- Special Sections
- Public Notices
We have had several rainfalls since last week that have helped some farmers. The rainfall has been very uneven, however, with some areas of the county getting significant amounts and others next to nothing. Let’s hope we get a good soaking rain in the next few days.
I have been testing a lot of corn for nitrates and so far have not seen any that would be toxic for cattle. Be aware that the rain may actually make the problem worse, particularly in plants that did not form an ear, so we need to continue to test for nitrates before feeding. Call the extension office and I will be happy to come test for you. With the effect the drought has had on hay supplies corn will be an important forage for cattle this year but we need to make sure we feed it safely.
With respect to the drought and its effect on hay supplies, horse owners need to be planning now for their needs this winter. According to Bob Coleman, University of Kentucky equine specialist, a horse will typically require about two percent of its body weight a day in good quality hay. For example a 1,200- pound horse will need about 24 pounds of hay per day. Add to this the expected waste from feeding to get a total amount required each day. Coleman points out that feeding on the ground could result in up to 50 percent of the hay being wasted. He suggests that a suitable hay feeder can limit waste to as low as 10 percent, so with hay being costly and in short supply this year it may be well worth investing in a good hay feeder. When calculating your hay requirement assume that pastures will likely be used up early this year, even if we continue to get rain, and plan on buying additional quantities to compensate for the added days of feeding.
We will be offering a Master Stocker educational program this fall. This is a program will be presented by UK Extension and the Kentucky Beef Network. All farmers interested in backgrounding their own cattle or purchasing cattle to background should consider this course. There will be eight sessions beginning September 11, 2012 and then every other Tuesday thereafter. Weekly topics will include economics, enterprise budgets, handling, marketing, environmental concerns, health, forages and nutrition. The course will be held in conjunction with Nelson and Washington County Extension with the meetings alternating between locations. Paul Redmon from KBN will speak about the program at the next Marion County Cattlemen’s Association meeting on Thursday Aug. 16 at 7 p.m.
UK and Kentucky Beef Network are reviewing the Beef IRM plan that was established about 10 years ago. This is the program that established the Master Cattlemen, Master Grazer and other programs. They are looking at the programs producers would like to see for the future. As part of this they are conducting a survey of cattle producers to see what ideas they have. Please come by the office if you wish to fill out a survey.
A reminder to agriculture producers that the County Agricultural Investment Program (CAIP) cost share program is in the sign up phase. Producers may be eligible for cost share funds in numerous areas such as Cattle Genetics Improvement, Agricultural Diversification, Farmland Improvement and Utilization or other categories. If their applications are accepted producers may spend up to $4,000, and get back 50 percent or a maximum of $2,000. Applications are available at the Extension Office and must be completed and returned to the office by 4 p.m. on Aug. 1. These funds are provided through the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund. Applications will be scored and accepted according to rules established by KADF. Our plan is to inform successful applicants by Aug. 6. Successful applicants are required by KDF to complete an educational program to receive the cost share funds. We will have details on the dates and subject of the education program by the time that successful applications are announced. Projects must be completed and receipts submitted to the Extension Office by Dec. 15. Successful applicants who do not complete the education program or their projects by the due date will forfeit their money and it will be awarded to the next eligible applicant.
Please call the Extension office if you have questions about any of these topics.
Editor’s note: Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.