Sharp appointed to National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of six members to serve on the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board. The terms for these appointees are effective immediately and expire on June 30, 2020.

Newly appointed members include Erin S. Sharp, Cincinnati, Ohio (At-large, processor).

“These appointees represent a cross section of the fluid milk processing industry and I know the dairy industry will be well served by them,” Perdue said.

The National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board is composed of 15 fluid milk processors from 15 geographic regions and five at-large members. At least three at-large members must be fluid milk processors and at least one must be from the general public. The board was established by the Fluid Milk Promotion Act of 1990 to develop and administer a coordinated program of advertising and promotion to increase the demand for fluid milk products.

The National Fluid Milk Program is financed by a mandatory 20-cent per hundredweight assessment on all fluid milk processed and marketed commercially in consumer-type packages in the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia.… Continue reading

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Estimating feed resource inventory versus the needs

I really don’t know what happened to the fall. It seems like it should still be September, not November, but the weather is now starting to confirm the date and the realization that winter will soon be upon us.

I often talk about taking inventory of winter feedstuff. I’m primarily measuring dry matter, e.g. hay, pasture, stockpile, crop residue, and grazable annuals still left. October rains certainly helped to green things up and provide some new growth, but that won’t last much longer and real growth is about done and dormancy of perennials is not far off. Three or four nights in a row in the 20s is usually enough to stop and/or kill top growth and force dormancy. If the weather stays cold or at least cool, plants will remain dormant until starting to grow again in the spring. Please note, as long as that plant is still growing at all, it’s not dormant.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s BEST Program awards novice participants

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) BEST program has teamed up with sponsoring partner, Weaver Livestock, to get new youth involved with the OCA BEST program. A Novice sponsorship, which covers an OCA membership ($75 value) and a BEST nomination fee ($45 per head), has been awarded to 50 deserving Ohio youth for this year’s BEST show season.

The sponsorships were available to any 8-21-year-old cattle enthusiast that is participating in their first or second year of the BEST program. More information can be found at

BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) is a youth program of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) that recognizes Ohio’s junior beef exhibitors for participation and placings through a series of sanctioned cattle shows that include showmanship competitions. Juniors who participate in these sanctioned shows earn points for their placings. Points are tabulated for cattle, showmanship, registered Bred & Owned animals and first or second year BEST participants in a separate Novice division for market animals, heifers and showmanship.… Continue reading

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Livestock haulers get waiver from ELDs regulation

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has granted drivers who haul livestock a 90-day waiver from a regulation that could have negative effects on animal well-being, a move hailed by the National Pork Producers Council and other livestock organizations.

NPPC requested on behalf of the U.S. pork industry and other livestock sectors a waiver from a requirement that certain drivers install Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) on their trucks. The organization also asked for an exemption from the regulation, citing the incompatibility between transporting livestock and DOT’s Hours of Service rules. Those regulations limit truckers to 11 hours of driving daily, after 10 consecutive hours off duty, and restrict their on-duty time to 14 consecutive hours, which includes nondriving time.

“The ELDs regulation poses some serious challenges for livestock haulers and the animals in their care,” said Ken Maschhoff, NPPC President, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill. “This waiver will give the department time to consider our request that truckers transporting hogs, cattle and other livestock be exempt from the ELDs mandate.… Continue reading

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ODA issues reminder about upcoming changes for veal

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) wants to remind producers and livestock owners about upcoming changes to Ohio’s livestock care standards.

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, veal calves must be housed in group pens by 10 weeks of age. Additionally, whether housed in individual stalls or group pens the calves must be allowed to turn around and cannot be tethered. Also effective Jan. 1, tail docking on dairy cattle can only be performed by a licensed veterinarian and if only medically necessary.

The above changes were recommended by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, a group of 13 members from farming, veterinary, academic, food safety, animal care and consumer interest backgrounds tasked with annually reviewing the standards and recommending any appropriate changes to ODA. The changes were submitted by ODA and ultimately approved by the Ohio legislature’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.

