Panhandle Agriculture

Friday Feature: Mobile Drip Irrigation from Center Pivots

Friday Feature:  Mobile Drip Irrigation from Center Pivots

Dragon-line converts center pivots into mobile drip irrigation.

Water is a precious resource, no mater where you live or farm, but is especially true in Kansas where their aquifer is diminishing.  There is a relatively new technology being called mobile drip irrigation that has been developed in Kansas to make center pivot irrigation even more efficient, because water is released right on the soil surface through drip tubes to minimize evaporation.  This week’s featured video was developed by Dragon-Line to showcase their innovative approach to convert center pivot irrigation into drip irrigation.  A video viewer was not available for this video, so please use the following link:

What is Dragon Line Irrigation?

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If you enjoyed this video, you might want to check out the featured videos from previous weeks:  Friday Features

If you come across a humorous video or interesting story related to agriculture, please send in a link, so we can share it with our readers. Send video links to:  Doug Mayo

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/19/friday-feature-mobile-drip-irrigation-from-center-pivots/

Cotton Marketing News: So Much for the 18-Million Bale Scenario and those Higher Prices

Cotton Marketing News:  So Much for the 18-Million Bale Scenario and those Higher Prices

Prior to this week’s USDA crop production estimates, the 2017 US cotton crop was projected at 19 million bales.  There seemed to be general consensus, given the crop conditions in parts of Texas, that the crop would not get bigger with this week’s report.  There was some belief that the crop is actually less than 19 million (more in the 18 million neighborhood) but that this may not be reflected yet in this week’s August numbers.

The revised crop estimate for August is now 20.55 million bales—1.55 million bales more than the July estimate.  Not only did the crop not hold at around 19 million bales but now, if we’re indeed going to eventually retreat to the 18 million bale mark, we’ve got another million and a half bales to cull through.

But, you know what, maybe not all is lost.  Apparently, quite a few farmers are looking at a potentially good crop and with any luck or good decisions on marketing and risk management, stand to possibly do relatively well.

The market certainly didn’t like this week’s numbers.  Dec futures had improved and trending up since mid-July—breaking back above 70 cents on August 2.  This week, prices danced around the 71-cent mark until yesterday’s report—dropping about 2 cents on the report and limit down 3 cents for the day.  Compared to the July projections, while the revised crop estimate was a shock, US 2017 crop year Ending Stocks are only ½ million bales higher than the July projection. This is because also in this month’s report:

  • Exports for the just completed 2016 crop year were adjusted up 420K bales—reducing carry-in stocks to the 2017 crop year.
  • Projected exports for the 2017 crop year were increased 700K bales—likely reflecting higher available export supply.

The crop is now estimated at 20.55 million bales on an average yield of 892 lbs per acre.  If realized, this would equal the record US average yield achieved in 2012.  Eight states are currently projected to have an average yield above last year.  Twelve states are expected to have a yield above their 5-year average (Cotton’s Week, National Cotton Council, August 11, 2017).

The August numbers are the first based on farmer survey for 2017.  Data collection (farmer responses) occurred from July 29 to August 3.  Also (for cotton only), actual plant counts and measurements were taken July 25 to August 1.

Crop conditions in Texas have declined over the growing season. Texas yield is projected at 742 lbs per acre compared to 749 last year—so essentially the same.  As of August 6 (after the yield survey data collection and plant measurements), the Texas crop condition was 3.30 compared to 3.19 last year at the same time.  The entire US crop is rated at 3.53 compared to 3.37 last year.  The Georgia crop (the second largest state is expected to yield 1,039 lbs per acre compared to 898 last year and 5-year average of 936.  If realized this would be 52 lbs below the record in 2012.

There is opinion that the USDA August estimate of 20.55 million bales will be reduced in future reports.  I’m not going to second-guess USDA.  The number is what it is and regardless of what one thinks about the number, the market will deal with it until something else comes along.

