Livestock



2021-22 BEST season offers new opportunity

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is announcing a new opportunity for the 2021-2022 BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) program.

BEST is a youth development program of OCA that recognizes Ohio’s junior beef exhibitors for participation and placings through a series of sanctioned cattle shows that include showmanship competitions, educational contests, and leadership opportunities. BEST also includes a separate Buckeye Breeders Series (BBS) points division for registered steers and heifers that were bred, born and raised by an Ohio breeder.

New for 2021-2022 out-of-state juniors who purchase Ohio BBS cattle will be eligible to exhibit them at all BEST sanctioned shows, compete for points and over-all year-end awards. This change will provide Ohio breeders of BBS cattle increased marketing and recognition opportunities for their Ohio born registered cattle. Also, the one-time nomination fee for the Ohio breeder will be re-instated for their BBS eligible cattle that will be shown in the BEST.… Continue reading

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Double-crop forages to maximize summer forage potential

By Jason Hartschuh, Ohio State University Extension AgNR Educator, Crawford County

Many producers use summer annual forages for grazing and stored forage to either fill the summer slump or keep livestock feed through the winter. With wheat harvest finalized across most of the state and straw baling completed for many now our attention turns to creating a second or third profit center off those wheat acres.

Wheat acres provide an excellent opportunity for double-cropping with forages that when harvested at the proper growth stage can either make high quality late gestation early lactation forage, grazing opportunities, or gut fill to mix lower the quality of other forages or concentrates.

Many species of summer annuals can be utilized for forage. Some of them such as radish and turnip can be easily grazed but do not make good stored forage as baleage or dry hay. For dry hay we have found the best two species to be teff and oats.… Continue reading

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NPPC pushes for labor reform

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, National Pork Producers Council President Jen Sorenson urged Congress to address the agriculture labor shortage by expanding the H-2A visa program for year-round use without a cap. As she explained, U.S. pork production is a year-round effort, requiring a hardworking and dedicated workforce on farms and in processing plants.

“Current visa programs designed for seasonal agriculture—such as the H-2A visa—fail to meet the workforce needs of U.S. pork producers and other year-round livestock farmers. Now more than ever, we need a dedicated, year-round workforce,” Sorenson told the committee.

If not addressed, the labor shortage “could lead to farms and packing plants shutting down, causing serious financial harm to the communities in which they operate. As a result, pork production would be constrained, leading to higher food prices for consumers and the United States becoming an unreliable trading partner for the many countries around the world that rely on our pork,” she noted.… Continue reading

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MSR — 20 years and still counting

By Mary Wicks

In 2021, an OSU Extension educator, John Smith, recruited folks from OSU, SWCDs and other agencies to launch the first Manure Science Review (MSR). The goal was to provide an educational program that provided research-based information on manure handling and other issues facing livestock producers. It was a success and has continued into 2021, always following Smith’s mantra that you need to provide high quality information, impressive equipment demonstrations, and good food.

Since its beginning, over 4,000 people have attended the MSR, learning from the experts in the manure world on everything from regulations to application methods to environmental issues. The MSR has been held in 16 different Ohio counties in its 20 years of existence. The always popular field demonstrations have included the unique Subsurfer for injecting poultry litter, smoking subsurface drainage tiles, many solid and liquid manure applicators, cover crop plots, and holey underwear. And of course, the food has always been plentiful and delicious. … Continue reading

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2021 Ohio State Fair is almost here

By Matt Reese

The Ohio State Fair is almost here, though the 2021 installment will be significantly different than in the past. The focus will be entirely on youth and agricultural activities this year following an extremely challenging 2020 when the event was canceled. 

“We have been able to survive and make it through it to put on an agricultural fair this year. That is what is closest to my heart — to be able to have a junior and senior livestock show. We have been able to put together enough staff to help us get that accomplished this year,” said Virgil Strickler, general manager of the Ohio State Fair. “The agricultural side is the roots of the fair and at least we are starting to get that back up and running.”

The 2021 Ohio State Fair is not open to the general public. It will only be open for exhibitors, their families, and their guests this year.… Continue reading

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Supreme Court denies request for reviewing Prop 12

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would not grant certiorari and review a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ on California Proposition 12. Voters approved Proposition 12, the “Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act,” in 2018. The Act establishes housing standards for egg-laying hens, breeding hogs and veal calves and prohibits the confinement of animals in spaces that don’t meet the standards. Business owners and operators in California may not sell meat or egg products from animals that are not confined according to the standards. Standards for calves (43 square feet) and egg laying hens (1 square foot) became effective in 2020 while standards for breeding pigs and their offspring (24 square feet) and cage-free provisions for egg laying hens are to be effective beginning Jan. 1, 2022.

The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) sought a preliminary injunction against Proposition 12 in 2019, arguing that it violates the Interstate Commerce Clause of the U.S.… Continue reading

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ODA and ODNR advise poultry owners to protect flocks from unknown songbird illness

With recent reports of sick and dying songbirds in Ohio and surrounding states, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) are encouraging hobby and backyard poultry owners to take steps to protect their flocks.

In an effort to deter the yet-unidentified source of illness and death, ODNR is advising Ohioans to stop feeding wild birds and remove and clean bird feeders, particularly if they are seeing sick and/or dead birds in their area.

“Presently, we are not sure what is causing these illnesses and deaths in songbirds,” said Dennis M. Summers, DVM, DACVPM, Interim-State Veterinarian for Ohio. “We are communicating with ODNR to assist in the reporting of sick and dying birds. Laboratory testing is being conducted, but the cause has not yet been determined.”

Poultry owners are encouraged to protect their chickens, ducks, turkeys, and other domestic species from any potential exposure to wild birds.… Continue reading

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June Cattle on Feed Report

By Kenny Burdine, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Kentucky

USDA released the June Cattle on Feed report on Friday June 25. This monthly report estimates feedlot inventory in feedlots with one-time capacity over 1,000 head as of June 1. Total feedlot inventory on June 1 was estimated at 11.7 million head, which was just fractionally higher than June 1of 2020. On feed numbers had been running well-above year-ago levels for the last several months.

But, 2020 on feed inventory rose sharply from May to June. So, this is the first time in a while that on-feed inventories have been similar to last year. It is common practice to compare any of these numbers to the previous year, but comparisons to 2020 should be made in context of the impacts COVID-19 was having on our supply chain last year. 

In addition to estimating total on-feed inventory as of June 1, this report also estimates placements and marketings for the month of May.… Continue reading

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Line speed issue still not appealed

A federal district court ruling striking down faster harvest facility inspection speeds allowed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s New Swine Inspection System (NSIS) went into effect on Wednesday, June 30.

However, the Biden administration has until the end of August to file an appeal. NPPC continues to urge the administration to appeal this damaging ruling – which will quickly lead to increased pork industry concentration and packer market leverage – and seeks waivers for the impacted plants until a longer-term solution, acceptable to all industry stakeholders, is realized.

“While we are disappointed the Biden administration has not appealed the court ruling, there is still time for the government to act by appealing the decision and providing waivers that allow the six impacted plants to continue operating at NSIS line speeds until a new rule can be developed,” said NPPC President Jen Sorenson, communications director for Iowa Select Farms in West Des Moines, Iowa.… Continue reading

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Piecing together the puzzle of a family farm

By Matt Reese

After they graduated from college and got married, Levi and Krysti Morrow had a chance to buy a 36-acre piece of land that fit just right with the existing family farm in 2016, butting up against Levi’s father’s property in Morgan County. Since then, the Morrows have been trying to figure out exactly what type of farm production fits just right with the land and their family in the farm puzzle.  

“We keep experimenting to find the right niche that is a fit for us,” Krysti said.

Levi is an ag teacher at nearby Morgan High School and Krysti was working for Morgan Soil and Water Conservation District when they purchased the property. They started out on their farm with a corn maze and an acre of u-pick pumpkins, finding some initial success and growing to add u-pick strawberries. When children were added to the mix, though, things changed.… Continue reading

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Shoo fly, don’t bother me, or my cows!

By Haley Zynda, AgNR Educator, Ohio State University Extension Wayne County

Farming in the winter is usually not a livestock producer’s favorite time of the year. But, if I must give it a positive aspect, the lack of flies and other flying pests make it somewhat enjoyable compared to when those same critters burst forth in full swing come summer.

Flies, mosquitoes, and biting gnats can cause a plethora of problems on the farm, including the spread of disease and causing undue stress to stock, leading to diminished performance. House flies are the benign, although annoying, fly species that you may encounter in confinement situations, such as freestall barns or covered feedlots compared to pastured animals. Sanitation is the main management strategy to keep them under control. Keep manure and old feed from remaining near animals too long. You may also choose to purchase a parasitic wasp kit for your region.… Continue reading

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NPPC urges Administration to appeal damaging court ruling before Aug. 31

A federal district court ruling striking down faster harvest facility inspection speeds allowed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s New Swine Inspection System (NSIS) goes into effect tomorrow, June 30, 2021. The Biden administration has until the end of August to file an appeal. The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) urges the administration to appeal this damaging ruling – which will quickly lead to increased pork industry concentration and packer market power – and seeks waivers for the impacted plants until a longer-term solution, acceptable to all industry stakeholders, is realized.

The ruling eliminates 2.5% of pork packing plant capacity nationwide and will result in $80 million in reduced income for small U.S. hog farmers this year alone, according to an analysis by Iowa State University Economist Dr. Dermot Hayes. Last week, more than 70 lawmakers sent letters asking Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and Acting Solicitor General Prelogar to appeal the court decision.… Continue reading

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Now’s a great time to plan, and assess forage inventory

By  Chris Penrose, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Morgan County

Since May 21t, I have had three great chances to make hay and was lucky enough to finish before the rains arrived, I was lucky. I know other areas have not had a chance or just got started. When we finish first cutting hay, it seems to me to be a great time to assess our pasture condition and hay supplies. We will now know how much hay we have and how much more we will need, plus a little extra just in case it turns dry. Do you or will you have enough once first cutting is finished? Are your pastures holding up well?

Options: If you are going to have plenty of hay, can you graze some of those fields? It is always cheaper to graze than to make hay. Speaking of hay, prices are good right now; if you don’t need the fields to graze, can you make some extra to sell if you need the income?… Continue reading

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COBA celebrates 75 years

It is a milestone that few businesses have reached. Yet, COBA/Select Sires is celebrating 75 years in business in 2021. To memorialize the 75th anniversary, a series of events was hosted in the greater Columbus area in June. 

To begin the events, COBA’s board of directors met and an open house and annual meeting were held for member-owner-customers. In addition, a special dinner celebration was hosted for the board and delegates and delegate meetings were also held.

The open house was kicked off with guests visiting the newly renovated COBA/Select Sires office in Columbus. At Select Sires Inc., in Plain City, the event continued with a bull parade, which lead into lunch by Heflin’s Caterers, and COBA’s annual meeting.  General manager, Duane Logan, and board president, Chad Steinberger, lead the meeting to update attendees about the state of the cooperative, events over the last two years, and the projected future. (Livestreams of the bull parade and annual meeting are available on COBA’s Facebook page.)… Continue reading

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Registration is open for the OFGC 2021 Summer Forage Field Days

The Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council cordially invites you to join forage and livestock enthusiasts from across the state for their 2021 Summer Forage Field Days. Anyone with an interest in pasture management, hay production, or livestock systems is welcome to attend one or all of the field days planned as drive-it-yourself day tours in Central Ohio.

The series will begin on June 25, 2021, in Crawford County. Finishing sheep, goats, and cattle on forage will be the topic of this field day and will include a stop on storing wet forages. This program will feature a tour in the morning of a grazing goat operation at H&M Family Farm with Mike and Angie Hall. Guests Bob Hendershot, John Berger, and Mark Sulc will discuss finishing sheep, goats, and steers on forage. After lunch, we will travel to a second farm to view alternative forage storage methods. At this stop, we discuss baleage and methods to prevent barn fires.… Continue reading

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California acknowledges Prop 12 not science based

In its recently issued proposed rules for implementing California’s Proposition 12, the state acknowledged the ballot initiative’s arbitrary animal housing standards for hogs are not based on specific, peer-reviewed published scientific literature, and the initiative will increase in-state pork prices, impacting low-income residents especially hard. 

The National Pork Producers Council shared those findings in a filing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. NPPC and the American Farm Bureau Federation have filed a lawsuit with the court, asking it to strike down Proposition 12 as unconstitutional under the dormant clause. Set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, it applies to any pork sold in California, whether raised there or outside of the state’s borders. The proposal is open for comment through July 12; California was required to finalize implementation rules by Sept 1, 2019. As NPPC Assistant Vice President and General Counsel Michael Formica told reporters: “We need final rules and California has not issued final rules.… Continue reading

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Emergency order filed to stop leakage of manure into Ohio stream

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has filed for a temporary restraining order against the owner of dairy farm after a massive manure leak has caused significant pollution of the nearby Moores Fork stream. The farm in question is not an Ohio licensed dairy farm. It is a herd-share farmer providing access to raw milk.

The motion filed on June 8 against Charles Carney in Clermont County comes after an investigation by the Ohio Department of Agriculture discovered the stream was completely black with manure and extending as far downstream as one mile.

“This isn’t a farm right now. It’s a biohazard that needs cleaned up before more harm is done,” Yost said. “I am stepping in to start the cleanup process.”

Carney has a manure storage pond on his property that has overflowed and his property is full of manure.

Investigators with ODA visited Carney’s farm after a complaint was made of dead fish in Moores Fork.… Continue reading

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MVP Dairy named 2021 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winner

MVP Dairy, LLC was announced as a U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winner for their holistic approach to sustainability and commitment to achieving carbon neutrality. This national award honors exceptional dairy farms, dairy processors and others working to improve the wellbeing of people, animals and the planet. 

“Our 2021 winners put U.S. dairy’s great diversity on full display with farms and businesses of all sizes, from coast to coast, showing how dairy is an environmental solution,” said Barbara O’Brien, CEO of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

The Ohio dairy farm is owned by the McCarty and VanTillburg families, whose comprehensive approach to sustainability is rooted in everything they do — from soil health to manure management to animal care.

To conserve natural resources, the MVP Dairy team carefully manages regenerative farming practices that recharge the soil, promote biodiversity, sequester carbon and efficiently use natural resources. These practices have resulted in a reduction of 6,755 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent last year, which is comparable to the average yearly energy use of 662 American homes.… Continue reading

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OPA seeking nominations for American Egg Board

The Ohio Poultry Association (OPA) is accepting suggestions for nominations to serve on the 2022-2023 American Egg Board (AEB), which is U.S. egg farmer’s link to consumers in communicating the value of the incredible egg. AEB is seeking a diverse pool of candidates and appointed members will serve a two-year term. 

“Board members serve a vital role in overseeing and executing AEB’s mission to increase demand for egg and egg products on behalf of U.S. egg farmers,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “It is an honor to serve with other professionals on a national level to guide the egg community and further our commitment to provide safe, nutritious and affordable eggs to Ohioans and the world.” 

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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