Year Round Grazing Project at Farm Science Review

Tim McDermott, OSU Extension Educator, Hocking County

A new demonstration area has been created at the Gwynne Conservation Area for Farm Science Review that exhibits forage species adapted for year around grazing.

Spring oats planted at the Gwynne Conservation Area of FSR in early August

This summer a 1.1 acre plot that had been planted previously in warm season bunch grasses was converted into a series of different forage varieties designed to help teach management intensive grazing principles so that producers can get closer to a year round grazing program. The acreage was divided into four roughly quarter acre plots and planted with Continue reading

Grazing Bites: Another Look at Tall Fescue

– Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

I sometimes get in a hurry when I sit down to write. That sometimes causes me to have a bit of tunnel vision and I don’t get in enough detail due to lack of time or space in the article. That happened in August and I heard about it, and I still have some tire tracts from a couple buses. I guess I should have said more.

A lowly under-utilized endophyte infected fescue plant stands alone and untouched with more palatable overgrazed forages available around it.

I may have been a little hard on tall fescue last month, but Kentucky 31 endophyte infected tall fescue does have issues. Much of the tall fescue in Indiana is infected with the endophyte, a fungus that produces a toxic substance known as ergovaline. The endophyte and ergovaline are responsible for reduced palatability of tall fescue especially when it is under stress. Fescue toxicosis is responsible for elevated body temperatures, restricted blood flow to extremities and poor animal performance.

Most people think that Continue reading

PRF: A “Crop Insurance” Program from RMA for Forage Growers

Billy Fanning, Silveus Southeast

Hay and pasture producers, are you frustrated with the limited attributes of the NAP program?  Are you looking for something to better cover your risk with hay and pasture acres?  If so, you really need to look at the Pasture, Rangeland, Forage (PRF) program available from the Risk Management Agency (RMA).

PRF is a federally subsidized product offered through RMA to producers in all 48 lower states.  The PRF program is designed to provide insurance coverage on your pasture and/or forage acres.  This innovative program is based on a precipitation Rainfall Index.  PRF gives you the ability to Continue reading

Perennial Weed Control in Grass Hay and Pasture

– William S. Curran, Professor of Weed Science, Penn State University

At the recent Ag Progress Days in Pennsylvania one of the most common questions asked involved perennial weed control in grass hay and pasture. While we still have nice warm days, it is good time to scout pasture and hay fields for the presence of perennial weeds. As you hopefully have heard before, late summer and fall is the best time to control most perennials with a systemic herbicide because herbicides are moved into the root systems allowing more permanent control. With the autumn weather, these plants more actively transport carbohydrates and sugars to underground storage structures such as rhizomes, tubers, and roots to enable them to survive the winter and to provide the necessary energy to begin the next cycle of growth in the spring. Mowing the pasture and hay fields in mid-summer or several weeks before the herbicide application to prevent seed production and to promote healthy new leaf tissue that can intercept the herbicide is also important. In general, the application window runs from Continue reading

Grazing Bites for August

– Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

It’s August, and I know it’s August without looking at a calendar. The days are getting shorter and it’s state fair time. August is always a busy month for me and I am usually left wondering what happened to it all. I start thinking about assessing pastures, how much forage is present, and how much more forage can be grown between now and dormancy. It’s sad, but winter is already on my mind. Not that I’m looking forward to it, I’m not, but it’s time now to start preparing.

I want to be able to graze as long as possible, so like the games of chess or checkers, you’re better off planning your next move far ahead. I like as much stockpiled forage as possible which means I better be Continue reading

Mid-Oho Valley Grazing Conference

If you pasture livestock or want to know more about pasture management, then please do not miss this upcoming opportunity to learn from the region’s “Who’s Who” among forages and pasture management.  Ohio State University Extension, West Virginia University Extension, Washington County Farm Bureau, Washington Soil and Water Conservation District, and The Career Center, Adult Technical Training is pleased to offer our region the Mid-Ohio Valley Grazing Conference at Lazy H Farms in Fleming where Continue reading

It’s time to stockpile forages, should you?

Chris Penrose,OSU Extension Educator, Morgan County (Originally published on-line July 5, 2017 in Progressive Forage)

For those who raise livestock, making hay is a way of life. However, after going through another frustrating hay season dealing with weather and equipment, there has to be a better way … and there is.

Stockpiling forages, especially cool-season grasses for fall and winter grazing, is an excellent option – and now’s the time to consider it. All you need to do is make a final grazing of the field or final mowing and let it grow until later in the fall or winter. Typically, adding nitrogen when stockpiling is initiated will Continue reading

Fescue Toxicosis-Knowing the Signs

Christine Gelley, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Noble County (Originally published in the Summer, 2017 issue of the Ohio Cattleman magazine)

Tall fescue “Kentucky-31” (KY-31) is one of the most predominant forages in the nation. Its popularity began in the 1930s when a wild strain of fescue was discovered on a Kentucky farm and it became recognized for wide adaptability. In the1940s, the cultivated variety was publically released and can now be found in most pastures in the United States. This cultivar is easy to establish, persistent, tolerant of many environmental stresses, resistant to pests, and can aid livestock managers in prolonging the grazing season. However, tall fescue does not accomplish all of these tasks unassisted.

An endophytic fungus called Neotyphodium coenophialum can be credited for many of these benefits. The fungus cannot be seen and can only be detected by laboratory analysis. The fescue endophyte forms a mutually beneficial relationship with the grass, but this symbiotic relationship does not Continue reading

Controlling Pasture Flies on Cattle

Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator, Wayne County

Horn flies and face flies are the two most common flies that bother cattle in pasture settings.  From an economic standpoint, horn flies cause the most damage.  Research indicates that a good horn fly control program can result in 12 to 20 pounds of additional weight gain for calves as well as reduced weight loss for nursing cows.  The economic threshold for horn flies is generally considered as equal to or more than 100 flies/side or 200 per animal.  Face flies do not cause the same type of economic damage and no economic threshold number is available, but they can Continue reading

Clipping Just for Aesthetics is Hard to Justify

– Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

July 4th usually reminds me that half of the growing season is pretty much gone. After panicking for a moment or two, it is best to just come to the conclusion that everything is done that needs to be done, and if not, perhaps it just wasn’t that important. I long for those July 4th holidays in the past that were huge family get-to-gathers, those out-of-the back of the vehicles while putting nitrogen on knee high corn in the river bottoms or the leisurely porch gatherings eating watermelon and blackberry pie. I’m not sure why all of a sudden everyone seems so busy, and there is just never enough time.

By now, most have made the decision on whether to clip pastures or not. Like I said before, clipping just for aesthetics is Continue reading