Spring is here and that means grazing season is around the corner. There are some things to look out for when starting to graze cattle in the spring. Cool-season grasses tend to be low in magnesium and when cattle become deficient in magnesium, we start to see signs of grass tetany. Grass tetany is a nutritional or metabolic disorder characterized by low blood magnesium. Grass tends to be low in magnesium when they are immature and have high potassium.
Flies, Lice & Ticks – Oh my!
Spring is at our doorsteps and that means flies, lice, and ticks all come back. Flies especially, cause a lot of problems to the herd. Flies spread diseases, like anaplasmosis and pink eye. An abundance of flies on cattle tend to cause stress and irritation, which results in lower milk yields and decreased weight gain.
How can we prepare for fly season? Start by removing potential breeding grounds, which is anything damp.
Fermenting forages is very beneficial to cattle nutrition and production. When forage is fermented it causes a breakdown of forage material, making it easier for animals to digest. Since the fermented forage is easier to digest, the bodies can digest forage quicker and releases more energy for the animal. The cattle can utilize the feed more efficiently and this will result in less waste in the undigested material that they excrete.
Breaking it down to the molecular level, microbes multiply and break down the forage through …
Although it may seem counterintuitive, now is an ideal time to consider transitioning your operation to organic. That’s because while organic fertilizers tend to be premium to conventional fertilizers when all fertilizer prices go up, that premium drops to a much smaller basis, relatively speaking. The sky-high conventional crop prices more than offset the cost of the organic fertilizer premium.
For the transition years when you’re selling a conventional crop while using organic inputs, you could potentially be looking at a net profit, not a net …
You may be ready to see green grass and be done with winter, but are our pastures ready? Before the ground thaws (unless sloped) is a good time to fertilize or apply soil correctives to the paddocks that didn’t get tended to last fall. It is time to check fences, and as it warms and greens up, water lines, lane condition, and pasture stand.
Evaluate The Stand
How did it come through the drought and winter?
Heifers are the future of your herd and your long-term success as a dairy producer. Heifer raising makes up 20-25% of the total cost of milk production. A successful pre-weaning calf program has been proven to increase first lactation milk yield by 1,000 lbs – 3,000 lbs. Genetic selection can account for 150 lbs-300 lbs greater milk production per lactation, but pre-weaning management can increase this 5-fold.
A successful pre-weaning calf program includes:
- 1 gal of high-quality colostrum within 4 hours of birth…
How have your forages fared in the unpredictable Midwest winter weather? Winter weather in the Midwest is unpredictable to say the least. Bitter cold, mid-winter rain, and extreme freeze-thaw cycles may have taken their toll. Use the prime times in April and May to evaluate your alfalfa fields. Are they going to be healthy, high-producing forage stands? Or is rotation the best option for maximum farm yield?
Tips for Evaluating Your Alfalfa Stands:
- Healthy alfalfa stands will green up quickly & evenly.
Collaboration Poised to Help Farmers Access, Maximize Carbon Credit Opportunity
Midwestern BioAg (MBA) today announced a new collaboration with Indigo Agriculture to help farmers access and maximize success in the rapidly growing market for agricultural carbon credits. The collaboration – which will enroll and support farmers’ participation in Indigo’s premier carbon farming program – represents the next step in MBA’s nearly 40-year legacy of advocating for better farming through improved soil health.
Starting with the 2022 planting season, MBA farmers adopting practices that prioritize …