Senators seek robust enforcement of USMCA dairy agreements

A bipartisan group of 25 Senators sent a letter identifying challenges with implementing several dairy-related provisions in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Underscoring USMCA’s importance to the dairy industry, the letter asks the U.S. government to use USMCA’s enforcement measures to ensure full compliance with the trade deal.

The letter, led by Sens. Tina Smith (D-MN) and Mike Crapo (R-ID), was sent to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It reads, in part:

“As negotiated, the USMCA will create new export opportunities for America’s dairy industry and creates an equitable playing field for American dairy exports in Mexico and Canada. Given the importance of these provisions to our dairy farmers and to American dairy exports, we ask that you use USMCA’s enforcement measures to hold our trading partners accountable to their trade commitments. It is imperative that Canada and Mexico deliver upon their agreed upon commitments related to dairy products.”… Continue reading

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Opportunities with the 2020 OCA Replacement Female Sale

By John F. Grimes, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Replacement Female Sale Manager

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is providing an opportunity for both the buyers and sellers of beef breeding cattle this fall. On Friday evening, Nov. 27, the OCA will be hosting their eighth annual Replacement Female Sale. The sale will be held at the Muskingum Livestock facility in Zanesville and will begin at 6:00 p.m.

The 2020 Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Replacement Female Sale will provide an opportunity for both buyers and sellers to meet the need for quality replacements in the state. Consignments may include cow-calf pairs, bred cows and bred heifers. Females must be under the age of five as of Jan. 1, 2021 and may be of registered or commercial background. Bred females must be bred to a bull with known EPD’s and calves at side of cows must be sired by a bull with known EPD’s.… Continue reading

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Home butchering basics being covered at virtual FSR

This year’s Farm Science Review is being held 100% virtually, with sign up and all of the events being free of charge, because of the coronavirus pandemic. In a normal year, more than 100,000 people attend the event in person. This year, visitors can find the same learning opportunities on line on a number of topics.

There’s growing interest in on-farm butchering, say experts at The Ohio University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), and they’re offering guidance for doing it right.

As major meat processors have suffered shutdowns and back-ups because of COVID-19, and as small processors have been swamped with business as an alternative for slaughtering market-ready livestock, more and more farmers have started to think about simply doing it themselves.

But processing livestock safely, humanely, and legally isn’t a simple thing at all, said Lyda Garcia, assistant professor of meat science in the CFAES Department of Animal Sciences.… Continue reading

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OYLE: The show did go on!

By Matt Reese

In most years, a story about a livestock show in Ohio’s Country Journal would be focused on the exhibitors, maybe their animals. This year, however, is not most years.

The 2020 Ohio Youth Livestock Expo (OYLE) featured the usual crop of hard working young people and quality livestock impressing the judges and spectators alike. The fact that the show actually took place though, in the midst of changing rules and cancellation of just about everything else, may be the most newsworthy part of the event. A group of dedicated volunteers worked tirelessly to put the OYLE together in a short timeframe and exhibitors were grateful.

“It has been different, but it has been fun. We didn’t know if we were going to have a State Fair or not. We’re all extremely grateful to go to a real show, not online,” said Ava Shroyer, who had the grand champion market goat at the OYLE.… Continue reading

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OYLE Barrow results

Grand Champion Barrow exhibitor Ella Sprang with her dark cross barrow earlier this week in Dark Cross Champion Drive. Photo credit: Linde’s Livestock Photography

Grand Champion Barrow: Ella Sprang (Dark Cross)

Reserve Champion Barrow: Ella Sprang (Reserve Dark Cross)

Third overall: Kamryn Kries (Champion Other Cross)

Fourth Overall: Wyatt King (Hampshire)

Fifth overall: Madelyn Harrison (Berkshire)

