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Use care when grazing corn stalks

Many producers have turned to letting cattle graze corn fodder as a cost-effective feedstuff amid record-setting drought. But a Purdue Extension animal scientist says there are certain precautions to take to keep animals healthy.

When hungry cattle are turned out on corn stalks with no prior rumen adaptation to starch, they can suffer acute acidosis — a sudden drop in rumen pH caused by rapid grain overload that can lead to illness or death.

“In the more seriously stressed, lower-yielding fields, some producers are reporting ear drop resulting from stalk quality issues and ‘nubbin’ ears that are slipping through the stripper plates of the combine head,” Ron Lemenager said. “Collectively, this ear drop can create acute acidosis when grazing corn stalks if not managed correctly.”

Part of that management is to scout fields before turning out cattle to determine how much corn is there.

“Cows seem to have a homing device, and they will find ears wherever they are in the field,” Lemenager said.… Continue reading

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Why did Ohio beef producers vote “no”?

By Matt Reese

As the general manager of Muskingum Livestock, Denny Ruff talks to many cattle producers and sends no small amount of checkoff dollars to the Ohio Beef Council. He has heard plenty of reasons, rumors and speculation about why the recent 2012 Ohio Beef Marketing Program Referendum did not pass. The referendum was seeking to increase the state checkoff on cattle from $1 to $2 per head.

Ruff thinks that maybe the most noteworthy reason for the referendum failure was that many people didn’t seem to know much about it until just before the late September vote.

“I never really knew it was coming to a vote until just a couple of weeks before the vote was taking place. Now, that could be my own fault for not reading about it somewhere, but I talked with a lot of other people who didn’t know either,” Ruff said.

Ruff has heard others express concerns with the way the current checkoff funding is being spent, concerns about facility costs and overhead for the organization, and concerns with programs that do not necessarily support the commercial cattle producer.… Continue reading

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Certified Angus Beef celebrates another record year

Amid U.S. cattle and beef supplies curtailed by economics and drought, Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) reported record sales of its signature brand for a sixth consecutive fiscal year that ended September 30.

More than 16,000 licensed partners around the world made that possible by capitalizing on the consistent dining experience the premium brand brought to consumers as prices for all beef continued higher. Sales totaled 811 million pounds, surpassing last year’s record by 4 million pounds and up 49% from just six years ago. During that period known for its challenging consumer economy, Certified Angus Beef brand sales advanced from representing 5.6% to now more than 9.6% of all federally inspected cattle harvest.

That continued growth speaks to brand partners’ commitment to provide and serve the highest quality Angus beef available, and attests to increasing consumer demand for premium products, said company president John Stika.

“It is only because of our partners’ dedication and commitment that we see gains.… Continue reading

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Rain bolsters pastures, but graze with caution

Cooler temperatures and the return of rainfall after a hot, extremely dry summer has caused a springlike regrowth in pastures that can present some health risks for grazing cattle.

Lush growth in predominantly grass pastures can cause cattle to suffer grass tetany, a potentially fatal condition caused by a magnesium deficiency. Bloat, on the other hand is more of a concern in heavy-legume pastures.

“Generalities can be dangerous, but grass tetany is classically seen in the spring with older, lactating beef cows on lush, vegetative, grass pastures when nighttime temperatures are below 55 degrees,” said Purdue Extension beef specialist Ron Lemenager. “These are the same conditions our fall calving herds are now experiencing, which makes them the most susceptible.”

With the lack of rain for most of the summer, he said grasses have reduced magnesium uptake from the soil that is aggravated when soil profiles are high in potassium and nitrogen.… Continue reading

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Surrogacy can increase calf crop value

 

Cattle producers looking for a new way to add value to their calf crops can try raising someone else’s calves instead of their own, an Ohio State University Extension beef expert said.

Producers interested in maximizing income from their calf crop while controlling input costs can consider using their commercial cows as surrogate mothers to raise calves for other producers, said John Grimes, OSU Extension beef coordinator.

The process, which is called serving as a “cooperator herd,” allows a herd of commercial cows to function as surrogate mothers for another herd whose owner wants to produce additional calves from a desirable female through embryo transfer, he said.

The concept can be profitable to all parties involved.

“It’s one of the easiest ways for a commercial producer to get the best price for their calves at weaning,” Grimes said. “You’re basically renting someone else’s cow and paying them to raise your calves for you.… Continue reading

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Tyson Foods to verify proper animal treatment

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

Tyson Foods is launching a new program called FarmCheck that audits how animals are treated at the livestock and poultry farms that supply the company. Tyson Foods president and CEO Donnie Smith said the company is made up of ethical, responsible and compassionate people, and this effort lines up with Tyson’s core value to serve as a steward of the animals.

“We know more customers want assurance that their food has been produced responsibly and there are two ways to go about it,” Smith said. “One way is with on-farm audits, while also continuing to research ways to improve how farm animals are raised.”

Smith emphasized that his company knows that the farmers that supply Tyson are the best in the world and the audits will prove that. Should there be a problem with a producer within the system, Tyson will work directly with the farmer having issues and fix those right away.… Continue reading

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Ohio beef producers vote down beef checkoff increase

The Ohio Department of Agriculture today certified the results of the 2012 Ohio Beef Marketing Program Referendum. The referendum, seeking to increase the state checkoff on cattle from $1 to $2, did not receive enough favorable votes to pass.

“It is disheartening to learn the referendum did not pass,” said Sam Sutherly, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association president. “The Ohio Beef Council has an outstanding history of leveraging Ohio beef producers’ checkoff dollars to the fullest extent to promote our product to Ohio’s 11.5 million consumers. These results indicate there is more work to do to effectively communicate how existing checkoff funds are used to increase beef demand.”

According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s announcement, 674 votes were certified with 47% of producers representing 51% of the marketed cattle sold by all participants voted in favor of the increase. Voting against the increase were 53% of producers representing 49% of marketed cattle sold by all participants. … Continue reading

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Ohio State wins livestock judging competition for the first time since 2004

The Ohio State University Livestock Judging Team won the Keystone International Livestock Exposition (KILE) Collegiate and Junior Livestock Judging contest on Oct. 6, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Exposition Center in Harrisburg, Penn.

Ohio State was among 10 university teams around the country to judge five cattle classes, four swine classes, and three sheep classes. The competitors presented oral reasons on eight of the 12 classes.

In addition to being named first place team, Ohio State showed an outstanding performance placing first in the sheep division, third in reasons and the swine division and fourth in the beef division.

Team members traveling to KILE included Nate Benich, Plymouth, Ohio; Jake Boyert, Seville, Ohio; Lindsey Grimes, Hillsboro, Ohio; Bailey Harsh, Radnor, Ohio; Linsey Howell, Danville, Ohio; Trey Miller, Baltimore, Ohio; Audrey Neal, Tiffin, Ohio; Kyle Nickles, Loudonville, Ohio; and Nick Wright, Brookville, Ohio.

Neal, Miller, Howell and Benich were the leaders for the team at this contest.… Continue reading

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Complete calf weaning and consider marketing options

Now is the time for beef producers with spring-calving herds to complete weaning and consider calf marketing options, a Purdue Extension beef specialist said.

Timely calf weaning reduces cow energy needs and pasture stress, and allows pregnant cows time to gain weight heading into winter.

“Weaning helps stretch pasture resources, and longer grazing means using less harvested feed, such as hay or silage,” Ron Lemenager said. “If we wean calves and take them off of pasture, we can reduce cow pasture consumption by 25%, as well as eliminate the calves’ pasture intake and trampling losses associated with their hooves. Collectively, this should translate to a 30-40% stretching of pasture resources.”

Weaning a calf also reduces stress on the mother. When cows lactate, they have much higher energy needs and they gain less weight. The result is that they have to eat more and have a harder time improving body condition heading into the cold winter months, Lemenager said.… Continue reading

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Ohio team competes in National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest

Thirty-One teams from around the country competed in the dairy cattle evaluation contest judging 10 classes, and giving oral reasons on five classes at the National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest on October 1 at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisc. The Ohio team, coached by Bonnie Ayers, finished sixth overall.

