Applications for King/Queen and Industry Ambassadors Due July 1st.

Don’t forget that the deadline to apply for King/Queen and Industry Ambassadors is July 1st this year! Applications can be found at

Outstanding 4-H’er, Glenn Wallace, Jodrey, Jimison, and Chris Balz forms can also be found on that page (scroll down) and are due August 1st.


Brown County Junior Fair King and Queen

Applications for the 2019 Brown County Junior Fair King and Queen are available. All applications must be filled out and submitted online via the link below. Applications are due by 4:30pm July 1 (or next business day if the deadline falls on a weekend). Applicants must also read and sign a copy of the yearly expectations and responsibilities. The applicant’s junior fair club/chapter adviser and a parent/guardian must also sign this document. This signed form is due to the Extension Office by 4:30pm July 1. The form is available for download below or may be picked up at the Extension Office.

Please review all the information for the King and Queen contest before nominating candidates and submitting applications. The information with eligibility, application and interview process as it will be printed in the fair book will be available soon. Interviews will be conducted on August 11 at 3:00 p.m. at Georgetown High School and the contest will be held on September 23.

King & Queen Candidates must be members of a Junior Fair organization. Candidates must be 16 as of January 1st or a Junior in High School as of January 1st.

Eligibility, Application and Interview Process (Fair book information-Coming Soon)
Link to the online application:
Royalty Guidelines
Royalty Qualifications & Requirements Certification

We strongly recommend that you print the survey first, compile your responses, then come back to this page and complete the application. Additionally, we recommend you type your answers in a Word Document and then copy paste them into the application.

At the end of the survey, you should see ‘Thank you for taking this survey’.  If this statement does not appear, please contact Liz Dunn at 937-213-2117, Bethany Shupert at 513-312-1551 or email


Brown County Junior Fair Industry Ambassador

Applications for the 2019 Brown County Junior Fair Industry Ambassadors are now being accepted. All applications must be filled out and submitted online via the link below. Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. July 1 (or next business day if the deadline falls on a weekend). Applicants must also read and sign a copy of the yearly expectations and responsibilities. The applicant’s junior fair club/chapter adviser and a parent/guardian must also sign this document. This signed form is due to the Extension Office by 4:30 p.m. July 1. The form is available for download below or may be picked up at the Extension Office.

Please review all the information for the Industry Ambassadors program before nominating candidates and submitting applications. The information with eligibility, application and interview process as it will be printed in the fair book will be available soon.

Interviews for Industry Ambassadors will be held on August 11, at Georgetown High School, at 3:00 p.m. Selections will be announced that evening at 6:30 p.m.

Industry Ambassadors must have three years in the respective project year (including the current year) and be at least 15 years old as of January 1st.

Eligibility, Application and Interview Process (Fair book information-Coming Soon)
Link to the online application:
Industry Ambassador Guidelines
Industry Ambassador Qualifications & Requirements Certification Form

We strongly recommend that you print the survey first, compile your responses, then come back to this page and complete the application. Additionally, we recommend you type your answers in a Word Document and then copy paste them into the application.

At the end of the survey, you should see ‘Thank you for taking this survey’.  If this statement does not appear, please contact Liz Dunn at 937-213-2117, Bethany Shupert at 513-312-1551 or email

Outstanding 4-Her

Candidates must be 16 years of age as of January 1st of the current year. Candidates will be interviewed by a panel of judges during the King and Queen interviews on August 11 at 3:00 p.m. All candidates must be nominated by a club or advisor. An individual may win this award only one time.

 This award will be given to the top two applicants, regardless of gender, as selected by the judges. Outstanding 4-H’er recipients will receive a $500 scholarship sponsored by the Brown County 4-H Committee. Scholarship money will be distributed after the recipients provide a copy of one semester’s grades from their college/university and proof of enrollment for the following semester.

Outstanding 4-Her Application- 2019.

Chris Balz Award

Chris Balz Memorial Trophy – Charles Balz Family and Friends will present this trophy.
1. Active member of a Brown County 4-H club who has a saddle project.
2. Judged on willingness to help themselves and others.
3. Participation in 4-H activities.
4. Good sportsmanship.
5. Mainly, a good all-around 4-H member.

Chris Balz Nomination Form

Hubert Jodrey and Dean Jimison Memorial

Dairy project related

Jodrey/Jimison Memorial Application

Glenn Wallace Memorial

Applicants must submit an essay of 200 words or less on “What You Can Learn From A Swine Project”. Applicants will be judged on the following criteria (the main emphasis will be on their swine involvement): involvement in school, community and other youth organizations, their willingness to help themselves and others, example of good sportsmanship, participation in 4-H and FFA activities, and their knowledge of the swine industry.
The applicant may present a scrapbook or record book during the interview. Interviews are held on August 11 at 3:00 p.m. during the King and Queen interviews .
Only 9th grade (as of January 1) and over exhibitors may be nominated for this award.  They must have carried a swine project for at least two years.  They must be an active member of good standing in a Brown County 4-H Club or FFA Chapter.  An applicant can only win this award once.

