The Roundup -

County Agent Update

NDSU Workshops for Gardeners

 


North Dakota State University is offering a series of workshops for gardeners. A team of 12 university experts will present information on timely topics in gardening and landscaping.

The Spring Fever Garden Forums will be held on Monday nights in April (April 4, 11, 18 and 25). Sessions run from 6:30 to 8:45 CDT. “Over 1,000 gardeners will participate in this event,” states Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist. It is a great opportunity to learn of gardening trends and see the latest research from NDSU.”

Experts will share information on new varieties of flowers and vegetables, landscaping with small trees, transplanting trees, attracting pollinators, growing fruits, pruning shrubs, and improving your garden soil. These speakers will give short presentations and then answer your questions.

Gardeners have the option of participating in the live presentations on their home computer. For a full list of presentations and to register, go to http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/springfever or contact your local county Extension office. The Williams County Extension Office’s phone number is 701-577-4595.

Calving Season: Winter calving in North Dakota this year seems to feel more like spring calving and may get ranchers questioning their calving season strategy. Winter calving (January – March) has and is the choice for most seed stock operations and for many smaller – moderate sized diversified operations. Breeders want big, well developed yearling bulls to feature in their winter spring production sales which will have maturity for greater summer breeding. Some operations with considerable spring farming work load, want calving completed while they can devote considerable attention to the herd and not be distracted or take time away from farming operations later. They also realize the ability to sell heavier feeder calves off the cow at the close of the grazing season in October – November to be a high value marketing strategy.

To calve at this time of the year you have to be prepared with infrastructure and facilities. For close observation the herd needs to be confined and fed in a lot or small paddock. When weather is tough; heavies should be in bedded barns or brought into calving pens as they go into labor and held for several days till calves are a few days old. Generally life is easier and it is a healthy situation for calves if the ground stays frozen and bedded vs later in March when warmer temperatures and precipitation create slop and mud.

Cows which calve well ahead of spring grass need to be fed rations that support lactation which require considerably greater feed quality or supplementations. This is usually significantly more expensive than feeding a gestating cow contributing to greater wintering costs for early calving.

For the most part cattlemen will calf when they can make it work for their situation. There is no one most profitable time to calf. Early calves need to offset greater costs with high calf valve and late calvers need to control costs to offset lighter calf weights. Profitable ranching is about balancing cattle type and genetics, feed resources, operational conflicts, and personal goals and philosophies. This information was gathered from John Dhuyvetter, NDSU Area Livestock Specialist.

 

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