Livestock



Grass tetany prevention

By Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Wayne County

Pasture growth will soon begin, and for livestock owners who are short on stored forage as a result of last year’s drought, the temptation will be to begin the grazing season as early as possible. One of the risks associated with early spring pastures is the development of grass tetany.

Grass tetany is sometimes called grass staggers. Grass tetany is a metabolic condition of cattle and sheep associated with a magnesium deficiency. Symptoms of grass tetany include animal nervousness, twitching skin, and a staggered gait. Symptoms are not always observed and the first sign of any problem may be a dead animal. Generally early lactation animals are most susceptible to grass tetany, especially if they are an older animal. Young animals and later lactation animals rarely have problems with grass tetany.

Grass tetany can be triggered by the consumption of young, succulent cool season grasses including perennials such as orchardgrass, fescue, ryegrass, and bluegrass.… Continue reading

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Federal, state and local officials take advantage of water quality training

Ohio’s local soil and water conservation representatives received the tools and information they needed to inform Ohio farmers and landowners through a new training opportunity offered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

The Nutrients and Water Quality class is a new component of ODNR’s Technician Development Program being offered through the ODNR Division of Soil and Water Resources. The class consisted of six hours of training, which focused on nutrient management techniques to improve and maintain water quality in Ohio’s lakes, streams and rivers.

“Water quality is an important issue in our state, and educating the people that work in our local soil and water conservation districts is crucial,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “ODNR made it a priority to offer this training to educate local technicians so they could effectively answer the questions of producers and landowners.”

Three training sessions were recently held for 121 federal, state and local experts.… Continue reading

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Teaching veterinary medicine outside the classroom

By Don “Doc” Sanders

Many of you may know that I am a field service veterinarian who trains fourth-year veterinary students at Ohio State’s field services satellite clinic in Marysville. I am one of five veterinarians on staff. We work with a graduate veterinary intern, who is in advanced training, and eight to 10 fourth-year Ohio State veterinary students. All Ohio State vet students are required to spend at least two weeks training with us as we visit farms where we diagnose, treat, and prevent disease in farm animals. While training with us, most of the students live in an apartment OSU provides in our clinic. At night, the students answer phones, perform custodial duties, do laundry and prepare packs for the next day’s surgical cases. Sleep for the students is at a premium.

I am proud to say that the students get meaningful hands-on veterinary experience every day. And I mean every day.… Continue reading

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Teaching veterinary medicine outside the classroom

By Don “Doc” Sanders

Many of you may know that I am a field service veterinarian who trains fourth-year veterinary students at Ohio State’s field services satellite clinic in Marysville. I am one of five veterinarians on staff. We work with a graduate veterinary intern, who is in advanced training, and eight to 10 fourth-year Ohio State veterinary students. All Ohio State vet students are required to spend at least two weeks training with us as we visit farms where we diagnose, treat, and prevent disease in farm animals. While training with us, most of the students live in an apartment OSU provides in our clinic. At night, the students answer phones, perform custodial duties, do laundry and prepare packs for the next day’s surgical cases. Sleep for the students is at a premium.

I am proud to say that the students get meaningful hands-on veterinary experience every day. And I mean every day.… Continue reading

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Hotdogs and baseball a winning team

By David White, Ohio Livestock Coalition

I think April 1, 2013, should be a national holiday. After all, it is opening day for what is supposedly our national pastime. It’s probably also the unofficial first day of the hot dog eating season.

There are many good things that go together, and as far as I’m concerned, a hot dog and a baseball game are one of them. And it looks like I’m not the only one who thinks so as the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (yes, there is a trade organization for everything!) reports that ballparks serve more than 21 million annually.

