Good Fertilizer Management Begets Good Grass Production
As the weather turns cooler, cool-season grass pastures enter their most productive period of the year. For optimum production, producers need to apply sufficient fertilizer to these grasses at the right time of year, says Dale Leikam, Kansas State University (KSU) Extension nutrient management specialist.
“Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and sulfur are the nutrients which most commonly limit cool-season grass production in Kansas,” he says.
If cool-season grass pastures have not been sampled yet for soil-test analysis, the KSU agronomist says, it should be done at once. “Cool-season grasses may need more than just N. Balanced fertility is essential to optimum yield and high quality hay. For example, adding N won’t produce optimum yields if the soil P or K levels are low,” Leikam says.
Baxter Black: Garlic Mania
As we pulled off of California Highway 101 into Gilroy, I was assailed by the pungent odor of garlic. When I rolled down the window my eyes began to water and my nose tingled. A blind man driving down the road wouldn’t need a sign to tell him he had arrived at the Annual Garlic Festival!
If there were any secular or religious worshipers of garlic, Gilroy would serve as their Mecca. Yet it is not alone in its oleic appeal. I flew into Wenatchee, WA one summer. As we deboarded the airplane, the pleasant aroma of the apple orchards filled the air. I began to salivate. Another time I saw a bumper sticker on a fertilizer salesman’s truck in the agriculturally rich San Joaquin Valley near Bakersfield. It read, “I luv Ammonia”. To each his own.
Hay Quality Impacted by Five Factors
by: Chuck Coffey, Noble Foundation
Of all the feedstuffs livestock consume, hay is probably one of the most variable in terms of quality. Hay can look good and still be low quality, or look bad and be good quality. The best way to know for sure is to have it tested. However, many people never take the time to send off a sample for analysis.
What are the factors affecting the quality of hay?
Stage of Maturity: This refers to the growth stage of the plant at the time of harvest. Stage of maturity is by far the most important factor influencing quality. The younger the plant, the higher the quality. I’ve actually seen common bermudagrass test greater than 20 percent crude protein on a dry matter basis. If you want to harvest or purchase good quality hay, pay particular attention to maturity. In southern Oklahoma, we can expect to harvest decent quality bermudagrass if it’s cut prior to mid June. If you delay much beyond that time, quality rapidly begins declining with the first cutting.
Under Exploited Double Crop Opportunities
Dr. Keith Johnson
Purdue University Department of Agronomy
The objective of this paper is to create awareness among Indiana forage producers about under-exploited crops that could fit into double-crop forage systems.
The Midwest USA has distinct seasons that create unique double-crop opportunities for livestock producers. There are many diverse annual crops that grow best in particular seasons of the year that can help improve the efficiency of the farming enterprise when utilized as a double crop. I want to make it clear, however, that I prefer using high quality perennial forages as the base of a livestock producer’s forage program. Annual crops can create more “headaches” for producers than perennial crops; annual crops have to be found and purchased each year, seeded in a timely fashion each year (sometimes Mother Nature does not let that occur), and there is risk associated in getting a good stand established each year.
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Send Parasites Packing This Fall
If producers and parasitologists agree on one thing, it is the importance of fall parasite control. It’s a convenient time of the year to treat, and it is high on the producer’s priority list because of parasites like liver flukes, lice and mange. It also is an ideal time to clean cattle of Ostertagia ostertagi (brown stomach worms) before winter.
Programs To Help Pay Hay-Hauling Costs
Hay and Forage Grower
Drought-stricken North Carolina will help finance the costs of getting hay hauled to its livestock producers, announced Steve Troxler, state ag commissioner. Two programs are in the works: the Golden Hay Relief Program, designed to finance some of the costs to move hay and alternative forages within the state, and the Ag Partners Hay Relief Program, which will help pay to bring in out-of-state hay.
“The drought has caused an estimated $80 million in losses of hay, pasture and forage in our state,” Troxler says. “We are working feverishly to cope with this hay emergency and prevent a mass exodus of livestock farmers.”
Beef-forage systems shortcourse planned
LINCOLN—Registrations are being accepted for the 2007-08 Integrated Beef-Forage Systems shortcourse from University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.
The three-session, four-day course offers hands-on education designed to improve the management of beef production and forage resources in southern Nebraska. It integrates management of grassland, crop residues, irrigated pastures and harvested forages into a year-round grazing system.
Sessions are scheduled Nov. 19-20 in North Platte; Jan. 23 in Lexington, or Jan. 24 in Grant; and April 2 in Kearney or April 3 in Ogallala.