Livestock producers should have a drought management plan in place prior to pasture turnout in case drought persists into the growing season this year. Developing a plan early is important because 80 percent of the grass growth on rangeland is dictated by May and June precipitation. Drought conditions during that time will reduce the amount of grass available on pasture and rangeland for the duration of the grazing season. Photo by Carl Dahlen
Grass species and varieties differ in growth habit, productivity, forage quality, drought resistance, tolerance to grazing, winter hardiness, seedling vigor, salinity tolerance and many other characteristics. Therefore, selection should be based on the climate, soils, intended use and the planned management. Planting a well-adapted selection also can provide long-term benefits and affect future productivity of the stand. Crested wheatgrass photo by Maureen Flynn-Burhoe (Flickr).
Applying fertilizer with the seed at planting is one successful soil management practice that has long been recognized as a means to improve small grain yields. Grain seeders have been adapted with fertilizer attachments, enabling farmers to apply a small amount of fertilizer with the seed and plant in one operation. NDSU photo.
Feed costs, the single largest expense in animal production, may be reduced by including locally and regionally grown crops and by-products into animal diets, especially for ruminants. Numerous by-products are produced in our region, but usage is sometimes limited due to poor understanding of their nutritional and economic value, as well as their proper use in dairy cattle rations. Photo by Carl Dahlen.
More anhydrous ammonia is used as fertilizer in North Dakota than any other nitrogen fertilizer source. Few problems occur when the ammonia is being handled and applied as intended. Most uncontrolled releases are due to improper procedures, careless or untrained workers, or faulty equipment. Wearing protective equipment greatly reduces the chance of injury from an ammonia release. Countless tons of anhydrous ammonia are applied every crop year without problems; safe procedures and good-quality equipment do work. Flickr photo by LandLearn NSW
Stored grain can spoil if its moisture content is too high. The moisture content needs to decrease as the grain temperature increases this spring. Check whether the grain should be dried. Also monitor the grain closely for storage problems, such as mold growth, and insect infestations. NDSU Photo
Breeding systems that utilize natural-service bulls to breed estrus-synchronized females may offer opportunities to get females pregnant earlier in the breeding season, have calves born earlier in the calving season and possibly increase weaning weight of calves born to synchronized females. NDSU photo.
Pregnancy detection is a way to identify nonpregnant cows and then decide how to best manage nonpregnant animals on your operation. If nonpregnant cows are maintained through the winter, producers incur a significant feed cost with no calf in the spring to help offset the feed bill. NDSU photo - Drawing blood to determine pregnancy.
The use of medications in feed has been an effective and convenient method to prevent and treat certain disease conditions in groups of livestock. However, the proper use of feed medications has changed and will need to be under the oversight and order of a veterinarian. The order is known as a veterinary feed directive. Photo by Kit Peters.
Mustard is a cash crop that can be planted in rotation with small grains and is available in three types: yellow, brown and oriental. Yellow mustard is the most common type grown in North Dakota. Only small acreages of brown and oriental are being grown. Yellow mustard is used for a table or “hotdog” mustard, while brown and oriental are used for oil and spices. All mustard should be grown under contract, assuring the producer of a guaranteed market. Flickr: Jill Slegrist