Elsewhere in yesterday’s report, on the foreign and World scene:

  • The China crop projection was increased ½ million bales and mill use increased by ½ million bales. Stocks were unchanged.
  • World use/demand for the 2017 crop year was increased a net 370K bales—due largely to the increase in China.
  • China imports remain and 5 million bales. Imports were revised up for Mexico, Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam—all major markets for US exports.
  • The projected India and Australia crops were unchanged from the July estimates.

After the report-induced decline, prices (Dec futures) now hover at the 68 cent level—washing out most of the gain since mid-July.  Prices could improve if crop conditions and yield outlook worsens—but like I said earlier, the market now has a 1½ million bale cushion it didn’t have before.

Some observers are convinced the US crop will only get smaller.  All we really know is that the market has to digest and make what it will of the 20.55 number for now.  If the September numbers continue to validate a 20+ million bale crop, then prices could decline further.  If the crop does get smaller, the 68 to 70 cent level or better should hold.

 

 

 

PG

Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu

admin

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/19/cotton-marketing-news-so-much-for-the-18-million-bale-scenario-and-those-higher-prices/

WFREC Row Crop Field Day – August 22

WFREC Row Crop Field Day – August 22

Photo Credit John Atkins

Please join us on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 from 8:00 AM – 1:30 PM central time for the annual Extension Farm Field Day at  the West Florida Research & Education Center (WFREC) at the Jay Research Facility (4253 Experiment Road, Hwy 182, Jay FL 32565).

The following topics will be covered:

  • Cotton Varieties

  • Fertility Management in Cotton and Peanuts

  • Auxin Herbicide Usage and Weed Control Update in Cotton and Peanuts

  • Caterpillars in Field Crops – What You Need to Know

  • A New Sprayer Design for White Mold Control

  • Soybean Varieties

  • Managing Peanut Varieties

  • Peanut Diseases

  • Disease Resistant Management

The field day, breakfast, and lunch are free due to the generosity of our sponsors.  There will be Pesticide License CEUs available:  1 Core and 5 category in Private, Row Crop, Demo and Research.  If you are in need of CEUs, this is a great opportunity.

 

 

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Author: Libbie Johnson – libbiej@ufl.edu

Agriculture agent at UF IFAS Escambia County Extension.
http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/

Libbie Johnson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/19/wfrec-row-crop-field-day-august-22/

Weed of the Week: Goatweed

Weed of the Week: Goatweed

Image 1: Goatweed seeds are very small and are enclosed in yellow to brown capsules. Photo Credit: Dr. Brent Sellers

Once just an issue in Central Florida Orange groves, Goatweed (Scoparia dulcis), also referred to as sweet broom and licorice weed, is now an issue for many pasture owners in North Florida. The spread of this prolific weed has been attributed to many factors including seed production, seed movement from groves to pastures by wildlife and mowing equipment, and its extreme tolerance to many herbicides. Overgrazed pastures, disturbed areas, and sod harvest are prime areas for Goatweed growth.

For help to identify weeds or to develop a control plan for your operation, please contact your county extension agent. 

For more information on this topic please see the following UF/IFAS Publication:

Goatweed Biology and Control in Pastures

 

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Author: Kalyn Waters – kalyn.waters@ufl.edu

Holmes County Extension Director working in the areas of Agricultural Management in row crop, natural resources, livestock and forage production. Specialized in Beef Cattle Production in the area of reproductive, nutritional and finical management.
http://holmes.ufl.ifas.edu

Kalyn Waters

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/18/weed-of-the-week-goatweed/

Winter Annual Forage Seed Costs: What is the Best Deal?

Winter Annual Forage Seed Costs: What is the Best Deal?

Even with significantly higher seed prices in 2017, ryegrass still provides excellent return on investment for winter grazing in the Southeast. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

Source:  UGA Forage Extension Team
Adam Speir, UGA Madison County Extension Director, and Dr. Dennis Hancock, UGA State Forage Extension Specialist

If you haven’t priced annual ryegrass seed yet, I’d suggest having some heart medicine at the ready, or a defibrillator handy. Ryegrass seed is significantly higher than it has been the last few years. The key question is, “Is it still the best deal?

