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Ag News and Views: April 2011

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Aquatic Turtles

Many people think that turtles are detrimental to fish populations and believe they need to be removed from impoundments. However, the many species of turtles in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas have varied diets and none of them are exclusively fish.

Farm and Ranch Vehicle Compliance

Every day, farmers and ranchers load up their trucks and trailers with agricultural products and haul those materials to and from their farms and ranches. Every time they do, they could be subject to the tangled web of transportation regulations implemented and enforced by an alphabet soup of state and federal agencies.

Groundwater for Specialty Crop Irrigation

Prior to beginning a specialty crop enterprise, a source of irrigation water should be established. Property sizes are often too small to justify the construction of a pond to collect surface runoff water.

Have You Seen the Price of Nitrogen Fertilizer?

In April 2001, I wrote an article on high nitrogen prices. Ten years later, the question persists, and, yes, nitrogen fertilizer prices are even higher.

Performance of Bull Versus Steer Feeder Calves

When selling feeder calves, it is understood that bull calves will often receive a discount over steer calves. Buyers justify this discount by claiming that post-arrival castration of bull calves will result in decreased average daily gains due to increased stress, disease susceptibility and days on feed.

Production Alternatives for Small Acreages

A majority of recently added Noble Research Institute cooperators are new to agriculture and/or have relatively small landholdings. Most of these cooperators are either retired or have a full-time job off the farm.

Profitability of Irrigated Improved Pecan Orchards

The number of acres of irrigated improved pecan orchards has been increasing throughout the Southern Great Plains. These orchards offer diversification from other typical agricultural activities in the region, and producers have shown a growing interest in pecan information.