For many farmers in the grain and beef production regions of the U.S., the planting season ends when the last of the seed wheat or corn kernels are tucked neatly in the ground, but for a growing number of savvy farmers, it’s only the beginning. “By not planting that cover crop after harvest, you’re passing up on a great opportunity to make more money and improve your soil health,” says Ken Miller, district technician for the Burleigh County Soil Conservation District, Bismar
Photo Credit: Lee Gunderson If we focus on profit per acre, there will be a tendency to seek the right-sized cow for our environment and best practices for economic efficiency and profitability. StartFragment Last month, I discussed three profit driving ratios – cows per person, acres per cow and fed vs. grazed feed. I also indicated that “revenue per acre” needed to be considered. As livestock producers we often focus on productivity per cow. But that focus, along with inten
A shelterbelt is a barrier of trees or shrubs. The term “field shelterbelt” is used to distinguish between rows of trees or shrubs on agricultural fields from those planted in other ways: around farmyards or livestock facilities (farmstead shelterbelts), on marginal lands to change land use or in block plantings to provide woodlots or wildlife habitat.
Although modern agricultural farming practices such as direct-seeding have greatly reduced the amount of wind erosion in Al
- The most important single factor affecting hay quality is the stage of maturity at cutting. Young, vegetative forage is higher in protein and energy than older, flowering material. As forages mature, fiber increases while protein and digestibility decreases. - Delaying hay harvest tends to maximize forage yield but at considerably lower forage quality.
Cut with a mower –conditioner that splits or bruises the stems to promote faster drying. Stubble height should be left hig
I have been getting lots of questions about measuring the moisture content of a hay crop prior to baling. The moisture content needs to be below 18% before making a round bale. But estimating moisture content can be somewhat difficult. Being off by just a few percent can be the difference between hay molding and not. A little bigger mistake can result in a barn fire. There are many types of hay moisture probes available. The accuracy of many of these can be affected by f
Summer seeding annual forages can be a useful low-cost option for producing extra feed, either as an emergency forage or a regular double-crop option. These forages include Italian ryegrass, cool-season cereals (oats, barley, triticale) and cereal-pea mixtures, as well as some warm-season sorghums, sorghum-sudangrass and millets (pearl, Japanese), but some are more successful than others. Record acreages of these emergency annual forages were seeded in the drought year of 201
Management-intensive grazing and other intensive grazing systems have been promoted for quite a few years but what does the word intensive mean when it is used with grazing? What do you think of when you hear the phrase ‘intensive grazing’? Many small pastures with lots of fencing? Moving animals to new pastures almost daily or even several times each day? Lots of animals completely grazing small areas before moving to fresh pasture? Most folks don’t fully understand what the