2015 Junior Market Lamb Show results

Nearly 700 lambs went through the show ring at the 2015 Junior Market Lamb Show that proved to be a long, hot day for animals and exhibitors alike. The Final Grade Drive and Champion Drive were punctuated by thunderstorms rumbling outside and electricity in the air as the winners were selected. Here they are:



Champion: Bailee Amstutz, Union Co.

Reserve Champion: Colin Gump, Miami Co.



Champion: Morgan Mazey, Wood Co.

Res. Champion: Davis Will, Mercer Co.



Champion: Ava Shroyer, Logan Co.

Res. Champion: Mason Miller, Tuscarawas Co.



Champion: Logan Harvel, Fayette Co.

Res. Champion: Autumn Miller, Fairfield Co.



Champion: Ava Shroyer, Logan Co.

Res. Champion: Ava Shroyer, Logan Co.



Champion: Brock Martin, Seneca Co.

Res. Champion: Corbin Melvin, Fayette Co.



Champion: Lauren Ott, Huron Co.

Res. Champion: Autumn Miller, Fairfield Co.



Champion: Adam Wagner, Hardin Co.… Continue reading

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Five decades of service in the swine barn

Each year during the 12-day Ohio State Fair, the O’Neill Swine Barn hosts two breeding shows and then the large market event where the facility is filled to capacity, culminating with the final drive. During that time the staff handles the needs for accommodating around 3,500 hogs, hundreds of exhibitors, twice as many parents, countless spectators, and dozens of sale buyers. The intricate ebb and flow of the Ohio State Fair swine barn appears to run like clockwork to the casual observer, but behind the scenes is a dedicated top-notch staff that, for more than a half century, has included Dave Runyan.

After 51 years of working in the swine barn at the Ohio State Fair, longtime Swine Superintendent Runyan has officially stepped down from his position as leader of the barn following the 2014 Ohio State Fair in order to hand the reins over to a new generation of leadership.… Continue reading

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Wool Council pushing for plastic ear tags

The chief concern of the shearers attending the American Sheep Improvement Association Wool Council’s summer meeting this month was producer’s use of the metal scrapie ear tags. If the shearers had their way, use of the metal tags would be discontinued immediately.

Metal tags are many times not visible and when a clipper hits a metal tag, a shearer can be severely injured. A first-hand account of a shearer being air-lifted from a shearing site after severing every tendon, nerve, ligament and the main vein in his wrist was conveyed to drive the point home. More than $400,000 in medical bills were incurred and the shearer’s career was abruptly ended.

The council drafted a proposed policy that reads: WHEREAS in the United States it is mandatory to tag an animal with a scrapie ear tag, which is available in both metal and plastic versions free of charge to the producer; WHEREAS metal ear tags are dangerous to shearers due to risk of injury to both the shearer and the sheep if the tag is caught in the comb and cutter from a lock-up; BE IT RESOLVED that the ASI Wool Council and the United States shearers request that all metal ear tags be removed from the supply in the United States and producers use the plastic tags that are available free of charge.… Continue reading

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NPPC urging Senate to address COOL

The National Pork Producers Council and 34 state pork producer organizations are urging the Senate to take up legislation to repeal country of origin labeling requirements for beef, pork and poultry before Congress takes a month-long recess beginning in early August.

The U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law requires meat to be labeled with the country where the animal from which it was derived was born, raised and harvested. (It also applies to fish, shellfish, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables and certain nuts.)

The World Trade Organization (WTO) in May rejected an appeal by the United States of the international trade body’s October 2014 ruling that the COOL provisions on beef and pork discriminate against Canadian and Mexican animals, which they send to the United States to be fed out and processed. The WTO decision allows Canada and Mexico to place retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods going into their countries.… Continue reading

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2015 Logan County Fair Photo Gallery

Dale Minyo and the Ohio Ag Net traveled to the Logan County Fair recently, courtesy of AgriGold Hybrids. He sat down with Fair Board President Jim Logan, newly crowned Fair Queen Hannah Clayton, and had a chance to give out several t-shirts to youth and others enjoying the fair. The Jr. Fair Board also enjoyed a gift of $1,000 from AgriGold as part of their 2015 county fair tour.… Continue reading

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Minimizing the damage of a soggy forage and grazing season

The 2015 growing season has proven to be challenging to producers in Ohio. Nearly all crops have been impacted by plentiful and in many cases too much rain. Forage production is certainly no exception to this reality as both hay and pasture production have felt the effects of excessive moisture. One doesn’t want to complain too loudly about excessive rainfall given that large areas of the country are still under significant drought. However, this growing season has created some significant management decisions for forage producers.

