Worry About What You Can Control

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

I don’t know of any enterprise that a person could be involved with that would be more dependent on the weather than field crop production. A person can have the best management plan possible in regards to seed, fertilizer, weed control, disease control, marketing, etc. However, if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, the best plans simply aren’t going to be as successful. There are some species of livestock where the impacts of weather have been minimalized through production systems. Modern swine and poultry production come to mind. Cattle producers are definitely impacted by Continue reading

Summer Annuals Can Provide Pasture or Stored Feed Options

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Wayne County

Beef cattle owners that are looking for supplemental forage options should consider summer annuals. June is the ideal time frame for planting a warm season summer annual crop. These forages thrive in summer heat, are drought tolerant, and can be used for either grazing or as a stored feed. Summer annuals include sorghum, sudangrass, sorghum x sudangrass hybrids, millet, teff, and corn. With adequate soil fertility and a minimum of moisture, these species are capable of producing Continue reading

Don’t Let Spring Yard Cleanup, or Weeds, Kill Your Cows?

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

A couple of recent calls reminded me it’s the time of year when lots of homeowners are outside trimming, pruning and generally cleaning up in the yard or around the farmstead. Most cattlemen are aware that some ‘trimmings’ can be toxic to cattle. Unfortunately, in an urbanizing state like Ohio, neighboring homeowners don’t always realize that vegetation they may consider to simply be “organic matter” or “feed” for some critters, may actually be poison to others. That’s one reason it behooves farm owners, and especially cattlemen to establish acquaintance with neighbors, sharing with them seasonal concerns.

Perhaps during this time of year, the greatest risk Continue reading

Pay Attention to Hay Moisture

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator Wayne County

Driving around the county the past week I could see that first cutting hay harvest is well underway. The goal in haymaking is to preserve forage quality in a form that can be used by livestock at a later date. Each year however, dry matter and forage quality is lost due to spontaneous heating in hay that is caused by baling at too high of a moisture content. Generally all bales left to air dry after baling at 15 to 20% moisture undergo some degree of heating beginning a couple of days after baling and continuing for a week to 10 days after baling. The heat that is generated is a result of plant respiration and microorganisms on the hay consuming carbohydrates (sugars and starches). In general, if temperatures do not exceed Continue reading

Stretching out the Spring Flush of Forage Growth

Chris Penrose, Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Morgan County

For most of us, forage growth has finally started and we are getting the spring “flush” of growth. For pasture and hay fields that are primarily grass based, we may get up to 70% of our growth in the next month or so. One reason we have so much growth now is that we generally have ideal growing conditions and our forages are in the reproductive stage of growth. The main priority for our perennial grasses and legumes in this stage of growth are to make seed heads. For our grasses, this will most likely be the only time seed heads are made, which will be during the next month for most grasses. As forage managers, we have two tasks to improve our grazing during this time of the year.

First, if we can Continue reading