Wheat’s early, are oats a doublecrop ‘forage’ option?

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

In order to optimize utilization, oats have been strip grazed throughout the winter.

With Ohio’s wheat crop coming off early this year, those who may need additional forage have an excellent opportunity for acres to be available where annual forages can be planted and grazed or harvested yet this year. For those wanting acres available for multiple grazings or cuttings later this summer, a summer annual such as sorghum-sudangrass may be the logical choice. However, if the forage need is not immediate, but rather a single grazing or cutting in late summer or fall is preferred, based on our experience in Fairfield County with oats planted after wheat harvest over the past 20+ years, oats are a low cost yet high quality feed alternative. In fact, if planted most any time in July or August, there’s an opportunity to grow anywhere from two to five tons of forage on a dry matter basis while investing little more than the cost of 80-100 pounds of oats, 45+/- pounds of nitrogen, and some time and labor.

With wheat harvest so early this year there may be the urge to get a second crop forage planted immediately. If planting a summer annual such as sorghum-sudangrass an earliest possible planting date is important. However, over the years we’ve found it’s NOT important to rush to get oats planted as Continue reading Wheat’s early, are oats a doublecrop ‘forage’ option?

Key Traits of Grazing Type Sorghum-Sudangrass

Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County OSU Extension (also published in Ohio Farmer on-line)

At A Glance

There’s still time to create lots of feed with sorghum-sudangrass.

Sorghum-sudangrass is a summer annual forage and grain crop that can be planted to fill the gap in cool-season forage availability during summer slump. It can be planted anytime between May 1 to July 20 in Ohio and yield enough growth to be worth the effort to plant for beef or sheep production.

Sorghum-Sudangrass, an excellent option for summer grazing

Sorghum-sudangrass is a hybrid summer annual grass that can be harvested repeatedly throughout the summer months, up until first frost. It is a cross of two sorghum species- sudangrass (which is a fine-stemmed, leafy, annual forage) and grain sorghum (a stalky, upright, annual forage that is commonly used for silage or for grain). When hybridized, you get Continue reading Key Traits of Grazing Type Sorghum-Sudangrass

Managing Heat Stress of Beef Animals

John Yost, OSU Extension Educator, AgNR, Wayne County

We are accustomed to hearing the weatherman talk about the “actual” air temperature versus the “feels like” temperature. While we each have a “feels like” temperature where we are most comfortable, we can’t translate our comfort to the physiologic and welfare comfort of our ruminant livestock. Heat generated by the fermentation process in the rumen allows cattle to tolerate much colder temperatures than humans. Conversely, they can begin to experience heat stress at temperatures we would consider mild.


The Thermal Heat Index (THI) considers the air temperature and relative humidity to identify combinations where livestock can begin to experience heat stress (Figure 1). Critical THI values will vary depending on the type of livestock and how they are housed. Generally, cattle can begin to Continue reading Managing Heat Stress of Beef Animals

Ohio Beef Day to be held in Crawford/Marion Counties

Plan to attend, register today!

Field days have long been a great educational tool used to show farmers new technologies and management practices. OSU Extension is pleased to announce the return of a statewide Ohio Beef Cattle Field Day. The program will make its reappearance in Crawford and Marion Counties on Saturday August 10, 2023.

In order to see several aspects of beef cattle production this event will begin at the Crawford County Extension office. While at the Extension office we will hear remarks from Mark Gottke. Mark farms in Allen County and is the current president of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association. The tour will depart with attendees driving their own vehicles as we caravan from one stop to the next. We recommend carpooling as much as possible due to limited parking at one of the tour stops.

The tour stops are as follow Continue reading Ohio Beef Day to be held in Crawford/Marion Counties

Posted in Events

Attend Hay Day in Southern Ohio on July 8

Get registered today!

