Alex Hristov is onto something big — greenhouse gas big! Cows chew and belch all the time. It’s what they do. And when they do it, they emit methane gas — big time, says the Penn State University dairy scientist.
Too much rain early and too little late squelched both quality and quantity of normal forage sources. For some, “winter hay feeding” started in October. How can you chart a course to survive winter without breaking the bank?
If you’re an Indiana forage producer, you know 2010 was challenging. In many parts of Indiana, persistent rains prevented timely harvesting, resulting in poor-quality hay. In parts of southern Indiana, lack of moisture produced a serious lack of quantity.
When people ask Andy Hall what he’s spreading on top of his silage pile after filling the bunker with silage or husklage, he could say peanut butter. What looks like peanut butter is really a thick coat of corn syrup, a coproduct of the ethanol industry. When it dries, this coat seals the pile for fermentation and keeps out rain.
Many beef cow-calf and dairy producers overlook one of the most economical feed sources that’s readily available.
The short supply of hay in 2012 is placing farm families and other owners of hay-consuming animals in difficult situations as much of the United States begins entering winter. Hay yields for the year were down 20% to 50% across many states because of drought and reduced hay acreage.
Kim Denney knows and works the numbers — crucial ones to Chestnut Farms. The former educator, who holds an MBA, successfully runs the community-supported agriculture livestock operation with her husband, Rich Jakshtis, in Hardwick, Mass.
Imagine there’s a new ethanol plant nearby. There’s a plentiful supply of protein and energy-rich feed. The challenge? Mixing wet distillers grains with other feedstuffs without investing in a full-size vertical mixer.
If you were to make a list of high-tech careers, it is doubtful that chicken farming would be among them.
Most folks have seen them in Westerns — imagine the scene with dramatic music where a herd of Texas Longhorns is driven across a plain.
Veterinarian Monty Belmer details the cause and symptoms of rumen acidosis and explains how long to segregate castrated bulls.
Think back a few years. If someone had predicted that fed-cattle prices would pass $1 a pound, that the national cow herd would keep shrinking despite feeder prices being more than $1.25 a pound and that we’d still be facing beef shortages, you’d think they were “short a few bricks.”
When your next feed bill arrives, you’re not going to want to open it. And when you do, it’s tempting to log on to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and look for the lowest-priced feed ingredients.
Your cows are never wrong! So spend more time “interrogating” them. Ask about what you can do to improve feed efficiency — changes that won’t mean huge costs and diet changes.
Nebraska is known as the Cornhusker state for good reason. But the state also boasts one of the nation’s most prolific ethanol production industries with a capacity of 2 billon gallons, or 13% of the nation’s overall ethanol production capacity — second only to Iowa.
Raising corn silage was a struggle in early spring for the Phillips brothers. The weather just wouldn’t cooperate on Northpointe Farm, their operation in Augusta County, Va. It was hot and dry in March, and cold, damp and wet in April, just when they needed to plant corn.
Demand for pasture-fed pigs prompted farmer Craig Hagaman to try his hand in the business. Hagaman now raises purebred Berkshires, as well as poultry, in the countryside near Berryville, Va. He doesn’t farrow the hogs out, but purchases them from a couple in Berkley County, W.Va. He may farrow them in the future, however, once he builds the infrastructure.
Most people talk about the number of bushels of corn going to ethanol plants. Few note that a portion of that ends up as byproducts, primarily livestock feed. Chris Hurt, a Purdue University Extension ag economist, says that distinction makes a difference when you’re embroiled in the food vs. fuel debate surrounding ethanol production.
Droughts are an act of Mother Nature and cannot be controlled. However, proper management can help maintain pastureland during a period of drought by following this advice:
Rancher Watt Matthews Casey, DVM, of Shackelford County, Texas, turns 90 on Aug. 11. For 62 of those years, he has been with Casey Beefmasters, which he founded in 1948.
Nothing’s more exciting than opening a corn silage bunker to see how this year’s crop turned out. OK, so maybe there are a few things that might be more exciting.
Calf herd uniformity goes back to the calving season, which goes back to the breeding season, which goes back to taking the bull out sooner. The longer the bull is left with the cows, the longer the calving season.
Don’t tell cow-calf producers that February is a short month. February can stretch into weeks of misery, worry and calving-night thoughts of “Why me, Lord?”