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Grazying crop residues


By Jerrold Tesmer

Fri, Sep 20th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

By Jerrold Tesmer, Extension Educator, Fillmore/Houston Counties

It appears forages will be at a premium this fall. One way to stretch your feed further into the winter is by having your beef cows graze harvested corn fields. I started to say cornstalks, but 12 percent of the residue is husk, 27 percent is leaf, and 12 percent cob. So there is much more than just stalks, and I’m not counting any dropped ears of corn that are gleaned. Nutritionally the leaf and husk both have high digestibility.

Iowa State University Beef Cattle data indicates that for each acre of corn stalks grazed; approximately ½ ton of hay will be saved. Crop residues are normally the least expensive feed source, because most expenses are charged against the row crop enterprise.

In the Midwest, corn crop residue will feed animals for an average of 65 to 111 days depending on weight gains needed to obtain the desired body condition. Low supplementation may be necessary in some cases.

Livestock select the residue with the highest digestibility first, so supplementation beyond trace minerals salt and vitamin A are not likely to be necessary the first month. As winter progresses and residue quality decreases additional supplementation may be necessary.

Before grazing crop residue fields it is important to check the labels of any pesticides used on the crop to see if they are cleared for grazing. Also, check the fencelines and waterways for poisonous plants.

Research conducted at several Midwestern universities show no difference in the performance of cattle that grazed Bt corn crop residue and those that grazed non-Bt corn crop residue. Research has also been conducted to determine if grazing crop residue has any affect on the yield the following year. Corn and soybeans have shown similar yields, particularly if grazed when soils are frozen.

Soybean stubble is low in quality and cannot provide adequate nutrition for beef cows or stockers. It should not be used as a feed source unless supplemented substantially.

The source of most of the information in this article came from two publications shared with me by Root River Grazing Specialist Dean Thomas. They are: Extended Grazing and Reducing Stored Feed Needs, by Don Ball, Ed Ballard, Mark Kennedy, Garry Lacefield, and Dan Undersander; and Improving and Sustaining Forage Production in Pastures, by Howard Moechnig.



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Minnesota conservationists look to dig deep to improve soil health

Fri, Sep 20th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

By Brian DeVore On a recent morning in August, North Dakota farmer Jerry Doan waded into a chest-high stand of cover crops that included millet, a type of sunflower and grazing corn. He explained to a visiting group of Minnesota soil conservationis ..... 
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Multi-species cover crop field day near Harmony

Fri, Sep 20th, 2013
Posted in Harmony Agriculture

The benefits of cover crops are becoming more apparent as more farmers use them. A field day will be held Saturday, September 28 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Jim Love farm west of Harmony, Minn. (13748 201st Ave., Preston, Minn.) to discuss these man ..... 
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SIGN UP FOR WORLD DAIRY EXPO BUS TRIP

Tue, Sep 17th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

Calmar, Iowa - Join the Northeast Iowa Community-Based Dairy Foundation, and other sponsors on our one-day journey to World Dairy Expo in Madison on Friday, October 4. Friday’s event highlights at World Dairy Expo include the International Gu ..... 
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34th Annual MN IA State Line Plowing Association Field Day

Fri, Sep 13th, 2013
Posted in Harmony Agriculture

The 34th Annual MN IA Stateline Horse Plowing Association Field Day will be held Saturday, September 21 on the Mike Mueller farm rain or shine! There will be plowing, disking and dragging with horses and mules. The Mueller farm is located 12 mi. wes ..... 
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Grain Drowning

By Jerrold Tesmer

Fri, Sep 13th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

By Jerrold Tesmer, Extension Educator for Fillmore/Houston Counties Farm Safety Week is a reminder that the fall harvest season is fast approaching. With the anticipation that we will have less than ideal crops to harvest this fall; i.e. wetter tha ..... 
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Grow with us! Become a U of M Extension Master Gardener

By Jerrold Tesmer

Fri, Sep 6th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

By Jerrold Tesmer, Extension Educator for Fillmore/Houston Counties Who are Master Gardeners? Master Gardeners are from all walks of life and volunteer on behalf of their university. They are eager to share best practices in gardening with people ..... 
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Fall nitrogen applications not recomended in Fillmore County

Fri, Sep 6th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

Travis Willford, Harmony Brian Hazel, Lanesboro Pamela Mensink, Preston Tim Gossman, Chatfield Leonard Leutink Jr., Spring Valley Fillmore County is among the seven counties in southeastern Minnesota’s karst region where fall application of n ..... 
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Livestock: Life long passion

By Megan Kiehne

Fri, Aug 30th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Agriculture

By Megan Kiehne Dedication and commitment can lead to great achievement as proven by Ashley Bue, Fillmore County 4-H’er and livestock shower. As soon as Bue was old enough to show beef cattle at the Fillmore County Fair, she was in the arena. Lov ..... 
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