneficial to all cattlemen. OCA members and Expo exhibitors are invited to attend The Social on Thursday evening at the Expo headquarters hotel, the Hilton Columbus/Polaris.… Continue reading

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Animal welfare bill becomes federal law

By Ellen Essman, Ohio Law Blog, Agricultural & Resource Law Program at The Ohio State University

In November, the President signed the “Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act” (PACT), into law. PACT makes it a federal offense to purposely crush, burn, drown, suffocate, impale, or otherwise subject non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians to serious bodily injury.

PACT also outlaws creating and distributing video of such animal torture.  The law includes several exceptions, including during customary and normal veterinary, agricultural husbandry, and other animal management practices, as well as during slaughter, hunting, fishing, euthanasia, etc.… Continue reading

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United States hog inventory up 3%

As of Dec. 1, there were 77.3 million hogs and pigs on U.S. farms, up 3% from December 2018, but down slightly from Sept. 1, 2019, according to the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report published today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Other key findings in the report were:

  • Of the 77.3 million hogs and pigs, 70.9 million were market hogs, while 6.46 million were kept for breeding.
  • Between September and November 2019, 35.1 million pigs were weaned on U.S. farms, up 2% from the same time period one year earlier.
  • From September through November 2019, U.S. hog and pig producers weaned an average of 11.09 pigs per litter.
  • S. hog producers intend to have 3.13 million sows farrow between December 2019 and February 2020, and 3.15 million sows farrow between March and May 2020.
  • Iowa hog producers accounted for the largest inventory among the states, at 24.8 million head.
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Winter application of manure: Remember setbacks

By Glen Arnold, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Some Ohio livestock producers will be looking to apply manure to farm fields frozen enough to support application equipment. Permitted farms are not allowed to apply manure in the winter unless it is an extreme emergency, and then movement to other suitable storage is usually the selected alternative. Thus, this article is for non-permitted livestock operations.

In the Grand Lake St Marys watershed, the winter manure application ban from December 15 to March 1 is still in effect. Thus, no manure application would normally be allowed from now until March 1.

In the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) watershed, the surface application of manure to frozen and snow-covered soils require there to be a growing crop in the field. This could be a pasture, alfalfa, clover, ryegrass or a rape crop. There must be enough vegetation visible to provide a 90% cover of residue and growing vegetation.… Continue reading

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2020 Draft Horse Sale Dates

If you have sales you would like to see included on this list, e-mail ocjstaff@ocj.com.

 

January 14-15, 2020

Keystone Draft Horse Sale, Harrisburg, Pa

 

February 3, 2020

Kalona Special Work Horse Sale, Kalona, Iowa

 

February 18-21, 2020

Mid-America Draft Horse Sale, Gordyville, Illinois

 

Feb 19, 2020

Mel’s Stable Draft Horse Sale, New Holland, PA

 

Mar 4-6, 2020

Southern Indiana Spring Draft Horse, Carriage, Machinery & Equipment Auction, Montgomery,

IN

 

March 7, 2020

LaRue Horse & Tack Annual Spring Sale, LaRue, OH

 

March 9-14, 2020

Mid-Ohio Draft Horse and Carriage Sale, Mount Hope, Ohio

 

March 11-14, 2020

Boone Draft Horse & Mule Sale, Sedalia, MO

 

March 16-20, 2020

Topeka Spring Draft Horse, Carriage & Equipment Sale, Topeka, IN

 

March 20-21, 2020

Dixie Draft Horse Mule and Carriage Auction, Troutman, North Carolina

 

March 20, 2020

Vineyard Road Driving Horse Sale, Romulus, NY

 

March 24-27, 2020

Waverly Midwest Horse Sale, Waverly, Iowa

 

March 26 & 27, 2020
2020 Can/Am Clydesdale Extravaganza Sale
Michiana Event Center (MEC) Shipshewana, IN

 

April 1-3, 2020

Midwest Select Draft & Driving Horse Sale, Madison, Wis.Continue reading

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Cattlemen’s Annual Meeting to feature speakers Mark Gardiner and Ethan Lane

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will feature speakers Mark Gardiner and Ethan Lane at its Annual Meeting and Banquet on Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center.