Glenn Wallace Memorial Nomination Form


Forage Shortage and Prevented Planting Acres… think OATS!

Photo of oats that were planted August 5 and photographed three months later. Yield was in excess of 4 tons of dry matter grown.

Photo of oats that were planted August 5 and photographed three months later. Yield was in excess of 4 tons of dry matter grown


Last week, USDA released the declaration that a cover crop planted onto prevented planting acres can now be harvested as a forage after September 1st, rather than the normal date of November 1st, which provides a small glimmer of hope for some livestock producers and those equipped to harvest forages.  While Ohio is also experiencing a severe shortage of forages for all classes of livestock, weed control on prevented planting acres is a major concern, and with USDA’s declaration, we can now address both problems in one action – seeding cover crops that will be harvestable as a forage after September 1st.

As with everything else this season, however, patience is the key!  Although an ideal situation would be cover crops that can be put out immediately and reduce the need for tillage, chopping, or spraying of weeds already present, there are unfortunately not many species of cover crop that will accomplish this and still provide significant tonnage or feed quality as a forage in September.  Sorghum/Sudangrass seed is in very tight supply, soybeans as a cover may not be ideal for making hay or producing desired tonnages, and corn as a cover crop is still questionable in terms of insurance payments, and whether or not we can get it dry enough to make good silage.  Teff grass, pearl millet, and Italian ryegrass may be good options if you can locate seed and get them established, but if planted now, they may be ready for harvest prior to September 1st, and quality will be sacrificed.  Most other species of crops that fit the bill for making a good forage simply won’t work well at all if planted right now.  So, again, we wait.  But once we get to late July or early August, our options begin to open up.

Our traditional cover crops of cereal rye, annual ryegrass, oats, peas, turnips, and other brassicas have been used by livestock producers for many years with good success at producing forages.  There are several good articles, fact sheets, and recommendations on these crops used as an annual forage following a wheat crop, or even aerial seeded into standing soybeans and corn acres available in our library at, and on the OSU Extension forage site at  With over 15  years of experience with summer planted oats under our belts, preceded by and intermixed with several years of experience with cereal rye, brassicas, and grasses, we know there’s still plenty of time to ‘create’ anywhere from one to five tons of forages in wheat stubble or prevented plant fields. From our experiences with many operations in all parts of the state, and on our own farms in Northwest Ohio and Southeastern Ohio, oats would be the species of choice to provide the lowest input, most readily available forage, with the best chance for significant tonnage this year.

The ideal situation is planting oats into vacant fields resulting from Prevented Planting or harvested wheat on or around August 1. Existing weeds must be controlled prior to planting with a herbicide application. With just a little moisture (no pun intended), and a small amount of nitrogen, you might be surprised at the growth you can get out of oats planted in late July or August.

Oat hay is an acceptable forage for all classes of livestock, and while nutrient content will vary depending on maturity at harvest, we have repeatedly seen oats harvested at 60 days of growth with crude protein levels from 12-19%, and digestible organic matter as high as 65%.  If you are looking to make dry hay, it can be a challenge in late September or October, often requiring 5-7 days after being cut, but it is certainly possible, and small amounts of rain during the dry down process will not deteriorate this forage nearly as rapidly as alfalfa and other grasses.   If you do not get that window to cut them for dry hay, it may cost a little more, but having the oats wet-wrapped beats the alternative of having no hay available, and your cows, goats, and sheep will literally run you over to get to it once you start feeding it!

There are some options on oats as far as what to plant, including forage type oats that are bred specifically for forage production, bin run oats that may be harvested locally or around Ohio yet this summer, or feed oats that are likely shipped in from Canada and used in many of our livestock rations at co-ops all around the state.   Depending on your goal, all three sources of seed will work.  If you are feeding dairy cows or maybe even looking at horse quality hay, forage oats will be more expensive, but are likely the best option, as nutrient levels tend to be higher, given the later maturity of the plant and the lower likelihood of the plant trying to form a seedhead.  Fungus issues in the form of rust are about the only major issue we see in any type of oats seeded for forage, but the varieties bred for forage production are generally less susceptible, helping keep these more palatable as hay.  If you plan to use this option, contact your seed dealers ASAP to check on availability.

If you are simply looking for the cheapest and easiest source of seed, and are not as concerned about germination, seed quality, or foreign material in your seed, then locally produced oats are your best option.  Be aware that many oats were planted late this year, may not yield as much as needed, and likely will have significant weed seed in them at harvest, so cleaning would be a must, or we lose sight of the original intent of covering the ground on prevented plant acres.

