Double-Crop Forages to Maximize Summer Forage Potential

Jason Hartschuh, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Crawford County

Many producers use summer annual forages for grazing and stored forage to either fill the summer slump or keep livestock feed through the winter. With wheat harvest finalized across most of the state and straw baling completed for many now our attention turns to creating a second or third profit center off those wheat acres.

Wheat acres provide an excellent opportunity for double-cropping with forages that when harvested at the proper growth stage can either make high quality late gestation early lactation forage, grazing opportunities, or gut fill to mix lower the quality of other forages or concentrates.

Many species of summer annuals can be utilized for forage. Some of them such as radish and turnip can be easily grazed but do not make good stored forage as baleage or dry hay. For dry hay we have found the best two species to be teff and oats. Most other species can be harvested as silage or baleage. Be cautious making Continue reading

The Skills and Principles of Managed Grazing on Improved Pastures

Sponsored by the American Sheep Industry Association, Dr. Woody Lane discusses the importance of a well managed pasture system. For those that are interested in maximizing each grazing event in your respective operation, giving a listen to Dr. Lane’s webinar presentation will be time well spent.

The Veterinary Client Patient Relationship (VCPR)

Dr. Tim McDermott, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Franklin County

(Image Source: American Veterinary Medical Association)

One of the classes I teach every year is the Quality Assurance training for 4-H students to prepare for fair season. While I probably would not have too many 4-H students who agree with me on this part (it is a mandatory training for them each year), I will say it is one of my favorite classes that I teach. Part of the reason I enjoy it is how I believe 4-H can positively impact lives, the other is that it allows me to use my veterinary background to engage the students. While the GPP’s (Good Production Practices) that are taught vary from year to year, I always make sure to engage the students with some practical veterinary knowledge so that they can make sure that their livestock project animal is at its healthy best while under their care. A key component to maintaining healthy animals is to have a healthy relationship with your veterinarian.  This is known as the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship or VCPR.  Here is how it is defined, established, and maintained straight off of the American Veterinary Medical Association website. Continue reading

How to Detect Poisonous Weeds in Your Pasture

Tony Nye, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Clinton County

(Goat demonstrating signs of cyanide toxicity)

On many livestock operations, pastures are a very important part of the production process. Every year, I get questions regarding weeds that have been found in and around pastures. The common questions include “What kind of weed is this?” and “Is this weed poisonous to my livestock?”

Several plants that were not intended to be in the pasture and hay fields sometimes find their way there. Some of these plants are potentially toxic to livestock and are still toxic after being baled into hay.

The toxic compounds in plants are usually a defense mechanism against predation and have a distinct, unpleasant odor or a bitter taste and are not preferred by grazing livestock.

Consumption of these unpalatable plants will increase under some circumstances, primarily if Continue reading

Sheep 101 Field Day

Carri Jagger, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Morrow County

OSUSheep 101 Field Day Flyer Morrow County Extension and Morrow County Farm Bureau welcomes local shepherds to the 2021 Sheep 101 Field Day. The event is slated for Saturday, August 14, 2021 from 9:00 am – 2:30 pm at Dale and Cathy Davis’s Farm located at 3149 County Road 169 Cardington, Ohio 43315. This FREE program is open to both beginning and experienced shepherds.

Topics of the days event include: labor saving time tricks, shearing, vaccination considerations, lambing simulator, USA Scrapie update, experienced producer panel Q&A session, and much more! The outlined sessions will be taught by OSU Extension Educators, Department of Animal Sciences faculty and staff, as well as industry professionals. Lunch will be provided at no charge, however, pre-registration is required. To reserve your spot at this years event, please do so by contacting the Morrow County Farm Bureau at (419) 747-7488 or through The event is sponsored by the Morrow County Farm Bureau, Ohio Sheep and Wool Program (OSWP), Ohio Sheep Improvement Association (OSIA), and the American Sheep Industry (ASI).

For those interested in further details about the event, please view the attached flyer.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Patience in Prairie Modeled Pasture

Christine Gelley, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Noble County

(Image Source: Dr. Jean-Marie Luginbuhl – North Carolina State University)

If I were to make a playlist for establishing native warm-season pastures, these songs would be on it:

  • “Patience” by Guns N’ Roses
  • “No Rush” by Josh Turner
  • “Fools Rush In” by Elvis Presley
  • “You Can’t Hurry Love” by The Supremes
  • “I’m in a Hurry” by Alabama

Yes, patience is the theme of the playlist and patience is a virtue when establishing pastures that mimic native prairie ecosystems. The benefits of establishing a native warm-season grass stand come hand in hand with the challenges. The greatest of these challenges is simply being patient for the seed to germinate and the plants to grow. A common cause of seeding failures is the land manager’s anxiety and in inclination to change courses in the first few years after seeding a prairie mix.

The expected wait time for a native warm-season grass stand to reach the state considered “fully established” is Continue reading

REMINDER: National Sheep and Goat Needs Assessment Survey

Jaelyn Quintana, Extension Field Specialist I – Sheep, South Dakota State University

For those that haven’t had a chance to do so yet, please be sure to submit your responses for this national sheep and goat needs assessment survey!  Your input will be crucial in the development of future small ruminant programming and support. Currently, Ohio represents 3% of the total responses. I know that we can do better than that!

The South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension Small Ruminant Team is seeking input from sheep and goat producers across the U.S. to identify producer interests and enhance future Extension programming efforts. Responses collected from this voluntary survey will be complied into a Sheep and Goat Producers Needs Assessment.

“Across the nation many producers have adapted to the ever-changing dynamics of today’s world. As Extension professionals we have also experienced

Continue reading

So Lush, So Green, and Oh So Poisonous

Keith Johnson, Extension Forage Specialist, Purdue University

(Image Source: Over-Boer’D Farm – Japanese Yew removed from a goat at necropsy)

For those that follow agricultural education, Extension, and livestock pages on social media, I am sure that within the last month you have saw a post shared from Over-Boer’D Farm who suddenly lost 39 goats due to Japanese Yew poisoning. With summer in full swing and outdoor household chores on the to-do lists, landscaping is sure to be one of those tasks. As a rule of thumb to avoid health issues with livestock, lawn and flowerbed waste should be composted or thrown out rather than be fed to livestock. This weeks short article comes to us from Keith Johnson, Extension Forage Specialist at Purdue University as he further shares the importance of when in doubt, throw it out. Enjoy!

It’s that time of year when the yew (pronounced like the letter “U”) is likely in need of a trim to look best as a landscaping plant. Yews have been used as a common landscaping shrub or small tree for decades. They have closely Continue reading

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.

In order to make better and up to date forage fertility recommendations, we want to hear back from producers as to what Continue reading

To Drench, or Not Drench

Dr. Reid Redden, Associate Professor and Extension Sheep and Goat Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
(Reid’s Ram-blings: July 2021)

This spring was cooler than most and some were fortunate to get a good healthy rain. As things start to warm up, we expect to have problems with internal parasites in sheep and goats. Fortunately, there has been some advancements in technology to help in the fight against these pesky parasites. The bad news is, strategic treatment is not simple, and the more science learns about parasites, the more we realize just how much we don’t understand!

For me, the complexity of life is part fascinating and part frustrating. The intricate process by which sunlight and water grow plants that are eaten by sheep and goats to sustain themselves, grow, and reproduce is truly incredible. It is amazing how they overcome challenges and thrive in the face of adversity. Unfortunately, parasites, predators, and pathogens that negatively impact sheep and goats are just as complex and resilient.

Therein lies the dilemma: how we make Continue reading