Milkweed and Hemp Dogbane – Who’s Who?

Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County OSU Extension

hemp dogbane

common milkweed

Both milkweed and hemp dogbane have become more apparent over the past week. These two plants are related but have some distinct differences that can help landowners identify them and implement control measures when needed.

Similarities between the two include having creeping roots; leaves that appear on opposite sides of the stem; and they produce a milky sap. Differences include that young milkweed leaves have fine hairs and hemp dogbane are nearly hairless; milkweed stems are generally thick and green, but hemp dogbane stems are usually red to purple and thinner in comparison; hemp dogbane frequently branches in the top canopy, while milkweed will typically not branch unless mowed; and seed pod shape is distinctly different after flowering with milkweed producing an upright tear drop shaped pod and hemp dogbane producing a long bean-like pod that hangs from the plant.

While the usefulness of milkweed in the landscape is often justified for monarch butterfly populations, hemp dogbane has fewer redeeming qualities. Historically hemp dogbane has been Continue reading

Timing Pasture Mowing for Weed Control

Pasture managers looking for answers on when the best time to mechanically clip pastures will find the answer in this episode of Forage Focus. This past winter, host- Christine Gelley- Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources in Noble County connected with her neighbor- Ted Wiseman- Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources in Perry County on the topic over the phone. Together with complementary visuals, in this episode they discuss on-farm research and concepts that surround the decisions of when and how to clip/mow/bush hog/brush hog pastures to promote the growth of desirable plants in diverse pasture ecosystems.

You’re invited to direct your questions/comments to Ted or Christine at:

Ted Wiseman
Perry County Extension
104 S. Columbus St., Somerset, OH 43783
Phone: 740-743-1602

Christine Gelley
Noble County Extension
46049 Marietta Rd., Suite 2, Caldwell, OH 43724
Phone: 740-732-5681

Roughstalk Bluegrass in Cereal Grain and Forage Crops

– Richard Purdin, Taylor Dill and Les Ober, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

This weed has reached population levels high enough to reduce the quality of forages, and crowd out newly established forages.

There is a new and emerging weed challenging cereal grain and forage producers across the state. Roughstalk Bluegrass has taken root in wheat fields and newly established forage stands. This weed has reached population levels high enough to inhibit the harvest of cereal grains, reduce the quality of forages, and crowd out newly established forages.

What is it?

Roughstalk Bluegrass (Poa trivialis) is a perennial cool-season grass that has traditionally been an issue in turfgrass production. This plant can be found growing throughout the Midwest. Rough Stock Bluegrass has a high level of tolerance to shade and wet conditions or poorly drained soils. This weed can reach heights of 1-3 ‘tall. Often climbing above winter cereal grains and reducing growth. Most commonly Roughstalk Bluegrass is not noticed by producers until . . .

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Registration is Open for the OFGC 2021 Summer Forage Field Days

Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County OSU Extension

Scan this code to go directly to the field day registration.

The Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council cordially invites you to join forage and livestock enthusiasts from across the state for their 2021 Summer Forage Field Days. Anyone with an interest in pasture management, hay production, or livestock systems is welcome to attend one or all of the field days planned as drive-it-yourself day tours in Central Ohio.

The series will begin June 25, 2021 in Crawford County. Finishing sheep, goats, and cattle on forage will be the topic of this field day and will include a stop on storing wet forages. This program will feature a tour in the morning of a grazing goat operation at H&M Family Farm with Mike & Angie Hall. Guests- Bob Hendershot, John Berger, and Mark Sulc will discuss finishing sheep, goats, and steers on forage. After lunch we will travel to a second farm to view alternative forage storage methods. At this stop we discuss baleage and methods to Continue reading

Is the Current Feeder Cattle Market a Pricing Opportunity?

– Kenny Burdine, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Kentucky

The JBS cyber-attack was another blow dealt to a cattle market that has been hit with challenge after challenge since last spring. James did a good job last week talking through the impacts on slaughter volumes and how quickly they returned to pre-attack levels. We saw something similar in the spring of 2020 as slaughter levels pushed back towards pre-COVID levels. I think both of these responses speak to the resiliency of our meat system and I am including the weekly slaughter chart again this week. High boxed beef prices are also creating incentives to push cattle through the system.

