Russia restricts U.S. pork

Russia announced late last week that any meat containing the feed additive ractopamine will be at risk of destruction or re-export because it violates Custom Union (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan) regulations.

Russia will now require pork imports from the United States to show documentation that the pork does not contain ractopamine residues. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, however, does not have a testing and certification program in place to detect ractopamine residues in pork or beef because the feed additive has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a safe product. Ractopamine improves the feed efficiency, growth rate and lean carcass percentage of live hogs and cattle.

Earlier this year, the U.N.’s Codex Alimentarius, which sets international standards for food safety, approved a maximum residue limit (MRL) for ractopamine, which U.S. pork meets. Only 41 percent of U.S. pork plants are currently eligible to export to Russia because of the imposition of non-science-based trade barriers such as zero tolerance on pathogens in raw products, a standard no country in the world can meet.… Continue reading

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Christmas shopping and the calving season

By John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

I have to confess that I am a master procrastinator when it comes to Christmas holiday shopping. I admittedly do not like “Black Friday” shopping and do not perform well under the stress of last-minute shopping. There are tools available such as the Internet available to assist shopping-challenged consumers such as me. However, the fact remains that there are potential long-term ramifications from poor planning when it comes to Christmas shopping!

If you think about it, there are some parallels that can be drawn between the Christmas shopping season and calving season for cow-calf producers. There is a certain level of excitement associated with giving or receiving a special gift. Similarly, there can be great excitement with seeing that newborn calf that results from many hours of work and planning. Unfortunately, as with shopping, there can be serious fallout from a poorly planned calving season.… Continue reading

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NCBA invites youth to compete in 2013 contests

Helping young people prepare for future leadership roles in agriculture is a key part of ensuring the beef industry continues to be progressive. As part of its role in shaping the future of the cattle industry, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) will host a number of youth contests at the 2013 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show. NCBA encourages all youth interested in agriculture to participate in the NCBA youth contests that will be held Feb. 6-9, 2013, in Tampa, Fla.

The 2013 contests include public speaking, team marketing, beef quiz bowl and cattle judging. Each contest offers a number of different age divisions allowing youth from 4-H members to college students to participate. NCBA President J.D. Alexander said the NCBA youth contests are where future industry leaders can come together to showcase their talents.

“The NCBA youth contests puts the spotlight on young people who are smart, talented and committed to American agriculture and the future of the beef industry,” said Alexander.… Continue reading

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OABA announces Crop Production and Seed Technology Conference

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association is excited to announce the new 2013 OABA Crop Production and Seed Technology Conference, which will take place January 29-31, 2013, in Columbus, Ohio. This is the first OABA event of its kind, and combines two long-time successful events – the Crop Production Conference and the Seed Technology Seminar – with invaluable networking opportunities for agronomy and other agribusiness professionals.

Event Highlights:
  • ·        Professional Networking – This event provides valuable networking opportunities each day, including an Industry Networking Reception on Jan. 29, and an Industry Networking Reception and Dinner on Jan. 30.
  • Value – This three-day event provides 19 continuing education credits – almost half of the Certified Crop Adviser CEUs needed in a two-year period – at less than $16 per CEU, and four Pesticide Applicator Certification credits.

o   By registering for this three-day event, participants will also receive complimentary admission to the Industry Networking Receptions and Dinner, and the breakfast panel discussion on Jan.… Continue reading

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Wastewater treatment research pays off for turkey processor

By Martha Filipic, Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

In terms of livestock, manure is the most generally considered factor with regard to water quality, but handling and treating farm wastewater is also becoming increasingly important. This holds true for livestock farms and processing facilities.

Whitewater Processing Co. slaughters and processes 6,000 to 8,000 turkeys on a normal day, producing about 2.5 to 3 million pounds of turkey in an average month at their southwestern Ohio facility. The Kopp family has run the business since the 1930s, and with 110 employees, wanted to stay put. But in the 1990s, environmental concerns about the 145,000 gallons of wastewater it produces each day nearly sunk the business.

