Archive for the ‘Forage Production’ Category


Webinar Recorded: Returns to Drainage: Calculating a Payback Period

Does farm drainage pay?  A webinar was broadcast live and recorded on April 9, 2013 on the subject: Returns to Drainage: Calculating a Payback Period. Bruce Clevenger and Eric Richer, OSU Extension Educators from NW Ohio taught crop yield responses to agricultural drainage and engaged participants in a discussion on calculating a realistic payback period. Investing in farm drainage has benefits to both farmland owners and growers. The webinar is 1hour 30 minutes long and can be viewed 24/7 at your convenience. To view the webinar click here.


OSU Extension to Host Drought Silage and Forages Meeting

Corn Silage and Forages: 2012 Drought
Management and Economics

Date: August 10, 2012

Where: OSU Extension Defiance County Office, 06879 Evansport Road, Defiance, OH 43512

Time: 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Guest Speakers: Dr. Bill Weiss, Ohio State University, OARDC, Department of Animal Science, Professor & Extension Specialist and Dianne Shoemaker, Ohio State University Extension, Field Specialist, Dairy Production Economics

Featured Topics:
Harvest Management for Drought Stress Corn Silage and Forages
Feeding Drought Stress Forages to Livestock: Health/Nutrition Concerns
Pricing Drought Stress Corn for Corn Silage
Questions and Answers

No Cost, please RSVP before August 9th by calling 419-782-4771, or email

Flier Download


Baling Drought Corn with Little to No Ear?

Dr. Bill Weiss, OSU/OARDC, Professor and Extension Specialist suggests…

“It could be done but there is a lot of down side.  First the stalks have to be dry enough to be stable (less than 15% moisture).  If the plants are mowed and crushed, they might dry but it will take a while and this reduces nutrient quality, can be a risk for mold and maybe if we are “lucky”-rain damage.  If moisture is too high, the stuff has little economic or nutritional value.  If the stalks are dry enough to bale, leaf loss will occur which reduces the nutrient value (corn stalks are very high in fiber, lignin and low in protein and digestibility.  Losing leaves will reduce protein, digestibility and energy value of the corn plant.

To get much nutritional value out of this stuff it would have to be chopped before feeding otherwise animals will likely eat the leaves and leave most of the stalks.

My guess is the nutritional value of this will be 60% of the overall nutritional value of decent corn silage.  Forages will likely be in very tight supply so the grower might find a market and if it is dry enough, he would probably make more money on it than it costs to harvest.  It would probably be adequate feed for beef cow maintenance and could make up part of the diet of dry dairy cows and growing heifers.

Q. What about into moist wrapped balage?

A.  I do not think making corn balage would be successful.  You would not get very tight bales, lots of air is trapped in the stems and you would not release many plant sugars to feed the bacteria.



Another Hay Exchange Resource

By Bruce Clevenger
No “hay for sale” list is ever complete. So to continue to help NW Ohio livestock/dairy/horse producers get connected to available forage feed, here is another website to try:
The website is a product of Hay & Forage Grower magazine and the page provides links to several state hay lists.  Hay & Forage Grower was launched in 1986 in cooperation with the American Forage & Grassland Council (AFGC). Producers and university and forage industry specialists continue to be important contributors to the magazine’s content.

Information presented above and where trade names are used, they are supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Ohio State University Extension is implied.


FSA Harvest Options from CRP Acreage

By Bruce Clevenger

As drought pressure continues to build in the Maumee Valley Area, farmers are pursuing every option for harvesting local forages.  The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has options for harvesting forages from Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage.  The options are Managed Haying and Grazing or Emergency Haying and Grazing of CRP.  Each option  has requirements that must be met before approval but with pre-approval, farmers could begin harvest as early as July 16, 2012.  Given the current drought status, area farmers are eligible for the Managed Haying and Grazing of CRP.  If drought conditions worsen, FSA may approve Emergency Haying and Grazing of CRP.  Details of the programs can be found at: or by contacting your local FSA office.

Farmers should evaluate the potential quality of CRP forage and determine if it has a nutritional value in livestock or dairy production.



Hay Exchange Network

by Bruce Clevenger

Dairy and livestock farmers who are looking to locate and maybe buy hay due to local production shortages may want to visit the Internet Hay Exchange at:  Users of the website can browse by state, hay for sale of various species, buyers of hay, size of bale, quantity available and in some cases feed values.  The site also has buy/sell straw information. To view the sellers contact information, create a user name and password.  It’s easy.  Unfortunately, the  wider the area effected by the drought, the further farmers may need make contacts to fill feed needs for winter.

Information presented above and where trade names are used, they are supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Ohio State University Extension is implied.


Insect Control Bulletin

by Bruce Clevenger, OSU Extension Educator

As area farmers, agronomists and consultants scout for insects and mite, OSU Extension offers an excellent bulletin for Insect Control in Field Crops. It is free on-line (click image) or for sale ($7.50) at most OSU Extension office or at the OSU Extension eStore

Description: Control of Insect Pests of Field Crops gives a detailed listing of pests that attack alfalfa, corn, small grains, and soybeans. Listed in conjunction with the insects are specific pesticides, application methods, and when to treat infestation for the listed crops.