Results are as follows:

Top 10 Teams Overall

  1. Michigan, 2,045, coached by Domecq and Sarah BlackTeam members: Megan Filhart, Hayleigh Geurink, Megan Bush and Savannah Katulski
  2. Minnesota, 2,001 coached by Scheffler and Pieper
Team members: Mary Liebenstein, Emily Pieper, David Trcka, Dennison Nelson
  3. New York, 2,001, coached by Doug Waterman
Team members: Miquela Hanselman, Andrew Chlus, Jacob Duppengiesser, Heidi Vanleishout
  4. Pennsylvania, 1,994,  coached by Chad Dechow
Team members: Caitlyn Pool, Dyllan Himmelberger, Tim Yoder, Elliot Elsbree
  5. Wisconsin, 1,952, coached by Behling/ Grosenick/ Sloan
Team members: Andy Sell, Janelle Remington, Carrie Warmka, Brad Warmka
  6. Ohio, 1,949, coached by Bonnie Ayars
Team members: Laura Bond, Emily Dudash, Hillary Hayman, Meghan Thurston
  7. California, 1,948, coached by Donny Rollin
Team members: Tony Garcia, Justin Bopp, Tristan Rollin, Brandon Carreiro
  8. New Hampshire, 1,940, coached by Jessica Chickering
Team members: Brooke Clarke, Jacob Blake, Lucas Deblois, Tristan Phillips
  9. Maryland, 1,930, coached by Jessica Little
Team members: Tessa Wiles, Carol Debaugh, Scott Debaugh, Derrick Zimmerman
  10. Illinois, 1,897, coached by David Fischer
Team members: Adrienne Brammeier, Jessica Telgamann, Morgan Wendling, Brett Woker

 

Top 10 Individuals Overall:

  1. Tony Garcia, 700, California
  2. Megan Bush, 690, Michigan
  3. Megan Filhart, 688, Michigan
  4. Dyllan Himmelberger, 686, Pennsylvania
  5. Emily Pieper, 680, Minnesota
  6. Miquela Hanselman, 677, New York
  7. Jacob Duppengiesser, 675, New York
  8. Kylie Ward, 671, North Carolina
  9. Hayleigh Guerink, 667, Michigan

Mary Liebenstein, 665, Minnesota

Top 10 Team Reasons:

  1. Michigan, 677, coached by Domecq and Black
  2. Minnesota, 677, coached by Scheffler andPieper
  3. Pennsylvania, 673, coached by Chad Dechow
  4. New York, 661, coached by Doug Waterman
  5. Wisconsin, 654, coached by Behling/ Grosenick/ Sloan
  6. Maryland, 635, coached by Jessica Little
  7. California, 632, coached by Donny Rollin
  8. Ohio, 630, coached by Bonnie Ayars
  9. Iowa, 628, coached by Lyons and Lovstuen
  10. Florida, 628, coached by Holcomb and Clements

 

Top 10 Individual Reasons:

  1. Tony Garcia, 234, California
  2. Dyllan Himmelberger, 231, Pennsylvania
  3. Mary Liebenstein, 230, Minnesota
  4. Jacob Duppengiesser, 228, New York
  5. Megan Bush, 227, Michigan
  6. Andy Sell, 227, Wisconsin
  7. Megan Filhart, 225, Michigan
  8. Hayleigh Geurink, 225, Michigan
  9. Laura Bond, 224, Ohio
  10. David Trcka, 224, Minnesota

 

Generous support from sponsors makes the 91st National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest possible.… Continue reading

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October is pork month

October is Pork Month and Ohio’s bacon, ham and pork chop farmers have worked hard all year long to raise quality pork products and promote their industry. Now is the time to reflect upon industry achievement.

“Pork Month is a time to tout the achievements that farmers have made in helping make quality pork available for all of us to enjoy,” said Todd Stickley, President, Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC). “The Ohio Pork Producers Council works on behalf of Ohio’s farmers to share new recipe ideas, proper cooking information and help open up barns and farms on YouTube and social media to help show how farms have changed.”

OPPC has increased efforts to engage conversations about where food comes from by way of social media. Ohio Hog Farmers, OPPC’s Facebook page, is running promotions during Pork Month and is becoming an increasingly popular place to share information about pig farming, recipes and all things pork related.… Continue reading

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American Lamb Board announces changes to 2013 grant programs

The American Lamb Board (ALB) kicks off its new fiscal year with changes to its fiscal year 2013 industry outreach cooperative funding programs. The board’s Industry Matching Grant Program has been replaced by an Annual Sponsorship Program. $20,000 will be available annually to support local lamb events, fairs and festivals to help offset the cost of lamb for sampling and demonstrations, event advertising and publicity, promotional materials, etc. Applications will be due in January 2013.

ALB has also approved an increase to the Supplier Co-op Program budget from $60,000 to $80,000 to help American lamb suppliers and direct marketers develop and implement branded retail, foodservice or consumer promotions. The funding cycle will remain the same for this program with applications due for the first round on Oct. 31 ($40,000 available), and the second round on April 30, 2013 ($40,000 available). This program requires a dollar for dollar match.

“Both programs are designed to expand ALB’s efforts to promote American lamb and further the goals and objectives of ALB’s strategic plan,” said ALB Chairman Nick Forrest.… Continue reading

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Ohioans do well at World Dairy Expo

International Ayrshire Show

Junior Champion Female:
Topp-View Poker Verity
Gene Iager, Craig & Emily Walton, Pleasant Plain

Reserve Junior Champion Female:
Topp-View Bendig Wannaplay
Keaton & Kinley Topp, Botkins

International Milking Shorthorn Show

Grand Champion Female:
Mi-San Acre O Lust-ET
David Riley, Williamsfield

Junior Champion of Junior Show:
Blue Spruce  RR Myers-EXP
Ashley Hawvemale, Wooster

Reserve Junior Champion of Junior Show:
Buckeye Knoll Plmamzing EXP-ET
Sarah Rhoades, Greenville

Reserve Grand and Senior Champion of Junior Show:
Redien Acres Jr.
Jacob Baker, Homeworth

International Red & White Show

Reserve Grand and Reserve Senior Champion Female:
Starmark Ad Hotstuff-Red-ET
Nathan Thomas, Mike Heath & Will Iager, North Lewisburg, Ohio

Sale Highlights

At the 2012 World Premier Brown Swiss Sale, heldOctober 4, 2012, xceeding all in the 2012 sale was Top Acres Supreme Glow-ET, selling for a grand price of $10,250. Supreme Glow was consigned by Wayne E. Sliker from St. Paris, Ohio and bought by Lee Anns Swiss LLC of DeWitt, Iowa.… Continue reading

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Corn stalks can stretch drought-reduced forage supplies

With forage supplies tight this year, Ohio corn growers could find extra value in their post-harvest crop residue as a supplemental livestock feed, an Ohio State University Extension agricultural and natural resources educator says.

Considering that an estimated 50% of the total corn plant yield remains in the field after harvest, those acres harvested for corn can represent a potential forage source that is often overlooked, said Rory Lewandowski.

That is significant, since the drought of 2012 has been one of the worst on record, leaving many livestock producers short on hay and silage. The lack of substantial rainfall, extreme heat and dryness left many producers looking for any alternative forage supplies.

“This corn residue is out there and sometimes not utilized at all,” Lewandowski said, calling it an “overlooked resource that, especially in this type of year, can be a significant benefit for producers.”

While most of the harvest residue is the stalk, there are also leaves, husks, some corn grain and cobs that remain, with the amount of corn grain left on the field averaging some three bushels per acre, he said.… Continue reading

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The costs of nutrients, comparison of feedstuffs prices and the current dairy situation

By Normand St-Pierre, Ohio State University Extension Dairy Management Specialist

In early June of this year, I wrote: “the USDA’s expected yield of 166 bushels per acre is about two bushels per acre above the estimated trend. This, my friends, would require near ideal corn growing conditions over most of the Corn Belt. We had very good weather for planting, but some dryness has settled over some pretty large growing areas of the Midwest. We could be looking at a rough summer on the feed markets.” Was I smart or just lucky?

