Learn about horse forage in a virtual course

Between January and March in 2022, Ohio State University Extension will be offering Forages for Horses as a virtual course. One live webinar will be offered per month along with “work at your own pace” materials that accompany each webinar. The Forages for Horses program is a collaboration between Ohio State University Extension, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and the Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council.

Each webinar will be offered live on Zoom at 7 p.m. and feature presentations in a 90-minute span. Attendees will be able to interact with the speakers and ask questions in real time. Once registered, attendees will be granted access to the full online course including the webinars and complementary resources. Participants that attend all three webinars will have the opportunity to earn a certificate of completion. Registered participants will also receive a USB drive of the full course manual (digital version) by mail.… Continue reading

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Nigeria opens market to some U.S. pork

The United States now can export sausage and similar products to Nigeria, which announced it is partially opening its market to U.S. pork. The National Pork Producers Council welcomed the move by the West African nation.

“Nigeria has the largest GDP of any African country, with a population of just over 211 million, we are excited to be the first U.S. protein to be allowed access to the Nigerian market,” said Jen Sorenson. NPPC president. “NPPC thanks the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for their efforts to reach an agreement that allows the U.S. pork industry to provide affordable, wholesome and nutritious products to Nigerian consumers.”

While other U.S. pork products — and beef and poultry — remain ineligible to be exported to Nigeria, NPPC is optimistic that the country’s partial opening will lead to more access for the U.S. pork industry.… Continue reading

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Will Prop 12 make it to the Supreme Court?

As the U.S. Supreme Court held a conference to decide which cases it will hear during the remainder of its current term, including the National Pork Producers Council-American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) challenge to California’s Proposition 12, Iowa Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst weighed in on so-called animal welfare initiative.

Prop. 12, which took effect Jan. 1, bans the sale in California of pork from hogs born to sows raised anywhere in the world in housing that does not meet the state’s arbitrary standards. Grassley penned an op-ed on the measure for the Des Moines Register, and Ernst issued a press release, decrying the “overreaching and unconstitutional” policy. Both urged the Supreme Court to take the NPPC-AFBF case and strike down Prop. 12. In August, the senators introduced the Exposing Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act, which would prohibit state and local governments from creating laws affecting the production and manufacture of agricultural products from other states that exceed existing federal, state and local regulations.… Continue reading

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Cold weather and cattle

 By Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

Factors that create stress during the winter months are cold, wind, snow, rain and mud. The primary effect on animals is due to temperature. All these factors alter the maintenance energy requirement of livestock. Maintenance requirement can be defined, as the nutrients required for keeping an animal in a state of balance so that body substance is neither gained or lost. An interesting thing to note is that while energy requirements increase, protein requirements remain the same.

Some published sources contain nutrient requirements for beef cattle that include guidelines for adjusting rations during winter weather. Even without published sources, competent livestock producers realize the need for more feed during cold weather. Make sure that water is available. If water is not supplied, cattle will reduce feed intake.

Daily dry matter intake of beef cows with respect to lower temperatures

Temp, F< 55-2222-4159-77
Intake, % Change1.

The metabolic response to the stimulus of cold involves practically all the systems of the body.… Continue reading

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OCA BEST program’s Celebrity Showdown coming up later this month

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s (OCA) Beef Exhibitor Show Total (BEST) program will co-host the annual Celebrity Showdown in conjunction with the Clark County Cattle Battle on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022 at 6 p.m. at the Champion’s Center in Springfield, Ohio. The celebrity judge for 2022 is Shawn Flarida, owner of Shawn Flarida Reiners.   

Flarida was inducted into the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Hall of Fame in 2011 and set a record as the first rider ever to reach $6 Million in earnings. He credits many of his accomplishments to his parents, his family and to the talented horses and their owners. Most recently, Flarida was Reserve Champion in the Run for a Million, hosted by Taylor Sheridan. Taylor is also the executive producer of the hit show Yellowstone and The Last Cowboy. Flarida and his family were featured on the last few episodes of The Last Cowboy.    

BEST exhibitors will have the opportunity to dress up their cattle and exhibit them in front of Flarida by raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of central Ohio.… Continue reading

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India to open market for U.S. pork

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) applauded the U.S. and Indian government’s announcement to allow imports of U.S. pork and pork products into India, the world’s second-most populous nation.

