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Ohio dairy farms prepared after extreme cold of last winter

The record low temperatures seen in the 2013-2014 winter taught many livestock producers some hard, cold lessons.

According to Steve Hilberg, senior climatologist with the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC), the severity of last year was reminiscent of winters several decades ago.

“Last year compared in many areas to those winters in the ‘70s and early ‘80s,” Hilberg said. “More recently we haven’t had that — winters haven’t been that bad. Last year is what we would categorize as a severe winter in many areas including Ohio. Severe winters are categorized as being in the top 20% of severity.”

When looking at the reason for the temperature drop, Hilberg cautions the overuse of the term “polar vertex.”

“It’s not quite as simple as polar vortex makes it sound, but there is a change in the jet stream that generates that kind of cold weather,” he said. “Last winter, and if you look back at the upper air patterns of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s when we had those bad winters, what was very common was an area of strong low pressure aloft over Canada and the Hudson Bay area.… Continue reading

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BEST Celebrity Showdown

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association BEST Program, for youth ages 8-21, will host the BEST Celebrity Showdown at the Clark County Cattle Battle to benefit Make-A-Wish. The event, in its third year, will be held on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, at the Champions Center, located on the Clark County Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ohio.

BEST youth will participate in this year’s battle, dressing up their cattle and presenting it to judge Woody Johnson from 92.3 WCOL’s Woody and the Wake-Up Call.

Through donations from family, friends, the community and members of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, youth participating in the Celebrity Showdown hope to raise $16,000 to help grant more wishes for local children battling life-threatening medical conditions. To date, the BEST program has raised over $30,000 for Make-A-Wish.

Incentive prizes will be awarded to the top fundraisers at the OCA BEST program banquet on May 9, 2015.  Make-A-Wish donations will continue to be accepted until the BEST Banquet.… Continue reading

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Ohio Beef Cattle School

Beef cattle producers who want to boost their profit potential and become more competitive can learn how by attending the 2015 Ohio Beef Cattle School series Jan. 27, Feb. 10 and 24, taught by experts from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The three-session program covers a broad range of topics including management decisions that a producer can make to take full advantage of the beef economic outlook in the present and for years to come, said John Grimes, beef coordinator for Ohio State University Extension and a member of the OSU Extension Beef Team.

The overall goal of the program, he said, is to help producers expand their beef operations and take advantage of the increasing consumer demand for high-quality beef products.

“Rapidly changing forces are constantly shaping the beef industry’s landscape, and successful producers need to stay abreast of changes to remain competitive,” Grimes said.… Continue reading

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Ohio Sheep and Wool Program offers scholarships to national leadership school

The Ohio Sheep and Wool Program, Ohio’s check-off program, is offering two scholarships to Ohio sheep, lamb, and wool producers to attend the Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School on June 21-14, 2015 in Denver. The Ohio Sheep and Wool Program is offering this scholarship as part of their Young Entrepreneurs Education Program which is designed to assist potential Ohio sheep industry leaders with the opportunity to attend a national leadership program to gain a better understanding of the United States sheep industry.  For more information and an agenda for the 2015 Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School go to www.nlfa-sheep.org/leadership.html

Qualifications to obtain the leadership school scholarship include, being a current Ohio sheep producer, and contributing to the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program.  If more than two applications are received, a committee will be appointed to determine the Ohio participants to the leadership program.

If interested, please contact Roger A.… Continue reading

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USDA grant will help protect central Ohio water quality

A central Ohio organization’s proposal is among 115 high-impact projects across all 50 states that will be granted more than $370 million in Federal funding as part of the new USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).

RCPP competitively awards funds to conservation projects designed by local partners specifically for their region. Eligible partners include private companies, universities, non-profit organizations, local and tribal governments and others joining with agricultural and conservation organizations and producers to invest money, manpower and materials to their proposed initiatives.

“We fully expect the resources that were recently announced to be matched at least dollar for dollar,” said Tom Vilsack, USDA Secretary. “So what we are looking at is nearly three quarters of a billion dollars of investment in conservation.”

Nearly 600 pre-proposals were submitted in 2014. The top pre-proposals were invited to submit a full proposal, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) received 210 proposals requesting $1.4 billion — four times the available funding.… Continue reading

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China bans U.S. poultry imports

After cases of avian influenza were discovered in wild birds in some areas of Oregon and Washington State, China announced a ban on U.S. poultry and egg imports.

