Rabbit hemorrhagic disease found in Ohio

On Sept. 19, rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHD2) was detected in a domestic rabbit in Medina County. This is the first confirmed case of RHD2 in the United States. It’s important to remember RHD2 does not pose a threat to humans or other animals, but is highly fatal in rabbits.

The rabbits at this location were housed in horse stalls and ran free in those stalls. They have been on site for several years and there has been no movement of rabbits on or off the premises recently. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will work with state and federal partners to conduct surveillance of wild rabbits near the location.

RHD is a viral disease that causes sudden death in rabbits. It can be spread through contact with infected rabbits, as well as by materials having contact with infected animals. Again, this disease does not affect people or other animals.… Continue reading

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KORUS trade deal update

KORUS trade deal updatePresident Trump announced that the United States and South Korea signed the revised free trade agreement between the countries. The United States-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS)agreement, which was finalized earlier this year, was signed during the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, or KORUS, was one of several trade agreements scrutinized by the president during his 2016 election campaign. The National Pork Producers Council was pleased with the outcome of the renegotiations, with the new deal having little impact on agriculture. Most U.S. pork will continue to flow to South Korea with no tariff. (Prior to KORUS, Korean duties on U.S. chilled and frozen pork were 22.5% and 25%, respectively.) Last year, the United States shipped $475 million of pork to South Korea — a 30% increase over 2016 — making it the No. 5 U.S. pork export market.

“We are entering into a new KORUS agreement that is a better deal for the entire United States economy, including the agricultural sector.… Continue reading

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Autumn grazing tips for extending the growing season

By Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

The older I get, the more I tend to philosophize about things. I’ve been asked a few times why I am such an advocate for sound grazing practices. Best management grazing practices, just like conservation practices for reducing or preventing soil erosion on cropland, help preserve and or regenerate resources not only for present generation, but also for future generations. Keeping a field in forages will save more soil and conserve more water than almost all other erosion control practices. As the world population continues to increase and the acres of viable land that we can grow food on continues to decrease, we have to be more efficient and more productive with what remains while also maintaining and improving water quality. Food quality and nutrient density need to also improve.

We are on a count down to the first frost. I’m thankful for timely rains and that most of our cool-season grasses will continue to grow even after that first frost, as long as there is moisture working with the declining light hours.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association celebrates Best of the Buckeye breeders

The Best of the Buckeye Program, hosted by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) in conjunction with the Ohio Beef Expo and the Ohio State Fair, successfully concluded its fifth season. The program rounded out the year with 269 head of cattle nominated by 146 breeders.

The Best of the Buckeye program recognizes top-placing Ohio bred, born and registered calves, along with the breeder and exhibitor, in each breed division at the two shows. This year a new event was created for breeder recognition sponsored by Sullivan Supply and Stock Show University. Thanks to these generous sponsors, over $10,000 was awarded in prizes to breeders in late August at the first annual Breeder Reception. Nominating breeders gathered in late August for an ice cream social, program and prize drawing. All attending breeders at the reception received a coupon for half off the price of a purchase of an e-blast to OCA’s membership to market their Best of the Buckeye cattle for the 2019 season.… Continue reading

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Talking the divide between U.S., Canada dairy supply systems

By Joel Penhorwood

The trip to Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show by several Ohio dairy farmers, thanks to the efforts of Hill’s Supply, put on display not only the latest in robotic milking technology, but also the relationship between Canadian and American dairy farmers in what has been a contentious time with regard to trade.

Ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations have highlighted the differences between the two countries on milk production.

“The dairy industry is challenging right now. As you look across Ohio and the nation, our nation’s dairy farmers are facing an economic downturn that’s rivaling the downturn that many of us remember in 2009,” said Frank Burkett III. Burkett, a dairy farmer and current president of the Ohio Farm Bureau, has signed a letter of intent on buying Hill’s Supply in the near future. “We look through Hill’s for ways to partner with dairymen to get through this cycle and move onto another cycle that hopefully delivers a little bit better economics and maybe a littler prosperity into dairy farmers.”… Continue reading

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Meat monikers aplenty can lead to consumer confusion

Consumers and agriculturalists alike are getting a bit confused about the differences between meat, “clean meat” and plant-based “meat” that are being provided and promoted in the modern marketplace.

A new law in at least one state that legally defines what constitutes “meat.” Lawmakers in Missouri recently became the first in the nation to create new provisions in their state’s Meat Advertising Law to require that any food or meat product that is called “meat” must be derived from livestock or poultry flesh.

The new provisions, which will begin to be enforced Jan. 1, 2019, say that meat products that are not derived from animal flesh must include a statement on the product packaging that says if the product is “plant-based,” “veggie,” “lab-grown” or “lab-created,” or if it is “made from plants” or created “in a lab,” according to a statement from the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

So what’s the difference?… Continue reading

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OSU prof earns animal welfare designation

A veterinarian and assistant professor of animal sciences in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University (CFAES) has been named a Diplomate of the American College of Animal Welfare, the only swine veterinarian in Ohio to earn such a designation.

In fact, Monique Pairis-Garcia, who is also an animal welfare specialist with Ohio State University Extension, is the first veterinarian at Ohio State to earn board certification in this relatively new veterinary specialty.

The designation means that Pairis-Garcia can demonstrate detailed knowledge of and special competence in animal welfare across all species. This is significant, considering that the American Veterinary Medical Association identified animal welfare in June 2006 as “one of the top five critical issues affecting the veterinary profession both in the United States and globally.”

“My entire career has been focused on animal welfare and behavior, so I’m very proud and excited to bring this honor to Ohio State, CFAES and the Department of Animal Sciences,“ Pairis-Garcia said.… Continue reading

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Ohio dairy farmers get firsthand look at new robotic milker

Hill’s Supply, Inc., of Canal Fulton, is hosting several Ohio and Pennsylvania dairy farmers this week at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show. One of the highlights is the introduction of the new DeLaval VMS V300 robotic milking system for the first time in North America.

Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood has more on the event and the machine in this video.

Mick Heiby, salesperson with Hill’s Supply, talked about what he hoped for the dairy farmers along on the ride to be able to see.… Continue reading

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Wayne County Fair evacuates: Livestock heads to Richland County

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

Not long after the rains began on Saturday and the forecast showed no sign of it letting up, the Wayne County Fair Board had to make a difficult call and released this statement.

Based on current weather forecasts and in consultation with Wayne County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), Wayne County Sheriff, Wooster Fire Department and the National Weather Service we believe there is a high likelihood that parts of the fairgrounds will flood over the next few days.  While we hope that the weather forecast improves, we have been advised, and have concluded that it is in the best interest in safety and property preservation that livestock and other areas within the flood way are evacuated ahead of the need. 

This is an unprecedented decision and we realize that there is significant impact to all exhibitors.  We ask for your cooperation, patience and calm during this effort. Continue reading

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Pork industry focuses on feed ingredients to combat African swine fever threat

With the expansion of the current outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in China, the National Pork Board, along with the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), are working even more closely together to help keep the United States free of ASF and all other foreign animal diseases (FADs). This includes focusing on the importation of feed ingredients, a key area of potential high risk of disease transport.

“Keeping trade-limiting foreign animal diseases, such as ASF, out of the United States is critical to pork producers,” said Steve Rommereim, National Pork Board president and a producer from Alcester, South Dakota. “We all need to improve the overall level of FAD preparedness. We hope for the best, but we must prepare for the worst.”

Thanks to Checkoff-funded research conducted after the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), swine industry experts now have some peer-reviewed science to rely on when looking at ways to mitigate the current risk posed by ASF in China and other countries.… Continue reading

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BEST Character awards highlight attributes of exhibitors

By Lea Kimley and Matt Reese

Work ethic, a positive attitude, patience, and focus — those involved with showing livestock have long understood there are many positive character traits young people can develop through working with animals.

