Surface application of manure to newly planted wheat fields

By Glen Arnold, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Several livestock producers have inquired about applying liquid dairy or swine manure to newly planted wheat fields using a drag hose. The thought process is that the fields are firm (dry), there is very little rain in the nearby forecast, and the moisture in the manure could help with wheat germination and emergence.

The manure nutrients could easily replace the commercial fertilizer normally applied in advance of planting wheat. The application of fall-applied livestock manure to newly planted or growing crop can reduce nutrient losses compared to fall-applied manure without a growing crop.

Both swine and dairy manure can be used to add moisture to newly planted wheat. It’s important that the wheat seeds were properly covered with soil when planted to keep a barrier between the salt and nitrogen in the manure and the germinating wheat seed. It’s also important that livestock producers know their soil phosphorus levels, and the phosphorus in the manure being applied, so we don’t grow soil phosphorus levels beyond what is acceptable.… Continue reading

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Applications open for National Pork Checkoff Board of Directors

The Pork Checkoff’s board of directors is accepting applications through Nov. 1 to fill five three-year terms. State pork producer associations, farm organizations or individuals who pay the Pork Checkoff, including pig farmers and pork importers, may submit an application.

“Serving on the National Pork Board is a great opportunity for producers to support the pork industry while helping to plan for a successful future,” said Alcester, South Dakota, producer Steve Rommereim, who is the past National Pork Board president and chair of the Nominating Committee. “Not only have I been able to serve producers, I also have learned from so many in our pork industry.”

During the National Pork Industry Forum, Pork Act Delegates must rank a minimum of 10 candidates to send to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue for approval. The board consists of 15 members, each serving a maximum of two three-year terms. The Pork Act requires that no fewer than 12 states be represented.… Continue reading

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Low-cost treatment of meat processing wastewater protects the environment

By Karen Mancl

In 2000, a small, family owned meat processor was facing closure. They were under orders from Ohio EPA to change the way they handled their wastewater. Abandoning the smelly lagoon system they were permitted to use for years to connect to the city treatment plant was too expensive.

Through industry, university and government cooperation, a new way to treat their wastewater was developed and it saved the company. The Ohio EPA agreed to allow the company to work with Ohio State University to study using sand bioreactors to treat the high-strength, high-fat content wastewater. After a 2-year lab study in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering at OSU using the meat processing wastewater, the simple technology was tested in a small pilot plant built by the meat processor.

The pilot plant success led to obtaining a permit to construct a full-scale sand bioreactor treatment plant in 2010.… Continue reading

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Are robotic milkers failing to live up to promises?


By Leisa Boley Hellwarth, a dairy farmer and attorney near Celina

In a likely attempt to reach every dairy farmer in the U.S. who purchased robotic milkers, plaintiffs lawyers have been mailing information to every dairy farmer in the nation. The first post card arrived at my house several months ago from, the website for Cullenberg & Tensen, a New Hampshire law firm. Attorney Arend Tensen looks more like the beef farmer he also is in his website pictures. There is more farm equipment pictured on his website than legal resources. Obviously, Tensen’s perceived strength is his agricultural background and current investments.

The card that arrived last week came from Steuve. Siegel. Hanson, LLP, trial lawyers and no one in their website wears anything but power clothes, and I do not mean winter weight Carharts or hunting gear camo. This was one of the firms front and center in the Syngenta class action, so they are used to slaying Goliath, even if they look a little Goliathy to me.… Continue reading

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Balancing the risks and benefits of animals in agritourism

By Matt Reese

With crisp fall weather, ripening apples, plump orange pumpkins, and autumn breezes rustling through dried corn leaves, it is the peak of Ohio’s agritourism season. There are numerous unique farm attractions around the state that entertain, educate and help connect consumers with agriculture in creative ways. Many include livestock, which can be a valuable component of the operation, but also a significant source of legal liability.

“Farm animals can be a valuable attraction for an agritourism operation, but having people and animals on the farm creates liability risks,” said Peggy Hall, associate professor for Ohio State University’s Agricultural & Resource Law Program. “Whether feeding, riding, petting, observing, or just being near farm animals, visitors could be harmed and agritourism operators could be liable for that harm.”

