Ag News and Views: November 2007
Considering the high cost of commercial fertilizers, applying animal manures, poultry litter and biosolids in pastures may be a valuable alternative for forage production. These waste products not only provide essential nutrients, but can also add organic matter to improve structure, aeration and water-holding capacity of soil.
This past summer, through the efforts of James Pitman, the 2007 pasture and range intern, and Frank Motal, wildlife and range research program supervisor, the Agricultural Division was able to collect data on the transects in what we refer to as "the eastern gamagrass paddocks" or Pasture 12 of the Coffey Ranch.
Greenbugs are a species of aphid that can reproduce rapidly when the temperature is above 55 degrees. The insects reduce yields by sucking plant juices from the leaves and killing them or potentially transmitting diseases.
In the summer of 2007, Mark Swapp, a horticulture major at New Mexico State University, was commissioned with the task of administering and summarizing results of a survey of hoop house growers in Oklahoma and the 18 Texas counties located in our service area. By the end of his internship, Mark had interviewed growers from 12 Oklahoma counties and one Texas county.
With weaning just finishing up for spring calving cow herds, it brings the end of the first phase of production for a bovine. During this time, revenues are returned to the cow and, likewise, the costs.
Most climatologists say that 2007 is a wet year during an extended drought. Let's hope they're wrong, but what if they're not? How do we fully capitalize on our good fortune this year? One way is to optimally utilize forage reserves with a complementary supplemental feeding program.