Heart of America Conference – Jan. 22-23, 2019

The Heart of America Grazing Conference is a regional conference rotated between five states: Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky. This year’s conference will be held in Ferdinand, IN on January 22-23. Topics include: Managing Grazing Refresher Seminar, Starting a Grass-Fed Beef Operation, Grazing Technologies and Gadgets, Selecting Forage-Based Beef Genetics for a Profitable Operation, and Red Clover: More Than Just Nitrogen. Early registration is $90 for the two day program and ends December 20.  The full agenda is available here.


Featured Publication: Cyanide Poisoning in Ruminants (ID-220)

Although, most areas of the states have had significant frosts, we are still getting questions on Johnsongrass and cyanide (prussic acid) poisoning. Let’s overview the main points.

Do not graze Johnsongrass when frost is likely (including at night). Frost allows conversion to hydrogen cyanide within the plant. Do not graze after a killing frost until plant material is completely dry and brown (the toxin is usually dissipated within 72 hours).

If cut for hay, allow to dry completely so the cyanide will volatilize before baling. Allow slow and thorough drying because toxicity can be retained in cool or moist weather. Delay feeding silage 6 to 8 weeks following ensiling. The full publication can be found here.


Forage Timely Tips: November

  • Begin utilizing stockpiled forage.
  • Graze down alfalfa after Nov. 1st or a killing frost <26o (whichever comes first).
  • Soil test and apply lime, P or K according to soil test recommendations.
  • Continue to inventory hay supplies and needs and get your hay tested for quality.
  • Utilize crop residues.
  • Herbicide applications for winter weeds are possible before hard freeze when day temps are in the 50’s.

USDA Hay Markets – October 30, 2018

Below are examples of grass prices being paid FOB barn/stack for selected states at the end of the day on Friday, October 26. Large ranges for a particular grade and state are often indicative of location and/or bale size. Also check the USDA Hay Market Prices for additional locations and more detailed information or go online and subscribe to eHay Weekly for weekly forage updates including hay prices. chart


Quote of the Month: “Repetition is Part of Education”

**Forage-Livestock Quotes and Concepts, Volume 2 is now Available!**

    book2  Legendary Tennessee forage specialist Joe Burns often states, “If you heard me say this before, please don’t interrupt: I want to hear it again myself.” He knew that many people in his audience had probably heard some of the words or ideas in a person’s mind. If we later forget details, it is easier to “re-learn” the information. This is one reason why it is helpful to attend education events, as well as read newsletters, farm magazines, internet blogs and other sources of valuable information. It is not only a matter of learning new things, but also fixing more firmly in our minds things to which we have previously been exposed. Hopefully, information and ideas in this publication will be of benefit regardless of the reader’s experience.  Forage-Livestock Quotes and Concepts, vol. 2 is available for purchase here.


Grazing Too Short in Fall and Winter Can Mean More Weeds in the Spring

Results of a study by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers show that if you graze shorter, you’re helping weed seeds get the light and resources they need to germinate well in the spring. Their study focused on burdock, but results could be similar for other weed species that germinate in early spring. ~ Kathy Voth, On Pasture. Full article available here.


Forage Identification Book Now Available

Common Grasses, Legumes and Forbs of the Eastern United States: Identification and Adaptation presents photographic identification of the most important grassland, turf,book1 and non-crop plants, and their seeds to facilitate quick identification in the field. Unlike many publications that focus solely on floral identification, this book emphasizes vegetative identification as well to allow for accurate plant identification year-round. The book includes 23 forage legumes, 61 grasses, and more than 100 non-leguminous forbs found in pastures and grasslands of Eastern United States. The book is available online in paperback or ebook for $85.