Ohio’s livestock care standards were implemented after Ohioans overwhelmingly passed State Issue 2 in November 2009.… Continue reading

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CERCLA notification requirement delayed

The EPA announced that farms with continuous hazardous substance releases as defined by Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) do not have to submit their initial continuous release notification until the DC Circuit Court of Appeals issues its order, or mandate, enforcing the Court’s opinion from April 11, 2017. While it appears the reports will be required some time, producers may wait to file after the Court has entered its order, at which time we can expect EPA to provide a filing “deadline.” We also expect that the EPA will  utilize this additional time to bring more clarity to the emissions data and calculations producers should rely upon for determining whether they are subject to CERCLA air emissions reporting.

The law requires entities to report releases of hazardous substances above a certain threshold that occur within a 24-hour period. Farms have historically been exempt from most reporting under CERCLA, but in the spring of 2017 the U.S.… Continue reading

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The debate over organic livestock standards continues

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently released notice that they are delaying, for the third time, implementation of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule.

During the course of reviewing the OLPP Rule, in addition to a question about the scope of the statutory authority, a material error in the record was discovered, AMS said. USDA is delaying the rule so that important questions, such as the likely costs and benefits, can be more fully assessed through the notice and comment process prior to making a final decision on the direction of the rule.

The OLPP final rule amends the organic livestock and poultry production requirements by adding new provisions for livestock handling and transport for slaughter and avian living conditions; and expands and clarifies existing requirements covering livestock care and production practices and mammalian living conditions. The delay has been met with widely diverging responses.… Continue reading

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Ohio egg farmer host sixth annual PJs and Eggs event benefitting Nationwide Children’s Hospital

The Ohio Egg Marketing Program in partnership with Ohio egg farmers recently hosted the sixth annual PJs and Eggs event. During the event, 11 central Ohio restaurants, regularly open only for breakfast and lunch, re-opened from 5 p.m. to close to serve breakfast for dinner to benefit Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Open to guests of all ages, attendees were encouraged to dine in their family-friendly pajamas and bring new pajamas sized newborn to 12 years to donate to Nationwide Children’s Hospital for children receiving care and services through its Columbus-wide treatment network. In exchange for pajamas donated, guests received a free dozen Ohio eggs.

This year’s event raised $3,628.50 in monetary donations and collected 1,737 pairs of pajamas. To date, PJs and Eggs has raised has raised $9,423.21 in monetary contributions for Nationwide Children’s Hospital and donated 7,313 pairs of pajamas. Participating restaurants included seven Sunny Street Café locations, Beechwold Diner, Gena’s Restaurant, Café Creekside and Lilly’s Kitchen Table.… Continue reading

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Mandatory CERCLA air emissions reporting begins Nov. 15

As a result of an earlier federal court decision, EPA issued a notice directing all livestock farms emitting more than 100 pounds of ammonia or hydrogen sulfide in a 24-hour period to report continuous air emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).

The reporting deadline is currently Nov. 15, 2017.

If you estimate your operation has greater than or equal to 100 pounds of ammonia emitted per day, then you must notify the National Response Center (NRC) by email at:

When reporting by email include the following information:

• In the subject line include: Initial Continuous Release Notification

• Name of the farm

• Location of the farm – city/town and state – The NRC does not require personally identifiable information, such as an address for a private residence.

• Amount of ammonia or hydrogen sulfide released (listed as greater than or equal to 100 pounds.… Continue reading

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Delay sought for reporting farm air emissions

With a Nov. 15 deadline looming, the National Pork Producers Council and the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association today filed a brief in support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s motion to delay a mandate that farmers report certain air emissions from manure on their farms.

In April, a federal court, ruling on a lawsuit brought by environmental activist groups against EPA, rejected an exemption for farms from reporting “hazardous” emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). CERCLA mainly is used to clean hazardous waste sites but has a federal reporting component, while EPCRA requires entities to report on the storage, use and release of hazardous substances to state and local governments, including first responders.