With a first-of-its-kind treatment system designed by an Ohio State University researcher, though, the situation has improved. And though the costs have been considerable — about $1 million to build the wastewater treatment system plus an estimated $1.8 million to operate and maintain it over the next 20 years — the Kopp family figures the business will save at least $10 million over the next-best alternative.… Continue reading

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Runners discover wool

The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) participated in a roundtable event at The Running Event — the premier conference and expo for running specialty retailers, in Austin, Texas. The seven-year-old trade show is designated one of the 50 fastest-growing trade shows in America with more than 300 exhibitors participating, drawing about 800 retail buyers from throughout the United States and the rest of the world.

Sponsored by SmartWool, the educational session Apparel Technology: Selling the Newest Technical Performance Fiber for the Running Market took retailers through the science behind wool products and why it is a solution for consumers.

Ron Pope, Ph.D., ASI wool consultant, represented wool producers on the roundtable along with a retail representative and an athlete. Pope succinctly walked through a year in the wool business from a producer’s perspective and related how these activities are tied to wool quality. He emphasized to the retailers the fact that real people — farmers and ranchers — are responsible for this process.… Continue reading

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2012 Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium draws big crowd

By Connie Lechleitner, OCJ field reporter

A crowd of nearly 250 people gathered for the 2012 Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium in Wooster on Dec. 8.

“There are a lot of new people just got started in the sheep industry and quite a few people here that have been in it for many years,” said Roger High, executive director of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association. “We have quite a diversity in the type of operations represented here. There are so many positive things going on in the sheep industry that these kinds of events attract a lot of people.”

American Sheep Industry president Margaret Soulen-Hinson was the keynote speaker at the event and she covered the number of issues sheep producers in the western U.S. are facing. Soulen-Hinson is part of a family operation with 8,000 ewes grazing on public land along with their own land. She noted that 80% of the sheep in the United States are located West of the Mississippi, while 80% of sheep producers are located East of the Mississippi.… Continue reading

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Antibiotics and livestock subject of broad NIAA dialogue

By Matt Reese

To build on the success of their first conference focused on antibiotics in 2011, the National Institute for Animal Agriculture hosted a second conference on the topic late last month in Columbus.

“A one health approach to antimicrobial use and resistance: A dialogue for a common purpose” presented a great forum for the symposium for a number of reasons.

“Columbus is an excellent choice for this. One of the main reasons for this is that we have seven health colleges here at Ohio State on one campus. There are no other universities that can say that,” said Leah Dorman, DVM, director of food programs, Center for Food and Animal Issues for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and symposium co-chair. “And, Lonnie King, who is the dean of the OSU veterinary school and the coordinator between these seven health colleges, is so knowledgeable in the topic of one health with antibiotics.”… Continue reading

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OSU Extension to host informational meeting on bovine anaplasmosis

A little-known, potentially fatal cattle disease is being reported to Ohio veterinarians, indicating a need for producer education, a pair of Ohio State University Extension experts say.

Bovine anaplasmosis is a bloodborne disease that could cause severe anemia shortly after a cow is infected, which in some cases results in death or abortions, said William Shulaw, OSU Extension beef and sheep veterinarian. Cows that recover from the disease become a lifetime carrier of the bacteria that causes it, unless successfully treated.

To help producers learn more about the disease, OSU Extension and the Morgan County Soil and Water Conservation District are sponsoring a free workshop Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Morgan High School cafeteria, 800 Raider Drive, 3.2 miles south of McConnelsville at state Route 376.

Bovine anaplasmosis is typically transmitted through biting flies and blood-contaminated inanimate objects such as hypodermic needles, some tagging instruments, surgical instruments, nose tongs, and possibly tattoo equipment, Shulaw said.… Continue reading

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Rebuilding confidence in South Korea for U.S. beef

Only four years ago, 100,000 South Koreans lined the streets of Seoul to protest the return of U.S. beef to Korea. Consumer confidence in American beef was at an all-time low. Media outlets would not even accept paid ads promoting the products for fear of getting pulled into the protest backlash – instead joining the outrage by declaring U.S. beef to be unsafe from BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy).

Flash forward four years and we find the editors of three influential Korean culinary magazines on a detailed tour of the U.S. beef industry, visiting a Wyoming ranch, receiving a scientific briefing at Colorado State University, talking with beef industry distributors and retailers in New York City and enjoying the world’s finest grain-fed beef. And writing about their experiences in glowing terms.

