Home / Livestock (page 80)


Dairy reform program reasonable compromise

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said that a House Judiciary Committee vote requiring the Farm Bill’s dairy reform program to go through regular government rulemaking was a reasonable compromise to get the reform program approved.

“This is the latest attempt at compromise by Congressman Goodlatte on a program that has been approved twice by the House Agriculture Committee and that dairy farmers overwhelmingly support,” said NMPF President and CEO Jerry Kozak. “It’s time to end the divisiveness and approve reform of the federal dairy program. For that reason, we see today’s vote, which appears to accept that the Dairy Security Act  (DSA) will become law, as a good compromise.”

Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) tried unsuccessfully to modify the DSA in the Agriculture Committee both this year and in 2012. That amendment would have eliminated the program’s market stabilization provisions, which give farmers the option of temporarily scaling back their milk production or contributing a portion of their milk check to purchase dairy products to feed the needy in order to bring supplies more in line with demand.… Continue reading

Read More »

Livestock producers should look out for poison hemlock

While poison hemlock isn’t likely to be as prominent a problem this year as it was in last year’s drought-stressed pastures, Purdue Extension specialists still encourage livestock producers to be on the lookout for the toxic plant.

Poison hemlock is often found along roadsides, edges of cultivated fields, stream banks and pasture fencerows. Its most defining characteristics are purple spots or blotches on the plant’s hairless, ridged stems. If eaten, all parts of the plant can be fatally toxic to cattle, horses, swine, sheep and goats.

“If there is adequate pasture growth, poison hemlock isn’t as big a deal because animals typically won’t eat it unless it’s all they have, but livestock producers still need to be on the lookout for it and think about how to control it,” said Ron Lemenager, Purdue Extension beef specialist. “They also need to be especially cautious when making hay.”

Control methods are most effective when applied at an early plant growth stage, said Travis Legleiter, Purdue Extension weed scientist.… Continue reading

Read More »

REAL Seal moving forward to promote dairy

In celebration of June Dairy Month, efforts by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) to revitalize the REAL Seal are taking a big leap forward this month. A new campaign is being launched that allows consumers to learn more about the benefits of real, American-made dairy products and foods made with them, using a new Facebook page, blogger outreach, and digital advertising.

The REAL Seal Facebook page (www.facebook.com/REALSealDairy) creates a new voice and visual feel to engage target audiences, especially moms and heads of households, encouraging them to buy dairy products and foods containing dairy products. The page’s content includes interactive updates, multimedia presentations, contests, polls, and quizzes. One of the elements of the launch later in the month will be a “Name the Character” contest for a new, animated REAL Seal cartoon character. It can be viewed on the REAL Seal website.

Reaching out to bloggers writing about the mom/parenting, food/cooking, health/wellness, and lifestyle topic areas will generate online conversation and awareness surrounding the REAL Seal campaign and lead consumers to official REAL Seal web pages.Continue reading

Read More »

Summer annuals offer grazing options

With hay stock levels at record lows in several Midwest states, including Ohio, beef producers looking to supplement their forage options could turn to summer annuals, according to a forage expert from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Summer annuals are known to thrive in summer heat, are drought tolerant, and can be grazed or stored as feed. Viable examples include sorghum, sudangrass, sorghum-sudangrass hybrids, millet, teff grass and corn, said Rory Lewandowski, an agriculture and natural resources educator for Ohio State University Extension.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.

These plants have the capacity to produce up to five tons of dry matter over summer months, and a majority of them can be grazed or cut two or three times starting as soon as 30 to 45 days after planting, he said, which makes them a good option for producers seeking other options amidst reports of declining hay supplies.Continue reading

Read More »

Smithfield’s deal and the future of pork

The nation’s largest pork producer may soon be part of the world’s largest pork company. Smithfield Foods and Shuanghui International Holdings Limited have announced they’ve entered into a definitive merger agreement valuing Smithfield at approximately 7.1-billion dollars. That includes the assumption of Smithfield’s net debt. Shanghuai International is China’s largest publicly traded meat products company as measured by market capitalization. Under the terms of the agreement, the Chinese company will acquire all of Smithfield’s outstanding shares for $34 per share.

“The combination of Shuanghui and Smithfield, which was unanimously approved by the board of directors of both companies, will create a leading vertically integrated global pork enterprise,” said Larry Pope, Smithfield Foods’ CEO, Executive Director and Executive Committee Member. “We will set the global industry standard in food safety, environmental stewardship and animal welfare. Our board is pleased with the outcome of the process leading to this transaction and unanimously believes it is in the best interest of Smithfield and its shareholders.”

