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Livestock groups launch campaign highlighting the benefits of grazing

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council today launched a digital campaign focused on the value of grazing. The digital campaign was created to explore key elements of grazing that benefit the environment, rural communities, and local economies across the United States.

The four-week campaign launched with a video and blog post featuring Rich Atmore, a California rancher that lived through the destructive 2017 Thomas Fire. With the use of livestock grazing, Atmore mitigated the intensity and damage of wildfires around his home and surrounding urban landscapes.

“Wildfire mitigation is just one of the many benefits of livestock grazing,” said Jennifer Houston, NCBA President. “Cattle positively contribute to the environment and our food production system, and it’s a story many need to hear. We need to arm the public with facts; it’s livestock who provide natural nutrients to the soil, ensure our native grasslands remain intact, and ensure rural America remains economically supported.”

Research finds that managed livestock grazing prevents catastrophic wildfire, cycles nutrients through the soil, fosters healthy habitats for wildlife, and supports rural economic development.… Continue reading

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Texas Longhorn show visits Wayne County

The Ohio River Valley Texas Longhorn Association’s 23rd annual Texas Longhorn show was held at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Wooster July 19 and 20.

The 23rd annual show was judged by ITLA approved training judge, June Cohran, DVM of Stuarts Draft, Va. Cohran is well respected as a result of her past performances at Championship shows in several states. All ITLA approved judges are involved in the Texas Longhorn industry buying, selling, exhibiting and promoting, with value perception experiences.

The ORVTLA is an affiliate of the International Texas Longhorn Association. Registered Texas Longhorn cattle sparred for championship awards with 56 International Texas Longhorn Association approved classes. Exhibitors were from Ohio and 7 joining states.

President Amber Dunmire oversaw the event held facility was large, bright and clean, making a pleasant day for all attendees. Parking was easy and the cattle were fat and slick.

For more information and show photos see the Ohio River Valley Texas Longhorn Association on Facebook.… Continue reading

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Hay quality 2019; It’s Déjà vu all over again!

By Stan Smith, PA, Fairfield County, Ohio State University Extension

Coming off a year where quality forages for beef cattle were in short supply throughout Ohio, now in mid-2019 we find that inventory remains critically low. With the National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) estimating only 60% of Ohio’s first cutting hay harvest was completed by the first of July, it’s apparent that Ohio cattlemen will again be faced with finding ways to make “feed” from hay that was harvested way past it’s prime.

As an example of the hay quality we’re seeing, a recent forage analysis on some Fairfield County mixed grass hay that was mowed on June 25th and baled on June 29 – after also getting lightly rained on once – came back showing 6.85% protein and 38.02% TDN (total digestible nutrients) on a dry matter basis. The ADF (acid detergent fiber) was 51.63% and the NDF (neutral detergent fiber) was 65.51%.… Continue reading

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My first cutting is just “cow hay” — now what?

By Jimmy Henning, Forage Extension Specialist, University of Kentucky

Late cut hay is a fact of life in Kentucky. There are worse things. Drought, for example. It is no failure if some first cuttings of hay are late, or rain damaged for that matter. The list of things that have to get done in May never ends for the part-time, diversified farmers that form the bulk of the beef cattle producers.

Farmers face a never-ending set of “what to do first” decisions. Something has to be second, or third. So late cuttings of hay happen. The real mistake is to let a less-than-perfect first cutting stop the conversation hay management because a farmer thinks we in Extension are disappointed.

 

Next steps if you think your first cutting is just “cow hay”

The first thing to do is to get a representative core sample and send it to a certified lab for analysis.… Continue reading

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MFP details announced

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released details of the 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments announced by the Trump Administration in May. MPF will provide up to $14.5 billion to producers in up to three tranches starting with a first round of payments this August.

Payment rates vary by county from $15 to $150 per acre based on USDA’s calculated damages from tariffs in each individual county affected — most in the $50 to $75 range per acre, according to USDA. That single-county rate will be multiplied by a farm’s total planted acreage for all MFP-eligible crops in aggregate for 2019, not to exceed total 2018 plantings. The county rates for Ohio can be found here. 

