Winter Feed Options

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Athens County

A shortage of forage, whether it is stockpiled pasture growth, hay, or both, is the current situation facing many beef producers. Competition for scarce hay supplies is driving the price for even low quality hay to record highs. In these circumstances what options can be considered to feed the cow herd through the winter? I recently had a phone call from a beef producer asking about the use of corn silage. He wanted to know how much could be fed to a cow, what kind of nutrient levels to expect and how feasible it might be to purchase and haul silage left over from a previous year. I decided to make some phone calls to some OSU Extension specialists to get their input on these questions. Continue reading

Fertilizing Established Alfalfa Stands This Fall

Robert Mullen and Mark Sulc, OSU Extension

As final harvests of alfalfa are collected, fertilization of potassium should be considered if it is not a part of your program. Alfalfa that has adequate levels of potassium accumulates more carbohydrates in their root system which improves their over-wintering ability and vigor early the next spring. Fall fertilization should be done as soon as possible so that the plant can take advantage of the added nutrients before the onset of winter. Continue reading

Posted in Forages

Using Drought-stressed Forages

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Ag/NR Athens County

During periods of drought such as we have experienced this growing season, many of our forages may accumulate nitrates in high concentrations. Feeding forages high in nitrates to livestock can cause health problems, and, in severe cases, result in animal death. Continue reading