There will be an informational meeting on Raising Beef this Thursday, Nov. 5, beginning at 7 p.m. This meeting, hosted by Siegel’s Country Store, will be held at the Houston Community Center (Russia-Houston Road, just west of state Route 66 in Houston).
Topics for this meeting include starting baby calves, weaning to market, and the need for medication prescriptions from a veterinarian. While this meeting is targeted toward dairy/ Holstein beef raisers, there will be information for anyone involved in calf raising and beef production. For more information, you can call 937-473-2808.
To help farmers, producers, and farm business owners who want to gain insight into financial measures, OSU Extension is offering a free, four-part webinar series on managing risk and financial management. This series, “Ready, Set, Go: Preparing Farms to Successfully Manage Risk,” can help you better understand your financial situation by focusing on financial statements and using them to your advantage.
One of the goals is to help participants get their financial affairs in order so that they can weather these times, according to Chris Bruynis, OSU Educator in the Farm Management area. He indicated that the information being offered should be of interest, especially with crop prices going down over the past two years leaving profits well below where they had been recently.
The webinars run on Nov. 16, 23, 30 and Dec. 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Nov. 16 webinar will focus on Farm Business Planning and Systems Management while the Nov. 23 will be an Introduction to Financial Statements (balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, etc.). These topics will be followed on Nov. 30 with Financial Ratios (liquidity, solvency, profitability, repayment capacity, and financial efficiency) and Using Financial Data to Drive Decisions on Dec. 7.
To register for this free series, go to go.osu.edu/farmwebsurvey. Those registered by Nov. 12 will receive the login information and course material by email on Nov. 13. For more information about the webinar, contact Bruynis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-702-3200.
Pruning trees and shrubs is an activity that can be done for a variety of reasons: encouraging flowering, directing overall shape, managing pest problems, thinning, and rejuvenation, just to name a few. According to Amy Stone, one of the authors for the BYGL newsletter (http://bygl.osu.edu/), winter can be a great time to tackle this maintenance practice proactively. It can be easier to see the overall plant structure, especially without leaves camouflaging main branches and lateral limbs.
When pruning, cuts should be made just above a bud. Avoid flush cuts – a cut made directly next to the main trunk or larger branches. Look for the collar and prune just on the outside of this area. It is no longer recommended to follow pruning cuts with a pruning paint.
Amy suggests, if you are relatively new to pruning, that you take some “before and after” photos and then revisit the plant every six months or so to see the reaction to the cuts you made. This activity can be a great learning experience: A lot of times you will find that the cuts were “spot-on,” but there will also be examples of pruning decisions that can be improved upon the next time.
One word of caution: If you prune a spring-flowering shrub (viburnum, lilac, forsythia, serviceberry, crabapple, etc.) this fall or winter, you will have fewer blooms next spring. Spring-blooming plants have already set their flower buds for next year and pruning these plants at this time will remove those buds. These types of trees and shrubs should be pruned shortly after they bloom in the spring.
The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at email@example.com.