Steps to Speed up Field Curing of Hay Crops

By:  Mark Sulc, Jason Hartschuh, and Allen Gahler

hay field being mowedThe rainy weather in many regions of Ohio and surrounding states is making it difficult to harvest hay crops.  We usually wait for a clear forecast before cutting hay, and with good reason because hay does not dry in the rain! Cutting hay is certainly a gamble but waiting for the perfect stretch of weather can end up costing us through large reductions in forage quality as the crop matures.

As we keep waiting for perfect haymaking weather, we will reach the point where the drop in quality becomes so great that the hay has little feeding value left. In such cases, it may be better to gamble more on the weather just to get the old crop off and a new one started. Some rain damage is not going to reduce the value much in that very mature forage. Continue reading

Event Notice – Williams SWCD Field Technology Day on August 26

Join Williams County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for their annual Field Technology Day – “Save Money – Manage Nutrients” on Thursday, August 26 at 4:30 p.m. at their NEW location, 11246 State Route 15, Montpelier. There is no cost to attend, but RSVP at 419-636-9395 is requested for dinner.

This year’s program features the following speakers:

  • Joe Nester, Nester Ag
  • Chris Eschhofen
  • Kip Studer, Ohio Department of Agriculture, WLEB Nutrient Management Specialist
  • Jordan Beck, OSU Water Quality Extension Associate

Learn how to complete a voluntary nutrient management plan (VNMP) and how a VNMP can benefit your bottom line and the environment. 2.5 Nutrient Management CEUs will be available to Certified Crop Advisors. This event is sponsored by Williams SWCD and OSU Extension Williams County.

Forage Fertility: Where We Are and Why it Matters

By:  Garth Ruff and Greg LaBarge

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 to 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. Continue reading

Williams County Western Bean Cutworm Monitoring Update – No Moths Detected Yet

By:  Stephanie Karhoff

Western bean cutworm trap

Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) traps were placed throughout the county on Monday, June 21, and have been checked on a weekly basis for WBC moths. No moths were detected in any of the three traps in the past two weeks. Keep in mind, peak flight in Williams County typically occurs in mid-July and pre-tassel corn is the most vulnerable to WBC damage. You can learn more about this pest by clicking here to access the OSU Extension Western Bean Cutworm Factsheet. Continue reading

Event Notice – Tri-State Precision Agriculture Conference on August 11

Join OSU Extension Henry County for the inagural Tri-State Precision Agriculture Conference on August 11, 2021. Speakers will discuss current trends in tillage equipment, and equipment demonstrations will feature high speed tillage, vertical tillage, strip tillage, and cover crop seeding systems. Fertilizer re-certifcation and CCA credits available.

When:  Wednesday, August 11, 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Where:  Northwest State Community College, 22600 OH-34, Archbold, OH 43502

Cost:  $20 by August 2, $30 after August 2 including at the door. Free to all FFA and 4-H members. Registration includes catered lunch.

RSVP:  RSVP is REQUIRED at go.osu.edu/tristate_pa

For more information, please contact Alan Leininger at 419-592-0806 or leininger.17@osu.edu Continue reading