“After decades of work, a market that had been closed to U.S. pork is being opened,” said Jen Sorenson, NPPC president. “NPPC thanks the Biden administration for reaching an agreement with India on market access for our products. We look forward to the new access, which will allow us to provide affordable, wholesome and nutritious U.S. pork products to consumers in India.”

India, which had a de facto ban on U.S. pork, has a population of 1.26 billion, meaning the potential market opportunity is significant. The agreement with the United States sets the stage for larger trade discussions.

In June 2019, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative terminated India’s participation in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which provides developing countries beneficial access to the U.S.… Continue reading

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Ohio Pork Congress moves to Lima for 2022

Ohio Pork Congress offers fresh, new vibes in 2022 at a new location. The event will take place Feb. 8 and 9, 2022, at the Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center in Lima. The Ohio Pork Council invites all producers and members of the pork industry to attend. 

Steve Lerch, former Google executive, will provide the keynote address and share his insight into the topics of digital issues, consumer behavior, and innovation. In addition, Ohio Pork Congress includes educational seminars, the largest pork-specific tradeshow in the Mid-East, and recognition of industry leaders as well as opportunity to support the Friend of Pork PAC. Registration information is available here: 

“I encourage all pork producers and allied industry members to attend Ohio Pork Congress,” said Ryan McClure, Ohio Pork Council president and producer from Paulding County. “I am eager to see friends new and old to reconnect. So much is happening in our industry, the educational seminars and our keynote speaker will provide valuable guidance to producers who continue to navigate some choppy waters.” … Continue reading

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OCA celebrates award winners

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) held their Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on Jan. 8, 2022 at the Hilton Columbus/Polaris. Cattlemen and women from across the state gathered to engage in important association business, hear updates from many industry affiliates and celebrate those excelling throughout the industry.

The day was made possible by the following sponsoring partners: Ag Credit, Alltech, COBA/Select Sires, Heartland Feed Services, Nutrena, Ohio Angus Association and Olde Wood Ltd.

Following lunch was OCA’s Annual Meeting where board president, Tom Karr of Meigs County, lead his first meeting as president of the association.

The first order of business was awarding the association’s Top Hand members. The OCA Top Hands are awarded for recruiting five or more members throughout the year. This year’s awards were sponsored by Purina and Quality Liquid Feeds. The following were the Top Hands for 2021:

Frank Phelps was the top recruiter with 15 memberships, John Ferguson followed with 11 memberships, Pam Haley, and Sarah Ison with 10 memberships, Lindsey Hall, six memberships, and Glen Feichtner, Jim Jepsen, Linde Sutherly, Becky Vincent, Kelvin Egner, Luke Vollborn, Tom Karr, Aaron Arnett, Kim Herman, Sasha Rittenhouse and Stan Smith all with five memberships.… Continue reading

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A legislative update for OCA

By Dale Minyo and Matt Reese

President Joe Biden’s recent announcement and discussion regarding his Administration’s work to boost competition and reduce prices in the meat-processing industry was top of mind for many at the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet this weekend. 

At the Awards Banquet, attendees heard from Ethan Lane, the Vice President of Government Affairs at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association who talked about some of the key recent developments for the beef industry at the federal level, including work from the Biden Administration.

“There is a lot to like here, but a lot of what we just heard from the Administration was not new. They have restated this stuff several times over the course of the year. The “Product of the USA” labeling items they’ve been working on, we petitioned them last year to do that. They took action on it over the summer. They have been moving forward on that.… Continue reading

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Biden taking a look at meat pricing

Early this month, President Joe Biden met virtually with farmers and ranchers to discuss his Administration’s work to boost competition and reduce prices in the meat-processing industry, where corporate consolidation has, in part, led to rising prices for consumers and lower farm earnings. 

The President explained that under his July Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, the Administration has been focused on tackling the lack of competition in agricultural markets. A small handful of meatpackers control the majority of the markets for beef, pork, and poultry, enabling them to squeeze farmers and ranchers while also raising prices on consumers.