Additionally, a national poll conducted a few years ago revealed that hot dogs continue to dominate fans’ favorite stadium fare. Hot dogs were listed by 63% of fans as the one ballpark food they could not live without. Peanuts ranked second with 18%, followed by pizza, cotton candy and, finally, cracker jacks. … Continue reading

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Ohio Spring Dairy Expo Results

Ayrshire
Jr. Show Junior Champion: Geminaecho Showstar Sherry, summer yearling, exhibited by Ashley Hawvermale, Wooster
Jr. Show Senior Champion & Grand Champion: Geminaecho Remington Shellie, junior three year old, exhibited by Ashley Hawvermale, Wooster

Open Show Junior Champion: Tri-Line Lobo, winter calf, exhibited by Walton & Thornburg, Pleasant Plain
Open Show Senior & Grand Champion: Geminaecho Remington Shellie, junior three year old, exhibited by Ashley Hawvermale, Wooster

Brown Swiss
Jr. Show Junior Champion: Topp View Totally All In, winter calf, exhibited by Keaton, Kinley & Madelyn Topp, Botkins
Jr. Show Senior & Grand Champion: Rolling Knolls Agen Jerne, four year old, exhibited by Braxton Perry, N. Lewisburg

Open Show Junior Champion: Top Acres Wonder Girl ET, fall calf, exhibited by Wayne Sliker, St. Paris
Open Show Senior & Grand Champion: Rolling Knolls Agen Jerne, four year old, exhibited by Braxton Perry, N. Lewisburg

Guernsey
Jr. Show Junior Champion: Hearts Desire Jackpot Sweet, fall yearling, exhibited by Marshall Overholt, Big Prairie
Jr.… Continue reading

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March Hogs & Pigs Report

OHIO HOG INVENTORY

Ohio hog producers had 2.13 million hogs on hand March 1, 2013, up 4 percent from last quarter, but unchanged from last year. The number of market hogs, at 1,965,000 head, was also up 4 percent from last quarter, unchanged from last year. Breeding stock, at 165,000 head was unchanged from last quarter and last year.

The pig crop during the December-February 2013 quarter numbered 889,000 head, down 2 percent from last quarter but 4 percent above last year. The number of sows farrowed during the December-February 2012 quarter, at 88,000, down 3 percent from last quarter and unchanged from last year. Pigs saved per litter averaged 10.1, up 1 percent from last quarter and up 4 percent from last year.

Ohio producers intend to farrow 87,000 sows during the March-May 2013 quarter, 6,000 head below a year earlier. Farrowing intentions for the summer quarter, June-August 2013, is 86,000 sows, 4,000 head below the same quarter of 2012.

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Ohio hog farmers provided over 187,000 meals to hungry Ohioans

Ohio hog farmers have been actively involved in the fight against hunger for years, donating nearly 935,000 meals of nutritious pork to Ohio foodbanks since 2009. This Easter, the Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC) again rose to the occasion, donating 37,554 pounds of protein-rich ground pork to several Ohio foodbanks in a generous effort to make sure that no Ohio family goes without a nutritious, hearty meal this holiday season.

“This timely and generous donation means so much to the hungry people our foodbanks serve,” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. “Providing Ohio-raised, Ohio-produced pork to people in need is a true testament to the generosity of our state’s agriculture industry. Our emergency food assistance network is thrilled to be able to provide this pork to the people it serves to make their Easter holiday a bountiful one.”

OPPC is proud to continue its commitment to fighting hunger in Ohio and encourages other agricultural leaders and everyday Ohioans to join them.… Continue reading

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Extension offering beef cattle artificial insemination school April 30-May 2

Beef cattle producers who want boost their profit potential by increasing success with artificial insemination can attend a school on the subject April 30 through May 2, taught by Ohio State University Extension and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center experts.

The three-day program covers a broad range of artificial insemination topics, including factors that influence reproduction efficiencies, heat synchronization, semen handling and thawing.

The techniques taught at the school are important for beef cattle producers because they can influence the success artificial insemination, said Clif Little, OSU Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources.

“One reason we do this school is because it allows small cow-calf producers to bring in superior genetics to improve performance,” he said. “Using this technology for artificial insemination will allow producers to need fewer bulls or no bulls at all on their farms.”

The artificial insemination school is sponsored by OSU Extension and OARDC and is held at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station in Belle Valley, just off of Interstate 77 in Noble County.… Continue reading

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Water quality rules proposed for Ohio

By Matt Reese

Experts have been talking for years now about impending and increasing regulation on agricultural nutrients in an effort to address the notorious toxic algal blooms plaguing the state’s water. As of March 7, those regulations have been proposed for Ohio.