The Southern Ohio Hay Day will begin its tradition by offering an educational field day to hay producers in 2024! This field day will offer demonstrations of hay harvesting equipment, tradeshow exhibits, educational presentations, lunch, and door prizes. Admission is free and open to the public.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Jackson Agricultural Research Station on Monday, July 8, 2024. Registration will open at 9 a.m. with featured content beginning at 10 a.m. The event will conclude at 4 p.m.

The schedule for the day includes Continue reading Attend Hay Day in Southern Ohio on July 8

May Placements Exceed Expectations in June Cattle on Feed Report

– Dr. Kenny Burdine, Extension Professor, Livestock Marketing, University of Kentucky

USDA released the June Cattle on Feed Report last Friday afternoon. This monthly report estimates the number of cattle on feed in US feedlots with one-time capacity exceeding 1,000 head. Monthly cattle on feed reports account for more than 80% of total on-feed inventory in the US. For this reason, the markets tend to watch them pretty closely as they provide key insights into beef production levels over the next several months. In the previous report (May 2024), on-feed inventory finally dipped below year-ago levels. It seemed like this had been coming for a while but took longer than expected.

In the June report, May placements were the big surprise. After relatively Continue reading May Placements Exceed Expectations in June Cattle on Feed Report

The Impact of Rain on Hay Quality

Ted Wiseman, OSU Extension, Perry County (originally published in Farm & Dairy)

Did rain damage your hay before it got baled?

Hay, a vital feed resource for livestock, needs to be of high quality to ensure animal health and productivity. Unfortunately, when hay gets rained on during the curing process, its quality can be significantly compromised. Understanding how rain affects hay and what can be done to mitigate these effects is crucial for every hay producer.

How Rain Affects Hay

Rain during the hay curing process can lead to several issues. One primary concern is the leaching of nutrients. Rainwater can wash away essential nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, and minerals, reducing the overall feeding value of the hay. Even a light rain can cause substantial nutrient losses.

Another significant issue is the Continue reading The Impact of Rain on Hay Quality

What is your Hay Outlook for the Year?

Jordan Penrose, Ohio State University Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Morgan County

With first cutting made, have you secured your annual forage needs?

With first cutting progressing across the state, now is the time to evaluate your hay outlook for the year. Here are some questions to ask yourself when you are evaluating. How have your yields been? What do you think your next cutting will look like? Do you have any leftover hay from years before? By asking yourself these questions you are going to come to one of three conclusions, you are right on track, you have an abundant supply, or you have a low supply. Let’s look at some options that you could have if have an abundant or low supply of hay. Because the time to plan is now, the earlier you plan the more options that you will have available to you.

Abundant Supply of Hay

Having an abundant supply of hay is a good problem to have. But what do you do with the extra hay that you won’t use? Do you keep it, or would you like to make a profit? The first thing that may come to mind is to Continue reading What is your Hay Outlook for the Year?

Is creep feeding calves right for you?

– Bill Halfman, Beef Outreach Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension

Considering whether or not to creep feed is complex.

With cattle prices at record highs and favorable feed prices, producers are likely considering creep feeding their beef calves to add additional pounds.

Creep feeding provides supplemental feed to nursing beef calves in an area that the cows can’t access. It is common for creep feed to consist of grains, protein supplements and limiters, but many other feed sources can be used as creep. The feed may be an on-farm mix or a commercial feed of various types, and usually is fed using a creep feeder.

Whether creep feeding will pay off is more complex than just adding pounds to calves; many factors come into play. Research results over the years have been mixed. It is important to evaluate numerous factors, including Continue reading Is creep feeding calves right for you?

Manure Science Review Coming Thursday August 6th

Register before July 19 for the discounted rate.

The annual Manure Science Review will be held on Tuesday, August 6th from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm at the Farm Science Review Molly Caren Agricultural Center 135 SR 38 NE, London, OH.

Topics will include manure placement and subsurface drainage, 360-RAIN liquid manure application, and a variety of demonstrations.

For more detail and registration information see Ohio State to Host Manure Science Review in August

Posted in Events