Oats as a Late Summer Forage Crop

Jason Hartschuh, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Crawford County
Al Gahler, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Sandusky County
(Previously published in The Ohio Farmer: May 19, 2020)

Oats make an excellent double crop after wheat.

Oats is traditionally planted as the first crop in early April as a grain crop or an early season forage. One of the beauties of oats is its versatility in planting date. Oats can also be planted in the summer as an early fall forage for harvest or grazing.

Summer oats has a wide planting window but performs much better with an application of nitrogen and may benefit from a fungicide application to improve quality. During the summer of 2019 we conducted a study to examine the planting of oats from July 15th through early September to examine tonnage and forage quality. Through this trial we examined planting date, yield, forage quality and an application of foliar fungicide to control oats crown rust.

Continue reading

Minerals and Vitamins for Sheep

Dr. Scott Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist – Sheep, Virginia Tech
Mark L. Wahlberg, Extension Animal Scientist, Virginia Tech
(Previously published on the Virginia Cooperative Extension web page)

(Liebig’s Barrel – Liebig’s Law of the Minimum)

Proper animal nutrition means giving the animals the proper amount of all nutrients necessary for optimum production. This involves knowledge of the nutrients themselves, factors that affect the requirements of animals, and the feeds used to deliver those nutrients. Cost is always a consideration for profit-motivated producers. This interplay of factors can become very intricate, but it need not be.

For the ewe flock, proper nutrition involves giving animals all the good quality forage they want, and supplementing that with nutrients that may be deficient. So the basics of Continue reading

Time and Change: Evaluating OSU Extension Sheep Team Programming

Brady Campbell, Program Coordinator, OSU Sheep Team
Garth Ruff, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Henry County

We’ve used the phrase here before – “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” In some instances, this phrase holds true in its purpose. However, for those interested in pushing the limits, go beyond the bounds of their comfort zone, and learn something new – we must change. Change can be a challenge, or it can be viewed as an opportunity. As our industries continue to be challenged with everything from the recent COVID-19 pandemic to parasites in the fields, we must learn to evolve and so too does The Ohio State University Extension Sheep Team. Since our relaunch just three short years ago, The OSU Sheep Team continues to provide you, our readers, with the latest tips, tricks, and scientific based information on small ruminant management. We strive to provide information on all aspects of our unique management systems by providing timely information in the form of articles, info-graphics, interactive videos, and personal interactions. However, we can’t stop here!

Next week on Monday, July 6th, subscribers to the OSU Sheep Team weekly email update will be receiving an individual email containing a link to participate in a short impact survey. Continue reading

Avoid Heat Stress in Your Sheep and Goats

Michael Metzger, Michigan State University Extension Educator
(Previously published on MSU Extension, Sheep & Goat: June 29, 2012)

Make sure your sheep and goats have access to plenty of clean fresh water on hot, humid days.

Extreme heat is stressful to livestock, as well as people. High temperatures are even more problematic in states like Michigan, because high temperatures are also often accompanied by high humidity. The heat index (temperature plus humidity) is a more accurate measure of heat stress than temperature alone. Continue reading

Ag-note: Toxic Plants and Small Ruminants – Wild Cherry

Autum Ballard, Madison Findley, Emily Gaglione, and Cassandra Randolph, OSU Animal Science Undergraduate Students
Brady Campbell, Program Coordinator, OSU Sheep Team

Toxic Plants and Small Ruminants: Wild Cherry
** Follow the link above to view the Ag-note.

(Image Source: Indiana Timber and Veneer, LLC)

As we wrap up one of our last Animal Sciences undergraduate student Ag-notes for the page, students Autum Ballard, Madison Findley, Emily Gaglione, and Cassandra Randolph have chosen to highlight a toxic plant that is known to be an issue in livestock pastures, especially during the peak of summer among high wind systems – Wild Cherry trees. Wild Cherry, a tree commonly found in Ohio woodlands, can cause severe health issues in livestock when plant material is consumed by livestock after the plant has been stressed. Continue reading

Making Good Hay in a Bad Year

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist – Farm Progress
(Previously published in Missouri Ruralist: June 9, 2020)

Wrapping large round bales with higher moisture and plastic may help get hay off the field faster.

It seems as though rainy springs are becoming more of a haymaking tradition than an exception. Year in and year out, farmers fight to find the four or five consecutive days to let it dry, leaving some baling wet forage.

