Hay and Straw Barn Fires a Real Danger

Jason Hartschuh, Mark Sulc, Sarah Noggle and David Dugan, Ohio State University Extension

We’ve heard of one barn fire here in Ohio this morning and a lot of hay was put up last Thursday ahead of the rain. Much of the hay was wetter than it should have been for safe dry hay storage. Watch those moist bales very carefully for the next two to three weeks! Use a hay temperature probe and monitor the internal temperature of the hay during these first three weeks after baling.

Usually, we think of water and moisture as a way to put a fire out, but the opposite is true with hay and straw, which when too wet can heat and spontaneously combust. This is more common with hay than straw because there is more plant cell respiration in hay. When baled at moistures over 20% mesophilic bacteria release heat causing temperatures to rise between Continue reading

What is the effect of rain damage on hay?

– Brian Pugh, Oklahoma State Extension Area Agronomy Specialist

Hay that has been cut and then rained on can lose quality in four ways. These include: 1) leaching of soluble carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, 2) increased and prolonged plant respiration, 3) leaf shattering, and 4) microbial breakdown of plant tissue.

Leaching of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals is usually at its highest when the hay has dried somewhat and we then have a prolonged rain. Rainfall right after cutting usually results in less leaching of nutrients and a quick splash-and-dash shower normally doesn’t result in large losses of these nutrients on freshly cut hay.

Increased or prolonged respiration occurs when hay is not Continue reading

The Forage Doctor

Dr. Jimmy Henning, Extension Professor, Forage Specialist, University of Kentucky

They said I had iron toxicity.

One of the constants in the forage world seems to be the love-hate relationship that practicing agriculturalists have with haymaking. We spend a lot of time talking about cutting management, hay testing, curing and baling tweaks and so on. Baler makers have developed lines of balers that will net wrap (old news) but also semi-chop moist hay to encourage the ensiling process.

It is the ‘other hand’ point of view that leads to Continue reading

Cattle Markets Slide into Summer; More Cattle on Feed

– Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Livestock Marketing Specialist

With July 4 beef purchases complete, wholesale beef prices have dropped sharply the past 10 days.

Beef and cattle markets, have defied gravity by staying stronger, longer than most expected this spring. However, with seasonal pressure prevailing, beef and cattle markets have weakened and will likely struggle seasonally for the next six plus weeks. Beef markets often weaken during the summer doldrums, that period of summer heat between Independence Day and Labor Day.

The summer slump may be mitigated somewhat if Continue reading

U.S. Ships First Beef to China: What Does this Mean for Cattle Producers?

– Brian R. Williams, Assistant Extension Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

Negotiations with China regarding the details of an agreement to ship U.S. beef to China have been ongoing for the last few months, and were finalized early last week. It didn’t take long for the Greater Omaha Packing Company to take advantage. Last week, the beef packing company sent the first shipment of U.S. beef to China in 14 years. This presents a tremendous opportunity for U.S. beef producers. China is the world’s second largest economy, and has a rapidly growing middle class. As China’s middle class grows, so will China’s demand for Continue reading

Second Chance at Forward Pricing

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

Commodity markets rarely give second chances but sometimes patience is rewarded. I believe that time is now. In May, I advocated that producers with anticipated fall marketings of calves purchase some price protection in the form of options. This article does the same. Let’s get right to the technicals.

The October feeder cattle contract put in a key Continue reading

Sidedressing Corn With Manure, an Update

You may recall that in December in this publication we shared a brief summary of the results that OSU Extension Manure Nutrient Management Field Specialist Glen Arnold has experienced while utilizing liquid beef manure as a nitrogen source while sidedressing emerged corn. This week below, Ty Higgins of the Ohio AgNet visits with Arnold and also OSU County Extension Educator Sam Custer and gets an update on the work they are doing this summer as they utilize manure as a primary source of nitrogen sidedress for corn in Darke County Ohio.

Application of Manure to Double Crop Soybeans

Glen Arnold, OSU Extension Manure Nutrient Management Field Specialist

Wheat fields will be harvested in Ohio over the next 10 days and many farmers will plant double-crop soybeans. In recent years there has been more interest from livestock producers in applying manure to newly planted soybeans to provide moisture to help get the crop emerged.

Both swine and cattle manure can be used to add moisture to newly planted soybeans. It’s important that the soybeans were properly covered with soil when planted to keep a barrier between the salt and nitrogen in the manure and the germinating soybean seed. It’s also important that Continue reading

What is Your Pasture Score?

Clif Little, OSU Extension Guernsey County

It is difficult to objectively evaluate what we see every day.  We have all heard the old saying “can’t see the forest for the trees”.  Important decisions such as livestock feed inventory, forage stand replanting, fertility needs, weed control, etc., all hinge on what we see in the pasture. That is why an objective evaluation of a pasture is a valuable tool.  Dennis Cosgrove, Dan Undersander of the University of Wisconsin-Extension and James Cropper with USDA/NRCS have developed a tool known as the, “Guide to Pasture Condition Scoring.”  The scorecard can help Continue reading

Has China’s Great Wall Fallen?

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

Most of you have heard of the Great Wall of China.  The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, rammed earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of various nomadic groups.  This historical construction took centuries to build and currently stands in various stages from highly preserved to major disrepair. One archaeological survey found that the entire wall with all of its branches measure out to be 13,171 miles.

Many believe there has been a mythical Great Wall of China that has prevented the U.S beef industry from exporting our beef and beef products to that country.  This mythical wall was built in December, 2003 when a single cow was diagnosed with Mad Cow Disease in the state of Washington.  Shortly thereafter, China enacted a ban on the importing of U.S. beef to China.  Until the ban took effect, the U.S. was China’s largest supplier of imported beef at Continue reading