Archive for August, 2017

It’s Time To Plant Food Plot Mixes

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Food Plot MixesA food plot is a planted area set aside to act as a food source for wildlife. The term was coined by the U.S. hunting and outdoor industries. Food plots generally consist of, but are not limited to, legumes (clovers, alfalfa, beans, etc.) or forage grasses.

We are at the start date to plant winter food plots for deer. Product selection in this area is vast.  At J&N Feed and Seed, we carry a large number of food plot mixes including wheat, oats, winter peas, chicory, clover, turnips and alfalfa.  Stop by today and choose your plot mix. If you have any questions please give us a call or stop by the store.

September Gardening Tips

Friday, August 18th, 2017

September Gardening Tips

September Gardening Tips

September is a pivotal month for your landscape, with the official arrival of Autumn later this month, and hopefully, a return to cooler and wetter weather. It’s the gateway month between summer and fall gardening, so get outside and improve your landscape.

September is the time to apply lawn fertilizer to keep the grass healthy and growing up to the first frost. Always follow the directions on the package and avoid over-fertilizing, which will only damage your lawn. Fall-fertilized lawns are better equipped to make it through the winter and resume growth next spring than lawns that receive no fertilizer.

Double check your sprinklers carefully to make sure they are applying all that you expect in an even, uniform pattern.

Think back to last spring. Did you have lawn weeds in February and March before the grass started growing? Those were cool-season weeds, most of which germinated last fall. A pre-emergent herbicide applied in September will help reduce the recurrence of the same weeds next spring.

Sow Spring Wildflowers (like Bluebonnets) seeds now. For more reliable, uniform seed germination of our State flower, purchase acid-treated Bluebonnets seed. This treatment pits the seed coat, allowing nearly 100% germination in one to two weeks.

Need to add new shrubbery or trees to your landscape; this is a great month to do that. Fall landscaping done now will be well-rooted by next Spring and Summer.

Plant your fall vegetable garden. Plant cool-season vegetable garden with transplants of Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Chard, Collards, Lettuce, and Kale. Water your new vegetables and lightly top-dress with mulch to discourage weeds.

Three Trimesters that Last a Lifetime – Cow Gestation

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Cow GestationMake the most of calf development during cow gestation.

When you think of the first moments of a calf’s life, you might picture a newborn calf vigorously nursing a healthy mama cow. You probably don’t think of that calf in utero. But a calf’s lifetime performance can hinge on the nine months before birth. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of the 283 days of a cow’s gestation and reduce the potential “bad days” she has during her pregnancy. “A bad day is when a pregnant cow loses weight due to stressors like poor nutrition, disease challenges or harsh environment,” says Ron Scott, Ph. D., director of beef research for Purina Animal Nutrition. “External stressors can impact the cow’s entire metabolism and how nutrients flow to the growing fetus.” Limiting the cow’s bad days and improve your chance of positively influencing fetal growth, which is important during every trimester.

 

Building a foundation

“You might wonder, ‘why is a little-bitty fetus such a big deal?’” says Scott. “It’s simple: The first trimester is when you’re building the foundation of life for a calf. During this time the placenta develops and serves as a hotel room service for the fetus for the rest of the pregnancy.” The placenta is a direct connection that provides oxygen and nutrients from the dam to the developing fetus. If the placenta is not well developed because of cow stress, reduced blood flow can negatively affect fetal nutrition throughout gestation.

The first trimester is also when the fetal brain, heart, liver and reproductive organs form.

“We typically don’t think about replacement heifer development until there’s a live calf on the ground,” says Scott. “But developing a successful replacement heifer begins in the first trimester when germ cells start forming the reproductive system developed in utero will affect a heifer’s fertility throughout her life.

 

Muscling up

During the second trimester, the fetus continues to grow organs and establish internal systems that influence those organs for a lifetime. Fetal muscle fiber development also begins during this time. “Cattle produce muscle we sell in the form of weight, but a stressed cow can lead to reduced muscle fiber development and, ultimately, lower carcass weights,” says Scott. “When you think about what we sell as an industry, the second trimester is vital.”

 

Preparing for parturition

Growth skyrockets during the last trimester, and lung development is critical as the calf prepares for breathing on its own.

“The calf has, hopefully, been in an excellent environment, getting all of its nutrition and oxygen from the dam,” says Scott. “But once it’s born, it’s going to need to breathe on its own. It’s also going to need a nutritious diet. Stress and nutrition for the cow during the third trimester impacts colostrum quality and quantity.”