EPA had exempted farms from CERCLA reporting, reasoning that while emissions might exceed thresholds that would trigger responses under the law such responses would be “unnecessary, impractical and unlikely.”… Continue reading

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Definitive WTO win on Indonesia’s beef import

Last week, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in favor of the United States in a dispute with Indonesia over its complex and opaque import requirements for beef and beef products. The WTO report found that all 18 of Indonesia’s import measures challenged by the United States were inconsistent with WTO rules and obligations. The ruling marks the end of the WTO dispute settlement process and is expected to open up significant new export opportunities for the U.S. beef industry in the Indonesian market.

“We are extremely pleased with the outcome of this case and wish to thank the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for its effective presentation of the legal arguments against Indonesia’s import controls,” said Philip Seng, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) CEO. “The WTO ruling is confirmation of USTR’s decision to bring the case and supports the need for a strong and transparent dispute settlement system in the WTO.”… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s BEST Program set to begin 19th year

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is pleased to announce the 2017-18 BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) program sponsoring partners that include Bob Evans Farms; Farm Credit Mid-America; Frazier Farms; Garwood Cattle Company, LLC; Kalmbach Feeds — Formula of Champions; M.H. Eby, Inc. and Weaver Leather Livestock. BEST is a youth program of OCA that recognizes Ohio’s junior beef exhibitors for participation and placings through a series of sanctioned cattle shows that include showmanship competitions. Juniors who participate in these sanctioned shows earn points for their placings. Points are tabulated for cattle, showmanship, registered Bred & Owned animals and first or second year BEST participants in a separate Novice division for market animals, heifers and showmanship. The program promotes consistency for exhibitors at sanctioned shows hosted by county associations or agricultural groups and clubs. These points are tabulated and posted at

All cattle entering Ohio to show in a BEST sanctioned show MUST be tagged with an electronic identification (EID) ear tag prior to arriving at their first BEST show.… Continue reading

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Ohio pork events

All members of the Ohio Pork Council are hereby notified that the 2017 Annual Meeting will be held on Dec. 12 at All Occasions Catering in Waldo, Ohio. The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Serving as featured speakers for the evening will be John Foltz, Chair, College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, The Ohio State University and John Heins, Producer and State Regional Manager, National Pork Board. To make a reservation, or for more information, please contact Cheryl by December 1, 2017 at (614) 882-5887 or

In addition, the annual Taste of Elegance and rack of pork white glove reception will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Doubletree (formerly Capitol Club) downtown Columbus.

The evening will feature pork appetizers, and original pork entrees by some of Ohio’s finest chefs.

To register, contact the office at, or (614) 882-5887.… Continue reading

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U.S. pork exports steady in September while beef continues to trend higher

September pork export volume was steady with both the August and year-ago levels, while beef exports edged higher in volume and jumped substantially in value, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Pork exports totaled 183,481 metric tons (mt) in September, nearly identical to both the September 2016 and August 2017 volumes. September export value was $503.8 million, up 3% year-over-year. Through the first three quarters of the year, pork exports were 8% ahead of last year’s record pace at 1.79 million mt, while export value climbed 10% to $4.71 billion.

September exports accounted for 23.6% of total pork production and 19.8% for muscle cuts only – both down slightly from a year ago. For January through September, these ratios improved about one percentage point from a year ago to 26.5% of total production and 22.1% for muscle cuts. September export value averaged $48.98 per head slaughtered, up 1% from a year ago.… Continue reading

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Where is fiber fermented in the pig digestive tract?

Fiber is increasingly being added to pig diets, but digestion of fiber in pigs is inefficient and poorly understood. In a new study from the University of Illinois, scientists pinpoint the locations within the digestive tract where fiber is fermented.

“We’re trying to figure out the specifics of fiber fermentation in pigs and what can we potentially do to increase it,” said Hans Stein, professor in the Department of Animal Sciences and the Division of Nutritional Sciences at U of I.

Stein’s research group formulated four experimental diets, including a standard corn-soybean meal diet as a control. Different fiber sources replaced 30% of the control diet in the remaining three diets: distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), wheat middlings, and soybean hulls.

The researchers placed two cannulas in each of eight barrows, which allowed them to collect digesta from the end of the small intestine and from the colon, just after the cecum.… Continue reading

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Reducing the environmental impact of dairy waste


Two researchers in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University are studying how to cut methane gas produced by cows and reduce the phosphorus and nitrogen that end up in their manure — and potentially waterways.

While Zhongtang Yu didn’t grow up in a rural area but instead in a metropolitan region of China, he appreciates what cattle contribute to the economy, the beef and milk. And he understands the toll air pollution can have. He is a molecular biologist in CFAES and is working to reduce the amount of methane cattle give off by improving their digestion.

Another CFAES researcher, Chanhee Lee, an assistant professor of animal sciences, focuses on reducing the waste of cows — solids and gases. In his studies, Lee tests the effectiveness of adding chemical or biological substances to cow feed to reduce the methane they produce. He also puts addititives in manure to lessen the nitrogen and phosphorus in it, thus reducing the odds of those compounds seeping into surface water.… Continue reading

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Technicals suggest weaker future cattle prices

I have been impressed by the strength of feeder cattle and calf markets through the fall. But what do the technicals say? Very clearly sell. The feeder cattle futures have shown weakness in mid-October after rallying to fill the gap down in late September.

My interpretation of the feeder cattle futures rally through most of late August and early September was that it was driven by a strong cash calf and feeder cattle market pricing in a lot of the cheapening feed market. It is possible that all of this has run its course and traditional seasonal weaker calve prices are in the works. Of course, I have been saying that since August. However, the technicals support my position rather clearly. Feeder cattle and live cattle contracts have rallied to levels established in the early summer. The market turned lower in mid-July and it set to repeat that now. All of these fall contracts that have rallied to resistance planes have been turned back.… Continue reading

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Don’s Prawns found the right cocktail for shrimp production

Every farmer knows those crucial moments when factors beyond their control shape profits or losses for the coming year, and the stress they can bring.

For Don Maloney of Fairfield County, those moments are consistent from late May through around mid September while he is growing freshwater prawns (or shrimp) unseen underwater at the bottom of three ponds on his farm.

“If you want to invest in antacid between June and September do this. Antacid is my dessert after every meal that time of year. I’ve heard the stories about how you invest all this money and drain the pond and nothing alive comes out,” Maloney said. “There can be devastating losses with this. I like to gamble and this is definitely gambling.”

Don’s Prawns got its start when Maloney and his family moved from Michigan to Ohio for his work and bought a 40-acre farm in 1997. On his drives to and from work, Maloney listened to talk radio and around 2001 he learned about freshwater prawns.… Continue reading

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Dairy industry applauds introduction of School Milk Nutrition Act of 2017

The nation’s two leading dairy organizations applauded the introduction of a bipartisan bill to help reverse the decline of milk consumption in schools.

The School Milk Nutrition Act of 2017, introduced by Representatives G.T. Thompson (R-PA) and Joe Courtney (D-CT), would allow schools to offer low-fat and fat-free milk, including flavored milk with no more than 150 calories per 8-ounce serving, to participants in the federal school lunch and breakfast programs. The bill allows individual schools and school districts to determine which milkfat varieties to offer their students.

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) strongly support the bill and encourage Congress to pass it. Once enacted, the bill would make permanent the administrative changes in the school lunch program proposed earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, in one of his first official actions earlier this year, supported giving school districts the option to offer a variety of milk types as part of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs.… Continue reading

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Feed alternatives allowed by a corn, soybean and wheat rotation that includes cows

I know I’ve shared this story before, but considering the weather we experienced across much of Ohio the first half of summer, it’s appropriate to tell it again. Dad was a mechanic for a local farm implement dealer. Once while out on a combine service call in mid summer he asked the farmer if he’d gotten all his hay made. The response — in a deep German accent — was, “Yes, it got made . . . but it rained so much I never got it baled.”

Despite that being the case in many parts again this year, and then followed by a very dry late summer, the fact is that we still have an abundance of feedstuffs available that will maintain beef cows cost effectively if managed and supplemented properly. Over the years we’ve spent a lot of time in this publication discussing the planting of small grains and annual forages in late summer and fall for supplemental forage.… Continue reading

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