Don’t make purchasing decisions solely based on the price per bag without considering long-term return on investment. When considering which winter annual forage varieties to plant this year, you need to consider the overall costs and benefits, before making the final decision. We’ll discuss a few examples that will show you how to determine 1) Cost per pound of seed, 2) Cost of seed per acre planted, and 3) Cost of seed per pound of forage produced.  These exercises will hopefully help you better determine what will provide you the best return on investment.

Before doing so, we need to make a few assumptions regarding seeding options and rates.  Annual ryegrass, cereal rye, oats, and wheat are some of the most common winter annual choices for forage producers in Georgia.  Seeding rates vary for these depending on seeding method and if they are planted individually or in a mixture (Table 1).  We will assume lower seeding rates in the examples used in this exercise.

Part 1 – Determining Cost of Seed per Pound.

Cost of seed will likely vary depending on location and availability.  Table 2 shows the price per pound for various options currently (August 2017).  This price per pound is easily calculated by dividing the price of the seed by the number of pounds in a bag.  For example, if a 50 pound bag of annual ryegrass costs $ 35, then $ 35/50 lbs will equal a cost of $ 0.70 per pound.  In the table, one can see that the cost (per pound) of annual ryegrass would be highest while wheat is the lowest. But, that is not the full story, as it does not consider differences in seeding rate.

Part 2 – Determining Cost of Seed per Acre

As indicated in Table 1, the seeding rate for small grains such as wheat or oats is much higher than that for annual ryegrass.  The seeding rate per acre plays a large part in getting a better idea of one’s unit cost.  Table 2 shows that while ryegrass is the most expensive seed per pound, it is the least expensive option on a per acre basis.  There are also three different seed mix examples included to help you see where these options rank.  To calculate these, you simply take the seeding rate and multiply by price per pound.  For example, if cereal rye has a seeding rate of 90 pounds per acre and a cost of $ 0.30 per pound, then 90 lbs./acre x $ 0.30 = $ 27 per acre.  For seed mixture options, you simply perform the same calculation and add the two together (i.e. wheat + rye @60 lbs./acre each: (60 x $ 0.24) + (60 x $ 0.30) = $ 14.40 + $ 18 = $ 32.40. While there are three different mixes specifically mentioned in this example, working with your county Extension agent can help you determine if other mixes are appropriate in your situation.

Part 3 – Determining Cost of Seed per Pound of Forage Produced

Finally, and most importantly, it is crucial to understand how the yield potential of these different forage options impact the final unit cost.  As you may know, not all forages are created equal.  And while each of these different choices may have their place in a farm operation, understanding the potential of their yield production helps us make the best management decisions possible.  Figure 1 (above) shows the year-long yield potential of each of these seed options.  Table 3 (below) shows the possible yield potential of these forages and cost per pound of forage produced.  When mixing different species, while the distribution of the two species may provide longer grazing availability, the total yield potential is typically limited to the highest yielding crop in the mix.  In this example, I am assuming the lower range of yield expectations.

 

After going through these basic calculations, you can see that, while the initial sticker shock of the cost of ryegrass seed is high, it is still the best deal in terms of seed cost per ton of forage. There are, of course, other costs to consider, including differences in fertilizer, establishment, and other variable costs. Nonetheless, this exercise illustrates the point that one should compare input costs in the context of the output they will get in return.

