Precision diets can boost profits

Dairy producers shouldn’t get used to $7 corn, and should tailor diets to maximize productivity and profitability, an Ohio State University Extension expert says.

“There are two things to manage: feed costs and milk prices,” said Extension dairy specialist Normand St-Pierre. “On the feed cost side, there is nothing that says you have to feed corn and soybeans because ruminants, and dairy cows in particular, can take advantage of a wide variety of feeds.”

St-Pierre said producers could save as much as 50 cents per cow per day by adopting other feedstuffs in a more focused nutritional strategy. He offered several recommendations for alternative feedstuffs in the Buckeye Dairy Newsletter.

As to the income side of the ledger, St-Pierre said producers do not need to sit on the sidelines and grouse about the high cost of corn.

“We have a relatively highly regulated market,” he said. “Since the late ’90s, producers have sold milk on component pricing, where each of these components is priced separately.… Continue reading

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Ohioans do well at World Dairy Expo

Two cows from Ohio farms took top honors at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin held Novemeber 4-8 2011.

Tanner Topp of Wooster exhibited the Grand Champion in the International Aryshire Jr. Show with Conebella Sarge’s Wendy.

David Riley of Williamsfield exhibited Mi-San Acres O Lust-ET  that won the Internatonal Jr. Milking Shorthorn Show.… Continue reading

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Oat harvest management considerations

By Stan Smith, Fairfield County Extension

With abundant and frequent rainfall over much of the State in recent weeks, vegetative growth of the oats planted this summer has been nothing short of remarkable. Considering the number of Ohio’s unplanted row crop acres which are presently standing in oats, there have been a number of questions and recent conversations regarding the post-November 1 harvest alternatives for this forage crop.

As oat harvest options are considered, grazing easily provides the most effective and affordable alternative. In 2002, locally the Wolfingers strip grazed oats all winter and actually began the calving season on them before the oats ran out in mid March.

Baling oats in the fall has been done around Ohio, but it’s a challenge considering that oats only dry about half as fast a grass hay. Cut in November, it would typically mean at least two weeks or more to cure them.Continue reading

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Pork outlook brightening

Finally pork producers have some positive news that has increased optimism for greater profitability in the coming year, said a Purdue University agricultural economist.

“That good news came from USDA in two forms. The first was the September Hogs and Pigs report, which indicated little change in the size of the breeding herd. The second was the feed-price lowering impacts of higher-than-expected corn inventories revealed in the September Grain Stocks report,” said Chris Hurt.

The combination of stronger hog prices and lower feed prices has put the pork outlook back into solid black for the coming year, he said. Pork producers have largely settled for the status quo because of the uncertainty over feed prices. As a result, USDA says the breeding herd has expanded only slightly as producers awaited the corn and soybean yield and price outcomes of the troubled 2011 growing season, he said.

“USDA indicated that the breeding herd has increased just 0.6% over the past year.… Continue reading

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Livestock Care Standards signed into effect

Today, Ohio Agriculture Director James Zehringer signed the final administrative order to put into effect Ohio’s comprehensive livestock care standards. It was only the 17th amendment to Ohio’s constitution since 1803.

“This is pretty historic,” Zehringer said. “I think we’ve given the farmers of the state of Ohio a good roadmap to follow. It will improve production practices, create consumer confidence and strengthen the foundation of our industry.”

Creating and implementing the livestock care standards is a constitutional requirement following the 2009 passage of Issue 2.

“I’m proud to be here to sign these standards that will give livestock producers clear vision and allow them to thrive and grow,” Zehringer said.

The 13-member Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (OLCSB) spent 18 months and 70 meetings obtaining industry and public input while developing livestock rules for alpacas, beef, dairy, goats, horses, llamas, pork, poultry, sheep and veal. The standards are the first of their kind in the nation.… Continue reading

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OSU Judging Team performs well at contest

More than 250 young livestock enthusiasts participated in the Ak-Sar-Ben Livestock Judging Contests held on September 25, 2011 at the Sherman Berg Arena of the Qwest Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The contest was hosted by the Ak-Sar-Ben 4-H Stock Show for Senior College, Junior College, and 4-H participants.

Participants evaluated live classes of cattle, sheep, swine and goats for market and breeding. This is the first time that The Ohio State University Judging Team has attended this contest. Ohio State placed 4th overall as a team and 1st overall for class placings. A total of 10 universities from across the country competed in the event. Team members included John Heins, Sidney, OH; Katy Shircliff, Atwater, OH; Caitlin Bushman, Pemberville, OH; Lynette Sell, Hanoverton, OH; Tyler Lones, Somerset, OH; Arlis Young, Glenford, OH; and Ty McGuire, Eaton, OH.

Two Ohio natives did well in the junior college division. Jared Wynn of Ashland, OH was high individual for the sophomore’s.… Continue reading

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Ohio Jersey wins at All-Amercian Dairy Show


An Ohio Jersey was named the best of the best of the 2011 All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, on Thursday.



Frederick 2783 Adventure, a six-year-old Jersey owned by Craig Walton, Emily Thornburg, Gene Iager, Shelby and Harold Rader, Jr., and Amy, Scott, Skip and Steve Lackey of Pleasant Plain, Ohio, was named Supreme Campion.



Cargill Animal Feed and Nutrition, Inc., sponsored the $3,000 cash award for the supreme champion. Adventure was chosen from among the top seven breed champions by the judges who placed 1,183 head of cattle in the open shows.



The judges are Eric Topp, Botkins, Ohio; Lee Barber, DeWitt, Iowa; Daniel Sivesind, Waukon, Iowa; Ronald Heffner, Middletown, Md.; Larry Schirm, Laurelville, Ohio, who judged ‘Adventure’ in the Open show; Ted DeMent, Kenney, Ill.; and Matthew Lawrence, Mercer, Pa.



Ayrshire: Sunny Acres Harmon’s Kennedy, Doug Evans and Family, Georgetown, N.Y.… Continue reading

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Organic Small Ruminants Workshop Oct. 14

Management Skills For Organic Small Ruminants Workshop  is scheduled at October 14, 2011 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center in Wooster, Ohio.   Sheep and goat producers who are certificated organic, in transition to being organic or just interested in organic methods will benefit from attending this event.

This workshop will focus on the management knowledge needed for organic small ruminant production.  Joan M Burke, PhD, Research Animal Scientist, USDA, Agricultural Research Service from Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center inArkansas will be one of the featured speakers.   Joan has done extensive work in small ruminant parasite management and organic practices for small ruminants.  Francis Fluharty, PhD, is a Ruminant Nutritionist Researcher at Ohio State University’s Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster, Ohio.  He will share the importance of nutrition on animal growth, as well as animal welfare concerns.  A staff person from the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) will discuss the new NOP Pasture Rule and the record keeping associated with organic small ruminant production.… Continue reading

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FSR not the only thing happening this week

The Farm Science Review isn’t the only thing happening this week. The Delaware County Fair is in full swing.

Pictured below is Sheryl Johnson, John Davis, and Bart Johnson who all participated in the adult class of goat showmanship.

None of us placed but we swear it was rigged, and John claims it is the first time he held a goat.

20110920-042853.jpgContinue reading

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Ohio hog farmers traveled to Washington

The Ohio Pork Producers Council recently travelled to Washington D.C., as part of the National Pork Producers Council’s Legislative Action Conference. 16 pork producers, from across the state, represented Ohio’s pork industry; calling on senators and congressmen, and voicing both appreciation and concern regarding recent political issues, as well as hearing from National Pork Producers Council staff.

Main issues of concern for the group included free trade agreements, GIPSA and Mexican trucking laws.
Senator Rob Portman was on the docket as one of the 18 scheduled visits the pork producers made on “the hill”. The pork producers were invited to listen in on a session as Portman spoke, about the free trade agreements, on the senate floor.

”I will tell you, this morning we had one of our weekly coffees and the Ohio Pork Producers came, there were about 12 from around the State of Ohio. Do you know what the No.… Continue reading

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U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards seeking nominations

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, in affiliation with the Dairy Research Institute, announced the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards, a new program to recognize dairy farms, businesses and collaborative partnerships for efforts that deliver outstanding economic, environmental and/or social benefit, thus helping to advance sustainability of the dairy industry.

The awards are divided into three categories: dairy farm, dairy processing/manufacturing and energy conservation/generation. Nominations are being accepted at through Dec. 1, 2011.

“Consumers are increasingly interested in choosing nutritious, responsibly made products,” said Larry Jensen, president, Leprino Foods, and chair, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. “The U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards highlight the dairy industry’s long-standing commitment to healthy people, healthy products and a healthy planet, while showcasing that sustainability makes good business sense, as well.”

Winners of the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards will be announced in February 2012. In addition, honorees will share their stories and passion for sustainability on a national scale in forums and venues, and will be featured on reading

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Wuebker Farms win national honor for stewardship

The Pork Checkoff, along with its cosponsor, National Hog Farmer magazine, has selected four pork production operations to be honored as the 2011 Pork Industry Environmental Stewards. The award, now in its 17th year, recognizes producers who demonstrate a firm commitment to safeguarding the environment and their local communities. This year’s national award recipients include Jeff and Alan Wuebker of Wuebker Farms from Versailles, Ohio, in Darke County.

The other three national winners are: Golden Circle Pork, Woodward, Iowa, John M. Langdon Farms, Benson, N.C., and Cleveland Pork, Elysburg, Pa.

The Environmental Steward award winners were selected by judges represented by pork producers and environmental organizations. The judges reviewed applications from pork producers who are committed to upholding the ideal relationship between pork production and the environment. Their operations were evaluated on their manure management systems, water and soil conservation practices, odor-control strategies, farm aesthetics and neighbor relations, wildlife habitat promotion, innovative ideas used to protect the environment and an essay on the meaning of environmental stewardship.… Continue reading

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Farmers get a closer look at Lake Erie algae issues














On Aug. 22, the Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District held the “Lake Erie Ag Tour 2011.” With all the headlines about algal blooms on Ohio lakes the past two years, and farmers getting much of the blame, the goal of the tour was to get farmers on Lake Erie and let them see things firsthand.

About 40 farmers, local homeowners and government officials participated. They traveled on Ohio State University research vessels to sample the lakes water, then to Gilbralter Island, home of OSU’s Stone Laboratory and Ohio Sea Grant Program, to analyze their samples.

“I want to know what we have to do for our farms to push less phosphorus into the lake,” said Dave Fastinger, an Ottawa County hog producer who participated in the tour. “I like fishing in Lake Erie as much as anyone, so I came to hear the latest ideas of what we can do.”… Continue reading

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Livestock industry voices concerns with corn supply

The House Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry heard firsthand the challenges the livestock and poultry industries face today and expect to face in the coming years because of tight feed grain supplies. The hearing came on the heels of a U.S. Department of Agriculture World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates report that projected this year’s corn crop will be 417 million bushels lower than initial estimates.

Tight corn supplies have pushed prices to nearly $7.50 a bushel and prompted concerns about possible feed grain shortages.

Representatives from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, National Chicken Council and the American Feed Industry Association, who testified before the subcommittee, issued the following statements subsequent to the hearing:

“While U.S. corn usage for food and industrial purposes other than ethanol have remained relatively constant since 2008, the amount of corn used for ethanol has increased eight-fold, with three-quarters of that increase occurring since 2005,” said Steve Meyer on behalf of NCBA.… Continue reading

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USDA steps up food safety efforts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it is taking new steps to fight E. coli and protect the safety of the American food supply. Six additional serogroups of pathogenic E. coli will be declared adulterants in non-intact raw beef. Raw ground beef, its components, and tenderized steaks found to contain these bacteria will be prohibited from sale to consumers. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will launch a testing program to detect these dangerous pathogens and prevent them from reaching consumers.

As a result of this action, if the E. coli serogroups O26, O103, O45, O111, O121 and O145 are found in raw ground beef or its precursors, those products will be prohibited from entering commerce. Like E.coli O157:H7, these serogroups can cause severe illness and even death, and young children and the elderly are at highest risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies these particular serogroups of non-O157:H7 Shiga-toxin producing E.coli,… Continue reading

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Fall grazing management

By Rory Lewandowski, Extension educator, Athens County and Buckeye Hills EERA

September and October are important months in the lifecycle of perennial cool season pasture plants because this is when those plants store carbohydrate reserves. Carbohydrate reserves are needed to allow the plant to survive the winter. Although the top growth of the plant will die, the crown and root system of the plant remain alive, continue to respire, and require “food” in the form of carbohydrates. There must be enough carbohydrates stored up to allow the plant to last through the winter and to send out new top growth in the spring.

Carbohydrates are manufactured in the plant through the process of photosynthesis. In order to produce and store up these necessary carbohydrate reserves, the plant must have green living leaf tissue. Therefore, your job as a grazing manager in the fall of the year is to make sure that pasture paddocks are not over grazed and that adequate plant leaf area is maintained.… Continue reading

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Sheep shearing school

Do you want to learn to shear sheep or know someone who does?  Do you want to learn to shear sheep so that you can either shear your own flock or you want to learn for a little extra cash? Here is your opportunity.  A Statewide Sheep Shearing School will be held Saturday and Sunday, October 1-2, 2011 from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at the Dave Cable Farm, 10491 Canal Rd., Hebron, OH 43025.  There will be no class size limit and the cost is $40 per student to help defray the costs of the school.  Payment must be returned with registration form by Friday, September 23, 2011.  If you decide to register after that date, please call Roger A. High at (614)246-8299 or via email at  If you have questions, please call Roger A. High at (614) 246-8299 or via email at  The instructor for the sheep shearing school is professional sheep shearer, Bob Taylor. 
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Clean water is a priority for Poultry Environmental Steward

By Matt Reese

To do his part to prevent any sediment or nutrients from leaving the farm, Paul Dahlinghaus of Auglaize County has really stepped up the participation in EQIP on his dairy, turkey and hog farm. With his brother, he farms 600 acres and has continued his family’s tradition of dairy farming with milking 65 to 70 cows. Dahlinghaus also has added a contract hog finishing barn and a contract turkey finishing barn with Cooper Farms. Dahlinghaus is this year’s Poultry Environmental Stewardship winner, presented by the Ohio Poultry Association and Ohio Livestock Coalition.

“We put in some new waterways and one thing led to another,” he said. “We knew we had to keep improving.”

One of the first things they addressed on the farm was the milk house wastewater three years ago.

“We put in a two-step system of two septic tanks. A tile runs into a septic tank to filter solids, then it goes into a second empty tank,” Dahlinghaus said.… Continue reading

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World Dairy Expo deadline

Cattle exhibitors wishing to compete at World Dairy Expo 2011 should log on to World Dairy Expo website now and submit their entries.  According to Dairy Cattle Show Manager, Laura Herschleb, entry fees will increase at midnight (CDT) on Thursday, September 1.  Paper applications must also be postmarked by that date to avoid late entry fees.

Animals may still be entered after September 1 and until check-in for the show.  Late entries made between September 2 and September 6 may be made online or by paper at $50 per animal.  After September 6, all late entries must be submitted on paper entry form at a cost of $100 per animal.

To enter online, visit  Click on the Dairy Cattle Show & Sales tab and follow the online entry instructions under the Entry Information link.  Entry forms, International Futurity Entry Forms and accompanying information, along with the 2011 Premium Book, are available on the website.… Continue reading

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Increased scrutiny offers chance showcase conservation


By Matt Reese

There are few places more scrutinized than a livestock farm in the Grand Lake St. Marys Watershed, which has captured national attention with its toxic algae horror stories. There is no question that a problem exists and, right or wrong, the blame often falls animal agriculture in the Watershed.

“We’re 3 miles from the lake and we live on a major state highway, so people watch us pretty closely,” said Lou Brown, who runs Brownhaven Dairy with his brother Alan. “The town people are very upset about farmers polluting their lake and they will tell you about it.”

But rather than try to avoid all of the unwanted attention directed at animal agriculture in the area, this year’s Dairy Environmental Steward Award winner, presented by the Ohio Livestock Coalition and Ohio Dairy Producers Association, welcomes the chance to show others the extensive measures that have been taken on the farm to benefit the environment, including the notorious waters of Grand Lake St.… Continue reading

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