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Ohio Poultry Association banquet highlights

As always the Ohio Poultry Association Annual Celebration Banquet was an event not to be missed, this year featuring a “Peace, Love & Poultry” theme.

The 32nd annual banquet featured great food and the chance to recognize award winners. Jim Cooper, of Cooper Farms was recognized with the Golden Egg Award. Others recognized at the event included the Stoller family from Van Wert County that received the Family Legacy Award, veterinarian Tim Barman, Ohio Representative Dave Hall and Ohio Representative Brian Hill.

One of the key issues facing Ohio’s egg producers are the shifting whims of consumer demand. Many of the companies who buy Ohio eggs are planning to require cage-free production in the near future.

“There is a lot of uncertainty, but the discussion continues on the announcements coming forward that a lot of the companies that we are supplying are going to transition to cage-free products somewhere

between 2018 and 2025,” said Lisa Timmerman, with Cooper Farms, who serves as president of the Ohio Poultry Association.

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Scrapie submissions needed

The good news for American sheep producers is that the industry has scrapie on the run. The bad news is that the current status makes carriers of the fatal disease more difficult to find.

“The incidence rate is now very low and finding the few remaining cases becomes more difficult using traditional surveillance methods,” said Wyoming State Veterinarian Jim Logan, DVM. “The best and most appropriate method now is within flock surveillance. It is in the best interest of the industry that we sample as many adult dead sheep and goats that we can find and get them tested.”

The only diagnostic tests currently available to determine if a sheep has scrapie require brain or lymphoid tissue. Scrapie is typically diagnosed by finding abnormal prion protein accumulation in the brain and/or lymphoid tissue of infected sheep. A positive test must be confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories. While no new cases of classical scrapie have been reported in the United States since April 2016, there’s still a need to be vigilant.

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Now is not the time to relax for cattle producers

April is an exciting time of the year for cow-calf producers. The 2017 calf crop is taking shape and breeding season is currently or soon will be underway  We have begun to emerge from the doldrums of winter to the warmth and new growth of spring. The drudgery of feeding hay to the herd is coming to an end as pastures begin their early spring flush of growth. It is certainly a great feeling to see cow-calf pairs turned out to fresh pastures for the first grazing of the season.

Nutrition

However, this is not necessarily a time for the cow-calf to relax and take for granted that the nutritional needs of the breeding herd are being met. In fact, this may be the most critical time of the year for producers to focus on the needs of the herd. This is especially true for yearling heifers and two-year-olds nursing their first calves.

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Ohio sheep industry scholarships

Ohio Sheep Improvement Association (OSIA) is once again sponsoring the Dr. Jack Judy and Ralph H. Grimshaw Memorial Scholarships to support future sheep farmers through its scholarship program. OSIA is offering a minimum of one $1,500 scholarship and a $1,000 scholarship to deserving students, which have graduated from high school, and college students pursuing college degrees. Preference will be given to students pursuing a degree in Agriculture.

“The Ohio sheep industry depends on young people who are considering and pursuing a career that will be beneficial to the Ohio and United States sheep industry,” said Roger A. High, OSIA Executive Director.

Although accurate information is not available prior to the year 2003; since the year 2003 27 Ohio sheep youth have received $18,050 in scholarships from the Ralph H. Grimshaw Memorial Scholarship Fund.  As 2016 was the initial year of the Dr. Jack Judy Memorial Scholarship Fund, one recipient received a scholarship for $1,500.00. 

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New study offers good news for pork producers

What happens when meat scientists get their hands on nearly 8,000 commercially raised pigs? They spend a year running dozens of tests and crunching numbers to arrive at research-backed management recommendations for pork producers.

“We had an opportunity to answer a lot of questions for the pork industry,” said Dustin Boler, assistant professor in the animal sciences department at the University of Illinois.

The team, which also included U of I graduate students, USDA meat science researchers, and a representative from Smithfield Foods, recently published their findings in five articles.

Anna Dilger, an associate professor in the department, explained their approach.

“The two main questions were, ‘Can I measure quality in one part of the pig and predict quality in the rest of it?’ And then, ‘What is the true variability in pork quality out there and what’s causing it?’” she said.

In the first article, the team looked at correlations between loin quality and quality of the belly and ham from the same pig.

