Beagle Brigade Act of 2023 reintroduced

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) applauds the reintroduction of the Beagle Brigade Act of 2023. This legislation would provide congressional authority to the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Detector Dog Training Center — a vital program in training agricultural canine teams that work daily to prevent foreign animal and plant diseases from entering the United States. 
“Safe and reliable food production is critical to the United States’ continued national and economic security,” said Terry Wolters, NPPC president and owner of Stoney Creek Farms in Pipestone, Minnesota. “As African swine fever continues to plague the Dominican Republic and Haiti, strengthening early detection capabilities at our U.S. borders is more important than ever.” 
The “Beagle Brigade” serves as the first line of defense for early detection at the nation’s ports of entry and is critical in keeping foreign animal diseases, like African swine fever, out of the United States.… Continue reading

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How much can I afford to get my pasture right?

By Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee

How much can I afford to pay to get my pastures right?

My question back is if a person can afford NOT to get their pastures in good shape. Over the past several years, there have been many pastures where broomsedge has become the dominant specie or where blackberries or other woody species have become invasive and reduce forage production. Anything that reduces forage production then reduces carrying capacity and thus revenue production.

This brings back the question if a person can afford not to improve their pastures. There are several methods of improving pasture. Some methods are more capital intensive while other methods may take a little more time. Regardless, producers should consider their pasture conditions and determine if pasture renovation of some sort is appropriate.

Regardless of which route a person chooses to renovate pasture, it will come at a cost.… Continue reading

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USDA extends line speed trial

The U.S. Department of Agriculture decided to allow eligible pork harvest facilities to continue experimenting with ergonomics, automation, and crewing while maintaining line speeds that have been proven able to protect food and worker safety for over two decades.

“Ensuring sufficient harvest capacity is critical to allow America’s pork producers to continue to provide wholesome pork products to consumers,” said the National Pork Producers Council in a statement. “This extension will allow USDA to assess a final report of the data collected during the time-limited trial and determine next steps. NPPC appreciates the extension of the trial period and will continue working with the administration and Congress towards a permanent solution.”

This extension comes after a spring of 2022 announcement from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) approving the Clemens Food Group pork packing plant in Coldwater, Michigan, to run faster line speeds under a one-year trial program. The trial initially let four plants operate with faster harvesting line speeds, which could increase packing capacity and alleviate supply issues in the face of strong pork demand. … Continue reading

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 Court extends huge victory for producers of “Gruyere”

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and a coalition of other dairy stakeholders prevailed in their ongoing battle to protect the right of producers to use generic names in the U.S. market.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the prior decisions of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in finding “gruyere” to be a generic term for a variety of cheese. The Fourth Circuit’s clear decision should put an end to the attempt by Swiss and French consortiums to expropriate a common food name through a U.S. certification mark registration.

The Fourth Circuit found that the evidence is “so one-sided” that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and Opposers must prevail as a matter of law. … Continue reading

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Learning and leading through Wilmington College Aggies Judging Contest

Scores of young people crowded the Clark County fairgrounds this week for the 65th annual Wilmington College Aggies Judging Contest. Students had the opportunity to compete in multiple disciplines, including agronomy, general livestock, equine, and dairy.

Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood spoke with Aubrey Schwartz, president of the Wilmington Aggies, the student organization in charge of the event. Schwartz is also Ohio FFA President, and talks about how the experience in the past has helped inform her decisions that took here where she is today.… Continue reading

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Lamb market report

The American Lamb Board and the American Sheep Industry Association provide monthly market reports aimed at delivering timely and useful information for American lamb producers. The recently released January report summarizes USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service annual sheep inventory report and provides insight on lamb imports, market values, and retail lamb prices.

Smaller U.S. Lamb Flock
The American lamb flock is smaller going into 2023, although live lamb prices have strengthened. Wholesale values continue to adjust and are anticipated to move higher but will rely on consumer demand recovering. Production costs remain high. Moderating inflation and improving supply chains are still concerning. Cold storage inventories at the end of 2022 were above year ago levels.

Sheep Inventory Lowest on Record
The American sheep and lamb inventory totaled 5.02 million head as of Jan. 1, which is 45,000 head below last year and the lowest on record. The number of breeding sheep was 3.67 million head, down 1 percent from 2022.… Continue reading

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Over-the-counter antibiotics will require veterinary oversight beginning June of 2023

By June of 2023, all medically important antibiotics currently available at most feed or farm supply stores will now require veterinary oversight (written Rx) to be used in animals, even if the animals are not intended for food production. Examples of affected antibiotics include injectable penicillin and oxytetracycline. In addition, some retail suppliers who were able to sell these drugs/products in the past may no longer sell them after June of 2023. This means that small and large animal veterinarians should be prepared for an increase in calls and visits from animal ownerswho previously may have purchased these drugs over the counter at their local farm supply store. To continue using medically important antimicrobials, you may need to establish a veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR). Consult your veterinarian for more information.

By Gustavo M. Schuenemann, DVM, MS, Ph.D., Professor, Dairy Cattle Health and Management, Veterinary Extension Specialist, Ohio State University Extension

What is a veterinarian-client-patient-relationship?Continue reading

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Ohio Pork Congress highlights success

By Matt Reese

There was record attendance at the Ohio Pork Congress held in Lima in February. Visitors had the chance to hear from a wide array of speakers, visit a packed trade show and celebrate success with fellow pork producers. 

“Looking ahead to 2023, our industry faces challenges, however, the Ohio pork industry is filled with great leaders from top to bottom,” said Nick Seger, Ohio Pork Council president from Shelby County. “The big wins we’ve had don’t mean the fight to protect our industry is over, but I am confident we can use this momentum rise to the occasion to overcome and adapt.” 

Cheryl Day, executive vice president of the Ohio Pork Council, provided an overview of priorities and successes for the organization including securing funding for meat processing grants and animal protein for foodbanks, supporting H2Ohio, pushing for science over emotion in the western Lake Erie Basin watershed, and addressing misconceptions about pork production.… Continue reading

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Pork Congress award highlights

At the awards luncheon held during the Ohio Pork Congress on February 8, 2023, several volunteers were recognized for outstanding contributions to the Ohio pork industry. The Ohio Pork Industry Excellence, Service, Pork Promoter of the Year, Manager of the Year, and Friend of Pork Industry awards were presented. 

“Looking ahead to 2023, our industry faces challenges, however, the Ohio pork industry is filled with great leaders from top to bottom. The big wins we’ve had don’t mean the fight to protect our industry is over but I am confident we can use this momentum rise to occasion to overcome and adapt,” said Nick Seger, Ohio Pork Council President Shelby County. 

Wendell Waters, West Lafayette, Ohio, received the Ohio Pork Industry Excellence Award. Given annually, this award recognizes a pork farmer, or farm family, for their willingness to go above-and-beyond to donate time, money, and talents on behalf of the industry at the state and national level. … Continue reading

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Meat exports holding strong

U.S. beef exports set annual records for both volume and value in 2022, according to year-end data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Pork exports finished lower year-over-year but export value was the third largest on record, trailing only the highs reached in 2020 and 2021. Pork exports continued to gain momentum in December, led by another outstanding performance in Mexico. While lamb exports slowed in December, 2022 shipments were sharply higher than the previous two years, approaching the pre-COVID levels of 2019.

Beef exports reach new heights in several key markets

Despite slowing toward the end of the year, beef exports reached 1.47 million metric tons (mt), up 2% from the previous high in 2021. Export value climbed to a record $11.68 billion, up 10% from 2021 and nearly 40% above the previous five-year average. The U.S. exported a record share of its record-large beef production in 2022, and at higher prices.… Continue reading

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Wendell Waters: A career of collaboration in Ohio agriculture

By Matt Reese and Joel Penhorwood

Farmers working together can accomplish big things — few have demonstrated this better than Wendell Waters of Coshocton County who has played instrumental roles in several significant collaborative accomplishments in Ohio agriculture. Recently, Waters was recognized with the Pork Industry Excellence Award at the Ohio Pork Congress held in Lima. 

“Working as a group for a goal — that always brings people together,” Waters said in a 2020 video for his induction into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame. “If you have a common cause, you can work together to accomplish your goals.”

From teamwork with his wife, Marsha, to collaboration with fellow farmers on various boards, to the creation of a vital cooperative, Waters has demonstrated a keen ability to leverage efforts of others to make positive progress. Along with row crops, and hogs, the Waters were also involved in berry production for many years.… Continue reading

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Frost seeding for pasture renovation

By Jordan Penrose, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Gallia County

At the start of 2023 in southeastern Ohio, we have faced muddy conditions. One of the areas that have taken the biggest hit is the pastures the livestock are staying on. I guess that some of you are trying to find the best ways to limit the damage to your pastures. We are facing the same thing on my family’s farm. If you do not have a heavy-use pad to keep livestock on during times when the mud is bad, the pastures are going to take a hit from the conditions that we have had this year. While we are taking what mother nature is giving us day by day, now is the time to start thinking of ways to renovate pastures. A few questions to ask are, how well will your pastures come back if they have been through a rough winter?… Continue reading

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Adjusting feed requirements for cold weather

By Dean Kreager, Ohio State University Extension Educator ANR, Licking County

A few years ago, I used to smile a little when my wife complained that our house was too cold at 64 degrees F during the winter months. Now, I find myself sneaking over to the thermostat and bumping it up a couple of degrees.
It is easy for us to know when we are cold, but how do we know when livestock are cold? In some situations, it is easy to see, such as if they are hunched up and shivering. Often, though, it is hard to tell when they are cold. Their comfort range is not the same as ours. Research has shown that below a certain point, our grazing animals will increase their metabolism to produce heat. This maintains body functions such as rumination and keeps the animal comfortable.

To meet the needs of increased metabolism, the animal will consume more feed.… Continue reading

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A look at reducing methane in the beef industry

By Alejandro Pittaluga, Fan Yang, James Gaffney, Mallory Embree and Alejandro Relling of the Ohio State University Animal Science Department

Greenhouse gas emissions are a major concern in the beef industry. This study entitled Effect of supplementation with ruminal probiotics on growth performance, carcass characteristics, plasma metabolites, methane emissions, and the associated rumen microbiome changes in beef cattle examined the effects of supplementation with ruminal probiotics consisting of three native ruminal microbes (NRM) for their influence on methane reduction and growth performance of beef cattle.

Eighty Angus × SimAngus-crossbred cattle were grouped by sex and weight, randomly assigned to a treatment group, control or NRM supplementation, and subsequently fed commercially relevant diets for at least 134 d with or without NRM supplementation until they reached a target finishing weight. Methane emissions and growth performance metrics were recorded at regular intervals. Cattle-fed diets with NRM had a greater average daily gain during most part of the experimental period, required fewer days to reach the finishing weight, and emitted less methane than cattle in the control treatment.… Continue reading

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Ohio beef industry highlights from OCA Awards Banquet

By Matt Reese

Filet mignon was on the menu, but it was the fine group of people who attended and were highlighted at the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) Awards Banquet who were the highlight. Attendees had the chance to network, hear about the latest issues and recognize the top-tier set of award winners at the event (along with the delicious meal).

Membership is up, cattle markets look strong and OCA is looking to build on a successful 2022 Ohio Beef Expo with a bigger and better show coming up in March, said OCA president Tom Karr.

“We are approaching our smallest cow herd in 40 years — that’s dairy and beef combined — so that’s an indication that there are not going to be as many calves next year and especially the year after that, so it should be good for the cow-calf producers to maybe recoup some of their losses from the past,” Karr said.… Continue reading

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Celebrity Showdown beef exhibitors raise big money for charity

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) BEST Program for youth ages 8-21 years co-hosted the Celebrity Showdown at the Clark County Cattle Battle along with an online auction to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio (RMHC). The Clark County Cattle Producers sponsored the event. 

The Celebrity Showdown was hosted at the Champions Center in Springfield on Jan. 20, 2023. For this event, youth were responsible for raising a minimum of $100 for the opportunity to dress up their cattle and present them to the celebrity judge. This year’s judge was Cade Stover, Ohio State Football Tight End, with a special appearance from Steele Chambers, Ohio State Football Linebacker. Through donations from family, friends, their local community and members of OCA, youth participating in the Celebrity Showdown raised $17,383 for the show.

The team that took the lead with fundraising was HR Cattle Company with $5,005 raised. The other teams/participants with the highest fundraising numbers were Aiden Ruffing and Austin Hunker with $2,325; Kasen Cole with $2,008; Austin Sutherly with $1,550; Lara, Lexi and Rylan Rittenhouse with $1,245; and Bentlee and Hailee Clem, Alex Oldham, and Cordeliah and Jolie Ervin with $1,165.… Continue reading

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Stover scores a big win for Ohio beef

By Matt Reese

A farm boy turned football star had a great season for the Ohio State Buckeyes and a big win for Ohio’s beef producers.

Stover grew up on a cattle and grain operation working with his family. He developed a strong work ethic there and paired it with his athletic ability for great success in the last couple of years. 

“I grew up in Lexington, Ohio, running feeder calves up there. We sell freezer beef to local people and have a small row crop operation. Growing up and watching my dad work really inspired me to do what I can do today. I like all parts of it. I like the cattle, I like the crops and I really like the big equipment,” Stover said. “I love playing football and I love farming, but I loved farming before I knew what a football was, so I guess you could say I loved farming first.… Continue reading

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Ohio poultry producers ready to tackle the challenges of 2023

By Matt Reese

After a postponement due to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), the Ohio Poultry Association was able to finally gather late in 2022 to celebrate successes of the year, but some challenges for the industry still loom large. 

At the top of the list of ongoing concerns from the poultry industry was HPAI. 

“We spent quite a bit of time talking about HPAI. The industry is still faced with this on a daily basis and in Ohio we have had a few backyard flock incidents as well as one commercial operation. It was a learning opportunity for us,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “This HPAI strain has been different than ones we have dealt with in the past. For example, in the past with avian influenza, we didn’t see it in the summer when the birds weren’t migrating and the temperatures were higher. But this year we did.… Continue reading

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Continuous certification option for perennial forage

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds agricultural producers with perennial forage crops of an option to report their acreage once, without having to report that acreage in subsequent years, as long as there are no applicable changes on the farm. Interested producers can select the continuous certification option after USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) certifies their acreage report.  

“FSA’s continuous certification option simplifies future acreage reporting of perennial crops, and it can also help streamline the application process for many of our farm programs, including disaster assistance programs,” said Zach Ducheneaux, FSA Administrator. “For example, when persistent drought conditions over the past year affected livestock producers in the West and Great Plains, producers who had previously filed a continuous acreage report were able to benefit from a streamlined application process for the Livestock Forage Disaster Program.”  

An acreage report documents a crop grown on a farm or ranch and its intended uses, including perennial crops like mixed forage, birdsfoot trefoil, chicory/radicchio, kochia (prostrata), lespedeza, perennial peanuts and perennial grass varieties.… Continue reading

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