Winter Watering: What Are My Options?

Winter watering Direct access can lead to animal safety and water quality concerns. For years, producers have been watering cattle and other livestock throughout the winter months by cutting holes in the ice. Even though livestock receive water, there are a number of long term problems associated with this watering practice. Livestock death by drowning or exposure can be a significant problem. Losing an animal through the ice can result in considerable profit loss, as well as enormous stress on the animal if it should survive. Direct access winter watering also causes manure loading which leads to poor water quality. As the ice melts in the spring, animal excrement introduces disease-causing

Soil Aggregates Found in Great Soil ‘Just Like Christmas’

Jay Fuhrer, soil health specialist at the Natural Resource Conservation Service, based in Bismarck, N.D., talked to producers about why cover crops were a vital resource. “I used to think cover crops were important, but now I think they are essential,” Fuhrer said. When production agriculture began, “We converted our grasslands from 50-100 species per acre of perennials into a single annual crop.” These diverse species of plants had a lot of root exudates, which provided food to the soil food web. Then came long fallow periods, which were in the spring before planting, and another long period of fallow followed after harvest in the fall. “What I tried to do with cover crops was find a fit to

Making Compost Tea Specific to your Crop

We are posting Carol Lake's interview with Elaine Ingham Ph.D, President and Director of Research at Soil Foodweb Inc. According to Elaine, compost tea should be applied in order to replace missing beneficial organisms on the surfaces of plants so those surfaces will be protected. Those organisms should be present in high quality aerobic compost and given optimal brewing conditions, extracted into the compost tea. This layer of protection prevents the growth of pathogens that might compromise your plant, either on the roots or above ground. Generally our purpose is to nurture high numbers of the beneficial organisms that are in the compost, but which will grow in the ambient conditions of

Managing Drought-Stressed Pastures

Recently, a panel of range and pasture experts offered four steps they're advising pasture managers to implement this spring. 1. Manage grazing - conservatively Grasses stressed by months or years of drought, and, in many cases, overgrazing, will have weakened root systems and less vigor. In drought, grasses produced fewer buds and tillers. Some plants may have died, thinning a stand. "Don't expect drought-stressed pastures to return to pre-drought condition overnight," says Dr. Jerry Volesky, Extension range and forage specialist at North Platte, Neb. "Even with rain, there may not be an adequate root system there to support the production of new plants, although existing plants will likely

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High River, AB  T1V 0H3

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