Hall is most concerned with the potential for transmission of zoonotic diseases from the animals to humans visiting the farm who may have little to no other exposure to farm livestock.… Continue reading

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Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium Dec. 13-14

The Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium takes place at the Shisler Conference Center in Wooster, including the youth program, on Dec. 13 and 14. A celebration of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association’s 70th Anniversary also will take place.

Friday speakers at the event will include Sandi Brock, Commercial sheep producer and face of “Sheepishly Me- Adventures in Sheep Farming” on social media and YouTube, of Shepherd Creek Farms in Ontario, Canada; Cameron Lauwers — a first generation sheep producer and fourth generation farmer from Capac, Michigan who runs 600 ewes in a mostly housed accelerated lambing system; and Dr. Luciana da Costa, DVM of the OSU Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicines, who will be sharing her expertise on mammary health and mastitis.

On Saturday additional speakers including John Foltz, Ohio State Animal Sciences chair and Lee Fitzsimmons, from Wayne Savings Community Bank. Discussion topics will include progressive accelerated housed management, getting started in a housed system, using social media in agriculture, an overview of OSU sheep research, nutrient and manure management, working with ag lenders, and more.… Continue reading

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WTO announces tariffs for EU

The World Trade Organization announced substantial retaliatory tariffs on European Union (EU) goods the U.S. may levy in response to illegal EU subsidies to Airbus. These tariffs may continue until the EU brings its policies into compliance with WTO rules.

The National Milk Producers Federation supported the measures.

“Subsidies and barriers that handicap U.S. businesses in the global marketplace by violating international trade commitments shouldn’t be tolerated. We strongly support the World Trade Organization’s imposition of $7.5 billion in retaliatory duties on European products, including dairy foods, to prod the EU to uphold its World Trade Organization commitments and reinforce the importance of two-way trade,” NMPF said in a statement. “The U.S. is running a $1.6 billion dairy trade deficit with Europe because of unfair EU trade practices that block our access to their market while they enjoy broad access to ours.

“Trade authorities should also address one particularly egregious example of EU trade practices: the EU’s abusing the use of geographical indications to limit competition from cheese exporters in the U.S.… Continue reading

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Manure separation shows promise for better nutrient management

By Dusty Sonnenberg, Ohio Field Leader

For every 1,000 gallons of manure produced on Dwayne Stateler’s Hancock County hog operation, there are 50 pounds of nitrogen, 28 pounds of potassium, 20 pounds of phosphorus, and 5 pounds of sulfur available to benefit crops produced on the farm.

Duane and Anthony Stateler grow corn, soybeans and wheat on approximately 600 acres in Hancock County and also operate a 7,200-head wean to finish swine operation. The Stateler farm is one of three operations in the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network — a joint partnership between U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Services and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. The Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network is a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative project designed to showcase and demonstrate leading edge conservation practices to improve Great Lakes water quality. The Statelers have committed 243 acres to the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network and they are always looking to improve the efficiency of nutrient management in their operation.… Continue reading

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Dairy Margin Coverage payments top $300 million as signups

The Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program signed up more than 22,000 dairy farmers  —more than participated in the last year of the Margin Protection Program (MPP) that it replaced — and paid out more than $302 million in its first year. That’s $302 million more than what farmers would have received under the MPP, which would have actually cost farmers money in 2019, according to an analysis of USDA data done by NMPF.

Monthly milk price/feed cost margins so far in 2019 have been above the $8 per hundredweight coverage cutoff that existed under MPP, but below the new $9.50 per hundredweight coverage limit under DMC, the stronger dairy safety net enacted last year in the farm bill. Under the old MPP rules, the total paid out under the entire program so far this year would have been $75,000 — about $3 per farmer and a net loss for them after premium costs.… Continue reading

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Agriculture groups urge USDA to quickly establish Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank

Representatives of the National Pork Producers Council, the National Milk Producers Federation, the National Corn Growers Association and Iowa State University today called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to move as quickly as possible to establish a Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank.

At a press conference, these groups recognized the steps USDA has taken to establish the bank, but called for expedient use of mandatory funding included in the 2018 Farm Bill to purchase the volume of vaccines required to effectively contain and eradicate an FMD outbreak. Currently, the USDA, which has prescribed vaccination for dealing with an FMD outbreak, does not have access to enough vaccine to avoid devastating economic consequences to the U.S. economy, should an outbreak occur.

“If the U.S. had a large outbreak of FMD, it may be impossible to control without the rapid availability of adequate supplies of vaccine,” said Dr. James Roth, a professor in the department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventative Medicine at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. … Continue reading

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NPPC looking at more export opportunities

The U.S. pork industry ships more product to the 20 countries covered by free-trade agreements than we do the rest of the world combined. Therefore, expanding export opportunities through trade agreements remains a top priority for U.S. pork producers, National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Director of International Affairs Maria Zieba said today at a Global Business Dialogue event in Washington, D.C.

One of NPPC’s most pressing priorities is rapid congressional ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement, securing long-term zero-duty access to two of its largest export markets, Zieba explained. Last year, more than 40% of U.S. pork exported went to Canada and Mexico. USMCA will strengthen the strong economic ties with our North American neighbors and ensure tariff-free trade with the two countries, Zieba explained.

Unfortunately, the trade situation with China remains frustrating, Zieba said. The trade dispute with China has cost U.S. pork producers $8 per animal, or $1 billion on an annualized basis.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation creates scholarship for large animal veterinary students

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF) has created a new scholarship fund to benefit large animal veterinary students attending The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. OCF has committed $25,000 over five years to the new scholarship fund. The first scholarships generated from this fund will be awarded for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation Scholarship Fund will provide two scholarships each year to third or fourth-year veterinary students who have demonstrated interest in practicing large animal (food/farm) medicine and plan to practice in the state of Ohio. Preference will be given to candidates whose work, research or community involvement demonstrates interest in the beef industry, or to those who are involved with the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association. The College of Veterinary Medicine, in consultation with Student Financial Aid, will oversee the scholarship fund, application process and will determine the scholarship recipients each year.

It is commonly understood within the agricultural industry that the educational costs and subsequent debt load associated with a veterinary degree inhibit potential students from pursuing a career in the field or have long-term financial burdens for those who do.… Continue reading

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West Nile Virus confirmed in Ohio horses

The Ohio Department of Agriculture confirmed the first two positive cases this year of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Ohio horses. A horse in Stark County confirmed with WNV was vaccinated once in the spring but did not receive a booster. The second horse’s county of origin and vaccination history are not yet known. The spread of WNV in horses is preventable with proper vaccination and horse owners are urged to ensure their animal’s vaccine and boosters are up to date.

West Nile Virus is transmitted to horses via bites from infected mosquitoes. Clinical signs for WNV include flulike symptoms, where the horse seems mildly anorexic and depressed. Changes in mentality, drowsiness, driving or pushing forward (often without control), and asymmetrical weakness may be observed. The mortality rate from WNV can be as high as 30% to 40% in horses. Infection with WNV does not always lead to signs of illness in people or animals.… Continue reading

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Dairy Margin Coverage program signup deadline extended

The National Milk Producers Federation is urging farmers to take advantage of a one-week extension in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program signup deadline to Sept. 27, announced by USDA.

“Dairy farmers have much to gain by signing up for this program, and another week to take advantage of this benefit can be nothing but helpful for them,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “We urge producers to take advantage of this added opportunity to sign up.”

The USDA said more than 21,000 dairy farms have signed up for the new program, the main risk-protection tool for dairy farmers enacted in the 2018 Farm Bill, nearing the level that participated last year in the Margin Protection Program, which DMC replaced. DMC is guaranteed to pay all producers enrolled at the maximum $9.50/cwt. coverage level for every month of production through July, according to USDA data. DMC improvements from the MPP include:
• Affordable higher coverage levels that permit all dairy producers to insure margins up to $9.50/cwt.… Continue reading

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The new (dis)order in today’s markets could favor livestock profitability

By Abbie Burnett, production communications specialist for Certified Angus Beef

In a third of the world’s economies today banks charge customers to keep money in savings. This and other disincentives to save has brought world economic debt to record levels, and the U.S. at $23 trillion holds the largest share of the $243 trillion total.

“Economic and political order has become disorder,” said Dan Basse, AgResource president, in market analysis comments at the 2019 Feeding Quality Forum in Amarillo, Texas.

The pressure is on to put money to work in those economies, even to the point of devaluing the money,

“In agriculture, everybody is dropping their currencies so they have a competitive edge in producing more supply,” Basse said. “This is what’s giving us a supply bear market in the grains.”

