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The Cattle Connection

The cattlemen's connection to timely topics, current research, and profitable management strategies
chopping silage

Drought Stressed Corn for Cattle Feed

Harvesting of drought stressed corn silage has begun on numerous Illinois farms. Many more acres will follow in the coming weeks. With more than 71% of the state in extreme drought, farmers are looking to salvage a failed corn crop as livestock feed. It is important to remember that drought stressed corn is likely high in nitrates. Testing for nitrates is strongly recommended. In the past...

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soybean hay

Drought Management: Soybean Hay

Posted by Travis Meteer - Drought Hay

Livestock producers around the state are looking to salvage ruined crops for livestock feed. Refer to previous posts to explore using drought stressed corn for corn silage. A month ago we knew the corn was suffering and that there would be yield problems, but we were holding out hope for the bean crop. Now those hopes are fading as well and producers are asking "Can I mow and bale my soybeans f...

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poison hemlock

Drought Management: Poisonous Plants

As the drought intensifies in Illinois, pasture conditions are rapidly declining. Available forage in many Illinois pastures is minimal at best. Producers that have implemented rotational grazing systems are in the best shape and still have forage available despite the lack of rainfall. Cattlemen that rely on continuous grazing are experiencing poor forage availability and a fair amount of thes...

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silage drought

Pricing Drought-Stressed Corn for Corn Silage

It is easy to see that many portions of the Illinois corn crop will be hurt badly from the drought. A prolonged and intensifying drought coupled with extremely high temperatures the last two weeks has punished this corn crop. The "good" corn will certainly be low in yield and some corn has failed to pollinate or even put on an ear. These different circumstances have farmers scrambling for optio...

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cows drinking water

Drought Management: Water

Posted by Travis Meteer - Drought

The dry weather has certainly taken a toll on pastures, crops, and water sources. http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/new/index.php?m=dryw&r=il It is important to remember water is as important as other nutrients to maintaining proper animal function and performance. A number of factors are involved with the water require...

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drought stressed field

Drought ravished forages a potential danger to livestock

Drought conditions have depleted many pastures and reduced hay yields. Thus producers naturally want to use low-producing grain crops as replacement feedstuffs. But not so fast...The drought conditions have plants in survival mode. Sometimes these built-in survival tactics in plants can be deadly to livestock. Nitrate levels are known to increase in drought-stricken forages. Due to lack...

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