The evolution of Korea, from No. 3 destination for U.S. beef exports in 2003 to a tumultuous scene of angry protests and back to a growing and vibrant market, has been a rollercoaster ride.… Continue reading

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Ohio Beef Ambassador Applications Due Dec. 14

The Ohio Cattlewomen’s Association (OCW) is accepting applications for the inaugural Ohio Beef Ambassador Program (OBAP).

In March 2012, the OCW transitioned from the Ohio Queen of Beef contest to OBAP which was created to provide an opportunity for youth to share their story of agriculture, and effectively communicate and educate consumers on beef consumption and the industry.

“We’re excited about implementing this program to offer more opportunities for Ohio’s beef industry youth,” said Tonya Lohr, OCW president.

The first contest will be held on Jan. 26, 2013 at the Marriott Columbus Northwest in Dublin, Ohio in conjunction with the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association annual banquet. Ohio youth, male and female, ages 16 through 19 as of Sept. 1, 2012, are welcome to participate in the contest. A team of ambassadors will be selected at the contest and the highest scored contestant will represent Ohio at the National Beef Ambassador contest.

Applications are due Dec.… Continue reading

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Oats doing well this fall

Ohio growers this year have planted more oats after wheat and into early harvested corn silage fields. And after late-season rains, the crop is expected to produce “excellent yields,” which is a boost to producers suffering through low forage supplies after drought, an Ohio State University Extension beef cattle expert said.

Although late rains haven’t been abundant, they’ve provided enough moisture to produce excellent oat yields and quality for many growers throughout the state, said Stan Smith, an OSU Extension program assistant in agriculture and natural resources.

That’s significant considering that the drought of 2012 has been one of the worst on record in Ohio, leaving many livestock producers hard-hit in their pastures and forages. The lack of substantial rainfall earlier in the growing season, extreme heat and dryness have left many producers short on hay and silage supplies, leaving many at a loss for how to best manage their feed rations, Smith said.… Continue reading

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Western Ohio farmers moving manure farther with semis

By: Heather Hetterick, Ohio Ag Net

Farmers in the Mercer County area are using semis as a way to move manure greater distances from their farm and extend the land base to spread the nutrients.

Dues Farm in St. Henry is one of a number of farms in the area that has been using semis and tankers to spread directly in the field when conditions are fit. In addition, the semis are used to haul the manure to fields where it can be transferred to a slurry tank for application. when they are not unloading the semi into a slurry in the field. Jason Fortkamp, who works for his uncle Jerry Dues, who owns the farm, said aside from the benefits of getting the nutrients off saturated land, “Moving the manure to the other farms will allow us to quit buying commercial fertilizer and be self sufficient.”

The plan is to only supplement the organic fertilizer with a little bit of nitrogen. … Continue reading

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Stage set for a return to pork profitability

An increase in lean hog prices and a decrease in feed costs have combined to reduce the drought’s effect on the pork industry, a Purdue Extension agricultural economist said.

During the height of the drought, when December corn futures reached $8.49 per bushel and December soybean meal futures reached $540 per ton, markets anticipated heavy liquidation of sows. That feared liquidation dropped December lean hog futures to $70, and producers anticipated per-head losses of $50-$60, Chris Hurt said.

“A panic response might have been to cover substantial amounts of feed needs at record high prices, to forward-price lean hog futures before the outlook worsened or to just sell out altogether,” he said. “Now that the damage from the 2012 drought is better known, those who did not panic are facing much smaller losses than what were feared at the height of the crisis.”

In drought years, feed prices often peak at or just after the height of the drought, then decrease.… Continue reading

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OSU Extension, NRCS to discuss forages, pasture management at 3-day grazing school

Farmers interested in learning how to improve forage and pasture management after a drought can participate in discussions of the issues by experts from Ohio State University Extension and the Natural Resources Conservation Service in early December.

The three-session school runs Dec. 4 and 6, 6-9 p.m., and Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s (OARDC) Jackson Agricultural Research Station, 019 Standpipe Rd., Jackson.

The first session will kick off the school with an introduction to the Jackson Agricultural Research Station by Kenny Wells, station manager, and presentations on management-intensive grazing, resource evaluation, understanding plant growth and grazing economics.