“Four big corporations control more than half the markets in beef, pork, and poultry. These middlemen buy from farmers and ranchers and sell the processed product to grocery stores. That’s the way it works,” Biden said. “Without meaningful competition, farmers and ranchers don’t get to choose who they sell to. Or put another way, our farmers and ranchers have to pay whatever these four big companies say they have to pay, by and large. But… Continue reading

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Questions a plenty going forward with cattle prices

By Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, Ohio State University Extension

What is driving recent cash fed cattle higher prices at auction? What is the cattle market going to look like in 2022?  Those have been common questions as of late, especially after record setting fed cattle auction prices during the first week of December at several Ohio auction markets.

Auction price dynamics

As we know in agriculture, the law of supply and demand still has a great impact on commodity prices. Let’s talk about demand first.

We often do not know, especially with regards to fed cattle is the balance between supply and demand of a given packer on a given harvest day. For a plant to operate efficiently, it needs to operate at capacity to cover fixed costs associated with daily operations.

From the supply side of things, most packers fill a day’s harvest with a combination of cattle that are forward contracted, negotiated or formula priced, and cattle purchased on the cash market.… Continue reading

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Pork industry grooms future leaders

The National Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board have kicked off the 2022 class of Pork Leadership Institute (PLI), a jointly funded and organized training curriculum designed to develop future leaders for the U.S. pork industry.

The comprehensive, year-long program consists of five learning sessions, running from February to November. Selected participants are educated on the legislative and regulatory processes, the importance of international trade, the roles of the national pork organizations and their state pork associations, and the issues facing producers. They also are trained to be spokespeople for the pork industry and grassroots activists able to disseminate pro-active, targeted messages about the industry. 

“PLI is vital to the success of pork producers because it develops knowledgeable advocates for the pork industry and, most importantly, future industry leaders,” said Bryan Humphreys, NPPC CEO. “PLI graduates are able to tell the pork industry’s story from Main Street to the nation’s capital.… Continue reading

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New grant program seeks to boost Ohio meat processing capacity

By Matt Reese

Local processing capacity has long been a challenge for Ohio’s livestock producers. The issue has been really brought to the forefront since March of 2020 and the onset of the pandemic. A new Ohio Meat Processing Grant Program will help address the issue. The first come, first serve application process opened up in December for grants of up to $250,000 for Ohio livestock and poultry processors to expand and improve operations. 

“This program provides grants of up to $250,000 to Ohio livestock and poultry processors so they can implement processing efficiencies, expand or construct facilities at existing sites, assist in training and certification, and improve harvest services,” said Brandon Kern, senior director of state and national policy for Ohio Farm Bureau. “We were really successful at the state level in Ohio this year getting some financial resources into the budget bill to help small and medium meat processors to be able to expand their facilities and their capacity in a new grant program that just went live.… Continue reading

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Does stockpiling pay?

By Chris Penrose, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Morgan County

For much of my career, I have worked with colleagues to try to figure out the best ways to reduce costs of feeding our cattle during the winter. I am still convinced that along with grazing corn fields after harvest, stockpiling grass, especially fescue is a great option. The how, when and what to do stockpiling grass is where it becomes “fuzzy.” From a scientific standpoint, after 32 years of various stockpiling research, all I can really say with statistical confidence today is that adding nitrogen will increase yields. Can adding a nitrogen stabilizer help? Maybe. Will urea volatize if it does not receive a half of rain within 48 hours? Maybe but likely not as much as we thought. Will adding nitrogen increase protein? Maybe but it likely depends on how soon the grass is fed and do the cattle really need the increased protein?… Continue reading

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Chinese pork tariff to increase Jan. 1

China’s most favored nation (MFN) duty on frozen pork will revert to 12% Jan. 1. The tariff had been temporarily reduced to 8% Jan. 1 of last year because the country’s domestic pork production was suffering from the effects of African swine fever. In addition to the MFN duty, U.S. pork is subject to a 25% retaliatory tariff, a response to U.S. duties on Chinese steel and aluminum imports. The National Pork Producers Council is working with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Commerce Department to remove the retaliatory tariffs on U.S. pork.… Continue reading

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OCA elects new board members, officers and executive committee

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) recently held elections for directors in districts 2,5,8, 11 and one at-large position. The new board then held a meeting on Dec. 7 to elect the association’s officers for 2022. 

