USDA accepting applications to nominate future American Lamb Board members

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service is accepting applications from organizations representing lamb producers, seedstock producers, feeders or first handers interested in nominating future members to the American Lamb Board. Applications are due by March 7.

The primary considerations in determining the eligibility of state, regional or national organizations to participate in nominating individuals for board membership are:

  • the membership of the organization consists primarily of producers, seedstock producers, feeders or first handlers who market or handle a substantial quantity of lamb or lamb products; and
  • a primary purpose of the organization is in the production or marketing of lamb or lamb products.

Any organization or association that wants to be certified to nominate board members must complete an application found at Upon review of the application, USDA will notify the organization or association whether or not it has been certified.

Organizations currently certified do not need to reapply.… Continue reading

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Manure plot drag line research results

The 2015 growing season was the 2nd year for a corn post-emergent drag hose study at the OARDC Northwest branch at Holtville. The purpose of this plot is to determine how far along in development the corn crop can be before the damage from a drag hose would rule out sidedressing emerged corn with livestock manure. A 15 foot long drag hose filled with water was used for this study.

The six-inch diameter drag hose was pulled across each plot twice (going in opposite directions) at corn vegetative growth stages one through five (stage five was not completed in 2015 due to excessive rainfall). The tractor speed was approximately 4 miles per hour. The plot was replicated four times in a randomized block design.

The 2014 plot experienced an unusually dry growing season, especially in the weeks following the drag hose treatments. Total precipitation received by this plot from planting until October 1st was 11.62 inches.… Continue reading

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Control erosion and prevent fertilizer loss

Fertilizers can leave a field by several different routes. The route most beneficial to the crop is, of course, uptake and removal by the crop. Unfortunately there are other, less beneficial, routes for fertilizer to leave a field including through soil erosion. Most nutrients applied to the soil erode off of the field when soil is moved by wind or water. That soil, and its attached nutrients, can be deposited in surface waters causing a number of water quality issues. This can be prevented through erosion management and conservation practices. It is a landowner’s job to work towards preventing erosion that leads to water quality problems.

There are several erosion management practices that utilize vegetation to trap soil and prevent it from reaching surface water. Vegetative conservation practices can be placed in a production field, around the perimeter, or away from the field near sensitive areas such as rivers and streams.… Continue reading

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Ohio Pork Congress highlights

Exhibitors were overflowing the booth space and attendees crowded the hallways at the 2016 Ohio Pork Congress. Attendees got to hear from Jarred Sutton with the National Pork Board about the work going on at the national level to promote pork.

“The production and expansion of our industry is hitting record numbers and we had a pretty good slow down in our international marketing due to the strength of the U.S. dollar and the challenges with the West Coast ports. Exports were up around 27% of our production and had dropped down to 20% or 21%, but it has ticked back up. We are looking for around 25% in 2016 and we’ll continue to build on that. Our focus is on Asia and Latin America. Those are growing economies with a demand for pork,” Sutton said. “Domestically our demand has held strong. Our team has worked really hard to promote the product and make sure our consumers know they have a great quality product as an option for dinner tonight.… Continue reading

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Annual Taste of Elegance highlights pork

Chef Drew Patterson of the Wexner Medical Center took top honors at the Ohio Pork Council’s Taste of Elegance Chefs Competition and Legislative Reception on February 9 at the Doubletree in Columbus, earning the coveted Chef Par Excellence award.

Chef Brian Dematteo of the Refectory Restaurant and Bistro in Columbus was named Superior Chef while Matthew Langstaff of Prohibition Gastro Lounge in Powell was selected Premier Chef. Langstaff also earned the People’s Choice Award.

This year each of the three chefs prepared an appetizer and entrée featuring pork. Judging the event were Chef Alfonso Contrisciani, CMC, Executive Chef, Culinary Operations, Hocking College; Chef Hubert Seifert SPAGIO Restaurant and Wine Lounge and Aubergine Private Dinner Club; and Chef Melissa Meola, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and 2015 Chef Par Excellence.

