American Lamb Board announces changes to 2013 grant programs

The American Lamb Board (ALB) kicks off its new fiscal year with changes to its fiscal year 2013 industry outreach cooperative funding programs. The board’s Industry Matching Grant Program has been replaced by an Annual Sponsorship Program. $20,000 will be available annually to support local lamb events, fairs and festivals to help offset the cost of lamb for sampling and demonstrations, event advertising and publicity, promotional materials, etc. Applications will be due in January 2013.

ALB has also approved an increase to the Supplier Co-op Program budget from $60,000 to $80,000 to help American lamb suppliers and direct marketers develop and implement branded retail, foodservice or consumer promotions. The funding cycle will remain the same for this program with applications due for the first round on Oct. 31 ($40,000 available), and the second round on April 30, 2013 ($40,000 available). This program requires a dollar for dollar match.

“Both programs are designed to expand ALB’s efforts to promote American lamb and further the goals and objectives of ALB’s strategic plan,” said ALB Chairman Nick Forrest.… Continue reading

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Ohioans do well at World Dairy Expo

International Ayrshire Show

Junior Champion Female:
Topp-View Poker Verity
Gene Iager, Craig & Emily Walton, Pleasant Plain

Reserve Junior Champion Female:
Topp-View Bendig Wannaplay
Keaton & Kinley Topp, Botkins

International Milking Shorthorn Show

Grand Champion Female:
Mi-San Acre O Lust-ET
David Riley, Williamsfield

Junior Champion of Junior Show:
Blue Spruce  RR Myers-EXP
Ashley Hawvemale, Wooster

Reserve Junior Champion of Junior Show:
Buckeye Knoll Plmamzing EXP-ET
Sarah Rhoades, Greenville

Reserve Grand and Senior Champion of Junior Show:
Redien Acres Jr.
Jacob Baker, Homeworth

International Red & White Show

Reserve Grand and Reserve Senior Champion Female:
Starmark Ad Hotstuff-Red-ET
Nathan Thomas, Mike Heath & Will Iager, North Lewisburg, Ohio

Sale Highlights

At the 2012 World Premier Brown Swiss Sale, heldOctober 4, 2012, xceeding all in the 2012 sale was Top Acres Supreme Glow-ET, selling for a grand price of $10,250. Supreme Glow was consigned by Wayne E. Sliker from St. Paris, Ohio and bought by Lee Anns Swiss LLC of DeWitt, Iowa.… Continue reading

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Corn stalks can stretch drought-reduced forage supplies

With forage supplies tight this year, Ohio corn growers could find extra value in their post-harvest crop residue as a supplemental livestock feed, an Ohio State University Extension agricultural and natural resources educator says.

Considering that an estimated 50% of the total corn plant yield remains in the field after harvest, those acres harvested for corn can represent a potential forage source that is often overlooked, said Rory Lewandowski.

That is significant, since the drought of 2012 has been one of the worst on record, leaving many livestock producers short on hay and silage. The lack of substantial rainfall, extreme heat and dryness left many producers looking for any alternative forage supplies.

“This corn residue is out there and sometimes not utilized at all,” Lewandowski said, calling it an “overlooked resource that, especially in this type of year, can be a significant benefit for producers.”

While most of the harvest residue is the stalk, there are also leaves, husks, some corn grain and cobs that remain, with the amount of corn grain left on the field averaging some three bushels per acre, he said.… Continue reading

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The costs of nutrients, comparison of feedstuffs prices and the current dairy situation

By Normand St-Pierre, Ohio State University Extension Dairy Management Specialist

In early June of this year, I wrote: “the USDA’s expected yield of 166 bushels per acre is about two bushels per acre above the estimated trend. This, my friends, would require near ideal corn growing conditions over most of the Corn Belt. We had very good weather for planting, but some dryness has settled over some pretty large growing areas of the Midwest. We could be looking at a rough summer on the feed markets.” Was I smart or just lucky?

