Ag News and Views: November 2008
People who study change and its causes have observed that change is often caused by a disturbance. Production agriculture is in a period of rapid change, with an economic environment that many have never experienced. If the agricultural industry is changing, what has been the disturbance?
Eragrostis tef is a warm-season annual grass from Ethiopia related to lovegrass. It has historically been grown in northern Africa for the seed, which is used to make bread. In the United States, teff is being promoted for forage and grain.
The term "rut" is often used to describe a boring, monotonous routine or a trench worn in the ground by a wheel. However, if you hang around much in white-tailed deer hunting circles, chances are that it means something completely different.
With value of gain approaching $100/cwt, average daily gain (ADG) of stocker calves on wheat pasture is a major concern this year. Gain is worth more than it has ever been, and producers should focus on making sure they manage for optimum ADG.
During my tenure with the Noble Research Institute, I've had the opportunity to meet many innovative growers. I met one such person this past September on the farm of Tod and Jamie Hanley at a hoop house conference sponsored by the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture.
The Agricultural Division's research and resource management effort has grown considerably during the last few years. We have been asked on a number of occasions what has led to this growth and the program's early success. The single greatest resource that we have is our staff.
Not long ago, cheap commodity prices made it easy to look at hay as just filler. Nutritional deficiencies could be inexpensively corrected by feeding a supplement. Those days are gone, and quality hay has real value when compared to a commodity feed, but the value is in nutritional quality.