The final option of utilizing feed grade oats as the seed is likely the most realistic and economical option.  First off, most feed oats have come from Canada, where production has not been an issue, and we have not talked to any co-op or feed mill that has any indication of a tightening supply or major cost increase.  Feed oats are usually triple-cleaned to provide horse quality feed, so weed seeds should not be present, and you can likely buy these in bulk from your local co-op for $15-22/hundred weight.

Once you have obtained a source of seed that is right for you, the establishment is usually pretty simple: No-till 60-90 pounds into harvested wheat fields, or prevented plant fields anytime from late July up until early September. It appears that late July or early August may be the optimum time to plant oats when high-quality forage is the goal. “Spring” oats seldom make seed when planted after the days begin to shorten in July, but will continue to grow leaf until Thanksgiving or after in Ohio. Consider applying 40-50 units of nitrogen about 60 days before you plan to harvest them, regardless of the harvest method for optimal nitrogen use.  Common scenarios for this include broadcasting urea ahead of the drill, mixing UAN 28% with roundup if a burndown is needed, or applying ammonium sulfate after germination.  Conventional till planting scenarios have worked as well and could be required this year depending on weed control up until planting time, but typically drier conditions make germination and early growth slightly less productive with oats.

While many of the hardest hit portions of Northwest Ohio may not even have their own livestock or be considering grazing options, it could be relevant in some areas where fences exist around prevented plant acres, and some of these areas could also have the need for spring forages.

If your primary needs are forage for grazing, hay, or silage next spring, cereal rye appears to be the best alternative. The opportunity exists to graze it in the late summer and fall, however, the most abundant tonnage will come in the spring. In addition to planting it with the options mentioned above for oats, you may also no-till it after row crop harvest – particularly soybeans and silage corn – this fall.

If your primary needs are grazeable forages as soon as possible, consider turnips or a combination of oats and turnips. Previous summers we’ve seen good results locally when planting a ‘grazing turnip’ such as Appin in combination with oats. If some precipitation is received shortly after planting, this combination could be strip grazed as early as 5-6 weeks after planting. The oats will provide some additional fiber in this grazing mix, and the Appin turnips will continue to regrow after being topped off with early grazing.

As you review your options, realize that at times seed oats are difficult to purchase this time of year. Contact the Ohio Seed Improvement Association or visit for a list of growers who may have seed oats available. If you take the opportunity to try any of these extended grazings or forage production alternatives, please keep us updated on your progress and success.  We hope to be able to follow along with some real-time updates through the summer and fall with the status of cover crop forage plantings, and we also have plans to seed trials at the North Central Agricultural Research station near Fremont that will evaluate seeding dates, variety of oats, and possibly the benefits of a fungicide application on oats planted for forage.  Many fact sheets and articles are available on these forages at your local extension office, the OSU Beef team website, the OSU Forage team website, or at

If you have questions or would like further information, feel free to contact Allen at the Sandusky County office 419-334-6340 or, or Stan at the Fairfield County office 740-653-5419 or



Ohio NRCS Announces Disaster Recovery Funding to Plant Cover Crops on Flooded Cropland Acreage

200 North High Street, Room 522

Columbus, Ohio 43215

Contact: John Wilson, 614-255-2480


Ohio NRCS Announces Disaster Recovery Funding to Plant Cover Crops on Flooded Cropland Acreage


COLUMBUS, June 28, 2019 – Extreme weather conditions like the recent excessive rains and tornados have negatively impacted Ohio farmers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will invest $4 million to help Ohio agricultural producers recover. Technical and financial assistance is now available to producers who were unable to plant their crops, or who have experienced crop loss due to flooded or wet fields. This sign-up is an opportunity for farmers to plant a cover crop.

“NRCS can be a valuable partner to help Ohio landowners with their agricultural recovery effort,” said State Conservationist Terry Cosby for NRCS in Ohio. “This special sign-up encourages farmers to plant cover crops to improve water quality and soil health, prevent soil erosion, and suppress weeds on areas not planted to crops.”

NRCS will utilize the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for this special disaster recovery sign-up. EQIP is a voluntary conservation program that helps agricultural producers protect the environment while promoting agricultural production.

Cover crops provide an alternative to fields going fallow and remaining uncovered. Cover crops also improve soil vitality by adding nutrients and organic matter. Many fields that are saturated for a long period of time face a loss of soil organisms. Cover crop roots reestablish soil health and create pathways for air and water to move through the soil, which is key to restoring it.

There are significant changes with cover crops and we want producers to be successful in their 2020 planting year. Educational cover crop workshops and field days are readily available throughout Ohio to learn more. Additional information is also available on the NRCS website and

Landowners should coordinate with other USDA farm agencies when participating in related programs. It is a producer’s responsibility to work directly with their insurance agent and RMA to ensure they understand their policy.

To apply for this special EQIP opportunity, visit your local USDA Service Center. Applications will be accepted beginning July 1, 2019 until funding is exhausted.



USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

Poison Hemlock and Wild Parsnip are going to Seed in Southern Ohio

Published on

Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) and wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) are two of our nastiest non-native weeds found in Ohio.   Poison hemlock can kill you while wild parsnip may make you wish you were dead.  Both are commonly found growing together and continuously wet conditions caused both to flourish this growing season. The size of some infestations has been remarkable.


Poison Hemlock


Wild Parsnip


Poison hemlock and wild parsnip are members of the carrot family, Apiaceae.  The old name for the family was Umbelliferae which refers to the umbel flowers.  They are a key family feature with short flower stalks rising from a common point like the ribs on an umbrella.  In fact, the origins of both umbel and umbrella can be traced to the Latin word umbra which means shadow or shadow.


Poison hemlock produces white flowers on stalks that create a more rounded look; perhaps a bit more like an umbrella.  Wild parsnip has intense yellow flowers with the stalks producing a more flat-topped appearance.


Poison Hemlock


Wild Parsnip


Both are biennial weeds meaning that it takes two years for plants to produce seed.  The seeds currently being produced will give rise to plants that spend their first year as low-growing basal rosettes.  The plants produce a long, thick taproot while in this stage.


Wild Parsnip


Wild Parsnip


During their second year, plants “bolt” by producing erect, towering stalks and multi-branched stems topped with umbel flowers.  Mature wild parsnip plants may top 6′ tall while poison hemlock plants can tower to as much as 8 – 10′ tall.  Both are prolific seed producers


Poison Hemlock


Wild Parsnip


Wild parsnip plants have leaves that look vaguely like celery, another member of the carrot family.  Mature plants have a single, thick, deeply grooved, greenish-yellow stem that sprouts lateral branches topped with flowers.


Wild Parsnip


Wild Parsnip


All stages of poison hemlock plants have bluish-green leaves that are 3-4 times pinnately compound.  The deeply cut parsley-like leaflets have sharp points.  Flowering plants have hairless, light-green to bluish-green stems that are covered with obvious reddish-purple blotches.  However, the blotches may occasionally coalesce to cause stems to appear an almost solid color.


Poison Hemlock


Poison Hemlock




Why Should You Care?

Poison hemlock is one of the deadliest plants in North America.  Plants contain highly toxic piperidine alkaloid compounds, including coniine and gamma-coniceine, which cause respiratory failure and death in mammals. The roots are more toxic than the leaves and stems; however, all parts of the plant including the seeds should be considered dangerous.


Poison Hemlock


The toxins must be ingested or enter through the eyes or nasal passages to induce poisoning; they do not cause skin rashes or blistering.  Regardless, this plant should not be handled because sap on the skin can be rubbed into the eyes or accidentally ingested while handling food.


Wild parsnip sap contains psoralens which are naturally occurring phytochemicals grouped in a family of organic compounds known as linear furanocoumarins.  Psoralens kill epithelial skin cells by inserting themselves into the DNA in the cell’s nucleus.  These are the cells responsible for protecting us from long-wave ultraviolet radiation (LWUVR) that bombards us in sunlight.


Severe blistering occurs when skin affected by the psoralens is exposed to LWUVR. The synergistic effect is called phytophotodermatitis(a.k.a. Berloque dermatitis) and the burn-like symptoms, as well as skin discoloration, may last for several months.  However, connecting skin blistering to exposure to wild parsnip sap can be a challenge.  The cause and effect are muddled by time because symptoms do not appear for around 24 hours after exposure to LWUVR and severe blistering doesn’t peak for another 48 to 72 hours.


Wild Parsnip


Wild Parsnip


Another challenge is that wild parsnip commonly grows in and around poison hemlock.  Gardeners exposed to wild parsnip growing among poison hemlock may mistakenly blame the poison hemlock for their ultimate misery.


Wild Parsnip


It is becoming too late to effectively manage either of these weeds in southern Ohio, but there may still be time to reduce infestations in the central or north parts of the states.  However, it’s important to remember that once flowers mature, seeds will still be produced on plants that have been cut down.


While it may be too late for control, it’s not too late to suffer from the toxicity of both of these plants.  They will remain a risk until collapsing later this season.



Don’t be Fooled

Apiaceae is a large family that includes many innocuous plants.  The roots of wild carrot, or Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota), are sometimes eaten raw or cooked.  Unfortunately, they bear a striking resemblance to poison hemlock roots and misidentifications have been responsible for a number of accidental poisonings.


Wild Carrot


During this week’s BYGL Zoom Inservice, Erik Draper showed pictures of garden angelica (Angelica archangelica) which is sometimes cultivated for its edible roots and stems as well as its perceived medicinal properties.  The stems are a deep purple.  As noted above, poison hemlock stems are commonly covered in reddish-purple blotches, but those blotches may occasionally merge to produce an almost solid color.




I never considered fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) to be a possible look-a-like plant for either poison hemlock or wild parsnip.  However, last season, I was told by an avid gardener that while she and a friend were walking along a trail in Ohio, her friend grabbed some poison hemlock seeds thinking they were fennel seeds.  Thankfully, the gardener stopped her friend from eating them.