2017 UGA Cool Season Annual Forage Budgets

2017 UGA Cool Season Annual Forage Variety Recommendations

 

PG

Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu

admin

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/18/winter-annual-forage-seed-costs-what-is-the-best-deal/

Diagnosing the Cause of Yellowing Peanut Fields

Diagnosing the Cause of Yellowing Peanut Fields

It happens every year. You cruise peanut fields and see spots of yellowing in a field.  The million dollar question is, “What is causing this yellowing?”  Unfortunately, there are many answers to this question. Problems that cause yellowing in peanuts can Include:

  • manganese deficiency

  • poor inoculation

  • standing water or drought

  • zinc toxicity

  • sulfur deficiency

  • herbicide damage

The best way to positively diagnose these problems is to take plant tissue and soil samples.  Two recent fields, described below, presented yellowing symptoms and are a good example of why it is best to positively diagnose problems through testing rather than guessing.

Field 1.  Peanut field with very slight yellowing. Photo by Jennifer Bearden

Field 1

The first field had slight yellowing and was pretty uniform across the field. Boron and Manganese had just been applied to the field because it is customary to apply these two micronutrients to fields in our area.  Plant tissue tests revealed low levels of phosphorus and magnesium, and high levels of boron and manganese.  Low magnesium levels can cause yellowing.  A soil sample was not performed as this field greened up without any further issues after addition of magnesium.

Field 2.  Characteristic stem and taproot splitting due to Zinc toxicity. Photo by Jennifer Bearden

Field 2

The second field also was yellowing, but there were areas that were worse than others. One area had telltale zinc toxicity issues with stem splitting.  This area was near a pecan tree.  It is common to see zinc toxicity near pecan trees since pecan trees are routinely fertilized with zinc.  A plant tissue test and soil test were performed in another problem area of the field.  The soil test results revealed toxic levels of zinc and manganese, and low pH.  The pH level kept the manganese from affecting the plant, but it was not high enough to protect the plant from zinc toxicity.  Management for this portion of the field in the future should include liming the field to raise the pH to at least 5.9 to protect the peanut plants from zinc toxicity.

A side note on peanut fertilization: potassium and magnesium fertilization should occur prior to, or early on in the season.  Potassium and magnesium are cations and can interfere with the uptake of calcium if they are present in excess quantities at the pegging zone at the beginning pod stage.  Also remember that some nutrients can be toxic in excessive quantities, so care should be taken to only apply what the crop needs.  Soil testing and plant tissue testing takes the guesswork out of peanut fertilization.

For more information on peanut nutrient management, use the following links:

 

 

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Author: Jennifer Bearden – bearden@ufl.edu

Agriculture Agent Okaloosa County

Jennifer Bearden

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/18/diagnosing-the-cause-of-yellowing-peanut-fields/

Peanut Nodule Analysis to Assess Crop Health

Peanut Nodule Analysis to Assess Crop Health

Picture: UF/IFAS agronomy students dig up peanut plants for a nodule sample at the Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center near Live Oak, FL

David Hensley and Diane Rowland, UF/IFAS Agronomy Department

One of the primary benefits of growing legumes like peanut is their ability to convert nitrogen in the atmosphere to a form that is available for use throughout the plant. They do this by forming a symbiosis (a mutual “partnership”) with bacteria known as Rhizobia. When Rhizobia become associated with peanut roots, the plant and bacteria form a structure known as a nodule that houses the bacteria and creates the most beneficial conditions for the bacteria to thrive. The nodule is also the site where the fixed atmospheric nitrogen is delivered to the plant. Most of a legume’s nitrogen needs are supplied by the Rhizobia in its root nodules, and when nodules degrade either during the season or when the crop is harvested, some of that fixed nitrogen may become available to the following crop. However, one barrier to this process is if nitrogen happens to be high when peanut is planted, either through residual nitrogen left from the previous crop or if nitrogen is added to peanut directly. When nitrogen is high, this tends to decrease the symbiosis with Rhizobia, and thus the formation of nodules.

Peanut nodules are carefully removed from sampled roots from the field.

