As I write this article on Monday, the heat and humidity are both high, making things uncomfortable. Remember it makes things uncomfortable for all our livestock, also. A couple of the most important considerations are certainly water and shade. Be sure that clean water is always available, especially in hot weather. Make routine checks of the water supply. Cattle need 13 to 20 gallons of clean water in hot weather.
While we are discussing livestock needs, it is not too early to be planning the winter feeding program now. Have forage analyses conducted on spring-cut hay and have large, round bales covered. Most of the hay was cut late due to a wet spring, so an analysis will give us the knowledge needed to make the best decisions come feeding time.
Start soil testing pastures to determine fertilization needs for this fall.
If you are thinking about stockpiling some fescue pasture for excellent winter feeding, start adjusting your grazing scheme to have those pastures grazed down by the end of July, then close the gates and apply nitrogen to maximize the fall growth period.
Rinse and return
Farmers are advised to mark the date Thursday, July 21, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., for the annual Rinse and Return Program. This years’ drop-off location for clean plastic pesticide containers will be the Shelby County Road Department.
The Rinse and Return program is being supported by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture in an effort to reduce the amount of plastic going to landfills or simply taking up space around the farming operation. The collection of plastic pesticide containers will be chipped and reused in new plastic jugs. The rinsing part of the name insures that clean containers are brought to the collection site, but more importantly means that no residues may harm any workers in the effort. A properly cleaned jug has been rinsed at least 3 times, preferably immediately upon use, where the rinse water can be added to the spray tank. This not only creates the clean product which can be easily recycled in the Rinse and Return program, but makes sure that every drop of expensive crop medicine is used on the crop.
For more details on the Rinse and Return Program for empty pesticide containers, please contact the Henry County Extension Office at 845-2811.
Low input vegetable production
As a part of the July 21 Third Thursday Thing, Dr. Tim Coolong, UK Horticulture Specialist, has announced a great learning opportunity for those interested in Vegetable Production. The training will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the KSU Mills Lane farm and include the traditional meal with the Third Thursday Program. There will be about two hours of lecture based learning in the morning followed by 1-2 hours of field exercises.
Topics will include nutrient and weed management in low input vegetable production systems.
Goat and sheep summit
KSU is hosting a Goat (and Sheep) Summit on Aug. 9-11. The cost is $25 (includes lodging, meals and educational materials). It is free for 4-H members with an accompanying paid adult and the recommendation of their 4-H Agent or Certified Leader, school excuses will be provided. The Summit is to be held at the Center for Sustainable Farms and Families at the Mills Lane Farm
Topics will include: Performance Testing and Production Records; Tools and Equipment for the Goat Producer; Selecting Breeding Stock; Marketing to Chef’s; Business Records for Small Producers; Value Added Marketing; Browsing and grazing behavior of goats and how to use it to your advantage; Alternative Forages; Nutritional considerations for small ruminants; Forage Quality: Importance to your Farm; Selection, fitting, and showing; Essentials to a successful small ruminant enterprise; Electric Fencing options and issues.
As you can see, this is an informational packed conference. Get more information by contacting the Henry County Extension Office at 845-2811.