“There are essentially two components to this. One component deals with the Ohio Department of Agriculture and a fertilizer applicator certification program,” said Larry Antosch, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation senior director of environmental policy development. “If you are applying nutrients to more than 10 acres, you need to be certified by the ODA. This would be a companion to the restricted use pesticide applicator program. There are not a lot of details in the proposed legislation. Those details will come out in the rule making process and you never know what will happen there. We have questions about clarification regarding whether that applies to manure also or just commercial fertilizer.… Continue reading

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Fruit and vegetable producers considering new voluntary approach to food safety certification

Fruit and vegetable producers of all sizes now have the option of participating in a voluntary food safety certification program in Ohio. The Ohio Produce Marketing Agreement (OPMA) offers producers food safety standards and an opportunity to attain food safety certification through third party inspections. Born from growing concerns about fruit and vegetable contamination outbreaks, the OPMA takes an aggressive yet voluntary approach to addressing food safety risk.

The OPMA is the first “agricultural marketing agreement” developed under a new law in Ohio. The agricultural marketing agreement law allows agricultural commodities to create voluntary marketing programs to expand or improve the market for their commodity. Marketing programs may promote the sale and use of products, develop new uses and markets for products; improve methods of distributing products to consumers or standardize the quality of products for specific uses. To create a voluntary marketing program, the commodity group must obtain the approval of both the Ohio Department of Agriculture and producers within the commodity group.… Continue reading

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Record year for meat exports boosts feed demand

These little piggies went to market — international markets, that is, and in record numbers. Despite challenging issues, such as the struggling global economy and trade barriers, U.S. poultry and livestock farmers enjoyed a record year for meat exports, which helps keep domestic demand for U.S. soy strong.

U.S. poultry, egg and pork shipments exceeded previous highs for value and volume set in 2011. International beef sales dipped slightly in volume but broke the previous value record.

Growing U.S. meat and poultry exports reinforce demand for U.S. soy since soy meal constitutes a significant portion of animal feeds. Domestic animal agriculture uses about 98% of the domestic supply of U.S. soy meal, making it the U.S. soy industry’s No. 1 customer.

“Exporting meat and poultry is a big issue for U.S. soybean farmers,” said John Butler, a farmer-leader from Dyersburg, Tenn. “If we can feed animals soybeans here and sell them abroad, we’re creating a value-added product.… Continue reading

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2013 Ohio Beef Expo a success

By Matt Reese

As a reflection of the robust beef industry, the crowd was large and the sales were strong at the 2013 Ohio Beef Expo.

“It was the biggest Beef Expo combined that we have seen since the start. Our numbers were up in the sale barn with some new breeds exhibiting and having shows. In addition, the junior cattle numbers were up from previous years,” said Sam Sutherly, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association president and Expo co-chair. “I attribute that to having great support from our sponsors and having the ability to offer educational events for the youth of our industry. The trade show seems to continue to expand beyond the space we have available, but with creative minds of our volunteers we manage to expand utilizing outdoor areas. This event takes many volunteers and it would not be possible without the support of venders and sponsors. It’s a great feeling to see growth and support of the cattle industry in Ohio.”… Continue reading

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Hard work pays off for Kimley in the show ring

By Jessica Shanahan, OCJ field reporter

Few could have predicted that winning a peewee showmanship class at age 5 would lead to countless trophies, banners, and champion titles for Lea Kimley of South Charleston in Clark County.

“I showed in the open show and won peewee showmanship, and from that moment, I just loved doing it,” Lea said.

The family involvement in the hog industry began in 2005 with Lea’s brother, Levi’s, 4-H project. In 2008, Levi won Reserve Grand Champion at the Ohio State Fair and the family’s success has only increased since.

In 2012, Lea accumulated several titles including: Reserve Champion Overall, Champion Yorkshire Guilt, and Champion Bred and Owned at the World Pork Expo; Reserve Champion Bred and Owned and Fifth Overall Yorkshire Barrow at the Summer Spectacular; Reserve Champion Yorkshire at the Clark County Fair and Grand Champion Overall at the Ohio State Fair.

