Ag Radio programs for August 16 - 22, 2007
Pre-plant Checklist for Alfalfa
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. The normal time frame for planting alfalfa is mid-August to mid-September. And I'll bet that no one is in a hurry to plant this year. But let's run down that last minute checklist for planting alfalfa. Have you soil tested yet? WE need to make sure that the pH is no lower than 6.5 and that there is plenty of phosphorus. If you have pH levels below 6.5 the alfalfa plants just aren't going to like it and they aren't going to do well. Likewise, if phosphorus levels are low, the plants are going to emerge and then just sit there and do nothing. Let's get all those items taken care of well before you put a single seed in the ground. Speaking of seed, what variety are you going to plant? If you're thinking Kansas Common, please think something else. The problem is that there really is no such thing as Kansas Common. So there's no way to obtain certified seed of it and you subsequently have no idea what you are planting. I also know that a lot of you don't want to spend $4 a pound on alfalfa seed, but there are some named varieties available locally that are going to be just as cheap as "Kansas Common" and at least you know what you're getting. Make sure that the seed you buy has a germination report. You need both of those to make sure that you're getting enough seed in the ground. I recommend 10 to 12 pounds per acre and if it happens to be irrigated, bump that up to 15 pounds per acre. I don't think I'd use a herbicide with a fall planting. If we have an excessive weed problem, we can deal with that later on. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Flies on Cattle
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. I don't think any cattleman out there will disagree that this has been a pretty bad summer for flies. Horse flies hit early and they've been really bad this year. But stable flies, horn flies and face flies haven't exactly been a picnic either. I've seen a lot of cattle standing in water the past month and I don't think that hot temperatures are the only reason for this activity. Horn flies may be some of the easiest to deal with since they really prefer the backs of cattle. The use of oilers or dusters can help immensely on them and these are the ones that are most readily controlled by ear tags IF you aren't dealing with a population that is resistant to the insecticide in your ear tag. Rotate each year to a different class of insecticides in those ear tags. Not just a different brand, but a different class of insecticides. Stable flies are more of a problem earlier in the season, although we could see another peak as we move into the fall. These are the ones that feed on the lower legs and we don't have much of anything that will do any good for these rascals. Face flies are another group of flies that can be readily dealt with by ear tags, again assuming we don't have resistant populations. And that brings us back to the horse flies. One of the things that makes them such a pain, literally, is that part of their mouth is blade like structures that slice the skin, and then feed on the flowing blood. You can get short term control by spraying pyrethroid insecticides right on the animals. And by short term we mean 5 to 10 days worth, figure about a week in most cases. The pyrethroid treatment can also be used on horses that are being bothered also. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Time for field days
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. I want to follow up with last weeks report of field days available for producers. Again, I don't expect you to remember all of this information - but if you hear something that catches your attention, give me a call so I can remind you of all the details so you don't miss it. The first one I"ll mention is also the furthest out one. September 27th is the annual Beef Stocker Conference over at Manhattan at the Clarion Hotel (I think this is the old Holiday Inn). Registration is at 9:30 with the program starting at 10:15. Topics on the program include a Cattle Market Outlook, Health Protocols that Add Value, Evaluating the Sick Calf, Selecting Your Antibiotic, Strategies for Controlling Input Costs, and Using By-product Feeds for Receiving and Growing Diets. Pre-registration is due by Sept 14. If you preregister its $20, if you register at the door it's $30. Short notice on the next one - the Scandia Irrigation Experiment Field's field day will be August 21st at 5:30 p.m. - lots of stuff on corn and soybeans. Call me for directions. South Central Kansas Experiment Field at Hutchinson has their field day on August 28th. This one starts at 8 a.m. - Topics include Wheat planting and seed quality, and then a bunch of stuff on Soybeans including diseases, beans in rotations and soybean breeding efforts. And finally, August 30th, the northcentral experiment field at Belleville has their field day starting at 5:30. Topics include notill crop rotation comparisons, wheat production update and seed treatments for sorghums and soybeans. Again, call me for directions to any of these or just to get a reminder on when, what and where! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
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