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February Garden Tips

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

February Garden Tips

Keep in mind that the average last freeze for North Texas area is not until mid-March. Even so, many plants normally begin to show signs of growth in February, which makes it the perfect time, to get outside and work in the yard.

Pruning is both an art and a necessary maintenance function. Most trees and shrubs can be lightly pruned at any time; however mid-winter is generally the best time for major pruning.

Summer flowering trees and shrubs should be pruned before buds begin to swell for Spring, generally they bloom on new growth; examples are crape myrtle, butterfly bush, spiraea and honeysuckle. If those seed heads on crepe myrtles bother you, remove them this month. Just clip back the ends of the branches, do not destroy the beauty of the gracefully sculptured trunks by severe pruning. Please never top a crape myrtle. Spring flowering plants such as azalea, Carolina jessamine, wisteria, forsythia, and quince should not be pruned until after the blooms are spent.

February is the best time for pruning most roses. Remove any old and diseased canes then cut the remaining canes back by 50%. Make your cuts above a bud that faces away from the center of the plant.

Early to mid-February marks the time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide for lawns. These products kill germinating seed. A second application may be needed in late May or early June. Remember that the best defense against lawn weeds is a healthy, thick turf resulting from good management.

February Garden TipsTrim back perennials and ornamental grasses before the new growth appears in Spring. Clean up around plants and mulch well to protect.

Thinking about a spring garden? Look for onion sets and seed potatoes, they arrive early. By planting early, plants will be off to a better start and can become adjusted before the stresses of summer arrive.

Cattle Feed Supplements: Enhance Reproduction and Profits by Maintaining Body Condition

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

CattleFeatureDuring the winter months, it’s easy to find reasons to skip your cattle feed supplements.

After all, trudging across fields when it’s windy and cold — and sometimes snowing — isn’t anyone’s favorite task. The cold, wind, dampness and mud all take a toll on your herd, 24 hours a day, increasing their energy requirements dramatically. And, for spring calving cows, that’s especially significant. Their bodies are already struggling to meet the energy demands of a maturing fetus. Consequently, it’s crucial they remain in sound body condition to successfully calve, produce milk and rebreed promptly.

Provide adequate nutrition for pregnant cows 
“The last third of gestation accounts for about 70 to 80 percent of calf growth,” said Les Anderson, Ph.D., extension professor at the University of Kentucky. “During the last two weeks, an average calf grows about two pounds each day.” Anderson explained that cows must at least maintain body condition — and preferably gain slightly — during that last period so they will have sufficient energy stores to calve rapidly and easily. He said one common myth is that increased feeding will increase calf birth weight, thus raising the chances for dystocia.

He said a number of studies have explored this and concluded the opposite is true. “Cows that lost weight during the last trimester had smaller calves, but also had more problems calving,” he remarked. “They simply didn’t have sufficient energy stores in their bodies to calve rapidly and easily on their own. On the other hand, cows that maintained or gained weight had a lower incidence of calving problems — even though their calves weighed slightly more.” But, the benefits of maintaining body condition during winter don’t stop there. Body condition also affects fertility, rebreeding and pregnancy, all of which can have a direct impact on herd profitability.

Consider long-term cattle health, profitability in decisions
Lee Dickerson, Ph.D., and senior cattle consultant at Purina Animal Nutrition, agrees that body condition throughout the entire reproductive cycle can make a significant difference on reproductive success and overall net return to the producer. Dr. Dickerson recommends “targeting a body condition score of 6 at calving, a 5.5 at bull turn-in, AI (artificial insemination), or ET (embryo transfer) and a 4.5 to 5 at weaning.” So what keeps producers — and Anderson says it’s a big percentage of them — from achieving the desired body condition, especially during winter?

He says the short-term cost of cattle feed supplements during the winter months often blinds producers to the long-term return they will receive on that investment. “With feed costs being what they have been over the past few years, producers ask, can I afford it right now?” Anderson explained. “Ultimately, if they don’t make the expenditure, they end up paying the price because their cows will have a reduced ability to conceive — and conceive early, plus a lower overall reproduction rate. But, they don’t see that loss right off.” He said the University of Kentucky Extension helps producers make better decisions through “enterprise analyses” that evaluate potential expenditures against projected calving rates, weaning weights, rebreeding rates and pregnancy rates. “This makes intelligent decisions a lot easier,” he explained.