I would rather just call it experience. The first half of the year was marked by an over-exuberance regarding the expected corn crop. My experience has been that the growing season never goes quite as well as the forecasts when the expectations are flying way high. Likewise, the situation is generally not quite as bad as the “reports” when the season is bad.… Continue reading

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Those with bacon shortage concerns can still dig the pig

By Dave White, Ohio Livestock Coalition

We all have our favorite toppings for a sandwich. I’m not a mayonnaise or miracle whip kind of guy. My favorite toppings include avocado or guacamole, barbecue sauce, pickles and bacon.
So when one of my friends asked me about a television network’s morning news show reporting that a bacon shortage was forthcoming, it naturally got my attention.
Turns out it’s another thing we can blame on the British. The United Kingdom’s National Pig Association wanted its British customers to feel okay about the possibility of paying higher prices for pork. The opening paragraph of the pig group’s news

release got it all started, creating almost panic-like conditions on the Internet and a crazed frenzy in the world of social media: “A world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable.”
With a nation full of bacon enthusiasts (one article about the shortage referred to us as “worshippers”), perhaps it’s no surprise that U.… Continue reading

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Pacelle seeking seat on Tyson board of directors

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), announced that he has filed paperwork as a candidate for election to the board of directors of Tyson Foods. Pacelle says he will urge the company to commit to a definite time frame to phase out the confinement of sows in gestation crates. Equity investor Carl Icahn has agreed to serve as an advisor in Pacelle’s efforts to join the board.

“It’s certainly unusual for a lifelong animal advocate to run for the board of the second-biggest meat company in the world,” Pacelle said. “Nonetheless, it is imperative that a voice on Tyson’s board speak for the company’s many customers, partners, and investors who are demanding the end of gestation crates and more humane treatment of animals.”

It will be difficult for Pacelle to get on the board.

“When Wayne Pacelle reached out to me as a long-time supporter of HSUS to advise HSUS on the possibility of seeking a board position at Tyson, I told Wayne that given the existence of A/B (low vote/high vote) stock at Tyson, it would be extremely difficult to elect him as a director through a proxy fight,” Icahn said.… Continue reading

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Pork producers advised to get flu vaccination

As in previous years, the Pork Checkoff recommends producers, farm personnel and others who have contact with pigs get the seasonal flu vaccination as soon as possible to help protect human and pig health.

“It’s always a smart decision for producers and swine farm workers to reduce the risk of getting sick and bringing the flu to the farm or workplace by getting vaccinated,” said Jennifer Koeman, director of producer and public health for the Pork Checkoff. “It also shows the industry’s ‘We Care’ ethical principle is in action to help protect employees, animals and public health.”

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, all people over the age of 6 months of age should be immunized for influenza each year.

“People may remain contagious for up to five to seven days after getting sick,” Koeman said. “That’s why it’s so crucial that employers have a sick-leave policy that encourages those experiencing symptoms of influenza-like illness to stay home.”

At the farm level, good building ventilation and good hygiene can help reduce transmission of flu viruses.… Continue reading

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Feed outlook grim as slim harvest continues

By Matt Reese

The annual agricultural struggle between those who grow crops and those who feed crops has been intensified in 2012 due to the already tight supplies and the severe drought that ravaged yields throughout much of the Corn Belt.

Each year, it seems, there are winners and losers when it comes to crop prices. Dairy, pork, beef and poultry producers are feeling the pain of high crop prices this year, and stuck somewhere in between the producers and the consumers of crops are feed mills that are also facing challenges this year.

“In the last few years, it has been challenging for prices and the short crop this year will be the biggest challenge,” said Karl Keller, with Keller Grain and Feed in Darke County “We make money by selling on the basis and selling storage. We aren’t seeing many opportunities for that this year. And, ethanol is our biggest competition because they handle so much corn.… Continue reading

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Cutting livestock greenhouse gases requires effort from rich and poor countries

Regulating livestock greenhouse gas emissions could shift livestock production to unregulated, less developed countries unless those poorer nations can be enticed to preserve their forested lands, according to a Purdue University economic study.

Agriculture and deforestation account for about one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, with methane from livestock production being the most important type of farm-related emission. Alla Golub, a research economist at the Center for Global Trade Analysis in Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics, and Thomas Hertel, a Purdue distinguished professor of agricultural economics and executive director of the Global Trade Analysis Project, modeled policies aimed at reducing emissions from livestock.

“Emissions from agriculture have not gotten as much attention as those from fossil fuels combustion. But when the world gets serious about tackling climate policy, livestock will be an important part of that discussion,” Hertel said. “Livestock sectors are the most important contributors to non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions and would be seriously affected if a tax or regulations were implemented.”

Their findings, with co-authors from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Electric Power Research Institute and Ohio State University were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.… Continue reading

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