Archive for February, 2020

It’s Time To Plant Spring Pasture Seed

Monday, February 24th, 2020

spring pasture seedIt’s time plant Spring Pasture Seed for grazing or haying.  For our region of Texas, mid-April is the right time to plant your spring seed.  J&N Feed and Seed offers a wide selection of pasture grasses, including individual species as well as mixtures containing several grass-seed species. We offer over 40 types of seed, including Giant Bermuda, Klein Grass and Cattle King 3 Way Cross Sudan and more. We also carry a variety of native grasses and improved pasture grasses. Mixtures include specific pasture-grass blends that will work best for horse pastures and “all-purpose” mixtures for pastures where horses, cows, goats, etc. may be grazing together. Not sure what to plant? Click here to learn more about the different warm-season grasses that thrive in Texas.

Not sure what you need?  Stop by and talk with our experts; we’re here to help!  We also carry a variety of bagged and bulk fertilizers for delivery or pickup.  Stop by J & N Feed and Seed, or call us for delivery at (940) 549-4631.

10 Daily Tips for Your Show Cattle

Thursday, February 6th, 2020

10 Daily Tips for Your Show CattleWhen you want to be successful at sports, you don’t just show up for games and expect to win.
You attend team practices, you practice at home and you follow the game plan outlined by the coach. The same concept applies to showing cattle. You prepare for the ‘game’ through daily animal care, grooming and seeking guidance from the pros or a ‘coach.’ You follow that game plan right up until show day.

Bob May, Purina® Honor® Show Chow® Ambassador from Mineral Point, Wis., uses an intense and individualized game plan for each of his cattle.

“Success in the showring starts with the cattle’s conformation, but is achieved with consistent hard work and daily care to get the cattle where they need to be at the show,” says May.

The calf may be the star athlete, but even the best athletes don’t perform well without proper daily training, management and a supportive team behind them.

May suggests the following daily care tips to help take your show project to the next level:

1. Involve a veterinarian. Before an animal arrives at your farm, have a plan in place through your veterinarian for health and vaccination protocols. Ask the prior owner for a full health history on the animal, so you can have all of the animal’s health information at hand.

2. Earn the animal’s trust. A show calf needs to trust you, and trust comes in the form of working with the animal on a daily basis. It may be a long, slow process, but it’s one that’s essential to form a partnership with your project animal.

3. Have a consistent feeding routine. May suggests feeding individually at the same time each day. Cattle crave consistency, and when they are fed inconsistently they might also eat inconsistently. May also emphasizes that calves may eat better when they eat in a group setting. To make this possible, he will place individual calves in different runs nose-to-nose and feed them at the same time to mimic feeding in a group.

4. Monitor feed intake. Monitor what your animal is consuming at each feeding, and clean out old feed immediately. May has seen cases where new feed is simply dumped on top of old feed.

“You can quickly lose track of how much feed your calf is actually consuming,” explains May. “You think they are getting 15 pounds at night, and they are actually getting 18 because someone didn’t clean out the old feed from the morning.”

5. Ensure water availability and quality. Animals should have access to clean, cool water at all times. This basic animal care tip is sometimes overlooked, according to May.

“We clean our water tanks frequently,” May says. “Clean, cool water will keep cattle drinking and eating in those hot summer months when consumption usually drops off.”

6. Keep pens and cooler rooms clean. May mentions a good rule of thumb is if it smells or looks wet or dirty – clean it. A clean pen or cooler room will make grooming and daily care of the animal easier for both the animal and the exhibitor.

“If you don’t want to be in those pens or cooler rooms because of the smell, then the animal doesn’t want to be either,” he explains. “Cooler rooms do not equate to hair growth. Cleanliness is most important for hair growth.”

7. Learn the hair cycles. Hair grows in 90-day cycles, and this knowledge can help you determine what stage an animal’s hair will be in (or you want to be in) as you arrive at your show date. For example, for a show in August, May’s goal is to have all the old hair removed by the middle of May.

May doesn’t shear off any of his calves, but recognizes this is a standard practice for some breeds. Instead, he relies on a shedding comb to bust through and remove old hair. The shedding comb works best when hair is dirty and dusty, not wet or caked with manure.

8. Practice, practice, practice. May has his own children show their animals in competition at least twice before heading to their target show. This allows the animals and exhibitors to shake their ‘first-time jitters.’

“Specifically at the county fair level, it may be the first and only time both the kids and the cattle have seen the showring,” he explains. “And usually, that is not a good experience for the exhibitor or the animal.”

