Develop a Pasture Improvement Strategy

Dean Kreager, Licking County Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator

With spring easing its way in, thoughts are moving toward improving the pastures that may not have performed as you hoped.  You may wonder if re-seeding or overseeding might be the answer.  Like most questions we receive in Extension, my first response would be “It depends”.  There can be benefits with re-seeding, especially if improved varieties of forages are used.  The first question to answer is, have you maximized your management with what you have available?  In previous articles, many of us have talked about the importance of soil testing.  That is a crucial first step.  If the pH is not in the correct range, or there is a shortage of phosphorous or potassium, then re-seeding is probably going to give disappointing results. Another question to consider, is the pasture being overgrazed?  This can occur easily and there are likely management options that will help alleviate the problem.  Re-seeding an overgrazed area will most likely not help.

If you feel you have done all you can with what you have and want to go ahead with re-seeding or overseeding, then let’s consider your Continue reading

Time to Assess Forage Legume Stands

Mark Sulc, OSU Extension Forage Specialist

Alfalfa showing spring growth in central Ohio on March 22, 2022.

With the onset of recent warm temperatures, forage stands are beginning to green up. Wet soil conditions and widely fluctuating temperatures have presented tough conditions for forage stands this winter. This is especially true of taprooted legumes like alfalfa and red clover. Many forage stands suffered significant fall armyworm feeding damage late last summer and into the fall, so those stands should be carefully evaluated this spring as they greenup. It is time to start walking forage stands (especially in southern and central Ohio) to assess their condition so decisions and adjustments for the 2022 growing season can be planned if necessary.

Forage stand evaluation can be performed when 3 to 4 inches of new shoot growth is present. Select random sites throughout the field and count the plants in a one-foot square area. Check at least 4 to 5 random sites in each 20- to 25-acre area. Random sampling will give . . .

Continue reading Time to Assess Forage Legume Stands

Cressleaf Groundsel Management

Mark Loux, OSU Extension Weed Specialist

Look for this weed in the rosette stage now so you’re not surprised by the bloom this spring.

Reminder about the potential for spring infestations of cressleaf groundsel in wheat, forages, and hayfields.  This weed, poisonous to livestock, is a winter annual that emerges in the fall and flowers in the spring.  It’s most likely to occur in new stands that are seeded the previous summer/fall.  Growers are often not aware of this weed’s presence until it does flower, at which point the only course of action is to destroy the first cutting of hay to avoid risk of poisoning.  Fields should ideally be scouted and treated in the fall when groundsel is easier to control.  Where that didn’t occur, scout now and treat when it’s still small.  More information on cressleaf groundsel can be found in a previous C.O.R.N. article, fact sheet, video, and slides.

Alfalfa Weevil – A Check in Time Saves Cryin’

Aaron Wilson, Kelley Tilmon, Mark Sulc and Andy Michel, OSU Extension

Green alfalfa weevil larvae (the main feeding stage) at various growth stages, and brown adults. Photo by Julie Peterson, University of Nebraska.

Even though it feels like January, we’re almost to April, and in April you should begin scouting alfalfa for alfalfa weevil. Overwintered adults begin laying eggs when temperatures exceed 48°F. Peak larval activity and feeding damage occur between 325 and 575 heat units (based on accumulation of heat units from January 1 with a base of 48°F). Current (Jan. 1 – March 26) heating units range from a high of 195 in southern Ohio and a low of 67 in northeast Ohio, and the current cold snap will slow things down a bit. But we have warmer temperatures in forecast for midweek; handful of warm days can jump start things fast.

Continue reading Alfalfa Weevil – A Check in Time Saves Cryin’

Join us for “Beef Team Live” on April 11

Ask a Beef Team member your question now!

The 2022 OSU Extension Beef Team’s Virtual Beef School series concludes on April 11 with a Live roundtable featuring the Team’s members. Beginning at 6 p.m. that evening participants will have the opportunity to ask the Extension Beef Team their beef cattle management questions and receive responses live throughout the webinar broadcast.

While members of the Team will accept questions throughout the virtual broadcast, you are also encouraged to submit questions in advance of the 11th by following this link to a simple “Ask your question” survey.

If you’ve not yet registered to participate in the 2022 Virtual Beef School sessions, including BEEF Team Live on April 11, go here now: http://go.osu.edu/beefschool22

Posted in Events

Roe Inducted into OSU Animal Science Hall of Fame

On April 14th, the Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences will celebrate the achievements of those who have enhanced student education and enriched the animal sciences industry through the annual Hall of Fame ceremony.  Several prestigious student awards will also be presented.

