As of yesterday, spring has officially arrived! Over the past few months, we have been challenged with frigid cold, saturated soils, LEBOR, low commodity prices, all things that can put a damper on morale in the greater agricultural community. Despite all of those recent wintry blues, I have been thinking that we have been pretty fortunate here in Ohio.
Think about the disasters that have happened across the county in the last year. There have wildfires in California, drought in the High Plains, hurricanes in the Southeast, and most recently tremendous amounts of flooding in the upper Midwest, including Nebraska. As I see all of the damage and photos of farmers trying to keep their operations literally afloat, it is a good reminder that we should be thankful for what we have here in the Buckeye state in terms of relatively stable, productive agricultural growing seasons. When we grumble about the weather or conditions here in our small corner of NW Ohio, I think there is benefit to stepping back and looking at the big picture.
The recent disaster in Nebraska also has a silver lining in the form of perseverance. All across the country, we have seen many times, that with some time and assistance from the greater agricultural community; those areas affected usually persevere and eventually thrive once more. Farmers helping farmers is what built the heartland, whether it is across the field or across the country. I have seen some posts on social media asking how folks can support the relief efforts. Nebraska Farm Bureau has created an online disaster relief portal. Anyone can donate to the efforts, and then farmers can apply for funds. This would be a great, reputable way to donate.
As we wrap up meeting season, I want to make you all aware of our final winter program: 2019 Henry County Beef School. We will meet on the next four Monday evenings at Crossroads Church in Napoleon to discuss Forage Quality and Storage, Genetics and Reproductive Improvements, Feedlot Nutrition and Implant Strategies, and Cattle Marketing each week respectively. This is a free program; however we ask that you RSVP to the office, in order to have enough materials for everyone.
Finally, this is a great time when you are outdoors to check your trees and shrubs for girdling roots before the grass starts to grow or the mulch is applied. So what is a girding root? They are roots that cross over the flare at the base of a tree or shrub. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are small and some are big and numerous. However, all can do harm to the tree. The remedy is to find them when they are small and cut or saw them away from the trunk of the tree. What can cause girdling roots? Sometimes, in the course of nursery production, growers will miss removing the girdling root. A healthy tree should have a good basal flare without any crossing roots. Sometimes girdling roots can be caused when trees are over mulched or “volcano” mulched, so try to avoid over mulching. Since my NCAA bracket will be busted come tomorrow, I’ll end this week with a quote from Bobby Knight: “Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win.” Have a great week.
March 25, April 1,8,15 – Beef School