Thursday, June 16, 2011

Upcoming OSU Extension Events

There are many concerns when it comes to agriculture this year. Late planting, poor weed control from late and less effective burndowns, the potential for even higher feed costs for livestock, and don’t forget about head scab. Monday I spent time in the field with Alissa Kriss, a graduate student with OSU Plant Pathology doing a head scab assessment of the county. Despite our best efforts Mother Nature threw us another curveball on wheat this year. Keep an eye on the CORN Newsletter or search out OSU Extension Darke County Agriculture on Facebook for results from our survey of Darke County. While we await these results let’s talk a little bit about some upcoming livestock related programs. There are many different ways to raise livestock including indoor production with barns, the way our hogs are raised these days, or with outdoor grazing systems.

Hog production moved indoors many years ago for several reasons. Indoors animals are safe from predators, free from environmental stresses like bad weather and summer heat, and are easier to monitor. According to the last census of agriculture Darke County possessed over 225,000 hogs and pigs. The overwhelming majority of these are raised inside a barn. On a 90 degree day in June a climate controlled barn is a nice place to be. Animals that are raised indoors are more efficient at gaining weight and stay healthier. Controlling the climate inside a barn is a little more complex than setting the thermostat of your house. That is why OSU Extension has teamed up with members of industry to bring you the Swine Ventilation Workshop in Darke County. Dr. Dale Ricker, OSU Swine Specialist, and Glen Arnold, OSU Extension Putnam County, will be bringing the swine ventilation trailer to the fair grounds on June 29, 2011. The workshop will run from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. Inside the Youth Building at the fairgrounds participants will learn about ventilation principles, design, maintenance, and even get hands on experience with setting controls on the trailer. The Ohio Pork Producer Council will be sponsoring lunch so bring your appetite! To register, visit or call the Putnam County office at (419) 523-6294 for more information. The registration fee of $40 is due by June 24, 2011.

Several farmers in Darke County raise their livestock outdoors. Animals graze during the spring, summer and even winter months. Efficiency of open grazing pastures can be as low as 30%. If livestock are intensively managed efficiency can be brought up closer to 60%. Stockpiling pasture paddocks for winter grazing can also help reduce the amount of hay needed during the winter. Cows will actually forage up to their eyes in the snow to get grass! If you prefer to pasture your animals OSU Extension has you covered. The West Ohio Grazing School has been moved from June to July because of this year’s late planting. The grazing school will be held on the 14th and 21st of July from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm and on Saturday the 23rd from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm, at OSU Extension, Shelby County. The school will be taught by local Extension Educators along with special guests including Jeff McCutcheon, OSU Extension Morrow County, and Bob Hendershot, Grazing Guru and NRCS Specialist. Call the Darke County office at (937) 548-5215 to register. The registration fee of $50 is due July 8, 2011.

There are also many field days and smaller events on the schedule for the next few months so keep an eye out for more! Visit and view the calendar for more information. If you have questions or concerns about head scab or any other agronomic concerns call the office at (937) 548-5215. Initial results from our survey don’t look to be as severe as last year but we’ll keep crunching the numbers for an official analysis to be released soon.

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