The cost of skimping on nutrition
Anderson described a retrospective analysis his extension conducted for a producer who had experienced an excessively dry summer and fall. The producer opted not to spend the $6,000 to $7,000 needed for feed to maintain body condition from calving to breeding. On review, they found he only achieved a 42 percent pregnancy rate. That lower rate resulted in a $17,000 loss — more than twice the amount he would have spent on feed to achieve his usual 85 to 90 percent pregnancy rate.

Supplementation during winter months
Clearly, maintaining body condition in the winter is important. To achieve it, supplementation is required. “You need to boost the nutrient supply when the weather gets colder to maintain the cows’ nutrient needs,” Anderson explained. “Even with balanced forage, a rudimentary ration won’t take into account their additional needs during these months.”

Purina has a wide range of cattle feed supplements, such as Purina® Accuration® supplements, to provide that extra nutrition opportunity. Purina® Accuration® supplements not only provide balanced protein and energy, but also incorporate Intake Modifying Technology® which enhances digestion and aims to prevent overeating by stimulating cattle to eat smaller, more frequent meals. This self-regulated eating means cattle eat just what they need, so less feed is wasted and less hand feeding is required.

Pre-winter preparation, spring moderation 
In addition to supplementing during winter, Anderson emphasized the importance of getting cattle in shape before the cold weather hits. Plus, he cautioned producers to avoid the “rush to grass” in the spring, which can also have a negative impact on rebreeding. “Early spring grass is so nutrient dense that it passes through animals rapidly and they are not able to absorb all the nutrients. They can actually get in a negative energy balance because they don’t have it in their bodies long enough to absorb it,” he said.

Anderson recommends adding supplements at this time as well, to slow the passage rate and keep energy up. But, most of all at this time of year, Anderson says it’s important to keep in mind that “when the weather gets bad and you don’t want to go outside, that’s when the cattle need you most. They’re trying to fight that weather, and they need more energy. It’s well-documented that if they lose weight during this time, it will affect their ability to rebreed.”

Article Attributed to Purina Animal Nutrition

Feed AntlerMax Deer 20 During Antler Growth Season

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

AntlerMaxFeed AntlerMax Deer 20 with Climate Guard during antler growth season. So much of what we do in the care and feeding of deer pass relatively unnoticed in the short term. But antler growth season is when “instant gratification” seekers can practically see results occur right before their eyes.

Growing at a rate of half an inch per day, antlers are some of the fastest growing tissues in the animal kingdom. That’s why it’s essential that deer consume the most nutritious diet of the year during antler growth season. Unfortunately, this is also the time when forage quality is typically low. However, there are things you can do to compensate.

Good Health

As winter comes to an end, breeding season is officially over, testosterone levels drop and bucks begin shedding their antlers. Usually, within a month, they’ll start growing their next set.

If the required nutrients are in short supply during the antler growth period, several things can happen—none of them good:

  • Antler growth rate can slow down. There’s only a small window of opportunity for antler growth (about 120 days a year), and an antler growing at the rate of 15 grams per day is obviously going to be smaller than one growing by 25 grams per day
  • Less dense antlers are more subject to breakage in rut fights
  • Desirable characteristics that affect Boone & Crockett Score, such as antler mass (volume and weight), number of points and beam circumference are negatively impacted by poor nutrition.

Growing a new set of antlers places huge demands on a buck’s body. Since a buck cannot eat enough in a day to mineralize his antlers, his body is forced to extract minerals from his ribs, sternum, and skull and deposit them in the antlers. As a result, his bone density may actually be diminished by as much as 30 percent. So not only does a buck have to grow antlers, he has to replenish the minerals in his bones in order to be able to do the same thing again next year. (This is why mineral nutrition is so critical even after antlers are finished growing.)

