Recently, a local hay producer asked what hay was worth. Of course, each forage producer will have a different cost of production. After he told me his price, I asked the weight of his bales. He was not exactly sure, but guessed 1000 pounds. He went on to say most hay is bought and sold […]
I have been measuring my weekly pasture growth for the past seven years. My initial goal was to grow as much forage as economically as possible. Dry matter target I targeted 5.5 tons of dry matter per acre, per year. I utilized the county soil survey report and the Ohio Agronomy Guide as my guide […]
I went to southern Illinois last week to do some programs and I was taken aback by the severity of the drought in that region. Corn and pasture fields were not only dead, they were very dead. Many areas of corn fields were not that golden brown like you may see when harvest takes place, […]
Every Monday for the past couple of months on the OSU Extension crop team conference call I have heard Jim Noel from the National Weather Service say that across Ohio we are in a pattern of above average temperatures and below average rainfall. These are not encouraging words for a grazier to hear. This isn’t […]
It seems the time right after making first cutting hay is always a time for me to address some of those unwanted weed issues — not in the hay fields, but in the fence rows, around buildings and in pastures.
When it comes to fertility, among the most important factors influencing plant growth and stand life is soil pH. Maintaining proper soil pH levels is critical to legume growth in pastures, soil microbial activity and micronutrient availability. Measuring pH Soil pH identifies the active acidity, or alkalinity, of a soil solution. The pH measurement is […]
Improving your pasture management skills will grow more forage that will have higher quality that will better feed your livestock and make you more money. A better pasture should just keep getting better year after year including: improving the environment; improving the soil, water, air, plants, and animals as well as reducing your energy requirements. […]
Winter I try to start grazing as early as possible in March. When the snow melts, I will try to feed stockpiled fescue which also provides a clean field for the cows to have calves. This year, when we moved cows to start grazing March 3, grass had already started to grow and some fescue […]
Some graziers have already begun the grazing season thanks to the above average winter temperatures we experienced. Other graziers are right there at the starting line, anticipating the spring growth of pastures. The start of the grazing season provides an opportunity to take some time to set some grazing management goals for the year. In […]
More than 95 percent of weeds can be controlled through good management practices.
Frost seeding of legumes in February and early March can be used to improve pasture, hay quality and yield. The freezing and thawing of late winter and early spring can provide for good legume seed/soil contact and germination.
This is the time of year to evaluate your hay and pasture fields to determine if they need to be reseeded. First and foremost, you need to make sure the pH and fertility is adequate for the forages you want to plant. If it is not, the new seeding could germinate then die or never produce to its potential.
For the grazier, winter means dealing with cold temperatures, wind chill, freezing rain and mud. These weather conditions can negatively impact livestock performance and increase the energy requirement of the animal.
Change, no matter how uncomfortable, sometimes causes us to look at our operation and discover that there are more ways to do things than we believed possible.
Livestock graziers, now is a good time to finish what is left in your hay fields and then utilize forage in stockpiled areas.
For many years, OSU Extension has been conducting one- to five-day grazing schools throughout Ohio. In many cases OSU Extension, USDA/NRCS and local SWCD offices cooperate in these programs. Recently, evaluation data was collected from participants who have attended a Pasture for Profit grazing school. We sent a mail survey to participants who had attended […]
Infected fescue is insect, disease and drought resistant. It is also a nitrogen scavenger. This gives it an advantage over other forages, especially on poor soils.
The wet spring and early summer weather has led to many questions regarding hay quality and the factors beef producers should consider when planning their cow wintering programs.
After our county fair in August, Athens County hosted the Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council Beef Grazing Tour. One of the discussions during the tour centered on some patches of johnsongrass in a stockpiled field of fescue.
Proper soil nutrients are required for forage plants to maximize growth. Data indicates our forage plants use 20+ elements to live and grow. All are equally important for growth, but vary greatly in amounts needed. Of these, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are usually required in the largest amounts followed by calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. These […]