Fall Forage Management Tips

Alfalfa Field

By Mark Sulc, OSU Extension

Fall is a great time to take care of some very important aspects of managing forage hayfields and pastures. Below is a list of things that when done in the fall can help avoid big headaches this winter and next spring or even next summer.

  • One of the most important things to do now is to pull soil samples and get a soil test. Ask for the 2020 Tri-State Fertility Recommendations to be applied to the results. Apply fertilizer to correct any soil deficiencies and replace nutrients that were removed in hay and silage. Fall is a great time to apply both P and K to prepare established forage stands for winter. Soil sampling and testing are especially critical in preparation for making new forage seedings next spring or summer. Now is the time to apply lime to raise low soil pH levels for next year’s seedings. Soil preparation now will also help you be ready to plant when the first break in the weather comes next spring. Many headaches with forage stands can be greatly alleviated with proper fertility levels. Deficient fertility leads to weak forage stands that are susceptible to stresses (including winter injury) and especially weed invasion. Links to additional soil fertility resources can be found at https://forages.osu.edu/forage-management/soil-fertility-forages. Continue reading

OSU Extension Hires New Field Specialist Focusing on Beef Cattle

By:  Cheryl Buck, OSU Extension Communication Manager

Garth Ruff has been selected as the new field specialist, beef cattle for Ohio State University Extension in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University, per Jackie Kirby Wilkins, interim director of OSU Extension. This full-time appointment is effective on September 1, 2020.

“We are extremely pleased to be partnering with our CFAES Department of Animal Sciences to jointly fund this important position, which will work in tandem with our research faculty and our commodity and industry partners, as well as producers and community stakeholders to translate and apply the newest university knowledge to meet the timely and most critical issues facing the beef industry in Ohio,” said Wilkins. Continue reading

Poultry Litter Application

Loading poultry litter

By Glen Arnold, OSU Extension

Stockpiles of poultry litter can be seen in farm fields across Ohio. While common each year in wheat stubble fields, there also many stockpiles in soybean fields. Poultry litter is an excellent source of plant nutrients and readily available in most parts of the state.

Poultry litter can be from laying hens, pullets, broilers, finished turkeys, turkey hens, or poults. Most of the poultry litter in the state comes from laying hens and turkey finishers. Typical nutrient ranges in poultry litter can be from 45 to 57 pounds of nitrogen, 45 to 70 pounds of P2O5, and 45 to 55 pounds of K2O per ton. The typical application rate is two tons per acre which fits nicely with the P2O5 needs of a two-year corn/soybean rotation. Continue reading

Application of Manure to Double Crop Soybeans

By Glen Arnold, OSU Extension

Wheatfields have been or will be harvested in Ohio soon and some farmers will plant double-crop soybeans. In recent years there has been more interest from livestock producers in applying manure to newly planted soybeans to provide moisture to help get the crop to emerge.

Both swine and dairy manure can be used to add moisture to newly planted soybeans. It’s important that the soybeans were properly covered with soil when planted to keep a barrier between the salt and nitrogen in the manure and the germinating soybean seed. It’s also important that livestock producers know their soil phosphorus levels, and the phosphorus in the manure being applied, so soil phosphorus levels are kept an acceptable range. Continue reading

2020 Paulding County Jr. Fair Buyer Add-On Packet Now Available

From Sarah Noggle, Extension Educator, Agriculture, and Natural Resources, Paulding County with an excerpt from Michael Schweinsberg, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development, Paulding County’s blog post.

This week is one of my favorite weeks of the year, but this year this week is bittersweet. Usually, the first county fair in the State of Ohio, our fairgrounds and barns, are sitting empty. You won’t hear the laughter of 4-H and FFA members from the barns.

Our hats go off to the Paulding County Sr. and Jr. Fairboards as this tough decision was made a few weeks ago. The economic impact on the fair board with social distancing and other guidelines made it almost economically impossible to hold the fair. While this situation does stink, especially, because fair is where my heart is personally every summer. This is because of the connections I have developed over the years.  While this year’s pandemic has put a wrench in the fair plan, the plan was already in another person’s hands that we have learned to live by faith with.