Mark Gardiner, president of Gardiner Angus Ranch in Ashland, Kansas, will be featured during the opening luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Gardiner Angus Ranch is a family-owned operation and leading Angus genetics business located near the Oklahoma Panhandle. The family has developed an embryo transfer program that makes over 3,500 transfers a year, making it one of the largest of its kind in the world. The ranch presently consists of over 48,000 acres and breeds more than 4,500 head of Angus females each year and calves about 2,000 cows each fall and spring.

Gardiner graduated with a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences and industry from Kansas State University in 1983. He is active in the Beef improvement Federation and is also a former President of the Kansas Angus Association.… Continue reading

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OCA BEST Program introduces Stockmanship division

New for the 2019-20 BEST season, OCA is introducing the Stockmanship division. This new opportunity was developed in an effort to further youth’s knowledge of cattle throughout the state and to allow youth to showcase their abilities and talent outside of the show ring.

The Stockmanship division will be comprised of beef industry-focused events and competitions that are held in conjunction with BEST shows and OCA events. This division of the BEST program is open to all Ohio youth regardless of if they own or show cattle during the BEST show season. If an existing BEST participant would like to sign up for the Stockmanship division, they will do so under their BEST user profile at best.ohiocattle.org for no additional cost outside of existing cattle nominations. If age-eligible individuals would like to participate in the Stockmanship division but don’t have any cattle enrolled in the 2019-2020 BEST program, they should create their username and profile at best.ohiocattle.org (if they don’t have an existing account either BEST or non-BEST) and elect to participate in the Stockmanship division.… Continue reading

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Genetic excellence a family tradition at Bunker Hill Farm

By Matt Reese

Whether through on-farm production, the show ring or industry service and leadership, the Shultz family and Ohio’s sheep industry have been intertwined for generations on Bunker Hill Farm in Logan County. The current generation on the farm — Bill and Susan Shultz — were recognized with the 2019 Charles Boyles Master Shepherd Award Dec. 14.

“The award is about being good shepherds and good sheep people, but also leadership and involvement in the industry,” said Roger High, executive director of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, Ohio Sheep and Wool Program and director of livestock policy for Ohio Farm Bureau. “Both Bill and Susan as well as Bill’s dad have been very involved in the leadership of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association for what is now 70 years.”

Farrell Shultz served as the first president of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association in 1949. His son, Bill, served as OSIA president in 1979 and Bill’s wife, Susan, served as president in 2009.… Continue reading

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World champion Buckeyes celebrate success in the sawdust

By Emily Beal, writer for The Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

This time of year, Ohio State University fans around the world are getting ready to watch a Buckeye team make a run for a National Championship. Many, though, many not realize that there are already some 2019 champion Buckeyes that compete in a different type of venue. The Ohio State Dairy Judging Team proved it was the cream of the crop, placing first at the National Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. this fall. The last time Ohio State won the contest was in 1986.

The Dairy Judging Team placed first among 18 schools in the National Intercollegiate Dairy Judging Contest on Sept. 30. Coached by Bonnie Ayars, The Ohio State University team placed seventh for reasons with a score of 788. The team consists of fourth-place overall individual Billy Smith and ninth-place overall individual Lauren Almasy along with Sarah Lehner and Ian Lokai.… Continue reading

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USDA extends deadlines for Dairy Margin Coverage, Market Facilitation programs

Due to the prolonged and extensive impacts of weather events this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended the deadline to Dec. 20 for producers to enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program for the 2020 calendar year. The deadline had been Dec. 13. USDA announced is also continuing to accept applications for the Market Facilitation Program through Dec. 20.

“2019 has challenged the country’s ag sector — prevented or late planting followed by a delayed harvest has been further complicated by wet and cold weather,” said Bill Northey, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “Because some of our producers are still in the field, time to conduct business at the local USDA office is at a premium. We hope this deadline extension will allow producers the opportunity to participate in these important programs.”

Authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and available through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), the program offers reasonably priced protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.… Continue reading

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