Moving forward after HPAI confirmed in Ohio

By Matt Reese 

In September, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) was confirmed in Ohio. The virus was detected in a backyard flock in Ashland County and a 3 million-bird commercial chicken flock in Defiance County. HPAI has since been found in backyard flocks in Allen, Williams, Portage, and Summit counties. 

The positive detections were confirmed by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS). The samples were first tested at the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa. HPAI is a highly contagious virus that spreads quickly and can be fatal to flocks and devastating to poultry owners, both commercial and non-commercial. HPAI can infect poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, domestic ducks, geese, and guinea fowl) and is carried by free flying waterfowl such as ducks, geese, and shorebirds. The current cases have been introduced during the natural migration season. … Continue reading

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A look at fall calving

By Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, OSU Extension

Fall is my favorite time of the year, hay making is done, the feeder cattle are being marketed, college football is in full swing, and for some calving season is well underway.

This summer at our field day in Muskingum County we heard from a family who discussed incorporating a fall calving cow herd into their beef operation. While there are disadvantages to fall calving, there are several advantages that can be capitalized on if we can evaluate and adapt current production systems. Let’s look at how fall calving can be a viable and profitable system.

Cattle prices are seasonal 

As with most things in agriculture, supply and demand have a great impact on prices. Andrew Griffith from the University of Tennessee in 2017 analyzed several studies comparing spring and fall calving systems. After comparing the systems on a 205-day weaning age and two separate feed resource scenarios they concluded that even though spring-calving cows had heavier calves at weaning and lower feed costs than the fall-calving cows, the higher prices of steer and heifer calves captured by fall-born calves were able to cover the higher feed expenses and lighter weaning weights by the fall-born calves.… Continue reading

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USDA announces Dairy Margin Coverage Program

With rising costs eroding dairy margins despite high farm milk prices, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) is urging farmers to sign up for maximum 2023 coverage under USDA’s Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program, an important component of federal dairy risk-management programs supported by NMPF. 

USDA has announced that DMC signup began, with a deadline of Dec. 7. Despite record prices this year, accompanying record costs resulted in DMC payments for August for farmers enrolled at the maximum coverage level.

“The current combination of high prices with costs that can be even higher illustrates the basic value of DMC for producers who can benefit from the program,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “By calculating assistance via a margin rather than a target price, DMC offers a measure of protection against the current cost volatility that’s challenging many milk producers.”

Farmers should also consider signing up for federally backed risk-management programs appropriate to their operations, Mulhern said.… Continue reading

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Challenging hay quality in 2022

By Stan Smith, Ohio State University Extension

In a year like this when, according to the National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) estimates, barely half of Ohio’s first cutting hay harvest was completed by mid-June, it is apparent that Ohio cattlemen will again be faced with finding ways to make “feed” from forages that were harvested way past their prime.

As an example of the hay quality we are seeing, a recent forage analysis on some Fairfield County mixed grass hay that was mowed in mid-June and baled shortly after shows less than 7% crude protein and less than 40% TDN (total digestible nutrients) on a dry matter basis. I could tell you that’s not good feed, but perhaps a better way is to compare it to wheat straw. Book values I found for the feed nutrient content of wheat straw show a TDN of 43% and crude protein of 4.2% — not a lot different than the hay we tested.… Continue reading

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Ohio Hereford Futurity highlights Ohio genetics

On Sunday Oct. 2, Hereford breeders gathered at the Wayne Co. Fairgrounds. The Buckeye Hereford Association hosted the annual event which showcases Ohio bred seedstock. Judge Dillon Stertzbach of Louisville, Ohio evaluated 51 head of the finest Hereford stock from across the state.

2022 Ohio Hereford Futurity Champions

Grand Champion Female, Creek 109 747 Kaylee 040H, a September 2020 heifer sired CRR 719 Catapult 109 Bred & owned by Creek Bottom Farm, Navarre, Ohio

Reserve Champion Female Pugh Hawk Ms Monroe PK30 ET, a February 2022 heifer calf sired by UPS Sensation 2296 ET. Bred by Pugh Central Station, Louisville, Ohio & owned by Adrianna Brenner, Louisville, Ohio

Grand Champion Cow/Calf Pair: Wilson 60 Chill 128F, sired by Wilson 028X Jagger 60C, with an April heifer calf by Boyd 31Z Blueprint 6153. Pair bred and owned by Wilson Stock Farm, Kensington, Ohio. 

