Is using herbicide impregnated fertilizer an option for pastures on a budget?

By Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County Ohio State University Extension

Weed and feed products that combine herbicide and fertilizer application into one have long been available for lawn care use. Dry and stable fertilizer can be coated with a herbicide and top dressed onto a lawn to provide nutrients to the growing grass and help combat competing weeds. If the process shows favorable results in a lawn, could it work in a pasture or hay field?

Theoretically, yes it could work. But, there are distinct differences between the management and use of a lawn versus that of a crop that will be eaten by livestock. Pairing the appropriate herbicide with the fertilizer, adhering to any waiting periods for grazing or harvest, environmental conditions, and the scale of applying to multiple acres rather than a few hundred or thousands of square feet all create a more complicated equation for the feasible use of herbicide impregnated fertilizers on pastures and hay fields.… Continue reading

Read More »

BQA opportunities

By Allen Gahler, OSU Extension, Sandusky County

Opportunities abound to educate yourself and become a better beef producer throughout February, March, and early April.  Some online webinars, some in person classroom style meetings, and even some on farm workshops will be taking place all around Ohio, courtesy of the OSU Beef Extension team and several county educators.

Perhaps the most critical of those meetings to attend for many Ohio producers are the Beef Quality Assurance training sessions.  Anyone who has not already been BQA certified and intends to sell cattle of any kind this year or any time in the future, no matter what type of sale method will be used, should consider getting certified as soon as possible.  This not only benefits you as a producer by opening up marketing opportunities because you are certified, but it assures your potential customers that you value the use of humane, sustainable, and wholesome beef production practices. … Continue reading

Read More »

Meat processing grants moving forward in Ohio

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced that 40 Ohio livestock and poultry producers will receive grants totaling $10 million to help them expand capacity and meet the growing demand for meat processing services.

“The supply chain issues that our country is facing have put increased pressure on our meat processors, and they can’t keep up with the demand,” said Governor DeWine. “By awarding this money, we can help these Ohio businesses enhance their operations to strengthen the local meat supply chain and reduce reliance on out-of-state processors.”

Each company will receive a grant of up to $250,000, with half of the funds disbursed before projects are started and the other half awarded after the companies show that the initial funds were spent on eligible costs. In total, the businesses receiving awards have estimated that the funds will help them create up to 830 jobs.

“These grants will not only benefit consumers, but they will also help sustain these businesses and bring new job opportunities to Ohioans,” said Lt.… Continue reading

Read More »

Rodenticide rules

The National Pork Producers Council and nine other agricultural groups submitted answers and observations in response to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency request for information about the use of rodenticides to control rats and mice infestations on farms. 

EPA regulates which pesticide products can be used and how they are used under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The agency is reported to be considering allowing only “certified pesticide applicators” to apply the products on farms, requiring protective respiratory equipment be used when applying rodenticides and mandating detailed records on rodenticide use be kept and maintained. 

NPPC and the groups said in their comments: “These products are absolutely critical to attaining multiple objectives important not only to our members’ operations but to society as a whole.” 

They pointed out that rodenticides help protect the health and well-being of animals, ensure the safety of the food those animals produce, prevent the propagation and spread of human pathogens carried and transmitted by rodents and reduce the loss of feed from rodent waste and consumption.… Continue reading

Read More »

American lamb industry evaluates carbon footprint

The American Lamb Board (ALB) is working with Michigan State University (MSU) to evaluate the environmental footprint of the U.S. sheep industry in order to have accurate and robust data to contribute to this important issue. The initial focus of the study defines a comprehensive model of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the diverse array of U.S. sheep production systems such as range, farm flock, pasture, intensive and feedlot. MSU will conduct a partial life cycle analysis of lamb production in these types of operations to quantify GHG emissions.

Environmental concerns about livestock production have gained traction and the American Lamb industry entered the spotlight when a 2011 Environmental Working Group Study characterized lamb as one of the largest contributors of GHG emissions. The study’s outcomes are still cited at influential conferences and in the media.

“It is extremely important for our industry to identify and evaluate our role in GHG emissions,” said Peter Comino, ALB Chairman, Buffalo, WY.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Pork Congress 2022 highlights

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

The challenges of change have wrought powerful progress for Ohio’s pork industry over the last couple of years and there was plenty to celebrate at last week’s Ohio Pork Congress held in Lima, a new location for the event.

