Archive for the ‘Livestock’ Category


Pesticide Restrictions When Harvesting Feed and Forages

by Bruce Clevenger

The Drought stress has raised many questions about alternative feed, harvesting early and feed quality. One item to keep in mind are the restrictions that some pesticides have when using the crop for feed, forage or grazing. Pesticides include herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, miticides, etc.  Some herbicides may have a 0 – 75 day restriction between application and harvest, feeding or grazing of row crops. University of Nebraska has a good reference on many row crop herbicide restrictions related to harvest, feeding and grazing.  Michigan State University has restriction information when harvesting drought-stressed soybeans for forages related to herbicides, insecticides or fungicides applications.

Growers are reminded to read and follow pesticide label instructions on restrictions associated with applying field chemicals to potential feed or forages.



Herbicide Restrictions when Planting Supplemental Forages

posted by Bruce Clevenger

Before making any plans to plant supplemental forages, be sure to check the plant back restriction interval for herbicides used in the previous crop. Corn herbicides, especially atrazine products, have a long rotation restriction interval for many of the forage options listed below. So check the labels for the herbicides you used this year especially.  You can find pesticide labels on-line at CDMS or Greenbook.   The Ohio and Indiana Weed Control Guide also lists Restrictions on Crop Rotation on Table 23 on page 187.


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.


2011 Ohio County Level Crop Yields Available

The National Agricultural Statistics Service has release the 2011 Ohio county crop yield estimates. The data can be viewed at:

Additional data available are livestock inventories for cattle, dairy cows, milk sold, hogs and sheep.


Livestock Mortality Composting Certification Programs Scheduled

by Glen Arnold, Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management Systems

Two livestock mortality composting certification programs have been scheduled for January in northwest Ohio.

 The first program is set for Wednesday, January 18th at 7:00 PM and is hosted by the Seneca, Crawford and Wyandot Soil & Water Conservation Districts, Natural Resources Conservation Service & the OSU Extension office in Wyandot County. It will be held at the Wyandot County Recycling Center, 11385 County Highway 4 in Carey, Ohio. Contact Kendall Stucky at the Seneca Soil and Water 419-447-7073 for more information. Registration is $15 and requested by January 13th.

The second livestock mortality composting program is scheduled for Tuesday, January 31st at the Putnam County Extension office at 124 Putnam Parkway in Ottawa, Ohio at 7:00 PM. Contact Glen Arnold  at 419-422-3851 ( for more information or contact Ann Meyer at the Putnam County extension office at 419-523-6294. Registration is $15 and requested by January 27th.

These training sessions will certify an operator to compost all approved livestock species and are available to all Ohio livestock producers. Composting is a natural process where bacteria and fungi decompose organic material in a predominantly aerobic environment. During the composting process, microorganisms break down organic materials into a stable mixture called compost. The compost resembles humus, and is spread on farming fields.

Composting, rendering, incineration and burial are the four most common ways to dispose of livestock mortality. To legally compost dead livestock in Ohio producers must attend a certification program.

For producers who utilize composting, sawdust is the most commonly used carbon source for composting livestock mortality in Ohio. Surveys indicate farmers utilizing composting find it a cost effective and convenient method to dispose of livestock mortality.


Pork Quality Assurance Plus Certification Program Planned

by Glen Arnold, Putnam County

The OSU Putnam County Extension Office will be the location for a Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus certification program for pork producers on Tuesday, February 22, 2011. The PQA Plus program will be conducted by Dale Ricker, OSU Swine Program Specialist and will begin at 6:30 p.m. The OSU Extension Office is located at 124 Putnam Parkway, Ottawa, Ohio 45875 and is on the west side of State Route 109 going north out of Ottawa.

PQA Plus program began in June of 2007 and replaces the Pork Quality Assurance Level III program that producers had been certified under since 1989.  As in the past, certification is valid for three years and producers can recertify at anytime prior to the expiration date on their certificate. Producers that are due to renew in the next year are encouraged to attend. Read the rest of this entry »


Ohio Beef Expo-March 18-20

by Florian Chirra, Williams County

As you break out your new 2011 calendar and begin to add important dates, be sure to mark March 18-20 for the Ohio Beef Expo to be held at the Ohio Expositions Center in Columbus, Ohio. Plans for the 2011 Expo are well underway and this year’s event is shaping up to be one of the best ever with breed sales, shows and one of the Midwest’s largest and most competitive junior shows.

The Expo will once again include a three-day industry trade show. Last year’s trade show which encompassed over 22,000 square feet of indoor space was a full house. If you are interested in promoting your cattle industry related product with a display in the 2011 event, contact Jamie King at (614) 873-6736 as soon as possible. The early deadline to reserve space in the trade show is January 3. Read the rest of this entry »