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Jim Percival elected as chair of the American Lamb Board of Directors

Jim Percival, of Xenia, begins his last appointed term on the American Lamb Board and has been elected the serve as the 2017 ALB Chair. He represents small sheep producers on this national checkoff IMG_7352 (640x433)program.

Percival has been involved in the sheep and lamb industry for many years, serving on both the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association Board of Trustees, including serving as OSIA President, and the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program.

“Jim has taken this national leadership as an opportunity to be make impact in the promotion of lamb across the United States,” said Roger A. High, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association Executive Director.

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Questioning grazing efficiencies

There are certainly times when it would be much easier to just leave all the gates open and let the livestock manage themselves. Obviously, there must be some merit in this type of management, or lack of, because it is still pretty common. This is especially true in the spring. For those whose primary focus is planting corn and beans, pasture management is usually not a high priority. Equipment, field preparation and planting is the top priority; the cows will be fine until planting is done, until sidedressing is done, until first cutting of hay is done, etc. Unfortunately, by the time most of those producers have completed that work, they are usually short on forages. Hay or other fed feeds now take the place of management or time not expended earlier.

I still often question grazing efficiencies. Certainly not all of the forage that is produced will make it into the animal and likewise, not all of the potential growth is always lost or achieved.

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New Ohio Forages website launched

Our new Ohio Forages website has been launched, and can be found at https://forages.osu.edu/.  This is the same url as our old Ohio Forage Network site.

We intend for this website to be the go-to place to find all things forage within the Ohio State University Extension system. We are still in the process of adding content but it already includes a fair amount of information and news on forage and pasture management. We will be adding to each section over time. Be sure to check out the Resources tab for some cool photos and links to some of our favorite forage-related websites. A brand new feature we plan to add over the next few months is a place to add and compile videos on key aspects of forage management.

So browse around in it and let me (sulc.2@osu.edu) know if you have any suggestions.

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Establishing new forage stands

This month provides one of the two preferred times to seed perennial cool-season forages. The other preferred timing for cool-season grasses and legumes is in late summer, primarily the month of August here in Ohio. The relative success of spring vs. summer seeding of forages is greatly affected by the prevailing weather conditions, and so growers have success and failures with each option.

Probably the two primary difficulties with spring plantings are finding a good window of opportunity when soils are dry enough before it gets too late, and managing weed infestations that are usually more difficult with spring plantings. The following steps will help improve your chances for successful forage establishment in the spring.

  1. Make sure soil pH and fertility are in the recommended ranges.  Follow the Tri-state Soil Fertility Recommendations (https://forages.osu.edu/forage-management/soil-fertility-forages) .  Forages are more productive where soil pH is above 6.0, but for alfalfa it should be 6.5 – 6.8.
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GIPSA rule delayed again

It was recently announced that the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is delaying the effective date of its interim final rule an additional six months to Oct. 19, 2017.

This was viewed as a positive step in the right direction according to many livestock groups.

“This is another step toward common sense and away from counterproductive government intrusion in the free market,” said Craig Uden, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) president. “That said, while a delay is welcome, ultimately this rule should be killed and American cattle producers should be free to market our beef without the threat of government-sanctioned frivolous lawsuits.”

Two proposed rules and one interim final rule came out on Dec. 20, 2016, one month before the end of the Obama Administration. The interim final rule regarding the scope of the Packers and Stockyards Act and the proposed rule regarding undue preference and unjust treatment have a direct negative impact on the cattle industry.

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Was calf CPR a miracle or another day on the farm?

Was it an early Easter miracle or just another day on the farm? Michelle Ramseyer thinks it might have been a little bit of both.

Michelle and her husband Jeff raise around 200 cattle in an organic rotational grazing system with neighboring grain farmer, Dean McIlvaine. The Ramseyers provide the livestock and the labor while enhancing the fertility and controlling weeds on McIvaine’s farm ground for their Lone Pine Pastures operation in Wayne County, Michelle said.

“He actually owns the properties we have cattle on. We have 110 head of cattle and close to 80 calves on the ground now. We are a grass-fed operation. We started back in 2014 when we got the cattle. Dean is an organic crop farmer and all of the cattle are raised on organic grass. We do not feed anything other than hay and grass. Dean needed more fertility because his crops weren’t growing well.

