Significance of Shrink

Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

During this time of year cattle are being placed on grass. A better understanding of factors affecting shrink should help buyers and sellers of cattle to arrive at a fair pencil shrink under specific marketing conditions.

Types of Shrink: There are two types of shrink. One is Continue reading

Is Pinkeye a Reason for Clipping Your Pasture Fields?

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

With the spring of 2012 arriving in Ohio much earlier than is typical, we’ve now been dealing with seed heads in pasture and hay fields for better than 3 weeks. At the same time, I’ve already heard about some pinkeye issues in parts of the State. At times we tend to blame seed heads for pinkeye, and thus assume that mowing them might be the cure.

A few years ago in this publication, OSU Extension Educator Rory Lewandowski discussed the pros and cons of clipping the seed heads from pasture plants in his article To Clip or Not to Clip. A number of questions from readers resulted from that article in regard to whether clipping pastures should be viewed as a method of reducing, or even preventing pinkeye in pastured cattle. With “pinkeye season” upon us now Continue reading

Fly Spray, Deworming, and Fertility in Bulls

– Dr. Les Anderson, Beef Extension Specialist, University of Kentucky

The impact of insecticides that contain pyrethroids and commercial dewormers on fertility in bulls has been the subject of a great deal of conversation lately. A thorough review of the science seems necessary since bull turn-out is upon us. Our discussion will start with commercial dewormers since more is known about the use of dewormers on bull fertility.

About 7 years ago, several beef producers and large animal veterinarians were convinced that use of commercial dewormers like Cydectin, Eprinex, and Dectomax reduced sperm quality and the Continue reading

M&M Determines Hay Quality

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator Wayne County and Crossroads EERA

There were quite a few acres of forages cut for hay in the past week. Hay quality is determined by M&M, and I don’t mean the candy. In this case M&M stand for maturity and moisture content. Maturity is the single biggest factor that determines hay quality. In both cool and warm season forages, across grass and legume species, quality declines rapidly as the plant matures. Quality measures include crude protein, energy content, and fiber content. As the forage plant moves from vegetative to reproductive growth, crude protein and energy content decrease while fiber content increases. If high quality hay is the goal, then forages should be cut in Continue reading

Posted in Forages

Evaluate Alfalfa Stands

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator Wayne County and Crossroads EERA

Should I keep this alfalfa stand or rotate it to a different crop? This question comes up at this time of the year because often the farmer plans to harvest a first cutting and then, if the stand is questionable, there is still time to plant corn for silage. There are two basic methods that can be used to evaluate stand productivity. Evaluate the stand density in terms of plants per square foot or evaluate by counting the number of stems per Continue reading

Posted in Forages

Alfalfa: Preharvest Glyphosate Application

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

Upon completing the alfalfa stand evaluation Rory discusses above, if you decide its time to replace an old stand after a first cutting harvest, don’t forget that the label of many glyphosate products allows for a pre hay harvest application to kill the existing stand. The Ohio/Indiana Weed Control Guide recommends the following Continue reading

Posted in Forages

Have You Seen This Weed Called Cressleaf Groundsel?

Stan Smith, PA Fairfield County OSU Extension


Some are asking how to kill it. Others want to know how to propagate it. Most are wondering what it is.

In recent years, groundsel – cressleaf which is a bi-annual and ragwort which is a very similar perennial – have become an increasing problem in minimum and no-till row crop fields and also aging hay fields with less than acceptable stands. This year due to the very early spring weather where many bi-annual and perennial plants got started two weeks or more ahead of normal, we’ve seen more throughout Ohio than perhaps ever before. Of significance to livestock producers is the fact that cressleaf groundsel is currently included in Ohio’s Noxious Weed List due to its poisonous Continue reading

Eating Meat is Ethical

– Temple Grandin

Humans and animals evolved together. Our brains are tuned into animals. Research with epilepsy patients who had monitors implanted in their brains, showed that the amygdala responds more to animal pictures, compared to pictures of landmarks or people. The amygdala is an important emotion center in the brain. Pictures of both cute and aversive animals got a big response. Recordings from the hippocampus, which is involved with memory, had no differences.

Human beings have an intrinsic bond with animals, but our treatment of animals has ranged from Continue reading

Set the Stage Now for the Rest of the Grazing Season

Chris Penrose, Associate Professor and Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, OSU Extension

We are at a stage now where we can affect grazing for the season. Right now our fields are finishing up their “reproductive stage of growth as our grasses are setting seed heads and our legumes are blooming. After they set seed, perennial plants transition from the reproductive stage to the vegetative stage. Up to this transition, energy of the plant has been moving up from the roots to the seeds, but with this transition, energy movement will primarily move from the leaves to the roots. This is a Continue reading

Posted in Pasture