77 research outputs found

    Ridge-Tillage: Advantages and Disadvantages

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    Ridge-Till is a crop production system that has become increasingly popular with grain producers in some areas of the mid-west. This unique tillage system may provide some Kentucky farmers with an alternative method of planting. Limited information on the adaptability of ridge-till on Kentucky soils and climatic conditions make it important that growers investigate the system thoroughly to determine how it would fit into their operation before deciding to change. Ridge-till involves planting on elevated rows that remain undisturbed after establishment. One or more cultivations are then made during the early part of each growing season to improve weed control, allow the soil to dry and warm faster, and to maintain the ridge for future planting. Most of the current information on ridge-till has been generated from studies conducted in the north and mid-west. Based on this research, ridge-till appears to be most suited for the poorly drained soils on 0-2% slope. Some advantages and disadvantages of ridgetillage are discussed below

    Bermudagrass in Kentucky

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    Interest in bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers] is increasing in Kentucky as livestock producers continue their search for warm-season perennial forages capable of filling in the mid-summer growth slump we commonly experience with our traditional cool-season grasses. This is partially due to the recent availability of seeded bermudagrass varieties with improved winter hardiness thereby reducing establishment cost and increasing the odds of success

    Storing Alfalfa as Round Bale Silage

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    Hay is the most popular method for storing alfalfa because it stores well for long periods and is better suited to cash sale and transportation than silage. However, silage may be a suitable option when and/or where hay curing is difficult. Due to numerous improvements in baling and wrapping equipment, it is possible to make high quality round bale silage using long (unchopped) alfalfa crops

    Options for Summer Grazing

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    Summer is the time during the growing season when shortages of forage most often occur in Kentucky. The summer of 2007 will long be remembered as one the warmest and driest in recent years and cause many livestock producers to evaluate their current forage systems. Most Kentucky pastures are predominately cool-season grasses such as tall fescue, orchardgrass and bluegrass. During the historically hot, dry periods in July and August, these species produce very little growth and can quickly become overgrazed. At this point, some producers have no alternative except to buy feed or begin feeding stored forage intended for winter feeding. According to Ag Economist, grazing is the cheapest way to feed livestock and the difference between profit and loss in the livestock business can usually be related back to the producer’s ability to grow his own feed

    Co-Grazing Beef Cattle and Goats in Kentucky

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    A two season grazing study of mixed (goats and beef cattle) species was conducted in 2006 and 2008 at Sebastian Farms in Breathitt County KY. The objective of this study was to determine if the order of mixed species grazing affected beef cattle and goat weight gain and goat exposure to the barber pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) in a rotational grazing system. In this study, two co-grazing management strategies were tested. In treatment 1, goats and cattle were rotationally grazed together. In treatment 2, goats rotated through pastures as first grazers followed by cattle. Each co-grazing treatment was assigned a set of four pastures similar in size, terrain and plant species composition. The stocking rate for each treatment was approximately 1.2 acres per animal unit (1 animal unit = 1,000 lbs live weight). Animal performance data was collected every 30 days during the grazing season. In 2007, the study was suspended due to extreme drought conditions. In 2006 and 2008 goat weight gain and FAMACHA scores were not affected by grazing treatment. In 2006, cattle weight gain was slightly higher for cows grazing with goats. In contrast, cows following goats in 2008 had the greatest weight gain. Based on field observations, beef cattle and goats were compatible grazers and no herd health issues were related to mixed species grazing during this study

    Update on Ridge-Tillage in Kentucky

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    Grain crop producers in Kentucky are constantly evaluating various tillage systems that will best fit their particular cropping environment. One such tillage system that has shown some promise primarily in the mid-west is a system referred to as ridge-tillage. Ridge-till is basically a system by which a grain producer plants his crop on an elevated row that is maintained each year during cultivation for week control. The same ridge is re-used year after year thereby developing a controlled traffic pattern. Since the cultivation procedure is also recommended for maintaining the ridge, many ridge-till farmers have reduced their herbicide cost by spraying only a small band over the row and relying on the cultivation for weed control between the ridges

    Wetlands: Mechanisms For Treating Acid Mine Drainage

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    A great deal of attention has been given to wetlands in recent years. Research suggests that natural and/or constructed wetlands may play a valuable role in flood flow moderation, sediment retention and stabilization, and waste water treatment while providing habitat for game and nongame wildlife. Only within the last 10 years have wetlands received serious attention in the treatment of acid mine drainage (AMD)

    Differential Black Walnut Growth on a Recommended Soil Map Unit: Investigation of Related Soil Chemical and Physical Properties

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    Black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) is one of the best known and most valuable trees in Kentucky. However, due to its high value, the species has been aggressively harvested from natural stands, creating a limited supply of quality black walnut trees. Many landowners recognize this as an investment opportunity and have placed small tracts of unused land into black walnut production
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