Wet spring makes plants vulnerable to drought

Posted July 23, 2015 at 11:46 am

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 the shallow roots survive, because there’s more oxygen toward the surface of the soil, Trinklein said.

Plants established this spring have the same problem because they never grew deep roots in the first place. The top several inches of soil was “root heaven,” containing all the

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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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    Hay testing important in 2015

    Wet weather conditions during hay season will likely result in lower forage quality. That is why it is important to test hay to determine forage quality according to Sarah Kenyon, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

    “Hay should be tested before winter feeding to ensure that the nutrient requirements of the livestock are being met,” said Kenyon.

    Studies have shown rainfall itself has little impact on hay quality. When hay gets wet, there is some nutrient leaching but the impact depends on the timing and intensity of

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    Enroll in Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage safety net programs

    U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that eligible producers may now formally enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for 2014 and 2015. The enrollment period began June 17, 2015, and will end Sept. 30, 2015. The Sun newspaper received this notice on June 29 with no explanation about why it was two weeks late.

    “The extensive outreach campaign conducted by USDA since the 2014 Farm Bill was enacted, along with extending deadlines, is central to achieving an expected high level of

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    Steer feedout finale show losses

    The Missouri Steer Feedout Finale held on June 25 in Mt. Vernon revealed the results of the 158 head of steers from 2014 that went to Iowa last November. The cattle were owned by 20 different cattlemen from across the state.

    Last November feeder cattle prices were near or at record highs with these six weight steers valued at $1515 per head at the start of the finishing phase.

    “Consignors knew then several things had to go their way to prevent significant losses in the feedlot,” said Eldon

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    Hay storage tips

    When the rain ends or slows and the sun comes out, it becomes time to put up hay according to Colin Hill, agronomy graduate assistant with University of Missouri Extension.

    “But, with all of the moisture in southwest Missouri, it is important to ensure hay moisture levels are correct before baling to prevent hot hay quality loss and the chance of fire,” said Hill.

    The moisture of dry hay at baling is critical to hay quality during storage and can be the difference between high-quality hay and trash,

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