Prepare to Evaluate Forage Stands for Winter Injury

By: Mark Sulc and Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension

Forage stands will begin spring greenup in the next few weeks, especially in southern Ohio. While winter injury in forages is very hard to predict, this winter has presented some very tough conditions for forage stands. This is especially true of legumes like alfalfa and red clover. Producers and crop consultants should be prepared to walk forage stands early this spring to assess their condition in time to make decisions and adjustments for the 2019 growing season. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Thinking Ahead

With all of the rain we have had, yards, hay fields, and pastures may need re-seeded in areas that have been torn up. There is a method called “frost seeding” where you apply seed to the ground and the freezing and thawing of the soil in February and early March will provide seed to soil contact allowing germination of the seed. There is a little more risk of the seed not germinating than a traditional seeding, but the cost and time is a lot less.  Continue reading

Tips to Reduce Winter-Feeding Hay Costs for Beef Herd

By: Bill Halfman, University Of Wisconsin-Extension

With hay being in short supply in some areas I thought it might be beneficial to re-post this article that Dr. Radunz and I put together back in 2011.

Winter-feeding of the beef cows represents the greatest expense in most beef cow-calf enterprises.  Currently high feed prices, even for hay, should cause farmers to evaluate their winter-feeding strategies to identify ways to reduce feed costs through minimizing feed waste.

Ring Hay Feeder with hay saver panel Continue reading

A Look Back at the U.S. Hay Market Over the Last 100 Years

By: Carl Zulauf, The Ohio State University

Hay is the 3rd largest U.S. crop in terms of harvest acres.  It also provides environmental services, notably erosion control.  Understanding the U.S. hay market is therefore important for both market and policy reasons.  This article examines the U.S. hay market since 1919, or when the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistical Service began to report data separately for alfalfa hay. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Hay Buying Help

With last week’s rain showers leaving much of the area saturated, there were limited opportunities for farming or even yardwork. I took advantage of the soggy conditions here in NW Ohio and headed south on Friday to a fairly productive couple of days in Morgan County. We had a good chance to winterize and store all of the hay equipment and tractors that we typically don’t use during winter time. Continue reading

Avoid Forage Toxicities After Frosts

By: Mark Sulc, OSU Extension Forage Specialist
Previously published in OSU Extension’s Corn Newsletter

As cold weather approaches this week, livestock owners need to keep in mind the few forage species that can be extremely toxic soon after a frost. Several species contain compounds called cyanogenic glucosides that are converted quickly to prussic acid (i.e. hydrogen cyanide) in freeze-damaged plant tissues. A few legumes species have an increased risk of causing bloat when grazed after a frost. Each of these risks is discussed in this article along with precautions to avoid them.

Species with prussic acid poisoning potential Continue reading

Assessing Hay Quality

By: Mark Landefeld, Ohio State University Extension ANR Educator, Monroe County

“You gotta make hay while the sun shines”. How many times have you heard that said throughout the years? We’ve had some sunshine this spring/summer, but making first cutting “dry” hay has really been challenging for most farmers this year. Getting two or more days in a row without rain has been rare in the spring of 2018. Continue reading

Hay Moisture Levels

By: Chris Penrose, OSU ANR Extension Educator, Morgan County and Dan Lima, OSU ANR Extension Educator, Belmont County. Previously published on Ohio Ag Net.

With the limited opportunities and short windows many have had to make hay so far this year, some hay may have been made at higher moisture levels than we would like. Moisture levels have a direct effect on hay quality. What we have found to be a consistent number in the literature is 20% moisture maximum. To be more specific: Continue reading

Inoculant Mixing & Application Critical Steps in Silage-Making Process

By: Farm Journal Content Services, Previously posted on Drovers Online

It’s a three-step process with silage inoculants. First, decide where you need the help – up-front fermentation, improved aerobic stability at feed-out or both. Next, pick a research-proven and tested product. Lastly, be sure to manage the application. Professor and head of the Silage Fermentation Laboratory at Delaware University Dr. Limin Kung Jr. explains that details matter when it comes to choosing your inoculant, and especially in preparation and application. Continue reading