Turfgrass Times

Did you know that the OSU Turfgrass Program publishes informative videos? Turf Team Times publishes videos that include information on grass establishment, turfgrass diseases, and much more. These videos are conducted by professionals within OSU.

Link to Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@theohiostateuniversityturf8852/videos

Link to Latest Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H59byzbPZ14

Link to Website: https://top.osu.edu/

Backgrounding Cattle in 2023

– Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, OSU Extension (originally published in Farm and Dairy)

Know that not all cattle are

designed to be backgrounded.

With stocker cattle prices near or at record highs, there has never been a better time to evaluate pastures and grazing systems to optimize livestock value in a grazing system. Let’s discuss some management practices for backgrounding stocker calves on the grass in 2023.

Calf Quality

Looking to the future, there is a lot of opportunity in the cattle market for 2023. However, there are concerns about calf prices as producers start to buy stockers to graze this spring and summer.

Not all cattle are designed to be backgrounded. High-growth, high-performing calves are often best suited for delivery straight to the feedlot. The ideal calves for backgrounding are lean, green grazing machines that may not be ready for finishing and will benefit from the added frame and compensatory gain upon arrival to the feedlot in the fall.

In the marketplace, stocker buyers should match their management skills to the type of cattle they can afford and manage. There continues to be a premium for weaned and vaccinated calves and steers compared to bulls. For those producers that back the trailer up to the back 40 and turn cattle out with minimal management for the next six months, buying calves that are of lower risk is often the best bet.

Backgrounding #2 type cattle often has some economic upside in adding value to calves that might not be ready to perform in a feedlot setting. These cattle need more attention and care during the first two to four weeks of ownership to ensure they get on the right path concerning animal health and nutrition. There is a science to putting together groups of these types of calves. Aim for uniformity in flesh, ability, and frame.

Supplemental Nutrition

What about feeding grain in a backgrounding program? If cost-effective and aids in calf management, limiting feeding some grain can be a tool in the toolbox. Remember, every pound added to that animal is as valuable as ever. However, those added pounds should be lean gain rather than added fat cover. When evaluating supplement options, soyhull pellets or by-products could be a consideration.

Animal Health

The best backgrounding programs have some vaccination protocol, a solid mineral program, and a plan for fly control if needed. It is of utmost importance to control and mitigate respiratory disease and pinkeye, given current cattle prices. Work with your veterinarian to develop a Veterinary Client Patient Relationship (VCPR). That relationship is key to minimizing the impact of disease, especially in the wake of over-the-counter antimicrobials going under veterinary oversight in June. It doesn’t take many to fall behind or dead calves to erase the profit potential of a load in a backgrounding system.

Vitamin M[anagement]

Backgrounding stocker cattle can be a profitable enterprise if the impact of various factors can be neutralized or capitalized on. When determining stocking rate, knowing the carrying capacity of each pasture over time can help make cattle buying decisions. Rotational or management-intensive grazing can increase the carrying capacity and productivity of the forage in proper infrastructure is in place. Soil fertility is also part of a successful backgrounding program. Given the current economics of beef production, 2023 is a year to work on being more efficient in our production systems, as every pound of beef produced on a farm is of greater value than in years past. Happy Grazing.

Battle for the Belt: Corn vs. Soybean

Have you ever wondered or debated with others on which crop should be planted first – corn or soybean?

  • Which crop has the smallest yield penalty for delayed planting?
  • Can you adjust your management practices to mitigate losses due to late planting?
  • How are insects, diseases, weeds, and other factors affected by planting date?

For soybean and corn, earlier planting is promoted to maximize yield; however, the planting date window is often short and disconnected due to bad weather. As a result farmers often ‘debate’ which crop should be planted first – corn or soybean.

Follow along with Dr. Laura Lindsey and Dr. Osler Ortez as they ‘Battle for the Belt’. Videos and updates will be posted on the CORN newsletter and the AgCrops Team Youtube channel. Click here to access the YouTube playlist.

Researchthe plan is to conduct field experiments at three locations in 2023: Western, Northwest, and Wooster. Five planting date windows:

  1. Ultra-early (first two weeks of April)
  2. Early (second two weeks of April)
  3. Normal (first two weeks of May)
  4. Late (last two weeks of May)
  5. Very late (first two weeks of June)

Corn and soybean will be planted side by side on each planting date. The plan is to repeat the study in 2024.

Extensionon the extension side, we plan on having short, bi-weekly video updates from the field that will be advertised through the CORN newsletter, YouTube, and Twitter. Video updates will include agronomists (OSU and others), other specialists (e.g., plant pathology, weed science, entomology), and farmers. Each will ‘weigh’ the benefits/drawbacks of planting each crop too early or too late. In addition, the research outcomes will be presented as extension articles and talks at extension programming events and field days across the state.


Farmers: Share Your Thoughts on Cover Crops in the National Cover Crop Survey

Farmers are invited to share their thoughts on cover crops in an online survey at bit.ly/CoverCrop23. Why do you plant cover crops…or why don’t you? What do you want to know? Your insight will help guide research, communications, seed development, and more.

