Ag Radio programs for September 20 - 26, 2007
Utilize crop residue for fall beef cow herds
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. The past 25 years have seen some real big changes in crop production in Geary County. Wheat has gone from nearly 2/3 of all crop acres to just 1/3 of the acres. We are now planting as many acres of soybeans, or more, as we are wheat. Corn acreage has tripled and grain sorghum acres have reduced by over half. We actually have a better balance of crops now than we did then. One thing that planting more corn has done is to give us more acres of high quality crop residue. Granted beans and wheat don't leave us much for livestock to graze, but we still have about the same number of acres or corn and sorghum residue that we did 25 years ago, it's just that now, over half of it is corn. Corn residue can be very high quality, but it is fragile. You need to get cattle on it in a hurry, because by the time that snow starts flying, perhaps in December, it's going to be pretty well gone. This year we saw a lot of corn start to go down with stalk rot before harvest, so there is a chance that we might have more grain than normal on the ground in those fields. This is fine as long as there isn't more than about 6 or 7 bushels of grain left per acre. If you have that much loss we probably need to talk anyway. To keep those high feed costs down, let's get a fence around those corn fields and make good use of that residue. If you have a landlord who doesn't want cattle because of compaction, encourage them to talk to me because there are ways to deal with the potential compaction issue. We've got a lot of high quality forage out in those corn fields and we need to be taking cow herds someplace soon - sounds like a match to me! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Why do producers cull cows?
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. Cows are culled from cow herds for many reasons. But all too often producers don't even think about the cash flow impact on the cow calf enterprise but cull cows can commonly contribute 20 to 30% of the revenue for the cow-calf enterprise. Reasons for culling are extensive, yet in surveys of cattleman selling cull cows at sale barns, over 80% came down to three reasons. Age or bad teeth led the way at 40%. Coming in a not surprising second at 25% was pregnancy status, i.e., they were open. In third place at 18% we had economics. There were two other factors included in the reasons that sort of surprised me. At 4th place with less than 6% was poor offspring. I really think that there would be good justification to jump this up to 15 to 20% of the culls. Why should you keep supporting a cow that is producing calves that are below average. So I'm just surprised that there aren't more cows culled for this reason. The other that surprised me because of how low it is, is cows that were sold because of their disposition. This was only 1 cow in 100. So apparently, everyone has really gentle cows, or the mean cows are producing darn good calves! Now, when do most people sell cull cows? In the fall after they come off summer pasture, right? When do you suppose the historic price for cull cows is the lowest? Gee, it matches right up. Yes all you have to do is to separate those cull cows off in November, hold them until March or April and put some weight back on them and you can usually nicely increase the price you get for those cull cows! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Planting Time Wheat Fertilization Rates
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. As wheat growers are gearing up to start wheat planting, there's probably a fair number of folks that are wondering how much fertilizer they need to be applying this fall. Without a soil test, all we can do is try to make blanket recommendations that will keep you out of trouble. But unless you plan to start planting before October 1st, there is still time to get a soil sample in and results back. I like to look at making sure we have adequate phosphorus so I'll often recommend 50 to 75 pounds of 18-46-0 ahead of or at planting. That way you are getting 25 to 35 pounds of phosphorus applied, which may be more than you need if you have very much carryover at all. Something I've also started recommending is applying 15 to 20 pounds of chloride every year also. This is commonly done with some KCl, It only takes about 35 to 40 pounds of 0-0-60 to get this done and that usually doesn't add much cost. We've seen some interesting results of reduced disease problems in wheat where chloride is being applied. Which then get's us down to the big ticket item, nitrogen. This is where I can't stress enough the importance of a good profile nitrogen test. It doesn't take very much carryover nitrate to really reduce your nitrogen bill. But if you plan on it and don't have it, it'll bite you in the end with lower yields than expected. If you are applying 20 to 30 pounds of N preplant then you are probably okay. I don't like to put excessive nitrogen on in the fall. If you are going to graze the wheat this fall I would up that nitrogen rate to about 40 pounds to get more fall growth. Then we can evaluate the crop in January and finish it off with topdress N. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
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