Air February 5 - 9, 2007

Oats

This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. Every time I talk about oats I keep thinking of Rodney Dangerfield. They just don't seem to get any respect any more. And yet, oats can fit in very well with crop rotations and can provide a little extra income from some specialty markets if the producer is willing to do a little bit of work. We all know who popular oats are for a horse feed and we do have a growing number of horses in our region. It may not take much work at all to contact some horse owners and do some custom production. Or find out where these folks buy their horse feed and visit with the supplier. Some producers have sold to the food oats market and others use them in cattle rations. Of course, in a worse case scenario you can always put them down as hay or silage to feed to cattle. The best oats come from planting in late February and early March. My recommended window is for planting sometime between Valentine's Day and St Patrick's Day. Most years we'd probably be looking at a planting date in the first two weeks of March, but you just need to be ready to roll when the conditions will allow. I feel that most years we need to be planting two to two and a half bushels per acre. Get them well into the ground, at least 3/4 of an inch but not deeper than 1 inches. We tend to be hesitant to put very much nitrogen on oats for fear of them lodging, but the newer varieties should be able to handle 60 to 70 pounds of nitrogen and be sure to get 20 to 30 pounds of phosphorus applied also. Then don't forget weed control, but also remember to keep in mind what your planned rotation will be. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.

Changing crop rotations

This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. This is an interesting time in crop production. Ethanol demand and production has kept corn and sorghum prices at very attractive levels. Reduced wheat production last year, overall reduced stocks and good demand have put a good floor under wheat prices and soybeans just continue to shine. Wheat plantings across the state last fall were up a solid 5% or nearly a half million acres. And now there may be a lot of producers running all sorts of scenarios around in their heads as they contemplate what crops could possibly bring them the best profit. Before you get too carried away, let's go back to basics and make sure that we don't lose track of our old friend, common sense. Make a list of your open acres. Do this field by field and by each field, mark down what crop you grew last year and what herbicide you used. Then review those herbicide labels to see what sort of recropping intervals we have with the different crops. Write down the options that this leaves you. Now you can evaluate how many different acres of each you might be able to grow. This is where the common sense comes in. Don't abandon your established rotations in a chase for a few more dollars. Diversity has always been our best ally in this area. You can start playing a lot of what if games and you can what if yourself into a corner that could be very profitable or very devastating. Things are shaping up really good for winter moisture. If it continues on through August, you could grow some really great corn and soybeans. But then again, what if....

You can just drive yourself crazy, stay the course and aim for consistency! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.

Distiller's Grains

This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. In past years, we've all known about distiller's grains, but for the most part, they weren't often considered around here because we haven't had a lot of distilleries in the area. But as ethanol production grows and grows, the opportunity for livestock producers to make use of distiller's grains. Distiller's grains can become a crucial part of a high performance low cost ration. Either wet or dry, there are certain things to take into consideration. When using high end products like distiller's grains, it becomes extremely crucial to formulate a good ration as opposed to feeding by guess and by golly. The distillation process obviously imparts some changes in the grain. 65 to 70% of the starch is normally fermented out of the grain into ethanol. This concentrates the remaining nutrients roughly 3 fold. For beef cattle, this can result in a 30% crude protein supplement. Additionally, because of the increase in fat and fiber fractions, proportionally speaking, the distiller's grains also become a great source of energy. But this concentration of nutrients isn't always a good thing. The increase in phosphorus can result in some serious imbalances requiring the addition of calcium to maintain a proper calcium:phosphorus ratio. Sulfur can also become an issue as high sulfur in the final diet may cause trace mineral imbalances, health problems, reduced intake and in extreme cases death. What this all points out is that while the distillers grains can be a great component in a ration, it is very important to have a good feed analysis done before using the distillers grains and then make sure that you work to develop a balanced ration. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.

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