There is very little Ohio hay production that has not been impacted by excessive rains. Timely harvest has been nearly impossible as evidenced by the fact that some first cuttings had yet to be completed in mid-July and second cuttings have been significantly delayed. This reality will probably reduce yields in some cases and will certainly reduce feed quality nearly everywhere. There are numerous research studies that indicate significant delays in harvest date will result in lower protein content as well as higher acid detergent fiber and neutral detergent fiber levels.… Continue reading

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Manure Science Review focused on water

Manure Science Review this year will have a clear focus on water.

The annual learning event will present more than a dozen sessions on getting the most from the nutrients in manure while limiting the chance of them reaching lakes and streams. It’s for farmers and others in the agricultural industry.

“Manure is an excellent soil amendment and provides nutrients for crop growth,” said Glen Arnold, an organizer of the event and manure nutrient management systems field specialist for Ohio State University Extension.

“Every positive step we take in properly applying manure is a positive step in the direction of better water quality,” he said.

Curbing farm nutrient runoff is in the spotlight due to the harmful algal blooms plaguing Lake Erie, Grand Lake St. Marys and other water bodies.

The issue made headlines last summer when toxins from a western Lake Erie algal bloom caused a two-day water use ban in Toledo.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Roundup in Mercer County next month

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) invites all who have an interest in Ohio’s cattle industry to Mercer County, Ohio for this year’s Roundup, August 28 and 29, 2015, featuring farm tours, sessions with industry leaders, great food, and time with fellow cattlemen.

Roundup begins Friday evening, August 28, at Romer’s Catering & Entertainment Facility in Celina, Ohio. Dinner featuring a Mercer County wedding supper will be served at 7 p.m. Following dinner, Representative Jim Buchy, Ohio House of Representatives, 84th District, will provide an overview of the water quality issues facing Ohio and the proactive steps agriculture has taken to address these issues. Attendees will also hear from NCBA’s Colin Woodall, Vice President of Government Affairs. Colin will provide a legislative update on Waters of the United States, trade, Country-of-Origin Labeling and other important issues. Roundup speakers are sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America.

An auction to benefit the NCBA and OCA Political Action Committees will take place on Friday night and will feature Ohio State football tickets.… Continue reading

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Weather winning in annual struggle with hay growers

Hay growers always battle against the weather and through early July in 2015, the weather was clearly winning the battle. By July 5, only 67% of the first cutting alfalfa hay in Ohio was done and only 47% of the first cutting of other hay had been made, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Second cutting was also lagging far behind.

Making hay has been tough going this year in northeast Ohio.

“I have been hearing a lot of grumbling about this rainy weather pattern and comments about how difficult or impossible it is to get any hay put up,” said Rory Lewandowski
 Wayne County Extension educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources. “There has not been much dry hay that has been baled. If it was dry baled, it most likely had some rain on it. There was a brief window late last week through Monday of this week that allowed some hay to get baled without rain, but the quality was low because it was so mature. … Continue reading

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U.S. beef, pork exports sluggish in May

After an encouraging performance in April, exports of U.S. beef and pork lost momentum in May, falling below year-ago levels in both volume and value according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Beef exports moved counter-seasonally lower in May, dropping 14% from a year ago to 88,466 metric tons (mt). Export value dipped lower year-over-year for the first time since January, reaching only $556.7 million (down 6%). For January through May, exports totaled 430,393 mt, down 10% from the same period in 2014. Export value remained ahead of last year’s pace at $2.68 billion (up 2%).

