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.

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

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

It’s Time for Summer Annuals to Shine

Amber Friedrichsen, Hay and Forage Grower summer editorial intern
(Previously published in Hay & Forage Grower: June 29, 2021)

With the first day of summer in the rearview mirror, temperatures are only expected to accelerate. Forage production, on the other hand, will likely slow down. This is when summer annuals can take the wheel and keep forage production on track for the remainder of the season.

Sorghum-sudangrass and pearl millet are among the most popular summer annuals. Proper management of these grasses begins with planting in the spring. When soil temperatures reach 65°F, seeds can either be broadcast or drilled 2 inches deep.

Although these forages can be cut for hay, Charlotte Meeks with University of Georgia Extension states the best way to harvest summer annuals is to Continue reading

When is the Right Time to Re-seed your Hayfield?

Anthony S. Lerch, District Technician/Educator, Stark Soil and Water Conservation District
(Previously published in Farm and Dairy: June 10, 2021)

Have you noticed that your hay yields are lower than years before? Are you not getting the number of bales that you have in years past? Or maybe your hay stand does not look as strong compared to previous years?

It may be time to re-seed or overseed your hay fields. When is it the right time to re-seed your hayfield? Is it in the spring? A fall seeding maybe? There is always frost seeding in the late winter. The truth is, it all depends on your soil conditions and how you choose to manage your fields.

Overseeding
There is no one size fits all answer to overseeding your fields. During the early spring, it is crucial to get your soil pH and Continue reading

Fertilizing Hay and Pastures

Dr. Mark Sulc, OSU Extension Forage Specialist, The Ohio State University
Greg LaBarge, OSU Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems Department of Extension
(Previously published in the C.O.R.N. Newsletter 16-2021)

Many hay producers across the state have completed or are in the process of completing their first cutting of the year. One of the two best times to top-dress maintenance fertilizer on hay is right after the first cutting. The other top choice is in the early fall. Remember that hay crops will remove about 50 lbs. of K2O and 12 lbs. of P2O5 per ton of dry hay harvested.

Fertilizer can be top-dressed on hay or pastures at any time during the growing season, but right after the first cutting and early fall provide times when the soils are usually firm enough to Continue reading