Michigan farmworker gets H5N1

In late May, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed its first case of H5N1 virus in a Michigan farmworker who had regular exposure to livestock infected with H5N1.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the risk to the public remains low; the Michigan farmworker diagnosed had mild symptoms and has recovered. To date, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has confirmed H5N1 in 51 dairy herds across 9 states. A complete list of confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in livestock, which is caused by the H5N1 virus, can be found at USDA’s website.

The confirmation of a second human positive for H5N1 influenza underscores the need for continued vigilance and the importance of biosecurity best practices to mitigate risk among farm workers and reduce the threat of H5N1. 

Per the CDC request, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to dairy farms, poultry farms and slaughterhouse workers who may need it.… Continue reading

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Cattlemen youth awarded for a successful BEST season

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s (OCA) Beef Exhibitor Show Total (BEST) program celebrated 25 years with the wrap up the 2023-2024 BEST season in May at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus. The awards banquet was attended by over 750 participants and their families. Over 350 BEST exhibitors were awarded for their show success, cattle industry knowledge, photography skills, community service efforts, and more.

This year’s BEST program featured eight weekends of sanctioned shows held throughout the state. Over 700 youth participants showed 1,000 head of market animals and heifers throughout the season.

This year’s sponsoring partners were Robbins Show Steers, Ag-Pro Companies, Bob Evans Farms, Diamond T Land and Cattle Co., Dickson Cattle Co., Giulitto Trucking LLC, M.H. EBY, Inc., Performance Training Solutions, The Folks Printing, Jones Show Cattle, R.D. Jones Excavating, Ricer Equipment, 6R Farms, Shepard Cattle Company and Weaver Livestock.

The year-end BEST banquet kicked off with the annual Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) donation.… Continue reading

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Feeding Farmers at Wittler Family Farms in Van Wert County

Join Dale Minyo at Wittler Family Farms in Van Wert as he catches up with Jason Wittler to discuss the unique challenges and successes of this planting season. In this Feeding Farmers episode, hear directly from Jason about how they’re navigating this year’s planting hurdles and why they’re excited about their promising wheat crop. Jason discusses the diverse livestock side to their operations that keep Wittler Family Farms thriving.… Continue reading

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Beef and pork exports support corn and soybeans

Beef and pork exports of $18.1 billion in 2023 had a significant impact on the corn and soybean industries, according to an independent study conducted by The Juday Group and released by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). The study quantified the returns that beef and pork exports brought to corn and soybean producers nationally and on a state-by-state level for leading corn and soybean-producing states.

Nationally, U.S. pork and beef exports contributed an estimated total economic impact of 14.6% per bushel to the value of corn and 13.9% per bushel to soybeans in 2023, according to the study.

“We’ve been charting the impact of red meat exports on corn and soybean value since 2016. Despite the international headwinds the red meat industry faced in 2023, red meat exports contributed substantially to the bushel values of U.S. corn and soybeans,” said Dave Juday of The Juday Group.

The quality of U.S.… Continue reading

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Ohio instructional guide now available for HPAI in dairy

To further protect the U.S. livestock industry from the threat posed by highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza, USDA is sharing a number of actions to help get ahead of this disease and limit its spread.

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced a Federal Order requiring the following measures, effective Monday, April 29, 2024. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has published an Ohio Instructional Guide to help dairy farmers comply with USDA’s Federal Order to limit the spread of HPAI in dairy cattle.

Requirements for movement of dairy cattle are outlined in the guide, which is posted at the bottom of ODA’s Dairy Cattle web page. There is also a link to digitally submit an alternative movement document (also referred to as an “owner-shipper” or “owner-hauler” statement) which must be approved by the State Veterinarian to move cull lactating dairy cattle across state lines. … Continue reading

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USDA actions to protect livestock health from highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza

To further protect the U.S. livestock industry from the threat posed by highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza, USDA is sharing a number of actions to help get ahead of this disease and limit its spread.

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced a Federal Order requiring the following measures, effective Monday, April 29, 2024.

Mandatory testing for interstate movement of dairy cattle

  • Prior to interstate movement, dairy cattle are required to receive a negative test for Influenza A virus at an approved National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) laboratory.
  • Owners of herds in which dairy cattle test positive for interstate movement will be required to provide epidemiological information, including animal movement tracing.
  • Dairy cattle moving interstate must adhere to conditions specified by APHIS.
  • These steps will be immediately required for lactating dairy cattle, while these requirements for other classes of dairy cattle will be based on scientific factors concerning the virus and its evolving risk profile. 
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Dairy producers encouraged to sign up for DMC by April 29

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging dairy producers to enroll by April 29, 2024, for 2024 Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC), an important safety net program that helps offset milk and feed price differences. This year’s DMC signup began Feb. 28, 2024, and payments, retroactive to January, began in March 2024. So far, DMC payments triggered in January and February of 2024 at margins of $8.48 and $9.44 respectively.

