2009 Archive

Looking Toward the Future

Billy Cook, Ph.D., became the Senior Vice President and Director of the Agricultural Division this spring, taking over for Wadell Altom, who retired after 43 years of service.

Rainfall Trends Will Affect Winter Pasture

We saw limited moisture in the fall, no rain during the winter and late rains in April to finally kick off the spring growing season 30 to 45 days behind schedule. If rainfall were a traded commodity, volatility in the marketplace would be extremely high.

Gene Atlas Project Looks to Identify Gene Function

As part of our mission to benefit farmers and ranchers, the Noble Research Institute works to improve vital grasses and legumes through traditional breeding and scientific research.

Remain Viable in the Cow-calf Business

Since 2008, the cattle market has made dramatic adjustments as calf and feeder cattle prices decreased and the feedlot sector experienced significant losses.

Fish Pond Water Quality: As Simple as Chemistry 101

Water quality is one of the most overlooked aspects of pond management - until it affects fish production.

Rainwater: Use It or Lose It

The 2008 drought forced several area municipalities and rural water districts to place restrictions on the use of water for irrigating landscape plantings and home gardens. This should concern every gardener as demand for water is only projected to increase while ground water reserves are projected to decrease.

Nitrogen-Rich Strip Optimizes Fertilizer Application

Our typical nitrogen recommendation for wheat is 2 pounds per expected bushel of grain. Long-term data indicates that, on average, this is the correct rate. However, this average is too high a third of the time, too low a third of the time and about right the remaining third of the time.

Summer Weed Control

Most of the weeds that are present in your pastures as we approach summer will probably be perennials plus some annuals that you missed with your initial chemical application (if there was one). The transition from spring to summer is the right time of year for brush control, as long as the weather is good.

Monitor and Manage Heat Stress

Heat stress can greatly impact cattle producers through decreased milk production and subsequent calf growth, decreased reproductive performance in cows and bulls, and decreased stocker and feeder performance. It has been estimated that heat-related events in the Midwest have cost the cattle industry over $75 million in the past 10 years.

Grazing Lands and Soil Carbon Storage

The agricultural community can address climate change by reducing its emissions and adopting management practices that enhance storage of carbon in soil. The objective of this article is to describe the effects of grazing land management on soil carbon storage.