2019 Challenge: Forage Production Options for Ohio

Across Ohio, farmers are facing challenges unimagined just four months ago.  Widespread loss of established alfalfa stands coupled with delayed or impossible planting conditions for other crops leave many farmers, their agronomists and nutritionists wondering what crops can produce reasonable amounts of quality forage yet this year. In addition, frequent and heavy rains are preventing harvest of forages that did survive the winter and are causing further deterioration of those stands.

With July 1st just around the corner, Mark Sulc, OSU Extension Forage Agronomist and Bill Weiss, OSU Extension Dairy Nutritionist, help address this forage dilemma.  If one is looking for quality and quantity, what are your best options? The article starts with a quick summary of options and then dig into some of the pros and cons of these options (listed in no particular order of preference).


  1. Corn plant silage– Still has the highest potential yield but silage quality will decline with delayed planting and getting it harvested at the right moisture is the biggest risk.
  2. Forage sorghum – Brown midrib (BMR) varieties are best for lactating cows. Conventional varieties are okay if BMR seed is not available.
  3. Sorghum-sudangrass – BMR varieties are best for lactating cows. Conventional varieties are okay if BMR seed is not available.
  4. Sudangrass – BMR varieties are best for lactating cows. Conventional varieties are okay if BMR seed is not available.
  5. Oat or spring triticale silage – Safer option than corn silage but lower yield than corn silage. It can be mowed and allowed to wilt to correct harvest moisture. Spring Triticale is commonly planted as a hay or haylage crop and can produce high levels of dry matter under challenging conditions. It is later maturing than oats or barley and will maintain its forage quality for an extended harvest window.
  6. Oat and Winter Rye mixed silage – Has the advantages of oat silage with a slightly higher yield in the fall and the potential for rye silage harvest in the spring.
  7. Italian Ryegrass silage – Small fall harvest with three cuttings next year starting in April.
  8. Soybean silage – If you need a replacement for alfalfa, soybean silage is a reasonable alternative.  Care must be taken with spray programs that allow harvest as a forage.
  9. Teff – Is a warm-season annual grass best suited for Sheep and Beef, lower yield than sorghum grasses despite multiple harvests being possible.
  10. Millets – Millets are a major grain crop worldwide and best suited for beef and sheep, many will produce a single harvest.
  11. Brassicas –  High in energy, but very low in fiber (more like a concentrate) with high moisture content. Only for grazing by Sheep and Beef.

Note: These forage options all require adequate nitrogen fertilization to maximize yield potential.  Check any potential herbicide restrictions from the previously planted crop. Work with your nutritionist to incorporate these alternative forages into properly balanced rations.

Option 1: Corn silage

Harvesting Silage


The biggest risk with late-planted corn is getting moisture down to a reasonable level at harvest. With current soil moisture conditions, it will be a crap shoot when many farms will be able to plant. Corn planted into July will not make corn silage as we know it because it won’t have many ears and will be low in starch. This silage will primarily be a source of fiber with potential yields about half of normal.Harvesting corn silage at the proper moisture will be critical to a successful fermentation (drier than 30% DM up to about 40% DM).  Before a frost, many of these plants will be about 20% DM.  Some late-planted corn may require a frost to allow the plant to dry down.  Because leaves die after frost, plants look drier than they actually are, so measuring dry matter regularly is essential.  When a plant is frosted, the window of opportunity to harvest as silage – before the plant is too dry – may be limited depending on local weather conditions.  Harvest timing is critical, so regularly monitor plant moisture post-frost and be ready to harvest when conditions are met. Another possible option for corn with no ear would be to mow at some point before a killing frost and wilt the crop to the proper dry matter before chopping and ensiling the crop.

This high fiber feed will probably contain about 60% NDF.  Work with your nutritionist as substantial diet changes must be made. More than likely these changes will include increased feeding of corn grain.  With higher corn prices looming, this is not an attractive option, but the tradeoff is feeding more expensive hay.

Check with seed suppliers for any seed treatment restrictions on the use of the corn seed for silage or forage when planted this late.

Option 2-4: Forage sorghum, Sorghum-sudangrass hybrids, Sudangrasses

Sorghum Sudangrass

Sorghum Sudangrass

Brown midrib (BMR) varieties are most desirable, but the seed may not be available.  If this is the case in your area, conventional varieties are your next best choice.  Plant by July 15th and plan for one cutting.  A mid-September cutting will optimize quality for milking cows.  An early October cutting will have a much higher yield, but the higher-fiber forage will be more suited for heifers, dry cows, or beef cattle.Sudangrass harvested at 50 days of growth is an okay feed for dairy cattle. At a 60-day harvest range, it is more challenging to feed to dairy cows for good milk production.