“Participants will also get to see hands-on demonstrations of production practices by OARDC experts, including different types of water devices, temporary polywire fencing to allow strip grazing of forages, and the use of different forage types,” Wells said. “The information is especially relevant this year for producers looking to mitigate forage drought losses.”… Continue reading

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New publication outlines points in raw milk dialogue

As consumer demand for locally grown and organic foods increases, so, too, does the interest in unpasteurized — or “raw” — milk. But is milk that comes straight from a cow safe to drink? A new Purdue Extension publication helps separate fact from fiction.

Raw Milk FAQs, Extension publication AS-612-W, is available for free download from Purdue Extension’s The Education Store at The seven-page publication was written by Mike Schutz, Purdue Extension dairy specialist, and Mike Ferree, a Purdue Extension educator from Bartholomew County.

The publication is intended to add to the public dialogue as lawmakers across the country consider whether to regulate raw milk, what a regulatory system should look like, and how best to protect both consumer choice and public health, Schutz said.

“This publication provides the scientific facts behind milk pasteurization, its benefits and the issues related to consuming raw milk,” Schutz said.

Pasteurization involves heating food molecules to kill foodborne pathogens.… Continue reading

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Science is not enough for today’s consumer

By John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

The agricultural industry has long stood behind scientific standards to justify our production standards. However, today’s society is simply not going to give us a “free pass” and absolutely trust us to do the right thing. It is simply not going to be good enough to provide a plentiful, economical food supply. Customers want to know more about how their food is produced. If we do not maintain their trust, the economic ramifications can be devastating.

Problems can arise if an industry does not recognize customer concerns and work aggressively to address these issues. Events from earlier this year are a prime example of this fact. The controversy over Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB), aka “Pink Slime,” became highly visible in March, 2012 as a result of extensive media coverage. LFTB is a product that has been used for several years in our food supply but had started to be scrutinized over the past couple of years.… Continue reading

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An oat update: Late rains make forage!

By Stan Smith, Fairfield County OSU Extension

This year in Ohio it would seem there were perhaps more oats planted after wheat and into early corn silage harvested acres than in recent memory. Fortunately, the late rains — even though in many cases not abundant — have resulted in excellent yields. Conversations, e-mails and the variety of photos I’ve received support the notion that yield and quality are both good.

As the reports we’re hearing indicate that oats are commonly yielding two to three or more tons of dry matter per acre around Ohio, I’m also being asked about timing and the preferred method of harvest. Unless they were planted more than 90 days ago, oats may still be growing in much of the state. Unless you need the feed immediately, why not let them continue to grow? Oats won’t die until temperatures have been in the mid 20’s for several hours.… Continue reading

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Ohio State livestock judging team turns setback into success at the NAILE

The Ohio State University Livestock Judging Team placed ninth at the 107th National Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest held during the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) in Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 13, 2012.

After attending the American Royal on Nov. 3, 2012 and reporting their poorest performance of the year, placing 15th, Ohio State turned their setback into a comeback by placing ninth out of 29 teams at the NAILE.

This was the first time an Ohio State team has placed in the top 10 at the NAILE since 2004.

Team members at the NAILE contest included Jake Boyert, Seville, Ohio, Lindsey Grimes, Hillsboro, Ohio, Bailey Harsh, Radnor, Ohio, Trey Miller, Baltimore, Ohio, and Kyle Nickles, Loudonville, Ohio.

Ohio State had a few individuals recognized at the awards ceremony. Grimes and Harsh were both named to the 10-person All American Team. This team is selected based on outstanding achievement in academics, community and industry service, and livestock judging.… Continue reading

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NAILE Goat Show Results

Dairy Goats

Open Alpine Show

Reserve Junior Champion: Dardy Acres, North Lewisburg

Grand & Senior Champion: Dardy Acres, North Lewsiburg

 Meat Goats

Open Boer Goat Show

Junior Champion Percentage Doe: Carole Pontius, Bloomingburg

Reserve Junior Champion Buck: Matthew Westfall, Cable

Yearling Reserve Champion Buck: Morgan Price, Cable

Senior Champion Buck: Ridgeview Boer Goats, Winchester

 … Continue reading

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