Cow college deadline moves closer

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By Doug Shepherd

The University of Kentucky Beef Integrated Resource Management Team again will conduct Cow College for the summer and fall of 2008. Cow College is more in-depth, intense and more “hands-on” than the popular Kentucky Master Cattlemen Program. Cow College is the “next step” for those producers who have graduated from the Master Cattlemen Program and wish to continue to develop their beef production knowledge base.

Cow College requires a full 10 days of commitment, spread out over five, two-day sessions. The cost for the program is $250 per person, which includes all materials and most meals. Participants will need to make arrangements for their own lodging. The registration fee for Cow College may be paid by a single payment of $100 and the balance of $150 due at the first session on July 23. All sessions will be held either at the UK Campus in Lexington or the UK Research Center at Princeton.

Dates and program topics for the five sessions are as follows:

  • July 23-24: Economics and Management, E.S. Good Barn, UK campus, Lexington. A detailed copy of the program for this session is available at the Hardin County Extension office.
  • Aug. 12-13: Nutrition, Lexington.
  • Sept. 9-10, Herd Health, Princeton.
  • Oct. 14-15: Genetics and Reproduction, Lexington.
  • Nov. 5-6: End Product, Lexington.

For more information or to enroll, contact the Hardin County Cooperative Extension Service at 765-4121, or Jay Busby at the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association, (859) 278-0899. Checks need to be made payable to “Cow College” and mailed to KCA, Cow College, 176 Pasadena Drive, Lexington, KY 40503.

LCP and LIP signup ends Friday. Just a reminder to livestock producers that the deadline for applying for the 2005-07 Livestock Compensation Program and Livestock Indemnity Program ends Friday. These two programs provide aid to livestock producers who suffered eligible livestock losses or livestock feed losses because of natural disaster between Jan. 1, 2005 and Dec. 30, 2007.

The LIP provides payment to eligible livestock owners and contract growers who incurred the death of livestock because of a natural disaster. The LCP provides payments to eligible livestock owners and cash lessees who suffered feed losses or increased feed costs because of a natural disaster.

For more details about LCP and LIP, and to apply, contact the Hardin County Farm Services Agency  at 765-2702.

Crops Yellow? May not be what ya think. Remember this spring and all the rain delaying planting season? Many farmers were “mudding in” their spring crops. The consequences of that are showing up now as “yellow crops” that aren’t doing as well.

Dr. Chad Lee, UK Extension grain specialist, said he’s seeing sidewall compaction (upper 2 inches) and in some cases plow layer compaction about 4-6 inches deep. In these cases, compaction restricts root growth, which limits uptake of nutrients, resulting in nutrient deficiencies, stunted plants and concerned farmers.

There is no good remedy to alleviate compaction in season. Timely rains will help more than anything. Any tilling to alleviate compaction should be done when the soil is dry and when there is no crop growing on the field.

If compaction is the issue, then the real problem is root restriction. Most foliar fertilizer applications are so small that application of these would not provide a yield increase. The foliar fertilizers would in almost all cases make the crop greener for a little while, but would not be enough to make a difference in yield.

One other note: The recent rains and humid weather make ideal conditions for the growth of many plant diseases, and also makes for good insect feeding conditions. As a result, be scouting your fields, especially tobacco and alfalfa, for plant diseases and insect feeding. Don’t get caught like many I talked with at the county fair last week who discovered well-developed problems in some of their fields. Prevention is much more successful, than rescue treatments.

Doug Shepherd is a Hardin County Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources.