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


The election of pork producer delegate candidates for the 2022 National Pork Producers (Pork Act) Delegate Body will take place at 11:30 am Tuesday, June 22, 2021 in conjunction with a Board of Directors meeting of the Ohio Pork Council at The Union, 130 South Main Street, Marion, 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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Livestock 101 introducing new youth to the show ring

By Matt Reese

Young people love to connect with animals though agriculture, which is proven true time and again with a visit to a county fair. Though the show ring may be full, the exhibitors are typically only a very small representation of the young people in the community. Many young people do not have the ability to take animals to the fair for a host of reasons, but that does not mean they have no interest. 

With this in mind, the 2021 Madison County Fair will have their first ever Livestock 101 show on July 16. Participation is free for those 17 and under to exhibit a livestock project. Each participant may select the species/project of their choice. Madison County youth exhibitors representing each species area will serve as coaches, interacting with participants and providing guidance before and during the show.

“I am looking forward to this. It gives younger people who are not in 4-H the opportunity to get to show livestock at the county fair,” said Cade Smith, 18, from Madison County, who will be helping with Livestock 101 through his poultry and alpaca projects.… Continue reading

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Cyber attack on meat industry yields minimal disruption

Over the Memorial Day weekend, JBS SA, the world’s largest meat marketer, had to shut down all of its U.S. beef processing plants. It total those plants process around 20% of the American beef market. JBS plants in Australia and Canada were also affected by the attack.  

“JBS’ computer networks were infiltrated by unknown ransomware. The USDA released a statement showing its commitment to working with JBS, the White House, Department of Homeland Security, and others to monitor the situation,” said Jeffrey K Lewis, Research Specialist. Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law Program. “The ransomware attack comes on the heels of the Colonial Pipeline cyber-attack, leading many to wonder who is next. As part of its effort, the USDA has been in touch with meat processors across the country to ensure they are aware of the situation and asking them to accommodate additional capacity, if possible. The impact of the cyber-attack may include a supply chain shortage in the United States, a hike in beef prices at the grocery store, and a renewed push to regulate other U.S.… Continue reading

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Beef under (cyber)attack

By Jeffrey K Lewis, Research Specialist, Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law Program

Over the Memorial Day weekend, JBS SA, the largest meat producer globally, was forced to shut down all of its U.S. beef plants which is responsible for nearly 25% of the American beef market.  JBS plants in Australia and Canada were also affected.  The reason for the shut down?  Over the weekend, JBS’ computer networks were infiltrated by unknown ransomware.  The USDA released a statement showing its commitment to working with JBS, the White House, Department of Homeland Security, and others to monitor the situation.  The ransomware attack comes on the heels of the Colonial Pipeline cyber-attack, leading many to wonder who is next.  As part of its effort, the USDA has been in touch with meat processors across the country to ensure they are aware of the situation and asking them to accommodate additional capacity, if possible.  … Continue reading

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Ohio’s bacon and egg producers support Ohio restaurants through Best Buckeye Breakfasts campaign

Ohio’s egg and bacon farmers have joined efforts to launch Best Buckeye Breakfasts — a statewide restaurant support campaign highlighting Ohio farmers’ favorite breakfast menu items while encouraging the state’s consumers to support their local restaurants and those they employ by dining in, carrying out, or sharing their favorite breakfast spots. Best Buckeye Breakfasts officially launches June 3, on National Egg Day, and will run through Aug. 15, on  

“Ohio is home to one-of-a-kind foodie destinations and, no matter where you go, you’ll likely find a delicious breakfast dish on the menu that features eggs and bacon produced by local farmers,” Jim Chakeres, executive vice president, Ohio Poultry Association (OPA). “While Ohio’s farmers are excited to share their favorite breakfast spots, they want to hear from local communities and restaurateurs as part of this campaign.” 

Over the next 10 weeks, Best Buckeye Breakfasts will highlight different menu items — from eggs benedict to breakfast sandwiches and traditional breakfasts — and which Ohio restaurants serve them best, according to Ohio’s farmers and social media users. Ohioans… Continue reading

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Federal ruling could leave hog producers in a bind ?

By Matt Reese

Citing food and worker safety concerns, there have been multiple recent court cases challenging the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s New Swine Inspection System (NSIS). The results of a recent court ruling in one of those cases could back up production supply chains for hog producers.

In September of 2019, USDA announced a final rule to modernize swine slaughter inspection with the NSIS to protect public health while allowing for food safety innovations and increased line speeds for processing facilities to operate more efficiently. The final rule also allowed market hog establishments to choose if they will operate under NSIS or continue to operate under traditional inspection.

“This regulatory change allows us to ensure food safety while eliminating outdated rules and allowing for companies to innovate,” then USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said. “The final rule is the culmination of a science-based and data-driven rule making process which builds on the food safety improvements made in 1997, when USDA introduced a system of preventive controls for industry.”… Continue reading

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Watch for cress leaf groundsel in pastures

By Dean Kreager, Licking County Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator Ohio State University Extension

This weed has been showing up everywhere this spring.

The yellow flowers may be attractive but it is toxic to livestock especially if it is made in hay where the animals can’t eat around it.  Click on this link for a 12 minute video on managing this noxious weed: Managing Cressleaf groundsel in hayfields.… Continue reading

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