A Publication of:

OSU Extension - Fairfield County

831 College Ave., Suite D, Lancaster, OH 43130

and the

OSU Extension BEEF Team

BEEF Cattle questions may be directed to the OSU Extension BEEF Team through Stephen Boyles or Stan Smith, Editor

You may subscribe to the weekly Ohio BEEF Cattle letter by sending an e-mail to smith.263@osu.edu

Previous issues of the BEEF Cattle letter

Issue # 896

July 30, 2014

Forage Focus: New Forage Seedings, the Window of Opportunity is Upon Us - Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

With the weather allowing so few new forage seedings to be established in Ohio the past couple of springs it would appear this August might offer a window of opportunity. With adequate sub-soil moisture levels presently across much of the state, a couple of timely showers will insure emergence that will allow new seedings the 6 to 8 weeks of growth required before dormancy.

If it's not already been accomplished, soil samples should be pulled immediately in order that corrective lime and fertilizer applications may be made in a timely fashion. Now, before seeding, is also the time to eliminate any perennial weeds as well as the annuals that have emerged.

OSU Extension Forage Specialist Mark Sulc offers the following 10 highlights of key management steps toward successful establishment of forages in August.

1. Apply lime and fertilizer according to a soil test. Since the stand will be used for several years, ideally the soil test should have been taken within the past year.

2. Control problem perennial weeds ahead of seeding. Be careful with herbicide selection because some have residual soil activity and will harm new forage seedings if proper waiting periods are not observed. Be sure to read the labels of any herbicides being considered.

3. Plant new perennial forage stands as soon as possible in August. Seedlings require at least 6 to 8 weeks of growth after emergence to have adequate vigor for winter survival. In northern Ohio, plant during the first two weeks of August. In southern Ohio, plant by August 30. Later planting may work, but there is greater risk for failure and the stand may have lower yield potential next year. The new stand should have six to eight inches of growth before a killing frost. Slow establishing species should be planted as early as possible. Fast establishing species like red clover, alfalfa, and orchardgrass can be seeded up to the dates listed above if moisture is present. Kentucky bluegrass and timothy can actually be seeded 15 days later than the dates listed above.

4. It is risky to place seeds into dry soil - there may be just enough moisture to germinate the seed but not enough to get the seeding established. Either plant soon after a rain when soil moisture is adequate, or when a good rain system is in the forecast.

5a. No-till seedings conserve moisture and can be very successful provided weeds are controlled prior to seeding. Using no-till when herbicide-resistant weeds are present creates a very difficult situation with no effective control options, so tillage is probably a better choice in those situations. Where such weeds are not an issue, remove all straw from fields previously planted to small grains. Any remaining stubble should either be left standing, or clipped and removed. Do not leave clipped stubble in fields because it will form a dense mat that prevents good emergence.

5b. If you are going to use tillage, don't over-till and be sure to prepare a firm seedbed. Loose seedbeds dry out very quickly. Deep tillage is not ideal for late summer seedings. A cultipacker or cultimulcher is an excellent last-pass tillage tool. The soil should be firm enough that the your boot leaves a print no deeper than 3/8 inch (you can bounce a basketball on it).

6. Plant the seed shallow (1/4 to 1/2 inch deep) and in firm contact with the soil. Carefully check seeding depth, especially when using a no-till drill. A drill with press wheels provides the greatest success with summer seeding. Broadcasting seed on the surface without good soil coverage and without firm packing is usually a recipe for failure in the summer.

7. Use high quality seed of known forage-type varieties from reputable dealers. Cheap seed often results in lower yield and shorter stand life. Check out our variety performance trials and those of neighboring states

at the following websites:
Ohio: http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/forage2013/
Kentucky: http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Forage/ForageVarietyTrials2.htm
Pennsylvania: http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/FreePubs/pdfs/uc068.pdf
Michigan: http://fis.msue.msu.edu/

8. Make sure legume seed has fresh inoculum of the proper rhizobium to ensure nitrogen fixation. If the seed is pre-inoculated, check with the seed supplier to ensure the seed was stored under conditions that guarantees viable inoculant.