Market reactions to shocks like these are always interesting to watch. The price response in the cattle markets to the cyber-attack was relatively limited as the market seemed to view this as a short term impact. Conversely, the market response to COVID was much greater, as the impacts were expected to last longer and there was a lot more uncertainty about what would happen. In both cases, the impacts on feeder cattle markets were Continue reading

Substantial Cattle Price Volatility

– Stephen R. Koontz, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University

Fed cattle, feeder cattle, and calf prices have been displaying substantial volatility since April. There is simply much uncertainty about the path through the rest of the year. And it is unlikely the volatility will dissipate.

There is considerable optimism about cattle markets. Beef margins are at extraordinary levels and boxed beef product cut prices are rather high. And this is in the face of substantial production. There is some refilling of meat product pipelines, the supply chains continue to adjust to changes in product flows, and there is substantial improvement in consumer demand. All three are occurring, strengthening prices, and some portion will likely persist into the future. How will these markets react if production tightens some this fall? It appears unlikely that downstream prices and packer margins will Continue reading

Open and Late Calving Cows: The Conundrum

Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, OSU Extension

Figuring out why we have a late calving female is important when deciding to keep or cull.

Being that most of the spring calving cow herds in Ohio and beyond have calved, and breeding season is upon us, there is a cow conundrum that we need to discuss. In the 9 or months that I have been in this position, my favorite questions to answer have quickly become “how quickly can I rebreed a late calving cow?” or “I have a spring calving cow that calved late or never calved at all, can I roll her over to the fall?”

The answers to both of those questions are yes, as I do not have the final say as to what cattlemen can or cannot do on their operations. As someone who is often asked for recommendations on this topic, the real question is should we hang onto those late calving and open females?

Open Cows

In most cases involving open cows the answer to that question is no, they should be in the cull pen. Open cows are a profit drain, no matter if we can roll them over or not. At the simplest form; Profit = Continue reading

Now is a Great Time to Lime

Chris Penrose, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources

Soil acidity should be corrected prior to fertilizer application, making now a great time to apply lime before a fall fertilizer application.

Here in Southeast Ohio, we have had three good chances at making hay and once you have finished, it may be a great time to either fertilize or lime fields. Proper use of lime and fertilizer is important for improving crop yields. After 32 years of helping farmers with soil tests in this part of the state, the majority are low in phosphorus and pH. I recall working in Seneca county a field that had a pH of 8.2 but many of the unglaciated regions of the state have acid soils that can use lime. To optimize production, soil acidity should be corrected prior to fertilizer application. The key is to have a soil test and determine needs.

That makes the fall and right now great times to lime fields. If we lime in the fall, there is plenty of time for the lime to react with the soil so we can fertilize in the spring. If we lime now, we can fertilize this fall if needed. Adding lime supplies calcium and magnesium, will increase soil pH and the availability of nutrients, and increase microbial activity.

Not all lime is created equal. Liming materials are Continue reading

Learn the Myths About Ticks to Keep Yourself Tick Safe

Tim McDermott DVM, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County (originally published in Farm and Dairy)

Myth #3: It’s common to believe that ticks such as this deer tick are only present during spring or summer.

I remember one day back when I was in private practice when a client brought in their dog for their examination and vaccinations and when he set his pup up on the examination table I noticed that the dog’s entire top half of his fur was slicked back.  When I asked about this the client stated that he noticed ticks on the dog, so he covered him with motor oil to drown them out. I have also had clients tell me they put cigarettes out on ticks to burn them off or use kerosene to drown them off.  Hopefully, they never use both of those “treatments” at the same time!

Veterinarians have a long history of dealing with the various pests that affect both companion animals and livestock.  Mosquitos, flies, fleas, lice, mites, and ticks have caused severe illness as well as major economic loss for over one hundred years of animal care history.  Over that time we have heard of some odd treatment protocols, homemade recipes, and unusual methods that are based more on myth than reality.  The reality is that ticks and tick-borne diseases are expanding rapidly in Ohio and we do not have Continue reading

Value of Baler Preservative Applicator

Baler mounted liquid preservative applicators may be more affordable than you think. Photo credit: CropCare (Used with permission)

Do you think baler preservative applicators are too expensive or too complicated? They are more affordable and simpler than you may think. With the challenges that come with making dry hay, it may be a change you can’t afford not to make.

Anyone that bales dry hay has had to chase a field of hay in before the rain comes. Many times the hay is almost fit to bale but it is a little tough and you bale it and hope it doesn’t mold. These are the times you think, if I only had a preservative applicator on the baler, I could bale this and shouldn’t have any problems. Then you think, they are too expensive for me as I only bale a couple thousand small square bales a year. Think again!

You can buy a basic 25-gallon baler liquid applicator for around . . .

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