Oats Are an Annual Forage to Consider as a Double Crop After Wheat

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

On May 1 of this year, not only were Ohio hay inventories down 55% from this time last year, but they were at their lowest since at least 1950. U.S. hay stocks were down 34 percent from a year ago and were the lowest May 1 stocks on record. Regardless of the hay crop we are able to put in the barn this year, forages will remain a valuable commodity as long as corn, soybean and wheat values remain high. A few weeks ago in this publication Rory Lewandowski discussed annual forages that could be planted now to supplement scarce forage supplies. As we look forward to wheat harvest beginning around the State over the next week or so, perhaps now is a good time to discuss another annual that fits Continue reading

Fertilizing Hay Fields, No Matter How You Slice It, It’s P to K, 1 to 4, 13 to 50!

Stan Smith, PA, OSU Extension, Fairfield County

As first cutting hay harvest rapidly progresses and even winds down in parts of the State, perhaps it’s a good time to consider replacing the soil nutrients that are removed with harvest. Recognizing that fertilizer is a significant investment in hay production, it’s also important to note that since we agree you can’t starve a profit into a cow, likewise, you can’t starve production or profit into a forage field either.

Each ton of hay that’s harvested and removed from a field in the harvest process takes with it 13 pounds of P2O5 (phosphorus) and 50 pounds of K2O (potash) regardless the calendar date or quality of the material that’s harvested. Continue reading