This article originally appeared in the March 1998 Ag News and Views newsletter, revised 2023.
By understanding a little about the soil’s physical properties and its relationship to soil moisture, you can make better soil-management decisions.
Eavesdropping sounds like such an unacceptable thing to do. But that is exactly what researchers are doing to learn more about the living world. To be clear, we are not talking about listening to human conversations but rather to birds, frogs, insects, bats, whales and any other species that makes a sound. This is nature’s orchestra, known as “biophony.”
With the holiday season approaching, the mere mention of pecan truffles brings thoughts of decadent chocolate caramel candies meant to share with someone special. While that does sound good, it’s not quite what this article is about. The kind of truffle I am talking about is typically searched out by specially trained dogs or pigs rooting around in the soil where tree roots grow. So I guess for this to all make sense, we need to start with: What exactly is a truffle, and what is its relationship with a pecan tree?
Soil organic carbon is an essential piece of regenerating the health of grazing lands and requires a look at roots.
In the article “Nutrient Synchrony: Protein and Energy Working Together,” we discussed how protein and energy act synergistically in the rumen to booster animal performance: Each requires the other for peak function. We also mentioned how winter supplementation often consists of a protein supplement but that protein is not always the limiting nutrient. In this article, we will talk about both protein and energy supplementation and how to know which is the limiting nutrient and when to feed it.
As a ruminant nutritionist and livestock consultant, I spend the vast majority of my time discussing the nutrient requirements of beef cattle. More specifically, discussing the “king” and “queen” of the beef nutrition world: protein and energy. Whether a producer is backgrounding calves, developing heifers or getting through the winter, these are the two nutrients that dominate conversation, concern and price tag. However, these nutrients are far too often considered separate entities. You usually know if you’re deficient in one or the other, or maybe both, but it’s rarely considered that these two work in synchrony as complements.
Cattails can be desirable or undesirable, depending upon a pond or marsh manager’s goals.
As we move into the peak of the growing season, it’s time to evaluate our forage resources, rolling rainfall data and pasture utilization plans. Making those timely adjustments to our grazing management can save considerable economic and ecologic capital over the short and long term. However, in order to make those appropriate decisions, we need to fully understand grazing management metrics and how they relate to one another.
Vegetation monitoring is of great importance to land managers. But it’s difficult to accomplish. It’s tedious and time-consuming, requiring personnel trained in ecology and range plant identification. Once the data is collected, it has to be entered into a database, processed further to obtain estimates of biomass or quality, then analyzed. Most often, vegetation data is collected for limited seasons or years, so you only gain an understanding into the current conditions, and nothing about what direction things are headed. Knowing something about the past can provide a great deal of insight into what may happen into the future, but that can only be done if the data exists.