By ED LENTZ
The beef industry is recovering from tough years of high grain prices and limited forage caused by drought. Cattle producers have thinned herds to survive.
Steak and hamburger lovers are seeing the consequences with higher beef prices. Prices have also been strong because of a greater demand for beef from Asia.
It will take several years to rebuild beef herds, but producers in Ohio and elsewhere are increasing production in response to the lower grain costs and higher beef prices. Good management will be required to rebuild these herds and to ensure quality.
Beef producers can obtain the latest management information by participating in three webinars offered this winter by the Ohio State University Extension. These webinars will be 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at the Hancock County Extension Office.
The first program will be Tuesday, Jan 28. Francis Fluharty, an OSU animal science researcher, will present his and other research on improving breeding herd efficiencies.
Future beef programs and speakers will include:
Feb. 18: “Producing More High Quality Calves in a Shorter Amount of Time,” Mike Day, supervisor of the OSU Beef Center, and “Strategic Use of Genetics,” John Grimes, OSU Extension beef coordinator.
March 11: “Storing Forages Economically and Improving Grazing Efficiencies,” Bill Weiss, professor, OSU Department of Animal Sciences, and “Grazing Management Practices to Increase Pasture Productivity,” Rory Lewandowski, extension agriculture and natural resources educator.
Any cattle producer who attends all three sessions may become certified or re-certified for the Beef Quality Assurance Program. Certification must be renewed every three years.
In addition to the Ohio Beef School Series, the Hancock County Extension office will offer the Sheep and Goat Production Webinar Series from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays in February. Programs and speakers will include:
Feb. 3: “The Management Continuum and Success during the Lambing/Kidding Time Period,” Roger A. High, OSU Sheep Program specialist.
Feb. 10: “Successfully Producing Small Ruminants in a Forage-Based System,” Jeff McCutcheon and Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources educators.
Feb. 17: “Sheep and Goat Breeds and Breed Types: Selecting the Right Breed Type for Your Market,” Roger High, OSU Sheep Program specialist and Tony Nye, OSU Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources educator.
Feb. 24: “Management and Records, What are the Important Records to Make Key Management Decisions for Your Sheep Flock or Goat Herd?” Richard Ehrhardt, Michigan State University Small Ruminant specialist.
The Ohio Beef School and Sheep and Goat Production programs are free and open to the public. Registration is requested by calling the Hancock County Extension Office, 419-422-3851 or sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 24 hours before the program for seating and refreshments.
Hancock and surrounding counties have a rich tradition in raising quality livestock. Most of the grain in the area is grown for the livestock industry. In cooperation with OSU Extension, livestock producers have stayed competitive, protected the environment, and cared for their animals.
Lentz is extension educator for agriculture and natural resources for The Ohio State University Extension Service in Hancock County. He can be reached at 419-422-3851 or via email at email@example.com. Lentz can be heard with Vaun Wickerham on weekdays at 6:35 a.m. on WFIN, at 5:43 a.m. on WKXA-FM, and at 5:28 a.m. at 106.3 The Fox.
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