Daily Archives: September 18, 2006

Purdue Introduces Forage Field Guide

Purdue Introduces Forage Field Guide


A new publication from Purdue University is a handy, pocket-sized reference on various aspects of forage production and utilization.

The Forage Field Guide contains information on establishment, renovation, pest management, soil fertility, harvesting, storage, etc. The 264-page book with full-color photos was produced by the university’s Crop Diagnostic


Georgia’s cattlemen face hay shortage

Georgia’s cattlemen face hay shortage


Associated Press / macon.com

ALBANY, Ga. – Georgia’s cattlemen have a lot to beef about this year.

A drought since the spring has hurt pastures and forced some producers to reduce their herds because they don’t have enough grass to graze them on. Some had to purchase hay to sustain their herds, or use hay they would normally store for winter feeding.

Then they were hit by an unusually heavy invasion of army worms, voracious green caterpillars that can devour the grass on a lawn or pasture in just days. Producers were forced to fight back with pesticides to save their scant supply of grass spared by the drought. Of course, the chemical warfare on worms was an unwelcome expense.

The drought alone has caused about $332 million in direct losses of hay and pasture in Georgia, but the total economic impact from reduced cattle sales, lost farm wages and other consequences could mean a total loss of $391 million to $572 million, according to the University of Georgia’s Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development.


Ready to Wean? Steps to follow for a stress-free weaning.*

Ready to Wean? Steps to follow for a stress-free weaning.*


The evolution of agriculture has brought many radical changes to production practices, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the seasonality of many events associated with farming and ranching. For folks earning their livings from land and livestock, certain events still mark the changing of the seasons. The seedbed is prepared and crops are planted, tended and harvested. For each practice there is a season.


*PDF File, Adobe Acrobat Reader needed to view file

Feeding farms with plants

Feeding farms with plants


Bismarck Tribune

Cal Hoff has been a farmer for more than 20 years, working with cattle feeding, feedlots, dairies and, most recently, corn.

Come Nov. 15, the corn Hoff grows in his Richardton farm will be worth quite a lot to his new neighbor.

Red Trail Energy Inc. is on schedule to open North Dakota’s newest ethanol plant, a 50 million-gallon-a-year processing facility that plans on using nearly 18 million bushels of corn.

“We’ll buy as much from North Dakota as possible, and the rest from the corn belt,”said Mick Miller, plant manager.


Let Silage Ferment Before Feeding

Let Silage Ferment Before Feeding


Drought, some hail, and even some grasshoppers wiped out a lot of pastures and damaged many acres of row crops this summer. Maybe you had to stretch your forage supplies to the limit to feed your cattle. But now you have a new source of feed because you chopped drought damaged corn or beans or some other crop early for silage. If this describes you and your silage, don’t be in a hurry to feed it. It could contain nitrates!

Many times, crops stressed by drought or other factors will contain high levels of nitrates. Making these crops into silage is one good way to reduce toxicity of these nitrates because the fermentation process usually reduces the nitrate content of this feed.


Farm bill debate goes global

Farm bill debate goes global

How policies can help U.S. farmers as well as farmers in Africa is increasingly part of the discussion.


The Wichita Eagle

Reno County rancher Jim French thinks Kansans should care more about Africa, even if it means changing farm subsidies that have brought $8 billion to the state in the past decade.

Cheap, government-subsidized American food makes it tough for African farmers to develop their own agriculture, he said. That’s not fair, and it’s not good for America or Africa in the long run, he added.

“We need to change programs in a way that allows African farmers to sell to the world,” said French, one of six farmers who visited west Africa last month with Oxfam America, the U.S. wing of an organization devoted to fighting world poverty.

Steve Baccus, an Ottawa County wheat grower and Kansas Farm Bureau president, said he has nothing against Africa — he’s been there, too.


Hidden Dangers: Endophyte-Infested Fescue

Hidden Dangers: Endophyte-Infested Fescue

by: Les Sellnow


When it first arrived on the scene in the United States during the early 1940s, tall fescue was considered a wonder grass. It was easy to establish, it was a good forage yielder, and it was tolerant of a wide range of management regimens. In short, it was a very tough grass that could stand heavy grazing and a high rate of animal foot traffic under a variety of climatic conditions and still continue to flourish.

Acre after acre was planted with tall fescue until its lush greenery covered some 35 million acres in the United States. However, problems soon began to be observed in animals grazing these lush pastures and fields. Horse breeders noticed that they were having foaling problems with some mares which were grazing fescue grass or being fed fescue hay. Cattle producers reported that steers on fescue pastures or being fed fescue hay appeared to be unthrifty and that milk production in lactating dairy and beef cows was reduced.


Rotational Grazing Rests Tired Pastures

Rotational Grazing Rests Tired Pastures


Rotational grazing is the perfect R&R for tired pastures, says a Purdue University extension beef specialist.

It rejuvenates pasture grasses and legumes worn out from constant livestock feeding and traffic, says Ron Lemenager. The system, which allows livestock producers to extend forage supplies or carry more animals per pasture, is growing in popularity, he adds.

By dividing a grazing area into smaller pastures or cells or paddocks, Lemenager explains, the animals can graze an area for no more than five to seven days, and then let that area recover for about 28-40 days.

“When you have a rotational grazing system, you can stretch your forage supplies because the plants are healthier and their ability to recover is much, much greater.”


Using Ionophores in Replacement Heifer Diets

Using Ionophores in Replacement Heifer Diets


In an effort to insure a higher percentage of replacement heifers are bred to calve early in their first calving season, ranchers should consider using a supplement containing an “ionophore” in the growing diet of the heifers. “Ionophore” is the generalized name for the feed additives such as monensin (RumensinTM) and lasalocid (BovatecTM). Both are presently approved for use with growing programs for replacement heifers.


Master Cattle Transporter Training

Master Cattle Transporter Training

By Troy Smith

Angus Journal

Ken Real is always glad to see a load of incoming feeder cattle arrive in good shape. The Nebraska cattle feeder is relieved to see them unloaded at the feedyard, uninjured and showing minimal stress. It’s even more satisfying to see newly arrived cattle make the transition to their new environment with a minimum of sickness.

After all, sorting, loading and hauling cattle present the risk of injury, and transporting them is always stressful. The younger the animals are, the greater their susceptibility. And the greater the stress, the more likely it is that the animals will become sick — usually from the various respiratory infections collectively referred to as “shipping fever.”