Ag News and Views: August 2006
I have wanted to write this article since June 2005 when Noble's staff horticulturists took cooperators on a horticulture tour of central Oklahoma. The reason for these tours is to allow growers of horticultural crops to share their opinions with cooperators.
Pastures are quickly burning up due to the heat and dry conditions, resulting in ranchers quickly running out of grazeable pasture that provides the necessary energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. Since the drought is covering such a large area, accessible supplemental hay and available rental pasture is not abundant in nearby areas.
Lack of rain has caused cattle producers to scramble for any means possible just to hold on to their cattle. If we are trying to stay positive, then one good thing that has come out of all this is we have had to stretch conventional thought paradigms and incorporate some pretty unorthodox thinking. An example of this revolves around supplementing alternative feedstuffs to mature cows.
One of the most common inquiries I get around this time of year in very dry years goes like this: "I put out fertilizer on my pasture this spring, and it hasn't rained much. I've had very little grass growth. Is the fertilizer still there? If so, how long will it stay there?" The quick answer is it's probably still there. The more informative answer is a bit more involved, but I'll try to explain it as simply as possible.
Since its launch in 1997, the Noble Research Institute's popular online Plant Image Gallery has helped thousands of natural resource managers, ecologists, students and homeowners who are seeking to identify plants. Now, Noble is pleased to announce some upgrades to the site that will make plant identification faster and easier.
Ethanol is a subject that residents of North Texas and Oklahoma largely hear about from other parts of the country - there are few places to purchase ethanol/gasoline blends in our area, and ethanol is not a product that our states produce in any measurable quantities. Why? Most of the ethanol in the United States is produced from corn, and production facilities and distribution points tend to be located in the Midwest, where 200-plus bushels per acre is commonplace.
To increase quail numbers, the factor limiting their numbers must be identified and corrected. In most years and in most situations, plant food production is generally not the limiting factor. Thus, disking seldom increases bobwhite abundance because it does not address the issues that usually limit bobwhite numbers. However, food availability can limit quail numbers.