In keeping with the tradition, A Taste of Elegance’s evening began with guests receiving white gloves and a pork chop. After sampling assorted cheeses and appetizers, they were invited to taste samples from each of the chef’s menu.… Continue reading

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Meat exports mixed in December

U.S. pork exports posted a strong finish in 2015 as December volume was the largest since April and the third-largest of the year, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports were below year-ago levels in December and posted the first full-year value decline since 2009.

December exports of U.S. pork were up 3% from a year ago to 188,410 metric tons (mt). Export value was $468.9 million, down 13% from a year ago but the highest since May. For the full calendar year, pork exports were down 2% from a year ago in volume (2.13 million mt) and 16% lower in value ($5.58 billion). Pork muscle cut exports increased 3% in volume (1.7 million mt) while falling 15% in value ($4.77 billion), but pork variety meat exports declined significantly in both volume (434,661 mt, down 17%) and value ($808.4 million, down 22%).… Continue reading

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Marines, manufacturing and hogs: An unlikely career path for the Swine Manager of the Year

In 2007, Bruce King hated going to work.

He made good money in the manufacturing sector, and he wasn’t really looking for a different job, but he wasn’t really not looking either.

“I hated Sunday nights because I knew I had to go to work the next morning. I felt trapped there,” King said of his manufacturing job in Mansfield.

He had grown up helping on area farms some in the summer during high school. After high school he served in the Marine Corps before working at the factory for 15 years. He lived with his family in Lucas, just east of Mansfield and he certainly had never considered a career in the field of agriculture, until a want ad for a sow unit manager at nearby Oberholtzer Hog Corporation caught his attention.

“I called about the ad and when I went to the farm I realized right away that was where I belonged,” King said.… Continue reading

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Is “fat” a four-letter word?

Is fat a bad word? Not necessarily. Simply put, fat is just the body’s storage form of energy. If an animal consumes more energy than it uses, the excess calories will be stored as fat — money in the bank to be used in an energy shortage (think cows calving in late winter). Fat also imparts flavor to food (like a T-bone steak) but it also adds calories. So managing fat can be a delicate issue in the cattle business.

Presently, eating quality of beef is estimated to a large degree by the amount of marbling (intramuscular fat) that it contains. Tenderness is also important but is generally a function of age (younger is better). Marbling generally increases after the animal attains some maturity and external fattening has occurred. External fat is frequently used as an indication of when cattle will have enough marbling to grade choice or prime. I know what you are thinking — why don’t we just measure marbling?… Continue reading

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Warm winter could lead to parasite increase in sheep and goats

Recent mild weather has set the stage for what could be a significant infestation of potentially deadly parasites in sheep and goats this spring, according to a Purdue Extension expert.

Mark Kepler, Extension educator in Fulton County and a goat producer, said the barber pole worm, the most common internal parasite among small ruminants, lays its eggs around the time of lambing and kidding, typically in late winter and early spring.

Kepler said the parasite eggs survive longer on warmer ground, increasing the chances they hatch and develop into worms to infest animals.

“At kidding and lambing time, the potential worm load is a lot greater,” Kepler said. “It is a killer. The eggs are excreted and after hatching they climb up a blade of grass to be consumed, affecting the animal. In usual springtime conditions, the process proceeds quickly.”

Most lambs and kids are turned out to pasture when the weather warms.… Continue reading

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Ohio ranch serves as National Guard training ground

In August of 2000 Dickinson Cattle Co. in Belmont County was approached by director (CW4) Harold F. Nicley of the West Virginia Army National Guard Company C, 2nd Battalion 104th Aviation to provide trespassing for men, equipment and aircraft for reconnaissance to the 28th Infantry Div. Mechanized.  The unit was made up of 36 aviators with 17 aircraft, 11 UH-1 Huey Utility, six OH-58 Scout Reconnaissance helicopters and numerous UH-60 Black Hawks.

CW4 Nicley had been searching for a large land area where West Virginia National Guard aircraft could land and take off without disturbing local residents. Other large land owners were reluctant due to the liability of a crash/fire event and the possibility of stampeding cattle.

“We didn’t know how the Texas Longhorn Cattle would respond to the low flying and loud Black Hawks, so we had to test them,” said Joel Dickinson, the ranch owner.

Nicley and Aviator Lt.… Continue reading

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The basics of phosphorous in sensitive watersheds

Phosphorous (P) is a primary plant nutrient. It stimulates root, flower, fruit development and overall crop maturity. P is necessary for energy transfer and the formation of RNA and DNA. Most plants require additional phosphorous during cold weather, in areas of limited root growth, during rapid vegetative growth, and since phosphorus is very reactive, in highly calcareous or acid soils because of tie-up with other elements such as calcium or, in the case of acid soils, aluminum and iron.

Because phosphorus is reactive, it quickly forms compounds with other elements in the soil. Therefore, phosphorous has been thought of as immobile, and not leachable. However, it is being discovered that P does move, at least through macro pores, wormholes and cracks, as well as possibly making its way to drainage tiles and ditches.

Two forms of P can leave the field: Soluble phosphorous is lost with water runoff; insoluble (or particulate) phosphorous is lost with erosion.… Continue reading

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Update of dairy judging and Dairy Palooza

The OSU Dairy Judging Team of Laura Bond, Colton Harstine, Ella Jackson, and Meghan Sanders participated in the contest located at the Fort Worth Stock Show in Texas on Sunday, January 17.  The team finished 2nd in the Jersey breed and Ella Jackson was 5th high individual overall.  She also placed in the top 5 in two breeds, as well as 3rd high individual in reasons.  With 15 participating teams, this winter destination continues to grow in popularity! The trip also included many locations of cultural interest and visits to dairy farms who offered classes for us to evaluate.  Both also had active niche market businesses and shared their expertise on this topic.

The Animal Science Recognition banquet will be held on April 2 at the Ohio 4-H Center on campus (click here for reservation form).  This year, we will be recognizing the 50, 25, and 10 year anniversary teams. … Continue reading

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Avian influenza in southern Indiana not affecting grocery prices

Avian influenza that led to the culling of 414,000 turkeys and chickens at southern Indiana commercial poultry farms is having little effect on prices of turkey and eggs at grocery stores, a Purdue University agricultural economist says.

Estimates of quarterly prices show changes by plus or minus 1%, which are within fluctuations normally seen in these markets, Philip Paarlberg said.

“With these price changes there will be very little impact on consumers,” he said. “At least that is how it stands now.”

Some countries have restricted imports of poultry and poultry products following the Jan. 15 announcement of confirmation that highly pathogenic avian influenza infected a southern Indiana poultry flock. Canada has recognized the established control zones in accordance with the zoning agreement with the United States. Mexico, Japan and Cuba have restricted Indiana poultry products while the European Union has U.S. county-level restrictions. South Korea has imposed restrictions on the entire United States.… Continue reading

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OCA youth hold 4th Annual Celebrity Showdown to benefit Make-A-Wish

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association BEST Program for youth ages 8-21 years will host the BEST Celebrity Showdown at the Clark County Cattle Battle to benefit Make-A-Wish. The event, in its fourth year, will be held on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, at the Champions Center in Springfield, Ohio.

BEST youth will participate in this year’s battle, dressing up their cattle and presenting it to judges from the Harmony Township Fire Department. Through donations from family, friends, the community and members of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, youth participating in the Celebrity Showdown hope to raise $16,000 to help grant the wishes of local children battling life-threatening medical conditions. In the past three years, BEST participants raised more than $40,000.

Incentive prizes will be awarded to the top fundraisers at the OCA BEST Program Banquet on May 7, 2016. Donations to Make-A-Wish will continue to be accepted after the Celebrity Showdown until the BEST Banquet.… Continue reading

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Noteworthy rule changes for showing livestock in 2016

Unfortunately there were five Ohio Department of Agriculture investigations regarding livestock exhibition in 2015, up from three in 2014. In response to these types of problems, it seems that rulebooks get a bit thicker every year with regard to showing livestock and this year there will be some notable changes.

State Veterinarian Tony Forshey recently talked about some rule changes for showing livestock at 2016 fairs.

“The Livestock Exhibition Committee met in late October and we discussed several things. One of them was drenching. We have had a lot of complaints asking why drenching is only applicable to lambs. We passed a new rule and now drenching is not allowed with any livestock unless directed by a veterinarian,” Forshey said. “Drenching applies to any substance applied in any way. It will prohibit bottle-feeding of lambs. That is crucial. These lambs really shouldn’t be on bottles at that age and weight anyway.”… Continue reading

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What you need to know about water quality regulations

Who needs to be certified?

By the law and regulations created with the passage of Senate Bill 150 in 2014 anyone in Ohio who applies fertilizer to 50 acres or more must be certified. This law applies to fertilizer (material having an analysis). If it’s manure, lime or other farm residue, you do not need to be certified by this law.

If all of your crop goes through an animal before it leaves the farm, you don’t need to be certified, but I think it’s a good idea if you do go to the class and get certified anyway.


How do you get certified?

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will certify applicators in Ohio. If you are a Licensed Pesticide Applicator in Ohio, you attend a two-hour meeting and fill in and sign the attendance form. Ohio State University personnel supply the education for this class. We hope you pay attention and actually learn something.… Continue reading

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Ohio Pork Congress welcomes Tri-State Housing Conference

New to the 2016 Ohio Pork Congress is the addition of the Tri-State Sow Housing conference, hosted by The Ohio State University, Michigan State University and Purdue University. This special symposium on Tuesday, Feb. 9, is designed as an educational opportunity for producers, focused on one of the pork industry’s most widely debated animal welfare topics — sow housing.

“As many producers are beginning the transition to group housing, it is the goal of the Tri-State Sow Housing Conference and the hosting universities to support the swine industry by expanding knowledge on options for housing systems and provide educational resources to make the transition from stalls to groups economically successful,” said Monique Pairis-Garcia, Assistant Professor Animal Well-being and Behavior, The Ohio State University. “We look forward to the opportunity to interact with producers across state lines and learn from global leaders in the industry.”
The day-long conference will feature presentations and discussions led by experts representing various facets of the swine industry.
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Dairy promotion leadership elected for 2016

The Board of Directors for the American Dairy Association Mideast, the dairy promotion checkoff program serving nearly 2,700 dairy farmers in Ohio and West Virginia, re-elected their 2016 officers during their annual reorganization meeting. Officers are:

  • Chair — Earl Stitzlein of Loudonville, Ohio
  • Vice Chair — Chuck Moellendick of Pleasantville, Ohio
  • Secretary — Greg Conrad of New Holland, Ohio
  • Treasurer — Carol Losey of East Liberty, Ohio.

The leadership team, along with 11 other dairy farmer board members, set policy and approve program direction and budgets to help increase sales and demand for dairy products and protect the image of dairy foods and farmers.

Programs focus on building trust and sales in dairy foods, creating lifelong dairy consumers, and advancing innovation through partnerships with industry leaders.

ADA Mideast is one of 18 state and regional dairy-farmer funded promotion organizations that work with Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national dairy checkoff program and is funded by the United Dairy Industry Association (UDIA) and the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB).… Continue reading

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Return of poultry shows in 2016 (maybe)?

The mid-January discovery of avian influenza in neighboring Indiana now leaves plenty of uncertainty about another poultry show ban for 2016.

“At this point, we are encouraging the exhibitors who typically only take poultry projects, if they want to still take a livestock project, to consider signing to up take a hog, lamb or goat or something just because there is a chance that the Ohio Department of Agriculture could shut down poultry shows again. You may want to have a back-up plan. They may want to also sign up for rabbits because it is a later project and they can start later,” said Lucinda Miller, Extension specialist for the 4-H Youth Development Companion and Small Animal Programs. “If there is a ban again it will really hurt us. Exhibitors are discouraged already from a poultry show standpoint and an exhibition show standpoint. If they can’t do a poultry project again this year, many exhibitors are thinking about moving on to something more permanent.“… Continue reading

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