9. If planting alfalfa, don't plant new alfalfa immediately after an older established alfalfa stand. Autotoxic compounds are released by old alfalfa plants, which inhibit growth and productivity of new alfalfa seedlings. You can seed in alfalfa in late summer to thicken up a new alfalfa seeding that was made this spring. The autotoxic compounds are not present in young alfalfa plants. They are released from older, established alfalfa plants.

10. As the stand develops this fall, do not be tempted to harvest it. No matter how much growth accumulates, it is usually best to let the cover protect the new crowns during the winter. The only exception to the no fall harvest rule for late summer seedings is perennial ryegrass. If perennial ryegrass has tillered and has more than six inches of growth in late fall, clip it back to 3 to 4 inches in November or early December. Finally, scout new seedings for winter annual weeds in October. Apply herbicides as needed. Winter annual weeds are much easier to control in late fall than they will be next spring.

Don't miss this chance for make the perfect forage seeding which could remain productive for the next several years!

Herd Rebuilding Will Be a Slow Process - Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist

The latest USDA data provides some indication that herd expansion may be beginning but more clearly shows that herd rebuilding will be a long process and a slow one, at least initially. Not surprisingly, the July Cattle report shows estimates of herd inventories that are down in most all categories compared to the last report in 2012. Since no 2013 report is available for comparison, it is not clear whether inventories are higher or lower than last year for the various categories but it is likely that most are lower. However, it does seem that the beef cow herd is stabilizing and is likely only slightly lower than last year.

The July 1 estimate of beef replacement heifers was down from July 2012 despite the fact that January 1 estimates of beef replacement heifers increased each of the past three years. The ratio of the July 1 beef replacement heifers to the January inventory of replacement heifers is the lowest since the July estimates began in 1973. This ratio typically rises during herd expansion and decreases during liquidations. This indication of additional herd liquidation is somewhat in contrast to the heifers on feed in the July Cattle on Feed report which is down 4.6 percent from year earlier levels. The year over year decrease in July 1 heifers on feed is consistent with modest levels of initial herd expansion. Quarterly estimates of heifers on feed have posted year over year decreases for the past 8 quarters with an average decrease of 6.8 percent.

So far this year, heifer slaughter is down 7.9 percent; a significantly larger decrease than steer slaughter, which is down 2.9 percent for the year to date. Beef cow slaughter is down 16.4 percent so far this year compared to the same period last year. These decreases in female slaughter strongly suggest that herd expansion is beginning. Aggregate herd balance numbers suggest that the capacity for herd expansion is greater than what is observed thus far.

There are several factors that may be limiting herd expansion in these early stages. The record high feeder cattle prices that will eventually stimulate herd expansion may, in the short run, increase the temptation to sell heifers rather than retain them for breeding. This is particularly true for producers still recovering financially from drought and other economic difficulties. For some older producers who are considering retirement, current market prices may provide the incentive to sell out and exit the industry. While new producers will, in most cases, replace the older producers, there may be a lag in herd growth during the transition. Additionally, the record high prices that cattle sellers currently enjoy also imply high prices for breeding females that may be a deterrent to expansion, at least initially, for some producers. Regional factors may be moderating herd expansion as well. Much of the eastern half of the country has lost pasture and hay acreage as crop production has expanded in recent years and less herd rebuilding is expected in this area. In much of the Plains and Western regions, where proportionately more herd expansion is likely eventually, drought conditions persist in some areas and herd rebuilding may be moderated for several months to several years to allow recovery of pasture and range.

The biology of cattle production implies a strict limit on how fast cowherd expansion can take place. Herd expansion will start slow from the current low herd base under the best of circumstances. It appears that herd expansion is being further restricted at this time in some regions due to producer age and expectations; financial limitations; regional shifts in cow-calf production; continuing drought conditions; and recovering pasture/range conditions.

USDA Reports Confirm Tight Cattle Supplies - Tim Petry, Livestock Economist, North Dakota State University Extension Service

USDA-NASS released both the monthly Cattle on Feed report and the semi-annual Cattle inventory report on Friday, July 25. Both reports helped to confirm why cattle and beef prices have continued to increase to record high levels.