 

The most critical time

Is there a most important trimester?

“That’s like asking a parent to pick their favorite child,” says Scott. “Each trimester is vital in its own way.”

Historically, the last trimester was considered the most important because of 75 percent of fetal growth occurs during this time. Recently, more attention has been paid to the first trimester when the foundation of life is occurring. More research is being conducted to determine exactly how important this stage really is.

“One thing is clear – each trimester plays a significant role,” says Scott. “Consistent, daily nutrition to the dam can help avoid bad days that shortchange a developing fetus and its future performance.”

 

Take out the guesswork

What does all of this mean for you nutrition program?

“You don’t want to overfeed because it means you’re overspending,” says Scott. “However, feed is an investment, and good-quality forage is essential, especially during extreme heat or cold when energy intake is compromised.”

Cattle nutrition requirements change with the season, and it can sometimes be challenging to know what to provide your cows. One solution that helps eliminate guesswork is Accuration Supplement with Intake Modifying Technology. Accuration Supplements are designed so cows only consume them when they need them, which allows cows to get the nutrition they need.

Three trimesters and zero bad days. Take a look at your herd. See if there are ways you can reduce stress, provide more consistent cow nutrition and set your calves up for a bright future.

 

Article Attributed to Purina Mills and Ron Scott, Ph. D.

Pesticide Private Applicator License Training Session

Friday, August 18th, 2017
Aug
23
8:30 am

Private Applicator License TrainingA Pesticide Private Applicator License Training Session is scheduled for August 23, 2017, from 8:30 am to noon in Seymore, Texas. Josh Kouns, Baylor County Agriculture Extension Agent will lead the training. The class fee is $50 and will include books and training materials. Space is limited, so sign up today by calling 940-889-5581.

What:    Pesticide Private Applicator License Training Session
When:   Wednesday, August 23, 2017,  8:30 am to Noon
Where:  Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service
500 N Main St. Seymour, Texas 76380
940-889-5581

Who needs a Pesticide Private Applicator License? A private pesticide applicator is someone who uses or supervises the use of restricted-use or state-limited-use pesticides or regulated herbicides to produce an agricultural commodity on:

  • Personally owned property
  • Rented property
  • Property owned by his or her employer
  • Property under his or her general control
  • The property of another person if applied without compensation, other than the trading of personal services between producers of agricultural commodities.

Click for complete step-by-step procedures to obtain a private pesticide applicator license.

Six Ways to Feed Performance Horses for Greater Achievement

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Much like human athletes, performance horses have special nutritional needs.

And with all athletes, it’s important for diets to match activity and athletic level to reach the highest level of achievement.

These six tips may help you to supply your horse with adequate energy to support optimal performance.

1. Know if it’s anaerobic or aerobic exercise
Physical activity is broken into general categories, aerobic and anaerobic, and it can be helpful to understand the science.

Anaerobic exercise, characterized by short bursts of maximum effort, is primarily fueled by glycogen, a polysaccharide which is composed of sugars and stored in muscle fibers. Soluble carbohydrates from your horse’s diet provide the building blocks for glycogen.

Imagine a competitive cutting horse with its incredible agility, quick reactions and strength. A horse like this would be primarily engaged in anaerobic exercise while they’re working a cow. Race horses and even Thoroughbreds running a mile and a half are also highly anaerobic while they’re running the race. Such activity depends on a diet providing adequate soluble carbohydrates to store and replenish muscle glycogen needed to fuel these short, intense exercise bouts.

Aerobic exercise, characterized by low to moderate-intensity activity lasting from several minutes to several hours, is primarily fueled by fat. A slow burning fuel, fat can be perfect for keeping the horse going for the long haul.

Three-day eventing, polo, dressage, and endurance riding are all examples of activities that are primarily aerobic. Performance horses engaged in this type of exercise may benefit from high fat horse feeds.

Keep in mind, no performance activity is either all anaerobic or all aerobic; each athletic activity has components of both types of work, especially when you consider the warm-up period before an actual competition. However, fueling the horse with the dietary energy source from which they will draw the most fuel is a targeted way to optimize the horse’s ability to perform.

2. Don’t let forages fall flat
While horses in nature may live entirely on forage, equestrians typically demand more from their horses than would ever be required of them in nature. Therefore, supplemental nutrients and energy are needed to sustain top-level performance in working horses.

