‘Manure sleuth’ will explain how to read manure for production tips


WOOSTER, Ohio – The phrase, “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction,” has particular meaning to milk producers who monitor both herd feed and manure for management insight on their herds.

In December, OSU Extension will offer local dairy producers an opportunity to see how feed consumption, milk production and, yes, even manure production, are clues to a cow’s past and future health and productivity.

Three nutrition and manure workshops will be offered throughout northeastern Ohio during the first week of December: Dec. 3 in Wooster; Dec. 4 in Salem; and Dec. 5 in Williamsfield.

This workshop will help local dairy producers fine-tune their management abilities by recognizing what is normal at “both ends of the cow.”

Super sleuth. Keynote speaker for this series of workshops is Mary Beth Hall, ruminant nutritionist from the University of Florida. Hall is recognized across the country for her work in fiber digestion and ruminant nutrition. Her recent studies have centered on the evaluation of manure to monitor fiber and nutrient digestion, ration soundness, and rumen health.

In her work as a “manure sleuth,” she has found that a cow leaves behind (her manure) can tell producers about the farm’s nutrition, health, and environment protocols.

Hall will teach producers how to examine the manure for clues to fine-tune the feeding program.

In addition to Hall, Maurice Eastridge and William Weiss, OSU dairy nutritionists, and Tom Noyes, Wayne County dairy agent, will also provide dairy nutrition updates.

Topics to be addressed during this workshop include: normal rumen function; characteristics of healthy manure; correcting feed problems; TMR factors that affect rumen functions; the transition cow-keeping her eating; and evaluating forage quality and price.

Registration. Dairymen, consultants and other interested persons may register for workshops at Fisher Auditorium in Wooster Dec. 3 (contact Tom Noyes at 330-264-8722); at the First United Methodist Church in Salem Dec. 4 (contact Ernest Oelker at 330-424-7291); or the Williamsfield Community Center in Ashtabula County Dec. 5th (contact David Marrison at 440-576-9008.)

The registration fee for the workshops includes lunch and materials.

Registration is set at $15 per person if received by the host county office before Nov. 22. After Nov. 22, registrations increase to $20 per person.

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Field reps, veterinarians can join Hall for onfarm insight

WOOSTER, Ohio – Consultants, whether veterinarians, nutritionists or other field representatives, are a second, objective pair of eyes for their dairy clients.

On Dec. 4, area consultants can join Mary Beth Hall, ruminant nutritionist from the University of Florida, at a Stark County dairy farm evaluating cow comfort, behavior and nutritional status.

Participants will observe cows, feeds and facilities, and will discuss evaluating manure samples for condition, fiber, grain and other characteristics.

This opportunity is limited to 15 registrants. Contact the Northeast District Extension office of the Ohio State University in Wooster at 330-263-3831 for more information.


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