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The Central Kentucky Goat and Sheep Association held its holiday meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Marion County Extension Office. One of the topics of discussion was once again holding a graded goat and sheep sale at the Marion County Fairgrounds. This sale was very successful in past years but ended due to falling goat and sheep numbers during the drought years as well as competition from the sale in Shepherdsville. Since that sale has discontinued the remaining choices for selling are a good distance away from Marion County. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture will grade the sheep and goats if we have a sale, and we have a stockyard that is willing to handle the sale money. The facilities at the fairgrounds are still in good shape so the only thing we need is a commitment from producers that they would bring livestock to the sale. We are projecting having a sale sometime in the April or May timeframe and then perhaps quarterly thereafter depending on demand from producers.
The first step to making this happen is getting an estimate of the numbers of goats and sheep that would be brought to the sale. If we have a reasonable number the next step would be to form a sale committee to put all the procedures in place to make the sale happen. Since this is a local sale the producers will need to volunteer their time on sale day to make it work. The benefit to producers is the cost should be much lower than selling at the more distant locations.
If you are a goat or sheep producer and are interested in selling through a local sale please call the extension office at (270) 692-2421 and let Joyce Cardenas know how many head you think you may have available for the sale. Sheep and goats can be profitable ventures, particularly for small producers and I hope that getting a sale going again will help get the numbers back up.
While on the subject of sheep and goats, we will be making available two live video classes at the Extension office on Wednesday, Nov. 28, and Wednesday, Dec. 5. Each class will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The classes are presented by Purdue University and Kentucky State University and will be taught by professors from those institutions. The first session will focus on “Dealing with shortages and alternative forages following the drought” and “Feeding sheep and goats following the drought.” The second session will include “2013 pasture considerations following the drought” and “Differences between raising show goats and commercial goats.” Please let us know at the office if you plan to attend.
We have received an advisory from the UK soil testing lab that recommends taking soil samples after rainfall rather than when the soil is dry for an extended period. Dry soils can test 50 to 100 pounds lower per acre for potassium than what is actually present. This will result in the analysis calling for more potassium than what is needed. As we know, fertilizer isn’t cheap, so we don’t want to apply something that isn’t needed. We shouldn’t have a problem with this because of the extensive rainfall we have had since the drought broke, but if possible take samples when the soil is not extremely dry.
A reminder that we are approaching the deadline for submitting receipts for the County Agriculture Improvement Program (CAIP) cost share. All receipts and paperwork must be received at the extension office by Dec. 14. A reminder that anyone submitting seed or lime receipts must also have a soil sample of the fields planted or lime applied. A sample from anytime this year is acceptable. If you have not sampled yet, bring your soil sample to the office as soon as possible as it may take several weeks to get results back.
The Annual Meeting of the Marion County Cattlemen’s Association will be held at 6 p.m., Monday, Nov. 26, in Floral Hall at the Marion County Fairgrounds. If you are not a member call or come by the extension office and we can help get you enrolled. KCA does an excellent job of representing the interests of cattle producers at the state and national level and their monthly “Cow Country News” provides many articles of interest to producers.
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