Breed results


Grand Champion: Madelyn Harrison

Reserve Champion: Oksana Gossard

Chester White

Grand Champion: Ava Genter

Reserve Champion: Seth Fearon


Grand Champion: Landon Rohr

Reserve Champion: Natalie Darner


Grand Champion: Kase Tidd

Reserve Champion: Sable Ruhenkamp


Grand Champion: Wyatt King

Reserve Champion: Caydence Scale


Grand Champion: Lindsey Dore

Reserve Champion: Brooke Huntsman

Poland China

Grand Champion: Ava Genter

Reserve Champion: Conner Smock


Grand Champion: Victoria Gossard

Reserve Champion: Ava Genter


Grand Champion: Landon Elchinger

Reserve Champion: Jacob Yenser


Grand Champion: Morgan Price

Reserve Champion: Wyatt King

Other Cross

Grand Champion: Kamryn Kries

Reserve Champion: Landon Rohr

Dark Cross

Grand Champion: Ella Sprang

Reserve Champion: Ella Sprang… Continue reading

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Managing pasture into fall, during a hot, dry summer

By Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

According to the calendar and the weather, it’s August but it seems odd with no state fair. I won’t dwindle here but will state a familiar cliché that I look forward to being true; “this too shall pass.”

The last issue was a special edition and I want to thank all that emailed me afterwards. Your comments were greatly appreciated, and I have enjoyed them as they continue to trickle in.

Distribution of rain never seems fair, especially when you are on extreme ends of it. I greatly appreciate the rain that I’ve received and am pleased with good regrowth.

It certainly has been a good year for red clover and timothy. I thought I had a tremendous take where I had frost-seeded back in February, but fields not seeded were almost as good. The clover has rebounded after grazing events better than the grasses under the drier conditions.… Continue reading

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Let’s talk about Lepto

By Dr. Michelle Arnold, University of Kentucy Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

What is Leptospirosis or “Lepto”? Leptospirosis is a complicated bacterial disease commonly associated with abortions, stillbirths and drop in milk production in cattle. However, this bacterium also causes sickness and death in cattle, dogs, sheep and horses worldwide and is an important zoonotic disease affecting an estimated 1 million humans annually. Farmers and those working in meat processing facilities are at highest risk.

What causes leptospirosis? The disease is caused by a unique, highly coiled, Gram negative bacterium known as a “spirochete” belonging to the genus Leptospira. These “leptospires” are highly motile due to their spiral shape and, once inside a host animal, they enter the bloodstream and replicate in many different organs including the liver, kidney, spleen, reproductive tract, eyes and central nervous system. The immune system will produce antibodies that clear the organism from the blood and tissues except from the kidney.… Continue reading

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OYLE market beef results

Haleigh Stephens from Ashland County had the Grand Champion Market Beef Animal at the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo with her champion crossbred.

The Reserve Grand Champion was the reserve champion crossbred exhibited by Savannah Holzen of Miami County.

Third overall was Calvin Trigg from Fairfield County with the third overall crossbred.

Fourth overall was Shayla Sancic from Stark County with champion Chianina.

Fifth overall was Caroline Blay from Portage County with the champion Maine-Anjou.

Here are more breed results.

Champion Angus Steer: Grace England, Portage Co.


Champion Charolais Steer: Madison Riley, Fayette Co.

Reserve Champion Charolais Steer: McKaylynne Helke, Tuscarawas Co.


Champion Chianina Steer: Shayla Sancic, Starke Co.

Reserve Champion Chianina Steer: Caroline Blay, Portage Co.


Champion Hereford Steer: Kalin Schrader, Putnam Co.

Reserve Champion Hereford Steer: Addie Sorgen, Van Wert Co.


Champion Maine-Anjou Steer: Caroline Blay, Portage Co.

Reserve Champion Maine-Anjou Steer: Colleen Minges, Butler Co.… Continue reading

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Commercially available cell line rapidly detects African swine fever

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have identified a new way to detect the presence of live African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) that minimizes the need for samples from live animals and provides easier access to veterinary labs that need to diagnose the virus.

“We have identified a cell-line that can be used to isolate and detect the presence of the live virus,” said ARS Scientist Dr. Douglas Gladue. “This is a critical breakthrough and a tremendous step for African Swine Fever Virus diagnostics.”