In 2018 the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) Program took the opportunity to formally recognize some of these character traits and the young people who display them throughout the show season. The 2018 BEST Character Trait awards highlighted attitude, focus and patience. Throughout the winter and spring show series, any OCA member or BEST participant or their parents could nominate other cattlemen, breeders or exhibitors for any of the Character Trait Awards.

“This past year was our first year doing this and we worked with some of the leadership programs with Weaver Leather Livestock. They are a sponsoring partner for the BEST program and we worked with them to recognize the character traits.… Continue reading

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College student competition aims to bring innovative ideas to dairy industry

By Chip Tuson

One revolutionary idea can transform an entire industry overnight. At least, that’s what The Ohio State University SmartAg4.0 student competition posits to event participants. In much of the way Uber has changed how we commute and AirBnb has changed how we find accommodations, participants in SmartAg4.0 could have the next big idea to transform agriculture.

“Agriculture is undergoing a significant transformation that rivals historical developments including mechanization, the ‘Green Revolution,’ or biotechnology,” said Scott Shearer, Professor and Chair at Ohio State’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. “Most agricultural professionals now realize that connecting the farm to the internet (e.g., big data and data analytics) will drive sustainability and productivity of the ‘food systems’ of the future. SmartAg4.0 is designed to help students gain experience with turning ideas into new products or services that will reshape global agriculture.”

SmartAg4.0 started in 2016 with the idea of offering a “hack-a-thon” style event to students in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State.… Continue reading

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Cattlemen’s Gala, Celebration and Fundraiser, raises $35,000

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF) held the second annual Cattlemen’s Gala Celebration and Fundraiser Saturday, Aug. 25 at Leeds Farm in Ostrander, Ohio. The event supported the OCF youth scholarship fund benefiting the next generation of beef industry leaders.

Attendees gathered in their boots and hats for dinner, drinks and dancing in the barn at Leeds Farm where guests enjoyed live music from the John D. Hale Band, a nationally known Red Dirt music group from Missouri.

Silent and live auctions were held to support youth scholarships. Thanks to several generous donors, buyers and sponsors, in total, the event raised $35,000.

“The young people in our industry are impressive, and the opportunity for them to further their education and careers is well deserved. The Cattlemen’s Gala is an exciting way to show our support,” said Joe Foster, OCF president from Gallipolis.

Mark your calendars for the 2019 Cattlemen’s Gala Celebration and Fundraiser that will take place Aug.… Continue reading

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Raising dairy calves: Reading personality of the calves can be important

By Maurice L. Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

We know that personality of children in the same family can vary immensely, caused by genetics, birth order, changing parenting styles, and other factors. Have you ever related these differences to dairy calves? Previous research has revealed that food animals that are generally calmer or less reactive, versus more excitable, have improved growth rates, meat quality, and milk production; improved immune function, and decreased physiological responses to stressful events. Dairy cows that are more excitable in the milking parlor produce less milk, milk out slower, and have reduced lifetime production efficiency.

Given this prior knowledge, researchers at the Animal Welfare Program at the University of British Columbia conducted a study with 56 dairy calves to identify personality traits that may be associated with feeding behavior and performance. Calves were housed in seven groups with eight calves in each group with access to automatic milk feeders and free choice water, hay, and calf starter.… Continue reading

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NCBA responds to WOTUS video reaction

About a year ago, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association released a video on the 2015 WOTUS rule that featured an interview with then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Radical environmental groups cried foul, and House Representatives Elijah Cummings, Peter DeFazio, Betty McCollum, and Frank Pallone asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate whether Pruitt’s appearance violated federal anti-lobbying and propaganda laws. The GAO concluded definitively that the video “did not violate the publicity or propaganda, grassroots lobbying, or Interior anti-lobbying provisions.”

“Radical environmental activists and their allies in Congress first requested this sham investigation to distract from the real issue: Their misguided support for the gravely flawed 2015 WOTUS rule,” said Colin Woodall, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for the NCBA. “It is a shame to think about the wasted taxpayer dollars that were devoted to this report in a vain attempt by Representatives Cummings, DeFazio, McCollum, and Pallone to grab a few headlines.… Continue reading

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Cattle market overriding themes

By Josh Maples, Assistant Professor & Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

Large supplies, record exports, and trade concerns are just a few of the topics that have dominated the headlines in 2018. We are now fully transitioning into a primary calf selling time of the year for cow-calf producers and into an active buying time for stocker producers. I’m going to try to sum up a few of the more prominent factors affecting cattle markets and discuss how they could impact cattle prices this fall and beyond.

Larger beef production continues to put downward pressure on prices. Beef production rose by 6.4% in 2016 and 3.8% in 2017. Current forecasts suggest about a 4% increase in 2018, and 1.5% in 2019. Put it all together and that would be about a 16% increase in beef production in just four years. This would be the fastest four-year growth since 1973-1977.… Continue reading

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2018 Ohio State Fair Commercial Cattle Show results

The 2018 Ohio State Fair Commercial Cattle Show participants exhibited 25 pens of three for a total of 75 head of commercial steers and heifers on July 29, 2018 during the fair. Judging the event were Joseph Higgins, Wisconsin and Jacob Mikel, Iowa. The show was managed by United Producers, Inc., and the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Ohio State Fair and United Producers, Inc. served as sponsors.

In the junior division live evaluation, Austin Wiseman of Malta, Ohio, exhibited the Champion Lot of 3 Steers and Champion Lot of 3 Heifers which earned the titles of Grand Champion Overall Lot of 3 and Reserve Champion Overall Lot of 3, respectively. Wiseman’s lot of 3 steers had an average weight of 1,319 pounds and his lot of 3 heifers had an average weight of 1,208 pounds. Allison and Ryan Bowsher, Laurelville, Ohio, exhibited the Reserve Champion Lot of 3 Heifers averaging 1,219 pounds.… Continue reading

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Highest award in Smithfield nuisance litigation raises responses

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

The third and largest jury award in a series of nuisance lawsuits in North Carolina yielded a $473.5 million award for plaintiffs claiming harm from hog farms owned by Smithfield. The verdict will reduce to $94 million due to a state law that caps punitive damages.

Agricultural interests are claiming that the lawsuits circumvent state right to farm laws and are seeking state legislative responses. Opponents are also hoping to reverse a gag order issued by the court to impose communication restrictions on potential witnesses, parties and lawyers in the cases. The federal judge in the case, Hon. Earl Britt from the Eastern District of North Carolina, is stepping down due to health issues. Hon. David Faber of the Southern District of West Virginia will replace Judge Britt and will soon hear a fourth trial that targets a 7,100 head hog farm in Sampson County, North Carolina.… Continue reading

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It’s official: no reporting of air emissions from animal waste

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

The U.S. EPA has posted a final rule this month clarifying that air emissions from animal waste at farms are exempt from federal regulations that require the reporting of air releases from hazardous wastes. The rule implements an order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and revisions in the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act enacted by Congress earlier this year. We reported on the court case and legislation earlier this year.… Continue reading

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Assemble a calf crop resilient to diseases

By Justin Kieffer, DVM, Clinical Veterinarian, Assistant Professor, Office of the Attending Veterinarian and Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

Now that calving is completed and the grass is growing (hopefully), it is time to start preparing for the weaning and eventual sale or feedlot finishing of your

calf crop and development of your replacement females. Once the cow calf pairs have been kicked out to pasture in the spring, there is a tendency to put off or ignore the steps needed not only to set the feedlot calf up for success, but also to lay the groundwork for proper health for your new heifers.

Management techniques such as castration and dehorning should take place as soon as possible. Waiting too long to remove the testicles, either by banding or cutting, increases the risk of bleeding and infection, and knocks the calf off feed for an extended period of time.… Continue reading

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