NDSU Extension Service - Williams County

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Moldy Feed- March 3, 2016

Private Pesticide License Trainings

Those with expiring North Dakota private pesticide applicator license will be receiving a letter from the Extension Office reminding you that you are due to be recertified. During the KUMV Farm and Ranch Show held March 15th and 16th we will be doing pesticides on the FIRST day. In past years this training was always held on the second day, but we will be switching the date this year to the first day, Tuesday March 15th. From 9:30a.m. to 12:30p.m. The Extension Office will be hosting a recertification for those that will be receiving a letter. For those that have not had a license or have gone longer than three years without recertifying will have to attend the training from 9:30a.m to 12:30 p.m. then immediately take the written exam, upon passing you will receive your licenses which is good for three years. This event is held at the Raymond Family Community Center, for more information for new pesticide applicator please contact the Extension Office at 701-577-4595.

 

Moldy Feed

The concern about livestock producers feeding their cattle moldy feed in the winter seems to increase. The moldy feed can occur when you harvest or bail the feed at too high of moisture content. In the case for those that feed silage, not high enough moisture content can allow improper fermentations and acid production. During the winter, the cooler temperatures can reduce mold growth. Having rain and snow accumulation on feeds can create an environment for molds to grow during the warmer temperatures. A lot of producers grind their hay for feeding cattle, but that can actually cause the hay pile to heat up and become moldy if there is a higher moisture content. If you harvest the hay during a dry time you could still have problems with the snow, ice and rain moisture that is existing on the bails. When the pile or bails heat up, they will mold and that could cause the TDN (feed energy) to possibly decrease. Cows will eat dark brown color feed like any other feed, but be away that a large portion of the energy in that feed has already been lost.

Quality of feed can be also judged by the amount of mold on the feed. Mold counts are conducted by counting colony forming units (CFUs). As the mold concentration increases, cattle may decrease their overall feed intake. Feed energy and protein may also decrease with rising mold counts. With this moldy feed, possible mycotoxins might be present. Some mycotoxins, like vomotoxin, have practically no feeding issues in beef cattle. Other might be very toxic and cause liver damage, abortion and death. The North Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic lab can analyze for mycotoxin content. http://www.vdl.ndsu.edu/tests. Testing for feed quality and presence of toxins may be less expensive than the cost of a sick or dead animal. This information was gathered from the Carrington Research Extension Centers Livestock Specialist, Karl Hoppe.

 

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