Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How to help control compaction

The Ohio state soil scientist says a traffic control plan can reduce yield loss from compaction. Steve Baker is with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
“The more you can get on a similar spacing, the better off you’ll be and kind of be thinking about your lines through the field. Some of the research I’ve seen shows up to 80 percent of your field can be tracked up if you’re not really thinking about what you’re up to” says Baker.
He tells Brownfield compaction can lower the amount of water and nutrients reaching the crops.
“The water and associated nutrients cannot get into the soil as easily and they may move to a different part of the field so that’s why you’ll see hot spots with more growth here and less over there” says Baker.
Baker says building up a field’s (To read more, or listen to the audio(3min 35sec long) click link below): 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Jason Tyrell's Farm and Dairy Article

How to extend your grazing season

One of the hardest things for a farmer to do is make changes to a system that is working fine. Many are comfortable letting their cattle in pasture early spring, possibly having to feed hay during summer slump, then keeping them grazing as long as they can on the available forage into the early winter where they will start feeding hay.
That is a system that is extremely common here in southeast Ohio. Although that may work OK for farmers, there are other options that may be more cost effective and less labor intensive, that could eliminate a lot of hay needs during the winter.
I am going to provide a few alternatives that could supersede that current cycle. Prior to making changes to your current system, there are a few questions that should be addressed.

Questions to answer

These include but are not limited to: What is your current rotation? Where do you get your hay supply from? Are there any restrictions that may not allow your current hay fields to become part of your rotational system, such as location or water availability?
Do you have electric available in the area or is solar power a possible option?
There are countless questions that can be asked to help you with your decision. Here are some options to help extend your grazing season:
1. Introduce better rotational grazing into your system. Decrease the amount of days that they are in each paddock by creating smaller paddocks with the use of poly wire. Allow the livestock to graze down to 4 inches in height, and then rotate them to another paddock. Make sure you have water available in each paddock. As the winter sets in, you will have more available forage to graze than before implementing rotational grazing.
2. Turn your hayfields into permanent pasture and incorporate those fields into your grazing system. Ultimately, this gives you the ability to speed up your rotation and allow more adequate growth and longer rest periods on each paddock. Make sure you have an adequate water setup before attempting. This will add more acreage to the first option.
3. Stockpile forage in select paddocks. This includes grazing throughout spring and into summer. Around late July/early August, pull the livestock out of these fields for the remainder of the grazing season.
Allow the forage to grow untouched for the rest of the year, until you need to release your livestock onto it in the winter. You can apply manure or nitrogen to give a big push of growth before the grasses go dormant.
Having livestock graze stockpiled forage takes the place of feeding hay until the stockpiled forage is depleted. This is much less expensive over time by reducing winter feeding costs and will limit your time throughout the year cutting hay.
With this system, it is still smart to have some hay available for emergencies such as iced over snow or extremely muddy conditions. You can buy hay to use in these situations.
The best forage for stockpiling is tall fescue, due to its ability to hold its forage quality value. If entophyte is a concern for you with fescue, it is good to understand that with freezing temperatures, entophyte levels decrease.
By the time January comes around, entophyte levels should be low enough to not be a cause for concern. With fescue, you must be careful if you do not want this to be the dominant grass on your farm, as it is aggressive and will out-compete other forages.
4. Get the first cutting of hay off the field and then resort to stockpiling starting late July/early August. This is a similar concept as No. 3; however, you do not allow the cattle to graze completely through till late July/early August.
Instead, you do one cut, maybe two, depending on the year. Either way, by late July you will not hay anymore or allow cattle to graze on this property until winter.
The hay that you receive from your first cutting can become emergency hay if needed. Thinking even further outside the box, another choice that you have with this selection is to pull your livestock off of all paddocks and stockpile them all.
During this time, you will feed your first cutting of hay, which better matches the nutritional needs of the livestock in the late summer/ fall, than it would in the late fall/winter.

Another option

This is rarely done in Southeast Ohio; however, it’s another option to consider. It is very difficult to find a way to graze completely year-round, but that should be the goal.
Stockpiled grasses have better nutrition than hay, which provides more nutrients to our livestock in the times when those needs are higher. Sometimes you have to go outside your comfort zone and try new things if you want your operation to remain sustainable.
If you are interested in extending your grazing season, contact your local soil and water conservation district or OSU Extension office and ask for more detailed information.
Click the web address below to see on Farm and Dairy's webpage.