January-May beef exports equated to 13% of total beef production and 10% for muscle cuts only — down from 14% and 10.6%, respectively, last year. Export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $291.70, up 9% from a year ago.

Pork exports totaled 184,865 mt in May, down 2% from a year ago, while value slipped 18% to $489.2 million.… Continue reading

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Texas Longhorns coming to Ohio

On July 18 some of the best Texas Longhorns in the nation will be coming to the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Wooster.

Prizes will be awarded that day. Grand and Res Grand will receive Sterling Silver hunting knives, with engraving on the blade, ribbons for Grand and Res and medallions.

Youth will be receiving Chairs for Grand and Res Grand, and special showmanship awards for first place. Friday night at the exhibitor party, we will have special gifts for the youth. Please bring silent action items to put on the auction tables. Over night camping is available.

For more information contact  Tim Mills at 419-606-6184 from Perrysville, Ohio or
Andrew Morris at 740-502-1558 from Malhonding, Ohio.… Continue reading

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Sheep Day July 11

Improving the productivity and profitability of sheep and other small-ruminant livestock farms will be the focus of Ohio Sheep Day July 11.

The daylong program is designed to offer producers expert tips and techniques on pasture renovation practices and other management processes that can help improve their financial bottom lines, said Roger A. High, executive director of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and Ohio State University Extension state sheep program specialist.

The event is sponsored by OSU Extension, OSIA, the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, the Greene County Farm Bureau, the American Sheep Industry, and the Department of Animal Sciences and the Sheep Team at The Ohio State University.

The program will be led by experts from industry and from Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The event is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Schoolhouse Shropshires farm, 961 Hoop Road in Xenia.… Continue reading

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Livestock need good quality drinking water

As temperatures increase, so does the water requirement of our livestock. Most livestock owners know the nutrient content of the grains and forages they are feeding their livestock and can tell you if the feedstuff is low, medium or high quality. Do you know how your livestock water quality measures up? Water is the most essential of all nutrients required for our livestock but often other than making sure that water is available in sufficient quantity, little thought is given to the quality of that water. A lactating dairy cow has the highest daily water requirement of any of our farm livestock, consuming on average 25 gallons of water per day. Given that milk is 87% water, it is understandable that the daily water intake is so high. A lactating beef cow will drink on average 14 to 15 gallons per day; lactating sheep between three to four gallons per day, goats between two to three gallons per day and a lactating sow around five gallons per day.… Continue reading

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Ag gets waiver from “hours of service” rule

America’s hog, cattle and poultry farmers have been granted a two-year waiver from the U.S. Department of Transportation hours-of-service rule for certain drivers.

The rule, issued in mid-2013 by DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), requires truck drivers to take a 30-minute rest break for every eight hours of service. It would have prohibited drivers hauling livestock and poultry from caring for animals during the rest period.

The National Pork Producers Council, on behalf of other livestock, poultry and food organizations, in 2013 petitioned the FMCSA for a waiver and exemption from complying with the regulation. The groups this spring asked the FMCSA to renew the waiver and to extend it for the two-year maximum allowable under federal law.

In petitioning the agency, the livestock organizations noted that the rule would cause livestock producers and their drivers irreparable harm, place the health and welfare of the livestock in their care at risk and provide no apparent increased benefit to public safety — and likely decrease public safety — while forcing the livestock industry and its drivers to choose between the humane handling of animals or complying with the rule.… Continue reading

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Milk production of Ohio dairy herds

It is always important to monitor the yield of milk and the composition of milk, especially for the individual farmer, because the income of the dairy farm depends on this source of revenue. The yields of protein and fat are the primary determinants of the price received by farmers. The proportions of fat and protein are useful in monitoring cow health and feeding practices within a farm. The income over feed costs (IOFC) and feed costs per hundred of milk are important monitors of costs of milk production.
The average production of milk, fat, and protein by breed for Ohio dairy herds in 2014 using the Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI; program are provided in Table 1. Not all herds on DHI are included in the table below because of the different testing options offered by DHI, some herds opt for no release of records, lack of sufficient number of test dates, and given that some of the herds consist of other breeds than the ones shown.… Continue reading

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Smith retires as Extension director

Keith Smith’s last official day as director of Ohio State University Extension is June 30. He is retiring after 35 years at The Ohio State University, 23 of them as head of Extension. Leading up to his last few weeks in office, he showed no signs of slowing down.