This National Cover Crop Survey is the seventh since 2012 conducted by the USDA-NIFA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC), and the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA), with the help of Informa/Farm Progress.

“Since 2012, the National Cover Crop Survey has been extremely valuable in helping guide research priorities, direct communications and education efforts, provide data to researchers, and illustrate the effects of policy on cover crop use and adoption,” says Dr. Rob Myers, regional director of extension programs for North Central SARE and director of the University of Missouri Center for Regenerative Agriculture. “Data from previous surveys have been used in scientific papers, business planning, extension efforts, media coverage of cover crops, and even included in testimony to Congress.”

Please take a few minutes to contribute your voice at bit.ly/CoverCrop23. After completing the questionnaire, you may enter a drawing for one of three $100 Visa gift cards.

Certified Livestock Manager (CLM) Webinar Series: A Summary of eBarns On-Farm Research

The OSU Extension Water Quality Team partnered with the ODA to kick off a bi-monthly, year-round webinar series. These webinars target topics related to Certified Livestock Managers (CLM). Each webinar will provide 1.5 credit hours for CLM continuing education credits as well as 1.5 credit hours for Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs). The first webinar is Monday, February, 6th from 10:am to 11:30 am. To register visit CLM Webinar Registration. Each webinar is recorded and available for later viewing. If you have any questions regarding this webinar series, please contact the OSU Water Quality Team via email at waterqualityassociates@osu.edu

2023 Vegetable Trials

The 2023 Home Garden Trials are now active. The team is looking for people excited about growing vegetables in their home gardens and then letting us know what they think. Youth and adults are welcome to participate. Each trial contains 2 varieties that you will grow side by side to compare throughout the season. You can select multiple trials. For the trial, you will receive seeds for 2 varieties, row markers, a garden layout plan to prepare your rows or beds, and growing information specific to the crop species.
For more information, visit the website at https://u.osu.edu/brown.6000/vegetable-trials/
The guidelines, cost, and past results are available on this site as well as the new vegetables in the trials. The deadline to order is February 17.

Farm Survey

Farmers, ranchers, and their partners raising children wanted! Researchers are looking for primary caregivers of children under 18 to participate in an online survey about how they are juggling children and work. Full- and part-time farmers and ranchers are welcome to participate and may choose to enter a raffle to win one of fifty $50 checks.

For questions or to request a paper survey, contact Florence Becot at 715-389-9379 or becot.florence@marshfieldresearch.org To fill out the online survey, visit this link: https://redcap.link/Survey1_FarmersRaisingChildren 

Youth Small Ruminant Webinar Series

Do you have a youth or 4-Her that is interested in raising sheep and goats? Then this is the webinar series for them. Professionals in animal science will cover nutrition, health, handling, and welfare.

The webinars are from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm on the following dates:
Thursday, February 2nd
Wednesday, February 8th
Thursday, February 23rd

The zoom links are below:
February 2nd: https://osu.zoom.us/j/96195381544?pwd=NVBma0ZJTTBSa2E1WEhlVUZzZ2RvZz09#success

February 8th: https://osu.zoom.us/j/95357798856?pwd=b2IrVFhmZ0MvOGIrNk43TlB6bmFpdz09#success

February 23rd: https://osu.zoom.us/j/92373472149?pwd=dXl1Y3N5UUdsQUVOT1pCMU1LSjNrdz09#success

2023 Ohio Woodland Water and Wildlife Conference

For those interested in managing the woodlands, water, and wildlife, here is an opportunity to learn just that! On Wednesday, March 1st in Mansfield, Ohio, professionals from OSU, ODNR, and EPA will discuss a variety of topics on the management of woodlands, water, and wildlife.

Early registration is $65 before February 10th and $85 after February 10. The last date to register is February 17th. Registration includes a continental breakfast, lunch, breaks, and a resource notebook. More information can be accessed here. Continuing education credits for ISA, SAF, and pesticide are available. Register and pay online here.


Updates and Reminders from the Soil & Water Conservation District:

If you CURRENTLY have a 2021/2022/2023 H2Ohio Program Contract, the following are Important Details:

  • The following items need to be turned in to the Williams SWCD office by JANUARY 31, 2023, if they apply to you:
    • 2022 Crop Year Paperwork for manure, cover crop practices, and wheat for 2023 needs to be turned in by January 31, 2023
    • Subsurface placement fertilizer bills and fields that are applied to with maps
    • VRT AS Applied Maps if any fall application
    • Manure fields applied to AND As Applied Records for those fields (Manure Tool)
    • Cover crop seed tags, field maps, and date planted
  • VRT & Subsurface Payments have been made for 2022 if the producer has turned in the correct paperwork.
  • If you have not been paid for 2022 VNMP Implementation or other practices like 2022 VRT Phosphorus Application and/or Subsurface Phosphorus Placement, please contact Steve as soon as possible.

Contact Steve Slattman, Williams Soil & Water Conservation District, H2Ohio District Technician, at (419) 636-9395, with your questions.