If approved, the deal will be the largest takeover to date of an American firm by a Chinese one.… Continue reading

Read More »

Dairy outlook for farm bill and profitability

Senate debate resumed yesterday after receiving hundreds of amendments in the floor debate. The Senate considered and rejected cuts to supplemental nutrition assistance programs, but approved means testing for crop insurance and improvements to the Risk Management Agency’s (RMA) fraud detection effort.


The U.S. House of Representatives succeeded in getting a Farm Bill through committee with a three-quarter majority. The toughest battle lies ahead with a House floor debate expected in begin mid June.


Challenges on the U.S. House side include the lack of provisions tying conservation compliance to crop insurance benefits and a controversial supply-management style dairy market stabilization program. The safety net provisions of the dairy subtitle of the Farm Bill, when signed into law, will very likely be based on a margin insurance type program. This puts the focus on an income over feed cost (IOFC) margin.


An IOFC margin calculation based on U.S.Continue reading

Read More »

Bucking the trend: Creekbend Bucking Bulls

Creekbend Bucking Bulls isn’t your average cattle breeding operation.

“Raising bucking bulls isn’t for everyone,” said Denny Thorsell. “They’re pretty aggressive, and you have to be set up to handle them.”

Thorsell, who operates Creekbend Bucking Bulls with his wife, Eileen and son, Shawn, speaks from experience. “

When we brought the first batch home, I had just put up a bunch of wood fence. It was pressure treated, and looked really nice. Those bulls tore that fence up like it was balsa wood,” he said. “That’s when we learned we needed six to eight strands of hotwire and lots of steel.”

Since 1994, Creekbend Bucking Bulls has been raising bucking bulls on a 100-acre ranch in Medina County. The operation began when Shawn was competing in Ohio High School Rodeo events, including bull riding.

“I wanted to help support him, so I’d go to sale barns and buy bulls for him to practice on,” Thorsell said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Sheep grazing management tour

Sheep owners are invited to participate in the sheep grazing management tour scheduled for July 12 in Holmes County. The tour will be conducted in the scenic Charm area, with stops at 4 Amish sheep farms. Topics to be discussed at the farms will include information for the beginning sheep farmer using low cost start-up investment, cool season pasture species, warm season annuals, use of minerals, fencing and rotation management, breeding management and marketing. Each farm will have something different to offer as they explain how their sheep operation works for their farm and family. The sharing of ideas is how we all learn.

Resource people for the day will be Bob Hendershot of Green Pasture Services, Jeff McCutcheon, OSU Extension Morrow County, Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Wayne County and Troyce Barnett, NRCS grasslands specialist. They will be on hand to provide information about pasture grasses, grazing management, sheep production and to answer questions.… Continue reading

Read More »

BSE risk now negligible in U.S.

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) announced that it has recognized the United States as having the lowest possible risk of BSE in its cattle population. This “negligible risk” designation by the international standard setting body follows a thorough assessment of the BSE-related risk in the United States by an OIE committee of experts.

The committee’s recommendation that the OIE grants the United States negligible BSE risk status reflects the effective BSE surveillance and mitigation measures that have been in place in the United States for many years and the extremely low incidence of the disease in the U.S. cattle herd.

“This announcement by OIE’s Scientific Commission is very positive news for U.S. cattle producers. The U.S. being classified as negligible risk for BSE by the OIE further solidifies the fact that the safety and health of our cattle and our beef is a top priority for American cattlemen and women,” said Bob McCan, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President-Elect.… Continue reading

Read More »

Chinese meat processor agrees to purchase Smithfield Foods, Inc.

Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd., a Chinese meat processor, has agreed to purchase Smithfield Foods, Inc. for approximately $4.72 billion. China is a world leader in pork consumption and already an important market for U.S. pork.

Smithfield Foods, Inc. is the world’s largest pork producer with brands including Armour and Farmland. Smithfield shareholders will receive $34 per share, which is a 31% premium over the closing stock price of $25.97 yesterday. The boards of both companies unanimously approved the purchase that is pending approval from Smithfield shareholders. The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year and is valued $7.1 billion, including debt.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio pork producers talk pork at nutrition conference

Recently, the Ohio Pork Producers Council attended the 92nd Annual Ohio Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly Ohio Dietetic Association) Conference. OPPC went to the event to take part in the tradeshow and offer insight on how pigs are raised and pork is produced on modern farms. Approximately 260 total individuals attended this event; just over 200 of those were dieticians.

