Knox County Dicamba Training

Following a summer of many instances of off-target movement of dicamba across the country from use in Xtend soybeans, the labels for Engenia, XtendiMax, and FeXapan were modified in an attempt to reduce future problems. These products became restricted use pesticides, and an additional requirement is that anyone applying these products must attend annual dicamba or group 4 herbicide-specific training, and have proof that they did so. Details are still being worked out on this training for Ohio, but it will not be conducted by OSU Extension, or accomplished through OSU winter agronomy or pesticide recertification meetings.

The flyer below contains information on a Knox County Dicamba training meeting sponsored by the Knox County Agrology Club and Danville Feed & Supply.

Hay Testing for Efficient Winter Feeding

– Christine Gelley, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Noble County

As this year comes to an end, most Ohio graziers are probably feeding a good portion of hay as a part of their animals’ daily ration. Even if there is a supply of stockpiled forage available, we tend to make hay available just in case they need a little extra. It is likely that grain is also part of that daily ration. Well, how do you know how much hay, grain, and pasture they need? No one wants to leave their animals hungry. In addition, we do not want to waste time or money with unnecessary feeding. Figuring out the balance can seem like a guessing game, but the place to start is with a hay test.

Testing the hay you are feeding is well worth the price of sample analysis. Collecting a sample is not complicated and typically results are available from the lab within two weeks. You can acquire the tools and kits on your own to submit samples, or you can find them at most county Extension offices and often from Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Ag co-ops usually offer sample analysis services as well. Whoever you chose to go through, be sure to select the analysis package that will give you the detailed results you desire. The package that costs the least will probably still leave you guessing. My typical suggestion is to select a test that will give you values for moisture, crude protein (CP), acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), total digestible nutrients (TDN), and Relative Feed Value (RFV). Once you receive the results of your analysis, the challenge of interpreting the values arises. How do you know what values are good or bad?

Your hay test results will list values on a dry matter (DM) and an as-fed basis. Nutrients will appear to be higher for DM basis, because all the remaining water (% moisture) in the hay has been factored out. For CP, values of 8% or greater are desired. For ADF, lower is better. Increased ADF values equal decreased digestibility. Neutral detergent fiber is the amount of total fiber in the sample, which is typically above 60% for grasses and above 45% for legumes. As NDF increases, animal intake generally decreases. For TDN and RFV, the greater the values, the more desirable the forage. These values are useful for comparing your forage to other feeds available on the market. Once you have these values compiled you can start formulating rations based on nutritional values of the hay.

First, consider the needs of your animal. Stage of life, current weight, desired weight, and environmental conditions are all important factors. For the sake of an example, let’s assume we are developing a ration for a growing Angus heifer. Currently, she weighs about 800 lbs. and we want her to gain about 200 lbs. by the end of March. Ideally, we would like her to gain about 2 lbs./day. Now, let’s take a look at a hay test example and assume it is for our hay (see Table 1.1).

Table 1.1:

Sample #: Field 1
Sample Type Fescue Hay
Moisture (%) 15.91
Dry Matter (%) 84.09
Crude Protein (DM%) 12.53
Fiber ADF (DM%) 37.79
Fiber NDF (DM%) 72.03
Total Digestible Nutrients 59
Relative Feed Value 77

According to the information from our hay sample and the recommendations from the National Research Council (NRC) for beef cows, we could expect this animal to eat about 21 lbs. of hay daily. This hay should be adequate for meeting the heifer’s energy needs for maintenance, but it will not meet her demands to gain the weight we want. We need to supplement with some high energy, high protein grain to reach our desired average daily gain (ADG).

Soybean meal has an average of about 44% CP. Supplementing 2 lbs. of soybean meal (a pelleted form will increase animal intake) and 6.5 lb. of whole shell corn will meet our ADG of 2 lb. Corn is about 9% CP, which is lower than the CP content of our hay, but TDN is greater at 88% and provides more calories per pound. Supplementing corn is beneficial because it provides more energy per pound of feed, which means more gain per day.