Our Paulding County 4-H and FFA members are some of the best kids around. They are hard-working, honest, community-serving, and they look out for each other. While 4-H and FFA are looking different in 2020, these youth are still alive and resilient. They have learned one of the hardest lessons in life through the COVID-19 Pandemic. Many of our county youth have completed all the requirements (quality assurance, skillathon, livestock record keeping books, club or chapter meetings, community service, and a demonstration) to exhibit and show an animal at the county fair in a typical year. They didn’t give up even though the fair was canceled.

Our Paulding County 4-H and FFA members have managed to shine through their respective organization mottos – “To Make the Best Better” (4-H) and “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live and Living to Serve” (FFA). These youth are learning the true meaning of livestock markets today. They are seeing what it is like to be raising livestock in a lower economy.  The child and their families who have completed these projects have more than likely thought through, “What are they in this for, and what do they hope to gain?”

As a 4-H advisor, I have heard from parents comments like, “I am glad my kids had animals in the barn to keep them working during quarantine; My kids have a reason to get up on time and stay active; These are still some of the best life lessons; I am glad for these animals because my kids would have probably been playing video games during all this time at home; These animals are truly providing food for our family; This isn’t at all about winning, it’s about life lessons.”

As a mom to two current 4-Hers/FFA member, I wish they could be at their favorite vacation spot of the year, but I know these kids will be okay.  They are alive and healthy. They are still members of this community. They have learned some of the best but hardest lessons in life. It’s how they handle these lessons that make them stronger.

While the youth might now be showing animals this week, they are learning more significant lessons in life. They are still learning:

  1. Citizenship in our community
  2. Effective Leadership Skills
  3. Goal Setting
  4. Sense of Belonging
  5. Independence
  6. Mastery
  7. Generosity

The youth have learned it’s not about the ribbon, prize, or trophy. It’s not about winning because you spent thousands and thousands of dollars on an animal or for bragging rights.  Those things aren’t what the kids remember from the county fair.

They remember the good times. They are truly missing out on being with their fellow 4-Hers and FFA members. They are missing out on the non-related family bonding with the friendships they developed over the years at the fair. It’s the club booths and floats (which they sometimes complain about doing), then walking down the up and down the midway, hanging out in the barns, it’s the FFA Sausage Sandwiches, the Grover Hill Homemade Ice Cream, and the safety of our small hometown fair. It’s seeing our community pull together for the greater good, whether it’s physical labor or monetary donations.

Our Paulding County Fair is not the largest or flashiest in the state, but it’s ours, and we value it. Our Paulding County agricultural community is robust. The loyalty and camaraderie among us are more significant than words can describe. Reach out to your 4-H and FFA members and their families this week. While there is not an official livestock sale, our kids still have outlets for their livestock projects. If you would even like to support the 4-H or FFA members, please see the form below.

A special Thank you to all those still working so hard for our 4-H and FFA youth – 4-H Educator – Michael Schweinsberg; Jr. Fairboard Advisors– Tony Miller, Abram Klopfenstein, Luke Jackson, Pam White; Sr. Fairboard Members – Dan Howell, Heather Cooper, Kenny Speice, Lori Davis, Gus Davis, Bruce Farquhar, Corey Carnahan, Luke Jackson, Abram Klopfenstein, Francis Saxton, Sue Miller, Mel White, Austin Howell, Jacob Turner, Randy Tressler, Jonathon Rose, Lisa Hefner, Brian Yenser, Austin Conlon; 4-H Advisors-Brittany Clevenger, Austin Conlon, Heather Cooper, Suzanne Cooper, Brenda Doster, Erin Finfrock, Lindsay Franklin, Ruth Graham, Amanda Grimes, Lisa Hefner, Dorothy Hoagland,  Alexis Howell, Dan Howell, Deb Howell, Jandra Kilgore, Cherry Klopfenstein, Jerry Klopfenstein, Mary Kupfersmith, Julie McCloud, Nikki McClure, Mandy Miller, Sue Miller, Ryan Noggle, Jerrolyn Parrett, Linda Reineck, Lindsay Schabbing, Beth Schweinsberg, Pat Spitnale, Amanda Stoller, Tracy Trausch, Gina Weidenhamer, Pam White, Deb Wiley, Krisi Williams, Jennifer Workman, Hillary Zijlstra, Amber Zuber; FFA Advisors-Staci Miller, Lori Heiby, Jacquelin Mosier and Mike Miller; Hats off to each and everyone of you. You are all a part of helping these youth grow and succeed.

