Air February 19 - 23, 2006
Annual Cattleman's Day
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. The 94th Annual K-State Cattleman's Day is coming up on March 2. As in past years the event will be held at Weber Hall on the Kansas State University campus. Registration will be $25 at the door. As always, the program is timely, very interesting and has some top notch speakers from research and industry. Registration, the commercial trade show and the educational exhibits start at 8 a.m. and will run through 10 a.m. and over the lunch. The morning program starts at 10 and the morning session will focus on utilization of ethanol production byproducts. Morning speakers include Ag Economist Ted Schroeder talking about the expansion of the fuel ethanol industry and implication for grain markets and cattle feeding. Barry Bradford, ruminant nutritionist will discuss what are the byproducts of fuel ethanol production, what they are and how they are produced. Dale Blasi and KC Olson, a couple of the top cattle nutritionists in the country will discuss how to utilize distillers byproducts in both cow-calf and stocker operations. The morning will wind up with Chris Reinhardt and Jim Drouillard, beef specialists at K-State discussing some of the feeding trials that have been done using byproducts in finishing rations. The afternoon is split into two different tracks, one on beef reproduction issues such as genetics, cloning and sexed semen. The other track will be on adding value to calves and will include preconditioning programs, source and age verification programs, among others. All in all, a great program on March 2nd! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Don't apply nitrogen to frozen soils
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. By the latter half of February in most years, we're busy getting wheat topdressed and probably some herbicide spread. But this year we've got the challenge that we've had snow cover on those fields quite regular, and when we haven't had snow cover, we've had frozen ground. Recent warmer weather has certainly helped to get rid of a lot of snow, you don't want to be in too big of a hurry to get that wheat topdressed. We all know that agricultural lands are a primary source of nitrogen in surface waters. Nitrogen goes into water solution very very easily and moves with the water wherever it goes. In normal situations, nitrogen fertilizer that is applied to fields is taken into the soil by rainfall where it binds to organic matter or clay. It remains there to be utilized by plants unless excessive soil water leaches it on down through the root zone. If soils are frozen when the nitrogen is applied, it lays on the surface. Too often, as the soil thaws, there is surface water moving and this surface water carries the nitrogen away with it. Nitrogen in surface waters is a much greater problem than many people realize. Notill farming does help in that the surface residue gives the nitrogen something else to bind to and the residue also reduces the amount of water, and possibly nitrogen, leaving the field. But the best option is simply to hold on until the soil has thawed and then finish topdressing your wheat fields. You may be getting impatient, but just remember, that the wheat isn't going to start growing very much, until the ground thaws out and warms up!
This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Cow Herd Nutritional Concerns
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. There is no doubt that this winter has been a thorough test of a cow/calf producers management skills. While we haven't had it as bad as western Kansas, just getting to the cow herds to check them and haul feed has been a challenge on some days! During the last 3 months of gestation, 75 percent of fetal growth occurs. Ideally, the cow would increase in weight by 100 to 150 pounds during the gestation to account for the weight of the calf, fluid, membranes, etc. In reality, a cow actually loses weight as she transfers some of her food and fat reserves to the calf. And this season that hit may be even bigger, given the weather we've been experiencing. So once the calf hits the ground, she's got extra duty. She's trying to take care of herself, she's trying to produce plenty of milk for that calf, she's trying to regain weight that was lost during the pregnancy and then she's trying to get her reproductive track ready to breed again in a few months. Again, given what those cows are up against this winter, they may need a little extra help. This year, we may even need to be a little extra creative because of the potential shortage of roughages and the high cost of grain. Normally we'd look to alfalfa, brome or prairie hay to meet those needs, but that may not be possible. On down the road, you may want to consider wheat pasture. If that's the case, start getting fence built now so it's ready to go. If you still have baled forages, make sure you get them tested so we can build adequate rations without overfeeding and wasting valuable forages. Take some time after those calves hit the ground to evaluate and plan for the next couple months. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
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