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Ohio Beef Expo sale summary

The Ohio Beef Expo held March 17-19 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio hosted five breed sales, selling 289 live lots at an average price of $3,385 with a gross of $978,350. More than 30,000 cattle industry enthusiasts attended the 30th annual Expo, an event of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA). Individual breed sales results were as follows:

 

  Live

Lots

Sale

Gross

Live

Gross

Live

Average

Genetic

Gross

Bull

Average

Female

Average

Angus

52

$186,750

$179,350

$3,449

$7,400

$3,454

$3,444

Hereford

37

$104,850

$102,600

$2,773

$2,250

$3,313

$2,624

Maine-Anjou

64

$252,000

$245,800

$3,841

$6,200

$4,098

$3,613

Shorthorn

63

$151,560

$143,950

$2,285

$7,610

$2,325

$2,272

Simmental

73

$329,200

$306,650

    $4,200

$22,550

$4,909

$3,797

TOTAL

289

$1,024,360

$978,350

$3,385

 

 

 

Angus

Managed by: Dan Wells
Auctioneer: Ron Kreis

Sale Gross: $186,750

Live Lots: 52

Live Average: $3,449

High Selling Bull: Lot 12 – Kingsway Style 354 sold to Scott Spohn – Jackson, OH for $5,400

Consigned by Kingsway Angus – Tiffin, OH

High Selling Female: Lot 34 – HFS Dameron Bardot 572, sold to Flatrock Farms – Barnesville, OH for $8,000

Consigned by HFS Angus – Radnor, OH

 

Hereford

Managed by: Lisa Keets

Auctioneer: Dale Stith

Sale Gross: $104,850

Live Lots: 37

Live Average: $2,773

Embryo Lots: 1

Gross Embryo Sales: $2,250

Embryo Average: $750

High Selling Bull: Lot 1 – JLCS 9438 Canton C71ET sold to Herman’s Cattle Co.

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Strong pace continued for meat exports in February

February results for U.S. pork and beef exports were well above year-ago levels, with pork exports posting the strongest February volume on record, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by USMEF.

Pork exports reached 197,025 metric tons (mt) in February, up 15% year-over-year, with value up 17% to $486.7 million. For the first two months of 2017, exports totaled 399,692 mt, up 18%, with value increasing 22% to $995.3 million.

February exports accounted for 27.6% of total pork production and 22.9% for muscle cuts only, up from 23.8% and 20%, respectively, last year. January-February ratios were also significantly higher at 26.8% and 22.2%, compared to 23% and 19.3% in the first two months of 2016. Export value per hog slaughtered averaged $51.94 in February, up 18% year-over-year, while the January-February average was up 20% to $51.05.

Beef exports totaled 90,417 mt in February, up 9% year-over-year, with value up 16% to $508.5 million.

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USDA authorizes emergency grazing for areas affected by wildfires

USDA Authorizes Emergency Grazing in Response to President Trump’s Directive

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), acting in response to a directive from President Donald J. Trump, today authorized emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands located in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas — the three states most heavily impacted by ongoing wildfires which began on March 6, 2017.

“President Trump, the USDA, and Governors Brownback, Fallin, and Abbott deserve a great deal of credit for moving swiftly to open these lands to grazing so that many of the cattle producers who were dramatically impacted by last month’s wildfires can feed their herds,” said Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “Those devastating wildfires burned more than 1.5 million acres in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas and killed an estimated 9,000 to 18,000 cattle. Those cattle can’t be replaced, but today’s action will help ranchers salvage what remains of their herds.”

USDA Acting Deputy Secretary Michael L.

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HPAI like fighting a war in Tennessee

Dr. Charles Hatcher, the Tennessee State Veterinarian, was at the center of the recent flurry of activity with avian influenza when the H7 strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) was discovered in a commercial facility in the state.

“The state of Tennessee benefitted from the previous states going through the outbreak in 2015. The lessons learned there were critical for what we did,” Hatcher said at yesterday’s National Institute for Animal Agriculture meeting in Columbus. “We knew there was a possibility of this happening because the Mississippi Flyway and the Atlantic Coastal Flyway touch Tennessee. Since 2015 we have been planning. The bombshell hit us and once we determined it was HPAI, our pre-determined plans went into place. We had the incident command structure just like you would have going into war. It is like fighting a war because you have all of these battles.”

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture announced the discovery of HPAI in early March.

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Ohio livestock and poultry farmers support Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

The Ohio Pork Council, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Ohio Poultry Association and the Ohio Dairy Producers Association announced their support for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) recently. The announcement comes amid budget discussions to dramatically decrease funding for the GLRI.

The livestock and poultry groups issued the below statement regarding their support of the GLRI:

“Improving the quality of the Great Lakes has, and will, remain a top priority of ours today, and for generations to come. In order to be successful in our efforts of restoring the lakes, and preventing further damage, we recognize the progress made by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and see value in continuing to support the effort and build-off the momentum. Our farmers have reassured their commitment to restoring the lakes, and in doing so, supporting the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative launched in 2010 with the following areas of focus: cleaning up the Great Lakes Areas of Concern, preventing invasive species, reducing nutrient runoff and restoring habitat to protect native species.

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Clipboard Syndicate raised nearly $20,000 for OSU Dairy Judging Team expenses

Traveling and entry fees for the Ohio State University Collegiate Dairy Judging Team competitions are expensive. The students manage the dairy parlor at the Ohio State Fair and do other fundraisers to pay their own way, but as travel costs continue to rise, the long-term budget for the program is looking slimmer. Extension dairy program specialist and collegiate dairy coach Bonnie Ayars decided to address the issue.

“The students are working to raise money for their trips but we need a reserve for the future. For the very first time of my tenure, I am coming forth with a fundraiser for the collegiate dairy judging teams,” she said. “COBA generously donated a calf for us to use at the Spring Dairy Expo Buckeye Classic Sale managed by the kids.”

Leading up to the March 30 sale, shares for the calf were sold for $100 each to raise funds for the judging team.

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Ohio working with federal and industry partners to prevent the spread of avian influenza

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is working aggressively with Ohio’s poultry industry and federal partners to prevent the spread of avian influenza. Ohio has no reported cases of avian influenza, and together regulators, farmers and veterinarians are working to protect the health of the state’s bird population.

ODA asked the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS) to grant relief which now allows organic poultry producers to temporarily confine their flocks and maintain organic certification. This is a critical biosecurity measure requested by Ohio producers, and one ODA encourages all poultry producers, including small-scale backyard farmers, to implement.

“Preventing contact between flocks and wild birds is one of the most important steps any farmer can take to keep animals healthy and prevent the spread of avian influenza,” said Dr. Tony Forshey, state veterinarian. “I thank USDA-AMS for their work and recognition of the critical importance of this request and urge all Ohio poultry producers, large and small, to take aggressive biosecurity measures to protect the health of all of our state’s birds.”

Many Ohio farms have already taken aggressive actions to implement heightened biosecurity measures that protect poultry.

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Don’t remove your plants’ solar panel by grazing too early

Yes, it appears that we are trying to having an early spring, but I refuse to count those chicks before they hatch! Abnormally warm weather in February and early March is not that uncommon here in Indiana, unfortunately neither are late March and early April snows. The accumulated growing degree days so far this year, on average across the state, are higher than normal.

Now, it is early still, but I know how some think about new green growth in the pastures. Let’s think this through. Grazing too early in the spring does nothing but remove the solar panel the plants need to start building sugars and growing new roots. The forages really need to be able to canopy and get a good start before animals start removing that new growth otherwise production will be reduced.

I know sometimes the hay is not the best quality. It is better to supplement poor hay and keep feeding it, if available, than to start grazing too early.

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Topdressing wheat with liquid swine manure

Research on applying liquid livestock manure as a spring top-dress fertilizer to wheat has been ongoing in Ohio for several years. There is usually a window of time, typically around the last week of March or the first week of April, when wheat fields are firm enough to support manure application equipment. The wheat fields have broken dormancy and are actively pulling nutrients from the soil.

The key to applying the correct amount of manure to fertilize wheat is to know the manure’s nitrogen content. Most manure tests reveal total nitrogen, ammonia nitrogen and organic nitrogen amounts. The ammonia nitrogen portion is readily available for plant growth. The organic nitrogen portion takes considerably longer to mineralize and generally will not be available when wheat uptakes the majority of its nitrogen in the months of April and May.

Some manure tests also list a “first year availability” nitrogen amount. This number is basically the ammonia nitrogen portion of the manure plus about half the organic nitrogen portion.

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