This Is Not A Typical Year For Corn Silage

By: Jim Peck, (previously published by Drovers online)

Climate change or weather cycles drive nutrition at the farm level.  This year’s spring was wetter than usual causing crop planting dates to be from on the early side to very late depending on where you farm.  Often the weather extremes have been in the same area, or even on the same farm.

The results have been corn crops and even hay crops with a wide range of maturity, quality and yield.  Some fields simply did not get planted.  Many farms planted what they could, when they could resulting in an extended planting season. They changed from their preferred varieties to whatever was available and planted under less than good soil conditions.  Now we will have an extended harvest season of whatever crop we have, whenever it can be harvested and whatever the feeding value will be. Continue reading

Harvesting Options for Summer Annuals

By: Mike Estadt, AgNR Educator, OSU Extension, Pickaway County (originally published in The Ohio Cattleman early fall issue)

Summer annuals such as sudangrass or sudangrass X sorghum hybrids are likely near ready for harvest.

This month I drove across I-70 interstate to Kansas City, Missouri. Along the way I observed at least a dozen semi-trailers headed east with loads of high-quality hay. Some of this hay may have been delivered to Ohio where very little good hay has made this year. I also saw several fields planted with summer annuals where corn should have been. Continue reading

Pricing Standing Forage in the Field

By: Mark Sulc, OSU Extension Forage Specialist

How to value a standing hay crop is challenging. Assigning an appropriate value includes the buyer and seller agreeing on the market value for the hay and then adjusting for harvest costs and other factors that contribute to the price of hay sold in the open market, some of which are challenging to quantify. Continue reading

Pricing Standing Forage in the Field

By: Marc Sulc, OSU Extension

Question: How do I set a price to buy a standing hay crop still growing in the field?

Answer:  How to value a standing hay crop is challenging.  Assigning an appropriate value includes the buyer and seller agreeing on the market value for the hay and then adjusting for harvest costs and other factors that contribute to the price of hay sold in the open market, some of which are challenging to quantify. Continue reading

Harvest Management of Sorghum Forages

By: Marc Sulc and Bill Weiss, OSU Extension

Many producers in Ohio have planted summer annual grasses this year to increase their low forage inventories. These include sudangrass, sorghum-sudangrass, forage sorghum, pearl millet, and teff grass. When should these grasses be harvested or grazed?

The general guidelines for harvesting or grazing these summer annual grasses as listed in the Ohio Agronomy Guide are shown in the table below. Continue reading

Late Summer Establishment of Perennial Forages

By: Rory Lewandowski, CCA, and Mark Sulc, Ohio State University Extension

We are quickly approaching the second good opportunity of the year for establishing perennial forage stands, which is in the month of August. Most of us were not able to establish forages this spring, and many existing stands were damaged by the winter followed by the heavy rainfall this year. It is time to make preparations and be ready to plant perennial forage stands in the next few weeks. Continue reading

“Working Lands” Forage Field Days Planned

By: Garth Ruff, OSU Extension
The Ohio Department of Agriculture Working Lands Buffer Program allows for forage to be grown and harvested from field edge buffers in the Western Lake Erie Basin. Join OSU Extension, Ohio Forage and Grassland Council, and your local Soil and Water Conservation Districts to learn about the Working Lands Program.

Topics to be covered at these field days include: Soil Fertility ~ Seed Bed Preparation ~ Forage Species Selection ~ Seeding Methods ~ and More!

Field Days will be held at various locations throughout the Western Basin watershed.

Putnam County: July 18 – 8778 Road G Leipsic. Jeff Giesige 419-523-5159

Sandusky/Ottawa County: August 14 – 2086 S Woodrick Rd, Oak Harbor. Allen Gahler 419-334-6340

Crawford County: August 15 – Location TBA. Jason Hartsuch 419-562-8731

Henry County: August 20 – G214 Co. Rd 12 Holgate. Garth Ruff 419-592-0806

Hancock County: August 22 – 19178 Twp Rd 65 Jenera. Gary Wilson 419-348-3500

All Field Days Will Begin at 4:00 p.m. Continue reading

“Increase the Feed, or Reduce the Need”

By: Stan Smith, PA, Fairfield County OSU Extension (published originally in The Ohio Farmer on-line)

Seldom have we ever been challenged by wet weather, mud and adverse conditions for such an extended period of time!

Seldom do we talk about forage shortages and above normal precipitation in the same breath. Regardless, that’s where we are now throughout Ohio and much of the Midwest. Over the past year abundant rainfall has allowed us to grow lots of forage. Unfortunately, it seems the weather has seldom allowed us to harvest it as high quality feed. Continue reading

Oats Could Address Forage Shortage On Prevented Planting Acres

By: Allen Gahler and Stan Smith, Ohio State University Extension

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

Hay Inventory Severely Low Across Midwest

Source: OSU Extension

Excessive rainfall has not only hindered soybean and corn farmers’ attempts to plant, but has contributed to a near record-low level of hay to feed livestock in Ohio and across the Midwest.

The hay inventory in Ohio has dipped to the fourth lowest level in the 70 years of reporting inventory, leaving farmers struggling to find ways to keep their animals well fed, said Stan Smith, a program assistant in agriculture and natural resources for Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

The situation is not much different across the Midwest, where some livestock owners are having to pay much higher prices for animal feed. Continue reading