“We encourage producers to join the 554 dairy operations in Ohio that have already signed up for this important safety net program in advance of the deadline,” said John Patterson, USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director in Ohio. “At $0.15 per hundredweight for $9.50 coverage, risk protection through Dairy Margin Coverage is a cost-effective tool to manage risk and provide security for your operations.”

FSA revised DMC regulations to extend coverage for calendar year 2024, which is retroactive to Jan.… Continue reading

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OPA calling for nominations to 2025-2026 American Egg Board

The Ohio Poultry Association (OPA) is accepting suggestions for nominations to serve on the 2025-2026 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 an ethnically diverse group of candidates. Appointed members will serve a two-year term.

“Serving on the American Egg Board is a unique opportunity to assist in furthering AEB’s mission to increase demand for eggs nationwide,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “Working with egg farming partners nationally to further our commitment to provide wholesome eggs for Ohioans and the rest of the country is a distinct privilege.”

To be eligible for nomination, individuals must be producers or representatives of producers and they must own more than 75,000 laying hens. Producers who own 75,000 or less hens are eligible provided they have not applied for exemption and are paying assessments to AEB.

The Board is appointed by the U.S.… Continue reading

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Veterinarians continue to closely monitor HPAI in Ohio dairy cattle

By Matt Reese

On March 25, it was confirmed that a mysterious disease in Texas dairy cattle was identified as a strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), commonly known as bird flu.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state veterinary and public health officials from around the country continue to investigate the emerging illness among dairy cows that causes decreased lactation, low appetite, and other symptoms. USDA has since confirmed the presence of HPAI A(H5N1) in additional dairy cattle herds in Idaho, New Mexico, Michigan, and Ohio.

In early April, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) received confirmation from the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) of the detection of HPAI in an Ohio dairy cattle herd. The affected dairy operation in Wood County received cows on March 8, 2024, from a Texas dairy, which later reported a confirmed detection of HPAI A(H5N1).… Continue reading

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Spring forage establishment

By Jason Hartschuh, Extension Field Specialist, Dairy Management and Precision Livestock, Ohio State University Extension

As soil temperatures rise and the chances of a morning frost decline, the window to spring-establish forages is open. In the spring, the combination of weather and plenty to do make planting opportunities scarce. To take advantage of those short planting windows, the following are items to consider to improve chances for a successful forage establishment this spring.

  1. Soil fertility and pH: Set up your forages with the best starting conditions you can by providing sufficient available nutrients and a soil pH that allows for those nutrients to be taken up. Follow the Tri-state Soil Fertility Recommendations ( Phosphorus levels for grass are optimal in the 20-40 ppm range, while the range for legumes is 30-50 ppm. When it comes to potassium, the optimal range is 100-130 ppm for sandy soils with a cation exchange capacity (CEC) less than 5; for loam and clay soils with a CEC greater than 5, the range is 120-170 ppm.
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Junior National Belted Galloway Show in Medina County

The first ever Junior National Belted Galloway Show is being held at the Medina County Fairgrounds June 26-30, 2024. The event will feature cattle shows along with public speaking, sales talk, livestock judging, team fitting, cattleman’s quiz, and a photo contest. Families are coming in from all over the country with exhibitors excited to show Ohio the quality of cattle the Belted Galloways have to offer.

More information is available at:… Continue reading

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Changing to meet demand while maintaining quality production

By Matt Reese

In an effort to better serve area customers with top-quality beef, Murphy Farms in Clinton County diversified their offerings in some unique ways, while continuing to do what has been working for many years.

Willie Murphy and his family stay very busy on their row-crop, cattle and contract hog farm in Clinton County. Willie farms with his brother and uncle and his wife, Brooke, does the books. They put tremendous work into maximizing production and quality with all of the end products coming from their farm. In recent years, they have also worked to improve options for marketing their beef directly to customers.

The Murphys have around 60 brood cows on pasture and two feedlot buildings where they feed 220 to 250 head a year. They have sold freezer beef directly to customers for many years.

The Murphys have around 60 brood cows on pasture and two feedlot buildings where they feed 220 to 250 head a year.
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Researchers want to know about your livestock’s behavior from the 2024 solar eclipse

The solar eclipse has captivated the imagination of a good swath of rural Ohio this year, but a certain group of scientists are looking to livestock owners to help make hay of the unique event.

This year, the University of Kentucky Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is wanting help observing and recording livestock, poultry, pet and wildlife behavior. 

“There is a lot of research being done these days using the general public to get input from a larger area and diversity,” said Jacqueline Jacob, UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences agricultural extension project manager. “This survey builds off that current trend.” 

UK’s current initiative seeks observers who have witnessed changes – or even no fluctuations – in animal behavior including:  

  • Various types of behavior changes, such as deviations in feeding, sleeping, movement, vocalizations (e.g., singing or mooing) 
  • Productivity declines 
  • Indications of perplexity among other behavioral variations 

These collected observations from diverse areas and animal species will be combined into a report that can then be distributed to all participants. … Continue reading

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Simple concept, vital stewardship

By Matt Reese—Watch the full video interview with Ryan here.

It is a very simple concept. Hogs eat crops to produce meat for consumers. The manure from the hogs goes to fertilize the crops. It’s the constant attention to the details of management, care and stewardship that make the difference for a successful farm.

Ryan Rhoades is a third-generation farmer who raises 3,200 acres of soybeans, corn and wheat in Delaware and Marion counties with his family. He also has a contract swine operation finishing 2,500 hogs each year. The different components of the farm compliment each other — the crops need the nutrients from the manure and the hogs need the crops for food.

“In every load of feed there’s about 5,000 pounds of soy-based products or some type of soy-related commodity in that feedstuff, as well as corn. We couldn’t feed our hogs without it,” Rhoades said. “We all depend on each other.… Continue reading

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The Turquoise Vet

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

A typical day for Bailey DeGroat includes quite a bit of variety. From attending classes at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, creating a new apparel design, or finishing up a turquoise necklace, the 24-year-old Ohio native is a jack of many trades.

DeGroat, born and raised in Germantown is no stranger to the livestock industry. Growing up in Montgomery County, her family owned and operated a cow-calf operation, beef feedlot, livestock transportation business, and an A2A2 specialty dairy. She exhibited cattle at the state level, hogs at her county fair, and sheep at the state and national levels. Over her livestock showing career, DeGroat garnered many titles, including Champion Dorset at the Best of the Buckeye show. She even had a lamb qualify for the sale at the American Royal.

Being around livestock all her life also meant DeGroat has been around veterinarians since a young age.… Continue reading

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HPAI found in Ohio dairy cattle

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has received a presumptive positive test result of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in an Ohio dairy cattle herd and is awaiting confirmation from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL).

The dairy operation in Wood County received cows on March 8, 2024, from a Texas dairy, which later reported a confirmed detection of HPAI. Ohio’s animal health officials were notified when the livestock began showing clinical signs compatible with sick, lactating dairy cows in other states.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state veterinary and public health officials, continue to investigate the emerging illness among dairy cows that is causing decreased lactation, low appetite, and other symptoms.

On Monday, March 25, state animal health officials were notified when federal agencies confirmed the detection of HPAI in dairy herds in Texas and Kansas that had cattle exhibiting these symptoms.… Continue reading

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Human HPAI case reported after contact with Texas dairy cattle

A person in the United States has tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N1) virus, as reported by Texas and confirmed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This person had exposure to dairy cattle in Texas presumed to be infected with HPAI A(H5N1) viruses. 

The patient reported eye redness (consistent with conjunctivitis), as their only symptom, and is recovering. The patient was told to isolate and is being treated with an antiviral drug for flu. This infection does not change the H5N1 bird flu human health risk assessment for the U.S. general public, which CDC considers to be low. However, people with close or prolonged, unprotected exposures to infected birds or other animals (including livestock), or to environments contaminated by infected birds or other animals, are at greater risk of infection. CDC has interim recommendations for prevention, monitoring, and public health investigations of HPAI A(H5N1) viruses.

CDC is working with state health departments to continue to monitor workers who may have been in contact with infected or potentially infected birds/animals and test those people who develop symptoms.… Continue reading

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HPAI discovered in Texas, Kansas and Michigan dairy herds, public health risk remains low

A mysterious disease has been working its way through the Texas Panhandle, puzzling the agriculture industry. Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller received confirmation from the United States Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that the mystery disease has been identified as a strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) commonly known as bird flu. To date, three dairies in Texas and one in Kansas have tested positive for HPAI. The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is vigilantly monitoring this outbreak.

“This presents yet another hurdle for our agriculture sector in the Texas Panhandle,” Miller said. “Protecting Texas producers and the safety of our food supply chain is my top priority. The Texas Department of Agriculture will use every resource available to maintain the high standards of quality and safety that define Texas agriculture.”

The Texas dairy industry contributes roughly $50 billion in economic activity across the state.… Continue reading

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Asian longhorned ticks and Theileria in 2024

By Tim McDermott, Ohio State University Extension Educator ANR, Franklin County

One of the worrisome things about ticks in Ohio has been the increasing numbers of ticks of medical importance to humans, companion animals, and livestock as we have gone from one tick of medical importance 20 years ago to five now, including two new ticks in the past few years. While ticks have always been a problem in livestock, the invasive Asian longhorned (ALHT) tick that was first discovered in Ohio in 2020 has demonstrated the ability to not only vector, or transmit disease to cattle, but to cause mortality in cattle through high numbers of ticks feeding upon the animals. As of the end of 2023, we had positively identified ALHT in Franklin, Delaware, Ross, Gallia, Vinton, Jackson, Athens, Morgan, Monroe, Belmont, and Guernsey counties.

Have we found Theileria in cattle in Ohio?
Theileria orientalis is a tickborne protozoon that infects red and white blood cells.… Continue reading

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