“It’s really why interest rates cannot rise. So, we are kind of locked into this environment of debt and low growth.”… Continue reading

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Planting alternative grasses that can handle abundant rain

Farm animals want to eat what they’re used to.

And because livestock are not adventurous eaters, farmers have to train them to try something new by limiting their access to the food they’re most familiar with. That can be done by growing new grasses in a different field, and then moving the livestock to graze on that field.

Many farmers in Ohio might be trying to grow and feed their animals different grasses this year, as supplies for hay and traditional forage grasses are exceptionally low. Ohio’s hay supply is the lowest since the 2012 drought, and the fourth lowest in 70 years. This past spring was persistently wet, which hindered the growth and cutting of hay and other forage grasses.

“Nobody can control the weather, but we can somewhat control what we’re growing on the farm,” said Christine Gelley, an Ohio State University Extension educator in Noble County. “If we can become more flexible in terms of what we grow and how we move our animals around, that can increase our options for feeding them.”… Continue reading

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Viral disease limits All American Quarter Horse Congress participation

In an effort to protect horses and other livestock in Ohio, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is not allowing the import of horses from counties within states with confirmed and suspected cases of Vesicular Stomatitis (VSV). This restriction includes the All American Quarter Horse Congress, which is scheduled to begin in Columbus on Oct. 1.

“VSV has not been detected in Ohio and we are taking every precaution possible to keep it that way,” said ODA State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey. “With the All American Quarter Horse Congress coming, we thought it was important to restrict further movement to prevent the disease’s potential spread.”

VSV is a viral disease that primarily affects horses, but can also infect cattle, swine, sheep, and goats. The disease causes blister-like lesions, which burst and leave open wounds. It is extremely painful to animals and can result in the inability to eat and drink and even lameness.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association launches Cattlemen’s Academy

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will launch a new producer education program in the fall of 2019, the OCA Cattlemen’s Academy. OCA recognizes the importance of serving individual members across the state, and the goal of the Cattlemen’s Academy is to offer informative, hands-on learning experiences as part of a current OCA membership. Each year, the program will focus on a different aspect of the cattle industry with a new meeting series that is important to producers in the state of Ohio.

As its first series, the Cattlemen’s Academy will host calving clinics at multiple locations throughout Ohio in conjunction with the Department of Animal Sciences at The Ohio State University. Producers will learn how to determine calf presentations and more about calving assistance techniques and calving facilities design. They will also be instructed on nutritional management of the prepartum cow and bull selection for calving ease. Various experts from Ohio State and the cattle industry will be on-hand to instruct attendees and answer questions throughout the clinics.… Continue reading

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Cattle markets and the Tyson fire

By Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee

The market is down one large harvest facility and cattle feeders cannot feed the same animal for infinity and beyond. As a result, availability of feeder cattle will increase in the near term. Packers continue to put the squeeze on cattle feeders as they appear to be holding all of the leverage. It is difficult to identify any leverage point cattle feeders control in today’s market, but this situation will not last forever. Similar to leverage slipping into the abyss, live cattle basis may or may not be favorable to cattle feeders as regional differences are the story on this subject. The kindest way to summarize the cattle feeder’s situation is that better days have to be on the horizon, but it is difficult to tell how far off the horizon is.

Since the Tyson fire was reported on Aug.… Continue reading

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Vending machine now providing bacon fix for Buckeye football fans

After grabbing international media headlines last winter, the Ohio Pork Council is pleased to launch their new-and-improved Bacon Vending Machine at Ohio Stadium just in time for football season. The Bacon Vending Machine was available for the first home game of the season for Buckeye fans to purchase ready-to-eat bacon, while supplies last, at Ohio Stadium all season long.

“The Ohio Pork Council is proud to support Ohio State Athletics and could not think of a more fitting location to launch our new Bacon Vending Machine than Ohio Stadium,” said Nathan Schroeder, District 1 Director, a pig farmer from Putnam County, Ohio. “Thanks to the Bacon Vending Machine, fans can cheer the Buckeyes on to victory with a classic game day favorite — bacon.”

Developed in collaboration with Innovative Vending Solutions, the custom machine features a variety of ready-to-eat bacon for fans to enjoy at an affordable price. The modern machine also features a touch screen interface with educational videos and facts about Ohio’s pig farming community on display — enabling consumers to learn more about responsibly raised pork.… Continue reading

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