This year, the Department will induct Bev Roe, Angus cattle producer, into the Animal Sciences Hall of Fame.  Recipients of the Animal Sciences Hall of Fame have demonstrated superior skill and achieved success in the field of Animal Science for themselves and their families.  They have also practiced service to others through giving their time, energy and thoughtfulness in the local community.

Beverly (Bev) Wagner Roe received her undergraduate degree in 1975 in Animal Science and Agricultural Communications. Bev’s roots run deep in Ohio Agriculture.  She was raised on a family farm with Continue reading

Posted in Events

Record High March Cattle on Feed

– Josh Maples, Assistant Professor & Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

The latest Cattle on Feed report was released last Friday and reported a record high level of cattle in feedlots for any March 1st. The March 1st total of 12.16 million head was up 1.4 percent above a year ago and is the highest total since the data series began in 1996.

Placements during February 2022 totaled 1.85 million head which is 9.3 percent above placements during February 2021. It is important to note that February 2021 was unique because of the Continue reading

SE Ohio Cattle Deaths Result from Asian Longhorn Ticks

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

Pictured are two adults and thousands of nymphal Asian longhorned ticks collected from a pasture tick drag in a SE Ohio pasture. (Risa Pesapane photo)

Ohio is on the forefront for expansion of ticks and tick-vectored disease going from one tick that is medically important to humans, companion animals, and livestock twenty years ago to five ticks now.

I encountered the American Dog Tick way back when I was in clinical veterinary practice, then added the Blacklegged, or Deer Tick in 2010.  I talked about the Lone Star tick back in Farm and Dairy on June 27th, 2019 in the article “Don’t Let a Lone Star Tick Bite Make You Allergic to Your Dinner” and still get nervous about potentially getting the mammalian muscle allergy (alpha-gal) that could make me allergic to my favorite food, bacon cheeseburgers.

We finally added two more ticks to get to our total of five in 2020 with expansion to new host ranges of those ticks continuing to this day.  The Gulf Coast tick, not a true invasive, has been present in the United States since the 1800’s and was a serious pest for cattle producers at the time assisting with the economic and medical damage caused by the severe and reportable screwworm pest.  This tick has established colonies in counties in Southwestern Ohio.

The tick that I mentioned way back in the July 23rd, 2020 edition of Farm and Dairy article “ The Threat of Asian Longhorned Tick Continues” was initially Continue reading

Forage Focus: The Basics of Pasture Grazing Rotations

In this month’s episode of Forage Focus, our host Christine Gelley of Noble County OSU Extension elaborates on some of the most important information required for designing grazing rotations on farm. Christine will introduce viewers to basic plant biology information necessary for understanding forage growth, the strengths of utilizing rotational grazing for plant and animal health, strategies for estimating available forage for animals to consume, and ideas for designing rotations depending on the resources you have available.

Follow-up questions about this episode can be directed to Continue reading

Cow-Calf Profitability Estimates for 2021 and 2022

– Greg Halich, Kenny Burdine, and Jonathan Shepherd, University of Kentucky Extension

The purpose of this article is to examine cow-calf profitability for a spring calving herd that sold weaned calves in the fall of 2021 and provide an estimate of profitability for the upcoming year.  Table 1 summarizes estimated costs for a well-managed spring-calving cowherd for 2021.  Every operation is different, so producers should evaluate and modify these estimates to fit their situation.  Note that in this table we are not including depreciation or interest on equipment/fencing/facilities, as well as labor and land costs.

Calves are assumed to be weaned and sold at an average weight of 550 lbs. In the fourth quarter of 2021, steers in this weight range were selling for prices in the upper $140’s and heifers in the low $130’s, on a state average basis. Therefore, a steer/heifer average price of $1.40 per lb is used for the analysis, which was $0.10 per lb higher than last year. However, it is important to note that calf prices were much higher in December of 2021, than in October and November. So, the timing of calf sales would have had a significant impact on cow-calf revenues. Weaning rate was estimated at 85%, meaning that it is expected that a calf will be weaned and sold from 85% of the cows that were exposed to the bull.  Based on these assumptions and adjusted for the weaning rate, average calf revenue is $655 per cow.

Pasture maintenance costs are assumed to be . . .

Continue reading Cow-Calf Profitability Estimates for 2021 and 2022