Tim Schnakenberg, University of Missouri Extension field specialist in agronomy, says the baleage harvest system is a good option for farmers because many of today’s round balers are designed to handle wetter forages, and they can be cost-effective.

“When we look at conventional silage systems,” he says, “we find that Continue reading

Grazing Summer Annuals

Brad Schick, University of Nebraska Extension
(Previously published Drovers Newsletter: June 26, 2018)

Grazing summer annual grasses can be a great addition to an operation when annuals are chosen correctly and grazing plans are used.

Grazing summer annual grasses is a great way to add flexibility to an operation, but in order to make it worth your time and money some management decisions are required. Your goals and your location will determine what type of summer annual you should plant. This article will address:

1. Type of annual and planting date
2. Timing of grazing
3. Prussic acid and nitrates Continue reading

Prevent Parasites Through Grazing Management

Melanie Barkley, Livestock Extension Educator, Penn State Extension
(previously published with Penn State Extension: May 31, 2017)

Grazing management and genetic selection can help your flock minimize the impact of parasites.

Parasites continue to plague many sheep and goat producers throughout the grazing season. Internal parasites decrease growth rates and in high levels can even cause death. However, sheep and goat producers can follow several practices to minimize the impacts to their flock or herd. These practices center on grazing management, but can also include genetic selection principles.

Livestock pass internal parasite eggs in their manure. These eggs then hatch and go through several larval stages until they reach an infective stage. This can take as little as six days to go from egg to infective stage. Therefore, producers can use grazing rotations to Continue reading

ASI Feature: Proper Feeding of Ewes During Breeding and Pregnancy

As we prepare for the breeding season, it is important to consider the Body Condition Score of your flock as well as their nutritional needs before, during, and after breeding. Feeding for the breeding season doesn’t stop once the ewes are bred. It is important to provide gestating ewes with an optimum feeding regiment, whether that be in the form of grain, pasture, or a combination of both to ensure a successful breeding season.

Silage – Part 2: Making More Sense Than Ever for Sheep Production

Richard Ehrhardt, Michigan State University Extension Specialist, Small Ruminants
(Previously published on MSU Extension, Sheep & Goat: May 20, 2015)

Forms of silage
There are primarily two types of silage products fed to sheep: baled silage and precision-cut silage. Baled silage is simply large bales, round or square, baled when the forage is wilted and covered with stretch wrap plastic. As previously mentioned in Silage – Part 1, this means waiting much less than dry hay, only until the forage is around 40-60 percent moisture – under ideal drying conditions, this is often means cutting in the morning and baling at night. Silage makes it possible. Continue reading

Control of Multiflora Rose in Pastures

Dean Kreager, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Licking County
(Previously published in Farm and Dairy: May 7, 2020)

(Image Source: AgWeb)

There is one pasture project that never seems to go away. That is controlling the multiflora rose. The plant was first introduced into the United States in 1866 to be used as a rootstock for grafting roses. About 70 years later the U.S. Soil Conservation Service promoted the use of multiflora rose as a “living fence” and a means of erosion control. The adaptability of this plant allowed it to get out of control. Over the years this plant has made the list of noxious weeds in many states and is taking over many pastures in this part of the country. The battle to gain control is difficult and maintenance is continual.

The leaves and thorns on this plant make it easy to identify as a rose. Left on its own, this plant can quickly form dense thickets over 6 feet high. The white flowers it produces in May to June lead to seeds that birds are more than happy to spread throughout pastures. One multiflora rose can produce up to Continue reading

Preparing the Flock for the Breeding Season

Dr. Scott Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist – Sheep, Virginia Tech
(Previously published on the Virginia Cooperative Extension web page)

If you can believe it, we are already in the first week of June! The reality of breeding season is real for some of our breeders here in the state of Ohio. Others may be several months out, however, regardless of when you will begin the breeding season on your operation it is important to be prepared. Breeding season is more than just joining ewes and rams together, it takes months of preparation prior to this to ensure a successful season. Although this article has some age, it still remains to be a nice checklist on how to manage your rams and ewes prior to the breeding season.

Rams:
High temperatures can be detrimental to ram fertility, reducing pregnancy rates and lambing percentages. Heat stress occurs when the scrotum is not able to reduce the temperature of the testicles below normal body temperature. Although heat stressed rams may Continue reading