I would rather just call it experience. The first half of the year was marked by an over-exuberance regarding the expected corn crop. My experience has been that the growing season never goes quite as well as the forecasts when the expectations are flying way high. Likewise, the situation is generally not quite as bad as the “reports” when the season is bad.… Continue reading

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Those with bacon shortage concerns can still dig the pig

By Dave White, Ohio Livestock Coalition

We all have our favorite toppings for a sandwich. I’m not a mayonnaise or miracle whip kind of guy. My favorite toppings include avocado or guacamole, barbecue sauce, pickles and bacon.
So when one of my friends asked me about a television network’s morning news show reporting that a bacon shortage was forthcoming, it naturally got my attention.
Turns out it’s another thing we can blame on the British. The United Kingdom’s National Pig Association wanted its British customers to feel okay about the possibility of paying higher prices for pork. The opening paragraph of the pig group’s news

release got it all started, creating almost panic-like conditions on the Internet and a crazed frenzy in the world of social media: “A world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable.”
With a nation full of bacon enthusiasts (one article about the shortage referred to us as “worshippers”), perhaps it’s no surprise that U.… Continue reading

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Pacelle seeking seat on Tyson board of directors

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), announced that he has filed paperwork as a candidate for election to the board of directors of Tyson Foods. Pacelle says he will urge the company to commit to a definite time frame to phase out the confinement of sows in gestation crates. Equity investor Carl Icahn has agreed to serve as an advisor in Pacelle’s efforts to join the board.

“It’s certainly unusual for a lifelong animal advocate to run for the board of the second-biggest meat company in the world,” Pacelle said. “Nonetheless, it is imperative that a voice on Tyson’s board speak for the company’s many customers, partners, and investors who are demanding the end of gestation crates and more humane treatment of animals.”

It will be difficult for Pacelle to get on the board.

“When Wayne Pacelle reached out to me as a long-time supporter of HSUS to advise HSUS on the possibility of seeking a board position at Tyson, I told Wayne that given the existence of A/B (low vote/high vote) stock at Tyson, it would be extremely difficult to elect him as a director through a proxy fight,” Icahn said.… Continue reading

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Pork producers advised to get flu vaccination

As in previous years, the Pork Checkoff recommends producers, farm personnel and others who have contact with pigs get the seasonal flu vaccination as soon as possible to help protect human and pig health.

“It’s always a smart decision for producers and swine farm workers to reduce the risk of getting sick and bringing the flu to the farm or workplace by getting vaccinated,” said Jennifer Koeman, director of producer and public health for the Pork Checkoff. “It also shows the industry’s ‘We Care’ ethical principle is in action to help protect employees, animals and public health.”

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, all people over the age of 6 months of age should be immunized for influenza each year.

“People may remain contagious for up to five to seven days after getting sick,” Koeman said. “That’s why it’s so crucial that employers have a sick-leave policy that encourages those experiencing symptoms of influenza-like illness to stay home.”… Continue reading

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Feed outlook grim as slim harvest continues

By Matt Reese

The annual agricultural struggle between those who grow crops and those who feed crops has been intensified in 2012 due to the already tight supplies and the severe drought that ravaged yields throughout much of the Corn Belt.

Each year, it seems, there are winners and losers when it comes to crop prices. Dairy, pork, beef and poultry producers are feeling the pain of high crop prices this year, and stuck somewhere in between the producers and the consumers of crops are feed mills that are also facing challenges this year.

“In the last few years, it has been challenging for prices and the short crop this year will be the biggest challenge,” said Karl Keller, with Keller Grain and Feed in Darke County “We make money by selling on the basis and selling storage. We aren’t seeing many opportunities for that this year. And, ethanol is our biggest competition because they handle so much corn.… Continue reading

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Cutting livestock greenhouse gases requires effort from rich and poor countries

Regulating livestock greenhouse gas emissions could shift livestock production to unregulated, less developed countries unless those poorer nations can be enticed to preserve their forested lands, according to a Purdue University economic study.

Agriculture and deforestation account for about one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, with methane from livestock production being the most important type of farm-related emission. Alla Golub, a research economist at the Center for Global Trade Analysis in Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics, and Thomas Hertel, a Purdue distinguished professor of agricultural economics and executive director of the Global Trade Analysis Project, modeled policies aimed at reducing emissions from livestock.

“Emissions from agriculture have not gotten as much attention as those from fossil fuels combustion. But when the world gets serious about tackling climate policy, livestock will be an important part of that discussion,” Hertel said. “Livestock sectors are the most important contributors to non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions and would be seriously affected if a tax or regulations were implemented.”… Continue reading

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Jack Frost and forage toxicity

By Mark Sulc, Extension Forage Specialist, The Ohio State University

Fall is in the air and Jack Frost will strike sooner or later. When he does, questions always arise concerning the dangers of feeding frosted forages. A very few forage species can be extremely toxic soon after a frost.

The warm-season annual grasses in the sorghum family and other closely related species are capable of becoming toxic to livestock after a frost event. Those species contain compounds called cyanogenic glucosides that convert quickly to prussic acid in freeze-damaged plant tissue. Prussic acid is also known as hydrogen cyanide — the very substance of murder mysteries!

The potential toxicity after frost varies by species. Sudangrass varieties are low to intermediate in cyanide poisoning potential, sudangrass hybrids are intermediate, sorghum-sudangrass hybrids and forage sorghums are intermediate to high, and grain sorghum is high to very high and is most likely to be toxic after a frost.… Continue reading

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HSUS files lawsuit against NPPC over the sale of “Other White Meat” slogan

The Humane Society of the United States filed a lawsuit against the U.S. secretary of agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture challenging that the National Pork Board struck an unlawful backroom deal with a D.C. lobbying organization for the purchase of the iconic “Pork: The Other White Meat” slogan.

“The Other White Meat” is registered trademark and a valuable business asset, National Pork Board Chief Executive Officer Chris Novak said.

The lawsuit names Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack because the United States Department of Agriculture supervises the checkoff program.

The board purchased the trademark in 2006 from the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), which created the trademark prior to the formation of the National Pork Board in 1986. The National Pork Board subsequently assumed all marketing responsibilities for pork. The sale price, agreed to by both boards and approved by the secretary of agriculture, was $35 million. NPPC agreed to finance the payments over 20 years, making the payment from the National Pork Board $3 million annually.… Continue reading

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Manure applications need to be based on soil conditions

By Ty Higgins and Matt Reese

The recent rains have helped rejuvenate pastures and bolster a final cutting of hay, but the ground is still very dry and cracked in many parts of the state. The soil conditions will be important to consider as crops are harvested and manure applications take place this fall.

For Bob Carr, who farms in Licking County, the dry soil conditions will be ideal for applying poultry manure on his fields after corn and soybeans are harvested. He will be applying most of the dry poultry manure on his farm in the coming weeks following corn and soybean harvest on fields that will be planted to wheat this fall or corn next spring. Some of the dry manure has already been applied to wheat stubble as well.

“The majority of the manure is applied after we get the crops off. We do a lot of corn after corn and we primarily put it on the ground before we plant corn.… Continue reading

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Common deer virus found in a Portage County cattle herd

Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) officials have confirmed the discovery of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) – a virus that commonly affects  white-tailed deer – in a Portage County cattle herd. Officials stress that EHD poses no threat to human health or to the safety of meat consumption.

The ODA Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Reynoldsburg confirmed EHD in cattle in northeast Ohio. The virus occurs annually in deer herds in some parts of North America but is less common in cattle. The disease in cattle may cause fever, lameness, and sore mouths. Most cattle recover within a few days. In deer, EHD is typically fatal.

Both cattle and deer contract EHD from gnats or biting flies. The virus cannot be spread from animal to animal or from animal to humans. Insects, however, can contract the virus from infected deer or cattle and pass it on to surrounding populations. This summer’s drought has forced animals and insects to common watering spots, increasing the spread of EHD.… Continue reading

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Ohio beef producers vote on checkoff increase

By Matt Reese

Ohio cattle producers will be heading to the ballots a little early in this important election year, but not to vote for the president.

Next week, on Sept. 24, 25, and 26, there will be a vote to increase the Ohio beef checkoff from $1 to $2 per head by statewide referendum initiated by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA).

“It’s a very important vote for the future of Ohio’s beef industry,” said Elizabeth Harsh, executive secretary of the OCA. “You can vote in person in county Extension offices throughout Ohio or you can vote anytime by requesting a ballot and voting by mail as long as it is postmarked by the 26th. We haven’t really done anything about the checkoff since it was created as a national checkoff in 1985. Today’s dollar per head just buys 47 cents of what that dollar bought in 1985. We’ve really lost pace in terms of what we can actually invest for demand building programs.… Continue reading

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USDA announces purchase of 1.7 million pounds of lamb

The $10 million lamb purchase by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service as announced this summer as part of the department’s drought assistance to livestock producers showed major progress again with notification that awards were confirmed for 1.72 million pounds of lamb for a total $7.7 million. Bids were accepted for bone-in and boneless leg roasts as well as shoulder chops in nearly even volume between the three cuts for delivery to food assistance centers across the nation.

“Mountain States Rosen, LLC and Transhumance, Inc. (Superior Farms) were the companies winning bids,” said Peter Orwick, executive director for the American Sheep Industry Association. “The department of agriculture remains very aggressive in securing commitments for the full allotment of funds in an effort to strengthen the lamb market for sheep producers. Truckloads will actually be rolling out next week beginning deliveries of the first $2 million of purchases as awarded last month.”… Continue reading

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Ohio Pork Producers Take on Capitol Hill

The Ohio Pork Producers Council recently traveled to Washington D.C., as part of the National Pork Producers Council’s Legislative Action Conference. 15 pork producers, from across the state, represented Ohio’s pork industry; called on senators and congressmen, discussing political policy issues pertaining to pork production and agriculture.

Issues were discussed with lawmakers, such as the upcoming Farm Bill legislation, antibiotic use in livestock, concerns about this year’s grain crop and how the short feed supply has created record high feed prices, the Egg Bill, pending trade agreements with Taiwan and other countries associated with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), such as Vietnam, Australia, Chile and possibly Japan.

“Many visits were made to our elected officials to explain the state-of-affairs in our industry and how current legislation being discussed by Congress will impact our businesses today and for our next generation of pork producers,” said Todd Stickley, Ohio Pork Producers Council President.

“Personally, I have come away from this legislative conference with a great deal of optimism and excitement, knowing that our delegation has invested time and energy educating our lawmakers that will undoubtedly pay huge dividends for pork producers not only in Ohio but also throughout this country.”… Continue reading

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Hay weight verses bale

By Clif Little, OSU Extension Educator Guernsey and Noble Counties

Recently, a local hay producer asked what hay was worth. Of course, each forage producer will have a different cost of production. After he told me his price, I asked the weight of his bales. He was not exactly sure but guessed 1,000 pounds. He went on to say that most hay is bought and sold by the bale. He stated that, most articles he reads mentioning price or cost are on a per ton basis. This farmer’s comment provoked a couple of pertinent questions. First, what is the cost of not knowing the weight of a bale? Second, what is forage value based on current feed prices?

To answer the first question I went to the USDA Farm Service Agency. In the past couple of years, they have been weighing many large round bales due to the forage quantity and quality loss programs and conducting yield checks.… Continue reading

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Sustainable beef operation focused on the future

By Hannah Thompson, OCJ staff writer

Three and a half years ago, Brad Berry made a decision that changed the course of the future for his family’s Fairfield County beef farm.

“I worked in a factory and farmed at the same time. I always had a dream of being a full time farmer, and when that job finally ended I decided to give it a try,” Berry said.

Berry also opted to change the nature of the operation, shifting to a grazing-based system. The Berry family now uses their 64-acre home operation to feed their cattle through rotational grazing, while also renting an additional 250 acres to grow corn, beans, wheat, hay and straw. The farm is a cow-calf operation with a feedlot to raise the calves to market. The family is this year’s Beef Environmental Stewardship Award Winner, presented by the Ohio Livestock Coalition and the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association.

The farm already has a rich history, as over the past 200 years nine generations of the Berry family have called the bicentennial farm home.… Continue reading

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Good stewards, good neighbors

By Hannah Thompson, OCJ staff writer

“It’s just the way we should do things,” Virgil Gasser said, simply and succinctly summing up his views on taking care of the environment. This viewpoint makes it clear why Gasser’s family received the 2012 Environmental Stewardship Award from the Ohio Dairy Producers Association and the Ohio Livestock Coalition.

Gasser started his own dairy operation in Wayne County in 1974 with a few cows, and by 1986 had updated his facilities to feature a double-six herringbone parlor and a free stall barn housing a herd of 100 milk cows.

“As the boys graduated from school and decided to be a part of the farm we added a few more cows or another barn, and just kept building,” Gasser said.

Today, Gasser and his sons Dave, Aaron, Steve and Nate milk 600 Holstein cattle. In addition to their dairy herd, the Gassers farm 1,200 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa using no-till and mulch-till methods.… Continue reading

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