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
Southern Idaho cattle producers facing higher feed costs after losing winter range to fire and drought can get winter feeding tips at four University of Idaho Extension seminars next month.
Beef Cow Winter Feeding Strategies Seminars will be held in Salmon, Oct. 23; Pocatello, Oct. 24; Burley, Oct. 29, and Caldwell, Oct. 30. University of Idaho Extension will conduct them....More
Drive-bys aren’t the way to assess cornfields this year, at least not in south-central Wisconsin and specifically not in a 24-acre field that’s part of the USDA-ARS U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center’s farm near Prairie du Sac....More
Producers who keep their heads in the game can help their pastures compete with drought and its aftereffects, says John Jennings. This University of Arkansas Extension forage specialist, whose entire state is in drought, offers winning strategies for dealing with and recovering from it....More
Co-grazing goats and cow-calf pairs on rangeland infested with sericea lespedeza increased grazing pressure on the weed without affecting performance of the beef animals or the amount of residual grass....More
“What was the best investment you’ve ever made in your grazing system?” Ask experienced graziers that question and there’s a good chance their answers will have to do with their livestock water systems. But what are their reasons?...More
Drought-stressed, nitrate-laden corn has caused cattle deaths in southern Wisconsin. That’s all the more reason producers should check nitrate levels of such forage before feeding it, warns Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin Extension forage specialist....More