U.S. pork producers “Give-a-Ham”

The National Pork Producers Council launched the “Give-a-Ham” challenge, a national social media campaign encouraging hog farmers and those involved in the industry to donate pork to organizations serving the food insecure, and challenging others to follow suit. The “Give-a-Ham” challenge began Nov. 23 and runs through the end of the year.

“With so many Americans struggling with COVID-related financial challenges, this year’s ‘Give-a-Ham’ challenge takes on special meaning,” said Howard “AV” Roth, NPPC president. “Giving back to our communities is a core value of hog farmers nationwide; it’s gratifying to come together as an industry this time of year to serve those in need.”

Throughout the COVID pandemic, U.S. hog farmers and numerous state associations that represent them have donated to local food banks, providing a collective 15.7 million pounds — or 222.8 million servings — of pork through Oct. 31.

“I’m proud to be part of an industry that has already made significant contributions this year to help those less fortunate and look forward to participating in the ‘Give-a-Ham’ challenge, paying it forward with pork,” Roth said.… Continue reading

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Dec. 11 deadline for 2021 dairy safety-net enrollment

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reminds dairy producers that the deadline to enroll in Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) for calendar year 2021 is Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) opened DMC signup in October to help producers manage economic risk brought on by milk price and feed cost disparities.

“2020 has been a challenging year for agricultural producers, and we don’t know yet what the next year will bring,” said Richard Fordyce, FSA Administrator. “Dairy producers should definitely consider coverage for 2021 as even the slightest drop in the margin can trigger payments.”

The DMC program, created by the 2018 Farm Bill, offers reasonably priced protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

Complete 2021 enrollment/evaluate coverage options

For DMC enrollment, producers must certify with FSA that the operation is commercially marketing milk, sign all required forms, and pay the $100 administrative fee unless the dairy operation qualifies for a limited resource, beginning, socially disadvantaged, or military veteran farmers and ranchers waiver.… Continue reading

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Watch vomitoxin levels in feed

By Erika Lyon, Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator, Ohio State University Extension

High vomitoxin levels are leading to the rejection of some corn at grain elevators this year. Vomitoxin detected in corn so far is enough that at some elevators, trucks are not permitted to leave scales until a vomitoxin quick test is completed. One central Ohio elevator has been rejecting corn at 5 parts per million (ppm), with estimates of 10% of corn being rejected this season. The average level of vomitoxin in corn passing through central Ohio elevators is estimated at 2 ppm. What exactly does this mean for livestock owners who use this corn as a source of feed?

Vomitoxin, or deoxynivalenol (DON), is a secondary metabolite or mycotoxin produced by Fusarium molds that can cause health and productivity issues in livestock. The common source of DON in corn is the species F. graminearum, which is also occurs in other small grains such as wheat, barley and oats.… Continue reading

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Central State University Extension Hosted Aquaponics Field Day with tilapia harvest

Nearly 200 tilapia fish weighing approximately two pounds each were ready for harvest at the Central State University Extension (CSUE) Aquaponics Field held last week at its CSUE Aquaponics Demonstration Facility.

Participants attending were able to take home fresh fish at the end of the field day’s presentations with CSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resource Educator Marc Amante. The last of the season’s lettuce and cucumbers were also distributed as the facility will be closing for the 2020 season.

Participants viewed progress on a different demonstration system being built in the same greenhouse and learned more about the self-sustaining system.

“Aquaponics is a closed loop system that combines conventional aquaculture (the raising of aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a mutually symbiotic environment. The aquaponics system utilizes the waste of one element for the benefit of another other. In this case, the waste produced by the fish benefits the growing plants,” said Cindy Folck, CSUE Program Leader for Agricultural and Natural Resources.… Continue reading

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Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium goes virtual in 2020

By Matt Reese

Since March of 2020, much has changed, but the value of Ohio’s shepherds learning from experts and each other has not. This year’s Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium will be in a virtual format to reflect what has changed in 2020, but the content of the program remains relevant for the many aspects of Ohio’s lamb and wool industries that have not changed.

