From Across the Field – Winter is Here

Just as I wrote last week about the weather being fairly warm, Mother Nature decided to drop some snow across the state this past weekend. On Saturday I attended the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association annual meeting and banquet held just north of Columbus. The banquet adjourned around 8:00 p.m. and then it was like an episode of Ice Road Truckers coming back to Napoleon. It’s not that the roads we too poor of shape, I was more concerned about the lack of driving skill in the snow demonstrated by other drivers on the road (tends to be a recurring theme the more I have to drive to Columbus).

As part of the OCA annual meeting, faculty from the Department of Animal Sciences presented a nice update on beef research happening across the state at the research stations. Their topics focused on fixed time artificial insemination and embryo transfer, feedlot nutrition, and weaning strategies that minimize calf stress. Some of these topics will be covered here in Napoleon during our 2019 Beef School in late March and into April on Monday evenings.

The heart of winter Extension programming is right around the corner. Many area producers were familiar with Corn and Soybean Day being at the Bavarian Haus in Deshler. As a reminder last year we brought back that event as Northwest Ohio Crops Day. This year that event will be held on February 8th and will feature Gary Schnitkey from the University of Illinois, as well as talks on weed control, and the revised Tri State Fertilizer recommendations. Attendees can also obtain a full private pesticide and fertilizer recertification. In addition, there will be a variety of vendors present to share their resources in the areas of seed, equipment, and agricultural lending. We ask the interested folks RSVP to the Extension office by February 1st.

This weekend is expected to bring more snow to Northwest Ohio. It is always good to be prepared for potential adverse weather, especially for those burning firewood as a heat source.  If you have a choice, burn wood with more Btu’s. A colleague of mine shared a chart from Burning Wood and Coal (Northeast Regional Agricultural Engineering Service) and it tells what many of you already know. Hickory, Black Locust, White Oak and Apple burn the best.  The book did not mention Osage Orange (Hedge Apple) trees, I know there are a few scattered around this area, and they are plentiful back in southern Ohio where I grew up. If it makes good corner fence posts it certainly will burn hot. In fact, you don’t want to burn too much Osage Orange at a time as it has been known to melt down some lighter built wood stoves. Beech, Sugar Maple, Red Oak and White Ash are the next best, followed by Walnut, Cherry and Red Maple. I was surprised to find out that Popular has only about half the Btu’s as Hickory and Black Locust.  Finally, the ones that have the lowest Btu’s are Cottonwood, Black Willow, and Basswood and White Pine are at the bottom. I’ll end this week with a quote from Robert Frost: “You can’t get too much winter in the winter.” Have a great week.

Upcoming Events
Feb. 1st RSVP’s due for NW Ohio Crops Day
Feb. 8th NW Ohio Crops Day

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