Current research at the University of Florida (UF/IFAS) is looking at this nodulation process closely, characterizing the different stages of development that nodules pass through. This knowledge may help growers better gauge how the symbiosis between peanut and the bacteria is progressing during the season, as well as estimate the stress level being experienced by the crop. To do this, graduate student David Hensley in the laboratory of Dr. Diane Rowland has been studying closely how nodules initiate, grow and become active, and finally degrade through the course of a season. Using a digital, automatic color image analysis process, David is able to use scanned images of root nodules removed from peanuts to determine the total number and average size of the nodules, and by cutting the nodules open, can determine their internal color. These three traits together are indicative of how effective the symbiosis is between the peanut and Rhizobia and how well the process of fixing nitrogen from the atmosphere is progressing.

Peanut nodules are carefully removed from sampled roots from the field. The nodules in the container will be scanned and dissected.

The internal color of the nodule dictates its activity level. Nodules which are deep red in color are active, indicating that conditions are optimal for Rhizobia to perform their nitrogen-fixing function. Nodules with lighter, whitish internal color do not yet (or possibly never will) have active Rhizobia, and greenish nodules have begun to naturally age and will cease to fix nitrogen. Dark, blackish nodules, on the other hand, have begun to decay due to damage or possibly stress. By assessing the relative presence of these colors, the effectiveness of the root nodules can be determined at any point during the growing season.

From left to right, examples of nodule internal color representing not yet active rhizobia, increasingly active, fully active, and darkening to green and black, representing senescence and decay. These individual nodules are only a few millimeters wide, and are taken from scanned images used in UF/IFAS digital color analysis.

This color analysis system, that David Hensley developed, may help growers in determining the overall health of the nodulation of their peanut crop. By assessing the color classes and the number of nodules within each color class, information about how healthy the nodules are in a field can be noted. Nodules respond to stress in the environment by stopping nitrogen fixation, or even by decaying faster than in the best field conditions, so this assessment can give an indication to the grower about the level of stress experienced by the peanut.

This provides growers with one more tool in scouting for stress and diagnosing possible problems the crop may be facing. Ultimately, nodule color may be an early warning system, since this symbiosis is one of the first responders to drought and other crop stresses. These color assessments can help researchers and eventually growers understand these stress conditions, as well as the processes occurring at the end of a nodule’s life cycle. Monitoring these processes, which are crucial to the release of nitrogen from root nodules into the soil, will also help quantify the nitrogen benefits from rotations that include peanuts.

 

PG

Author: Diane – dlrowland@ufl.edu

My professional research is focused on the physiological mechanisms which determine stress response in crops. I am particularly interested in drought tolerance and irrigation scheduling. I study peanut, cotton, corn, and sesame.

Diane

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/18/peanut-nodule-analysis-to-assess-crop-health/

Friday Feature: Preventing Needlestick Injuries to Ranch Hands

Friday Feature:  Preventing Needlestick Injuries to Ranch Hands

More than 80% of workers on livestock farms have accidentally stuck themselves with needles used for vaccine and drug administration.  Accidental needlestick injuries are usually minor, but can be serious with skin infections, allergic reactions, and deep tissue wounds that require surgery.   This week’s featured video was developed by the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH) to be used to provide employee training for dairy farm workers.  These same principles apply to workers on any type of livestock operation who are using disposable hypodermic needles for vaccine and drug administration.

Key Points to Emphasize with employees or family members regarding needle safety:

Don’t Get Stuck (Prevention)

  • Slow down and don’t rush injections

  • Restrain animals properly

  • Get help from coworkers to properly restrain animals before injection

  • Use good techniques and the correct equipment with every animal

  • Don’t remove needle caps with your mouth

  • Don’t recap used needles (Never try to reinsert used needles into the cap held in your mouth or hand)

  • Dispose of used needles in a rigid sharps disposal container

  • Discard bent, dull, or dirty needles that contact mud and manure

  • Don’t carry around syringes with needles in shirt or pants pockets while working with animals

  • Don’t dispose used needles into normal trash containers

Been Stuck (Care after accidental injection)