Sarah Noggle, Extension Educator, Agriculture, and Natural Resouces, Paulding County.  

Excerpt from the 4-H Blog – The link below will open the 2020 Paulding County Jr. Fair Buyer Add-On packet.  On behalf of all Paulding County youth and volunteers, we thank you for your continued support of our 4-H and FFA youth.  Please note that the address for payment has changed for this year.  The address to send the form and payment is located on the add-on form.

2020 Buyer Add-On Packet

CFAP Program for Beef Producers

By David Marrison, OSU Extension, marrison.2@osu.edu

Click here to access a PDF version of the article

Since the beginning of January, market prices for major commodities have fallen sharply since COVID-19 reached the United States.  There have been many efforts through federal and state legislation to offset the impact of COVID-19.

Enrollment is currently being taken by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) for one such program targeted to help agricultural producers.  This program called the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) is providing financial assistance for losses experienced as a result of lost demand, short-term oversupply, and shipping pattern disruptions caused by COVID-19. Continue reading

Direct Marketing of Meat

By: Rob Leeds, Garth Ruff, Peggy Hall, Jacci Smith, and Tony Nye, OSU Extension

Producers who are seeking to increase income are looking for different ways to market their livestock. Direct to consumer marketing of livestock products is one-way producers are seeking to increase profits in their livestock sales. When exploring direct market possibilities there are several factors farmers must consider: regulations, consumer preference, marketing strategies, and pricing. Continue reading

COVID-19 Impact on Ohio Sheep Producers

By Tim Barnes OSU Extension, Marion County

Lambs are just one of the many agricultural commodities that have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. There is never a good time for a pandemic to strike, but COVID-19 hit the sheep industry at the traditional best market price.  Spring lambs are a family favorite for traditional Easter meals (April 12), Orthodox Easter (April 23), the Muslin feasts of Ramadan (April 23 to May 23), some Jewish sects for Passover (April 8-16), and the secular May 10 Mother’s Day celebration.

America’s biggest market for fresh lamb is in the area from Baltimore to Boston.  Major East Coast packers relay on the close location of Ohio producers (Ohio has the 5th most producers in the US) to provide a steady source of fresh lamb.  The “white tablecloth restaurants” and the other segments of the foodservice industry account for over 50% of the United State lamb consumption.  As demand builds back to pre-pandemic levels, Ohio lambs will continue to be a large part of the East coast supply chain. Continue reading

COVID-19 Impact on Ohio’s Beef Industry

by: Garth Ruff, OSU Extension Henry County.

COVID-19 has had profound impacts on our food and livestock production systems here in the U.S. With regards to the beef industry the impact has been felt locally and throughout the country. Locally here in Ohio, with the JBS plant in Souderton closed, and reduced packing capacity in other regional packing plants, the local cash market for fed cattle has been greatly diminished. For the past two weeks, auction markets in the state have asked cattle feeders to hold off on bringing fed cattle to market due to packing plant closures and overall lack of packer demand.

Like most of agriculture, timing is critical for the livestock production supply chain to flow as it is designed. What is the impact of holding market-ready cattle in local feedlots? Economically, cash flow concerns for small to medium size cattle feeders may arise as packing capacity remains limited. Immediate impacts for cattle feeders include increasing days on feed, selling heavier and potentially higher yield grade cattle once the market returns. Most packing plants have discount schedules of Yield Grade 4 and 5 cattle in addition to carcass weight specifications. Continue reading

Meat vs COVID-19; The good, the bad and the ugly of supply and demand

by: Stan Smith, OSU Extension, Fairfield County

To suggest that supply in local meat cases has been disrupted since schools closed and ‘stay-at-home’ orders were issued last month might be an understatement.