Reserve Champion Cow/Calf Pair: JTF08G Spring, sired by KCF Bennett Revolution X51 with an April steer calf by JLCS Z426 Step Ahead F30 ET. … Continue reading

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Supreme Court update on Prop 12 from NPPC

Take a listen to the audio recording for a full recap. 

Prefer to cut to the chase? NPPC review: “This is a historic day for American farmers. National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and American Farm Bureau Federation presented oral arguments on NPPC v. Ross before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of California Proposition 12. As we have contended since 2018, one state should not be able to regulate commerce in another state and set arbitrary standards that lack any scientific, technical, or agricultural basis. NPPC presented a strong case and is confident in its arguments presented to the Supreme Court Justices. We appreciate the support of the Biden Administration and look forward to the Court’s decision.” 

What’s the word on the street? 

ABC News: “An oral argument in the case NPPC v. Ross was scheduled for 70 minutes but stretched to nearly double that as a consequential debate played out, pitting California voters’ moral views against a critical national industry that feeds millions of Americans every year.”… Continue reading

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Beef Industry Fellowship Grant

A new opportunity is available for young cattlemen interested in becoming immersed in Ohio’s beef industry through advocacy and involvement. The Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF) is excited to announce the creation of the Beef Industry Fellowship (BIF) grant that will be awarded to two enthusiastic individuals who show promising leadership potential.   

The BIF grant is a $1,500 in-kind grant offered after recipients experience six specified industry events and volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Upon their involvement, they will receive the $1,500 grant which will be used toward registration and travel expenses associated with their trip to the 2024 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Convention in Orlando.   

 Any young cattle producer passionate about the industry is welcome to apply. No age restrictions are associated with the grant as long there is a need for the additional funds to help supplement industry involvement. The only requirements to apply are that the individual most own or be involved in a cattle operation in Ohio and can successfully complete the following experiences:   

 1.     … Continue reading

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Mobile meat slaughter in Ohio

By Matt Reese

From small-scale start-ups to large operations, there is not a shortage of people in Ohio interested in producing more livestock. There is, however, a well-documented shortage of meat processing capacity in Ohio.

A possible solution to this perpetual meat production bottleneck is mobile meat slaughter, which can offer a number of advantages, including a nimbler way to meet the strong and growing demand for local processing. 

But, technically and legally, is mobile meat slaughter even possible in Ohio?

To find an answer to this question Paul Dorrance, a producer consultant, author, speaker, and regenerative agriculture advocate from Ross County, teamed up with Angela Blatt with the Ohio Food Policy Network (OFPN), sustainable food system consultant Rachel Tayse, and the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet). For several years, Dorrance raised pasture-based livestock on a small farm and marketed directly to customers. In this venture he saw the limits to the potential for small farm livestock production on the processing side and the possibilities with a mobile meat slaughtering system.… Continue reading

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Beef industry scholarships available

Beef industry college students are encouraged to apply for one of over 20 scholarships available through the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF). These scholarships are administered with the goal of developing future leaders who will pursue careers for the betterment of Ohio’s beef industry.    

High school seniors and current college students enrolled in a two or four-year college or university studying a beef or agricultural related field are welcome to apply. Scholarship recipients will be awarded at the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s (OCA) Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet in January.    

Scholarships offered are as follows:   

Tagged for Greatness Scholarships 

Four $1,000 scholarships are offered through the Tagged for Greatness program where proceeds are generated from the sale of Ohio beef specialty license plates sold at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) office. 

Cattlemen’s Country Club Scholarships 

Four $1,000 scholarships will be awarded from funds raised at the Cattlemen’s Country Club putt-putt golf course at the 2022 Ohio State Fair.… Continue reading

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Ohioans getting some attention at World Dairy Expo

The winning Senior Three-Year-Old Cow, Ms. Triple-T Grateful-ET, took home Intermediate and Grand Champion titles at the 2022 International Junior Holstein Show at World Dairy Expo. Owner Colton Thomas of North Lewisburg, Ohio received the $500 Udder Comfort Grand Champion Cash Award and the Lillian & Keith King and Jim King Grand Champion of the Junior Show Award.  