“We’ve worked hard and diligently to get this program up and going. Unfortunately due to everything that is happening, we still wanted to provide an opportunity for our shepherds to be able to connect and to receive some of the information we traditionally provide every year at the Buckeye Shepherd Symposium,” said Brady Campbell, coordinator of Ohio State University’s sheep team. “When you take a look at our sheep numbers and membership that is passionate about the sheep industry, we rank among the top three in the nation according to the ASI.… Continue reading

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Pork exports continue on record pace, beef trending lower

September exports of U.S. pork increased 10% year-over-year, keeping 2020 exports on a record pace, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports were fairly steady with last year in major Asian markets but trended lower overall.

Pork exports reached 222,475 metric tons (mt) in September, with value increasing 6% to $563.2 million. Shipments to China/Hong Kong remained higher than a year ago in September but made up a smaller share of the global total compared to recent months, as exports set a new record for Canada and increased year-over-year to Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Chile and the Caribbean.

Through the first three quarters of the year, pork exports were 16% ahead of last year’s record pace in both volume (2.22 million mt) and value ($5.69 billion). The increases were even stronger for pork muscle cuts, jumping 22% to 1.87 million mt valued at $4.93 billion (up 19%).… Continue reading

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Ohio brothers make aquaculture dream a reality

By Madi Kregel, OCJ field reporter

It’s uncommon to find local Ohio seafood, but the Waldock brothers have found a way to produce seafood locally nearly 600 miles from the closest ocean.

Buckeye Seafood Company in Wood County produces fresh shrimp and tilapia for retail. The aquaculture operation was added to diversify the family’s 300-acre vegetable production operation in Wood County by brothers Jack and TJ Waldock, who share a lifelong love of fish and seafood.

“We’ve loved fishing forever,” Jack Waldock said. “We always wanted to do aquaculture. When we were younger, we wanted to do tilapia but there was a heavy start up price. Our dad steered us that way and when we were in high school we went and toured a tilapia and perch facility. We were always looking for something different to do and shrimp came up. After years of planning, we pulled the trigger and got started.… Continue reading

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American Forage and Grassland Council will hold hybrid conference in 2021

By Chris Penrose, OSU Morgan County Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and President Elect, American Forage and Grassland Council

In response to feedback, the American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC) Board of Directors has made the decision to host a hybrid conference in January 2021. This means there will be two events, one in-person and one virtual, on two separate dates. The Board felt this approach met the feedback received and allows members and attendees the option to choose the event structure that best fit their comfort level.

The AFGC Annual Conference will be held in-person January 3 through Jan. 6 at the Hyatt Regency in Savannah, Georgia and the AFGC Virtual Conference will be held January 11 and 12, 2021. The content offered in person will be recorded and available at the virtual event and the virtual will include sessions by presenters who made the decision to present remotely.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association moving forward with new format for January annual meeting

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will be moving forward with a new format for the OCA annual meeting being held on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. The location of the meeting is new for 2021 as it has moved to the Hilton Columbus/Polaris located at 8700 Lyra Dr. in Columbus.

This year’s event will focus on the need to conduct the business of the association while protecting the safety and welfare of OCA members. The 2021 event will look different with a new schedule that includes educational presentations both virtual and in-person, policy development and the recognition of award winners and Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF) scholarship recipients all scheduled into one daylong program.

Attendance for the event will be limited to comply with all COVID safety precautions and regulations. The traditional evening awards banquet will be discontinued for 2021 to allow members to focus on association business and then return to their farms.  … Continue reading

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Three part webinar series to help Ohio dairy producers mitigate price risk

Dairy producers in Ohio and across the country have faced a turbulent year for milk prices, input costs, and income.

Like other commodities, dairy product supply chains were stressed during the initial stages of the global Coronavirus pandemic. Milk prices have improved since the lows of April and May, but price and income risk remain major concerns of producers. Organizers from The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences in partnership with the Ohio Dairy Producer’s Association are hosting a free three-part webinar series November 5, 17, and 24 from noon to 1:00 p.m. EST. to prepare producers to mitigate these risks. 

Ohio’s Federal Milk Marketing Order Class III milk price fell to a low of $12.14 per hundredweight in May before climbing to $24.54 per hundredweight in July. However, Class III prices do not always reflect the price received at the farm. Producer Price Differentials (PPDs) can increase or decrease the final price paid to producers based on factors such as how the milk is used — bottled for fluid consumption or manufactured into cheese and other dairy products- and how much milk is pooled in the Federal Order system.… Continue reading

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Retail lamb sales up

Retail sales of all lamb in the U.S. are increasing.