Our hay test did not tell us how many calories our hay would provide per pound, but we can reference NRC again for these values. Our 800 lb. heifer needs 6.41 Mcal/day to maintain body weight and she needs an additional 5.11 Mcal/day to gain 2 lb./day. The average net energy for gain (NEg) in Mcal/lb. for fescue hay is 0.32, soybean meal is 0.59, and whole shell corn is 0.61. If we feed 21 lb. of hay, 2 lb. of soybean meal, and 6 lb. of corn, we will meet our goal (see Table 1.2).

Table 1.2:

Feed Type & Quantity Energy Provided
Energy Required for Maintenance Mcal/day Energy Required for Gain
Fescue Hay:
21 lb.
6.72 6.41 5.11
Soybean Meal:
2 lb.
Whole Shell Corn:
6 lb.
Total Energy Provided: 11.56
Total Energy Needed: 11.52* *6.41+5.11

This was just one example of how a hay test can help with the development of livestock rations. Recommendations will vary depending on types of hay, time of year, animal species, stage of life, and production goals. With so much possible variation, every little bit of knowledge we can secure is helpful for developing production goals and expectations.

Hay tests may not reveal ideal results and they can vary drastically between cuttings. That is the reality of attempting to manage nature. We can rarely do anything under ideal circumstances, but we do the best we can. As you look ahead to the next growing season and putting up hay once again, do everything you can to efficiently improve forage quality and nutritive value of your stored resources. The better the nutritive value of your forage, the less you will need to supplement and the more money you can keep in your pocket. Testing and formulating rations takes some effort, but once it becomes routine it will come with greater ease.

With that, I will leave you with a quote from Jim Rohn, “Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.”

Happy New Year! My best wishes to you and yours for 2018!

Jurgens, Marshall, et al. “Feedstuffs and Formulations.” Animal Feeding and Nutrition, 11th ed., Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 2012, pp. 87–116.

Dodder (Cuscuta spp.) in Western Ohio Red Clover Stands

– Mark Loux, OSU Extension Weed Specialist

We have had reports of dodder in some red clover fields. Dodder is a parasitic plant without any leaves or chlorophyll to produce its own energy. It lives by attaching to a host with small appendages (called ‘haustoria”), and extracting the host plant’s carbohydrates. The stems are yellow-orange, stringlike, twining, smooth and branching to form dense masses in infested fields. Although neither toxic nor unpalatable to some livestock, dodder can weaken host plants enough to reduce yield, quality, and stand. If infestations are severe enough, dodder may kill host plants.

Dodders are annuals that spread by seed. Seed may be able to survive in the soil over 20 years. Controlling dodder with herbicides depends on the crop in which you wish to control it. Some herbicides may affect dodder, but also may affect the crop, or not be labeled for that use. In many cases, dodder control may be more effective if herbicides are applied before the plant attaches to the host. PRE applications of Kerb have provided good control of dodder in ornamentals and turf. Trifluralin and pendimethalin have also been reported to suppress dodder germination, but in most cases PRE applications will not retain enough residual activity to provide control for the rest of the season.

Glyphosate has sometimes been reported to control dodder POST. It can be applied as a 1 to 2-percent spot treatment in alfalfa, but non Roundup Ready alfalfa will be injured or killed. A broadcast foliar application would be possible in Roundup Ready alfalfa. Raptor® applied at 5 oz/A can suppress dodder when applied after dodder emergence, but before it is three inches tall. Pursuit also can suppress dodder after emergence, but as soon as dodder attaches to the host plant, becomes less effective. The Pursuit label recommends using it with COC or methylated seed oil when trying to suppress dodder.

