Hay and Straw Barn Fires a Real Danger

Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Mark Sulc, Sarah Noggle, David Dugan, Dee Jepsen, OSU Extension

Usually, we think of water and moisture as a way to put a fire out, but the opposite is true with hay and straw, which when too wet can heat and spontaneously combust. Most years this is more common with hay than straw because there is more plant cell respiration in the hay. This year the wheat is at various growth stages and straw seem to have more green stems than normal. When baled at moistures over 20% mesophilic bacteria release heat-causing temperatures to rise between 130⁰F and 140⁰F. These bacteria cause the internal temperature of hay bales to escalate, and can stay warm for up to 40 days depending on the moisture content when baled. If bacteria die and the bales cool, you are in the clear but if thermophilic bacteria take over temperatures can rise to over 175⁰F.

Assessing the Fire risk

  • Most hay fires occur within the first six weeks after baling
  • Was the field evenly dry or did it have wet spots
  • Were moistures levels kept at 20% or less
  • If over 20% was hay preservative used

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Summer Heats Up and So Are Brisket Prices

– David P. Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Originally posted on the BEEF Newsletter

Brisket prices are heating up just like summer temperatures. One of the most interesting beef demand trends over the last few years has been the growth in demand for briskets. It’s not just new craft bbq joints popping up everywhere in Texas, but even big chains like Arby’s jumping in and they all serve brisket.

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Farming with Family through the Tough Times

Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County, OSU Extension, Originally posted on the BEEF Newsletter

There are days where every farmer wonders what they got themselves into. Days where the work ahead is overwhelming, the kids are sick, the cows are calving, your 4×4 is stuck in the mud, and to top it off, you are running low on stored feed and stored energy in your soul. Farming is tough. No doubt about that.

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Cutting Height in Forages: How Low Can You Go?

– Dwane Miller, Penn State Extension Educator, Agronomy

Whether you’re taking the crop as haylage or dry hay, it’s important to pay attention to forage cutting height. One of our goals as farmers is to maximize our yield; however, cutting a crop too low can lead to several negative issues. The introduction of the disk-type mowers (discbines) allows for cutting very close to the ground. I’ve seen many fields that have been “scalped” right to ground level. This differs considerably from the older sickle bar mowers (haybines), whose technology required that some level of stubble height remain. Stand longevity can be compromised when the crop is cut too low. As a general rule, alfalfa can be cut closer to the ground than our grass crops. We need to think about where energy reserves are stored in the crop. For alfalfa, carbohydrates are stored below the ground in the taproot. Grasses store their energy above ground in the stem base or tillers. Frequent mowing at a close height will continue to deplete these energy reserves, resulting in stand longevity issues.

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Control Pasture Weeds Now

Christine Gelley, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Noble County

With the combination of sunny warm days and more than adequate rainfall received so far in May, grasses and legumes in our hayfields are beginning to flower. Which means, according to our knowledge of grass maturity and forage quality, it’s already time to make hay. If the weather will cooperate, that is.

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Emergency Forages for Planting Early to Mid-Summer

Dr. Mark Sulc, OSU Extension Forage Specialist, The Ohio State University
Dr. Bill Weiss, Dairy Nutrionist, The Ohio State University

Many forage stands were damaged this past winter, and the wet spring has further deteriorated stands that appeared they might recover. It is now too risky to try to establish perennial forages, with the warmer summer weather at our doorstep. We should wait until August to establish perennial stands. Meanwhile, what options can we consider for growing forage this year?

 

 

 

 

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ODA Confirmed: Equine Herpes Virus

On April 29th, ODA confirmed a positive case of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) at a stable in Crawford County.

Tests have confirmed EHV-1 in respiratory form, but tests are pending on the neurological form of EHV-1. The virus is not a human health threat.

The farm is currently under quarantine and no horses are allowed in or out of the farm. The stable has been very cooperative and is following strict biosecurity protocols, along with appropriate sanitation protocols.

The farm will remain under quarantine until clinical signs cease and negative test results are achieved.

If you have further questions, please call 614-728-6220 and for more information on EHV please see this fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Agriculture: https://bit.ly/2J14tld

Healing the Mess: Early Season Pasture Management

– Chris Penrose, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Morgan County (originally published in the Ohio Cattleman, Expo issue)

For those with pastured livestock, this past winter is one we would like to forget, but damage done is preventing that from occurring. Many farmers talked about the loss of livestock due to the wet weather and mud. To make matters worse, more hay had to be fed to deal with the additional stress on animals from the muddy conditions. The result was animals in a lower body condition and fields in a mess from livestock, feeding hay in the fields, and equipment trying to get hay to livestock.

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Intermediate and Advanced Ohio Sheep Shearing School

Brady Campbell, Program Coordinator, OSU Sheep Team

In addition to the annual spring and fall sheep shearing schools sponsored by the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, Ohio will also be hosting an intermediate and advanced sheep shearing school scheduled for the weekend of July 27th and 28th from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm at the Dave Cable Farm in Hebron, Ohio. As a note, the Ohio State Fair sheep shearing contest will be held on Friday, July 26th beginning at 10:00 am in the sheep barn show arena. Those interested in participating or viewing are encouraged to join!

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When to Start Grazing: Don’t Rush It!

– Chris Penrose, Extension Educator, Ag and Natural Resources, Morgan County

Originally posted on the BEEF Newsletter

 

One goal I have had with livestock grazing over the years is to start as soon as I can. I put spring calving cows on stockpiled grass in early March to calve with the hope of not having to feed any more hay. Many years this works but not this year, grass is just starting to grow. The stockpile is about gone and I have started feeding them some more hay but hope to move the group with the fall calving cows this weekend. I then plan on starting a fast rotation around many of the paddocks and hay fields which is actually later than many years.

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