Agricultural News and Resources


Management During Shortage of Forage and Feed 
MU Extension and MU Veterinary Medicine
(PDF) 6/29/18
The information in this Special Addition of the South Central Missouri AG News is a collection of briefs that offer suggestions for managing the cattle and forages during this dry period.
The briefs focus on animal nutrition, forages and feeds, herd health and toxicology.
They were produced by Eric Bailey, Tim Evans, Scott Poock, Stacey Hamilton, Rob Kallenbach, and Craig Roberts, and include the following topics:
     1. Cow herd management during drought: selective culling
     2. Heat stress and other animal considerations
     3. Emergency summer annuals
     4. Fescue Hay
     5. Fescue Silage
     6. Cow herd management during drought: supplemental feeding
     7. Ammoniation of low quality hay




Fire ants: The sting of buying hay south of the state    

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri livestock producers may be looking south for hay due to concerns over predicted hay shortages.

Buyer beware of red imported fire ants hitching a ride on hay from south of Missouri’s border, says University of Missouri Extension field crops entomologist Kevin Rice.

This invasive species attacks native insects, birds, reptiles, and small animals. When disturbed, they will defend themselves against livestock and humans with a vicious sting. The sting contains a venom that causes intense burning and itching. The ants also give off a pheromone that invites their nestmates to attack.

While the stings are painful, less than 1 percent of people need medical attention from being stung by red imported fire ants.

Fire ants were unintentionally introduced in Alabama from South America in the 1940s. Entomologists report them in 13 states. Few predators attack them. The good news, Rice says, is that they do not survive Missouri winters.

Bales crossing state lines should be inspected and certified by U.S. Department of Agriculture or state regulatory officials. Rice says the seller should provide certification of inspection.

Also, he suggests that buyers visually inspect each bale for fire ants. Place baits such as hot dogs or peanut butter next to bales for an hour and then scout. If you find ants in hay, collect several specimens and take them to your local MU Extension office.

Red imported fire ants measure 1/8-1/4 inch long and can be distinguished from other ants by a two-segment petiole (or waist) and 10-segment antennae that end in two-segment clubs, Rice says. This reddish-brown ant bears a distinctive stinger at the tip of the abdomen.


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Disaster Response for Beef Cattle Operations (PDF) 

Livestock Fact-Sheets

Tough Times in the Livestock Industry (PDF) 7/11/18
Genetically Modified Organism and Genetic Engineering (PDF) 5/25/18
Heat Stress in Our Livestock (PDF) 5/22/18
Complementarity in Animal Grazing (PDF) 5/9/18
Review of Principles of Crossbreeding (PDF) 4/11/18
Planning and patience lead to better forage and cattle (PDF) 4/3/18
Mineral Supplementation for Livestock part I (PDF) 3/8/18
Mineral Supplementation for Livestock part II (PDF) 3/8/18
Mineral Supplementation for Livestock part III (PDF) 3/8/18
Mineral Supplementation for Livestock part IV (PDF) 3/8/18

How to Calculate Break Even for Fed Cattle (XLS)
Getting the most out of your forage acres (PDF)
Quality Hay Production with High Fertilizer Prices (PDF)
Value of feeding Minerals to Beef Cattle (PDF)

Agriculture Programs (archive)