By Mary Hightower, University of Arkansas Extension
A dry spell that’s turned parts of Arkansas from flood to drought is giving just-planted winter forages a slow start, which may mean livestock growers will have to feed more hay this winter, said Tom Troxel, associate head-Animal Science, for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
Fall pasture growth often provides additional opportunity for grazing livestock; however, careful management of pastures is essential for the over-wintering of forages and improvement into the next growing season. A dry end to our summer has stunted fall pasture regrowth dramatically, but as rains begin to increase in frequency in most regions, fall grazing is beginning to look a little more promising, but could be detrimental to your forage stand if not managed carefully.
Hay bales stored outdoors that do not form a good protective thatch layer can mold up and the dry matter losses can penetrate deep within the bale.
Forming a Protective Thatch on Your Hay Bales
A thatch forms from oxidation of the exposed outer layer of grasses to sunlight and moisture on the outside of a bale. This layer can be a protective barrier from the elements, protecting the inner contents of the bale.
By Lyndon Kelley, Michigan State University Extension
One of the greatest potential economic losses from center pivot irrigation comes from trees collapsing or rolling the spans. When irrigation equipment is installed near field edges, tree lines are usually trimmed back so they do not interfere with the equipment. Tree limbs as small as two inches in diameter can cause a pivot tower to flip or tear off the pivot end boom if branches catch the span V bracing or end gun. Tree branches can also act like a chain anchored to the ground and cause the pivot span to roll causing the structure to collapse.
K-State livestock specialist Sandy Johnson talks about managing cow herd forages this fall and winter, in light of alfalfa quality issues created by untimely wet weather during this past growing season.
By Gail Halleck, U of A System Division of Agriculture
While the bermudagrass is away, the cool-season species will play. Many producers in the Arkansas and the southeastern U.S. have bermudagrass pastures that experience slow growth when night temperatures fall substantially, making it an ideal time to plant winter cover crops such as annual legumes.