In addition, dairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 2019, will receive a 20-cent per hundredweight payment on production history, and hog producers will receive an $11 per head payment based on the number of live hogs owned on a day selected by the producer between April 1 and May 15, 2019.… Continue reading

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Showing at the Ohio State Fair is about the experience

By Matt Reese

Banners are nice. Success is great. But really, at the end of each Ohio State Fair, it is really about the experience, lessons learned and the people. Though Caroline Winter from Pickaway County has had some success in showmanship and breed shows, those are not the first things she shares about what she loves about the Ohio State Fair.

“I have been showing since I could walk. I love hanging out with my friends who are also my competitors,” the 17-year-old said. “In the show ring we compete, but if my friend beats me, I don’t hold it against them. Whatever happens in the show ring, we go get ice cream or play a game of cards — a very competitive game of cards.

“Spoons is my favorite card game at the State Fair. We’ll get a big game going and it is a lot of fun. And, for the ice cream, you have to go at the right time because if you don’t the line is wrapping around the building.… Continue reading

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Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) to cost less

By Matthew Diersen, Risk and Business Management Specialist, Ness School of Management & Economics, South Dakota State University

Feeder cattle have been under seasonal price pressure, similar to last year. Thus, locking in cattle prices or spending money for insurance may not be a high priority at this time. However, it is never a bad time to plan nor to look for cost-effective ways to manage risk. Livestock Risk Protection (LRP), price coverage sold by insurance agents, is similar to the purchase of put options on cattle futures contracts. LRP is administered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) with a federally-subsidized premium that is set to increase soon.

Interest in and usage of LRP has fluctuated since first being offered in the early 2000s. Nationally, coverage with the feeder cattle endorsement peaked at over 300,000 head in crop year 2014. Such a total was still less than 1% of the U.S.… Continue reading

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Frobose selected #RealPigFarming Student Social Forces team

The Pork Checkoff has selected 13 college students to represent the #RealPigFarming Student Social Forces team this year. Candidates were selected based on their involvement in the pork industry and their strong communication skills.  The 2019 class of Social Forces includes Hunter Frobose from Wood County who is attending Ohio State University.

“Social media is ingrained in young people’s lives,” said Claire Masker, director of sustainability communications for the Pork Checkoff. “It’s an easy tool for them to share their insights and inspiration about an industry that they are so proud to be a part of. With so many diverse social media channels, they each have an opportunity to share their passion for pig farming with their followers.”

The team will be active July through December.

“Consumers continue to have questions about how pigs are raised, and pig farmers know the answers better than anyone else,” Masker said. “Through the Pork Checkoff’s social media outreach program, real farmers are sharing their real stories with consumers through #RealPigFarming.”

The hashtag (#) before RealPigFarming helps people search social media posts with the same phrase, making it easier for them to follow conversations, Masker said.… Continue reading

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Public Notice by the Ohio Pork Council and the National Pork Board

The election of pork producer delegate candidates for the 2020 National Pork Producers (Pork Act) Delegate Body will take place at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, August 14, 2019 in conjunction with the Ohio Pork Council Board of Directors meeting at the Mohican State Park Lodge, 3116 OH-3, Loudonville Ohio. All Ohio pork producers are invited to attend.

Any producer, age 18 or older, who is a resident of the state and has paid all assessments due may be considered as a delegate candidate and/or participate in the election. All eligible producers are encouraged to bring with them a sales receipt proving that hogs were sold in their name and the checkoff deducted.

For more information, contact the Ohio Pork Council Office, 9798 Karmar Ct. Suite A, New Albany OH 43054, 614-882-5887.

 … Continue reading

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USDA now making Dairy Margin Coverage Program payments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) opened enrollment for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program on June 17 and has started issuing payments to producers who purchased coverage. Producers can enroll through Sept. 20, 2019.

