No More Excuses!

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

It appears that a large portion of the great state of Ohio is undergoing some degree of abnormally dry weather. Whether your particular location qualifies as “drought-stricken” I suppose depends on your individual perspective or a classification by the U.S. Drought Monitor, The fact is that beef producers are facing some tough management decisions as a result of the dry conditions.

Probably the highest priority Continue reading

Drought? Stick to What You Know

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator Wayne County and Crossroads EERA

Every Monday for the past couple of months on the OSU Extension crop team conference call I have heard Jim Noel from the National Weather Service say that across Ohio we are in a pattern of above average temperatures and below average rainfall. These are not encouraging words for a grazier to hear. This isn’t the type of forecast conducive to good pasture growth. Summer pasture growth is dependent upon Continue reading

Oats Are an Annual Forage to Consider For Presently Idle Acres

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

Due to last fall’s extraordinarily wet weather, perhaps only half as much wheat was planted and ultimately harvested in Ohio this year. And, while those acres may have been intended for double crop soybeans, the persistent drought conditions have left many of them unplanted today. If you need forage, assuming that some timely rainfall might return yet this summer and into fall, those vacant acres are a prime candidate for planting oats and creating a Continue reading

Where to Test Forages for Nitrates

Dianne Shoemaker, Extension Field Specialist, Dairy Production Economics & Dr. Bill Weiss, OSU Dairy Nutritionist

With many farms now considering early harvest of drought-stricken corn for silage to salvage some value from the crop, attention must be paid to the potential for high nitrate levels in the plants. If nitrate levels are high enough, they can cause serious health problems for the animals consuming them including death. Good information on this topic is available Continue reading

Drought-Damaged Corn Silage Considerations

Stephen Boyles OSU Extension Beef Specialist

Drought-damaged corn silage may be worth 75 to 95 percent the feeding value of normal corn silage. Allow the corn to stay in the field as long as possible, since if rains come they may bring more stalk and leaf growth, and more tonnage at harvest time. Don’t get in a hurry to harvest corn even if several leaves are drying up on the stalk. Firing of the lower leaves is not critical to the survival of the plant. Plant survival is not in jeopardy until firing of the 6th or 7th leaf occurs. If you decide to harvest in the near future Continue reading

Pricing Drought-Stressed Corn for Corn Silage

Dr. Bill Weiss, Professor and Extension Specialist & Dianne Shoemaker, Extension Field Specialist, Dairy Production Economics

With a “normal” corn crop, pricing a standing crop for silage can be “interesting”. Pricing a drought-stressed corn crop is even more interesting. What is the actual nutrient content of the crop? How well will the crop ferment? Will nitrate levels put the potential silage crop at risk? There are many unknowns, with the biggest challenge being Continue reading

Should Beef Producers Consider Early Weaning During Drought?

– Amy Radunz, UW Beef Extension Specialist

Producers this summer in southern Wisconsin and other drought plagued areas may want to consider early weaning as a strategy for dealing with drought conditions. Beef calves can be successfully weaned starting at 60 days of age and there are several advantages to this strategy in a drought situation.

Advantages to early weaning Continue reading

Haying and/or Grazing of CRP?

Although at this time typically considered low quality feed, one ongoing opportunity for additional forage is the practice of managed haying and grazing of CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) which was placed into contract prior to July 28, 2010. Managed haying is authorized for a single time period of up to 90 days. Managed grazing is authorized for a single period up to 120 days or for two 60-day periods.

Before haying or grazing CRP participants must Continue reading

In response to your questions . . .

Stan Smith, PA, Fairfield County OSU Extension

Based on the calls and e-mails we’ve received over the past week or so, it appears most cattlemen have similar concerns . . . what are my feed alternatives? While most pastures remain essentially dormant and non-vegetative despite the green-up from recent storms which traveled across Ohio, corn is silking in many parts of the state despite being only 5 feet tall.

If nothing else, the forage deficit has Continue reading

Downed Trees, Poisonous Plants and Livestock

Mark Landefeld, ANR OSU Extension Educator

The recent storms that came across Ohio caused many trees to be broken off or blown down in pasture fields and fence lines. A variety of plants and trees can cause serious injury/death to livestock, particularly if animals graze the plants at certain stages. All pastures and paddocks should be immediately checked for the plants listed below because wilted leaves can be extremely toxic to Continue reading