Volume 12, Number 4
||This Month in Ag Connection|
Clarifying Synchronization Protocols
Taxation Tidbit: Monitor Your Eligibility For Social Security Disability Benefits
Farming the Sky
Storage Considerations For
Wet Distiller’s Dried Grains
[This Month in Ag Connection] [Ag Connection - Other Issues Online]
Clarifying Synchronization Protocols
Editor’s note: Two articles in the February issue of BEEF detailed estrus synchronization (ES) protocols in beef cattle (“Using MGA,” page 28, and “Head To Head,” page 50). Regarding the ES topic, BEEF offers this clarification.
Extra-label use of approved reproductive drugs for ES is a challenge for practitioners and producers due to the exclusion of reproductive drugs from the regulations enacting the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act (AMDUCA). Efforts to clarify the extra-label use of approved reproductive drugs have been hampered, as little economic incentive exists for drug companies to pursue expanded label claims on already-approved products.
Drugs currently used in beef cattle ES protocols include prostaglandin products, MGA, CIDR and GnRH products.
An important issue to be
addressed is the complexity of ES protocols, the combination of drugs within
various protocols, delivery systems, and timing of administration of
integral protocol components. Numerous protocols have been published that
many times are further revised to meet specific production adaptations.
Taxation Tidbits: Monitor Your Eligibility
For Social Security Disability Benefits
With increased conservation tillage and set-aside acres, prairie voles have increased in population in the last few years. In order for prairie voles to thrive they require two things: cover and food. Prairie voles prefer a full canopy cover for protection from predators. Grass and legume fields, field borders, wheat or rye stubble, set-aside, CRP fields and cover crops seedlings all provide an ideal habitat for very high vole populations. Prairie voles also like corn and soybean seed and seedlings. Dense prairie vole populations can reduce plant stands by 80 to 100%. Prairie voles eat a variety of different things, but prefer forage and roots from succulent grasses and legumes. Established stands of alfalfa, clovers and other legumes often develop high vole populations. Feed grains such as corn and wheat are also high on the list of preferred foods. The feeding range of an active vole colony can range from about 100 square feet to a quarter of an acre. There have been reports about fields that were literally denuded by vole activity.
Voles are reddish-brown to gray and larger than a field mouse, but smaller than a rat. Their torpedo-shaped bodies are about 4 to 5 inches long with very short tails. Prairie voles build a network of one to two inch wide runways. In no-till fields, the runways are usually aboveground under the thick mulch cover. In other areas with less canopy or ground cover such as lawns, voles will dig underground runways. All runways connect to shallow, mounded underground burrows.
Fields should be scouted prior to planting for prairie vole colonies. They can often be identified by looking for dark green, high spots caused by vole urine or feces. The presence of fresh clippings and/or fresh feces next to a slick, open hole is a sure sign of vole activity. If 5 or more active vole colonies per acre are identified, damage control should be planned.
Prairie vole populations can be reduced by removing food and cover or by applying a rodenticide. Tillage, low mowing and application of early pre-plant herbicides are all methods for removing food and cover. A two percent zinc phosphide pellets can be used to kill prairie voles. However, since zinc phosphide is a restricted pesticide and extremely toxic to wildlife, it must be used in-furrows.
There are two MU Guide sheets with more information on controlling voles; G4448 -Controlling Vole Damage in No-till Corn and Soybeans: http://extension.missouri.edu/explore/agguides/crops/g04448.htm
and G9445 - Controlling Voles in Horticulture Plantings and Orchards in Missouri: http://extension.missouri.edu/explore/agguides/wildlife/g09445.htm .
(Author: Wayne Crook, Agronomy Specialist)
Farming the Sky
At one time our state’s rating of wind energy potential was listed among the top twenty. Recent refinement has placed much of Missouri lower. The wind resources in central Missouri are considered low. There are budgets available to determine the profit or loss potential from wind generation of electricity. Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a consumers guide to “Small Wind Electrical Systems” available from: http://www.dnr.mo.gov/energy/renewables/wind-energy.htm . University of Missouri Extension has a guide sheet, G1981”Wind Energy in Missouri”, which can be viewed or downloaded at: http://muextension.missouri.edu/xplor/agguides/agengin/g01981.htm .
Much depends on the strength and dependability of local wind resources. The windiest local for a wind generator in Missouri is roughly north of St. Joseph and west of Maryville. Since winds are stronger at higher altitudes, hill tops are better than lowlands. This can be overcome to a certain extent by using taller towers to support a wind generator.
Unfortunately, most electrical generation systems are designed to produce advertised power at wind speeds of 20 to 30 mph. G1981 has a table of annual wind speeds from Kansas City, Columbia, St. Louis and Springfield. These average from a half to a third of the needed optimum wind speed. A map of Missouri’s wind is available from DNR and is printed in their guide. Also, Missouri’s winds are being currently being evaluated to further refine information on this resource.
Without the economic return potential from wind electrical generation, there are still reasons for an installation. Wanting or needing a sustainable source of electric power that is not dependent on a utility company is one reason. Another is a windy location far away from electric lines that does not have a large power need. Plus, if the cost of a hookup is as or more expensive than a wind generator installation, those reasons may be combined for another justification. Then a wind electrical generator may be a must have item for some people.
An aid in getting a farm or home wind generation system would be a grant. This might make it more easily affordable and justifiable. Sustainable grants usually must show a need and innovative use of the grant funds. Budgets, records and comprehensive reports for public use are typical requirements.
Information for this article came from Rick Anderson at the MoDNR Energy Center (573) 751-5953 and Jim Jarman Agronomy Specialist (573) 642-0755.
Ag Connection - Ag Connection Newsletter, April 2006
http://outreach.missouri.edu/agconnection/newsletters/is-06-04.htm -- Revised: March 28, 2006