The good is simply this. We have more than adequate supplies of market-ready livestock on the farm to accommodate the consumer’s demand for meat.

The bad is that COVID-19 caused disruption to the meat supply chain that created short term shortages in the meat case, and fluctuations of price in both the meat case and especially livestock at the farm. Continue reading

COVID-19 – Impacts on Ohio’s Swine Industry

by: Steve Moeller, Department of Animal Sciences, State Swine Extension Specialist

Like many livestock sectors, the impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s and the Nation’s swine industry have been multi-factorial and ever-changing.  In response, the National Pork Board has maintained an on-line COVID-19 information center at https://www.pork.org/ which is updated multiple times per day based on new findings.  The impact is now being felt as the number of ‘short-term’ packing plant closures seem to increase daily. Plant closures will impact the industry as a whole in a number of ways, namely: 1) U.S. production is matching packing plant capacity and both are at record levels, thus a regional lack of shackle space will likely occur, 2) Swine production is now nearly constant, centered around weekly flow and optimization of space utilization, thus pig spaces are full and need to be continually emptied to make room for incoming production, 3) Distribution channels from packing plants to consumers are not as efficient, leading to challenges in managing product movement from the packer to the consumer. Additional plant closures, particularly if they occur from Indiana eastward will place a significant burden directly on the producer; 4) The bright spot:  Export markets have helped offset some of the supply, particularly trade with traditional partners in Japan and Mexico, but with added sales to China.

Continue reading

OSU Ag and Natural Resources Madness – Week #4

“Agriculture and Natural Resources Madness: A Tournament of Education” features online educational opportunities Monday – Friday at 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. The education tournament is free of charge, and webinar links are available at go.osu.edu/agmadness. Topics covered during week #4 include the following:  Sheep Production & Management, Horticulture, Small Farms, Vegetable Production, and Farm Taxes.

Week #4 April 13-17
Monday Bracket: Sheep Production & Management
9:00 a.m. Marketing Sheep; Breeds of Sheep
Christine Gelley, Agricultural and Natural Resources Educator, OSU Extension Noble County
Brady Campbell, Program Coordinator, OSU Sheep Team
Noon Basic Sheep Nutrition: Nutritional Needs During Each Stage of Production
Christine Gelley, Agricultural and Natural Resources Educator, OSU Extension Noble County
Brady Campbell, Program Coordinator, OSU Sheep Team
3:00 p.m. Basic Health Management: Disease, Vaccines, Parasites
Christine Gelley, Agricultural and Natural Resources Educator, OSU Extension Noble County
Brady Campbell, Program Coordinator, OSU Sheep Team
Tuesday Bracket: Horticulture
9:00 a.m. Tree ID
Kathy Smith, Program Director, Forestry, OSU SENR
Noon Asian Longhorned Beetle Update
Joe Boggs, Horticulture Educator, OSU Extension Hamilton County
3:00 p.m. Ornament Horticulture Update
Jim Chatfield, Horticulture Specialist, OSU Extension
Tom DeHaas, Agricultural and Natural Resources Educator, OSU Extension Lake County
Wednesday Bracket: Small Farms
9:00 a.m. Meat Goat Production
Tony Nye, Agricultural and Natural Resources Educator, OSU Extension Clinton County
Noon Pasture Pork
Tony Nye, Agricultural and Natural Resources Educator, OSU Extension Clinton County
3:00 p.m. Thinking About Adding a Livestock Enterprise?
Tony Nye, Agricultural and Natural Resources Educator, OSU Extension Clinton County
Thursday Bracket: Vegetable Production
9:00 a.m. Growing Pumpkins
Jim Jasinski, Integrated Pest Management Program Coordinator, OSU Extension
Sally Miller, Plant Pathology Specialist, OSU Extension
Noon Small Fruit Weed, Disease & Insect Management
Doug Doohan, Professor, OSU CFAES Department of Hort & Crop Science
Melanie Ivey, Assistant Professor, OSU CFAES Department of Plant Pathology
Celeste Welty, Associate Professor, OSU CFAES Department of Entomology
3:00 p.m. Managing Sweet Corn Worms
Doug Doohan, Professor, OSU CFAES Department of Hort & Crop Science
Jim Jasinski, Integrated Pest Management Program Coordinator, OSU Extension
Celeste Welty, Associate Professor, OSU CFAES Department of Entomology
Friday Bracket: Farm Taxes
9:00 a.m. Farmer and Farmland Owner Income Tax Issues Webinar Replay Part I with Live Q&A
Barry Ward, Director, OSU Extension Tax School Program
Noon Farmer and Farmland Owner Income Tax Issues Webinar Replay Part II with Live Q&A
Barry Ward, Director, OSU Extension Tax School Program
3:00 p.m. New Income Tax Legislation Update
Barry Ward, Director, OSU Extension Tax School Program