9. Find a hoof trimmer you can trust. May encourages all exhibitors to seek an expert in hoof care and recommends networking with other show enthusiasts to find a good trimmer in your area. Unlike clipping and fitting, there is little room for practice on hooves.

“Find a good hoof trimmer that will do a little trimming on the top, but does most of the work underneath the hoof,” he says. “A bad hoof trimming can result in disaster.”

10. Stick to the game plan. Have a management plan. Identify important dates before the show, and execute your plan daily.

“If you don’t focus on the management, other exhibitors will,” explains May. “And quite simply, if you don’t focus – those that do will beat you. They will be better prepared.”

For more management 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

Managing and Feeding Cattle in Winter

Thursday, February 6th, 2020

Managing and feeding cattle in winter can be tricky. Maybe you can’t tell the difference between 15 and 32 degrees F after spending a few minutes outside, but your cattle can. Slight changes in temperature can have a considerable impact on energy and cow nutritional requirements.Cold stress occurs when cattle require more energy to sustain basic bodily functions at a specific temperature, called the lower critical temperature (LCT). The LCT helps us understand when cows start experiencing cold stress. See the chart to the right for LCT broken down by hair coat. As temperatures decrease, cow nutritional requirements increase. Add in precipitation or wind and requirements increase even more.

If cows are shorted on nutrition during cold stress, it can have a domino effect on performance.

Nutritional deficiency resulting from cold stress can lead to cows producing lighter and weaker calves. Low-quality colostrum and later return to estrus in the breeding season

Lower Critical Temperature (LCT) broken down by hair coat for cattle. can also result, compromising conception rates and weaning weights.
Strategies for managing and feeding cattle in the winter can help alleviate cold stress and support cow nutritional requirements.

How can you mitigate cold stress?

Cold stress mitigation should start with keeping cattle warm. Offering protection from the elements like bedding, windbreaks, snow breaks and a place to get out of the mud can all help keep cattle warm and dry. Protecting cattle from wind, rain, and snow isn’t always enough, however.

Snow often reminds us to think about cow nutritional requirements and supplementation options. But what if the snow never falls? Temperature is the underlying factor in cold stress.

When feeding cattle in winter, provide them with nutrition to meet their needs during cold stress. Plan out feeding strategies early, before cow body condition scores start to slip, to help your cows weather cold temperatures.

Know your forages.

Feeding cattle stored forage can be challenging. Testing forages gives you a better understanding of what you’re feeding cattle in winter when temperatures drop.

Testing total digestible nutrients (TDN) will provide an estimate of the total amount of nutrients that could be digested by the animal. The greater the TDN value, the more energy cattle get from forages.

Forage intake is another consideration. Cows will likely spend less time grazing as temperatures decline. Less grazing time results in reduced forage intake which makes it challenging to meet cow energy requirements. Feeding cattle in winter with low-quality hay might not be enough to offset reduced forage intake.

Once you know forage nutritional value and assess intake levels, monitor cow body condition score (BCS) and temperature to identify cow energy requirements.

Evaluate cow nutritional requirements.

A cow’s energy requirement, or TDN, increases by 1% for every degree below the LCT as a rule of thumb.

However, cow body condition scores impact nutritional requirements. A cow in a BCS 5 needs 30% more energy to maintain body condition than a cow in a BCS 6 at 32 degrees. The same principle holds true as BCS decreases below 5.

A third trimester 1300-pound cow requires 13 pounds of TDN at 32 degrees. However, at 0 degrees the same cow needs an additional 4 pounds or roughly 17 pounds of TDN. For comparison, the temperature drop means the same cow now requires 8 more pounds of 50% TDN hay.

When feeding cattle in winter, consider a high-quality supplement to help fill a cow’s energy gap while helping cows get the most out of existing forages.

Purina® Accuration® supplements are a great option to provide additional energy, balance forage nutrient deficiencies and support performance.

Elizabeth Backes, Ph.D.

Nutritionist, Beef Technical Solutions

February Garden Tips

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020

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.

Purina Carb Conscious Horse Treats & Outlast Horse Treats

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020

Purina Carb Conscious Horse Treats and Outlast Horse Treats at J&N Feed in Graham, Texas. Show your horses some love with NEW Purina Carb Conscious and Outlast Horse Treats, now in-stock at J&N Feed and Seed.

Purina Carb Conscious Horse Treats

  • Your horse will love this great tasting treat, and you will feel great knowing that it is low in both starch and sugar. Carb Conscious Treats were researched at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center and are a perfect nutritional complement to any horse feed, even for horses with metabolic concerns. You can feel good rewarding (or just spoiling) all of your horses!