Determine “A Deal” on Liming Material

by Bruce Clevenger, OSU Extension Defiance County

Soil pH is an important consideration when producing any crop, and soil pH should be the first soil consideration when attempting to grow a plant. Soil pH affects soil microbial activity and populations, many soil chemical reactions, and nutrient availability; thus it is an important soil property to consider for maximum productivity. High yielding crops, applications of certain forms of nitrogen, and other agricultural practices also contribute to soil acidity. Roots of high-yielding grain and forage crops remove basic cations from the soil and release hydrogen into soil solution to maintain an ionic charge balance within the tissue. Ammonium-based fertilizers release hydrogen when oxidized to form nitrate, contributing to soil acidity. The amount of lime required to neutralize the acidity created by various nitrogen fertilizer materials can be estimated. Even though liming materials are not the same, they all follow the same process to neutralize soil acidity. Lime supplies a surplus of the basic cations in a carbonated, hydroxide, or oxide form. Any legitimate liming material (based on Ohio Department of Agriculture standards (2005) works the same way. However, quality and cost do differ among lime sources. For more information read OSU Extension fact sheet Soil Acidity and Liming for Agronomic Production AGF-505 found at:



Dodder in Clover Fields

Dodder in a clover field

by Glen Arnold, Putnam County

Some clover fields in northwest Ohio are showing signs of field dodder. These appear as yellowing areas that could be confused with water damage. Dodder is a unique plant in the fact that it is parasitic. It must have a host plant to survive.

Dodder does not have any leaves or, for that matter, any chlorophyll to produce its own food.  It lives by attaching to a host plant and extracting the host plant’s carbohydrates. The pale yellow color of the dodder plant makes the infested area of the clover field have a decidedly yellow color.

Dodder is an annual and is spread by seed.  Having a hard seed coat, it is suspected that time and soil moisture levels control dormancy.  How long the seed can survive appears to be variable.

For farmers who clip clover for seed, areas of the field known to have dodder should be avoided. Also, any clover seed harvested needs to be cleaned to avoid spreading dodder to other fields.

Glyphosate has been reported to control dodder post attachment and can be applied as a spot-treatment of a 1-2% solution to clover.  However, be aware that there will be damage to the clover where the glyphosate is applied. Some farmers opt to hand-spray small patches of dodder to control its spread.


West Ohio Grazing School

by Glen Arnold, Putnam County

As corn and soybean prices continue to rise, feeding livestock economically is becoming a challenge. Many farmers in Ohio are gaining interest in grazing livestock to reduce feed costs and spend less time making hay. Management intensive grazing is a proven way to improve feed efficiency and decrease feed costs. Typical open grazing allows animals to manage the pasture selecting for only a few favorable species. This inefficient process results in only 30% feeding efficiency. Management intensive grazing puts the farmer in control and realizes feeding efficiencies closer to 60%.

The West Ohio Grazing School is a three day course in management intensive grazing. Two evening sessions held on July 14 and 21, from 6 to 8pm, along with the Saturday morning session held on July 23, will be held indoors in a classroom environment. Saturday after a lunch grilled by your favorite AgNR Educators, the program will move to a local intensively managed pasture to discuss fencing, watering systems, and paddock design.

Participants will receive eight hours of instruction, a Management Intensive Grazing Guide (worth its weight in gold!) and hands on learning in the field. They will also have the opportunity to pick the brain of Bob Hendershot, USDA-NRCS State Grassland Conservationist and Grazing Guru, and Jeff McCutcheon, OSU Extension Morrow County Educator and Grazing Guru. Jeff is also a Certified Grassland Professional and a Professional Animal Scientist. Also, if you have crop questions unrelated to grazing there will be a Certified Professional Agronomist and two Certified Crop Advisors on hand.

The grazing school will be held at The Ohio State University Extension, Shelby County Office. The office is located at 810 Fair Road, Sidney, Ohio 45365.  The office is conveniently located close to Interstate 75, and accessible via Exit 90 (Fair Road).

For more information or to register contact The Ohio State University Extension Office in Darke County, Ohio, at (937) 548-5215 or visit The early registration deadline is July 8th. After the deadline late registration will run from July 9th to July 12th. Before the 8th the registration fee is $50. After the 8th the late registration fee will be $60. There will be no registration after the 12th or at the door.


Climate change: Farmers can adapt

by Gary Wilson, Hancock County

As we go through another winter, it seems like everyone talks and jokes about global warming. But agriculture will have to adapt to climate change, and a new study published in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” suggests that things may not be that bleak.

Over the past 150 years, North American wheat varieties have spread into areas with even wider temperature and precipitation variations than will arise over the next century, the study says.

The North American temperature rise is expected to be between 5 and 7 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, and crops will have to adapt.

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