OPPC utilized a small; model pig barn to illustrate what goes on inside real barns and how the buildings can be used for the benefit and protection of the animals. This model is just one of nearly 30 models, originally developed by OPPC, that is utilized at events across the nation.

“The barn was a starting point to open conversations and show how pigs live in barns and how technology is changing farms,” said Jennifer Keller, Director of Marketing and Promotions, OPPC. “It’s still families that own and operate the farms, but technology has enabled one person to care for more animals.… Continue reading

Read More »

Sheep industry looking for leaders

The sheep industry is looking for new leaders at the national level for the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center (NSIIC) and the American Lamb Board.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking nominations for individuals to serve on the NSIIC board of directors. Nominations are due to the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) by Friday, June 7.
The board will have two vacancies. Members whose appointments will expire are Clark Willis (Utah), representing producers, and Joan Snyder (N.Y.), representing expertise in finance and management. Both members are eligible to be re-nominated to their current position.
ASI is certified to nominate members to the NSIIC board. The ASI executive board will meet via a conference call in June to make nominations; therefore, anyone interested in having their name put forward as a NSIIC board member should contact ASI before Friday, June 7.
The board is appointed by the secretary of agriculture and is composed of seven voting members, of whom four are active producers of sheep or goats in the United States, two have expertise in finance and management and one has expertise in lamb, wool, goat or goat-product marketing.… Continue reading

Read More »

2013 Ohio Sheep Day

The 2013 Ohio Sheep Day is scheduled for Sat., July 13, 2013. It will be held at the OARDC Sheep Research Unit. The farm is located in scenic Wayne County, at 5743 Fredericksburg Rd., Wooster, Ohio 44691.

The OARDC Sheep Research Unit is a primary sheep research unit for the Ohio State University, concentrating on may facets of sheep research by OSU faculty, staff, and students. The farm is located in Northeastern Ohio where the terrain is gently rolling, making it an ideal location for grain crop and livestock production, but more importantly an exceptional place to grow forages and grain for sheep production.

This year’s Ohio Sheep Day will focus on programming which will increase and improve the profitability of sheep operations. Francis Fluharty, Research Professor, OSU Animal Sciences will be the keynote speaker.

Below is a partial list of the programs that attendees will see at the 2013 Ohio Sheep Day includes:


  • Key components to starting a small ruminant farm
  • Successful pasture and barn lambing strategies
  • Successful pasture and barn weaning strategies
  • Basic sheep management practices for the beginner or novice shepherd
  • Internal parasite programs
  • Minerals for small ruminants
  • Basics of small ruminant pasture and grazing management
  • Dealing with a drought-alternative feeds
  • Use of small ruminants to control weeds and build fertility.
Continue reading

Read More »

National Pork Board statement on Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV)

The USDA has confirmed that porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) has been identified in the United States for the first time through testing at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory. This is not a new virus, nor is it a regulatory/reportable disease. Since PEDV is widespread in many countries, it is not a trade-restricting disease, but rather a production-related disease. PEDV may appear clinically to be the same as transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE) virus with acute diarrhea. Producers will need to work with their herd veterinarian with if any TGE-like symptoms appear and as always, maintain strict biosecurity protocols.

  • Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is a virus similar to transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE), another disease only affecting pigs. It is not zoonotic, so therefore it poses no risk to other animals or humans. Also, it poses no risk to food safety.
  • PEDV has been identified in the United States in a small number of herds.
Continue reading

Read More »

Hard work, long hours before show season

The first objective in reaching a goal is setting one. For many young people involved in agriculture, the goal set about this time every year is a livestock exhibit worthy of a blue ribbon. The distance between setting that mark and reaching it is anything but a straight line. Preparing a livestock project for the show ring requires early mornings, late nights and a winning strategy. As with anything that is successful, there are secrets behind that success.

As fair season approaches, Delaware County’s Curtis Harsh is hoping his formula will score him and his percent Simmental and Chianina Heifers big points this summer.

“Over the years, I have really picked up on the feeding differences,” Harsh said. “That concept along with fat ratios will have them looking the best in the ring when a judge has his eye on my projects.”

