Supplemental Forages to Plant in July After Wheat

by: Dr. Mark Sulc, Dr. Bill Weiss, OSU Extension

Some producers may be considering planting a supplemental forage crop after winter wheat grain harvest for various reasons. Some areas of the state are becoming very dry. In many areas, the wet weather this spring resulted in ample forage supply, but good to high-quality forage is in short supply because of the wet weather that delayed harvesting until the crop was mature, or it resulted in rained-on hay that lowered quality.

The table below summarizes options for planting annual forages after wheat harvest.

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Blankets of Yellow Flowers

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

Fields of yellow flowers are abundant this year across the state as many annual crop farmers faced planting delays. Some pasture fields are covered in blankets of yellow too. The scenes are deceptively beautiful with their sunny appearance but may actually pose a deadly threat to livestock if the plant happens to be cressleaf groundsel, which is also known as butterweed. Cressleaf groundsel is another weed known to cause livestock poisonings in harvested or grazed forages.

Cressleaf groundsel is known to cause livestock poisonings.

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Kill Poison Hemlock Now

 

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

Poison hemlock is a concern in public right of ways, on the farm, and in the landscape!

Poison hemlock has already emerged in a vegetative state around Noble County and beyond. Soon it will be bolting and blooming on stalks 6-10 feet tall. All parts of the plant are toxic to all classes of livestock if consumed and is prevalent along roadsides, ditches, and crop field borders. It is a biennial weed that does not flower in the first year of growth but flowers in the second year. The earlier you can address poison hemlock with mowing and/or herbicide application, the better your control methods will be.

Poison hemlock is related to Queen Anne’s lace, but is much larger and taller, emerges earlier, and has purple spots on the stems. Another relative that is poisonous is wild parsnip, which looks similar to poison hemlock, but has yellow flowers. Giant hogweed is another relative of poison hemlock that is also toxic. All of these plants have umbel shaped clusters of flowers.

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What to do with Compacted Pastures?

Erika Lyon, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Jefferson and Harrison Counties

During the last couple of weeks in December and into early 2021, eastern Ohio saw warmer-than-usual temperatures and a lot of rain. What does this mean for our pastures and hay fields?

With rain comes the mud, and with mud often comes compaction. Compaction in forage crops often occurs within the top 3-4 inches of soil, but it can also appear at deeper levels, forming “hard pans” that restrict the movement of water.

Compacted soils mean reduced pore space to house water and air — two important components of healthy soils. Nearly half of soils should consist of pore space, whether macro- or micro-pores to allow roots to develop deeper and water to better infiltrate downwards.

Compaction can ultimately lead to increased drought and disease susceptibility of plants, even when it appears there is standing water in a field.

 

 

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Take Action Weed Management Webinars

By: Dr. Mark Loux, OSU

Given how messed up the whole herbicide supply and price thing is right now, it might be a good time to take advantage of free resources to improve your herbicide and weed management acumen. The USB Take Action program and university weed scientists are once again conducting a series of webinars to cover several key topics in weed management. Three webinars occur this month, and will be followed by the release of videos covering other pertinent weed-related subjects. January webinars include the following:

Value of Residuals in Herbicide-Resistant Weed Problems – Thursday, January 20, 11 am EST

Harvest Weed Seed Control Practices – Thursday, January 27, 11 am EST

Registration information can be found here.  Videos of the webinars will be made available following their broadcast.

Another great resource is the “War Against Weeds” podcast.  This podcast features guests with expertise in a variety of aspects of weed science, and discussions on integrated weed management, herbicide resistance, and other timely topics. The podcast is hosted by Sarah Lancaster, Kansas State Extension Weed Science Specialist, Mandy Bish, Extension Weed Scientist at the University of Missouri, and Joe Ikley, Extension Weed Scientist at North Dakota State.  Podcast episodes are available at https://waragainstweeds.libsyn.com/ and also on Spotify, iTunes, and Google Podcasts.

 

 

Forage Fertility: Where We Are and Why it Matters

Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, OSU Extension
Greg LaBarge, Agronomic Crops Field Specialist, OSU Extension

Hay and haylage crops are grown on just over 1 million acres in Ohio (NASS, 2019) and are grown on more Ohio farms (44% of all farms) than any other crop (Becot et al., 2020). In addition, there are over 1.3 million acres of pastureland on nearly 39,000 farms (50% of all farms) in the state of Ohio (NASS, 2017). Fertilizer costs represent 40% – 60% of the variable input costs of forage hay production (Ward et al., 2016, 2018), and so managing these costs is key to an Ohio forage producers’ ability to stay competitive. Furthermore, water quality issues in the state underscore the need for Ohio farmers to manage on-farm nutrients as efficiently as possible. A farmer’s ability to find this optimal balance between meeting crop nutrient requirements without over-application is highly reliant on the best available information. Continue reading

Poisonous Pasture Weeds and Livestock

– Dwight Lingenfelter, Extension Associate, Weed Science, Penn State

Poisonous Pasture Weeds and Livestock

Horsenettle in a pasture setting. (Source: D. Lingenfelter, Penn State Weed Science)

During drought and other poor environmental conditions that reduce forage growth, there are concerns for poisonous weeds in pastures and hay. Livestock may be forced to graze on weeds that normally they would not, or they may eat weeds out of curiosity. Scout your pastures and remove these weeds before they cause livestock health problems. Keep in mind there are numerous poisonous plants that could invade an area or pasture. Many plants contain potentially poisonous substances that may be toxic to livestock if consumed. In addition, certain plants may be problematic because of mechanical irritation when eaten, photosensitization, and disagreeable tastes or odors in meat, milk or milk products. If you suspect livestock poisoning, call your local extension educator or veterinarian immediately. If death occurs, the stomach contents should be examined for consumed herbage. Identify the suspected plants and remove livestock from the grazing area until all poisonous plants have been removed or destroyed.

Continue reading at: https://extension.psu.edu/poisonous-pasture-weeds-and-livestock

Hay in May is a Big Deal!

 

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

Hay making requires a balance between nutritional value and when yield is maximized.

Hay season is officially underway!

In the years since I began working in Noble County there have been two years where conditions were right for making dry hay in May- 2020 and 2021. The smell of mowed hay drying in the warm sun and the sight of fresh round bales peppering fields this past week gave me a boost of much needed optimism. For people concerned with the quality of hay, this is exciting stuff.

 

 

 

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