Upcoming Beef and Forage Programming Moves On-line This Winter

Cow/Calf School launches on January 18th

This winter the OSU Beef Team is offering a variety of educational programs online, beginning with Making Hay for Beef Cattle on January 18. In total, nine programs are presently scheduled focusing on everything from feed and forage management to managing the breeding season. These sessions are each being offered free of charge, but pre-registration is required. Find all the details linked here: https://u.osu.edu/beefteam/2021-beef-school/

Also, the OSU Extension Forage Team is offering a ‘virtual’ edition of Pastures for Profit. This program launches next week on the 13th and will feature one live webinar offered monthly in January, February and March along with “work at your own pace” videos and exercises that accompany each webinar. Find details including registration information here: https://u.osu.edu/beef/2020/12/23/pasture-for-profit-school-goes-virtual-this-winter/

Find a comprehensive listing of currently planned beef and forage related meetings and programs posted on the OSU Extension Beef Team Events/Programs page.

“Pastures for Profit” School Goes Virtual this Winter

Register today!

This coming year between January and March, 2021, the Pastures for Profit curriculum will be offered as a virtual course. One live webinar will be offered per month along with “work at your own pace” videos and exercises that accompany each webinar. The Pastures for Profit program is a collaboration between Ohio State University Extension, Central State University, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and the Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council.

Each webinar will be offered live on Zoom beginning at 7 P.M. and feature three presentations 0ver a 90-minute span. Attendees will be able to interact with the speakers and ask questions in real time. Once registered, attendees will be granted access to the online course including the webinars and complementary resources. Participants that attend all three webinars will have the opportunity to earn a certificate of completion. Registered participants will also receive their choice of a curriculum binder or USB drive of the traditional course delivered via mail.

The webinar schedule and topics are as follows: Continue reading

Forage Focus: Prioritizing What Hay to Feed and When

Designing good winter feeding programs for ruminant livestock requires an understanding of both animal nutritional requirements and hay quality. The longevity of hay quality retention is dependent on factors determined on the day of hay harvest and the days following in storage.

In this episode of Forage Focus, Christine Gelley- ANR Educator in Noble County, reviews factors to consider when prioritizing what hay to feed and when.

Grazing Concepts that Benefit the Bird and the Herd

Application deadline for the Northern Bobwhite n Grasslands EQIP project in 30 Ohio counties is January 15, 2021

If you think livestock and quail don’t mix, a type of managed grazing may change your mind. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for a program that focuses on establishing productive warm season forages to improve livestock production and provide large areas of prime habitat for ground nesting birds and other wildlife.

Ohio’s Northern Bobwhite in Grasslands project is part of a national Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) partnership, a collaborative approach to conserving habitat for declining species on farms and working forests. NRCS works with partners and private landowners to focus voluntary conservation efforts on working landscapes.

The Northern Bobwhite in Grasslands project is designed to help bring back the quail that were once an integral part of Ohio’s farming way of life. Leading researchers have documented the Continue reading

Hay Quality: Beyond Proximate Analyses

– Jeff Lehmkuhler, PhD, PAS, Associate Extension Professor

My forage colleagues and I seem to get bombarded with questions on forage quality and interpreting forage test results this time of year. The timing coincides with folks starting to feed hay and looking at developing supplementation programs for the cattle receiving the forage. Getting the forage tested for nutrient content is the first step.

Proximate analysis allows for separating a forage/feed into various macronutrient categories and was initially developed by German researchers in 1860. The components measured in the Weende analysis included: moisture, ash, crude protein, crude lipid, crude fiber and calculated nitrogen-free extracts. Crude fiber was replaced by the neutral and acid detergent fiber analyses developed by Dr. Peter VanSoest in the 1960’s to improve energy estimates of feedstuffs for ruminants as some of the cell wall is degraded by the rumen microbes. I am always in awe of the progress researchers have made in the nutrition field beginning with feed composition analyses more than 150 years ago.

The laboratory process provides us with some insight on the feed quality, but the energy estimates don’t always mimic the biological performance of a feedstuff. However, the laboratory analyses are useful in developing feeding programs. As an example, knowledge on the Continue reading

Getting the Most out of Stockpiled Grass

– Chris Teutsch, Associate Extension Professor, UK Grain and Forage Center of Excellence

Figure 1. Strip grazing stockpiled grass can extending grazing by as much as 40%.

Stockpiled tall fescue is in the most economical way feed cows during the winter months. Once stockpiled growth has accumulated, how you choose to utilize it can dramatically impact how may grazing days you get per acre. Research in Missouri showed that giving cows access to only enough forage for 3-days versus 14-days resulted in a 40% increase in grazing days per acre. The following tips will help to get the most of your stockpile.

Graze pastures that contain warm-season grasses first. Although we often like to think of pastures as monocultures, they are often complex mixtures of cool and warm-season grasses, legumes and weedy forbs. If pastures contain warm-season grasses, use these first since their quality will decline rapidly in late fall and early winter.

Graze pastures containing clover next. We are always happy to see clover in pastures. However, in a stockpiling scenario it does not Continue reading

The Goal: Feed Less, Graze More

– Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

Winter; time to catch up on reading and sharpening the pencil and mind.

I often talk about upcoming grazing conferences this time of year. Right now, meetings in person are scarce and perhaps rightly so. I still encourage you to continue learning whether it’s from watching YouTube videos, reading books or articles, or attending a virtual meeting or conference.

It is also the time of year when I start thinking more about finding a comfortable chair, a warm blanket and some good reading material — especially when the snow flurries start. Winter is a great time for me to catch up on reading after checking on livestock in the cold, as long as I don’t get too warm and nod off. But, that said, winter chores still must be done! I’m never mentally prepared for winter, but that won’t stop it from happening. What’s a perfect winter to me? It includes stockpiled forages lasting for as long as possible, dry or frozen ground and as little hay needed to be fed.

You certainly can’t control the weather. You need to instead learn how to Continue reading

Cover Crops, They’re Feed Too!

In this short video made in early November, Jason Hartschuh and Amanda Douridas share the fall growth on August seeded cover crops at Farm Science Review, and discuss the benefits of using cover crops on your farm.

Reducing Winter Feed Costs

Clif Little, OSU Extension Agriculture Natural Resources, Guernsey County (this article was originally appeared in Farm and Dairy)

Stockpiled fescue with small round bales can be utilized for winter strip grazing. Photo by Clif Little

Winter feed represents one of the largest components of annual cow cost. Approximately seventy five percent of the annual feed cost for cattle is winter feed. One way to increase the profit potential in the cow herd is to reduce this cost by extending the grazing season.

For example, a 1500-pound mature cow will consume approximately 38 pounds of hay per day. If that hay sells for $50 per ton, then her feed cost is ($50 divided by 2000 pounds) times 38 pounds per day = $.95 cents per day.

In a three-year study conducted by OSU researchers Dr. Steven Loerch and Dr. Dave Barker they looked at the cost of extending the grazing season, feeding hay and limit-feeding concentrates. Their results indicated that the average winter feed cost per cow per day over the 112 day feeding period for stockpiled pasture system was Continue reading