Dairy Farmers Star in Social Media Music Video, “Talk to Me”

( Spruce Row Farm – Facebook )

Racking up nearly 60,000 views and 1,200 shares on Facebook alone, two dairy farmers have taken social media by storm after creating a parody music video titled “Talk to Me.”

Based off of Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line’s hit song “Meant to Be,” the video was created by dairy farmers Jessica Peters of Meadville, Pennsylvania, and Katie Dotterer-Pyle of Union Bridge, Maryland. Both of these advocates own and operate Jersey operations and share their farm’s stories on social media.

Working together, the pair encourages people to ask farmers where their food comes from instead of browsing the internet for an answer. Using the hashtags #TalkToMe and #AskFarmersNotGoogle, the dairy team is hoping to get the conversation rolling between farmers and consumers.

“I use [the hashtag] because listen, I use Google too. Google doesn’t know everything,” says Dotterer-Pyle in an interview with AgDay’s Betsy Jibben. “Google doesn’t milk cows. Google doesn’t take care of cows, we do.”

Showcasing the role social media plays in agricultural advocacy, the video also highlights other dairy farmers who actively share their story on different social media platforms. Throughout the clip, the pair repeatedly sings:

“Cause if you like to eat, then you’ll agree there should be dialogue between you and me. If you do confide, we wouldn’t hide what we do to bring your food to you. So, won’t you talk with me, talk with me. See where this thing goes. Cause if you do, maybe you would start to see the truth more clearly.”

Foot-and-Mouth Disease Found on South Korean Dairy Forces Quarantine

A health officer checks a cattle in a farm in Gimje as a preventive measure against foot-and-mouth disease after South Korea on Monday confirmed a case of food-and-mouth at a dairy farm elsewhere in the country, South Korea, February 6, 2017.

Areas of South Korea are on quarantine after a dairy farm was found to have foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in its cow herd.

The outbreak was identified on a 120 cow dairy near the city of Anseong, which is 67.6 km (42 miles) from the capitol city of Seoul. According to a statement from the South Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs released on Jan. 28, this is first FMD outbreak identified in the country since March of last year.

Cows from the farm are being culled and to help decrease the likelihood of the disease spreading movement of livestock, including cattle and pigs, is prohibited in certain areas of the country. These regions include Gyeonggi, Chungnam, Chungbuk, Daejeon and Sejong. The halt on movement of livestock will be conducted for at least a 24 hour period ending on Jan. 29 at 8:30 pm in South Korea.

The prohibition also limits movement for livestock-related workers and vehicles. Workers and vehicles are to remain at the farm or facility.

Access and movement from the following livestock-related workplaces is limited during that time, according to the Ministry:

  • Slaughterhouses
  • Feed mills
  • Collecting yards
  • Feed dumps
  • Feed dealers
  • Manure disposal yards
  • Communal composting yards
  • Livestock manure public treatment facilities
  • Joint recycling facilities
  • Livestock transportation companies
  • Livestock related service companies
  • Livestock consulting companies
  • Compost manufacturers
  • Veterinary drugs and livestock equipment suppliers

If livestock, workers vehicles or goods are moving during the time of the announcement they are to be moved to a safe place approved by the Director of the Livestock and Livestock Bureau of the city or province.

Violations are subject to a fine of 10 million won ($8,937 USD) or less, or could result in a punishment of one year in prison.

Other Recent Outbreaks and U.S. Status

South Korea has had other outbreaks in the past few years, including a FMD outbreak on a hog farm in March of 2018. A similar case on two dairies in 2017 resulted in South Korea vaccinating all cattle in the country for FMD.

FMD is classified as a “severe, highly contagious viral disease” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The disease causes fever and blisters on the tongue and lips, in and around the mouth, on the mammary glands, and around the hooves. FMD is seen as being a major economic hindrance to livestock production because of its ability to spread quickly. The disease was eradicated from the U.S. in 1929.

In the U.S., programs have been put in place to help secure various segments of the livestock industry. The Secure Milk Supply Plan (SMS) for Continuity of Business has been implemented by some dairy farmers to bio-secure their farms.

Also, the 2018 Farm Bill contained funding for the National Animal Disease Preparedness Program and National Animal Vaccine Bank. The bill funds $300 million for programs like a FMD vaccine bank.

