Getting through one of the toughest droughts most of us can remember can prove to be quite a challenge. Even if rains continue to fall, the effects of the drought will be with us much longer and resources still need careful management to minimize losses. Most livestock producers are concerned with feeding animals and are often caught up in seeing them as the final product. As tough as the decision is to sell off some animals due to drought, the real product being produced is forages. Livestock are only a conversion factor to get the forages into a more marketable form. It is very difficult to sell off pasture and get more after the drought. Therefore, pasture care and management for survival, plus performance to feed animals is critical. Too often pastures are viewed as just at the mercy of Mother Nature and we get what we get. However, some folk’s pastures just never seem to be so impacted as others, therefore, management inputs must be important.
According to Rob Campbell, livestock producer from Witts Springs, Ark., there is more to marketing cattle than planning. There must be communication with the seller before unloading or getting ready to put your cattle on the market.
We live in an age where commercial farms are becoming commonplace. Small, diversified family farms are more often seen on postcards than they are in the countryside of America. However, in recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in those smaller family farms – and in knowing where food comes from, what’s in it – really, and appreciating the nostalgia that comes along with a small farming family producing food from their barns and gardens just like they have for centuries.
Steel framed fabric buildings, also commonly known as hoop barns, came on the agriculture scene in 1989 and were used mostly as structures for hog production. Over the years the industry has developed and now practical uses span throughout agriculture.
Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. Coronary heart disease is the most prevalent form, and it commonly results in a heart attack. Risk factors include a variety of conditions and factors, such as high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.
New developments in estimated progeny differences (EPDs) promise to make them even more accurate and valuable tools for cattle producers. But, Brett Barham noted, they’re still not going to be perfect.
Thinking about silage due to lack of hay reserves on your small farm? Better think again. John Jennings at the University of Arkansas Extension Service explained the enormous up front expense of equipment and learning curve investment involved in a silage operation. Chopping the silage is the key and is not easy. Not only does it have to be chopped at the exact moment, but it has to be “just right” – not too dry and not too wet, but truly at the perfect time to create the best pH balance for making your silage. After you determine that it’s time to cut, then you use your equipment to chop and you then turn to storage, which is another huge adventure. You have to compact it, literally pressing it down in order for the mixture to ferment properly. Any additional moisture or oxygen can spoil the entire batch. You have to then wrap it properly and keep it out of the sun to allow it to ferment, all the while checking the pH levels to ensure that the fermentation process is moving along correctly.