By BRUCE STEELMAN
1. Select the proper fields. You should want clovers in all the pastures, but only seed into fields where the pasture has been grazed down to less than 2 inches. A high stubble height can reduce establishment. Also, don't seed into a field that has been sprayed with 2, 4-D for buttercup control within the previous 6 weeks. The residual activity of the herbicide will decrease seed germination. You should not apply nitrogen fertilizer to the fields that will be seeded with clovers.
2. Use the proper seeding rate. White clover, red clover, and annual lespedeza are the best species to use. Seed 2 lb. per acre of white clover, 4 lb. per acre of red clover, and on hillsides include 8 lb. per acre of annual lespedeza. With white clover, ladino white clover varieties have worked well. A couple of new intermediate white clover varieties named 'Durana' and Patriot' are available. These varieties have shown to be more persistent in pastures than the ladino varieties.
3. Plant the proper depth. Clover seed is very small, so placing the seed too deep can cause poor emergence and establishment. If the planting is done the last two weeks of February, then broadcast the seed and let the cattle trample it in for three to four days. The trampling, plus any freezing and thawing of the soil, will place the seed in contact with the soil without being too deep. If the seeding is done in March, after the tall fescue has begun to grow, a no-till drill should be used. Place the seed no more than 1/4 inch deep.
Grass Tetany - Please remember that magnesium levels are low in cool-season forages during the initial growth period in the spring. Magnesium is required for proper function of the nerves that control muscle contraction. If levels drop too low, animals can go into convulsions and even die in a condition known as grass tetany. It is most common in mature beef cows with superior milking ability. The most common preventative measure is to feed a mineral that is high in magnesium. Other prevention steps include: do not stop feeding hay too soon, keep hay available until cattle completely stop consuming it. Use highest quality hay available for lactating cows. Provide grain supplementation. After starting cattle on high-magnesium supplements, continue until the danger is passed, usually in late spring.
Middle Tennessee Advanced Master Goat/Sheep Producer Class
Cannon County Extension will host an Advanced Master Goat/Sheep class series beginning in March, 6:30pm at the Woodbury Lions Club Building in Woodbury. The program will consist of six meetings covering the following topics; guidelines for custom exempt harvest and retail and wholesale meat regulations, reproduction, predators, nutrition, livestock evaluation and grading, forage management, marketing principals and regulations and portable fencing, farm safety and biosecurity.
Individuals that have not participated in a Master Goat program and/or producers who completed the original Master Goat class during or prior to 2011 must complete this class by Dec. 2015 to be eligible for 50% reimbursement from the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement grants. You do not have to have attended the original Master Goat class to participate. Registration deadline is March 15th. Call UT Cannon County Extension at 615-563-2554 to register. This program, like all UT Extension programs, is open to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability or veteran status.
Cannon/Warren County Breeding Soundness Exam
Don't miss this opportunity to get a complete check up on your herd bulls! Bull Soundness Exams (BSE) is affordable yet under-utilized by many producers. This one management practice can go a long way to guard against open females.
Herd Bull Breeding Soundness Exams are scheduled for Saturday, March 14th at Dr. Willis's Vet Clinic in Morrison. The exam will include vaccinations, deworming, physical examination, semen check by Dr. Mandy Willis, Large Animal Vet..
The event is sponsored by Pfizer, Rutherford Farmer's Co-Op, Woodbury Livestock Market, Cannon County Cattlemen's Association and UT Extension. Producers have the opportunity to test up to 2 bulls. The entire exam will be performed at a cost of $40.00/bull.
If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, please call Dr. Willis to schedule an appointment to bring bulls in for testing. (931-409-3178). If you need more information call the Cannon County Extension Office at 563-2554.
Hands on Cattle Working Demonstration
Do you need a refresher on castration or dehorning techniques? Why take a "hit" at the Market for selling bull calves or calves with horns. We have experienced a historical run on prices for the past several months. Leaving money on the table for not conducting practices such as dehorning and castration are taking money out of your pocket. Other topics to be covered includes; Beef Quality Assurance techniques, BSE sampling, collecting blood samples for pregnancy checking and grass tetany concerns.
The Cannon County Extension and Woodbury Farmers Coop will host a "hands on" demo on March 20th at Stratton Bone Pavilion beginning with lunch at 11:00 A.M.
We will also have a follow-up meeting on the morning of the 20th targeting vaccines. Dr. Lew Strickland, veterinarian with the University of Tennessee Extension will be the guest speaker. We will begin at 8:00 A.M. with breakfast at the Woodbury Lions Club Building. Both meetings is sponsored by the Woodbury Farmers Coop.