Government Shutdown to End, 3-Week Funding Agreement Reached

by Jim Wiesemeyer

President Donald Trump and congressional leaders have a deal to reopen government agencies through Feb. 15, providing a temporary reprieve to federal workers who haven’t been paid in nearly a month.

Trump made an announcement from the Rose Garden today. “In a short while I will sign a bill to reopen the government for three weeks, through Feb. 15,” Trump said, noting he will ask Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to put the proposal on the floor immediately.

Congressional votes are slated later today in both the Senate and House. The House convened for a pro forma session, where stopgap legislation could be approved by unanimous consent or voice vote later today after the Senate acts.

The deal does not include border wall funding but would include a commitment to go to conference on fiscal 2019 Homeland Security appropriations, where border security money will be negotiated during the next few weeks.

The short-term continuing resolution would also ensure furloughed workers will receive back pay for time off since the shutdown began Dec. 22.

The ongoing shutdown has closed nine Cabinet departments with the exception of services considered critical to protection of human life and property, including air traffic controllers and airport security screeners. Workers performing those “excepted” tasks, totaling more than 400,000, have missed two paychecks, as have a roughly equal number of federal employees who have been furloughed for the past 35 days.

This article may be updated as additional information becomes available.

Our Incredible Vanishing Farmland

. ( American Farmland Trust )

We lose three acres of farmland in the United States every minute. You read that right. Three acres every sixty seconds.

This wakeup call comes courtesy of John Piotti, President of American Farmland Trust (AFT), who spoke about conservation and Farmland at the 2019 Trust in Food Symposium Jan. 15 and 16 in Chicago.

“Over the last 20 years, we’ve lost 31 million acres of farmland—that’s equivalent to all the farmland in Iowa. That’s over 1.5 million acres a year, or three acres every minute,” Piotti says.

This loss of farmland is roughly twice what anyone thought it was, because previous estimates ignored low-density rural development. What’s even more frightening, Piotti says, is the fact that we’re losing our best land fastest.

Now Piotti knows that some will argue these losses aren’t a big deal. Maybe we don’t need as much land as we used to because we’re more productive on the land we have, they say. Maybe vertical farms can supply our vegetables, and we can turn to labs to produce our meat. Or maybe we can just stop eating meat, wasting food and making ethanol, and the current amount of farmland will sustain us.

If these options don’t sound like reasonable solutions to you, Piotti says we need to take action now.

“Here’s what I know,” Piotti says. “I know 1.5 million acres a year represents a greater percentage than it might suggest, because much of that land is our best land—land that is most versatile, resilient and productive.  And it adds up. Losing the equivalent of all of the farmland in Iowa in 20 years is a big deal.”

And more compelling, he says, is this message: He’s not sure America can afford to lose a single acre. In fact, he’s not sure we have enough farmland today.

Why?

“Because farmland is for far more than growing food,” Piotti says. “We all know that farmland provides many essential environmental services—such as providing a home for wildlife, storing and purifying water, and sequestering carbon. Yet we also know that farming, as currently practiced, causes some environmental degradation—notably water pollution and greenhouse gases emissions.”

What that means is that we are not yet managing farmland to produce sufficient environmental benefit.  Doing so will undoubtedly require that we not grow food as intensely on every parcel of farmland. Hence the question: do we have enough farmland today?

“We need farmland not just to grow food, but to help restore our planet,” explains Piotti.

To Piotti, conservation practices are essential, but so is profitability. These two factors form an intimate connection that must be balanced to create a future for the farmers of tomorrow. An important point: profit is not a dirty word. If farmers aren’t economically stable, they can’t be the stewards our land needs. Managing the land wisely, Piotti says, requires enough farmers and ranchers who know their land intimately and can afford to do what’s right by the land.

He encourages us to ask ourselves these questions:

• How much farmland would we need if we were going to grow our food in a manner that didn’t involve any environmental degradation? How much land of what types would be needed?

• How much more farmland would be needed, managed in which way, to go beyond carbon neutral to be a carbon sink?

• How much more land will be needed as demand for food increases, and as climate change reduces the suitability of other land to grow food?

• How do these equations change when we think about American agriculture as part of a global system?

If the goal of protecting farmland is to make sure that land will always be there in the future, Piotti says, you haven’t achieved that goal if your topsoil is washing down the Mississippi River. So from the beginning, AFT has been about saving farmland both by the acre and by the inch.

