Hops program coming to NAHS July 21

Over the past months, I have had more and more calls about the possibilities with growing Hops. Brad Bergefurd who serves as the Scioto County ANR educator and is also at the OSU South Centers at Piketon, has been doing work with Hops.

On Tuesday, July 21 we will have an informational meeting about producing Hops which can be a pretty high-value crop, similar to wine grapes. As tobacco continues to fade, some farmers are looking for other options, and Hops might be a fit for some.

The meeting will be held at North Adams High School in the round room beginning at 7 p.m. If you plan to attend, please call the Highland County Extension Office by Thursday, July 16. Tami will simply need your name, the number attending and your phone number. The number to call is 937-393-1918.

You can still register after July 16, but you will need to call the Adams County Extension Office by noon on July 21. Barbie will take your information at 937-544-2339.

There will be another Hops program, more in depth, at the OSU South Centers in Piketon on Thursday, July 30. Please contact them at 800-297-2072.

Raise Cutting Height For Late First Cuttings

With all of the rain we have had in the Ohio Valley in the past few weeks, I thought this was good timing for this information. It comes from the Nebraska Extension forage specialist, Bruce Anderson, and it appeared in the Beef Blog recently.

Rain has delayed many folks from cutting alfalfa. If you haven’t taken first cutting yet, it might help if you slightly changed the way you cut this crop.

Have you harvested your first cutting of alfalfa yet? Even if it is not blooming heavily, you might be surprised to find that it already has started to grow your next cutting.

Walk into your alfalfa field before cutting and look closely at the base or crown of the plants. Do you see short, new shoots starting to grow? If so, these new shoots are the new plants that your alfalfa hopes to turn into your second cutting.

Look closely – how tall are these new shoots? Are many of them a couple inches taller than your usual cutting height? If you cut these new shoots off – along with the first growth – your alfalfa plants will have to start a whole new set of shoots for regrowth. This could cause a delay in second cutting regrowth by as much as one week.

Fortunately, you can avoid this delay. All you need to do is raise your cutting height just a couple inches so that you avoid clipping off most of these new, second growth shoots. Your regrowth then will have a head start towards next cutting. And since the stubble you leave behind has quite low feed value anyway, the yield you temporarily sacrifice is mostly just filler.

Normally I suggest cutting alfalfa as short as possible because that maximizes yield and it doesn’t affect rate of regrowth. But a late cutting that already has new shoots growing is different.

Don’t blindly start cutting alfalfa when harvest is delayed. First look for new shoots, then raise cutting height if needed.

Dates to Remember

July 12-18: Adams County Fair

July 13: Pesticide testing at the Old Y Restaurant at noon. Preregister at http://pested.osu.edu or call 800 282-1955 and go to Pesticide Regulations.

July 21: Hops program at North Adams High School starting at 7 p.m.