“The combination of consumers cooking at home, the desire for new meal options, the hard work by lamb marketers, retailers and American Lamb Board (ALB) checkoff efforts seem to be opening consumers to lamb’s possibilities, and it shows in the numbers,” said Gwen Kitzan, ALB chair from Newell, SD. 

The latest retail data, analyzed by IRI/FreshLook Marketing, and released by ALB, quantifies the growth in retail sales for all lamb (domestic and imported) through July 12, 2020. 

Retail sales data show pounds of all lamb sold at multi-outlet supermarkets in the U.S. in the 13-week period from April 20 through July 12, 2020, increased 8.6% compared to the same period in 2019. That’s 16.3 million pounds of lamb sold and $137.8 million in sales during the quarter.

In the last four weeks of the period (June 15 through July 12, 2020) pounds of lamb sold increased 29.8% compared to the same period one year ago, and lamb dollars spent increased 38.2% to $40.5 million.… Continue reading

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OCA’s Cattlemen’s Academy to host first nutrition clinic of the year

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s (OCA) Cattlemen’s Academy will be hosting three nutrition clinics this fall at various locations throughout Ohio, co-sponsored by Merck Animal Health. The first clinic will be held on Nov. 10, 2020 at 6 p.m. at the Shawnee State Park Lodge in West Portsmouth. 

OCA recognizes the importance of serving individual members across the state and the goal of the Cattlemen’s Academy is to offer informative learning experiences as part of a current OCA membership. These clinics will follow all COVID safety precautions and appropriate social distancing.

The nutrition clinics will include presentations from The Ohio State University (OSU) Extension Beef Team where producers will learn about nutrition considerations for cow-calf operations. Topics for the clinic will include forage quality, mineral and protein supplementation programs and a 12-month look at cow nutrition needs. These topics will be covered by Steve Boyles, professor at Ohio State University, and Garth Ruff, beef cattle field specialist at OSU.… Continue reading

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R-CALF USA has a “beef” with federal checkoff program

By Ellen Essman, Ohio Law Blog, Agricultural & Resource Law Program at The Ohio State University

Earlier this month, the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) sued the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. R-CALF USA has filed a number of lawsuits involving the Beef Checkoff program over the years, including several that are on-going. 

Their argument, at its most basic, is that the Beef Checkoff violates the Constitution because ranchers and farmers have to “subsidize the private speech of private state beef councils through the national beef checkoff program.” In this new complaint, R-CALF USA alleges that when USDA entered into MOUs (memorandums of understanding) with private state checkoff programs in order to run the federal program, its actions did not follow the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). 

R-CALF USA argues that entering into the MOUs was rulemaking under the APA. … Continue reading

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OPA accepting nominations for American Egg Board

The Ohio Poultry Association (OPA) is accepting suggestions for nominations to serve on the 2021-2022 American Egg Board (AEB), which is U.S. egg farmer’s link to consumers in communicating the value of the incredible egg. Members serve two-year terms on the national board.

“It is a prestigious honor to serve as a board member on the national level to help guide the egg community and further our commitment to provide a safe, affordable egg supply to Ohioans and the world,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “I encourage the state’s egg farmers to consider nominating themselves or another farmer to serve in this important role to help advance the AEB’s mission to increase demand for eggs and egg products.”

To be eligible for nomination, persons must be producers or representatives of producers and they must own 75,000 or more laying hens. Producers who own less than 75,000 hens are eligible provided they have not applied for exemption and are paying assessments to AEB.… Continue reading

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Dairy Margin Coverage Program enrollment for 2021 opened Oct. 13

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began accepting applications for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 for 2021 enrollment.

“This year has been a market roller coaster for the dairy industry, and the Dairy Margin Coverage program is a valuable tool dairy producers can use to manage risk,” said Bill Northey, USDA’s Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, during a roundtable at a dairy in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. “We were excited to roll out this new and improved program through the 2018 Farm Bill, and if you haven’t enrolled in previous years, we highly encourage you to check it out.”

