How Much Hay Will A Cow Consume?

By: Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist. Published by Drovers online.

Estimating forage usage by cows is an important part of the task of calculating winter feed needs.  Hay or standing forage intake must be estimated in order to make the calculations.  Forage quality will be a determining factor in the amount of forage consumed.  Higher quality forages contain larger concentrations of important nutrients so animals consuming these forages should be more likely to meet their nutrient needs from the forages.  Also cows can consume a larger quantity of higher quality forages. Continue reading

Cover Crops to Support Forage Diets

By: Farm Journal Content Services for Drovers online

Interested in pairing up a cover crop with corn silage? A key is to consider harvest timing – usually mid- to late May for boot stage – to ensure the cover crop forage is of the quality needed for lactating cows.  If targeting forage for heifers, harvest a bit later at heading stage to increase tonnage and fiber content.

Popular cover crop options include winter cereals, like winter rye and triticale.

“Winter rye is growing in popularity because it has rapid growth, especially in the spring, and will mature earlier in the spring,” said Matt Akins, University of Wisconsin–Madison dairy management specialist. Continue reading

Your Hay Storage Impacts Quality and Quantity

By: David Dugan, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Adams County

Where and how hay is stored can have a huge impact on the quality and quantity that’s available to be used for feed

With the calendar turning to November, and the temperatures dropping below freezing several mornings now, the time to feed hay is near, if not already here. Several have been feeding hay due to the pasture situation following a dry September that included several 90 degree plus days that zapped much of the grass. Continue reading

From Across the Field – 11/7/2019

High Moisture Harvest

How it is November already, where did fall go? As things progress with harvest around the county, the intermittent rain sure hasn’t helped with the already slow crop dry down. With regards to corn specifically, we can estimate how quickly corn will dry in the field. Based on the forecast, if your corn is at 30% moisture now, in 10 days it will be about 25% moisture and by the end of the month it may reach 21%. If our current moisture is 25%, in 10 days it will be about 22% moisture and by the end of the month it may reach 20%. When looking at these numbers, it seems like corn is field drying well.

However, if we look at the forecast for corn at 20% now, the calculator predicts a moisture loss of less than half a point over the next 10 days and less than a point by the end of the month. Keep in mind, these are median predictions and if the weather model changes, we could see more-or-less field dry down. Continue reading

How Much Hay Will A Cow Consume?

By: Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist. (Previously published by Drovers online)

Estimating forage usage by cows is an important part of the task of calculating winter feed needs.  Hay or standing forage intake must be estimated in order to make the calculations.  Forage quality will be a determining factor in the amount of forage consumed.  Higher quality forages contain larger concentrations of important nutrients so animals consuming these forages should be more likely to meet their nutrient needs from the forages.  Also cows can consume a larger quantity of higher quality forages. Continue reading

Assessing the Research Needs from the 2019 Production Year

By Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCADee JepsenBen BrownAnne DorranceSam CusterJason Hartschuh, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

The 2019 production year has presented many challenges. Ohio State University Extension wants to be responsive to needs of the agricultural community. At short survey aimed at farmers to identify both short- and long-term outreach and research needs of Ohio crop and livestock/forage producers based on the 2019 farm crisis year has been developed. Questions relate to crop production, livestock forage needs, emergency forage success, economic and human stress concerns. Since challenges and concerns varied across the state, this survey is designed to assess needs on a county, regional and statewide basis. The study will be used to determine Extension programming and future research needs.

Please consider sharing your experiences at  https://go.osu.edu/ag2019.

Do Sheep Really Need Hay?

By: Brady Campbell, Program Coordinator, OSU Sheep Team, Dr. Ale Relling, Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University, Clif Little, OSU Extension Educator, Guernsey County

This question has been commonplace this year, especially with the inability of many producers to make hay at a reasonable time. However, this isn’t to say that there isn’t hay to be purchased, because there is, but rather that hay of acceptable quality at a reasonable price is nearly non-existent.

With this in mind, we challenge you to think about how generations before us fed low quality hay. It was simple right? Feed more of the lower quality material and allow the animals to choose which parts of the bale are the best. Then once they have eaten what they want, pitch the rest of it on the ground for bedding. This may be true, but what happens when we aren’t feeding enough of the ‘good stuff’? Continue reading

Valuing Standing Oat or Spring Triticale Cover Crops for Feed

By: Mark Sulc, Extension Forage Agronomist, Dianne Shoemaker, Extension Field Specialist, Dairy, Bill Weiss, Extension Dairy Nutritionist, Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Ben Brown, Agriculture Risk Management

Oats planted in late summer and originally intended as a cover crop are also high quality and valuable feed.

Considering the current shortage of quality forages, and the abundance of cover crops that were planted in Ohio this summer, the question has been asked, “How do I set a price to buy a oat/spring triticale forage crop still growing in the field?”

In response we’ve assembled a spreadsheet based tool to help determine an appropriate value for standing oat and spring triticale cover crops that could be harvested as feed. Continue reading

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