Corn, Beans, Wheat and Cows . . . Who Says That Rotation Can’t Work?

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

I think I’ve told this story before, but considering the discussion that follows, it’s appropriate to mention it again. Dad was a mechanic for a local farm implement dealer. Once while out on a service call in mid summer he asked the farmer if he’d gotten all his hay made. The response – in a slow German accent – was, “Yes, I got it made . . . but it rained so much, I was never able to get it baled.”

Despite that being the case in some parts of Ohio earlier this summer, the fact is that we still have an abundance of feedstuffs available that will maintain beef cows cost effectively if Continue reading

Fall Grazing Management and Plant Health

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator Wayne County

Grazing management during the months of September and October directly impacts the vigor and growth of pasture in the spring. For the perennial grass plant the fall season is a time of laying the foundation for next year’s growth. Although seed production is one way that a perennial plant can survive from year to year, in pastures the more important way that plants survive is through re-growth from buds located at the crown of the plant. It is during the short day, long night periods in the fall of the year that flower buds are formed/initiated on the crown of the plant. The plant leaf tissue dies during the winter, but the buds and roots of the plant remain as living tissues over the winter and continue to respire and burn energy. If root reserves are insufficient the plant may die Continue reading

The Real Cost of Limiting Nutrients

Dr. Les Anderson, Beef Extension Specialists, University of Kentucky

Fall is rapidly approaching and all cow-calf producers need to access the body condition score (BCS) of their herd. Spring-calving cows are nearing weaning time and the fall is the most economical time to put weight back on. Now is also a key time to manage BCS score in fall-calving cows. Most realize the link between body condition score and reproductive rate but what is the economic impact of allowing BCS to decline? Each year producers faced the decision of how much money should I put into my cows? Can I afford to feed them? So, what is the cost of letting your cows get thin? What is more cost effective; reducing costs by limiting nutrition to your cows and living with reduced reproductive performance or feeding your cows to perform?

Let’s use a real world example. Continue reading

Fall Harvest Considerations for Alfalfa

Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator, Wayne County: Mark Sulc, OSU Extension Forage Specialist

A popular question as we enter September is: What is the last date to harvest alfalfa? Unfortunately, there is not one single right answer to this question. It really depends upon a number of risk factors and how comfortable the alfalfa grower is with varying degrees of risk. Based on risk, there are guidelines that can be used to help determine a last fall harvest date. According to the Ohio Agronomy Guide, the last regular season harvest dates vary depending upon the area of the state and are September 7 for northern Ohio, September 12 for central Ohio and September 15 for southern Ohio. These guidelines are based on avoiding a fall harvest during the Continue reading

“Stage” the Last Cutting of Hay Before It’s Too Late

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

Despite abundant and timely rainfall – at least for corn and soybeans – across much of Ohio this summer, supplies of high quality hay may not be so plentiful. Forage growth has been abundant in most places but the opportunities for a mechanical dry hay harvest have simply been few and far between. That being said, the temptation to take a late cutting of high quality hay may be great this fall, and the weather forecast and the calendar both suggest that the balance of this week and perhaps next week are the last opportunities to do that.

Killing frost of alfalfa happens when air temperatures reach Continue reading