Livestock and Grain Producers: Dealing with Vomitoxin and Zearalenone

Vomitoxin in the 2020 corn crop continues to plague both livestock and grain producers. Livestock producers are trying to decide how best to manage corn and corn by-products with high levels of vomitoxin, and those who grow corn are trying to decide how best to avoid vomitoxin contamination in 2021.

In the 15 minute video below, OSU Extension Educations John Barker, Rob Leeds, and Jacci Smith discuss where and why this year’s vomitoxin issues originated, considerations for avoiding problems in coming years, how it impacts livestock, and what’s involved in testing grain for vomitoxin.

Working Safely with Anhydrous Ammonia

By Kent McGuire – OSU CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator

Many farmers are applying anhydrous ammonia as a part of their spring planting season. Anyone working with anhydrous ammonia should be familiar with the safe use of the product, understand the potential for injury and know how to respond to an emergency. There are several hazards associated to working with anhydrous ammonia in the field. One hazard is that anhydrous ammonia is stored under high pressure. An unintended release can occur if the equipment is not well maintained, equipment becomes damaged, or workers are not trained to follow exact procedures. Additional hazards can be based on anhydrous ammonia’s chemical properties. Contact with skin can cause freezing of tissue or chemical burns. Severe irritation to eyes can take place since anhydrous ammonia seeks out water. And because of the strong odor, inhaling anhydrous ammonia can irritate the lungs and respiratory system. Some simple suggestions when working with anhydrous ammonia in the field include:

– Always have water readily available. This should include a squirt bottle of water with you and 5 gallons of emergency water mounted on the nurse tank.

– Personal protective equipment should include: long sleeve clothing, goggles, chemical gloves, and respirator with approved cartridge.

– Wear the proper personal protective equipment when connecting or disconnecting nurse tanks from the applicator or when making minor repairs or adjustments in the field.

– Ensure that a set of personal protective equipment is located in the cab of the tractor and in any vehicle used to transport nurse tanks. Continue reading

Frost Seeding Red Clover

By Clint Schroeder OSU Extension

The weather forecast for the next several days is ideal for frost seeding. Frost seeding is a very low cost way to establish new forages in existing fields or pastures by broadcast spreading the seed and letting the freezing and thawing cycles of the soil to pull the seed below the surface. With night time low temperatures in the mid 20s and daytime highs reaching the mid 40s over the next 4-5 days there will be several opportunities to broadcast the seed in the morning when the ground is frozen, before it thaws during the day. The chance of rain and higher temperatures in the 6-10 day forecast will be beneficial for germination and establishment.

Red clover generally works best for frost seeding because it is a heavier round seed that has a better chance of making seed to soil contact in this environment. Traditionally, red clover has shown a high seedling vigor that can be easily adapted to a wide range of soil pH levels and fertility conditions. Seeding rates can vary between 2 to 10 pounds per acre. Established pastures or forage fields that need supplemented will use lower rates. Small grain fields like wheat and barley will often require seeding rates at the higher end of that range.

More information on frost seeding can be found at these links.