There are currently no available vaccines to prevent ASFV, and outbreak control has often relied on quarantining and removing infected or exposed animals. Until now, effectively detecting live ASFV required collecting blood cells from a live donor swine for every diagnostic test, because the cells could only be used once. The new cell line can be continuously replicated and frozen to create cells for future use, reducing the number of live donor animals needed.… Continue reading

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Asian longhorned tick confirmed in Ohio

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, has confirmed that an exotic tick, known as the Asian longhorned tick, has been found in Gallia County.

The tick was found on a stray dog originating from Gallia County, which was later transported to a shelter in Canal Winchester. The tick was identified on May 28 by The Ohio State University and sent to the federal lab for confirmation.

“Due to the nature of this pest, the female ticks can reproduce without a male, so it only takes one tick to create an established population in a new location,” said Dr. Tony Forshey, ODA State Veterinarian. “This pest is especially fatal to livestock, so producers should practice preventative measures and be on the lookout for this new threat.”

The Asian longhorned tick is an exotic East Asian tick that is known as a serious pest to livestock.… Continue reading

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OYLE market lamb results

Despite the heat (and then the rain), all those outside of the show ring were donning masks at Monday’s Ohio Youth Livestock Expo

market lamb show that featured over 600 entries. The show went (very) late into the night, but exhibitors and volunteers pushed through until the end. Here are the top five exhibitors.

Grand Champion: Bailee Amstutz, Union Co., with the champion black face cross

Res. Grand Champion: Clay Johnson, Wayne Co., with the champion Hampshire

Third: Elizabeth Shatto, Shelby Co., with the reserve champion black face cross

Fourth: Ava Shroyer, Logan Co., with the reserve champion Hampshire

Fifth: Elizabeth Shatto, Shelby Co., with the champion Oxford

Along with grand champion honors, Amstutz received a check for $3,500. Reserve champion was awarded $2,500. Third place received $2,000, fourth $1,500 and fifth overall received a check for $1,000. The exhibitors wanted to thank generous sponsors and the many volunteers who put on the effort.… Continue reading

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Ava Shroyer | OYLE Champion Market Goat Exhibitor

Ava Shroyer of Logan County exhibited the Grand Champion Market Goat at the 2020 Ohio Youth Livestock Expo. Our Matt Reese caught up with her moments after being named champion via video conference.
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OYLE market goat show results

Ohio youth livestock exhibitors may not enjoy the thrill of the Ohio State Fair this summer, but they will have a competitive arena to finish their beef, sheep, swine, and boer goat projects. Led by a group of agriculture industry volunteers and livestock show enthusiasts, the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo (OYLE) will host a show for junior exhibitors over a series of dates in July and August.

More than 900 Ohio 4-H and FFA members will exhibit nearly 3,280 individual entries at the inaugural event.

Beef cattle, sheep, and boer goat projects will show at the Darke County Fairgrounds in Greenville, Ohio, with shows beginning July 25 and ending August 5. The market goat show was held July 26. Here are the results.

  1. Ava Shroyer, Logan Co.
  2. Tiffany Sunday, Pickaway Co.
  3. Isaac Beal, Miami Co.
  4. Paige Pence, Clark Co.
  5. Anara Shroyer, Logan Co.
  6. Cadin Reveal, Clinton Co.


Champ. Lightweight Champ: Anara Shroyer, Logan Co.… Continue reading

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Grazing in dry pastures

By Matt Reese

Dry conditions are hit and miss around Ohio, but by mid-July areas of “moderate drought” were starting to show up in northwest (Williams, Defiance, Paulding, Van Wert) and west central (Hardin, Logan and Champaign) counties. Along with hurting corn and soybeans, pasture ground around the state was really starting to suffer.

“Once it gets dry, the best option you’ve got is to pull your stock off. Most farms have some woods or marginal areas you can graze that would help a little bit. You can de-stock and cull surplus livestock. Or, you can design your system so that you have got stock that can be sold off,” said David Barker, Ohio State University grazing specialist. “It all takes planning. Without planning, people will graze the pastures down to the dirt. Once the pasture is that short, the ability to recover isn’t there. If a rain does come there is no vegetation to hold the water there.… Continue reading

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Study quantifies value of red meat exports to U.S. corn, soybeans

Since 2015, indirect exports of corn and soybeans through beef and pork exports has been the fastest-growing category of corn and soybean use, delivering critical returns for corn and soybean farmers. These producers support the international promotion of U.S. beef, pork and lamb by investing a portion of their checkoff dollars in market development efforts conducted by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

USMEF has released an updated version of the independent study aimed at quantifying the value red meat exports provide to U.S. corn and soybean producers. The original study was conducted in 2016 with updates also released in 2018 and 2019. Key findings from the latest version, which utilizes 2019 export data, include:


Value of red meat exports’ feed use of corn and soybeans

  • In 2019, U.S. beef and pork exports used 480 million bushels of corn. Corn revenue generated by pork exports totaled $1.8 billion (480 million bushels x average annual price of $3.75 per bushel).
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Pork producers facing a national COVID crisis

U.S. hog farmers continue to face an unprecedented emergency as a result of COVID-related challenges, with an estimated two million hogs still backed-up on farms according to an analysis by Steve Meyer, an economist with Kerns & Associates. At a press briefing in July, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) described the damage exacted on hog farmers and urged Congress to act swiftly to preserve their livelihoods.

Meyer said U.S. hog farmers face massive losses due to multiple COVID-19 crisis-related factors, which have turned profit potential for 2020 from robust to disastrous. According to his analysis, based on lean hog futures prices on March 1 and July 10 and actual hog prices in the interim, potential 2020 revenue from hog sales has been reduced by roughly $4.7 billion. Other losses associated with euthanasia, disposal and donation of pigs with no market outlet and insufficient space to hold them mean U.S. pork producers have lost nearly $5 billion in actual and potential profits for 2020.… Continue reading

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OYLE to feature 3,000+ entries

Ohio youth livestock exhibitors may not enjoy the thrill of the Ohio State Fair this summer, but they will have a competitive arena to finish their beef, sheep, swine, and boer goat projects. Led by a group of agriculture industry volunteers and livestock show enthusiasts, the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo (OYLE) will host a show for junior exhibitors over a series of dates in July and August.

More than 900 Ohio 4-H and FFA members will exhibit nearly 3,280 individual entries at the inaugural event.

Beef cattle, sheep, and boer goat projects will show at the Darke County Fairgrounds in Greenville, Ohio, with shows beginning July 25 and ending August 5.

Hogs will show at the Pickaway Agriculture & Events Center in Circleville, Ohio, with shows beginning August 9 and ending August 18.

Hosting the Expo across a range of dates at two different sites is designed to provide a livestock show environment that also fosters adequate social distancing.… Continue reading

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Soy in diet protects hogs from viral pathogens

Pigs that eat soybean as a regular part of their diet may be better protected against viral pathogens, a new study from University of Illinois shows. The researchers attribute the effect to isoflavones, a natural compound in soybeans.

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a widespread disease that costs U.S. swine producers around $650 million every year. There is evidence that feeding soy helps protect pigs against the disease, but it’s not clear why or how it works, said Ryan Dilger, co-author on the study and associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences, Division of Nutritional Sciences, and Neuroscience Program at U of I.

Dilger and his collaborators previously pointed to dietary soy isoflavones as the active ingredient, and they wanted to explore that hypothesis further.

“In this study, we’re looking specifically at isoflavones and whether they have a beneficial effect on the immune response,” Dilger said. “We wanted to understand how we can take a primary protein source in a diet that’s already used for pigs and provide a practical way for producers to combat the endemic PRRSV.”… Continue reading

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Opinion: Ag Twitter grills Burger King over methane reduction campaign

By Kolt Buchenroth, Ohio Ag Net

Ag Twitter — the term given to the larger agricultural community on the popular social media app — practically melted down Tuesday after fast food brand Burger King announced that they were changing their “#CowMenu” to reduce their methane emissions.

Burger King included a (rather strange) video features Mason Ramsey, the yodeling boy, singing about none other than bovine flatulence. The twittersphere leaped to life blasting the burger joint for its video and it’s stance.

Much of today’s society is developing into a cancel culture which refers to boycotting public figures or companies after they do something controversial.… Continue reading

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