Forage can provide adequate fuel for maintenance or very low level activity, but does not supply enough sugar and starch to maintain the glycogen stores required for a hard-working performance horse to succeed. For horses working at a high level, a feed designed to support that workload will provide adequate soluble carbohydrates and fats to maintain the needed fuel storage for performance.

3. Electrolytes are essential
Horses generally need free choice salt, such as Purina® Free Balance® 12:12 Vitamin and Mineral Supplement, but performance horses have additional mineral requirements. Any time a horse is working and sweating, consider an electrolyte supplement and feed as directed.

Check the ingredients on electrolytes in your horse feed. They should include primarily sodium, potassium and chloride. Always ensure your performance horse has adequate access to fresh, clean water and is well hydrated. Do not give electrolyte supplementation to a dehydrated horse.

4. Time the feed
Horses should not be fed a large meal 3-4 hours before an extensive performance event. Feeding any closer to the exercise can have an adverse effect on the horse’s performance, as the blood used for digestion isn’t readily available to the muscle tissue.

If a horse usually has hay available, consider feeding small amounts of hay throughout the day. Feeding forages before an event may not pose the same challenges as a concentrated feed does. Generally speaking, feeding small meals more often is better for the performance horse than one or two large meals a day.

After the event, let the horse cool down before feeding and then consider feeding a small carbohydrate-rich meal, such as Purina® Ultium® Competition Horse Formula, 30-120 minutes after exercise to help replace the glycogen used during the event.

5. Focus on recovery
Recovery from exercise requires the replenishment of glycogen stores as well of the repair of muscle cells damaged during exercise. Research in humans and horses has shown that ingesting specific amino acids after exercise can decrease muscle recovery time. Horses performing intense, repetitive work have been shown to benefit from a very specific amino acid profile available in a dietary supplement, such as Purina® SuperSportAmino Acid Supplement.

AdobeStock_Grey Chesnut Horses Running_660876896. Rethink top-dressing
Horse owners often try to provide additional fat to their performance horses. However, simply top-dressing with oil or an unfortified fat supplement increases the fat and calorie content of the ration, but it doesn’t provide protein, vitamins or minerals to maintain the nutritional balance of the total diet. The best option is to feed a nutritionally balanced feed with a high fat content as well as the proper amount of protein, amino acids, and other nutrients essential to support optimal performance. Consider feeding Purina® Amplify® High-Fat Supplement formulated for horses needing: extra calories from fat for weight gain, conditioning, competition, showing or sales preparation.

Paying attention to these six areas may help your working horse achieve its true performance potential.

Looking for a way to get that shiny show-stopping coat? Read feeding horses for a shiny coat.

 

Don’t set and forget self-fed supplements

Monday, August 7th, 2017

Self-Fed SupplementsBetter management of self-fed supplements could improve consumption and optimize performance.

Self-fed supplements are commonly used to deliver essential nutrients to cattle and to meet their nutritional requirements. However, use of a self-fed supplement does not translate to a self-managed supplementation program. Proper management of self-fed supplements is important to achieve desired intake and cattle performance goals.

One of the biggest challenges producers face with self-fed supplements is consumption,” says Christina Hayes, Ph.D., beef product manager with Purina Animal Nutrition. “When intake isn’t within the expected range, cattle performance may suffer. For optimal performance, management of self-fed supplements is essential.”

Many things can influence consumption, from forage quality and amount to supplement location and water availability. But you can take steps to help manage supplements and optimize intake.

The first step to becoming a better supplement manager begins with measuring intake.

 

Determining Consumption

“Calculating consumption can help you get a baseline intake for your herd, which you can then compare to target intake levels for the supplement,” says Hayes. “If your herd’s intake is below or above target intake levels, then you know it’s time to make adjustments.”

The following calculation can help you measure herd intake:

(Pounds of supplement distributed / # of cattle) / # days supplement was available

When making this calculation, don’t forget that calves will consume some supplement as well.

“If a supplement is not being consumed at target intake levels, it’s time to start troubleshooting,” says Hayes. “What is the forage quality? Where is the feeder located? Have there been weather challenges? What is the overall feeding program?”

If consumption is a challenge, there are strategies you can implement to help achieve the desired intake.

 

Managing Supplements

Implementing some simple strategies can go a long way toward ideal supplement consumption.

Here are a few tips:

  • Look for a high-quality supplement that includes protein, energy, calcium, phosphorus and trace minerals
  • It is best to start supplementing early to ensure cattle requirements are being met. If you wait too long to supplement and cows have to play nutritional catch-up, you may experience supplement overconsumption.
  • Initially, place supplements near a water source or in loafing or grazing areas. Cattle frequently visit those spots, giving them more opportunity to consume as they adjust to using the supplements. As the cattle become more comfortable with supplements, you can gradually move supplements further from those areas to entice them to graze underutilized pasture.
  • Ensure fresh, cool water is available, preferably in the shade during the warm, summer months. As temperature and humidity rise, cattle will require more water. Poor water quality, or lack of water, can cause cattle to go off feed quickly, which can limit feed intake and overall cattle performance.
  • Do not move a full bulk feeder. The feed may pack, which can compromise flow, especially if the feed is oily.
  • Clean feeder troughs regularly to remove any compromised product and help keep product fresh. When it rains, feed behind an adjustable gate can become wet, causing feed to swell, and preventing flow of fresh feed. Removing wet feed will also prevent mold and rot.
  • For supplements with Intake Modifying Technology, consumption will adjust with changes in forage quantity and quality. Expect higher consumption with lower quality/quantity forage and lower consumption with higher quality/quantity forage. Be aware that in times of lower quality/quantity forage, cattle may consume supplements rapidly.

Here are some general rules of thumb by self-fed product:

Wind & Rain Storm Mineral:

  • Put fresh, non-medicated mineral out once per week.
  • Use a covered mineral feeder to help protect the mineral.
  • Know if your mineral is complete or non-complete. Complete minerals include salt, which helps drive intake.

Accuration Block or Tub Supplement:

  • In contrast to a plastic tub, blocks have corrugated cardboard sides. Initially, in smaller pastures, more than one big block can be placed in a feeding location. When consumption is determined, then the blocks can be relocated or separated.
  • Cows per block is a function of block size and pasture size.
    • 500 lb. block: One block per 20 to 25 cows
    • 200 lb. block: One block per 10 to 15 cows

Accuration Liquid Supplement:

  • All storage tanks and lick tanks must be cleaned prior to adding liquid.
  • At the end of the feeding season, tip tanks on their sides so the remaining liquid will flow out from the wheel slot. This prevents the remaining liquid from gelling, separating or molding inside the tank and keeps rain water from entering the tank.
  • Accuration Liquid is a suspension product. Without agitation, it can become thicker over time, so it is important to move the liquid on a regular basis to maintain the free-flowing state. If forage quality is meeting cattle requirements and liquid intake is low, it is a good practice to more the lick wheels manually. That should be done weekly to keep the product from thickening in the tank.

 

Driving performance

No matter the product form, a self-fed supplement should not be approached with a “set it and forget it” strategy. “Small things like adjusting tub location and cleaning out a feeder can work together to help you achieve desired intake levels,” says Hayes. “And more desirable consumption can, potentially, lead to improved cattle performance.”

The extra time spent calculating supplement consumption and making adjustments may be well worth it.

 

Article Attributed to Purina Mills and Christina Hayes, Ph. D.

2017 Ranchers Gathering in Decatur

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017
Aug
3
5:30 pm

Ranchers GatheringThe 2017 Ranchers Gathering kicks off Thursday, August 3, 2017, at the First Baptist Church in Decatur, Texas.

What: Ranchers Gathering
When: August 3, 2017, 5:30 to 8:30 pm
Where: First Baptist Church, Decatur, TX
Cost: $10 Registration due by July 31st

Dr. Bruce Carpenter, Professor and Livestock Specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service out of the Midland/Odessa Region to come speak about “Managing Females for Fertility and Lifetime Value.”

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for everyone to visit booths at the trade show. The trade show will feature over 20 agriculture related businesses offering the newest in technology for beef cattle producers. Dinner is set for 6:00 p.m. The $10 registration fee covers the meal and makes you eligible for one of the many door prizes given away during the program. This year’s event is being sponsored by the Wise County Extension Livestock and Forage Committee.

The deadline to register is Monday, July 31, 2017. To register, come by the Wise County Extension office at 206 S. State Street. Please make checks payable to Extension Livestock Committee. For more information, please call the Wise County Extension Office at 940-627-3341. Click here for directions.

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