Don’t Forget How Important It Is

— Written By Storm clouds

Our bodies require nutrition to grow and be healthy. The summer months are spent fertilizing our gardens so they will grow and be bountiful. Livestock require good nutrition to grow and produce. The cool-season grass grown in Ashe County provides the nutrition livestock needs when it is able to be nurtured by the soil. Grass uses nutrients in the soil leaving the soil depleted. Livestock pastures are able to maintain some of the nutrients from the manure the livestock leave behind, but it isn’t enough. Fertilizing can be expensive. However, is it as expensive as a herd of unproductive livestock? Soil samples will allow you to know what nutrients are lacking and your Extension agent can help determine how much fertilizer to add. If you can’t afford it all at once, do one field at a time.

Do not wait to control weeds in the pastures and hayfields. Weeds don’t go away on their own and if left untreated can get out of hand quickly. Spray early and spray again if needed.

Grass takes up nutrients from the soil and begins to lose nutrients as it matures and is cut. Hay baled with a moisture content higher than twenty percent will lose more nutrients. These factors play a part in the nutrient content of your hay. The nutrition in your hay will change from year to year so it is important to have each cutting in all fields analyzed every year. Once you know the nutrient content of your hay then you will know how to feed your livestock to be more profitable.

Keep records of births, deaths, vaccinations, and sickness, along with where, when, and what herbicide you sprayed on your field. It is hard to remember everything from year to year and these are important items to keep up with as you farm. These records will be valuable to have when applying for loans or disaster assistance. They are also beneficial in case someone has to help you in an emergency if you can’t be on your farm.

Take time to enjoy.

Contact your Extension Agent for more information.