From Across the Field – Winter Has Arrived

Well we got a good shot of winter weather over the last week. In typical Midwesterner fashion, I don’t think the below freezing temperatures aren’t all that bad, if the wind isn’t howling. The wind on the other hand is another beast, as there was a waist high snow drift in my driveway on Sunday morning. With drifting snow and frigid cold, it sure makes one appreciate the road crews that are out and about making sure we can travel safely. Back in southern Ohio a similar snow event would have resulted in a week off of school as the roads are a bit more treacherous, due to the winding hilly topography of the area.

This week we wrapped up our grain marketing series, in which we had around a dozen participants. After all of the in person training across the state, the grain marketing curriculum will be available online. I will share more details regarding those webinars when they become available.

Being the “livestock guy” in our Extension area I get the opportunity to teach some pretty unique programs. Coming up in February there will be a Small Ruminant School in Fulton County. This will be a two-night program on February 5 and 19 at the Fulton County Extension Office. The first night will focus on nutrition, reproduction, health, and pasture management. The second evening will look at marketing, budgeting, carcass evaluation, and use of meat cuts. My role in the program is going to be teaching on carcass grading and breaking down either a lamb or goat carcass into retail meat cuts. The registration fee for program is $20 which includes a light meal featuring lamb or goat each night. Registrations will be handled through the Fulton County office.

Speaking of sheep and goats, we are approaching lambing or kidding season, for many producers. My brother for one, is in the process of gearing up for lambing a group of ewes. Critical to producers, especially in a year where quality hay may be in short supply is making sure ewes are consuming enough nutrients to support the end stages of fetal development and lactation. In order to meet the needs of those, producers may have to consider alternative sources of energy, perhaps in the form of whole shelled corn.

Another thing to consider is temperature management for newborn lambs. As you can imagine it can be quite a shock going from over 100 degrees of the ewe to sub-freezing temperatures outdoors. Lambing and kidding in a draft free, dry environment can really aid in reducing day one stress for all parties involved, farmer included. Once the offspring are dry and have gotten colostrum, they can be co-mingled into the respective groups. Getting off to a good start is key especially in poor weather conditions.  I’ll end this week with a quote from Vince Lombardi: “We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.” Have a great week and remember to register for NW Ohio Crops Day.

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

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