Other resources:

Label Language Continues to Confuse Consumers

Garth Ruff, OSU Extension Educator, Henry County

I have always been curious about what goes through a person’s mind while shopping at the grocery store. In the past couple of weeks, I have read several articles regarding consumer surveys, gauging consumer wants and purchasing habits when at the grocery store. I shared one such article in my weekly online newsletter titled, Informed Consumers Won’t Pay More For ‘Natural’. In this experiment researchers at Arizona State University polled 663 beef eaters about their willingness to pay for steak labeled with different attributes: one of which being natural. Half of the participants were provided with the definition of natural and half were not.

In summary, those who were provided the definition of ‘natural’ were not willing to pay the extra price per pound for the natural label alone. However, those consumers who were not informed on the definition were willing to pay a premium for the product. This leads me to ask the following question: Are you an informed consumer?

In case it wasn’t clear, and often times it’s not; USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service considers all fresh meat “natural.” However, beef that carries a “natural” label cannot contain any artificial flavors, coloring, chemical preservatives or other artificial ingredients. Additionally, natural products must not be more than “minimally processed.” Ground beef falls under the minimally processed umbrella, so it can be labeled natural.

Label claims on food can be very confusing to consumers, and adding unnecessary information would only add to that confusion. Some additional label claims include; free range, pasture raised, antibiotic free, partially produced with genetic engineering and a whole list of others. While some of these statements accurately describe a product, they may also be misleading.

Research tends to show that many consumers are not always informed with regards to claims on food labels. Another study from Oklahoma State University polled 1,000 consumers, of which 8 of 10 supported mandatory labeling of DNA on food products. This one leaves me scratching my head. I understand that most consumers probably receive little gain from understanding genetics and DNA, but I would sure hope that they understand that the vast majority of food comes from living organisms. Somewhere along the lines it appears those folks removed from science and agriculture have forgotten that very simple, but important concept.

Ilya Somin, in an editorial for the Washington Post, purposed the following label in the event that the government mandated a DNA label claim.

WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both animals and humans. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children.

While I share this suggested label in good humor, it just goes to show the value of unbiased scientific research, which happens to be one of the guiding principles of the Extension system. Take some time while shopping this holiday season to research some of the food labels of the various products that you purchase and become and informed consumer. There is a wealth of information on a food label, from nutrition, production practices, and marketing. If you ever have a question regarding food labeling or food safety, give us a shout.

Census of Agriculture Is Underway

The Census of Agriculture impacts everything from production practices and arming technologies to broadbaand expansion in your area. Be heard and shape your future.

At the beginning of December, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service started mailing the 2017 Census of Agriculture to our nation’s producers. Mailing in phases, all census questionnaires should be received by mid- to late December. The deadline to respond is February 5, 2018. Producers can respond online at (take advantage of new timesaving features and the convenience of being accessible on most mobile and desktop devices) or by mail. Conducted once every five years, the census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by trade associations, researchers, policymakers, extension educators, agribusinesses, and many others. The data can play a vital role in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development, and more. The census is the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every state and county in the nation. Every response matters. Every voice helps shape the future of U.S. agriculture. For more information, visit or call (800) 727-9540.

Precision University – Nutrient Technology

Nutrient Technology Experts will share info on the latest equipment and technologies to ensure efficient utilization of your nutrients applications.



Date: January 11th, Time 8:30-3:30

Location: Beck’s Hybrid’s 720 US 40 London 

Registration:  Click here to Register or Contact: Kaylee Port at

Cost $50.00 RSVP by January 5.


Dr. Robert Mullen, Agrium-Potash Corp

Dr. Tony Vyn, Purdue University

Jim Swartz, Beck’s Hybrids

Jamie Bultemeier, A&L Great Lakes Labs

Dr. Brian Arnall, Oklahoma State University

Glen Arnold, Ohio State University

Dave Scheiderer, Integrated Ag Services



Dr. Scott Shearer, Ohio State University

Nate Douridas, Molly Caren Farm

Lee Radcliffe, Radcliffe Farms