Planting alfalfa – in dry or good-growing weather – can boost production on any pasture-based livestock operation, especially during summer slump, says Rob Kallenbach, University of Missouri Extension forage specialist....More
Four years ago, Tony Garner, Grangeville, ID, decided to restore 360 acres of weed-infested pastureland for a 250-head beef herd. He considered several options, including grazing, mowing and chemical treatments. Eventually, however, he settled on an unconventional method: renting goats....More
The rebuilding of pastures and beef herds, as well as information on alternative feedstuffs and the beef cattle outlook, will be topics discussed at the 2013 River Valley Beef Cattle Conference. It's scheduled for Feb. 12 at the I-40 Livestock Auction in Ozark, AR....More
Row-crop yields won’t be hampered in fields that have been fall or winter grazed for cornstalks for 30-45 days to cut feed costs, says Nathan Mueller, South Dakota State University Extension agronomist....More
Slurry seeding a legume into grass pastures can increase forage yield and quality and provide a more complete feed for grazing livestock, says Tim Harrigan, Michigan State University ag engineer....More
Move cattle every day to graze only as much grass as they’ll eat. That’s the strategy two Arkansas cattlemen used to survive – with grass in pastures and cattle management plans intact – a summer drought so devastating for other producers....More
Rather than feed expensive grain with poor hay, substitute it with high-quality grass, suggests Justin Sexten, University of Missouri Extension beef nutritionist. All it takes is wise use of a single-strand electric fence.
Rather than turning cows into the pasture, he urges fencing off a strip of fresh grass each day for them to graze using a movable electric fence. Then unroll low-quality baled hay near the grass strip. After the cows eat the preferred grass, they will eat the less-nutritious hay....More
With dwindling forage supplies, more livestock producers are turning to cornstalk grazing. University of Nebraska Extension ag economist Matt Stockton offers the Cornstalk Grazing Cow-Q-Lator, a tool that can help determine fair rental prices.
"The tool is designed for cattle producers to evaluate costs of cornstalk grazing," Stockton says. "However, it could be used by a corn producer to calculate how much a prospective lessee can pay."...More
Don’t turn hungry cattle out on cornstalks in drought-damaged fields or they could suffer from acute acidosis, says Ron Lemenager, Purdue University Extension animal scientist.
Acute acidosis is characterized by a sudden drop in rumen pH caused by rapid grain overload. It can lead to illness or death....More
Limited grazing of wheat pasture can provide Oklahoma and Southern Plains producers with a protein- and energy-rich forage for mature beef cows by late November and early December. That’s providing it rains, says Nathan Anderson, Oklahoma State University (OSU) Cooperative Extension educator for Payne County....More
“We’re actually cutting hay. The bermudagrass has exploded in the last couple of weeks.” So says an Extension agent from a state hit hard by drought all summer but finally enjoying ground-soaking rains.
Mike McClintock, Boone County Extension agent for the University of Arkansas, says between 2.5” and 4” of rain fell in the last few weeks in his part of Arkansas. Even so, there’s uncertainty of what 2013 will bring....More
New non-toxic tall fescues to replace drought-stricken pastures, supplemental feeding on pasture and multispecies grazing will be discussed at the Missouri Forage and Grassland Council meeting, Nov. 5-6 at Resort at Port Arrowhead in Lake Ozark....More
Continue to watch for prussic acid poisoning in alternative forages grown as a result of this summer’s drought and forage shortfalls, suggest Mark Sulc, Ohio State University Extension forage specialist....More
Forage producers reseeding drought-damaged grass pastures this fall will want to be on the lookout for fall armyworms, says Lee Townsend, University of Kentucky (UK) Extension entomologist. They've already damaged bermudagrass pastures in the southern part of the state.
“Fall armyworms feed at night and can destroy emerging grass and alfalfa stands in a very short period of time,” he warns....More
Soybean stubble grazed after harvest is a great extender of higher-quality hay or silage – not a replacement, says Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska Extension forage specialist.
“Frankly, I’m a little concerned that some folks may think their cows are getting more from those bean residues than what truly is there,” he says....More
A two-month extension for emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres has been announced by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Farmers and ranchers in drought-stricken states, approved for emergency grazing, can now graze livestock on CRP land through Nov. 30 without incurring an additional CRP rental payment reduction. The grazing period was to end Sept. 30....More
Terri Hawbaker wouldn’t be dairy farming today if her dad, Howard Straub, hadn’t transitioned to rotational grazing and had a mentoring demeanor.
“He’s taught us so much,” says Hawbaker, who, with her husband, Rick, rotationally grazes and seasonally calves 110 cows on 160 acres in Pewamo, MI. “Whenever we’re mulling something over and we’re at an impasse, he gives us good advice. He’s helped us with everything – from how best to treat a sick cow to buying hay.”...More
Having access to his local grazing group’s expertise on topics ranging from breaking new ground to managing fescue makes “all the difference in the world” to Mountain Grove, MO, dairyman Mickey Moxley.
“The graziers have always been open about sharing information,” Moxley says. “A lot have been doing it for a long time and have already made a lot of mistakes. If your learning curve is steep, the group can save you a lot of grief.”...More