 The newly elected board members are Andy Lohr, district 2, and Jason Dagger, district 5.      

 Andy Lohr is from Bucyrus. Lohr and his wife, Tonya, run a 100-head cow/calf operation and feed out all their own calves, as well as purchase extra feeders throughout the year. They also raise 1,400 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and hay.      

The family recently opened the Center Street Meat Company in Bucyrus. The lack of harvest facilities during COVID created the push to establish the business, but it was the tremendous community support for it that helped create a strong demand for retail and custom orders. The business is owned by Lohr and his wife and their two children, Jake and Jessica, and son-in-law, Mitch.    … Continue reading

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Mahoning County livestock escapes appear to be malicious

By Matt Reese

In what appears to be more than coincidental livestock escapes, multiple animals have been killed, people have been injured and there has been significant property damage in northeast Ohio. It seems as if trespassers are releasing livestock.

On the evening of Nov. 30, 2021, 12 horses escaped from a Mahoning County farm and there were three separate traffic accidents killing three of the horses. Injuries were reported for a driver and passenger in one of the vehicles that struck one of the horses, according to the Jackson Township fire department. The other nine escaped horses were corralled by police and returned to the farm.

“I live in North Jackson. I was at the school and heading home. They had shut down Mahoning Avenue and we had to go around. We could see one of the cars that hit the horse. It definitely looked like a lot of damage, but it sounded like everyone was OK,” said Jennifer Pemberton, Mahoning County Farm Bureau president.… Continue reading

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USDA provides additional assistance to hog producers 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new program to assist hog producers who sold hogs through a negotiated sale during the period in which these producers faced the greatest reduction in market prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program (SMHPP) is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative and addresses gaps in previous assistance for hog producers. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept applications Dec. 15, 2021 through Feb. 25, 2022.   

SMHPP provides assistance to hog producers who sold hogs through a negotiated sale from April 16, 2020 through Sept. 1, 2020. Negotiated sale, or negotiated formula sale, means a sale of hogs by a producer to a packer under which the base price for the hogs is determined by seller-buyer interaction and agreement on a delivery day. USDA is offering SMHPP as packer production was reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic due to employee illness and supply chain issues, resulting in fewer negotiated hogs being procured and subsequent lower market prices.  

“Previous pandemic assistance used flat rates across the hog industry, and this didn’t take into account the various levels of harm felt by different producers,” said Zach Ducheneaux, FSA Administrator.… Continue reading

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OCA’s Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet to be held Jan. 8

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will host their Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on Saturday, Jan, 8, 2022 at the Hilton Columbus/Polaris. OCA members are encouraged to attend and participate in important discussion that will establish the association’s top priorities for the year and celebrate fellow cattlemen on their achievements.

The day will begin with lunch and a legislative briefing from Ethan Lane, vice president of government affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), to present an overview of policy priorities for NCBA and OCA. 

Following lunch will be OCA’s Annual Meeting sponsored by Heartland Feed Services – a joint venture of Mercer Landmark and Sunrise Co-Op. Members will set policy for 2022 and hear program and policy updates presented by representatives from state government and The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

After policy priorities have been set for the year the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation will host a meeting to present over 20 scholarships to future leaders of Ohio’s beef industry.… Continue reading

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A tradition of sheep, a legacy of stewardship

By Matt Reese, Kim Lemmon and Kolt Buchenroth

It has certainly not been easy, but Roger and Jan Cox have quietly worked together over many years to build a successful sheep operation and a family legacy. They are the 2021 Charles Boyles Master Shepherd Award winners. 

“This award has been given since 1987. It is named after Charles Boyles who was the farm manager of the sheep and beef facilities at Caldwell Research Station for many years. This is the highest recognition the Ohio sheep industry awards,” said Roger High, Executive Director of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and Ohio Sheep and Wool Program. “It is an honor to be able to recognize shepherds who are certainly deserving of this.”

With a clear dedication to excellence, the couple has been able to accomplish much on their Morrow County crop and livestock operation.

“They are successful because of their teamwork,” said Dale Davis, a Southdown breeder from Morrow County.… Continue reading

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