Winter always seems to create unique challenges with livestock. From keeping ice off the water troughs to providing feed with enough nutrients to maintain the animal’s needs, each year seems to be different. On the other hand, one thing that seems to occur every year is a time period dealing with mud. Late winter is […]
Pasture is a valuable forage resource. Like any resource, it responds to management. What is your plan to add value to your pasture in 2013?
Are you getting adequate forage production from your pastures and hay fields? Are you getting maximum weight gains from your livestock with the forage species you have in your paddocks? Do you have paddocks or fields that you think need renovated? How much forage should my paddocks and hay fields be producing per year? Can […]
Large round bales are the most popular source of hay when winter feeding beef cattle. Unfortunately, these bales are subject to a variety of losses, including feeding loss. Bale feeder design Research published in the Journal of Animal Science has shown feeding losses can be influenced by bale feeder design. The feeders investigated in this […]
Well, it has been just over a year ago that I retired from my job as Ohio NRCS state grassland conservationist, but I am still staying involved with grazing and forage activities. Of the different things, I had the pleasure to be involved with, I believe the development and delivery of the Ohio Grazing School […]
As we wind down the 2012 year, it is time to assess what worked for us and what we can improve on for next year. The drought really put many of us in a bind this year, but what can we do to minimize problems for next year if we continue to have weather extremes? […]
It looks like the drought of 2012 is in the record books. Rainfall is back and we actually have seen pastures and hayfields recover and produce some fall growth, while annual crops like oats, cereal rye, field peas and brassicas planted in a timely manner have also grown well. So, life is good and no […]
It seems there are never enough days in the fall of the year to accomplish all the things I want/need to do. Daylight hours shorten quickly and before I know it, it’s dark before 6 p.m. Weekend hours also seem to vanish because I’m trying to finish projects around the house that I put off, […]
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.