Newborn Lamb Care Management

Jeffery Held, Professor Emeritus of Animal Science, South Dakota State University
(Previously published online with South Dakota State University Extension: December 19, 2018)

Proper newborn lamb care is a critical component of flock profitability. In the U.S. lamb mortality from all causes is approximately 20% with more than 80% of those losses occurring in the first two-weeks following lambing. Yet a solid lamb care management plan coupled with a few key tools in the lambing barn can sharply improve the number of lambs reared per-ewe. Generally, the top causes for newborn lamb losses are starvation, hypothermia (cold stress), respiratory disease, and scours followed by injury. Theoretically, these categories each stand alone, however the reality is often two-or-three of these occur simultaneously. Producers that develop a lambing time-management plan to incorporate appropriate lambing tools and gain key skills on newborn lamb care will benefit from less labor input and expense with a greater number of lambs weaned.

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Seasonal Scouting for Viburnum Leaf Beetle Eggs

Originally Posted on Buckeye Yard and Garden onLine- November 17, 2020

Author: Amy Stone

Egg Laying Site on Viburnum Leaf Beetle Stem

While the leaves of viburnum (Viburnum spp.) shrubs have fallen, if the viburnum leaf beetle (Pyrrhalta viburni) was present earlier this year, the eggs laid on the shrubs newest growth will be evident. This non-native invasive species feeds as both a larvae and adult, skeletonizing the viburnum leaves. When population levels of the insect increases, defoliation of the shrub becomes more obvious. The insect will feed on naturally growing viburnums, as well as those planted in landscapes, in commercial plantings and at gardens and arboretums.

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Farm Science Review Goes Virtual

the Farm Science Review is virtual this year.  To access the show follow this link https://fsr.osu.edu/  Farm Science Review staff and OSU Extension Educators have been working diligently to host the virtual farm science review.  I encourage you to check out the page and see the amazing line up of live and pre-recorded talks.

2020 FSR Gwynne Conservation Area Presentation Schedule. We have a full line-up of talks covering tree ID, invasive species, soil health, grazing management, invasive species control, tree ID, pond management, recreational lease hunting, pollinators and other beneficial insects, bats, owls, snakes, paw-paws, ginseng, and more.

There will also be Ask the Expert Sessions with topics ranging from Backyard Poultry Health, Farm Stress, Weather, Farm Neighbor Laws and much more. Here is the complete line up for the three days.

Tuesday through Thursday of the review, there will be one live webinar every day, starting at 10:30 am. Each day will also feature a one-hour Q&A session with natural resources and Extension professionals at 1 pm.

TDA Alerts Livestock Producers to Possible Scam

See message below from the Tennessee Department of Ag.  Some Knox County Cattlemen have received these phone calls as well!

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) is warning livestock producers about a potential scam.

Several Tennessee cattle farmers have recently been contacted by a person or persons indicating they want to buy cattle. The supposed buyer reaches out via text, claiming that a cashier’s check will be sent as payment with money added for shipping, and that the seller should contact the buyer once the payment is received. If the seller indicates they won’t accept a cashier’s check, the conversation ends.

While a cashier’s check is a standard method of payment and typically safe to deposit, sellers should first contact the financial institution where the check is drawn to ensure its validity. There may be insufficient funds associated with the transaction, or the check itself may be counterfeit. To TDA’s knowledge, no Tennessee producers have fallen victim.

“Although at this time it appears that no crime has been committed, we want farmers to be cautious,” Agricultural Crime Unit Captain Greg Whitehead said. “This person appears to be targeting seedstock producers who advertised through reputable agriculture publications. Farmers have avoided being caught up in a possible scam because they’ve alerted each other, their local Extension office, and TDA.”

Good practices to prevent being scammed include researching the potential buyer online before agreeing to a transaction and resisting pressure to act immediately on a sale or purchase. Consumers should be wary of offers to pay over the purchase price, even if there seems to be a valid reason. This tactic is common in check cashing scams.

If you suspect a crime has been committed, please contact the Agricultural Crime Unit at 844-AG-CRIME (844-242-7463) or agriculture.crime@tn.gov.

Hay Equipment Checkpoints for Optimal Drying

The primary purpose of our haymaking equipment is to dry hay to the optimum moisture for storage, then package densely. This winter, our

shop has been a staging ground for improved hay drying.

The mower conditioner, both rakes and tedder have all been rotating through our shop to be sure they are ready to not only function properly

Uneven roll wear can result in poor conditioning across the length of the rolls. Photo provided by Jason Hartschuh.

but to make sure hay dries as fast as possible. It is amazing how little adjustments in the shop can save a couple of much-needed hours of drying time. Your operator’s manual will have the proper adjustments for your machine. Just as we always start with the mower for winter repairs, let’s start there on best maintenance practices to improve hay drying.

Mower checklist

Improved hay drying starts at the cutter bar. When the crop is cut ragged with lots of long plant material still attached, this material is often ripped loose by the rake and ends up creating wet spots in windrows. The primary winter service to prevent this is to make sure knives are sharp and not dragging on the cutter bar when spinning. This is also a good time to check all gear boxes and, on disc mower conditioners, that cutting modules are not worn to the point of becoming out of time. Changing cutting speed by slowing down can improve the machine’s ability to cut the entire crop and not leave long stems attached. Continue reading