Daily Archives: June 20, 2007

Ohio Beef Newsletter Available

The June 20, issue # 542, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefJune20.html

It’s hard to figure . . . back in the day, Columbus weathercaster Joe Holbrook would get on TV and describe the coming weather using a grease pencil and a dry erase board and be pretty accurate about it.

Today, we’ve got the technology to make a tractor read a satellite signal and guide itself down the corn rows while we talk on our cell phone to our grain marketer trying to figure out how high the price of corn will go simply because the people in Chicago don’t know if it will ever rain again!

This week we focus on more drought strategies.

Articles include:
* Options for Cattle Producers During a Summer Drought
* Forage Focus: Harvesting Stressed Alfalfa and Other Forages
* Oats, planted late, aren’t your Grandpa’s oats!
* Oats, Turnips and Teff
* Early Pregnancy Diagnosis Important During Drought
* Field Day for Ohio Beef Heifer Development Program to be held July 24

Stan Smith
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130

Pasture fertilization pays

Pasture fertilization pays


Fertility of hay and pastureland is critical to maximizing the return from that land for livestock producers. However, University of Kentucky agronomists estimate that less than 10% of their states forage land is soil tested, and that, when tested, 40% was found to be too acidic, 45% was low in phosphorus, and 35% was low in potassium.


Microsoft funding major animal rights organization

Microsoft funding major animal rights organization


The Animal Agriculture Alliance has learned that Microsoft, the software giant, plans to make a $100,000 donation to animal rights behemoth Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and is partnering with the vegan-led group on a pilot program called the ‘i’m Initiative.’

Through the new program, whenever a Windows Live Messenger user has a conversation using i’m, Microsoft will give a portion of the program’s advertising revenue to one of ten organizations selected by the user, states a news release. HSUS is one of the choices, and there is no limit to the amount of money that can be donated.

Other non-profit organizations, like the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, have urged Microsoft to end its support of HSUS, but the company refused. Tara Kriese, a Microsoft representative, said the program is “a great way to enable people to help causes that are important to them.” Apparently she missed the October 2006 statement from Miyun Park, HSUS’ Vice President of Farm Animal Welfare, who said that the organization’s long-term goal for the egg laying and broiler chicken industry is, ‘to get rid of the industry.’

‘The Animal Agriculture Alliance is highly concerned about Microsoft teaming with an organization whose leaders have such a radical agenda,’ said Kay Johnson, executive vice president of the Animal Agriculture Alliance. ‘Clearly someone at Microsoft has not done their homework. Otherwise they would know that HSUS is just like PETA, but in a nice suit.’


Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Footrot Poses Problems In Pens & Pastures

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Footrot Poses Problems In Pens & Pastures


Footrot is commonly a problem in cattle in confinement situations. In fact, it has been reported that footrot occurs in up to 25% of cattle in high-intensity beef or dairy production units.2 However, cattle on pasture are susceptible to footrot, too.

 “Both wet and dry pasture conditions can lead to footrot problems,” says Dr. Joe Dedrickson, Director of Merial Veterinary Professional Services.

He explains that in hot, dry conditions, several environmental factors can lead to footrot. “If the pasture is dry, it will be more likely to have dry stubble and rocks that can cause mechanical injuries to the hooves. As temperatures rise, cattle tend to concentrate in shaded areas,” Dr. Dedrickson explains. “These loafing areas often become extremely wet from urine and feces.”


Accuracy Counts

Accuracy Counts

Leveraging preventative health and treatment dollars is all about giving the right product, in the right dosage, in the right way.

Beef Stocker USA

Treating cattle and animal health products as if they were all cut from the same cloth can make for easier and quicker processing and treatment. Unfortunately, this one-sizefits- all approach is also a sure way to squander dollars and opportunity. The good news is that when you give cattle too much or too little by treating them on the average, you’ll really never know just how much money you’re wasting.


Options For Cattle Producers During A Summer Drought

Options For Cattle Producers During A Summer Drought

Francis L. Fluharty and Steven C. Loerch, The Ohio State University

Much of the Eastern U.S. is experiencing severe drought conditions. This is causing many cattle producers to feed next winter’s hay supply and sell lightweight calves at a discounted price.

Researchers at The Ohio State University have several years of data and experience with managing early-weaning calves as well as alternative ways to feed the cow herd. From 100 to 205 days of age, calves that are fed high-concentrate diets convert 3.5 to 4 pounds of feed to a pound of gain. With the current low price of corn, there is no reason to sell lightweight calves at a loss.

With corn at $2.00 per bushel and protein supplement at $200-250 per ton, the feed cost per pound of gain should be around $.25-.30/lb. Research at Wooster has shown that early-weaned steers can be fed from 100 days of age until slaughter weight of 1150-1200 pounds at an average age of 340-360 days. In OSU studies, steers have had a feed efficiency overall of 5.0-5.5 lb. feed/lb. of gain, with approximately 85% of cattle grading choice.


Forage Focus: Harvesting Stressed Alfalfa and Other Forages

Forage Focus: Harvesting Stressed Alfalfa and Other Forages


I have received several calls about harvesting alfalfa that appears to be under stress from dry weather. Alfalfa usually has a strong capacity to continue growth under dry conditions, and we would normally expect alfalfa to be growing better than it is at this stage in a dry cycle. The late spring frost injury combined with the first harvest taken before the crop had a chance to replenish taproot reserves has likely contributed to the weak regrowth now being observed.

Many alfalfa stands were cut in mid- to late-May, which in a normal year is ideal timing. Unfortunately, the late killing spring frost this year resulted in alfalfa plants having to initiate new growth all over again. That required a lot of energy from the plant at a time when taproot reserves were low. So the mid- to late-May cutting was actually like an early harvest stress in terms of the physiological condition of the plant. This has likely contributed to the weak regrowth of many alfalfa stands, especially those that were cut last autumn or have additional stress factors such as suboptimal fertility and pH.