In addition to the success of her hogs, Lea is proud to have been the Champion Intermediate Showman at the Ohio State Fair and the

National Show in Perry, Ga.… Continue reading

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USDA proposes rule to modify COOL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) issued a proposed rule to modify the labeling provisions for muscle cut commodities covered under the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) program.

Under the proposed rule, origin designations for muscle-cut covered commodities derived from animals slaughtered in the United States would be required to specify the production steps of born, raised and slaughtered of the animal from which the meat is derived that took place in each country listed on the origin designation, the proposal says. In addition, this proposed rule would eliminate the allowance for any commingling of muscle cut covered commodities of different origins. These changes will provide consumers with more specific information about muscle cut covered commodities, AMS said.

“The proposed changes will increase the discrimination against exports of cattle and hogs from Canada and increase damages to the Canadian industry,” Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said. “Our government will consider all options, including retaliatory measures, should the United States not achieve compliance by May 23, as mandated by the WTO.”… Continue reading

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C.W. Harting Farm is part of a new era in free-range eggs

By Heather Hetterick and Matt Reese

cw-hartingWhen one imagines free-range chickens, C.W. Harting’s chicken barns near Convoy in Van Wert County certainly don’t come to mind.

After all, the chickens are contracted, kept mostly indoors and raised on a large scale.  But, there are no cages involved and the chickens are fed an organic diet and that is enough to satisfy retailers that have customers looking for free-range produced eggs.

When the now 27-year-old graduated from the University of Northwestern Ohio, he wanted to add livestock to the family’s grain operation.

“Getting into livestock allowed us to add cash flow and we’re helping out the grain side with labor by being here and with the resources. We built one hog building in 2005 and another in 2006 for my brother to operate. Then, we decided to start another venture with chickens to allow room for my cousin to be a part of the farm,” Harting said.… Continue reading

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Ohio Beef Expo under way

The Ohio Beef Expo, the premier event of Ohio’s beef industry, kicked off today at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus. This year’s schedule once again includes breed sales, shows, educational seminars, trade show and a highly competitive junior show. Attendees will also be able to take part in a silent auction and social hour on Friday and Saturday.

The trade show, kicking off the Expo at 8:30 a.m. today, will run throughout the event and features more than 100 exhibitors from 15 states. A series of educational seminars are taking place today, giving producers an opportunity to gain useful knowledge from industry experts about advancements and current trends, and will allow producers to improve their own operations in areas such as marketing and herd management. A complete list of seminars is available at www.ohiobeefexpo.com.

Cattle from across the country will be represented at the Expo through the breed shows, sales and displays.… Continue reading

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Livestock 365 days a year

By Jessica Shanahan, OCJ field reporter

Most 10-year-olds would choose to spend their money on clothes, video games, or other material items, but not Olivia McDade. At the age of 10, after already finding her passion for livestock, she chose to put her money into adding on to their barn.

Olivia McDade, now a freshman at Greenville High School in Darke County, spends her time breeding, raising, and caring for several goats and 125 sheep.

“I do this 365 days a year,” Olivia said. “It’s basically my life.”

A typical summer day for Olivia includes getting up at 5:30 to feed and work her animals, then returning to the house to study for the skillathon. Throughout the day, she makes multiple trips to the barn to check on her animals and usually works them again in the evening.

Olivia does not take the skillathon lightly. She spends nearly as much time studying as she does working with her animals.… Continue reading

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Is it time to try something different in the cow herd?

By John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

The 2013 Ohio Beef Cattle School has examined important management issues impacting profit potential. Strategies for the use of genetics in the cow herd and efficient forage management practices have been the primary issues discussed in the school to this point. Producers are constantly searching for any new or proven methods to improve the bottom line. While there is always room for improvement in an existing enterprise, the producer must often think “outside of the box” and consider less traditional enterprises in order to improve total profitability.

Many cattlemen are conservative by nature and deliberate in their decision-making. Regardless, if the enterprise is cow-calf production, stocker cattle, or finishing cattle, any changes in an operation are usually slow and incremental. However, economic volatility and weather extremes will require the producer to analyze evolving opportunities and make unconventional decisions to carve out their niche in the beef industry.… Continue reading

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