“What we also recognize from the beginning is that doesn’t happen in isolation,” Piotti, says. “That only happens if you have farmers and ranchers who have the tools they need to be good stewards of the land. So at AFT, we see an inseparable trinity. It’s about the land, it’s about the farming practices, and it’s about the people who do the work. And it’s all interconnected.”

Farmers and ranchers, Piotti says, are the eyes on the ground and hands in the dirt.

Twenty years ago, AFT pioneered a study called Farming on the Edge that documented the loss of farmland in the United States for the first time. They’re pushing that groundbreaking work further with a comprehensive collection of data called Farms Under Threat that will take a deeper dive to completely map federal grazing lands and examine forest land owned by farmers as well as assess the productivity and versatility of farmland.

“With national experts, we have developed a new system for assessing the productivity versatility and resilience of farmland, using criteria that go well beyond soil types,” Piotti says. “We will be able to look at changes over time and over various hypothetical scenarios. And because all this data is linked to a national climate change model, we will be able to assess how changes in temperature and precipitation and sea level will affect farmland.”

The bottom line, Piotti says, is that we must retain enough farmland and manage it using the right practices.

“But we cannot hope to retain all the farmland we need, nor manage it wisely, without enough farmers who have adequate know-how and financial resources,” he says.

By the time you’ve finished reading this article, we’ll have nine fewer acres of land dedicated to agriculture. Scary.

AFT is known for its iconic green bumper sticker, “No Farms, No Food.” And if the current trends continue, Piotti says, the bumper sticker might require this ominous update: “No Farms, No Food, No Future.”

Winter Care Tips for Horse Owners

Winter weather has definitely arrived and along with it come additional challenges when caring for horses.  Horses are surprisingly adaptable to cold weather but paying attention to the small details is especially important to ensure good horse health in the winter months.  Here are a few specific things horse owners should focus on when caring for horses in the winter.

  • Forage/hay– After a tough year of weather conditions for local hay growers, finding good local hay may prove to be a challenging task but providing quality forage or hay in the appropriate quantity is especially critical in the winter. The microbial digestion of hay by the horse actually creates body heat, helping to keep them warm in cold temperatures. Remember the average horse should be consuming about 2.0% of its body weight daily between hay and grain but a minimum of 1.5% of that should be in hay.  That’s a simple math problem. For example, if your horse weighs 1000 lbs:

1000 x 0.015(1.5% converted to decimal form) = minimum of 15 lbs of hay per day

Also consider adding soaked beet pulp or a hay stretcher to your horses’ diet if hay is at a premium. The use of these types of products can possibly help you slightly reduce the amount of hay you have to feed. Beet pulp is also a great way to help get more water into the horse and helps keep the hind gut functioning well.

  • Water-Water is always one of the most important nutrients for horses but it becomes especially critical in the winter when horses are consuming larger quantities of dry feed. Fresh pasture can consist of nearly 60-80% water but grain rations and hay are generally less than 15% moisture. Always make any changes to your horses’ diet gradually.  The risk of impaction colic in horses becomes greater in the winter. By providing your horse with warmed water (45-65º F), you can help to decrease this risk by increasing water consumption. Research has demonstrated that by providing horses with only warmed water, they will consume a greater quantity then if they have cold water or both warmed water and cold water offered simultaneously (they will usually chose cold and drink less). Make sure that the water is always clean and pay close attention to tank heaters and other devices used to warm water. Always check that cords are not worn or damaged and there is no stray voltage that could potentially shock the horse.

 

  • Teeth– During a time of the year when we typically need to increase feed to maintain body condition, make sure that your horses are able to extract as much nutrition out of what they are consuming as possible. This is especially critical in young and senior horses. Have your horses teeth checked and floated by a professional a minimum of once a year. Some seniors and those with dental issues will need more frequent attention.

 

  • Hoof Care – Good hoof care is always important but the conditions we experience here on Delmarva make winter hoof care even more critical and more challenging. The freeze thaw cycles and the slippery mud that come along with it, can create problems.  Combining these environmental issues with slower rates of hoof growth and hoof health issues such as thrush, white line disease and bruised soles can come along with winter weather.  Keeping horses hooves as dry as possible and picking them regularly to remove mud or even snow/ice along with good routine farrier care is very helpful in preventing these conditions that can develop and potentially nag us into the summer months. Discuss with your farrier if your horse should remain shod or barefoot in the winter. In general horses that are barefoot have better traction and will have fewer issues with the development of snowballs or snow packing in hooves. Keep up with routine farrier appointments even though you may not be riding as much.