“The new ban on U.S. poultry and egg imports by China is very disappointing. Instituting a national ban is a clear violation of international trade rules and one that will be costly to American poultry and egg farmers. We are reaching out to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office and the Agriculture Department and will support their actions to correct this situation as quickly as possible,” said Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Under guidelines from the World Organization for Animal Health, countries are allowed to place trade restrictions only on those geographic regions of concern, not an entire nation. Avian influenza has been found in non-commercial locations among wild birds in some areas of Oregon and Washington State. China’s restriction against all U.S.… Continue reading

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Extension publication for shrimp management

A new Purdue Extension publication can help both beginning and established marine shrimp farmers make their operations the most productive and cost-effective they can be in an industry that is growing and becoming more competitive.

Marine Shrimp Biofloc Systems: Basic Management Practices is the result of a meeting in 2014 to assess the needs of shrimp farmers.

“Based on this meeting, it appears that both novice and experienced shrimp farmers need more technical knowledge,” said Robert Rode, a Purdue Extension aquaculture specialist. “The publication summarizes basic management practices for most farmers raising marine shrimp in Indiana based on the most current literature available.”

Rode said an increasing number of marine shrimp enterprises have started over the past several years. They are popular because of their lower capital costs, their various sizes of operations and shrimp’s high market value.

Most of the information in the publication pertains to the biofloc water treatment system — a popular method of rearing shrimp — for dealing with metabolic wastes associated with production.… Continue reading

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2015 Ohio Beef Expo

The Ohio Beef Expo, the premier event of Ohio’s beef industry, will take place March 20-22 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus. This annual event, coordinated by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, includes breed sales, shows and displays, trade show and a highly competitive junior show. Attendees will also be able to take part in a silent auction and social hour on Friday and Saturday, in the trade show.

There are several new and exciting events scheduled to take place at this year’s Expo. On Friday, March 20 at 10:00 a.m. New Holland Agriculture will present a Forage Seminar. The seminar will be held in the Voinovich building and will feature discussions by Dr. Francis Fluharty, Research Professor in the OSU Department of Animal Sciences, and Robert Hendrix, New Holland hay and forage product specialist. Seminar attendees will receive discount incentives good toward the purchase of New Holland Agriculture hay and forage equipment.… Continue reading

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More than half of U.S. dairy farms enroll in new Margin Protection Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today that more than half of U.S. dairy operations have enrolled in the new Margin Protection Program (MPP) for dairy in 2015, “an encouraging start to this crucial new safety net program for our industry,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation.

The USDA reported Monday that more than 23,000 dairy operations signed up for the program during the three-month window that ran until December 19, 2014. That sum represents about half of the overall number of dairy farms in America.

“The margin protection program is a welcome improvement to federal dairy policy, and comes at an important time to help farmers deal with what will be a more challenging economic outlook in 2015,” Mulhern said. “The MPP is now the only widely-available tool to help farmers protect against both lower milk prices and higher feed costs. It represents a new paradigm in shared responsibility between farmers and the government to cover the cost of that insurance.”

While the USDA has yet to release the volume of U.S.… Continue reading

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OCA accepting bull consignments for Seedstock Improvement Sale

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association is currently accepting bull consignments to the Seedstock Improvement Sale. Consignment deadline for the sale is January 31, 2015.

The sale will be held April 11 at noon at the Union Stock Yards Company in Hillsboro, Ohio. This event offers an affordable way to market bulls from multiple breeds in one location and on one day. Buyers have the assurance of buying bulls with known genetics, a completed vaccination regimen and a breeding soundness exam.

The Seedstock Improvement Sale is open to consignments from all breeds. Consignors must be a current member of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association to participate. Bulls are required to be registered and to have expected progeny differences (EPDs). The bulls will be placed in sale order based on a within breed evaluation star system using EPDs for birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight, milk, marbling and ribeye. Bulls consigned to the sale can be one to five years of age.… Continue reading

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Sheep and Goat Webinar Series

Ohio State University Extension will again be offering the Sheep and Goat Webinar Series this winter on Monday evenings in February from 7 to 9 p.m.

