September 22, 2014

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Waushara County Fair Demo Derby

County Ag News
County Ag News Print E-mail
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 7:33 AM

Farm recordkeeping

Farm recordkeeping varies a lot from farm to farm. The need for keeping farm records is driven in most cases by the need to track income and expenses for tax purposes.

County Ag News Print E-mail
Written by By: Ken Williams, UW-Extension Ag Agent   
Tuesday, November 05, 2013 6:13 AM

Robotic milking

Automatic Milking Systems (AMS) or robotic milking machines are now milking cows on over 14,000 farms around the world.

County Ag News Print E-mail
Written by With UW-Extension Ag Agent Ken Williams   
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 7:05 AM

Feeding Wisconsin’s deer

The topic of whitetail deer in our culture is one which brings out strong opinions that are deeply rooted in our culture and background. From a farming standpoint, it can be extremely challenging trying to operate a profitable operation when faced with feeding a large number of deer.

Whitetail deer are known to eat over 600 species of plants in North America.  What they eat is based on what is available to them on their home range and the nutrients they require. They consume, on average, about 5 to 8 pounds of food per day for every 100 pounds of body weight.

Whitetail deer are destructive to crops, vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and ornamental plants. Clover, alfalfa, corn, winter wheat, oats, soybeans, peas, green beans, potatoes, pumpkins, watermelon, apples, and buckwheat are only a few of the crops consumed by deer.

The digestive system in deer is very similar to that of cattle, which allows them to digest forages and grains. Deer have stomachs with four sections. The first section can hold over two gallons, and this lets the deer bolt down a large amount of food if necessary so that it can quickly leave an area to return to safety.

Whitetail deer are extremely adaptive and have learned to incorporate a wide variety of crops into their diet. Typically, deer damage specific crops during specific times of the year. Damage in the springtime is relegated mainly to forage crops such as alfalfa and clover.

Deer are very opportunistic and will not pass up the chance to feed on any farm or garden crops that are better than the surrounding woody forest vegetation. An excellent example is the deer’s preference of feeding on young winter wheat stands in the springtime. This early-greening crop can be damaged by both consumption of the plant and trampling of the tender young roots.

Deer continue to damage forage crops throughout the summer and into October. Starting around late July, the deer begin to detassel developing field and sweet corn crops. The deer pull the tassel from the developing corn plant and then eat the sweet, succulent shoot exposed at the bottom of the tassel. The deer also bite off the ends of developing cobs, creating a “nubbin” cob, about 2 -3 inches long.

Deer will feed on the developing corn through all stages of maturity to harvest. After the corn matures, deer will feed on the cob ends, breaking the stalks in the process, which leaves the corn cob on the ground and unharvestable. Leaves on growing soybeans are preferred over clover and alfalfa.

Damage to the soybean crop is compounded since every leaf that is lost reduces the photosynthetic capability for that plant and along with it the yield potential for that field. Some soybean fields have the entire top of the plant grazed off so all that is left are stems sticking out of the tops of the plants.

Maximum crop yield can never be achieved because the plant is constantly forced to regrow the vegetative portion of the plant. Some irrigated fields of soybeans only produce 15 bushels per acre due to deer damage. An irrigated field of soybeans should produce closer to 60 or 70 bushels per acre. Complete consumption of any crop deer feed on is rare, but one bite taken is sufficient to induce spoilage.

Damage to agricultural crops does not end with the growing season. Because deer have become so accustomed to human presence, they will take advantage of any available food source during the course of the winter. Favorite targets include silage and haylage bags, exposed round bales, and corn cribs.

Wisconsin farmers support Wisconsin deer hunting by providing grain fed animals for hunters throughout the state.

County Ag News Print E-mail
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 10:25 AM

Cattle and roads

Growing up in southern Wisconsin, I can remember seeing a number of yellow Cattle Crossing signs here and there along the roadways. Over the years, the number of farms raising pastured cattle has decreased considerably; however, in the past couple of years there has been a renewed interest in pasture raised beef. This has meant that more cattle producers are rebuilding fences and moving cattle from field to field rather than mechanically harvesting these fields for feed. At times these pastures are on opposite sides of the road, which means the farmer must occasionally move the cattle across a roadway.

County Ag News Print E-mail
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 9:51 AM

Corn stalk problems

The weather this year in our area was overall quite favorable to corn growth early in the season. About the time of pollination, we entered a period where there was a definite moisture shortage, which pretty well paralleled the grain filling period for the corn plant.

County Ag News Print E-mail
Tuesday, October 01, 2013 12:31 PM

Preventing combine and tractor fires

Combine and tractor fires cause over $20 million in property losses each year and millions more because of lost time and downed crops during the busy harvest season. Fires not only cause huge losses and waste time, they also cause 40 or 50 serious injuries each year, and occasionally a person is killed because of a farm machinery fire. Prevention and preparation are two keys to preventing serious machinery or life loss.

County Ag News Print E-mail
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 8:40 AM

Dairy Situation and Outlook by Bob Cropp, Professor Emeritus

University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Both Class III and Class IV milk prices January through August have been higher each month than last year. The Class III price during this period averaged $17.71 this year compared to $16.23 last year.

County Ag News Print E-mail
Written by Ken Williams, UW-Extension Ag Agent   
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 9:47 AM

Grain markets going down

Current production estimates for corn and soybeans have been increased with the last projection by the US Department of Agriculture. The markets were increasing for a short period of time but now have been slowly working their way back down.

County Ag News Print E-mail
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 9:05 AM

New rules allow passing in no passing zones

The fall season means picking pumpkins and apples or checking out the fall colors. It also is a time for slow moving farm equipment on the roads as fall harvest season is underway throughout the state. That means it’s time for all drivers to be especially aware and slow down when encountering slow moving farm equipment.

County Ag News Print E-mail
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 10:00 AM

Successful Winter Wheat Production

Including winter wheat in a farm cropping rotation is an option more grain producers are looking at. University research has shown that corn and soybean yields will increase when wheat is included in the crop rotation. Seed selection should be certified seed that has been germination tested.


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