Kiko Solo Jawdroping 1891-ET, owned by Elizabeth Kiko of Salem, Ohio, won the Winter Yearling Heifer Class and was later awarded the title of Junior Champion of the 2022 International Junior Holstein Show. With this honor, Jawdroping takes home the $250 Junior Champion of the Junior Show Cash Award, presented by Misty Meadow Dairy, the Hogan Family, of Tillamook, Oregon. Weigland Denver Athena-ET rose to the top of the Spring Heifer Calf Class before being named Reserve Junior Champion. Athena is owned by Ella, Adam and Claire Bindl of Plymouth, Wisconsin. 

Complete class results can be found at The… Continue reading

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Statewide sheep tour

A statewide sheep production tour of Knox, Licking, and Crawford Counties has been planned for Ohio Sheep Producers the weekend of Saturday, Oct. 15 and Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. This year’s tour is jointly sponsored by the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and Hardin County OSU Extension. Join us for a drive your own, sheep production tour focusing on dry lot/confinement sheep operations. There will be four tour stops on this year’s statewide tour, with each farm stop only being offered at the time listed.

The first farm stop will be at Cable Family Lamb Feedlot (10491 Canal Road, Hebron, Ohio 43025). This Licking County stop will be at 10:00 am Saturday, Oct. 15. The Dave Cable family is the host of this stop which includes a large contract lamb finishing feedlot in Ohio feeding several thousand lambs from all over the United States. This farm has more recently added a dry lot/confinement ewe flock to produce additional lambs for the Cable Farms feedlot.… Continue reading

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Turkey costs on the rise

Families can expect to pay record high prices at the grocery store for turkey this upcoming holiday season thanks to the impacts of the bird flu and inflation. American Farm Bureau Federation economists analyzed turkey and egg costs in their latest Market Intel. 

The retail price for fresh boneless, skinless turkey breast reached a record high of $6.70 per pound in September, 112% higher than the same time in 2021 when prices were $3.16 per pound. The previous record high price was $5.88 per pound in November 2015, during the 2015 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak.

Inflation is adding to the price hikes. All retail food prices were 11.4% higher in August compared to the same time last year. Despite the higher prices, there should be enough turkeys available for the Thanksgiving demand.

“All of us are feeling the pain of higher prices at the grocery store,” said Zippy Duvall, AFBF president.… Continue reading

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Amino acid supplement key to reproductive health in dairy

Lysine is an essential amino acid for dairy cows, helping boost milk production when added to the diet at adequate levels. But could lysine benefit cows in other ways? A new University of Illinois study shows rumen-protected lysine can improve uterine health if fed during the transition period.

“Right after calving, the uterus is undergoing a lot of changes. The cow had 100 pounds of calf, placenta, and fluids in there, but by 30 to 40 days after calving, the uterus has to shrink back down and get ready for the next pregnancy. There are a lot of cells regenerating, and the cow is potentially vulnerable to infection and inflammation at that time,” said Phil Cardoso, associate professor and faculty Extension specialist in the Department of Animal Sciences at U of I.

Cardoso and his team added a rumen-protected lysine product to total mixed ration (TMR) at 0.54% for 28 days pre-calving.… Continue reading

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Lamb and wine field night

By Brady Campbell, Ohio State University small ruminant Extension specialist

Shepherds, viticulturists, and foodies alike are welcome to join us for an evening in the vineyard to discuss how sheep and grapes can be compatible in vineyards and how lamb and wine can be compatible in the dining room. An introduction to grape production and challenges along with demonstrations of vineyard grazing, lamb preparation, wine tasting, and dinner will be included with registration for this event. The meal will consist of 4 to 5 cuts of lamb prepared during the live cooking demonstration, 5 Ohio grown wines, sides, and a dessert. The cost to attend this event is just $30 per person, payable to The Ohio State University, by Oct. 15, 2022. Be sure to register quickly as registration is limited.

The event will be held at The Ohio State University South Centers: 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon, OH 45661 from 2:00 p.m.… Continue reading

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Using cover crops with fall manure applications

By Greg LaBarge and Glen Arnold, Ohio State University Extension, Field Specialist, Manure Management

As corn silage harvest starts, livestock producers and commercial manure applicators will follow with fall manure applications. Manure should be incorporated with a toolbar at application or soon after application with tillage to keep nutrients in place. Incorporation works well to preserve P and K for future crops, but nitrogen is different. Nitrogen is initially retained in the soil but will leach through tile or volatilize into the air unless we capture it in a growing crop. Cover crops fit well in the role of N retention. Ohio edge-of-field research monitoring agricultural practice impacts shows a reduction of tile nitrate losses of 84% with cover crops. Plus, there is an added benefit of preventing soil erosion.

Cereal rye, wheat, and oats are common cover crops after manure application. However, farmers also use radishes, clover, annual ryegrass, Sudan grass, or almost species they are comfortable growing.… Continue reading

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Beef exports holding strong

U.S. beef exports again topped $1 billion in July and posted the fifth-largest volume on record, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Pork exports remained below last year’s pace but continued to gain strength in Colombia and the Caribbean and stayed above year-ago for Mexico, the leading destination for U.S. pork. 

Japan leads broad-based growth in July beef exports

July beef exports totaled 126,567 metric tons (mt), up 3% year-over-year. Export value increased 7% to $1.006 billion, topping the $1 billon mark for the sixth time this year. Japan was the pacesetter for July exports, but volumes also increased year-over-year to China/Hong Kong, the ASEAN region, Central America, the Caribbean and Colombia. July exports eased for South Korea and Taiwan, though both markets remain on a record pace in 2022.

For the first seven months of the year, beef exports increased 6% from a year ago to 870,471 mt, valued at $7.2 billion (up 29%).… Continue reading

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Feeding fish with Ohio soy

By Matt Reese

In Ohio farm country it is no secret many people likely enjoy a higher percentage of meat, eggs, and dairy in their diets than other segments of our agriculture society. The foods raised by Ohio agriculture feed the people of Ohio agriculture. Often overlooked though, on rural Ohio farms, are fish.

“The average person in the U.S. only eats around 17 pounds of seafood per year, even though recommendations for a healthy heart are more than triple that number,” said Matt Smith, program director, aquaculture Extension, Madison County Extension Office. “There is probably a local seafood farmer near you — shop local.”

Even if it has scales and gills instead of hooves, aquaculture is a growing part of domestic agriculture.

“There are some segments of U.S. aquaculture that are exploding in growth. In particular, our coastal states are seeing significant growth in shellfish production. There are well over 1,500 shellfish farmers now along the East Coast.… Continue reading

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Winterizing your grazing plans

By Victor Shelton, Retired NRCS Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

Some people try to make pasture management a lot more difficult than needed. I think sometimes it is more about how it is perceived in the eyes of the beholder. Some might think that a pasture that is grazed evenly to the ground, all the time, means that no forage was lost – no.  Some might think that mowing it frequently and making it look like a prime horse pasture behind a fancy fence is ideal – maybe. It is really about the management of the forage to achieve the goals of production, forage quality and numerous added benefits that benefit erosion, soil biology, and usually also wildlife.

Anytime you can keep something simple it is usually best.  I’ve been to several events this summer and had similar questions asked to me that can be summed up as, “What are the basic rules of good pasture management?”… Continue reading

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Twilight Tour brings community together to support dairy

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

The sun was just beginning its descent as car after car pulled into a gravel driveway. Local FFA members pointed drivers toward an alfalfa field, a makeshift parking lot for a big event. A tractor with a wagon made its way down rows of cars, picking up the guests. After everyone loaded, the driver took his passengers to the top of a hill overlooking a farm. 

Guests were instantly greeted by the sights and sounds of a working dairy farm. For many of the youth, and probably even some adults, it was the first time they’ve ever seen a cow up close.

While it’s certainly easy to take for granted the little things, it’s equally as easy to take for granted the big things, like knowing where our food comes from. That’s why events like the Twilight Dairy Tour are so important. 

The Twilight Dairy Tour is an annual event hosted by the Wayne-Ashland Dairy Service Unit, in conjunction with the Ohio State University Extension.… Continue reading

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