Organic Imports Info

A new report from CoBank says increasing demand for organic and non-GMO products led to a sharp increase in imported organic grain last year.
Organic corn imports more than doubled from 2015 to 2016 and made up almost half of the total U.S. organic corn supply. Nearly 80 percent of the U.S. organic soybean supply was imported last year.
CoBank says animal feed for organic meat and poultry and packaged products are the two largest markets for organic grain.
Some analysts estimate one to five million U.S. acres would have to be transitioned into organic production to meet current demand.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Ohio Hunters Harvest more than 182,000 Deer during 2016-2017 Season

COLUMBUS, OH - Hunters checked 182,169 white-tailed deer throughout Ohio’s 2016-2017 deer season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Last year, 188,329 deer were checked during the 2015-2016 season.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists.
Deer hunting regulations over the past two seasons have been designed to allow for moderate herd growth throughout most of the state. Herd growth is achieved by reducing harvest and protecting female deer.
Hunting Popularity
Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication.
Find more information about deer hunting in the Ohio 2016-2017 Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at
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Editor’s Note: A list of all white-tailed deer checked by hunters during the 2016-2017 deer season is shown below. The first number following the county’s name shows the harvest number for the 2016-2017 season, and the 2015-2016 season number is in parentheses.

Adams: 3,272 (4,157); Allen: 1,039 (1,102); Ashland: 2,954 (3,026); Ashtabula: 5,040 (4,844); Athens: 3,646 (3,979); Auglaize: 751 (828); Belmont: 3,236 (3,205); Brown: 2,448 (2,754); Butler: 1,231 (1,382); Carroll: 3,586 (3,557); Champaign: 1,118 (1,242); Clark: 661 (759); Clermont: 2,343 (2,821); Clinton: 719 (789); Columbiana: 3,189 (3,299); Coshocton: 5,929 (5,700); Crawford: 1,113 (1,165); Cuyahoga: 1,124 (814); Darke: 679 (738); Defiance: 1,675 (1,767); Delaware: 1,527 (1,684); Erie: 868 (750); Fairfield: 1,800 (1,955); Fayette: 312 (310); Franklin: 837 (817); Fulton: 826 (802); Gallia: 2,720 (2,914); Geauga: 1,871 (1,886); Greene: 816 (835); Guernsey: 4,565 (4,435); Hamilton: 1,589 (2,007); Hancock: 1,179 (1,185); Hardin: 1,220 (1,270); Harrison: 3,763 (3,787); Henry: 708 (684); Highland: 2,587 (2,919); Hocking: 3,275 (3,727); Holmes: 3,731 (3,717); Huron: 2,279 (2,204); Jackson: 2,870 (3,194); Jefferson: 2,800 (2,663); Knox: 4,495 (4,465); Lake: 961 (908); Lawrence: 1,942 (2,113); Licking: 4,971 (5,364); Logan: 1,919 (2,071); Lorain: 2,511 (2,458); Lucas: 755 (759); Madison: 482 (497); Mahoning: 1,933 (1,835); Marion: 886 (892); Medina: 2,109 (1,872); Meigs: 3,476 (3,592); Mercer: 661 (603); Miami: 774 (833); Monroe: 2,571 (2,598); Montgomery: 591 (684); Morgan: 2,992 (3,096); Morrow: 1,486 (1,437); Muskingum: 5,118 (4,966); Noble: 2,855 (2,970); Ottawa: 450 (424); Paulding: 954 (1,064); Perry: 2,787 (2,867); Pickaway: 724 (803); Pike: 2,083 (2,382); Portage: 2,211 (2,178); Preble: 847 (965); Putnam: 709 (704); Richland: 3,246 (3,189); Ross: 3,029 (3,425); Sandusky: 862 (874); Scioto: 2,479 (3,034); Seneca: 1,842 (1,785); Shelby: 961 (1,050); Stark: 2,778 (2,760); Summit: 1,572 (1,487); Trumbull: 3,699 (3,293); Tuscarawas: 5,039 (4,921); Union: 842 (932); Van Wert: 458 (492); Vinton: 2,668 (3,059); Warren: 1,095 (1,266); Washington: 3,402 (3,526); Wayne: 2,020 (1,971); Williams: 1,687 (1,836); Wood: 857 (841); Wyandot: 1,484 (1,515). Total: 182,169 (188,329).