Series topics include:

Feb. 2 — Clif Little, Ohio State University Extension, Guernsey County Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator: “Tips for Fine-Tuning your Flock/Herd FAMACHA Program”

Feb. 9 — Eric Gordon, Associate Professor, Ohio State Veterinary Clinical Medicine: “Tips for Managing Major Sheep and Goat Diseases: OPP, CAE, Caseous Lymphadenitis, Johnes, Scrapie and Cache Valley Virus”

Feb. 16 — Bill Weiss, Ohio State Animal Sciences: “Tips for Reducing Feed Losses From Silage and Hay”

Feb. 23 — Susan Schoenian, University of Maryland Small Ruminant Specialist: “Tips for Improving Lambing and Kidding Percentages: Management, Genetics and Selection”

Viewing locations include:

• Carroll County, Carroll County Extension Office, 613 North High Street, Carrollton, OH  44620; Site Coordinator, Sandy Smith, 330-627-4310, smith.10015@osu.edu

• Coshocton County, Coshocton County Extension Office, 724 South 7th St., Coshocton, OH 43812; Site Coordinator, Emily Adams, 740-622-2265, adams.661@osu.edu

• Coshocton County, TMK — New Bedford Store, 33874 St.… Continue reading

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Ohio Longhorn wins nation

The four year old steer “Junction” recently won the year-end International Texas Longhorn Association 2014 High Point Legacy Award for Grand Champion Senior Steer.

Junction attended his first show at Wooster, Ohio and was Grand Champion at the regional Ohio River Valley Texas Longhorn Association show. June Cohron, DVM, was the official ITLA judge. After this show his accumulation of points in the national show system were tabulated and he became the Honor Roll Legacy High Point of 2014.

Junction was born on Dickinson Cattle Co of Barnesville on July 3, 2010. He is sired by Juma and out of Unction by Over Kill. Texas Longhorn exhibition steers are judged for their show appearance, which includes all types of attractiveness as pasture decor.

This includes flashy color patterns, correct and sound conformation, gentle nature, freedom of movement and the more horn span the better. Junction measures 87.63 inches during his fourth year, which projects to an above 100 inches mature tip to tip actual measurement.… Continue reading

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Nutrition part of handling cold temperatures

With the colder temperatures, wind chill factors and snow this winter, livestock producers need to pay close attention to livestock for the health of the animals and ultimately, the bottom line of the farm.

There are numerous factors to consider when managing for the cold.

“It depends on how the animals went into winter in the first place. Have they had time to develop their coats for winter?” said Bill Seglar, DVM, PAS and Sr. Nutritionist/Veterinarian for DuPont-Pioneer Global Forages. “And it is one thing to have cold temperature and another to have driving winds with it.”

Mothers to be, in particular, need close attention as temperatures drop and wind speeds rise.

“I have seen beef cows that had gotten to February just fine but when they get to their third trimester without good quality feed they can die. If they are out there on corn stalks it just won’t do it.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Annual Meeting deadlines quickly approaching

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will hold the OCA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, at the NorthPointe Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio. Hotel rooms are available for $122, which includes breakfast for two people per room. Hotel reservations must be made by January 2, 2015 to receive this reduced rate.

The OCA registration deadline for this event is January 9, 2015. To register, visit www.ohiocattle.org/AnnualMeeting.

The day’s events start at 9:30 a.m. with the OCA county affiliate leader meeting. Featured speakers for the day include David O’Diam, Certified Angus Beef Executive Account Manager; Michele Murray, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Senior Executive Director of Integrated Communications; Colin Woodall, NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs and Tim White, NCBA Region 1 Vice President for Policy.

The OCA Annual Meeting, as well as the Ohio CattleWomen’s Annual Meeting will begin at 2:30 p.m. Following the final breakout session is a hospitality hour at 5 p.m.… Continue reading

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Hog numbers up from 2013

As of December 1, there were 66.1 million hogs and pigs on U.S. farms, up 2% from December 2013, and up 1% from September 1, according to the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Other key findings in the report were:

•    Of the 66.1 million hogs and pigs, 60.1 million were market hogs, while 5.97 million were kept for breeding.
•    Between September and November 2014, 29.4 million pigs were weaned on U.S. farms, up 4% from the same time period in 2013.
•    From September through November 2014, U.S. hog and pig producers weaned an average of 10.23 pigs per litter.
•    U.S. hog producers intend to have 2.87 million sows farrow between December 2014 and February 2015, and 2.90 million sows farrow between March and May 2015.
•    With 20.9 million head, Iowa hog producers had the largest inventory among the states.… Continue reading

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Ohio Pork Council answers questions about cooking pork

In an effort to build consumers’ comfort with cooking pork, the Ohio Pork Council partnered with four other state pork associations to create sixteen videos featuring step-by-step instructions for cooking pork recipes.

When the modern consumer has questions about food or cooking, they often turn to the Internet for answers. With that in mind, coupled with the fact that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, OPC has made an increased effort to create video content designed to help increase the demand for pork, by providing useful online resources related to cooking.

“Research shows that the Internet is a primary source of information for many food purchasers,” said Jennifer Keller, Director of Marketing and Education, Ohio Pork Council. “When people search the internet for information they use key phrases like “how to…” we want helpful and accurate information to be ranked higher in these searches.”

The Ohio Pork Council, in partnership with the Iowa Pork Producers Association; Missouri Pork Producers Association; Illinois Pork Producers Association; and Kansas Pork Association, has taken advantage of the opportunity to create short “How to Cook Pork” videos; creating videos such as “How to Make a Pork Roast,” “How to Make Carmel Apple Pork Chops,” “How to Make Quick Pork Fajitas,” and “How to Make Candied Bacon.”

Sixteen professional videos, each featuring a pork recipe and cooking tips to help the viewer succeed in preparing tender, juicy, delicious pork, have been posted to YouTube and promoted through various forms of advertising.… Continue reading

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2015 Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council Conference

The Ohio Forages and Grasslands Council Annual Conference will be held Feb. 6, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Ohio Department of Agriculture in Reynoldsburg. The program focus is “Take the Next Step” in your forage management program. The featured speaker will be Ed Rayburn, Extension Specialist at West Virginia University, who will provide an introduction to pasture ecology and plant and animal responses to management.

How to increase animal gain by optimizing the animal-plant interaction during grazing will be discussed by Anibal de Moraes, a professor of pasture ecology in southern Brazil, who will share research information on animal performance on Italian ryegrass. Rayburn and Moraes will provide pasture-based livestock producers with new ideas to step up their grazing management that can improve animal gains on pasture while increasing pasture production.

Best management practices for plastic wrapped bales will be another topic featured on the program. Rayburn will be sharing practices learned from a series of on-farm research projects and demonstrations with plastic-wrapped bales.… Continue reading

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Senate passes spending bill

The Senate passed a $1.1 trillion fiscal 2015 spending bill, which included a number of pork industry priority provisions. The House approved the funding bill the previous week. The spending measure:

  • Provides $2 million for biosecurity and herd management to address the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus.
  • Provides a $3 million increase over the previous year’s funding for the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring Service, bring total NARMS funding to $10.6 million.
  • Requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture to submit to Congress within 15 days of a final resolution from the World Trade Organization on complaints related to the U.S. Country-of-Origin-Labeling (COOL) law or by May 1, 2015, recommendations for changes in federal law that would be required for a COOL law that does not violate U.S. international trade obligations.
  • Precludes the use by USDA of funds to write, prepare or publish a final rule or an interim final regulation related to the buying and selling of livestock under the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Act unless the annual cost of the rule does not exceed $100 million.
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Ohio pork farmers donate 10,000 pounds of ham to Ohioans

The Ohio Pork Council and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) donated 10,000 pounds of hams to their Northeast Ohio neighbors, through the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, was on hand to greet recipients and show gratitude for the protein-packed donation to her constituents.

Just in time for the holidays, the generous donation will provide more than 50,000 meals in the greater Cleveland area. In the past year, the Ohio Pork Council and Rep. Fudge have partnered to donate pork products, during Easter and Thanksgiving, supplying more than 220,270 meals.

“Ohio farmers, though the work and support of the Ohio Pork Council and NPPC, are proud to continue to partner with Congresswoman Fudge to help provide valuable, much-needed, protein to those in need during the holidays,” said Howard Krikke, OPC Representative and Greenwich farmer.… Continue reading

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Egg prices set to increase

The price of eggs, like meats, has been on the rise in recent months due to a wide variety of market factors. The egg price will likely to continue to rise in 2015 due to a measure approved by California voters.

California’s oft-discussed chicken housing law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2015. To comply with the state laws poultry producers will need to provide larger cages, which means building more hen houses, or housing fewer birds in the existing facilities, raising their costs.

Wholesale egg prices already average a record $2.27 a dozen nationally, up 34% from a year ago. It is speculated that prices of eggs in California could increase by 20%, leading to increases in the egg price around the country. California currently imports more than 30% of its eggs from other states.

In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 2 that mandated the increase in space for hens. The rules do not apply to liquid eggs or meat birds.… Continue reading

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