Friday, October 18, 2013

MoosNews October 2013

Volume 16, No. 10  

Final Farm Tour of the season – make plans to come out to Wayne and Peggy Hicks’s farm on Thursday for the monthly meeting. Please note that we will begin at 6 p.m.! Dinner’s only $5 – so bring a friend!

News, Views and Mostly Other Matters
--Paul Westfall, Livestock Extension Agent

It’s that time of year again – that is, it’s time to sign up to have your bull(s) tested for breeding soundness.  This year’s BSE clinic will be on October 31, 2013, at the Granville county Livestock Arena on Cannady’s Mill Road.  We are taking signups starting at 8:30 a.m. and we will test bulls until we are finished that day.  Last year, we tested 45 bulls, and we did find some that were unable to do their job.  That saved the farmers a lot of money, as they were able to upgrade their bulls and not lose a calf crop.  With today’s beef prices, that loss could have been pretty high.

The cost will be $10 per bull.  Dr. Mark Alley from the NC State Veterinary School will be in charge of conducting the exams, and he will be overseeing an outstanding group of vet students.  This good clinic benefits cattlemen and provides a good venue for the students to receive training.  This clinic is made possible through sponsorships from Granville County Farm Bureau, the Granville County Cattlemen’s Association, and E. B. Harris Auctions, Inc.

If you need hay – please consider cutting a field that is NOT overly mature.  I’ve seen some very mature fescue, Johnson grass, dog fennel, horsenettle, and whatever else happened to be in the field rolled up for hay lately.  Think about what went into those bales.  Very low protein, very low digestibility, and very high undigestible fiber.  Some of that hay will just be used to spread weed seeds into other pastures.  Folks may respond that it is better than a snowball, but I think I can make an argument for the snowball.  At least it won’t take more energy to digest the snowball than it will return to the animal. Plus,  water is an essential nutrient.

If you are taking soil samples of your pastures and hayfields, think about getting that done before November 30.  In an effort to spread out the holiday and winter workload at the soils lab, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) will begin charging $4 per soil sample on December 1, 2013, and will continue to charge that fee until April 1, 2014.  The thought is that people won’t flood the lab with samples, making a 2-month wait until results are ready a thing of the past.  It will also likely bring in a bit of revenue to the Department.  Be sure to spread the word about the soil testing fee.

Here are the October management tips:  Continue to monitor supplemental feed prices. Corn and by-product feeds like cottonseed are usually cheaper in the fall.  Cottonseed is least expensive in October and November at the peak of the ginning season.  With corn and soybean prices at pretty high levels, use of by-product feeds can be a very good option.  Keep checking the mills for availability of by-product feeds.

For folks with a spring-calving herd - wean the calves, if they are still on the cows.  Check the replacement heifers.  They need to weigh about two-thirds of their mature weight at breeding time in March. That means they will need to 1 to 1 1/2 pounds per day after weaning.  Watch the body condition of bred heifers. It’s a good idea to separate them from the older cows, and to provide supplemental feed as the quality of fall grazing declines.  Identify the thin cows and separate them from cows in adequate body condition.  Supplement the thin cows at a rate that will allow them to reach moderate body condition at calving.

Fall herd managers need to get ready for calving. Move the cows that are due to calve to clean pastures and check them frequently.  Bulls will be turned in with heifers in
December and cows in January.  It is time to evaluate bulls, and line up a breeding soundness exam or decide on buying new bulls.  Ask your veterinarian about pre-breeding vaccinations for cows.  Start feeding high magnesium mineral supplement 30 days before cattle start calving, or right about now.


 From the President…….
Greetings Cattlemen:

We want to keep Amos Brewer in our prayers -  he's still having a toe problem and sits with it elevated most of the time.  When you get a chance, be sure to ask him how he got run over by a sheep and it stepped on his toe.  Hope all other cattlemen are doing fine… Sandy seems to be doing great after his knee surgery.

For our October meeting, we will be at the farm of Wayne and Peggy Hicks. Their place is at 4681 Antioch Rd. [when you pass Antioch Fire Dept. going south, it will be one mile on right] They have a lovely place, so let’s make a good showing for this final tour of the season.  Remember that, because the days are getting shorter, we will eat at 6:00 and then have a short business meeting.

Special  thanks to Janet and Sherby Slaughter and to Phyllis Stark for cooking and getting lunch ready for the 5 County Beef Tour [they fed 46 people].

Special thanks again go to Janet and Sherby Slaughter, Phyllis Stark and Peggy Hicks for serving dinner for the Leadership Granville Farm Tour [home-baked cakes for desserts, thanks Phyllis!].  Both events were held out at the Slaughter Farm.  Paul Westfall really did a great job getting both programs together;  we are real lucky to have him in our county.

We really need help for E.B.'s cattle auction on October 12  at the arena.  Phyllis and I will be at a wedding in Maryland, so Sandy has agreed to head it up. Please give him a hand – many hands make light work.  Remember:  this is your Association!

Hope to see all - bring a friend. 
Minutes of the September meeting

The Granville County Cattlemen's Association gathered at the farm of Kay and
Phyllis Stark on Horner Siding Road on September 13, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. for a beef dinner and business meeting.  Following dinner, Kay Stark, President, presided over the business meeting.  Minutes of the August meeting were approved as printed in MoosNews.  The Treasurer's report was accepted. 

Paul Westfall provided additional information on the Volunteer Ag program and members voiced support for efforts to enhance farmland and protect farming heritage and rural economy for North Carolina Farmers/Landowners.

Members approved a recommendation by the Board of Directors to contribute $250 to each of Granville County's three High School Agriculture Departments to be applied toward expenses to the National FFA Convention.

Troy Howard thanked the group for the GCCA College Scholarship awarded to him.

Agenda for the Five County Beef Tour was provided.  Attendees will assemble at the Butner Beef Unit at 8:30 a.m. on September 25.  The Tour will begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:15 p.m..

Plans were made for the Leadership Granville visit to the farm of Sherby Slaughter on October 3.

Volunteers were solicited to work the GCCA food booth at the E.B. Harris Auction on October 12 at the Livestock Arena.

President Stark called attention to the equipment owned by GCCA and encouraged members to take advantage of this equipment.

The October meeting will be held at the farm of Wayne and Peggy Hicks on Antioch Road.  MEETING WILL BEGIN AT 6:00 INSTEAD OF 7:00 p.m. since days are shorter!

The meeting was adjourned.
Respectfully submitted,

Jean Y. Gill, secretary

President, Kay Stark                                                                        Directors:
Past President, Joy Morgan Marshall                               2013: Kent Currin, Steve Walker
Vice President, Sherby Slaughter                                      2014: Linda Currin, Wendy Lane
Treasurer, Sandy Gabel                                                      2015: James Gooch, Eddie Denny
Secretary, Jean Y. Gill
Newsletter, Laura S. Gabel