Challenges:  If the sorghums are frosted, prussic acid formation in the plant is an issue.  It can be mitigated by ensiling, but avoiding frost is the best option.

Option 5: Oat or Spring Triticale silage

Do not plant these for silage before the last week of July or overall yield will suffer. The overall potential yield is the lowest of the forage options.  Yields of 1.5 to 3 tons of DM per acre (about 5 to 5.5 tons at 30 to 35% DM) of chopped oat silage are possible if planted in early August.  Harvesting between late boot, or early heading, will optimize quality.



The potential feed value of oat will be similar to mid-bloom alfalfa.  As a grass, inclusion rates in a lactating cow diet would have to go down, but it is a very acceptable feed.Spring Triticale is a biotype of the hybrid cross between cereal rye and wheat (there is a winter biotype that acts like winter wheat). In our research, oat averaged slightly higher fall yields than spring triticale, but this varied with season. Spring triticale yields a higher feed value similar to early mid-bloom alfalfa. Seed cost for spring triticale will be higher than oat, but it is later maturing than oat or barley and will maintain its forage quality for an extended harvest window. Spring triticale yields a higher feed value similar to early to mid-bloom alfalfa.

These forage options all require adequate nitrogen fertilization to maximize yield potential. Check potential herbicide restrictions from the previously planted crop. Potential challenges include rust infection in damp conditions, especially with oat. Rust could impact yield and feed quality and depends on when the infection of rust occurs during the growing season.

Option 6: Oat or Spring Triticale and Cereal Rye mixed silage

Planting mixtures of oat or spring triticale and cereal rye will allow a fall harvest as well as a spring harvest. Note that the window for harvesting rye silage in the spring to optimize feed quality is usually very short. The rye harvested in early spring can yield 2.5 to 3 tons of DM per acre of dairy-quality forage when harvested at boot stage.  In the fall, the oat/rye or spring triticale/rye mix should yield slightly more than oat or spring triticale alone, with the potential for the spring cereal rye harvest.

Option 7: Italian Ryegrass silage

This crop emerges as fast as oats and could produce up to a ton of dry matter per acre in the fall if planted in August, and less yield if planted into September (it should be planted by mid-September at the latest). This crop would also be available for additional cuttings next year, starting in late April or early May and then every 25-30 days.

Plot work with fall harvest and three harvests the following year have shown average yields between 3 to 5 tons of dry matter from improved varieties with good winter survival and adequate moisture. It will winterkill in severe winters. Do not let a lot of growth go into the winter to avoid winter as mold growth that damages the stand. To avoid this, make a late fall cutting or graze to a height of 3 inches.  This crop will shut down by mid- to late-summer the year after a fallen establishment.

As a grass, harvesting earlier optimizes quality.  If planted in September and harvested in late fall, the quality will be superb (NDF 48% and Neutral Detergent Fiber digestibility (NDFd) about 80%).  August plantings harvested in late fall will not be quite as high in quality.  It will probably have protein in the mid-teens and NDF in the mid-50s.  Next year, the crop will head out quickly at each harvest. Overall it is a medium quality forage, but with proper diet, this formulation can work for lactating cows.

Option 8: Soybeans

Soybeans planted at this time of year and harvested as silage will yield about 2 tons of dry matter per acre (dry plants to 65 to 70% moisture before chopping).  Narrow rows will yield about 15% more than wide rows.  Harvest between R5 and R7 stage, but no later than R7 (one pod on the stem is a mature color).

Silage harvest will be easier than dry hay because of difficulty in getting the crop dry. Silage harvesting later creates issues with the high oil content of the beans, and more leaf shatter will inhibit a good fermentation.  Harvesting later than R5 to R7 creates an issue with the high oil content of the beans, and more leaf shatter will inhibit a good fermentation.  Feed quality would be similar to early bloom alfalfa.

Check seed treatment labels or ask seed suppliers for any restrictions on using soybean seed for forage, as some seed treatments may not allow it. Review any herbicides applied and see labels for restrictions before use to verify that the crop can still be used for animal feed.

Adding an annual grass such as oats, spring triticale, or sudangrass could be a good option to lower the protein content for some classes of livestock and improve the mechanical handling of this crop.

Option 9: Teff

Teff is a warm-season grass that can be used for hay, silage, or pasture. The first crop should be ready in 40 to 50 days. It may produce up to 2 to 2.5 tons per acre of dry matter in multiple cuttings and can tolerate both drought-stressed and waterlogged soils.

Cornell research showed that when teff was harvested at the proper time and sufficient N was applied, crude protein was between 15 and 16% of dry matter and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) 48-hr digestibility averaged about 60%. It should be planted as soon as possible because it dies at the first frost.

Option 10: Millets These summer annuals can be used as hay, silage, green chop, and pasture. There are varietal differences between the pearl, foxtail, proso and Japanese types. Because of evidence that Pearl Millet may cause butterfat depression in lactating dairy cows. Millet forages are better suited for beef, sheep or dairy heifer feed.

Option 11: Brassicas
Turnip, swede, rape, kale, and other brassica species and hybrids are highly productive annual crops that can be grazed 80 to 150 days after seeding. When planted by early August they can extend the grazing season in November and December. They are highly digestible and crude protein levels are high, varying from 15 to 25 percent in the herbage and 8 to 15 percent in the roots depending on the level of nitrogen fertilization and weather conditions. These species contain high moisture content, so they should be used for grazing only. Brassicas have very low fiber and high energy and should be treated more like a concentrate than as forage in diets.

References: More detailed information on many of these options including seeding rates are available in these publications:


  • BMR: Brown midrib – Brown midrib (BMR), a genetic mutation in several grassy species, reduces lignin content in the total plant parts. Lignin is mostly indigestible but also plays an important role in plant rigidity. The brown midrib trait has been incorporated into forage sorghum, sudangrass, and corn.
  • DM: Dry Matter – feedstuff sample remaining after the water is removed; 100 minus moisture % = DM %.
  • NDF: Neutral detergent fiber – a percentage of cell walls or other plants structural material present; includes cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin; only partially digested by cattle; greater NDF values are associated with less dry matter intake.
  • NDFd: Neutral detergent fiber digestibility (NDFd) is a measure used to improve the predicted energy value of forages. The digestibility of NDF can be measured by either In vitro or In situ methodology. Incubation times vary, although 24, 30, or 48 hours are typical times used by commercial labs. Using the amount of NDF present at the beginning of the incubation and the amount of NDF remaining at the end of the incubation, NDF digestibility is calculated (often this is called NDFd). NDFd values will vary across laboratories, as there will be differences in either rumen fluid (In vitro) or rumen environment (In situ). For this reason, it is important to compare forage reports from a single lab.

Hay Moisture Levels

Chris Penrose, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Morgan County
Dan Lima, OSU Extension Educator, Belmont County

With the limited opportunities and shortwindows many have had to make hay so far this year, some hay may have been made at higher moisture levels than we would like. Moisture levels have a direct effect on hay quality. What we have found to be a consistent number in the literature is 20% moisture maximum. To be more specific:

  1. Small squares to be 20% or less,
  2. Large round, 18% or less and
  3. Large squares, 16%

Hay baled at 20% moisture or higher has a high probability of developing mold, which will decrease the quality of hay by decreasing both protein and total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC). A.K.A. Energy! The mold will also make the hay less palatable to livestock and could potentially be toxic, especially for horses. Even hay baled between 15%-20% moisture will experience what is known as “sweating.” Sweating, in regard to hay bales, refers to microbial respiration, which will create heat and result in dry matter (DM) loss. A good rule of thumb is that you should expect a 1% DM loss per 1% decrease of moisture after baling. As an example, hay baled at 20% moisture that is stored and dried down to 12%; will result in 8% DM loss.

What happens if we bale hay and the moisture content is too high? Bad things. If lucky, maybe the hay will only mold, but if it is too moist and starts heating, it could catch fire. If the hay heats to 100-120 degrees F, it will be fine; if it goes above that, monitor daily. Once it gets to 140 degrees F, consider tearing down the stack. At 150-160 degrees F, call the fire department, and once it gets to 160 degrees F, there will be smoldering pockets and hot spots, and gases will ignite hay when exposed to air (source: Washington State University Extension, Steve Fransen and Ned Zaugg).

It can be a double edged sword in regards to losing quality by not baling, or losing quality by baling with moisture levels that are too high. Therefore, our recommendation to ensure adequate livestock nutrition this winter is to have a forage analysis done on the hay baled this year. Once you have those results, develop a corresponding supplemental feed program, if necessary, based on the nutritional requirements of your livestock.

The two short videos below by Clif Little and Rory Lewandowski will answer questions regarding forage testing, and subsequently interpreting the results of the test(s).



Ohio Ag Law Blog—Prevented planting, idle land, and CAUV taxation

By: Peggy Kirk Hall, Tuesday, June 18th, 2019
Original Source:
The decision on whether to take prevented planting is a tough one, but don’t let concerns about increased property taxes on idle land enter into the equation.  Ohio’s Current Agricultural Use Valuation program allows landowners to retain the benefit of CAUV tax assessment on agricultural land even if the land lies idle or fallow for a period of time.

Ohio’s CAUV program provides differential property tax assessment to parcels of land “devoted exclusively to agricultural use” that are ten acres or more or, if less than ten acres, generated an average gross income for the previous three years of $2,500 or more from commercial agricultural production.  Timber lands adjacent to CAUV land, land enrolled in federal conservation programs, and land devoted to agritourism or bio-mass and similar types of energy production on a farm also qualify for CAUV.