Purina Outlast Horse Treats

  • Show your horses (and their bellies!) some love with Purina® Outlast® Horse Treats. These treats contain the Outlast® Gastric Support Supplement that helps support optimal gastric pH.  Convenient at home or on the road. Outlast Supplement contains a unique blend of ingredients to support proper pH, giving you and your horse the confidence to perform. Feed as a reward or treat. Do not feed free-choice. Feeding 5-6 treats will help support optimal gastric pH. Feeding 10-12 treats will provide a full serving of Outlast® Gastric Support Supplement for a 1,000 lb horse. *Purina® Outlast® Gastric Support Supplement has been researched at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center and is a perfect complement to any horse’s diet.

Stop into J & N Feed and Seed, located in Graham, Texas,  for any and all of your equine feed and supplies including Carb Conscious and Outlast Horse Treats. Have questions? Please contact us and a helpful member of our staff will reach out to you.

Find more information on Purina’s line of horse treats here.

Apply Pre-Emergents for Spring Weed Control

Monday, February 3rd, 2020

Apply pre emergents for spring weed control. Pick up diminsion and gallery pre emergents at J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, Texas.

Regardless of what the groundhog says, spring is right around the corner and it’s time to think about spring weed control.  With the mild winter, we’ve had, it’s time to apply pre-emergent for your yard. You have about a six-week window to apply pre-emergents, from the first of February to the middle of March.  There are three factors that will determine when a seed will germinate: soil temperature, moisture, and sunlight. The pre-emergent must be applied and active BEFORE that magic moment of germination occurs.

At J&N, we’ve got several products we recommend for weed control:

Synthetic Pre-Emergents

Hi-Yield Turf & Ornamental Weed and Grass Stopper – Contain dimension pre-emergent, which provides superior control of crabgrass as well as control or suppression of other listed weeds when applied before they germinate. It also provides post-emergent control of crabgrass only and is effective on crabgrass up to four weeks after it has germinated and emerged. Do not apply this product later than four weeks after crabgrass has germinated. The12# bag covers 3,000 sq ft and the 35# bag that covers 10,000 square feet.

A-Vert Plus Lawn Food 18-0-12 –  Contains Gallery and Team, pre-emergent herbicides for control of annual grasses and broadleaf weeds in established home lawns. Apply only twice per year for effective dandelion and crabgrass control. A 12lb bag covers up to 2,000 square feet.

Weed Free Zone – Controls over 80 of the toughest-to-control broadleaf weeds including Clover, Ground Ivy, Spurge, Chickweed, Dandelion, Henbit, Oxalis, Poison Ivy, Purslane, Shepherds Purse, Thistle, Virginia Buttonweed, Wild Onion and many others listed on the label. Formulated for cooler weather, it’s a great first application of the season pre-emergent.

Organic Pre-Emergent

Corn Gluten Meal – An all-natural option for weed control is corn gluten meal. It is available in both granulated and powder form and it is applied at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

The key to success with these products is to apply the correct amount to your lawn.  Follow the label directions and know the square footage of your lawn.

 

Pick Up Spring Onions & Seed Potatoes at J&N

Saturday, February 1st, 2020

Pick up spring onions & seed potatoes at J&N Feed and Seed. We’ve got a  variety of spring onions & seed potatoes in-stock and ready for your garden. We’ll have a good selection of Cole Crops arriving mid-February so keep an eye on Facebook and we’ll let you know when they’ve arrived.

Onions & seed potatoes at J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, TexasJ&N Onion Varieties

  • 1015-Sweet Onion  – A giant yellow onion with a super sweet taste. Onions can grow as large as softballs—and store well for 2-3 months.
  •  Georgia Sweet (Yellow Granex) – Sweet as an apple” is the expression used to describe its mild flavor.
  • White Granex – It is a white version of the popular Yellow Granex hybrid
  • Burgundy Red – Produces colorful, 4 in. wide onions that have red skins with a white & pink interior. It has a mild, sweet flavor.

February is the time to get your onions sets in the ground. Read more about planting onion sets here.

J&N Potato Varieties

Onions & Seed Potatoes at J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, Texas

  • Kennebec Seed Potatoes – Thin, smooth skin and flesh make these oval potatoes an all-purpose pantry staple.
  • La Soda Seed Potatoes –  A distinctive rosy skin and waxy white flesh. Widely adapted and reliable withstands cold, heat and drought.

Tips For 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.

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.

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