The Cattle report was anxiously awaited because, due to budget restrictions, the July report was not released last year. That means year over year comparisons are not possible and comparisons must be with July 2012.

NASS reported that all cattle and calves in the U.S. as of July 1, 2014, totaled 95 million head, 3 percent below the 97.8 million on July 1, 2012. That is the lowest July inventory since the July series began in 1973. Beef cows, at 29.7 million, were down 2.5% from 2012, and beef replacement heifers, at 4.1 million, were down 2.4%. The feeder cattle supply outside feedlots was down over 3% from 2012. The 2014 calf crop is expected to be 33.6 million head, down 1% from 2013 and down 2% from 2012.

The report confirmed that cattle supplies are tight, but due to the two year lag in reporting, it could not be determined if herd rebuilding in the U.S. has begun. There are other indications though that some herd rebuilding is taking place. The previous Cattle report issued as of Jan. 1, 2014, indicated an increase in beef cow replacements of 1.7% over 2013. Although it is dry in parts of the South and very dry in the Southwest, pasture and range conditions have improved. NASS reports that 17% of U.S. pastures and ranges are now in poor and very poor condition compared to 28% last year.

Heifer slaughter in the U.S. has been down about 7% from last year compared to steer slaughter down about 2%. And beef cow slaughter has been down about 15% from last year. The July Cattle-on-Feed report indicated almost 5% fewer heifers on feed than last year.

Other highlights from the Cattle on Feed report are that cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the U.S. for feedlots with 1,000 head or more totaled 10.1 million head on July 1, 2014. The inventory was 2.4% below last year and also below the pre-report trade estimate of a 1.9% decline. The Cattle report showed 11.6 million total cattle on feed so the 1,000 head or more feedlots amounted to 87% of the total.

Placements into feedlots during June totaled 1.46 million, 6.2% below last year and also below the trade estimate for only a 3.8% decline.

Marketings of fed cattle during June totaled 1.85 million, 1.8% below 2013. This was the lowest fed cattle marketings for June since the series started in 1996, and helps explain the contra-seasonal increase in fed cattle prices this summer.

The lower number of cattle on feed, fewer feeder cattle outside feedlots, smaller 2014 calf crop, and some heifer retention all point to continued historically tight cattle supplies in the months ahead.

Ohio Cattlemen's Roundup Tours Clark County - September 5-6

The Ohio Cattlemen's Association (OCA) invites all who have an interest in Ohio's cattle industry to Clark County, Ohio for this year's Roundup, Sept. 5-6, 2014, featuring farm tours, sessions with industry leaders, great food, and time with fellow cattlemen.

Roundup begins Friday evening, Sept. 5, at R Genetics Livestock, owned by Scott and Sasha Rittenhouse of Springfield, Ohio. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m., prepared by the Clark Cattlemen's Association with burgers sponsored by Better Beef program and Dave Long of South Charleston.

Saturday morning registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center, Springfield, Ohio. Breakfast will be provided thanks to United Producers, Inc.

Dr. Henry Zerby, Department Chair, Ohio State University Animal Sciences, kicks off the Roundup program, sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America, at 9 a.m. Dr. will provide an update on the department and the status of plans for the college's new livestock facilities.

Two representatives of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association will provide industry updates. Tim White, NCBA Region 1 Vice President for Policy will cover NCBA's latest policy efforts. White and his family run TA White Farm, LLC located near Lexington, Ky. The farm consists of 2,800 acres and a 400-head cow/calf operation that includes Angus, Red Angus and commercial cows. Kate Maher, NCBA Senior Director of Member Services, will provide a membership update. Prior to accepting the Director of Member Services position, Kate spent 16 years with the North American Limousin Foundation and most recently worked for the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

OCA leadership and staff will provide an update on programs and activities, and Ohio Beef Council staff will give details on how Ohio beef checkoff dollars are invested.

Mike Miller, NCBA Senior vice President, Global Marketing and Research, will speak on the Beef Checkoff and consumer marketing. Mike will present information about beef prices as they relate to consumer demand for beef, provide highlights of checkoff funded marketing efforts, a beef export update and discuss opportunities for expansion of the beef industry.