  • Stop working to provide care for the wound

  • Immediately wash skin thoroughly with soap and water

  • Apply topical disinfectant

  • Bandage puncture wound to prevent further contamination

  • Report injury to supervisor

  • Contact your health care provider to ensure tetnus vaccinations are current and to seek advice for wound care

To share this information with employees, print out the needlestick safety poster to display near chutes, handling facilities, and drug storage areas:

Don’t Get Stuck Needlestick Prevention Safety Poster

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If you enjoyed this video, you might want to check out the featured videos from previous weeks:  Friday Features

If you come across a humorous video or interesting story related to agriculture, please send in a link, so we can share it with our readers. Send video links to:  Doug Mayo

 

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/12/friday-feature-preventing-needlestick-injuries-to-ranch-hands/

2017 Agritourism Conference – September 26-27

2017 Agritourism Conference – September 26-27

If you are a new or existing agritourism operation looking for ideas, please consider joining us on September 26-27 at the UF/IFAS Polk County Extension Office, 1702 Hwy 17 South, Bartow, Florida.   The program will include some excellent presenters (both state and nationally recognized) as well as tours of some popular agritourism destinations in and near Polk county.

For more information, agenda, and registration, use the following link:

Central Florida Agritourism Conference

 

 

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Author: Libbie Johnson – libbiej@ufl.edu

Agriculture agent at UF IFAS Escambia County Extension.
http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/

Libbie Johnson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/12/2017-agritourism-conference-september-26-27/

Summer Temperatures Shorten Gestation Length of Early Fall-calving Cows

Summer Temperatures Shorten Gestation Length of Early Fall-calving Cows

Start checking early bred cows and heifers early this fall.  Research at Oklahoma State documents that hot summer temperatures shorten gestation by six days in early bred fall calving cows.  Photo: Matt Hersom

Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist

Each year in August, it is time for an important reminder.  Fall-calving season is here.  In fact, the start of the fall calving season often begins before some producers expect it.  The target date for the beginning of fall calving very often is September 1.  Most printed gestation tables predict that calving will take place 283 days (some 285 days) after artificial insemination or natural breeding.  Cows and heifers that gestate in hot weather will often calve a few days earlier than expected.

Oklahoma State University physiologists studied early fall (August) and late fall (October) calving cows. Data from two successive years were combined for 60 Angus X Hereford crossbred cows. The “early” and “late” fall calving cows had been artificially inseminated in early November or early January, respectively. Semen from the same sire was used for all cows. All cows were exposed to a single cleanup bull for 35 days at 4 days after the AI season. The weather prior to calving was significantly different for late pregnancy in the two groups. The average maximum temperature the week before calving was 93 degrees F. for the “early” fall group. The average maximum temperature the week before parturition in the “late” calving group was 66 degrees F. There was a 100% survival rate for calves in both groups and both groups of cows had very high re-breeding rates (90% and 92%, respectively).

The average gestation length for the “early” cows was 6 days shorter (279 days) as compared to the “late” cows (285 days) in year 1. The average gestation length for the “early” cows was 4 days shorter (278 days) as compared to the “late” cows (282 days) in year 2.  Keep in mind that the gestation lengths listed are AVERAGE.  This means that about half of the cows calved earlier than that.  Records from millions of Holstein dairy cows across the entire United States report a similar pattern (Norman, et al.2009 J. Dairy Sci; 92:5).  Holsteins bred in January and February (calving in October and November) averaged 2 days longer gestation than did Holstein cows bred in October (calving in July and August).  Many of these would be in Northern climates with less heat stress and more moderate temperatures in the summer months.  Here in the Southern Plains, late summer heat is more intense and persistent.  Therefore, producers with early fall-calving cows should expect calves to start coming several days ahead of the “textbook gestation table” dates. They should begin their routine heifer and cow checks at least a week to 10 days ahead of the expected first calving date. Source: Kastner, Wettemann, and co-workers. 2004 OSU Animal Science Research Report

 

PG

Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu

admin

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/12/summer-temperatures-shorten-gestation-length-of-early-fall-calving-cows/

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