We are in the final month for selling tickets for the Ohio Tobacco Museum Fundraiser on April 8 at Ripley Elementary School. The fundraiser is a reverse raffle with only 300 tickets to be sold. There are a few remaining if you have not bought your ticket yet. The evening will begin with the meal catered by the Scioto Ribber starting at 6:30 p.m. The drawing will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Again, only 300 tickets will be sold and not many are left. Tickets are $100 and includes a meal. Don’t miss out on this chance to win the $8,000 and support the heritage of the Ohio Tobacco Museum. In addition to the grand prize, the first ticket drawn will win $100, and every 10th ticket will win $100. The last five tickets drawn will win more. For more information and tickets, call 937-515-2314.
Calving season approaching?
March came in last Tuesday and was anything but like a lamb. In many places, there was structure damage, but luckily not much else. I did not hear of anyone getting hurt, but I did hear of at least one cow lost in the storms.
The first week of March has been typical spring-like weather. That means wet and temperatures swinging to T-shirt weather to a heavy coat, and that could be in the same day. With the month of March also comes another storm. That storm for many cow/calf producers is calving season. While several still start calving in January, the trend seems to be more toward March/April. The recent beef school has done a survey over the past few years and I see several state March or April for calving season. Most that I have talked to that have moved to this time of the year state they are trying to avoid the mud.
While you may have less mud to deal with, you may also have more issues with rebreeding in the heat of the summer. It could all depend on the summer, but this is something that many of the experts talk about with calving especially in April, or more so if calving in May.
Regardless of when your storm hits, and the constant checking of cows starts, the cows need to be in good condition if you want to deal with a calm storm. Cows in good body condition will give birth to healthier calves. In addition to the cows being in good body condition, you cannot forget the minerals. A mineral block is better than no mineral at all, but the animal’s ability to consume mineral from a block is somewhat limited. That is why the block will last as long as it does. As you approach your calving season, this is not the time to cut corners, or save a little expense. This is most likely the most important stretch in the year for these cows. They are in late gestation. The fetus is in the final weeks, so you want both mom and baby to be healthy and ready for birth. You want the calf to have everything it needs to get off to a good start (on its own). You also want that cow to be able to give birth, provide a good quality and quantity of milk, but you also want her to be ready to cycle as the breeding season will be quickly approaching. So make sure she has the feed she needs with adequate energy and protein to do all of this. In most cases, the hay will not meet all of her needs, so some supplemental feed may be in order. But again, do not forget the minerals.
The following comes from a recent article in the beef blog addressing the mineral situation from Dr. Dave Barz. It seems to hit some of the high points when it comes to the need for minerals:
Mineral supplementation should not be overlooked during gestation and rebreeding. We need to offer or force feed mineral 60-90 days before calving to assure adequate colostrum quality. As the calf matures in utero, they need minerals for development and physiological body reactions. One very important factor is excess trace mineral is stored in the calf. These are used rapidly after the calf is born and milk is a poor source of trace minerals. Many producers have achieved good results with injectable trace minerals. They can be administered to the cow before birthing and the calf after birth. With minerals, you usually get what you pay for. More inexpensive minerals may not contain as many vitamins or trace minerals and may be less bioavailable. If they aren’t absorbed, they will not be fully utilized and thereby never elicit their full benefit.
Dates to remember
• March 15 – GAP for Tobacco at 1 p.m. at West Union Frisch’s and at 6:30 p.m. at North Adams High School.
• March 17-19 – Ohio Beef Expo in Columbus at the Ohio Expo Center.
• March 21 – Highland Soil and Water Feed a Farmer Breakfast begins at 8 a.m.
• March 21 – Farm Bureau
• March 21 – GAP for Tobacco at Southern Hills Board Office at 6:30 p.m.
• March 22 – GAP for Tobacco at Southern Hills Board Office at 1 p.m.
• April 8 – Ohio Tobacco Museum Fundraiser/Reverse Raffle at Ripley Elementary.
• April 8 – Highland County OSU Extension Dinner and Auction at the Highland County Fairgrounds in the evening.
• April 10 – Pesticide Testing at the Old Y Restaurant at noon. Must preregister at http://pested.osu.edu or call 800-282-1955. As always, this test is offered on the second Monday of each month.
David Dugan is an OSU Extension educator, agriculture and natural resources for Highland, Adams and Brown counties.