Concluding the program will be Josh Jennings, Founding Director, Global Impact STEM Academy. Global Impact STEM Academy is Ohio's newest Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) school. Students at Global Impact connect learning to real world problems through hands-on problem-based learning across all disciplines. These "real world" problems come from Ohio's largest industry, Agriculture. Global Impact students find the relevance in all they do through a curriculum rich in bioscience, food science, energy, and the environment.

A beef tenderloin meal will be served for lunch and prepared by GrillAble Catering, Chris Anway of Cable, Ohio. A PAC live auction will held during lunch, featuring two tickets to the Ohio State University vs. Michigan football game in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 29, 2014.

The afternoon program will feature farm tours to Agle Family Cattle and McDorman Farms, along with a visit to Sexting Technologies - The Ohio Heifer Center. Group transportation provided to each location.

Agle Family Cattle in eastern Clark County is operated by Bob and Peggy Agle, along with daughters and spouses Emily and Dominic DePompei and Lucas and Allison Regula. A third generation farmer, Bob became interested in raising his own show cattle for his 4-H and FFA projects. A.I. has been utilized since the late 1970's, as well as embryo transfer the last several years. Several breeds are used in their operation, with a concentration on black crossbreds and Shorthorns. Donor cows, steers and heifers for their 2014 online sale, as well as their farm's beautiful view will be on display.

McDorman Farms is owned and operated by Louis J. McDorman, his wife JaNelle, and his son Louis H. McDorman. The farm has only ever had two owners since it was established in 1811 with the McDorman family owning it since 1918 when it was purchased by Louis J.'s grandfather. The 1,000-acre farm has been totally rebuilt following its destruction in 1974 by the F-5 tornado that ripped through the city of Xenia. Today McDorman Farms specializes in custom cattle feeding with a one-time feedlot capacity of 1,200 head where about one-half of the cattle on the farm have other owners. McDorman Farms was the recipient of the 2006 OCA Commercial Cattleman of the Year award.

Inguran LLC dba Sexing Technologies (ST), based in Navasota, Texas purchased the Ohio Feedlot in the fall of 2010. ST needed a base of operations for live cattle exports, and the feedlot location in South Charleston was in a great location for consolidation of cattle prior to the final destination, their export facility in Maine. Over 15,000 head of heifers have been exported from what is now known as the Ohio Heifer Center. Most of the exported cattle have been Holstein dairy cattle destined for Russia and Turkey. ST has filled multiple orders for beef cattle to Russia and shipped many open and pregnant Angus heifers to Russia for private cattle owners. ST's main farm in Texas is home to 250+ mature bulls, many of them being beef breeds we don't see in Ohio. ST was created in 2003 with the goal of producing 90% sexed sorted semen for use around the globe.

Registration deadline for this event is Aug. 20, 2014, and the cost is $30 for OCA members and $40 for non-OCA members. All registrations at the door will be $40. The Friday evening dinner and social is free to attend, but guests are asked to RSVP. For more information about the Roundup or to register call the Ohio Cattlemen's Association at (614) 873-6736 or email beef@ohiobeef.org. A full description of the schedule of events, online registration and a downloadable registration form can also be found at www.ohiocattle.org/announcements/oca-summer-roundup .

OCA appreciates the support from sponsors: Farm Credit Mid-America, Better Beef, Dave Long and United Producers, Inc. Water Wagon Sponsored by: Biozyme VitaFerm - Cody Sankey.


Visit the OSU Beef Team calendar of meetings and upcoming events

BEEF Cattle is a weekly publication of Ohio State University Extension in Fairfield County and the OSU Beef Team. Contributors include members of the Beef Team and other beef cattle specialists and economists from across the U.S.

Ohio State University Extension embraces human diversity and is committed to ensuring that all research and related educational programs are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or veteran status. This statement is in accordance with United States Civil Rights Laws and the USDA.

Keith L. Smith, Associate Vice President for Agricultural Administration; Associate Dean, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Director, Ohio State University Extension and Gist Chair in Extension Education and Leadership. TDD No. 800-589-8292 (Ohio only) or 614-292-6181.

Fairfield County Agriculture and Natural Resources