Harsh will soon begin the process of getting his exhibits ready for the Ohio State Fair.Continue reading

Read More »

Great Lakes Fiber Show

Spinning, weaving and felting tips and techniques are just a few of the topics on the agenda for the 2013 Great Lakes Fiber Show. This year, the show will be held May 25 and 26 at the Wayne County Fairgrounds, Wooster, Ohio, in conjunction with the Great Lakes Sheep Show and Sale and the eastern Angora Goat Show.

The fiber show will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Now in its 18th year, the Fiber Show has attracted interest from over 90 vendors, selling raw and processed fiber from sheep, alpacas, llamas, angora goats, angora rabbits, and buffalo. Several fiber processors will be on hand to take your fiber back to the mills to be processed into batting, roving or yarn for your projects. Many vendors will have finished items for sale as well as sheep related art and pottery.… Continue reading

Read More »

OSU livestock and crop budgets available

Budgeting helps guide you through your decision making process as you attempt to commit resources to the most profitable enterprises on the farm. Crops or Livestock? Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Hay? We can begin to answer these questions with well thought out budgets that include all revenue and costs. Without some form of budgeting and some method to track your enterprises’ progress you’ll have difficulty determining your most profitable enterprise(s) and if you’ve met your goals for the farm.

Budgeting is often described as “penciling it out” before committing resources to a plan. Ohio State University Extension has had a long history of developing “Enterprise Budgets” that can be used as a starting point for producers in their budgeting process.

Newly updated Enterprise Budgets for 2013 have been completed and posted to the Farm Management Website of the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics. Updated Enterprise Budgets can be viewed and downloaded from the following website: 

Enterprise Budget projections updated for 2013 include: Corn-Conservation Tillage; Soybeans-No-Till (Roundup Ready); Wheat-Conservation Tillage, (Grain & Straw); Alfalfa Hay; Alfalfa Haylage; Grass Hay; Swine – Farrow to Wean; Swine –Wean to Finish; Cow- Calf Spring Calving; Market Steer; Yearling Market Steer; Market Heifer; Ewe and Lamb.… Continue reading

Read More »

Lamb checkoff increase

The final notice approving the assessment rate increase for the Lamb Promotion, Research and Information Order was published in the May 14 issue of the Federal Register. The new rate will go into effect on June 13.

The amendment increases the lamb checkoff assessment rate from $.005 to $.007 per pound for live sheep and lamb sold by producers, feeders and seedstock producers. For sheep and lamb purchased for slaughter by first handlers, the rate would increase from 30 cents to 42 cents per head. The assessment rate change will generate about $700,000 additional funds for program activities.

Funds collected under the Lamb Checkoff Program are used for promotion, information, research and advertising of American lamb. The board’s expenditures for administration are limited to 10 percent or less of total revenues.

This is the first assessment rate increase in the program’s decade history.

“The American Lamb Board (ALB) requested that the U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

Lely to host FREE Robotic Milking 101 Webinar

Dairy smarter. Learn how from the experts!

Lely, the world leader in robotic milking systems, will host “Robotic milking 101,” an online discussion with dairy producers who are currently using the technology in an online Webinar Tuesday, May 28, at noon (CST). The 60-minute Webinar will discuss a new approach to farm management with robotic milking versus conventional milking.

“We invite those who are interested in robotic milking, or have questions regarding automatic milking, to join us for an online discussion to gain insights from those who have experienced it firsthand,” says Peter Langebeeke, president of Lely North America. “As ‘innovators in agriculture,’ Lely is proud to have offered solutions to producers for 20 years and considers continued innovation key to the future. This Webinar will serve as an excellent opportunity to learn how by embracing the future now, you can put your dairy in a position to succeed, year after year.”

“Robotic Milking 101” is the first in a series of three Webinars Lely has scheduled for 2013 and will serve as an introduction to automation, including the basics of preparation and startup.… Continue reading

Read More »

House Energy and Commerce Committee reauthorizes the Animal Drug User Fee Act

The House Energy and Commerce Committee reauthorized the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA).

“Cattlemen and women rely on new and innovative animal health products, and for that reason the reauthorization of ADUFA has been one of the NCBA’s key priorities this year,” said Scott George, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “I am pleased to see the House Energy and Commerce Committee pass ADUFA reauthorization yesterday by a voice vote and look for the full House to consider reauthorization shortly.”

On May 8, 2013, the Senate passed ADUFA reauthorization by unanimous consent.… Continue reading

Read More »