Signup runs through Dec. 11, 2020. DMC is a voluntary risk management program that offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. DMC payments triggered for seven months in 2019 and three months so far in 2020. … Continue reading

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Ohio Texas longhorns win big in Texas

The 30th Annual International Championship Texas Longhorn Show and Convention was held at Glen Rose, Texas Oct 8 – 10. Entries were competing for Championship awards from 19 states. The most entries were from Texas. A record of 581 entries came to capture the national awards.

The All Age ITLA Champion Halter female was exhibited by Kirk and Linda Dickinson of Barnesville, Ohio. The new champion is “Kookachex,” age 5, with a whopping horn spread of 87” tip to tip. Kookachex was judged by prominent Texas Longhorn producer Lana Hightower from Van, Texas. She was shown with her calf at side by Kara Dickinson and Doug Burris.

The All Age ITLA Champion Non-Halter female was exhibited by Dickinson Cattle Co, LLC (DCC) of Barnesville, Ohio. The new Champion Non-Halter was “Iron On” who was exhibited free range in the arena with no halter or special show techniques. She is age 6, weighs 1402 pounds and sports a 91.13-inch spread tip to tip.… Continue reading

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A local meat pandemic

By Dusty Sonnenberg and Matt Reese

Willie Murphy works with his family on their diverse Clinton County operation that includes crops, cattle and a booming 2020 freezer beef business.

“The freezer beef has had a huge increase in demand. Normally we do 50 to 60 a year and so far we have sent over 60 head to the butcher shop and have another 50 head yet this year and another 20 head sold into next year. It doesn’t matter what butcher shop you talk to, they are all booking into this time next year. We have appointments all the way through 2022 just to fill the demand. A lot of people who are buying are asking me to just put them down for next year. That is good for us and good for the people we are selling to so we can cut out the middle man and sell direct,” Murphy said.… Continue reading

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U.S. dairy exports to benefit from new USDA-FDA partnership

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will establish an interagency process to further support exports of U.S. dairy products. Both agencies play critical roles in facilitating foreign sales of American-made dairy products, which is recognized and appreciated by the U.S. dairy industry. This MOU will draw upon the expertise of FDA as well as USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) to deepen and streamline their work together on the issues facing dairy exports to the benefit of U.S. dairy farmers and manufacturers. 

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) worked with both agencies to advance this new approach to dairy export collaboration.

“This new partnership ensures that the staff at USDA and FDA are working together in the most efficient way possible to lower barriers for our farmer’s dairy exports.… Continue reading

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Precautions for feeding frosted and drought-stressed forages

By Mark Sulc, Ohio State University Extension

Livestock owners feeding forage need to keep in mind the potential for some forage toxicities and other problems that can develop this fall. High nitrates and prussic acid poisoning are the main potential concerns. These are primarily an issue with annual forages and several weed species, but nitrates can be an issue even in drought stressed perennial forages. There is also an increased risk of bloat when grazing legumes after a frost.

Nitrate toxicity

Drought stressed forages can accumulate toxic nitrate levels. This can occur in many different forage species, including both annuals and perennials. Several areas in Ohio have been dry of late. Corn, oat and other small grains, sudangrass, and sorghum sudangrass, and many weed species including johnsongrass can accumulate toxic levels of nitrates. Even alfalfa can accumulate toxic nitrate levels under severe drought stress.

Before feeding or grazing drought stressed forage, send in a forage sample to be tested for nitrates.… Continue reading

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OCA BEST adds Buckeye Breeders Series

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) Beef Exhibitor Show Total (BEST) Program announced important updates and additions to the program, including the creation of the Buckeye Breeders Series (BBS).

The BBS will replace the former Best of the Buckeye Program and will operate in a similar manner, but with increased recognition opportunities for BBS breeders and exhibitors. BBS has been incorporated into the BEST program in its own separate points division and will run throughout the BEST show season. Only registered cattle that were bred by an Ohio breeder are eligible. Crossbreds are not eligible to participate in the BBS.

Beginning with the Scarlet & Gray Midwest Showdown held Jan. 2 and 3, 2021 at the Clark County Fairgrounds in Springfield and continuing at every BEST show throughout the season, cattle entered in the BBS program will have their own separate set of points that will run parallel to the BEST program, like the Novice and Bred & Owned Divisions whose points are a subset of their regular class points.… Continue reading

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