Entry deadline Oct. 10

Posted September 3, 2015 at 8:56 am

“Reputation cattle” is an often used term in the cattle business. But how do a producer’s cattle get a good reputation?

“It is not easy, especially if you have a small cow herd and you’re fairly new to the area,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension. “A reputation herd usually is one with over 150 to 200 breeding females. They sell in large lot sizes and may be a farm or ranch that’s been in the business for two or three generations and are probably branded.”

Cole says smaller operations are hard pressed to come up with the reputation marketing clout especially if they are just entering the business. However, any quality producer can do a few things that help their cattle develop the right kind of reputation.

“The first

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    Farmers in 105 Missouri counties impacted by severe weather eligible for low-interest loans and other assistance

    Farmers in 105 Missouri counties that suffered losses from severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding from mid-May to late July are now eligible for low-interest loans and other federal assistance for those losses, Gov. Jay Nixon announced. That eligibility comes after the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a natural disaster area designation on Aug. 18.

    “The scope of this declaration by USDA demonstrates how the severe weather most of Missouri experienced earlier this spring and summer hit farmers especially hard,” Gov. Nixon said.

    A disaster designation allows

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    Plant cover crops and scout for podworms in soybeans

    Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension, scouted fields near Arcola in Dade County and south of Lamar in Barton County on Aug. 12.

    Corn report

    Scheidt observed corn in the dent stage and various milk line stages. “Once corn reaches black layer, or physiological maturity, irrigation can be turned off,” said Scheidt.

    According to Mississippi State University Extension, potential kernel weight is only about 75 percent complete at the dent stage; irrigation is still needed at this stage to fill kernels.

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    Website has info for farmers affected by wet weather in 2015

    Too much rain this spring and summer has given Missouri farmers unprecedented challenges, say University of Missouri Extension agriculture specialists.

    In many parts of the state, wet fields have delayed or prevented corn and soybean planting. Farmers are looking at the prospect of reduced yields, stunted growth, and pest, weed and disease problems. Fruit and vegetable producers, gardeners and homeowners face similar concerns.

    An MU Extension task force has developed a website with information for farmers, ranchers, fruit and vegetable growers, gardeners, landowners and others affected by the

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    Wet spring makes plants vulnerable to drought

    It might sound weird, but all the rain we’ve had in Missouri has primed plants, trees and shrubs for drought damage.

    “Roots need oxygen to respire just like you and I need oxygen,” said David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

    “When it rains a lot, the pores in the soil fill with water and the roots become oxygen-deprived, at times to the point of death.”

    For most woody plants, including trees and shrubs, the deepest roots will succumb first and only

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    USDA to accept more Missouri farmland for wildlife habitat

    U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Missouri Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Mark Cadle today announced that an additional 7,500 acres of agricultural land in Missouri is eligible for funding for wildlife habitat restoration.

    The initiative, known as State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE), is part of the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a federally-funded voluntary program that for 30 years has assisted agricultural producers with the cost of restoring, enhancing and protecting certain grasses, shrubs and trees to improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. In

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    Show-Me-Select Heifer buyers surveyed

    Twenty-seven buyers of Show-Me-Select bred heifers at the November 2014 sale at Joplin Regional Stockyards answered a University of Missouri Extension survey regarding the results they experienced with the SMS heifers they bought.

    The surveys requested an actual date when their heifers calved. A calving ease score (1 to 5), a presentation rating (1 to 7), calf survival (1 to 5) and overall satisfaction score (1 to 3). Also, buyers may indicate other interesting notes related to their calving season.

    The 27 responses were for 192 heifers that

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    Wheat and fescue diseases can be toxic to livestock

    Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension, scouted fields near Arcola in Dade County and south of Hwy. 126 and west of I-49 in Barton County on June 24.

    Wheat report

    Scheidt observed fully mature, ready to harvest wheat. Sprouted kernels, Fusarium head scab and sooty head mold were among the problems found in area wheat fields.

    “Adjust combine settings to throw out small seeds to reduce dockages,” said Scheidt. “Fusarium head scab produces a mycotoxin that is toxic to livestock and

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    Evaluate how cattle herd management addresses heat stress

    Heat stress is a factor that significantly affects the comfort and productivity of cattle according to Ted Probert, dairy specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

    “With summer approaching, now is a good time for producers to evaluate how effectively their herd management addresses the issue of heat stress for their herd,” said Probert.

    All cattle are affected by elevated temperatures and will respond favorably to efforts to keep them comfortable.

    “Lactating dairy cattle are the most vulnerable to stress associated with high heat and

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    Fire prevention starts at baling

    Almost every year someone loses a barn from fire caused by damp hay that spontaneously combusts according to Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

    “So far no reports of that have happened in 2015 but considerable hay has been put up with the dampness potential for fire,” said Cole.

    Fire prevention starts at baling according to Cole. It is recommended that small, rectangular bales be right at 20 percent moisture or lower. Large round bales should be in the 18 percentage range or less,

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