“The response to our new location has been great. It is the first time we have been here in Lima. We have record attendance and a record number of exhibitors,” said Ryan McClure, president of the Ohio Pork Council. “The pork industry in the state of Ohio is very strong. We have grown substantially in the last few years.”

Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center in Lima allowed for expanded tradeshow space and more room for educational seminars. Attendees learned about a wide array of topics including risks of foreign animal diseases, nutrition, employee management, and animal care. 

“Ohio’s pork industry is full of great people who produce wholesome, high-quality pork for domestic and world markets,” McClure said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Record U.S. dairy exports in 2021

The industry’s decades of work led to a record year for U.S. dairy exports after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced record sales of $7.75 billion in 2021, accounting for over 17% of U.S. milk production. 

“The record demand for U.S. milk overseas in 2021 is a testament to the hard work and dedication of U.S. dairy farmers and the entire industry to making sure our high-quality, nutritious products feed the world as well as Americans,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “As we’ve said many times, exports represent the next frontier for U.S. dairy — it’s gratifying to see decades of effort bear fruit and only makes us more excited about the future successes ahead.”

Exports may have reached even higher levels had U.S. exporters not been battered by supply chain challenges that drove up costs and complexity of delivering dairy products to foreign customers.… Continue reading

Read More »

Beef exports shatter records and pork export value reaches new high

U.S. beef exports greatly exceeded previous volume and value records in 2021, surpassing $10 billion for the first time, according to year-end data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Pork exports finished slightly below the record volume reached in 2020 but set a new value record, topping $8 billion for the first time.

Broad-based growth for U.S. beef exports

December beef exports totaled 121,429 metric tons (mt), up 1% from a year ago, while value climbed 33% to $991.8 million — the third largest month on record. These results pushed 2021 volume to 1.44 million mt, up 15% from a year ago and 7% above the previous record set in 2018. Export value soared to $10.58 billion, up 38% from 2020 and shattering the previous record (also from 2018) by 27%. 

Beef exports to Korea, Japan and China/Hong Kong each exceeded $2 billion, setting new volume and value records in Korea and China/Hong Kong and a value record in Japan.… Continue reading

Read More »

Deadline extended to enroll in 2022 Dairy Margin Coverage and Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage

USDA has extended the deadline to enroll in Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) and Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage (SDMC) for program year 2022.  The deadline to apply for 2022 coverage is now March 25, 2022. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) opened DMC and SDMC signup in December 2021 to help producers manage economic risk brought on by milk price and feed cost disparities.

“Over the past two years, American dairy farmers have faced unprecedented uncertainty, from the ongoing pandemic to protracted natural disasters. As producers continue to manage these interconnected challenges, FSA has tools at the ready to provide critical support,” said Zach Ducheneaux, FSA Administrator. “We are encouraging dairy operations to take advantage of the extended deadline and join the 8,969 operations that have already enrolled for 2022 coverage. At 15 cents per hundredweight at the $9.50 level of coverage, DMC is a very cost-effective risk management tool for dairy producers.”

Enrollment for 2022 DMC is currently at 55% of the 2021 national program year enrollment.… Continue reading

Read More »

Stitzlein recognized with Ohio Pork Industry Excellence Award

By Matt Reese

Some people are people-people. 

Some people are livestock-people. 

Gary Stitzlein has proven to be both, which has served him well in his lifetime spent involved in and serving Ohio’s hog industry. It has also helped earn him the 2022 Ohio Pork Industry Excellence Award, which means he’s good-people, too.  

“Gary is very deserving of the award because he has been a leader in the industry and excels in many of the areas, whether it was working at the OSU swine barn, the outstanding job he did with judging, or his involvement with farmers across Ohio as he has worked for the Kalmbach organization,” said Dick Isler, former executive vice president of the Ohio Pork Producers Council. “He displays the leadership, personal qualities and traits of those who have received the award ahead of him.”

Stitzlein received a degree in agricultural education with a minor in animal science from The Ohio State University back in 1971.… Continue reading

Read More »

Changes in mandatory lamb checkoff collections at auction markets announced

While the American Lamb Checkoff rate is not changing, how the mandatory assessments are collected for animals sold through “market agencies” is changing. The change applies to animals sold through auctions, including sale barns, video/online sales, and sales at shows and fairs.

These auctions will now collect both live weight assessments and per head (first handler) assessments. The change was implemented in January, however the delayed enforcement date for submitting these assessments is March 22, 2022. This allows time for auctions to adjust their systems without a penalty for late payments. If a producer or feeder sells animals to a first handler and has already paid the checkoff at an auction, a refund will be issued. To receive a refund, documentation will be required from the time of sale.

The national lamb checkoff, directed by the American Lamb Board (ALB), is funded by mandatory assessments (checkoff) paid by all segments of the sheep industry.… Continue reading

Read More »

Cattle market outlook bright despite rising input costs

By Garth Ruff, Ohio State University Extension beef cattle field specialist

On Jan. 24, the OSU Beef Team was pleased to host a 2022 Beef Market Outlook meeting featuring Andrew Griffith, Associate Professor of Agriculture and Resource Economics at the University of Tennessee. He covered the usual supply, demand, and market projections as well as some insight to supply chain disruptions, input costs, and beef industry trends. This article will highlight some of the main points of Griffith’s talk which can be viewed in its entirety on the Beef Team YouTube channel at


Cow numbers are down, in large part due to long lasting drought that has gripped most of the country west of the Mississippi River. Heifer slaughter was up over 4% compared to 2020 and cull cow slaughter was up nearly 10% compared to the prior year. This reduction of the cow herd will allow for strong fed cattle and feeder prices “in 2022, 2023, and potentially in 2024 depending on heifer replacement rates,” Griffith said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Meatpacker investigation continues

The American Farm Bureau Federation sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, asking the Department of Justice to provide an update on its investigation into the meatpacking industry. The Department of Justice began an investigation after excessive volatility in the live and fed cattle markets caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

“With over 80% of the fed cattle market controlled by only four major packing companies, we are concerned about the control these firms have,” said Zippy Duvall, AFBF president. “We look forward to hearing from the Department of Justice regarding their investigation, so we can update Farm Bureau members and assure them that adequate government oversight is being conducted in the nation’s cattle markets, and that the markets remain fair for businesses, farmers and all American families.” 

Farm Bureau asked for a written update on the volatility in the live and fed cattle markets within 90 days.… Continue reading

Read More »

Cattlemen’s youth raise over $22,000 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 an online 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. 28, 2022. 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 Shawn Flarida, owner of Shawn Flarida Reiners, from Springfield, Ohio. Through donations from family, friends, their local community and members of OCA, youth participating in the Celebrity Showdown raised $8,334 for the show. 

The team that took the lead with fundraising was HR Cattle Company with $2,025 total raised. The other teams/participants with the highest fundraising numbers were Austin Sutherly with $1500; Jordan Flax and Sophie Wilson with $1,300; Lara, Lexi and Rylan Rittenhouse with $830; Ella and Emma Grimwood with $759; and Cassidy Harris, Annabelle Harris, Eli Creech, Andrew Johnson, Annabelle Johnson, Annie Johnson and Harper Creech with $500. … Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Sheep and Wool Program Proposal Funding Approved for Fiscal Year 2021-2022

By Roger A. High, executive director, Ohio Sheep and Wool Program

The Ohio Sheep and Wool Program (OSWP), Ohio’s sheep and wool check-off program, is investing over $60,000 in sheep and wool promotion, education, research, industry information, and producer and youth educational programs in fiscal year 2021-22. OSWP received 14 Requests for Proposals for fiscal year 2021-22, with seven of these proposals approved for full or partial funding by the board during its October meeting.

OSWP approved programs will benefit every segment of the Ohio sheep industry. Major educational programs funded include the Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium, Ohio Sheep Day, Young Shepherd’s Assembly, the Mid-Ohio Shepherd’s Group — Quarterly Mid-Ohio Shepherd’s Educational events, and other related programs and activities. 

Producer related programs include supporting a Young Entrepreneurs Educational Program, which includes funding for sheep producers to attend the Trailblazers Tour Industry Leadership School. The youth related program, the OSIA LEAD Council Buckeye Sheep Youth Expo, which is proposed as a major sheep industry youth educational activity in 2022.… Continue reading

Read More »

Muddy compacted pasture problems

By Erika Lyon, Ohio State University Extension, Jefferson and Harrison Counties

During the last couple of weeks in December and into early 2021, eastern Ohio saw warmer-than-usual temperatures and a lot of rain. What does this mean for our pastures and hay fields?

With rain comes the mud, and with mud often comes compaction. Compaction in forage crops often occurs withing the top 3-4 inches of soil, but it can also appear at deeper levels, forming “hard pans” that restrict the movement of water.

Compacted soils mean reduced pore space to house water and air — two important components of healthy soils. Nearly half of soils should consist of pore space, whether macro- or micro-pores to allow roots to develop deeper and water to better infiltrate downwards. Compaction can ultimately lead to increased drought and disease susceptibility of plants, even when it appears there is standing water in a field.… Continue reading

Read More »

2022 Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council Conference

The Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council Annual Conference will be held in-person on Feb. 18, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Beck’s Hybrids at 720 US 40 NE, London. The program theme is “Foraging for profit.” All Ohioans involved in forage production and feeding are invited to attend.

            The keynote speakers will be Greg Braun, Victor Shelton and Bob Hendershot. All three are retired NRCS Grassland Conservationists from Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio respectively. The program is being sponsored by the Logan County Land Trust with generous support from the James Forsythe Milroy Foundation. 

            Additional featured speakers include Marilia Chiavegato, assistant professor at Ohio State University and two of her students, Ricardo Ribeiro and Marina Miquilini, who will provide a University Forage Research Update. Several producer talks will also be presented including hay producer, Glen Courtright from South Charleston; dairy producer, Jason Hartschuh from Sycamore; and sheep and goat producer, Shawn Ray from Cumberland.… Continue reading

Read More »

Prop 12 delayed

Sacramento County Superior Court ruled to delay enforcement of Proposition 12 for pork retailers, including grocers.

With the approval of Proposition 12 in November of 2018, California voters approved a ballot measure changing production standards for meat, this time not just for the few remaining sow operations in the state, but for pork sold in the state. The proposition prohibits the sale of any uncooked pork in the state not meeting the new set of production standards spelled out in Proposition 12, whether raised there or outside its borders. The deadline was Jan. 1, 2022.

“AFBF is pleased the Sacramento County Superior Court recognized that the state of California has rushed implementation of Proposition 12 without clear rules on how it will be enforced. California voters were told the law would improve animal welfare and food safety, but it fails to accomplish either of those goals,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president.… Continue reading

Read More »

Farm Bureau seeks revision to Cattle Transparency Act

The American Farm Bureau Federation announced its support of the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act of 2021, with the exception of the bill’s establishment of mandatory minimums for negotiated purchases. 

AFBF delegates voted last week in Atlanta to revise 2022 Farm Bureau policy. While Farm Bureau supports robust negotiated sales, delegates voted to oppose government mandates that force livestock processing facilities to purchase a set percentage of their live animal supply via cash bids.

“AFBF appreciates the hard work that has been done on both sides of the issue to address the pressing needs facing America’s cattle industry,” said Zippy Duvall, AFBF president. “The Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act takes positive steps toward ensuring fairness for America’s farmers and ranchers as they work to feed this country’s families.

“We support the majority of this legislation, but we cannot support mandatory cash sales. We are committed to working with the sponsors of the bill to make revisions to ensure it aligns with the priorities outlined by our membership.” … Continue reading

Read More »

Meat exports staying strong

U.S. beef export value reached another new high in November, topping $1 billion for the second time in 2021, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). November pork exports were lower than a year ago, but year-to-date export value maintained a record pace at more than $7.5 billion.

November beef exports totaled 123,641 metric tons (mt), up 7% from a year ago and the fourth largest monthly volume in the post-BSE era. Export value was a record $1.05 billion, up 49% year-over-year and exceeding the previous high set in August 2021. For January through November, beef exports were on a record volume pace at 1.32 million mt, up 16% from a year ago. Beef export value, which had already set a new annual record through October, increased more than $2.5 billion from a year ago, soaring 39% to $9.59 billion. Beef exports to South Korea, China/Hong Kong and Central America have already set new annual records for both volume and value, while exports to Taiwan and the Dominican Republic reached new value records.… Continue reading

Read More »