A Basic Approach to Winter Supplementation of the Beef Cow Herd

– Dr. Francine Henry, Assistant Professor, Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences – Tifton Campus, University of Georgia

It is that time of the year again! As temperatures begin to drop, warm-season pastures are not so green anymore, and as we approach the Winter months, beef cattle producers scratch their heads and question marks start popping up. “Let me give a call to my county extension agent and reach out to the specialists, I have some questions about Winter Supplementation”. If this scenario does not sound familiar to you, congratulations! But if I had to guess,most of you are already there and this is actually an annual conundrum every beef cattle producer in the southeast faces.

As the “new Beef Extension Specialist in town”, I am here to help you out to identify the best strategies for your specific operation. I will start with: there is not a “one size fits all” answer when it comes to supplementation strategies and the most important thing to begin with is to not mistake supplementation for feeding. If we can assure that, a lot of dollars can be saved. Then, let’s address the term supplementation. By definition,supplementation, in nutrition terms, refers to “something added to complete a diet or make up fora deficiency”. When we consider the herd nutrition,the use of supplementation indicates that a free-choice supply of forage is available, being grazed or provided as conserved (i.e. hay or haylage). However, such forage may not necessarily contain adequate amounts of nutrients needed to meet the cowherd’s nutritional requirements during critical periods such as calving, lactation, and breeding.

Question #1: How do I know if the forage my cows are consuming does not have adequate nutrients?

If I had a penny for the number of times I heardOh, I know this hay I have is really good!without an actual test report with accurate numbers on crude protein and energy values, I would be rich! So, first things first, it is very important to get . . .

Continue reading A Basic Approach to Winter Supplementation of the Beef Cow Herd

Can I afford to fertilize my hay?

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County and Chris Penrose, Agriculture and Natural Resources, OSU Extension, Morgan County

While you can’t starve profit into a hay field, there may be some options.

With fertilizer prices on the rise and reaching levels not seen in years, some are wondering if they can afford to fertilize hay ground. Realizing we can’t starve a profit into a cow, or a hay crop, the answer is simple. We can’t afford not to properly and strategically fertilize a hay crop.

The operative word here is “strategically.” Let’s look at what that word might mean in the coming 2022 hay season.

First and foremost, now more than ever is the time to make sure we have up to date soil tests. We can’t manage what we haven’t measured and knowing the nutrient content of forage fields is critical to knowing which soil nutrients will offer the most Continue reading

Fall Grazing Thoughts

Chris Penrose, OSU Extension, Morgan County (originally published in Farm and Dairy)

My goals are not to have to feed hay until early December.

For the past couple weeks its really felt like the growing season was coming to an end. Cooler temperatures and shorter days have really slowed down forage growth. Some may already be feeding hay, some may still have several months of grazing remaining. When I mowed the lawn last week, I was wondering if I will need to do it again, and at the same time, I was wondering if I will be able to graze the field I was moving cattle out of one more time.

Over the years, I have seen cool season grasses, especially fescue continue to grow in the fall, so there may still be an opportunity for a little more growth but probably not much. I dug up some old research we did on stockpiling fescue from over 30 years ago in Southeast Ohio and when we applied nitrogen on the first of November, we did not see a significant response in yield but we did see a response from a late September application. At this point, we likely need to figure out how to best use what we have.

Some basic things we need to keep in mind is: do you have Continue reading

Spotted Lanternfly Update – November 2021

Authors: Thomas deHaas

Several hard frosts have occurred in Northeastern Ohio in early November. What should we be looking for now? EGG MASSES!

Did you see them?



How about now?






eggs 1

arrow 1

Yesterday, several Spotted Lanternfly partners from Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio State University and Cleveland Metroparks met on the near Westside of Cleveland to scout an infestation of Spotted Lanternfly.

Those scouting for SLF should turn their focus away from adults and look for egg masses.




Most of the females have finished laying eggs and are dead or dying.


dead slf


Several SLF adults were found between buildings on predominately Tree of Heaven Ailanthus altissima,


slf ailanthus


but also on wild grapes




along with egg masses found on tree of heaven, mulberry, cottonwood, and cherry.

The key now is to scout for egg masses. They will tend to be higher in the tree on the underside of branches. Binoculars can be very helpful.

ODA staff treated egg masses with Golden Pest Spray Oil, a soybean-based product effective in smothering the eggs.


slf spray


Continue to scout and report to:

and clicking on Report a Suspected Infestation.

