Daily Archives: June 28, 2007

Ohio Beef Newsletter Available

The June 27, issue # 543, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefJune27.html

96c84bc.jpgTypically in a pasture situation, livestock won’t eat poisonous weeds like the Jimsonweed pictured above. However, when a poisonous weed may be the only green thing remaining in the pasture, livestock sometimes do extraordinary things to their detriment. This week, Steve Boyles discusses weeds and toxins.

Articles include:
* Forage Focus: Weeds and Toxins
* Why Oats, and Not Cereal Rye or Wheat?
* Haying or Grazing CRP Acres
* Is it Bedding or is it Feed?
* Early Weaning for the Beef Herd
Stan Smith
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130

Things to Consider as You Walk the Pasture

Things to Consider as You Walk the Pasture

Ed Heckman, Wayne County Indiana – Extension Educator

Indiana has one million acres of permanent pasture. The productive potential on many of these acres has not been reached. There are many factors that play a role in pasture productivity. The grazier can control many factors and some cannot be controlled. Considerable improvement could be made in the state’s permanent pasture, if sound management practices were implemented. Below are some considerations that each grazier should evaluate as good pasture management decisions are made.



Effects of Age and Method of Castration on Performance and Stress Response of Beef Cattle

Effects of Age and Method of Castration on Performance and Stress Response of Beef Cattle

Ropin’ the Web

Why is it so important to evaluate the effects of age and method of castration?

The main reasons calves are castrated are to reduce meat toughness, remove aggressive behavior and dark cutters. The process of castration is very stressful on beef cattle and leads also to a weight loss. Effect of castration on performance is independent of the breed and feeding systems. However, the age and method of castration have an important impact on growth performance and stress response of beef cattle. So, it is important to be aware of those consequences in order to choose the right age and the safer method.


Backgrounding Opportunities

Backgrounding Opportunities

Jeff Heldt, Ph.D., PAS, Land O Lakes/Harvest States Beef Feeds



The term backgrounding is often used loosely, however it should be described as a process that adds value to both farm/ranch raised feeds as well as the cattle by “marketing” the feeds through the cattle. With that said, the profitability of backgrounding is determined by feed costs, feed efficiency, and marketing, just like any other phase of the beef feeding industry. Backgrounding can be incorporated into most any beef operation if they have the ability to confine cattle in manageable group sizes and if they have adequate on farm/ranch feed storage (hays, silages, grains, and supplements).

Calves that have been through a backgrounding program (commonly 45-90 days) are appealing to buyers because: 1) they know how to eat dry feed out of a bunk, 2) they know what a waterer is and how to use it, 3) their immune systems are “primed” if the correct rations are formulated and the proper vaccination protocols have been implemented. However, the calves should not be too “fleshy”. This typically concerns cattle buyers because too much compensatory gain has been taken out of the calves. Therefore, calves should be fed to gain about 1.5-2.5 lbs/hd/d to avoid an over fleshy problem.

Backgrounding calves may be a viable option during summer drought periods as well. When forage quality and quantity are dramatically reduced and cannot support cows and calves at a desired level of performance, then an early weaning/backgrounding program can be initiated. This will allow the cows to pick up body condition throughout the summer and allow the producer to grow calves at a pace that will allow them to market calves when the time is right. Additionally, there can be a demand from the feedyards for these lightweight warmed up calves.


Cattle Identification: State Premises Registration Stats As Of 6/25/2007

Cattle Identification: State Premises Registration Stats As Of 6/25/2007


Farr Scholarship Winners to be Announced at Cattle Industry Summer Conference

Farr Scholarship Winners to be Announced at Cattle Industry Summer Conference

Cattle Today

Denver (June 20, 2007) – Presentation of two graduate-level scholarships honoring the legacy of cattle industry pioneer W.D. Farr will highlight the Cattle Industry Summer Conference, scheduled for July 16-20 in downtown Denver.

The W.D. Farr Scholarship Awards, in the amount of $12,000 each, will be presented by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation (NCF). Earlier this year, NCF received 29 applications from 16 universities across the country – as well as two international applicants – for the scholarship awards. Finalists were chosen from students in the fields of animal science, environmental science and agriculture were eligible, as these scholarships honor W.D. Farr’s successful career and dedication to many aspects of production agriculture. Contributions to the scholarship fund currently total over $200,000, with fundraising efforts still ongoing for awards in future years.


Rotate grazing programs in dry years

Rotate grazing programs in dry years


Spencer Magnet

In a year of reduced hay and pasture yields because of a late spring freeze coupled with the current dry conditions, pasture management is even more crucial than usual. Rotational grazing can play a big part in getting the most out of forages in these lean times as well as the good times.

“In a dry year like this, it gives the most efficient utilization of the grass, and with the dry weather and reduced growth, the better the utilization, the longer the cattle can stay on pasture,” said Ray Smith, forage specialist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

Research has shown that rotationally grazed pastures maintain productivity longer into a drought than those that are continuously grazed. Yet, in any year, there are several key advantages to rotational grazing. The primary advantage is that it gives the producer management over his pastures. He’s telling the cattle what to graze rather than allowing them to graze whatever they want, which usually results in over grazing the desirable grasses. Given the opportunity, cattle often graze those out and leave the undesirable or lower quality grasses, he said. Rotational grazing also gives the farmer an opportunity to take a field or two and cut them for hay if there’s excess growth.