Keith Johnson

130 articles by this author

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  This week, the calendar transitioned from spring to summer. Lack of rainfall in most of Indiana has unfortunately continued to be a concern to vegetation wellbeing, pastures included. You likely were told to clean up all the food on your plate when you were a child sitting at the kitchen or dining room table. That was a good recommendation to reduce food waste and to make sure the dollars earned by your parent or guardian were not “thrown in the trash”. Consider this – If the soil in the pasture is the plate and the forages growing in the soil is the food on the plate to be eaten, having livestock, analogous to the child at the table, grazing the soil bare of vegetation is a concern. The figure below found in “Forages Volume 1 – an introduction to grassland agriculture” is an excellent illustration of what happens to[Read More…]


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National Forage Week (June 18 – 24) is concluding this week. The leadership team of the Indiana Forage Council, a not-for- profit organization (www.indianaforage.org), decided it was important to share on the council’s Facebook page the contributions forage crops provide the world. If you did not see the daily posts, they follow. Celebrate every day with an appreciation for all that forages do for the world. Have some ice cream and a hamburger. It is a great indirect way to eat forages!


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It is that time of year when the yew (pronounced like the letter “U”) is likely in need of a trim to look best as a landscaping plant. Yews have been used as a common landscaping shrub or small tree for decades. They have closely spaced, glossy, rather tough, dark green, linear pointed-end leaves that are 1.5 – 2 inches long. Hard-to-see male and female flowers are found on separate plants and form fleshy red to yellow fruits that contain a single seed. Many plants have poisonous compounds that can cause all kinds of concerns, and even death, if consumed. The interactions that I have had with veterinarians, suggest that the yew is right at or near the top of plants that cause livestock death. A disheartening scenario is when yew trimmings are thrown over the fence by the livestock owner or neighbor thinking that the trimmings would make a[Read More…]