Vomitoxin Concerns? Feeding Heavily Discounted Wheat and/or Bedding With the Straw

Stan Smith, OSU Extension, Fairfield County PA

It’s now apparent that much of Ohio’s wheat crop is testing positive for vomitoxin. Results of “quick tests” completed at grain elevators I’ve contacted have ranged from only 1 ppm to over 10 ppm.

In some cases the elevator is accepting the wheat after discounting the price anywhere from a nickel per bushel up to more than a dollar per bushel. In fact, in some cases the wheat has even been rejected for acceptance at any price by the elevator. While the negative economic impact on the wheat grower quickly becomes obvious, by contrast, this may be an opportunity for cattle feeders.

When wheat receives up to a $1 per bushel discount, its value becomes equal to or less than the Continue reading

Feeding Wheat to Beef Cattle

Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

Wheat can be used to replace a part of the grain ration when protein prices are high and wheat is relatively cheap compared to other grains. As a general rule, limit mold-free wheat to 50% of the grain portion in finishing diets. However, some experienced feeders have used larger amounts of wheat. I tend to recommend lower levels to people not familiar with feeding wheat though (fast fermentation). Lower quality wheat: Limit wheat to 40% of dry matter or 50% of corn, whichever is highest. Take a longer time to build up to full feed than you would with corn. I would not recommend Continue reading

Summer Pasture Management

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Athens County, Buckeye Hills EERA

The goal of managing a rotational grazing system is to keep the pasture forage plants healthy and growing so that grazing livestock can meet their nutritional needs by eating those plants. This goal is accomplished by adhering to some general grazing principles within a context of understanding an animal’s nutrient needs. The summer months of July and August typically are months of hot temperatures and limited rainfall. Let’s examine some specific management decisions required by summer conditions.

There are two general grazing principles to keep in mind; residual leaf cover, the take half, leave half rule, and second Continue reading

Summer Storms and Wild Cherry Trees

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Athens County, Buckeye Hills EERA

Following some of the rain storms and winds that have moved through our area recently, I received a phone call from a farmer who had noticed that a large wild cherry tree had fallen down into a pasture paddock. His question was: 1) how long should cattle be removed from that paddock? And 2) as he cleaned up that tree from the paddock and leaves scattered across the paddock, could those leaves be harmful in a subsequent grazing pass? Continue reading

Poison Hemlock: Have you seen this weed?

Stan Smith, PA, Fairfield County OSU Extension

Each passing year it seems I get a few more calls regarding “this weed that looks like a real tall wild carrot.” Indeed, the population of poison hemlock along field edges, in fence rows, around barn lots, and now even growing throughout hay fields seems to have reached new proportions this year.

Poison hemlock is a biennial member of the carrot family – Conium maculatum – which can cause respiratory failure and even death when Continue reading