“Times have been especially tough for dairy farmers, and while we hope producers’ margins will increase, the Dairy Margin Coverage program is providing support at a critical time for many in the industry,” said Bill Northey, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “With lower premiums and higher levels of assistance than previous programs, DMC is already proving to be a good option for a lot of dairy producers across the country.  USDA is committed to efficiently implementing the safety net programs in the 2018 Farm Bill and helping producers deal with the challenges of the ever-changing farm economy.”

Authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, DMC replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy).… Continue reading

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Overcoming Ohio’s forage fiasco

By Matt Reese

Like most every sector of Ohio agriculture, those feeding livestock are faced with serious challenges after persistent wet weather swamped pastures, killed alfalfa stands, and severely limited and delayed quality hay making opportunities.

Most of Ohio suffered from too much rain this spring, but the northwestern part of the state has been hardest hit. Gary Wilson from Hancock County is an Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council board member and past president of the American Forage and Grassland Council. Like many others in northwest Ohio, he is scrambling to keep his livestock eating.

“Forages are really short. Last winter a lot of the alfalfa was winter killed. I think it was a combination of a wet fall, cold winter, lack of snow, and there was heaving. People could see their tile lines sticking out like a sore thumb in the spring once everything greened up and there was no alfalfa there between the tile lines — that is not a good sign.… Continue reading

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First DMC payments providing critical aid to dairy farmers

The National Milk Producers Federation thanked the U.S. Department of Agriculture for meeting the timeline Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue promised in February for dairy-program payments under the 2018 farm bill. Dairy farmers began receiving checks under the new Dairy Margin Coverage program last week, in keeping with USDA’s pledge.

“DMC aid represents significant improvement from previous programs, and with dairy farmers facing a fifth year of low prices, receiving better assistance in a timely fashion is a matter of survival for some family farms,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the NMPF. “The DMC program doesn’t replace a healthy market, but it is a crucial safety net in turbulent times. All dairy producers should strongly consider enrolling, and to look closely at coverage at the $9.50 maximum level.”

More than one-fourth of all U.S. dairy farms — nearly 10,000 — have signed up for DMC since signups began June 17, according to USDA.… Continue reading

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Dean’s Charity Steer Show pairs celebrities with 4-H members in the show ring

By Matt Reese

Many people understand the excitement and appeal as the judge strolls down the line looking over the cattle to make a decision that will change the life of a young, hopeful exhibitor with the slap of his hand.

Cattle shows are, for some, a highlight of their year, through a large portion of the state’s population does not know a halter from a show stick. That will change for a few Ohio celebrities on July 30 with the inaugural Dean’s Charity Steer Show at 2:00 p.m. in the Voinovich Building at the Ohio State Fair. For the event, celebrity exhibitors — including some who never set foot in a show ring — will be paired with Ohio 4-H members to try their hand at showing a steer and vying for the judge’s eye.

The idea got started in a meeting with Cathann Kress, Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University and Leslie Bumgarner who sits on the board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio.… Continue reading

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Cattlemen’s Gala fundraiser to be held Aug. 24

The third annual Cattlemen’s Gala Celebration and Fundraiser will be held Saturday, Aug. 24 at Leeds Farm in Ostrander. The Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) tax deductible charity, and Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will coordinate the event.

Ohio’s cattlemen have a lot to celebrate. Plan to join the celebration on Saturday, Aug. 24 to support the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation youth scholarship fund benefiting the next generation of beef industry leaders. The 2018 event raised $35,000 for scholarships, and the 2019 event will build off that success.

Gala attendees will gather in their boots and hats for dinner, drinks and dancing in the barn at Leeds Farm. Each registration includes 2 drink tickets, appetizers, a beef tenderloin dinner and entertainment. The celebration begins at 6 p.m. and will feature live music by the John D. Hale Band, a nationally known Red Dirt country music group from Missouri.

Silent and live auctions will also be held during the evening to support youth scholarships and sponsorship opportunities are also available.… Continue reading

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Make sure manure is treated as a valuable resource

By Mary Wicks

Did you know that manure is a valuable resource? From applying it to cropland to creating compost, it can benefit crops and soil or generate additional income. Using manure is complex, which makes it interesting but challenging. There are many factors, such as nutrient availability, application methods, and application rules that need to be taken into account.

