NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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October 18 Agriculture Column


Wow, what a beautiful weekend again.  We were definitely over do.  As I looked back on the fall harvest It did not take long to realize that September was a pain month.  How many days were available for harvest, less than 5 and even then those days were soggy.  It is nice to see harvest moving along so nice.  I was cultivating for Thomas on Saturday and remembered last years’ harvest.  Everyone was full tilt into harvesting edible beans right in the middle of during deer hunting.  This year we are very nearly done with all of the beans in the county.  Yields have been very sporadic as unproductive areas need to be added into the total acres.  You will very often hear farmers brag about the yield they have received but the number they remember the most is the high number on the yield monitor not what was delivered to the elevator.   I have not seen any beans but I am sure there is still a field or two left.  Corn harvest is rapidly moving along with corn moisture in the 17-20 range.  Some is higher and some corn is lower in moisture.

It is also that time of year to be thinking about fall nutrient applications.  Do or don’t we apply our nitrogen will depend on each operation and available help to complete the operation.  The weather we have had is not conducive to anhydrous application as the soil temperatures have been too high.  Soil temperatures in the 50 degree range and lower are the optimum temperatures.  Higher soil temperatures create problems with applications and should not be applied.  The rumor again like other years is a much higher price come spring and like always we will have to wait and see.

It is also that time of year to bring the cow herd home.  The cattle prices are very good comes premiums paid for quality calves.  I have included an article about breeding cows for the fall delivered quality calf crop.  This article was published by University of Missouri Extension.  There is a lot of truth to the quality of calves receiving premiums at sale day.  Those bunches of calves that are uniform and healthy always bring premiums.

  COOK STATION, Mo.—Too many cattle producers don’t take advantage of proven breeding techniques to raise premium-quality beef, said a University of Missouri Extension beef reproduction specialist.

“There’s so much technology and information out there that’s just waiting to be used,” said David Patterson at an Oct. 8 field day at MU Hugo Wurdack Farm in the Ozarks. “To keep U.S. cattle producers in business over the long term we have to start paying attention to this.”

Patterson talked on how MU research on timed breeding and improved genetics has paid off with cattle that bring in premium prices. In June, a pen of 38 calves from MU Thompson Farm in Grundy County was the top performer in the AngusSource Carcass Challenge for commercial feedlots in the central U.S. during the second quarter of 2010.

When sold, the beef cattle graded 100 percent USDA Choice and 86.8 percent USDA Prime and Certified Angus Beef.

The key to success is the use of estrus synchronization and timed artificial insemination. Under TAI, cows in a herd are bred by appointment on the same day. This eliminates the chore of heat detection and provides a more uniform calf crop. More importantly, it allows the use of proven high-accuracy bulls with superior genetics for such traits as calving ease, birth weight and carcass quality.

Patterson said that when choosing sires, many Missouri producers—particular those not using artificial insemination—will simply select a promising-looking bull belonging to a neighbor.

“They’re missing the boat. These accuracies really work,” he said.

Patterson spoke standing next to a portable breeding barn. MU Extension has eight of these barns available to producers for $50 per day. For TAI, portable breeding barns provide a low-stress environment for the cows plus convenience and comfort for workers. Contact your local MU Extension office for more information.

Source: University of Missouri Extension

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