There must have been some farmers in the legislature when the CAUV law was enacted, because the legislature anticipated the possibility that qualifying CAUV lands would not always be actively engaged in agricultural production.   The law allows CAUV land to sit “idle or fallow” for up to one year and remain eligible for CAUV, but only if there’s not an activity or use taking place on the land that’s inconsistent with returning the land to agricultural production or that converts the land from agricultural production.  After one year of lying idle or fallow, a landowner may retain the CAUV status for up to three years by showing good cause to the board of revision for why the land is not actively engaged in agricultural production.

The law would play out as follows.  When the auditor sends the next CAUV reenrollment form for a parcel that qualifies for CAUV but was not planted this year due to the weather, a landowner must certify that the land is still devoted to agricultural production and return the CAUV form to the auditor.  The auditor must allow the land to retain its CAUV status the first year of lying idle or fallow, as long as the land is not being used or converted to a non-agricultural use.  If the land continues to be idle or fallow for the following year or two years, the auditor could ask the landowner to show cause as to why the land is not being used for agricultural production.  The landowner would then have an opportunity to prove that the weather has prevented plans to plant field crops, as intended by the landowner.  After three years, the landowner would have to change the land to a different type of commercial agricultural production to retain its CAUV status if the weather still prevents the ability to plant field crops on the parcel.  Other agricultural uses could include commercial animal or poultry husbandry, aquaculture, algaculture, apiculture, the production for a commercial purpose of timber, tobacco, fruits, vegetables, nursery stock, ornamental trees, sod, or flowers, or the growth of timber for a noncommercial purpose, if the land on which the timber is grown is contiguous to or part of a parcel of land under common ownership that is otherwise devoted exclusively to agricultural use.

Being forced out of the fields due to rain is a frustrating reality for many Ohio farmers today.   One positive assurance we can offer in the face of prevented planting is that farmers won’t lose agricultural property tax status on those fields this year.  Read Ohio’s CAUV law in the Ohio Revised Code at sections 5713.30 and 5713.31.

Risk Management Agency Announces Changes to Cover Crop Harvest Date on Prevented Acres

At Wednesday night’s forage management program, we discussed utilizing summer annuals in hay and grazing situations. We also provided some tips for haying and grazing cover crops on prevented planting acres. Earlier today the Risk Management Agency announced changes to the haying and grazing date for prevented planting acres. See more details below.


RMA Announces Change to Haying and Grazing Date for Prevented Planting Acres Planted to a Cover Crop

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2019 – Farmers who planted cover crops on prevented plant acres will be permitted to hay, graze or chop those fields earlier than November this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today. USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) adjusted the 2019 final haying and grazing date from November 1 to September 1 to help farmers who were prevented from planting because of flooding and excess rainfall this spring.

“We recognize farmers were greatly impacted by some of the unprecedented flooding and excessive rain this spring, and we made this one-year adjustment to help farmers with the tough decisions they are facing this year,” said Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey. “This change will make good stewardship of the land easier to accomplish while also providing an opportunity to ensure quality forage is available for livestock this fall.”

RMA has also determined that silage, haylage and baleage should be treated in the same manner as haying and grazing for this year. Producers can hay, graze or cut cover crops for silage, haylage or baleage on prevented plant acres on or after September 1 and still maintain eligibility for their full 2019 prevented planting indemnity.

“These adjustments have been made for 2019 only,” said RMA Administrator Martin Barbre. “RMA will evaluate the prudence of a permanent adjustment moving forward.”

Other USDA Programs
Other USDA agencies are also assisting producers with delayed or prevented planting. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is extending the deadline to report prevented plant acres in select counties, and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is holding special sign-ups for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program in certain states to help with planting cover crops on impacted lands. Contact your local FSA and NRCS offices to learn more.

More Information
Read our frequently asked questions to learn more about prevented plant.

Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.



The Brown County Extension Support Committee Will Host the Kick-Off Reunion Dinner

The Brown County Extension Support Committee will host the Kick-Offf Reunion dinner on Wednesday, June 26, 2019. The program will be held at Rhonemus Hall on the Brown County Fairgrounds. Dinner will begin at 6:00 PM, followed by a brief meeting. The Brown County Extension Support Committee will share information about their goal to raise funds to support local extension staffing. See the attached flyer for more details.

If you have any questions contact the Brown County Extension Support Committee Chairman, Paul Hall (937-444-2988).

Farm Bill Update: Dairy Margin Coverage


The Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program is the new safety net for dairy producers authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill, replacing the Margin Protection Program (MPP). Many changes have been made to the dairy safety net, including changes in coverage levels, premiums and discounts, feed cost calculations, and more. Join OSU Extension and the USDA Farm Service Agency for a free program to learn about the DMC and how to use decision tools to evaluate your farm’s coverage options and costs.

Brown County: Wednesday, June 26, 2019, from 10am-12pm. The program will be held at the Brown County Extension Office (325 W. State St., Georgetown, OH 45121).

More details and other location information can be found on the attached flyer. Additional programs will be held for the crop titles of the Farm Bill at a later date.