 

Soil benefits

A recent 2-year study by the University of Wisconsin compared the effects manure and inorganic fertilizers on soil health. Researchers demonstrated that manure was more effective in maintaining soil pH at a healthy range, while the fertilizer tended to increase acidity. Manure was also more effective in increasing total nitrogen in the soil. And, due the organic matter in manure, it helped increase water stable aggregates, which makes soil more resistant to erosion. However, the electrical conductivity of soils with manure application was higher, indicating that salt levels in manure need to be considered.… Continue reading

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Brisket prices heating up with summer weather

By David P. Anderson, Extension economist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Brisket prices are heating up just like summer temperatures. One of the most interesting beef demand trends over the last few years has been the growth in demand for briskets. It’s not just new craft BBQ joints popping up everywhere in Texas, but even big chains like Arby’s jumping in and they all serve brisket.

Briskets used to be an inexpensive beef cut that benefited from long, slow cooking at low temperatures. They are no longer inexpensive. What used to be a very inexpensive cut, the primal brisket is now only behind the primal rib and loin in value. In the last week of May, the comprehensive cutout brisket value was $213.47 per hundredweight (cwt), up 19.4% from the same week the year before. Just during May brisket prices jumped from $194.39 to $213.47 by the end of the month.… Continue reading

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Oats could address forage shortage on prevented planting acres

By Allen Gahler and Stan Smith, Ohio State University Extension

Last week, USDA released the declaration that a cover crop planted onto prevented planting acres can now be harvested as a forage after Sept. 1, rather than the normal date of Nov. 1, which provides a small glimmer of hope for some livestock producers and those equipped to harvest forages. While Ohio is experiencing a severe shortage of forages for all classes of livestock, weed control on prevented planting acres is also a major concern. With USDA’s declaration, we can now address both problems in one action — seeding cover crops that will be harvestable as a forage after Sept. 1.

As with everything else this season, however, patience is the key. Although an ideal situation would be cover crops that can be put out immediately and reduce the need for tillage, chopping, or spraying of weeds already present, there are unfortunately not many species of cover crop that will accomplish this and still provide significant tonnage or feed quality as a forage in September.… Continue reading

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DFA and Kroger team up to provide milk for Mid-Ohio Foodbank

In celebration of June Dairy Month, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) — a national cooperative owned by dairy farm families — and The Kroger Co. announced a year-long commitment to donate milk to Mid-Ohio Foodbank in Grove City, Ohio.

Through the partnership, DFA farm families from Ohio will provide raw milk, which will be processed at Tamarack Farms Dairy, Kroger’s Newark, Ohio dairy processing facility. It will then be distributed to Mid-Ohio Foodbank, which provides enough food for 140,000 meals a day in 20 counties through 680 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, after-school programs and senior housing sites across central and eastern Ohio. The donated milk will be delivered to the Foodbank daily through May 2020 and will total nearly 44,000 gallons, which equates to more than 700,000 eight-ounce servings.

“It’s been exciting to collaborate from farm-to-table on this partnership and provide farm-fresh milk to food insecure households across Ohio,” said Dana Zurcher, President, Kroger Columbus Division.… Continue reading

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USDA funding addresses feral swine populations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it was offering $75 million in funding — as part of the 2018 Farm Bill — for the eradication and control of feral swine through the Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program. The pilot program is a joint effort between USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

“We thank USDA for implementing this important Farm Bill program to reduce feral swine populations. Wild pigs are difficult to control and when in close proximity to domestic production, they are almost impossible to control,” said David Herring, president of the National Pork Producers Council and a pork producer from Lillington, North Carolina.

“Most seriously, we are concerned about the spread of feral swine carrying diseases, including African swine fever (ASF), an animal disease affecting only pigs and with no human health or food safety risks. While outbreaks of ASF continue throughout China and other parts of Asia, there are no reported cases in the United States.… Continue reading

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