Central Iowa Producer Shares Tips for Grazing Standing Corn
Iowa Beef Center
Winters have gotten a whole lot easier for Fred Abels. The Grundy County farmer recently implemented a strip grazing standing-corn system for his fall calving herd, and eliminated cold-weather chores like hay feeding and moving manure, all while saving feed costs.
It all started when Abels expanded his cow herd from 20 to 50 cows. “I knew I couldn’t produce enough hay for 50 cows, and I wanted to find an on-farm feed source to keep money from going off-farm.” After some conversations with specialists at Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and pioneering herdsmen who were already reaping the rewards of grazing standing corn, Abels decided to give it a try.
Abels’ biggest investment was fencing materials, which included 100 posts and 6 reels of wire, totaling $638. Starting December 5, his cows began strip grazing approximately .08 acres of standing corn and .04 acres of harvested stalks each day. Abels spent about fifteen minutes every day moving the fence. “A big advantage for me was that while I was only spending about fifteen minutes every day moving the fence.
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Nitrate Poisoning and Feeding Nitrate Feeds to Livestock
Ropin’ the Web
While nitrates (N03) are not very toxic, nitrites (N02) are toxic. In ruminant animals such as cattle, sheep and goats, nitrate is converted to nitrite by bacteria in the rumen. This nitrite is then changed to ammonia. Excess ammonia is absorbed by the blood and passed in the urine as urea. This occurs when the nitrate breakdown system is in balance and no surplus of nitrites accumulate.
In contrast, monogastric animals such as horses and pigs, convert nitrate to nitrite in the intestine, closer to the end of the digestive tract, where there is less opportunity for the nitrites to be absorbed by the blood. It is this difference in the site of conversion that makes nitrate poisoning of much less concern for monogastric animals than it is with ruminants.
Animal Rights Activities Still A Concern
Animal rights activists are completely committed to putting you out of business, says Kay Johnson, and they are working on many fronts to achieve their goal.
Johnson, with the Animal Agriculture Alliance, says animal rights activists use four battlegrounds to advance their agenda — public perception, farms and businesses, the legal system, and the legislative and regulatory world.
“Some farmers and ranchers are being drug into court on false accusations,” she says. “Not only does that create legal fees, but it creates doubt in your community about how you care for your animals.”
Four-State Consortium Plan Conference
“Corn, Cattle and Energy” is the theme of a rotating-conference compiled by Extension personnel from Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Geared for producers who want to manage their business in light of increasing corn demand, the meeting is set for the Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn in Rapid City, SD, on Aug. 21, and the Days Inn Grand Lakota Lodge in Dickinson, ND, on Aug. 23.
Matching Cow Size To Ranch Resources
Cow size varies tremendously across and even within beef cattle operations.
Size is routinely described in terms of both weight and frame. Frame size describes the skeletal size of cattle. Terms like large frame, moderate frame, and small frame are frequently used to indicate cattle size. While frame size is often a useful selection consideration and is sometimes used in predicting expected mature body weight, it should be noted that cattle that are similar in frame size are not always similar in body weight. Body weight takes into account muscling and condition (fat cover) in addition to skeletal and organ mass. Cow body weight and body condition score are useful records for nutritional program planning.
Iowa Limousin Junior Wins Wulf Scholarship
Alissa Johnson, Ashton, Iowa, received the third annual Leonard and Vi Wulf Scholarship at the National Junior Limousin Show and Congress (NJLSC) in West Monroe, La. Kent Andersen, Ph.D., executive vice president for the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF), made the presentation during the awards banquet July 27.
Johnson, 19, has been a member of both the North American Limousin Junior Association (NALJA) and Iowa Junior Limousin Association for 10 years. She will use the $500 Wulf scholarship to continue her studies in agricultural business at South Dakota State University (SDSU). After graduation, she plans to become an agricultural loan officer at a rural bank.
USDA Cracking Down on ‘Organic’ Factory-Farms
Country’s Largest Dairy Likely to Lose Certification
The Cornucopia Institute has learned that the USDA appears about to revoke the organic certification of the nation’s largest industrial dairy operator, Aurora Organic Dairy, headquartered in Boulder, Colorado.
Aurora operates several giant factory dairies milking thousands of cows each in semi-arid areas of Colorado and Texas. The company has been the subject of a series of formal legal complaints filed with the USDA by The Cornucopia Institute. The complaints from the Wisconsin-based farm policy group filed in 2005 and 2006, called for a USDA investigation into allegations of numerous organic livestock management improprieties.