Common Diseases of Goats

Joan S. Bowen, DVM, Wellington, CO
(Previously published in the Merck Manual – Veterinary Manual: January, 2014)

Goats harbor several species of coccidia but not all exhibit clinical coccidiosis (see Coccidiosis). Adult goats shed coccidia in feces, contaminate the environment, and infect the newborn. As infection pressure builds up in the pens, morbidity in kids born later increases. Signs include diarrhea or pasty feces, loss of condition, general frailness, and failure to grow. In peracute cases, kids may die without clinical signs. Rotating all the kids through one or two pens is dangerous. To help prevent coccidiosis in artificially reared dairy goats, the kids should be put in small, age-matched groups in outside, portable pens that are moved to clean ground periodically. Eradication is not feasible, but infection can be controlled through good management practices. Coccidiostats added to the water or feed are adjuncts to a management control program and not substitutes. Chronic coccidiosis is one of the main causes of poor growth in kids and is responsible for the uneconomical practice of delaying breeding for a year until the goat has reached adequate size (70 lb. [32 kg] for dairy breeds). In Angora goats kept extensively, the problem is seen at weaning, when the kids are kept in smaller lots and fed supplement on the ground.


In pastured and free-ranging goats, helminthiasis can assume great clinical significance. GI nematodiasis, liver fluke infestation, and lungworm infections all may be seen. Age-related resistance to parasitism in goats is weak relative to that in other ruminants. Although most common in yearlings during their first season on pasture, clinical parasitism may be seen in adults as well. Poor growth, weight loss, diarrhea, a scruffy hair coat, signs of anemia, and intermandibular edema (bottle jaw) may be seen with GI parasitism or liver fluke disease. Haemonchus contortus infection has emerged as a major constraint in the expanding meat goat industry in the southeastern USA. Persistent coughing in late summer and autumn is the usual presentation of lungworms; secondary bacterial pneumonia with fever is a common sequela. Parasitism is insidious on hobby farms, where the problem may not exist for several years and then suddenly explodes as goat numbers continue to increase and facilities become overstocked. Tapeworm proglottids are often noted in goat feces by owners. Although tapeworms are not generally considered to be of clinical importance, their discovery can be used to review the subject of helminthiasis with owners and develop an overall parasite control program (see Gastrointestinal Parasites of Sheep and Goats).

Clostridium perfringens type D can be fatal, and it is not always associated with the classic “change in quality and quantity of feed.” In problem herds, vaccination every 4–6 months may be necessary, because goats may not maintain protective immunity as long as sheep or cattle when given the same commercial vaccines. Vaccination prevents the acute death syndrome, but occasionally even vaccinated goats may develop acute enteritis. Affected goats develop severe diarrhea and profound depression; milk yield drops abruptly. Death may result in 24 hours. Treatment involves administration of antitoxin, analgesics, fluid therapy, correction of acidosis, and antibiotics.

Vaccination for contagious ecthyma (sore mouth, see Contagious Ecthyma) is not indicated unless the disease exists on the premises. The main problems with infected kids are difficulty in nursing, spreading lesions to the does’ udders or the assistants’ hands, and attendance at goat shows being disallowed. Live virus vaccine is used by scarifying the skin (eg, inside the thighs or under the tail) and painting on the vaccine. Both natural lesions and those resulting from vaccination may last as long as 4 weeks, but after the scabs have dropped off, the goats can go to shows.

Chronic wasting is seen quite frequently; it is not a single disease but a syndrome. Generally, if a goat is well fed, kept in a stress-free environment, and has good teeth and a low parasite load, it should thrive and produce. If it does not, and begins “wasting,” it should be culled immediately. The major causes of chronic wasting include poor nutrition, parasitism, dental problems, paratuberculosis, internal visceral abscesses due to Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis (ovis) or Trueperella pyogenes, locomotor problems (particularly arthritis due to retrovirus infection [CAE virus]), and chronic hidden infections such as metritis, peritonitis, or pneumonia. Tumors are occasionally diagnosed in older goats. These diseases are rarely treatable, and many are contagious; this is the basis for the strict culling policy, which is vital to the overall productivity of a herd.

Paratuberculosis in goats differs from that in cattle (see Paratuberculosis in Ruminants); gross postmortem lesions are less pronounced, and profuse diarrhea occurs less commonly in goats until right before death. Consequently, many cases may go undiagnosed until necropsy. The ileocecal node is the most rewarding tissue for bacteriologic culture and histopathology. Diagnostic testing for caprine paratuberculosis includes agar gel immunodiffusion, pooled liquid fecal culture, direct fecal PCR, and ELISA. The control program for paratuberculosis in goats is similar to that in cattle.