 

  • Mud– Controlling mud in a horse’s winter environment is easier said than done this year especially but providing the horse with an area to escape the muddy areas that typically develop around gates, feeders and waterers is necessary. This does not need to be a stall but could be a well-drained sacrifice lot or dry run in shed. Appropriate stocking rates, good footing and good sanitation/regular manure removal is critical in maintaining these areas. Besides affecting hooves, excess mud that is not removed regularly from the horse can lead to the development of bacterial infections such as greasy heel, mud fever or scratches on the lower legs.

 

  • Shelter/Ventilation– Horses do not require a fancy barn to provide adequate shelter in the winter but being able to escape the wind and wet/storms is important. Be sure that you are providing enough space that all horses can shelter at once, including the lowest in the packing order of the herd. Horses that have a winter coat and are not blanketed do not begin to expend additional energy to keep warm until the temperature reaches about 18degrees, provided there is no rain or wind. If you choose to keep your horse stalled in the winter, make sure that ventilation is adequate and that the bedding material you use is not too dusty. Confinement in a dusty stall with too little ventilation can actually cause more health problems then if horses were left outside with good footing and adequate protection from the weather.

 

  • Blanketing– Blanketing has been widely discussed among horse owners for years and could be an entire additional article. It comes down to a personal choice and how much work the horse will do in the winter. Age and body condition can also play a role in this decision. If you decide to blanket your horse with a winter appropriate turnout, then be sure to check under that blanket very regularly. Make sure the blanket stays dry, look for rubbing and chafing, inspect for the development of skin conditions such as rain rot and routinely monitor body condition scores on blanketed horses.

Horses don’t need to be doted on in the winter but by paying attention to some of these daily details of winter horse care and being well prepared, your horse will survive the winter months happy, healthy and ready to return to the arena, show ring or trail come spring.

Susan Garey, Extension Agent Animal Science, University of Delaware truehart@udel.edu

Delaware Ag Week 2019

Plan to attend the 2019 Delaware Ag Week at the Fairgrounds in Harrington, DE starting on 1/14.  There is plenty to see and do.  Here is a link to the Web page: https://sites.udel.edu/delawareagweek/

The beef session is on 1/14 at 6:00  p.m.

MD/DE hay and pasture session is on 1/15 – all day

The small ruminant session is on 1/15 starting at 6:00 p.m.

Be sure to check out the web page for accurate schedules.

Thanks

Be a Good Hay Shopper

When shopping for a new truck, you don’t buy just because the salesman says it’s a good deal. Most shoppers do their research, looking at body style, fuel mileage, towing capabilities, included options and a vehicle history. Shopping for hay should also be carefully researched because making the correct purchase can drastically affect your bottom line. Have you ever met a person that can tell you the value of a truck just by looking at the exterior? Or someone that can tell the quality of hay based on a physical evaluation alone? While a physical evaluation can help us determine several characteristics about the hay, it cannot tell us nutrient content or other potential problems, like nitrates. The only way to know the quality of the hay is by having a forage test done. Knowing the nutritional value of the hay not only helps determine if supplementation is needed, but also will save you money and hopefully avoid any headaches.

Nutrient/Energy Requirement

Knowing what quality of hay you need to purchase all begins with understanding the nutrient requirements for your livestock. Nutrient requirement is the amount of nutrient an animal needs to perform a specific task, or their energy requirement. This is determined by weight, sex, age, growth rate and stage of production. From this we can break down that animal into four nutrient priorities:

  1. Maintenance
  2. Growth
  3. Lactation
  4. Reproduction

The largest shift in nutritional requirement is the transition from pregnant to lactation. Animals fed differently from their nutritional requirements will either lose or gain excess weight. Something else to remember is that the energy requirement for livestock increases during the winter, 1% for every degree under 32°F. Your county extension agent can help you determine your livestock’s nutrient needs.

Forage Testing

A forage analysis is the only way to assess the quality of the hay. The quality of the forage is focused on the value of each pound versus the total of pounds consumed. There is a physical limit to how much livestock can consume. Digestibility is the ability of the livestock to extract the nutrients from the hay. The primary nutrient found in hay are protein, carbs, sugars, pectins and fiber. When purchasing hay, ask for the forage test results. If a forage test has not been performed on the hay, it something you can do yourself through your extension office. For more details on how to take a good hay sample refer to Ray Hicks’s article in this edition of the newsletter.

Reading the Results

After you receive your forage report, there are some numbers that you want to focus on. Always look at the dry matter levels, not as sampled. The dry matter level is best for comparing forages, ration balance and economic value. Most producers go straight for the protein content, but this is Crude Protein and based on nitrogen levels in the sample. So a sample that is high in nitrates can have a high Crude Protein. Protein is important, but many times is overemphasized. The Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN) is a measurement of digestible energy. This allows you to compare
forages of the same species and compare them to the needs of the livestock. The Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) predicts the energy base based on fiber quality and intake. RFQ allows for comparisons across forage species. We have also been able to link ranges of RFQ to meet the energy requirements for livestock at different stages. This does not mean that a RFQ at that range will automatically provide all the nutrients needed, but provides us with an approximation if the forage will provide a cost-efficient base.

Nitrates are also important to look at. Nitrates over 4,500 ppm need to be fed at restricted rates. As the nitrate levels increase, so does the restrictions on feed until 18,000 ppm when it is considered lethal.

Storage

Another factor that effects forage quality is storage. Hay bales should be stored to protect from rainfall and weathering. Loss from storage can range from 20%-45%. Before hay is stored it should be properly cured. Round bales should be allowed to dry to 15% moisture and square to 18%. Improper curing of hay can result in fires. The best way for hay to be stored is in a hay shed, but if bales have to be stored outside its best they are orientated north/south, the bales are dense and they are elevated. Net wrapping also distributes moisture better than bales wrapped in twine.

Buy by Weight

Finally yet importantly, consider the weight of a hay bale. Whether you are buying square bales or round, consider buying by weight instead of by bale. Humans are not good at estimating the weight of a bale and usually overestimate the weight. So if you can put some bales on a scale and get a good estimate of the lot weight, see if the producer will sale by weight. It will save you some money in the long run.

Summary

  1. Consider your livestock nutrient requirements
  2. Forage Test
  3. Read and understand results
  4. Compare your forage options
  5. How was the hay stored
  6. Buy by weight (if possible)

Prevent and Prepare For Barn Fires

Although you cannot completely eliminate the risk that there could be a fire in your barn, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk and be more prepared. ( PORK )

Have you ever considered what you would do if you had a barn fire? How would you protect your animals and all the other assets you have in your barn? What could you have done to prevent it? The thought of a fire is very scary. Although you cannot completely eliminate the risk that there could be a fire in your barn, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk and be more prepared.

Tips for reducing the risk of a barn fire

Contact your local fire department to have them do a “checkup” of your barn and offer more recommendations for your individual situation. The University of Kentucky’s “Preventing Barn Fire: Tips for Horse Owners” recommends the following steps in reducing your chances of having a barn fire.

  • No smoking! Bedding and hay can easily be ignited by a person smoking in or around the barn. Enforce a strict no smoking policy in your barn. Post signs inside and outside your barn.
  • Place a fire extinguisher next to each exit, utility box and at roughly 30-40-foot intervals in your barn. Inspect and recharge each extinguisher every year, and use a ABC (general purpose) extinguisher.
  • Clean off cobwebs and pick up loose bailer twine. By making sure your barn is clutter-free, you are helping eliminate ways for fire to spread.
  • Electrical devices need to be professionally installed and encased in conduit. Pay attention during winter months to water tank heaters and heated buckets—they continue to generate heat even if there is no water present, which can cause the plastic to melt and a fire to ignite bedding and hay. If you are using electrical cords, make sure that they are professional grade, inspected often and are not overloaded. Keep lights caged and only use lights that are designed for barn use.
  • If possible, keep hay and bedding stored away from a barn housing animals. If you only have one barn, like many of us, make sure hay has properly cured before storing it in the barn. Check the internal temperature of curing hay by poking a thermometer into the middle of the bale. If the temperature reaches 150 degrees, the hay should be monitored. If it reaches 175 degrees, contact the fire department.
  • Keep tractors, fuel, other petroleum products and machinery away from the barn. Clear any grass, hay, leaves or other combustible materials from equipment before storage.

