From Across the Field – Continuous Learning 9/11/2019

Now that we are into the second week of September, it certainly is feeling like fall outside. That is a bit concerning as we have acquired minimal growing degree units for crop development in Northwest Ohio over the past few days.

I write to you this week from our National Association of County Ag Agents meeting in the destination of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. This is my first time attending the meeting, having gave a presentation on Tuesday. It has been a great opportunity to network with colleagues and learn about what other Extension services offer, in terms of programming across their various states.

One of the great things about working for Extension  are the opportunities to learn new teaching topics, techniques, and technology. In any occupation professional development and improvement are key to being sustainable and credible in a chosen field.

I have had in the past week a couple questions regarding the value and pricing of annual forages, predominately sorghum-sudan grass, that has been preserved as baleage. There are a couple of factors to consider when determining the value of an ensiled, or fermented forage product. Two important factors to consider are the percent dry matter in the product and the protein content of the forage. If those two factors are known a ballpark price can be calculated and compared to current auction prices for dry hay.

If anyone in the county has pulled forage samples on cover crop forages this fall, I wouldn’t mind having a copy for teaching purposes. There have been a lot of “non-traditional” forages planted and it would be great to see the variation in feed quality across the area.

Once your garden is finished for the year, I recommend a cover crop. Cereal rye is my favorite, because it builds organic matter in the soil, reduces erosion, can easily be plowed down in the spring without re-growth. Cereal rye also has some properties which may reduce weed problems next year. A good rule of thumb is to use 1/3 pound of seed per 100 square feet.

Don’t forget that the 2019 Farm Science Review begins next Tuesday. Don’t miss out on what is sure to be a great show, so long as the weather holds. New to the Review, this year are industrial hemp plots and improved CCA opportunities in the agronomic crops plots. Details can be found at

I will finish up with a couple final thoughts today. This is traditionally a great time to seed lawns and plant trees. However, with the dry weather we are having, I recommend you delay or wait till next year planting trees or lawns unless you can water them. I’ll end this week with a quote from Confucius: “He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.” Have a great week. Go Bucks!

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