“I promised to stay engaged until June 30, and I am,” Smith said, after working until 9 p.m. the day before. “I’m trying not to leave too many untied ends.”

“Keith has led the organization through significant growth and has been a steady guide all the way through his final days as director, as the organization continues to adjust to rapid, societal changes,” said Bruce McPheron, Ohio State’s vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

“Ohioans, and indeed individuals across the country, will benefit from Keith’s leadership for years to come,” McPheron said.… Continue reading

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Unfortunate reason boosts Ohio in egg production rankings

With avian influenza taking a terrible toll on egg laying operations to the west, Ohio has moved to the top of the list of egg production by state.

“We were No. 2. and Ohio is now the No. 1 egg producing state in the country. Darke County just went to the No. 1 egg producing county in the country,” said Sam Custer, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension educator in Darke County.

The loss of upwards of 44 million birds in nearly 200 different locations, many in Iowa and Minnesota, devastated the U.S. egg industry and is still sending economic shockwaves throughout agriculture. Though summer heat has slowed down the highly contagious pathogen, Ohio poultry producers remain on high alert.

“I think we have probably survived this spring. The warm temperatures have really slowed the virus from spreading. Waterfowl do carry the virus and there will be more concern when the birds start migrating in the fall.… Continue reading

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COOL hearing held in Senate Ag Committee

The Senate Agriculture Committee last week held a hearing on the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law and efforts to avoid trade retaliation from Canada and Mexico, which object to the meat labeling provisions of the statute.

COOL requires meat to be labeled with the country where the animal from which it was derived was born, raised and harvested. Canada and Mexico asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) to authorize about $3.2 billion a year in retaliatory tariffs against U.S. goods exported to their countries, following the international trade body’s recent ruling that COOL discriminates against their livestock.

The United States asked the WTO for arbitration on each country’s retaliation amount — $2.5 billion from Canada and $713 million from Mexico. The WTO is expected to authorize retaliation as soon as late August. The Agriculture Committee heard from six agricultural industry representatives, who said the United States must avoid retaliation from Canada and Mexico.… Continue reading

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A 4-R program for summer grazing

With the arrival of summer we can generally expect warm to hot temperatures and less frequent rainfall. The vast majority of pastures managed for grazing in our area are composed of cool season grass species that grow best when temperatures are cool to warm and moisture is plentiful. Thus, we have the summer slump in pasture productivity.

Although summer weather conditions are not conducive to high yields with cool season grasses, there are some grazing management practices that can help to increase summertime productivity. These practices can be summarized as the four “Rs.”

The first “R” is remove seed heads. Clipping off seed heads in late June will return grass plants to vegetative growth and improve the quality of the forage that is grazed.

The second “R” is right starting height. Do not let livestock into a pasture paddock where grass height is too short because this is almost certain to lead to overgrazing.… Continue reading

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Poultry changes at the Ohio State Fair

The Ohio Department of Agriculture announced in June that, due to the spread of avian influenza across the United States, all live bird exhibitions for 2015 in Ohio would be cancelled. This includes all shows and sales at county fairs in the state and also the Ohio State Fair.

“It’s going to be a big change for us. In discussing this year, we’re not aware of a similar situation happening in history where all the poultry shows have been cancelled here at the Fair so it’s a little bit unprecedented for us. But, that being said, we do have some time to get things in order and that’s been really beneficial for us,” said Alicia Shoults, Ohio Expo Center and State Fair Director of Marketing and Public Relations. “We’ve been working really closely with Ohio 4-H along with FFA and the Ohio Poultry Association to try to come up with ways that youth, 4-H, and FFA exhibitors can still be a part of the Ohio State Fair with their poultry exhibitions even without live birds, and as well as ways to educate the public.”… Continue reading

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