Tips for being prepared in case there is a barn fire

Mentally prepare yourself so that you can act calmly and safely in the case of a fire. Remember that human safety is the top priority—ensure your own safety and the safety of others before taking care of animals. The University of Kentucky’s “Preventing Barn Fire: Tips for Horse Owners” recommends the following steps for preparing yourself and being ready if a fire does occur in your barn.

  • Identify and designate a safe place for your animals to go if you can get them out of the barn safely. This location should be away from the fire and allows fire crews enough room to do their jobs.
  • Handling equipment such as halters, leads, etc. should be quickly accessible. Consider the materials these items are made of. Remember that plastic and nylon will melt in heat.
  • Talk about the plan with members of your family and any employees you might have so they can also be prepared in an emergency.
  • Mark gates, pens or stalls with reflective tape or glow-in-the dark paint. This will make it easier to see where you are going in the dark.
  • If you are removing animals, start closest to the exit first and handle animals one at a time or by groups if they are herd animals. Always maintain control of the animals to help reduce their stress, which can prevent other injury risks.

If there is a fire, call 911 and get people out of the barn. Only get animals out if you can do so without risking human safety. Follow the directions from the fire department or 911 dispatcher.

No one ever wants to think about the risk of a fire, but it is best to be fully prepared so that you can react fast and appropriately.

Tips to Keeping Livestock Healthy During Winter Months

Most animals need some shelter during the winter months, however their natural winter coats allow them to endure cold temperatures. ( Drovers )

Winter has arrived in full force in Michigan. Cold temperatures can cause some challenges in our barns, but utilizing some easy techniques on your farm will help you manage your herd successfully during the winter months.

Water

Ensuring your herd has access to fresh, clean water is essential to their health. In the winter, battling frozen water buckets and tanks can be a challenge. By utilizing tank heaters, heated buckets or automatic waterers, water is kept ice-free and at a temperature the animal is comfortable drinking.

Products that utilize electricity, such as tank heaters and heated buckets, should be checked with a voltmeter to ensure there is no current running through the water. Any electrical current will deter animals from drinking from the water tank or bucket. By inserting one end of the voltmeter in the water tank and the other into the ground, you will get a reading that will indicate if there is a problem. Make sure to check this often.

The University of Wisconsin Extension has published a water consumption chart that outlines the amounts of water certain species will consume per day. Ensuring that your animal is consuming enough water each day is critical to their overall health and well-being.

Amount of water livestock will consumer per day
Species Water needs, gallons per day
Cattle 7-12
Goats 1-4
Hogs 6-8
Horses 8-12
Llamas 2-5
Poultry Up to 1
Rabbits Up to 1
Sheep 1-4

Housing

Most animals need some shelter during the winter months, however their natural winter coats allow them to endure cold temperatures. Providing shelter or wind breaks that can be easily accessed by animals is key. Humans oftentimes are prone to making the winter environment for their animals too warm, which is unhealthy for animals.

Michigan State University Extension recommends the following factors to consider when evaluating the housing of your animals:

  • Air quality. Is there adequate ventilation to help dispel respiration gasses and manure odor? Depending on the type of barn you have, there are various ways the barn can be ventilated. Ridge vents are more prevalent in newer barns and are based on the premise that heat rises. Older barns may require opening doors or windows to allow for air circulation. Poorly ventilated spaces can cause irritation in the animals’ lungs and lead to respiratory infections such as pneumonia. If you notice condensation on walls or ceilings, that is a good indication your air isn’t ventilating enough for the number of animals occupying the space. You will need to adjust accordingly.
  • Dry bedding areas. Dry bedding provides insulation from the cold ground and helps decrease the amount of energy animals use to keep them warm. There are many options for bedding you can use; straw, wood shavings and with cattle in particular you can use corn stover or similar crop residues for cows and bulls.

Feed

Animals must maintain their energy reserves in order to endure cold temperatures. Before the weather gets cold, asses the body condition of each animal and adjust the nutrition they are receiving to adequately prepare them to thrive in winter conditions. It is critical to continue to assess body condition scores throughout the winter, as it may be necessary to increase the amounts of good quality feed and forages. Supplying adequate amounts of feed is essential in your herds well-being through the winter months.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu.