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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Spring pasture walk

By Victor Shelton, Retired NRCS Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

I like to walk over the pastures in early spring for a number of reasons. First of all, to check plant density, diversity and soil cover. If there was extra soil disturbance in the past few months, it might mean that we have small gaps in the perennial plants that could give way for optimistic weeds to surface. Now is a good time to try and address that. Overseeding clover is probably one of the easiest and surest methods, especially if you lack sufficient legumes in the stand.

Gaps in the forage that are most optimistic for weeds are spaces where there is no cover and bare soil presents itself. If there are areas or spots that have been grazed tightly to the ground and only tolerable species are left, such as bluegrass and native white cover, it is generally a sign of a long-term issue and it stands out quite loudly when it’s adjacent to taller avoided forage species such as rank left-over summer growth of tall fescue.… Continue reading

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Beef Expo boasts big numbers

By Matt Reese

The current strong cattle markets were evident at the Ohio Beef Expo in many ways held in March at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus. The multi-faceted event featured the final junior cattle show for the annual BEST show series, a huge trade show, breed sales, and the Genetic Pathway that featured some of the country’s best genetics and included live cattle displays, semen and embryos. Complete results can be found at

“It’s our 36th and it grows every year. This is one of the largest events here at the fairgrounds. This weekend is the second busiest weekend at the Expo Center, second only to the second Saturday of the Ohio State Fair. We’ve broken records this year. Because our sale cattle can actually show in the junior show, we were over 1,000 head there and we had 675 that were just competing in showmanship. We just saw tremendous numbers there and then in the judging contest we actually saw buses from a lot of different schools and that was up this year as well with 580 participants,” said Elizabeth Harshexecutive director of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association.… Continue reading

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Sustainable practices and smart marketing at Goecke Farms

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

Growing up, Mark Goecke was very familiar with the phrase “Waste not, want not.” Being one of 10 children on his family’s dairy farm, he quickly learned that everything had value and to make every resource count.

Today, Mark and his brother Steve have transitioned the family’s dairy farm into a feedlot operation in Spencerville. Their focus on sustainability and raising quality beef recently garnered the business the 2024 Commercial Cattleman of the Year award from the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA). 

“Whenever you’re recognized by your peers, that’s the highest accolades you can get,” said Mark Goecke.

The two brothers took over the family farming operation in 1999 upon their father’s retirement. They knew a change was needed to sustain two families on the farm. They were already feeding out a few Holstein steers then but decided to replace the heifers with more steers. In 2000, they began building more barns and adding more cattle.… Continue reading

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Meat exports off to a good start in 2024

U.S. pork exports raced to a great start in 2024, according to January data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). While January beef exports were slightly below last year’s volume, export value trended significantly higher. Lamb exports were also strong in January, posting the highest value in more than four years.

Strong gains for U.S. pork in Mexico, Korea, Central and South America, Australia

Although January pork exports were led by another powerful performance in leading market Mexico, U.S. pork continued to make gains in a wide range of Western Hemisphere and Asia-Pacific destinations. With momentum continuing to grow in South Korea, Central and South America, Australia and Malaysia, pork exports totaled 251,424 metric tons (mt) in January, up 6% from a year ago. Export value also increased 6% to $682.1 million.

“Mexico’s demand for U.S. pork is so spectacular that it tends to overshadow other great success stories,” said Dan Halstrom, USMEF President and CEO.… Continue reading

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Eliminating unwanted woody weeds from pastures in the winter

By Dean Kreager, Licking County Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator

When you look at your pastures this winter do you see nice clean pastures, or do you see multiflora rose and unwanted scrub trees reminding you that they are not going away. Controlling undesirable woody plants such as multiflora rose, honey locust, autumn olive, and ailanthus can improve your pastures by reducing competition for nutrients, saving on flat tire repair, and reducing the number of lame animals from thorns. Weed control is a never-ending war but even in the winter you can win some battles. Acting now, while plants are dormant, can be very effective at eliminating woody perennial plants while minimizing damage to non-target plants.


Control by cutting or pulling when the ground is not frozen can be accomplished during winter. This can provide instant gratification since the results are immediate. Persistence in the future will be important with mechanical methods since roots that may remain in the ground are often able to generate new plants.… Continue reading

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Ohio Pork Congress assessed numerous industry challenges

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

There are a number of very significant challenges facing Ohio’s pork industry right now, but a casual visitor to the 2024 Ohio Pork Congress held in Lima in February, probably would not know based on the upbeat attendees, optimism for the future and very strong PAC auction, among other things.

“The trade show was full, there were a lot of positive attitudes and the PAC auction was great. It is such a good time to get everybody there. Everybody’s in a great mood and they’re willing to spend money because it goes to a good cause,” said Nathan Schroeder, a board member for the Ohio Pork Council and a Putnam County contract hog producer. “The PAC is there to help us out in D.C. and help lobby and they know how important that is. It was a near record raising around $38,000.”

Nonetheless, some significant problems loom large.… Continue reading

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Beef Expo breed sales

Ohio’s premier beef industry event, the Ohio Beef Expo is March 14-17, 2024 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus. The event will provide cattle enthusiasts from across Ohio and surrounding states with a unique experience that brings education, breed sales, youth shows, industry retail opportunities, and more together all in one place.

This year’s schedule will be similar to the 2023 event. The Coliseum will be used for all junior show activities. The Junior Show will continue with the Market Animal Show on Saturday and the Heifer Show on Sunday. The Expo Trade Show will continue to host vendors and retailers of all kinds to provide attendees with the opportunity to purchase everything from semen to trailers and from show supplies to insurance. The Genetic Pathway will provide buyers the opportunity to purchase semen from some of the nation’s leading genetics.

Nine breed sales will take place in the Voinovich building on the trade show floor throughout Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 336 | Talking Ohio Pork Congress, feral swine challenges, and timely Farm Bill update

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg travel to the Ohio Pork Congress for an in-depth discussion with Ohio Pork Council board member, pork producer (and the owner of a new flamethrower) Nathan Schroeder alongside Josh Scramlin, the regional director of producer services of the National Pork Producers Council serving Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.

Additional audio includes Ohio Ag Net’s Dale Minyo talking with Cheryl Day, executive vice president of the Ohio Pork Council, for an update on the developing feral swine challenge in Ohio and the unique methods being discussed to control it going forward.

Dusty has a chat with Luke Crumley of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association for a timely and matter-of-fact Farm Bill update as it has a challenging road ahead in the 2024 election year.

All that and more in this week’s Ohio Ag Net Podcast!

0:00Intro and Pork Congress Discussion
2:38Cheryl Day talks Feral Swine
8:50Luke Crumley talks Farm Bill
23:40Back to the group at Pork Congress
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Boosting dairy rations with high oleic soybeans

By Matt Reese

High oleic soybeans have been highlighted for their benefits in human food, but more evidence is being compiled about their benefits for dairy rations.

“High oleic soybeans are a biotechnological innovation that resulted in a higher portion of the oleic acid relative to linoleic acid. Most soybeans are high in linoleic acid. Bringing that oleic acid up better serves frying applications on the food side, but we’ve had this opportunity on the dairy side that also emerged,” said Keenan McRoberts, vice president of strategic alignment for the United Soybean Board. “It’s an opportunity to increase profits to get a little bit more fat in the dairy ration and to increase butterfat yield. By feeding whole high oleic soybeans, you can get more out of the ration without depressing milk fat.”

Traditional, roasted soybeans have been a common ingredient in dairy diets as an important source of fat and protein, but those commodity soybeans are also high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are toxic to rumen microbes and can disrupt normal rumen function.… Continue reading

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Cattlemen’s youth raise over $28,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio

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 a live 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, Ohio on Jan. 26, 2024. 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 Lane Manning, the lead singer of the Northern Burnouts band. Through donations from family, friends, their local community and members of OCA, youth participating in the Celebrity Showdown raised $6,730 for the show.

The team that took the lead with fundraising was Team Autumn – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with $3,855 total raised. The other teams/participants with the highest fundraising numbers were Garrett Reusch with $700; Cora Monnig and Emma Helsinger with $555; Kasen Cole with $500; and Alayna Grafft with $500.… Continue reading

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Ohio State breaks ground on Multispecies Animal Learning Center

At a ceremony on Jan. 30, 2024, The Ohio State University broke ground on the $52 million Multispecies Animal Learning Center (MALC), which will advance student learning and workforce development in animal agriculture.

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) will build the state-of-the-art facility at Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory on the Columbus campus. 

The MALC will facilitate education in essential STEM fields and will foster workforce development for diverse careers such as animal sciences, engineering, food science, human nutrition, and health. Inside the facility, students will have opportunities to gain hands-on experience with swine, equine, poultry, cattle, sheep, and goats. The public will have a chance to learn about modern livestock production with tours; a viewing area into the animal barns; and interactive, educational displays. 

“This is a game-changer for us. It is integral to our vision for Waterman and will be a world-class facility that brings people and animals together for hands-on learning, engagement, and programming,” said Cathann A.… Continue reading

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A focus on herd health and service

By Matt Reese

With a background as a veterinarian, Dave Shoup has worked extensively on herd health in his family-owned Wayne County farrow-to-finish swine operation. 

“We work with multiple contracted facilities and are located in three counties. Relatively speaking for the size of our swine operation, we are spread over considerable area because we like to be able to use manure over as many acres as we can. I work with three of my brothers on the farm and we each have our own niche in the operation and we think that works out pretty well,” Shoup said. “Years ago, I had heard the nightmares of comingling pigs into nurseries from multiple sow locations. The way we do it is kind of complex, and it probably only works in our setup where we’re fairly well isolated away from other hog farmers here in Wayne County. It’s all designed to establish a consistent herd immunity on all sow farms to our endemically established diseases through vaccination and direct exposure.… Continue reading

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Liability with escaped farm animals

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

Recent collisions involving cattle on Ohio roadways raise the question of who is liable when a farm animal causes a roadway accident? Ohio’s “animals at large law” helps answer that question. It’s an old law that establishes a legal duty for owners and keepers of farm animals to contain their animals. The law states that an owner or keeper shall not permit their animals to run at large “in the public road, highway, street, lane, or alley, or upon unenclosed land.” But as with many laws, the answer to the question of “who’s liable” under the law is “it depends.” Here’s how the law works.

The law applies to both owners and “keepers.” The animals at large law places responsibility on both the owners and the “keepers” of the animals. The reference to “keepers” can expand the duty to someone other than the animal owner.… Continue reading

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Current 2024 U.S. dairy outlook

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

With the first month of 2024 coming to a completion, hopefully you have had time to review your 2023 profit and losses to prepare your farm for 2024. The U.S. all-milk price for 2023 will be about $20.60 per cwt, only the fourth time in 20 years that the all-milk price was over $20 per cwt. Unfortunately, the inflation-adjusted milk price was also the fourth lowest in the past 20 years, leading to record low milk-to-feed margins and record high dairy margin coverage (DMC) payments. The milk to feed margin in the DMC program was below the $4 per cwt coverage level for 2 months in 2023. The cull cow market though was a bright spot for 2023, with the last part of the year having cull cow prices above $100 per cwt. While each farm is different, on average dairy farms will have positive profits per cow for 2023.… Continue reading

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Saddle & Sirloin hosts inaugural cattle show

The Ohio State University’s Saddle and Sirloin Club rang in the new year in a big way, hosting their inaugural Saddle and Sirloin Spectacular cattle show on December 29-31 at Pickaway Agriculture and Event Center in Circleville. 

During the livestock show, youth were awarded grand champion through 5th overall in both market and breeding shows. While no animals were sold, all event proceeds went to fund the continuation of the show. 

While the 114 student members of Saddle and Sirloin are no strangers to livestock show management and have facilitated youth opportunities frequently, this is the first year for its cattle show.

The successful show ran nearly 400 head (193 breeding heifers and 194 market animals) through two rings. Show chairs and Department of Animal Sciences students Erin Pope, Savannah Kinley, and Collin Fedderke worked with other club members to ensure a positive experience for families and exhibitors.

While club membership is comprised of a variety of majors, animal sciences students and those with backgrounds in agriculture make up a majority of the club.… Continue reading

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OCA recognizes award winners

During the Awards Banquet at the recent Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, attendees celebrated the achievements of their fellow cattlemen honored with annual awards. The seven awards presented were as follows:

Outstanding County — Darke County Cattlemen’s Association
Sponsored by Ohio Corn and Wheat

The Darke County Cattlemen’s Association president Erin Horst, leads the association’s eight- member board focusing on their mission of educating beef industry youth and long-time producers, as well as to inform consumers about beef. They accomplish their mission through hosting many different educational programs and advertising tactics. The association sponsors and hosts hoof trimming clinics, BQA sessions, and beef tours visiting different farms across the county learning about herd health, AI synchronization, and pasture management. 

Additionally, the Darke County Cattlemen’s Association implemented marketing efforts to educate beef consumers including billboards on main roadways, as well as the association’s Facebook page which houses a Google Map allowing consumers to find freezer beef within the county limits.… Continue reading

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