Great Backyard Poultry Resource

CLICK HERE for Backyard Poultry Production Webinar  (apologies as it was zoom-bombed by a Cloverbud named Becky who added to the graphics in her own personal way)

From Extension Educator, Dr. Timothy McDermott

There has been a resurgence of people who wish to raise their own food for personal and family food security, both with produce and with poultry.  I am increasingly getting asked about backyard poultry keeping so I wanted to put a resource together to assist you in getting the knowledge you need for safe, healthy and productive backyard poultry keeping.

FIRST THING:  Find out the regulations in your city or municipality that governs the keeping of backyard poultry and follow those rules carefully. 

We also have a number of Fact Sheets hosted on Ohioline to support poultry keeping:

There is also a fact sheet on Selling Eggs in Ohio: Marketing and Regulations that details safe handling, washing, and storage of eggs.

If you need help finding a Veterinarian that sees poultry,  we have a list plus a map to assist you with that.

I will be hosting another webinar on Backyard Poultry Production for Ag Madness for OSU Extension on Wednesday, April 29th at NOON.  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.

If you have questions regarding the keeping of poultry after watching the webinar then feel free to contact me at mcdermott.15@osu.edu

Late Planted Corn Silage Yields Value

By: Garth Ruff, OSU Extension Henry County; Jason Hartschuh, OSU Extension Crawford County; Allen Gahler, OSU Extension Sandusky County (originally published in Ohio Farmer on-line)

Teff, Italian ryegrass, oats, and corn were included with 5 other ‘covers’ in this study

The combination of poor quality hay made in 2018, historic alfalfa winter kill, and excessive rainfall across most of Ohio in the spring of 2019 created a large need for high-quality alternative forage sources this past year. Record amounts of prevented plant acreage across the state created an opportunity to grow forages on traditional row cropped acres. As crop and livestock producers planted a variety of forage and cover crop species to supplement feedstocks, it was recognized that there was also a need to gather forage analysis results from these fields in order for growers to properly value and feed the forage grown. The following data are from cover crop forage samples that were submitted by farmers and from OARDC research stations where annual forages were grown as part of the 2019 Ohio State eFields program available at your local extension office or digitalag.osu.edu/efields. Continue reading

Ohio State Experts Available for Comment on New Corona-virus

By: Tracy Turner, OSU Communications

Scientists with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) can offer insight into the new coronavirus that is being blamed for at least 26 deaths and more than 830 confirmed illnesses internationally since December 2019, with at least two cases of coronavirus reported this week in the United States—in Washington state and Chicago. And at least an additional 50 people in the United States are under observation in 22 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Continue reading

Cows Under the Covers Field Day

Please click on the flyer if interested in attending a grazing and cover crop workshop on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 in Camden, Michigan.

Join us at Person Farms on Wednesday, August 21 for an advanced Cover Crop and Grazing workshop with guest speakers Steve Groff, “The Cover Crop Coach” and Jerry Lindquist, retired MSU grazing educator. Continue reading

Seeds for Success Program

Seeds For Success Small Farm Conference will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at Northwest State Community College, located at 22600 State Route 34, Archbold Ohio.  The conference provides education and topics of interest for small farm and rural landowners. Participants will walk away from the conference with knowledge and ideas of how to improve existing enterprises or marketing opportunities. For those who have some acreage but don’t yet know what to do with it, the conference is an opportunity to consider possibilities, gather information, and make contacts. Continue reading