Caprine arthritis and encephalitis (CAE, see Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis) virus has emerged as an important infectious agent of intensively raised dairy goats, but all breeds of goats are susceptible to this retrovirus. CAE infection in goats can manifest in numerous ways: subclinical, persistent infection; a progressive paresis of young goats 2–12 months old; agalactia with a firm, noninflamed udder at parturition in bred females; or an arthritic condition with pain and swollen joints in adults. A chronic, progressive interstitial pneumonia or a wasting syndrome may also be seen in adults. CAE infection has been considered primarily to be spread from dam to offspring through virus-laden colostrum and milk, and control programs have been aimed at separating the newborns from the adult population and feeding heat-treated colostrum and pasteurized milk. Infection may persist in herds in which this is practiced due to horizontal transmission between adults. Regular testing and rigorous culling of all seropositive goats, or strict segregation of seropositive and seronegative goats, must be practiced if disease eradication is the goal.

For mastitis in goats, see Mastitis in Goats.

When someone destroys your crops and trees, consider this law

By:Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor, Agricultural & Resource Law Friday, October 22nd, 2021
ATVs in field

Fall often brings us questions about what a landowner can do when someone harms their crops, fields, and trees.  We’ve heard many stories of hunters, four-wheelers, snowmobilers, timber harvesters and others tearing up hayfields, causing corn and bean losses, harming trees, or taking timber.  Unfortunately, those incidents are not new to Ohio.  Back in 1953, the Ohio legislature enacted a law that addressed these types of problems.  In 1974, legislators revised the law to strengthen its penalty provisions, part of an effort to reform Ohio’s criminal laws.  That law still offers remedies that can help a landowner today.

The reckless destruction of vegetation law.  Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 901.51, the “reckless destruction of vegetation law,” is simple and straightforward.  It states that:

“No person, without privilege to do so, shall recklessly cut down, destroy, girdle, or otherwise injure a vine, bush, shrub, sapling, tree or crop standing and growing on the land of another or upon public land.”

Note the word “recklessly,” as that’s important to the statute.  Under Ohio law, a person  behaves recklessly if he disregards the risk that his actions are likely to cause certain results, such as harm or injury.  “Heedless indifference to the consequences” is another way to explain the term.  A person who flies through a hayfield on a four-wheeler, taking no precautions to avoid harming the crop, would likely fit this definition of behaving recklessly.  A timber harvester who ignores the marked property line and takes trees on the other side of it could also be behaving recklessly.

Criminal and civil options.  The recklessness element of a person’s behavior is why the law incorporates criminal charges.  A violation of ORC 901.51 is a fourth-degree criminal misdemeanor and could result in a fine of $250 and up to 30 days in jail.  What is useful to landowners, however, is that when legislators amended the law in 1974, they added “treble damages” to allow a harmed party to collect three times the value of the property destroyed.  If the value of hay lost to the four-wheeler was $500, for example, the treble damages provision allows the landowner to collect three times that amount, or $1,500.  Many court cases involve tree situations, and three times the value of a tree can result in a hefty award for the harmed landowner.

Another benefit of the reckless destruction of vegetation law is that a landowner doesn’t have to rely on a criminal charge being brought by local law enforcement.   While local law enforcement could bring a criminal charge against an offender and if successful, could request the treble damages for the landowner.  But if law enforcement does not bring a criminal charge, Ohio courts have held that a harmed party may bring a civil action against the offender and utilize the law’s treble damages provision.  Those treble damages can make it worthwhile to litigate the issue as a civil action.

The next time you’re frustrated by someone destroying your crops, trees and vegetation, the reckless destruction of vegetation law might be helpful.  If you can prove that the person was reckless and indifferent to causing the harm, consider using this powerful little law to remedy the situation.

Time To Straighten Out Peach Leaf Curl

Authors: Erik Draper

As I was out and about in orchards seeing which apples have yet to picked and simply enjoying the colors of ripening fruit; suddenly, I was stopped in my wanderings to be absolutely stunned and amazed by the fall leaf colors of peaches.  I had NEVER noticed the subtle colors and beauty of peach leaves that I observed for the first time this year.  There were purples, reds, oranges, yellows and every shade or tint in-between and how beautiful they looked as they were starting to fall.  I was savoring the moment, when my mind immediately jumped to- “Hey, peach leaves are falling… it’s almost time to control peach leaf curl!”  I’ll be the first to admit that my mind doesn’t quite work along the same lines of thoughts as other people’s brains do!


Beautiful Fall Colors on peaches
Beautiful fall leaf colors and really nice buds for fruit next year on peaches


Beautiful Fall Colors on peaches
Incredible Fall Colors on peach trees


Peach leaf curl (PLC), sometimes also called leaf curl, is a disease caused by the fungal pathogen, Taphrina deformans.  Once seen, it is easy to recognize the unique symptoms of this fungus on peach foliage.  However, PLC has the potential to also affect blossoms, fruit and young, green twigs, although these types of infections rarely occur here in Ohio.  If ignored, this disease can have a major impact on fruiting peaches and nectarines, as well as ornamental flowering peaches.  For backyard fruit growers, PLC is considered to be one of the most common disease scourges to manage in a home orchard.


Peach Leaf Curl fungus, Taphrina deformans
Peach Leaf Curl, Taphrina deformans, a fungal disease on peach foliage


Even if PLC may not be a problem every spring, it can be severe during cool, wet springs that follow mild winters!  Now you know that there really is something good that happens due to our bitter, cold, winter weather!  The seemly blistered, distorted, and reddish foliage that PLC causes, is easily seen in spring on the young, rapidly expanding leaves.  These blistered areas become thicker and cause the leaf to pucker up, resulting in extreme distortion, creating its namesake “curl” as the leaf twists around upon itself.


Peach Leaf Curl, fungal disease, peach leaves
Peach Leaf Curl, Taphrina deformans, a fungal disease on peach foliage


The thickened areas first turn yellowish, then they may or may not redden in response to the fungal infection.  As the fungus matures, the blisters and leaf will turn a fuzzy, grayish-white, as spores entirely cover the leaf blisters by the PLC fungus.  After the spores are produced, infected leaves turn yellow or brown and drop off the tree.  Depending on when the leaves drop off, the tree may produce new foliage.


Peach Leaf Curl fungus on peach foliage
Peach Leaf Curl, Taphrina deformans, a fungal disease on peach foliage  NOTE: Fuzzy white gray spores forming


Thank heavens, there is no secondary spread of this fungus!  What that means is the spores from leaves infected in the spring, can’t infect any new leaves produced later in the season.  Once infected leaves drop, no further symptoms will appear on any new foliage initiated during that growing season.  However, leaf loss and the production of a second set of leaves, always has a cost to the tree!  The typical results are a reduction in tree growth, meaning less bud wood for next season, while fruit size and overall numbers of edible fruits will plummet.  Early leaf losses in the growing season, may also cause an overexposure of tender branches to sunlight, resulting in sunburn injury.


Peach Leaf Curl fungus on peach leaves
Peach Leaf Curl, Taphrina deformans, a fungal disease on peach foliage


The fungal spores of PLC overwinter on the surface of bark and buds of the peach tree, creating multiple opportunities for leaf infections to occur very early in the growing season.  During cool, wet spring weather, the overwintering spores germinate to initiate infections as the tiny leaves emerge from the swollen peach buds.  Recommendations to effectively control the PLC fungus, require applying a single, VERY TIMELY, fungicide application.  One may apply that fungicide in the fall after leaf drop or in the spring before buds begin to swell!  Finding a window of dry weather for a fungicide application in the spring, coinciding with the timing for it to occur just as peach buds start to swell… is next to impossible!


Peach Leaf Curl fungal disease on peach leaves
Peach Leaf Curl, Taphrina deformans, a fungal disease on peach foliage


In my humble fruit-oriented opinion, the absolute best time to effectively control this disease is right now!  It is recommended to treat the trees just after most of leaves have fallen, usually late November or December.  This is because you’ll want to treat every inch of the entire tree, bark, buds and all, with a fungicide.  Leaves would just inhibit the ability to effectively treat and cover the entire tree, top to bottom.


Peach Leaf Curl fungal disease on peach leaves
Peach foliage severely affected by Taphrina deformans, a fungal disease  NOTE: Fuzzy white spores forming on leaves


The safest, effective fungicides available for backyard peach trees are copper soap (copper octanoate) or copper ammonium and are known as fixed copper fungicides.  Apply either of these copper products with 1% horticultural oil to increase their fungicidal effectiveness.  Bordeaux mixture also works but it is a home-made copper sulfate and lime mixture that must be carefully mixed just prior to treatment of the tree.  The synthetic fungicides chlorothalonil, ziram, carbamates and ferbam are also very effective.


Beautiful Fall Colors of Peach Foliage
Beautiful Fall Colors of Peach Foliage and free of Peach Leaf Curl!


If PLC disease was a problem this past year, now is the time to do something to correct that issue. Get out there NOW and straighten the curls out of your future peach and nectarine leaves!

Would you Like to Become a Master Gardener Volunteer?

The Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) program provides intensive training in horticulture to interested Ohio residents who then volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities for Ohio residents through their local OSU Extension county office. Volunteers are not required to have gardening skills or knowledge; a passion for learning about gardening and sharing this knowledge with others is a must!

Working with county Extension personnel, Master Gardener Volunteers provide educational services to their communities such as: answering gardening questions from the public; conducting plant clinics; gardening activities with children, senior citizens, or disabled persons; beautifying the community; developing community or demonstration gardens; and other horticultural activities.

OSU Extension Morrow County will be holding a MGV training class in the spring and summer of 2022.  If you are interested in becoming a Morrow County Master Gardener Volunteer please call Carri Jagger 419-947-1070 to learn more about becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer.