Tips for spring calvers

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By Steve Moore

• Continue to feed cows that have calved on an adequate nutritional plan to rebreed. Increase their feed after calving. Don’t let them lose body condition.  
• Purchase replacement bulls at least 30 days prior to the start of the breeding season.  Have herd bulls evaluated for breeding soundness (10-20 percent of bulls are questionable or unsatisfactory breeders).  
• Start breeding heifers one heat cycle before cows so that they have extra time to recover from calving next year.  
• Get everything ready to make high quality hay as soon as possible!  Have equipment serviced and spare parts on hand.  Be prepared to harvest an adequate supply of hay when you have the opportunity.  
• Plan now for fly control ... decide what fly control program that you will use but don’t put insecticide ear tags on cattle until fly population appears.
• Make plans to improve hay feeding areas to avoid muddy conditions like we have faced this winter.  Consider geotextile fabric with gravel.
Cattleman’s meeting Monday
The Henry County Cattleman’s Association will meet at 6:30 p.m., Monday, April 23, at the Henry County Extension Office. Cattleman Russell Hackley will be our featured speaker, with his story about his transition in the cattle business from cow-calf and lots of machinery to a stocker and managed grazing program. Hackley has been a dedicated leader in the Kentucky Cattleman’s Association and the Forage and Grassland Council. We’ll also have our veterinarians report, along with FSA, FFA, Extension and Phase I updates. Another good beef supper is on the agenda. Please contact the Henry County Extension Office at 845-2811 to register.
Tobacco greenhouse news
Over the past two weeks, Dr. Ken Seebold has seen a big spike in the number of statewide calls regarding Rhizoctonia damping-off. The problem so far appears to be most significant where older Styrofoam trays are being used. Damping-off tends to appear suddenly, and then run its course; however, this disease is an indicator of target spot problems after clipping begins. Growers who find damping-off on younger plants should manage float beds carefully to avoid outbreaks of target spot in the coming weeks. Provide good ventilation, apply a mancozeb fungicide after plants have reached the size of a dime and continue on a five to seven day schedule until the first or second clipping, and keep nitrogen levels at or around 100 ppm for as long as practical – target spot can be severe when levels drop too low.
Third Thursday Thing
The Third Thursday Thing, April 19, at the KSU Mills Lane Farm will feature Soil Conservation and USDA-NRCS information.
With a bevy of speakers beginning at 10 a.m., you’ll learn about many programs and services, including crop insurance, EQIP, student programs, soil health and organics, grazing land conservation, and engineering practices.