Hardened antlers are high in minerals, mostly calcium (about 20 percent) and phosphorus (about 10 percent), in addition to a lot of trace minerals such as zinc, copper, and manganese. Phosphorus, which is commonly deficient in many soils and plants throughout the US, is particularly critical. And what many people do not realize is that, even after they harden, antlers are still over 35% protein.

purina antler max-http://www.jandnfeedandseed.comGood Nutrition

Because antler growth is low on the priority list of functions required to sustain life, antlers only receive “what’s left” of nutrients after life-sustaining needs have been met. In other words, deer will not even begin to grow antlers until they’ve regained body condition (This is why a year-round feeding program gives you such a distinct advantage.)

So what can you do to ensure the best possible outcome during the antler growth period? From now through August, try feeding a diet that is formulated especially for optimal growth, density, and strength. A good option is Purina Mills® AntlerMax® Deer 20 product. This pelleted ration is 20-percent protein, highly palatable and should be fed free-choice to wild deer with access to good habitat or quality hay. Formulated with patented AntlerMax® Technology, it’s one of the most critical steps you can take right now to help deer attain their full potential—and satisfy your need for “instant gratification.”

Find out more about AntlerMax products here.

Certified Public Scale at J&N Feed in Graham, TX

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

certified public scaleOur Certified Public Scale is OPEN at J&N Feed and Seed. Our certified public scale is available for all of your trucks and trailers, or any vehicle-weighing needs.  We issue Certified Weight Certificates for cars, trucks, boats, trailers, campers, tractor trailers, and more. Whether you’re moving in our out, hauling livestock, or towing a vehicle, get it weighed on our certified scale, right here in Graham, Texas.

J&N Feed and Seed
450 Pecan Street
Graham, TX 76450
(940) 549-4631

Call us today to find out more information about our new public scale. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

J&N Is Now A Federal Firearms License Dealer

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

federal firearms licenseJ&N Feed and Seed now holds a Federal Firearms License (FFL). As a FFL Dealer, we can sell firearms and facilitate FFL to FFL transfer process. FFL to FFL transfers involves the shipping of a gun between two gun dealers that both have a Federal Firearms License. If you’re looking to order a rifle, shotgun or handgun on-line from an FFL dealer, we can help you complete the process.   Give us a call or stop by J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, Texas and talk to us about your firearm needs.

The Federal Firearms License was established to implement the Federal Firearms Act of 1938. The FFA required all manufacturers and dealers of firearms who ship or receive firearms or ammunition in interstate or foreign commerce to have a license, and forbade them from transferring any firearm or most ammunition to any person interstate unless certain conditions were met. As a practical matter, this did not affect the interstate commerce in firearms or ammunition. It was with the adoption of the Gun Control Act in 1968, which repealed most of the FFA, that the lawful interstate trade of firearms was limited almost entirely to persons holding a Federal Firearms License in the United States..

Top 5 Showmanship Tips from the Experts

Friday, December 29th, 2017

The Head of a Cattle Champion Simmental Cow.Countless hours are spent preparing a project heifer or steer for show day.

Early mornings and late nights are consumed washing, feeding, clipping and practicing. All of that work accumulates for ‘5 minutes of fame’ – the brief time when an animal walks into the ring and gets a chance to impress the judge. After a few laps around the ring, exhibitors get a chance to display their animal’s side profile, then animals are pulled in, placed and the class is over.

When all is said and done, exhibitors and their projects have only been in the ring for a few short minutes, even in large, competitive classes. How can exhibitors make the most of those few minutes, while the judge contemplates his or her decision? How can they make sure their animals are presented to perfection during that time, giving the judge the best look possible?

Honor® Show Chow® Ambassadors Dave Allan, Bob May and Kirk Stierwalt have had decades of combined show industry experience and all have had the opportunity to judge showmanship on a regular basis.

Now, they are sharing their top five showmanship tips based on their expertise and experience to help exhibitors and their projects excel in the ring:

1. Teach cattle manners.
“Cattle need to know the cues and fundamentals to be shown properly in the showring,” says Stierwalt. “It’s hard to win, even if you have a good calf, if you can’t get it set up.”

Practicing at home and in various environments is critical. The only way for an animal to learn cues and get comfortable showing is to practice. Practicing in variable environments – whether that be indoor or outdoor, individually or with a group, with background noise or without – can help prepare your animal for a situation they might encounter in the showring.

2. Know your animal.
“Not all cattle are set up the same,” says Stierwalt. “You need to know what your calf looks like from a judge’s point-of-view to show them with the best result.”

For some exhibitors it may come naturally to correct flaws with their project, while for others it may take some time to see what the judge sees in the showring. While one animal may need it’s head held a bit higher, another might need it’s back touched down just a bit more. Practicing both on the halter and off, can help exhibitors identify flaws and learn how best to correct those flaws in the ring.

3. Walk into a staggered position.
One of Dave Allan’s top tips is learning how to walk your cattle into a staggered position to minimize showstick use for feet placement.

“Practice at home by taking the last several steps, switch hands while walking backwards looking at the back feet, and walk them into staggered position,” says Allan. “By doing so, most of the time you’ll only have to move the left front foot. You’ll be set up quickly and avoid a lot of time spent on unnecessary shuffling of the feet.”

Allan adds that learning the in’s and out’s of halter pressure will help when the need does arise to shuffle feet.

4. Set, and don’t forget.
Both Allan and May emphasize that while many parents tell their kids to watch the judge and smile, too often young exhibitors end up staring the judge down and disregarding presentation of their animal.

“Exhibitors spend months preparing for a show. To be competitive you need to watch your animal. First and foremost you need to get them set up, then look for the judge,” says May.

Allan adds, “You need to know where the judge is to correctly set your animal up and watch for cues to get pulled, but priority should be on making sure your animal is set up properly.”

5. Never be late. 
Whether the class is showmanship or the animal’s actual class, May advises exhibitors to always be on time. Be aware of how quickly classes are going, keep a close watch on the showring as your class approaches and be ready to enter the ring once the previous class is in.

If a judge has to wait for a late arrival or is already in the midst of placing the class, exhibitors late to the ring often won’t get the look they worked hard to receive.

An exhibitor may have a potential class-winning animal, but if not properly presented and fed, that animal may not rise to the top. Practicing and perfecting showmanship skills are critical for giving the judge the best look on show day, as is a high-quality plane of nutrition.

For more showring tips join the online community of show enthusiasts at www.facebook.com/HonorShowChow or at www.twitter.com/HonorShowChow.

Article Attributed to Purina Animal Nutrition

Planting Potatoes, Onions and Other Cool Weather Vegetables

Friday, December 29th, 2017

PotatoesInDirtSeed Potatoes and onion set arrive mid-January at J&N Feed and Seed. Planting potatoes and onions are at the top of everyone’s gardening list this time of year. As everyone in North Texas knows, our late January and February weather can be a gamble— temps can be spring-like one day and fall below freezing the next.  But, the weather extremes should not deter gardeners from planting during these months.  Potatoes are top of the list for planting this time of year.

Other good go-to cold weather vegetables are root produce such as turnips, beets, and carrots as well as hardy leafy greens like spinach, cabbage, kale, and chard. Bulb veggies (onions and garlic), as well as asparagus crowns, can also be planted at this time.

Preparing and Planting Potatoes 

When purchasing seed potatoes, look for certified seed potatoes. These are seeding potatoes which have not been treated with growth retardants to prevent sprouting. Conventional potatoes in grocery markets are typically treated with retardants.

After you have planned and prepared a garden spot with well-drained, loose soil, the seed potatoes can be prepped for planting:

Cut each seed potato into quarters (sulfur dust can be applied to the fresh cut ends) and let the potato quarters set out overnight or longer until cut sides callus over.  Seed potato quarters are then ready to plant— for a good rule of thumb, potato quarters should be planted 3” to 4” deep and spaced 12” to 15” apart. To provide plants plenty of growing room, make sure rows are spaced 24” to 36” apart.

Caring for Potato Plants

Potatoes need consistent moisture, so water regularly when tubers start to form.  Before the potato plants bloom, hilling should be done when the plant is about 6 inches tall. Hoe the dirt up around the base of the plant in order to cover the root as well as to support the plant. Bury the plant base in loose soil. Hilling will keep the potato plants from getting sunburned, in which case they turn green and will taste bitter.  You will need to hill potatoes every couple of weeks to protect your crop.

When the potato plants have bloomed, new potatoes are ready for harvest.  For larger potatoes, harvest only after plant tops have fallen over. For more information on planting seed potatoes, visit the Texas A&M website.

Other Cool Weather Vegetable Plantings

Lettuce, spinach, and cabbage can be planted at this time either by seeds or plant starts. For reference, these vegetables can be planted in February with seed or starter plants.

Stop by J&N for your seed potatoes, onion sets, and other cool weather vegetables.

 

January Garden Tips

Friday, December 29th, 2017

January Garden Tips

It may be chilly outside at this time of the year, but winter is a perfect time for a number of outdoor chores. Just consider how much better outdoor chores like soil preparation, planting, transplanting, and pruning can be done without toiling in hot summer temperatures.

January Garden If you need to move a plant to a different spot in the landscape, this is the month to accomplish this job. Most plants move best when they are fully dormant as a result of prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. Remove some of the top growth to compensate for the inevitable loss of some of the roots. Once the plant is moved, water thoroughly, apply root stimulator, and a few inches of mulch over the root area.

January is a great month to accomplish pruning of fruit trees. Annual pruning keeps the harvest within reach, thins crowded branches, allowing more light to penetrate developing fruit and stimulates new growth for next year’s crop. Shade trees can also be pruned at this time.

Fruit trees and vines can be planted at this time as the ground usually does not freeze here in north Texas. You can also prepare the soil for new flower, rose or shrub beds by mixing plenty of organic material like compost or a flower or shrub mix. This way the soil is ready for immediate planting when temperatures get a little warmer.

Fertilize pansies to keep them actively growing. Houseplants can be fertilized with reduced rates of water-soluble fertilizer this month. Do not over-water your houseplants.

Birds of all kinds appreciate a constant source of seed, suet and water during the winter and you will enjoy the activity they create in your backyard. Just remember once you start feeding, you should keep it up through the winter.

Young County Junior Livestock Show 2018

Thursday, December 28th, 2017
JanJan
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young county junior livestock show

Young County Junior Livestock Show 2018

The Young County Junior Livestock Show kicks off Thursday, January 11, 2018.  The show will run through Saturday, January 13, 2018, in the Main Arena of the Young County Arena. Come out and show your support for our local kids at this great event.

Before you head to the arena, stop by J&N Feed and Seed for Sullivan Show Supplies, show feeds by Lindner, Moorman, Honor Show Chow, shavings and more. Let our experts help you raise a winner in the ring this show season. Good luck to everyone showing this year!

Location: Young County Arena – 120 Barclay Blvd. Graham, TX

Date: Thursday, January 11, through Saturday, January 13, 2018

Click here for driving directions to Young County Arena.

 

 

 

7 Plants That Need Winter Pruning

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Between now and mid-February Texas winter pruninggardeners should begin winter pruning.  Neal Sperry offers this list of plants that should be pruned during this time of year.

  • Shade trees:  remove damaged or dead branches (pruning sealant only on oak cuts). All cuts should be flush with the branch collar on the trunk.
  • Evergreen shrubs: prune to maintain natural growth form of your evergreen shrubs.
  • Peach and plum trees:  prune to remove the vertical growth and keep plants low and from spreading.
  • Grapes: for those that grow grapes, remove as much as 80 to 85 percent of cane growth.
  • Summer-flowering shrubs and vines: prune damaged or excessive branches. Do not top your crape myrtle plants.
  • Prune dead stems and leaves from perennials to tidy up your garden beds.
  • Prune freeze-damaged stems from plants hurt by December cold. (Could include gardenias, oleanders, bottlebrush, pittosporum, depending on where you live in Texas.)

Spend the time now to prune and care for your trees and plants, it will pay off in the spring.  Looking for garden supplies?  Come visit our store!

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