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The Farm and Ranch Report

Pesticide Applicator Testing Session Offered

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry will offer a local testing session, at the Carter County OSU Extension Office, on Tuesday, November 20. They will have tests available for all the pesticide applicator categories, so anyone needing to certify for the first time or recertify can be accommodated. Of particular interest are the categories that licenses expire this year (December 31), and thus must be recertified are:

1a – Agricultural Plant

A – Aerial

7b – Structural

10 – Demonstration & Research

Private Applicator

Applicator certification requires the successful completion of at least two examinations: The “Core” exam, consisting of knowledge required in all categories of certification; and the category exam itself. Those who are recertifying need only to take the category exam. A few of the categories require completion of a practical examination in conjunction with the Core and category exams for certification in that particular category.

Core exam – Focuses on equipment, safety, laws, and other knowledge pertaining to all categories. All persons wishing to become certified applicators must pass this exam in addition to the category exam(s).

Category exam – Written exam to be taken (along with the Core exam) by those wishing to become certified in that particular category.

Practical exam- The following categories require a practical examination in addition to the Core and the written exam.  These exams are performed at OSU in Stillwater:

(7A)- General Pest

(7B)- Structural Pest/Termite

(7C)- Fumigation

The practical exam must be taken within twelve (12) months of passing the written examination.  Failure to pass the practical within this period of time will require retaking the written exam.

Service Technician exam – To be taken by anyone wishing to qualify as a service technician.  The Core exam is not required to become a service technician. 

No appointment is necessary for any regularly scheduled test session. Applicants are required to provide some type of photo identification (e.g., a valid driver’s license) showing their name and identification number. Pencils and paper are provided for applicants at the testing sites. Applicants may use a hand-held calculator as long as the print-out tape is not used. An applicant must attain a satisfactory score (70% or above) to pass any written exam. 

After all the necessary examinations have been successfully completed, the certified applicator will be issued a certification card. This certification card is not a license to do pesticide applicator work; a pesticide applicator license must be obtained by any certified applicator wishing to do pesticide applicator work (commercial, non-commercial or consultant) or must be obtained by his/her employer.

A service technician shall be issued an identification card upon satisfactory completion of the service technician examination. 

Testing fees are $50 per exam. Those individuals who are certifying for the first time will pay $50 for the Core Exam and $50 for each category exam or $50 for Service Technicians. Those who are recertifying will pay $50 for the Category Exams only. 

Private Applicators should be advised that, although all current licenses expire this year, you need not to attend this testing session, as your exam is a take-home, open-book exam. The licenses are renewed on 5-year rotations so, if you recertify now, your license will be valid through December 31, 2023. You should also be aware that, as of now, the Private Applicator test is still a take-home exam but there is a discussion of making it a proctored exam in the future, meaning that you will have to attend a testing session and complete a closed-book exam.

The testing site, Carter County OSU Extension Office, is located at 25 A St. NW Ave., Suite 200. Our entrance is located next to the Election Board, at the new Carter County Administration building, formerly the Noble Energy building. You may park on the north side of the complex, on Broadway Ave., either in the lot on the east side of the Ardmoreite Building or the lot across the street (south) of the Ardmoreite Building. You will then need to walk around to the south side of the office complex to our entrance.

Find out what’s happening on the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Calendar at https://calendar.okstate.edu/oces/#/?i=2

Follow me on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/leland.mcdaniel

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; Phone 405-744-5371; email: eeo@okstate.edu has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies.  Any person who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

How Dressing Affects Cull Cow Values . . .

 Last week’s column, we discussed cull cow grades. Remember cull cows that are destined to go to the packing house are graded by their fleshiness. The fattest cows are called “Breakers”.  Moderately fleshed cows are “Boning utility”. Thin cows are called “Leans” or “Lights”, depending upon the weight of the cow. There will be price differences among these four grades. 

However, within each grade, large variation in prices per hundredweight will exist because of differences in dressing percentage. Cow buyers are particularly aware of the proportion of the purchased live weight that eventually becomes saleable product hanging on the rail. Dressing percentage is (mathematically) the carcass weight divided by the live weight multiplied by 100. For instance, a cow with a 1,400 lb. live weight and a “hot carcass” weight (once they have been eviscerated, and the hide, feet, and head removed) of 650 lbs. has a Dressing Percent of 46% (650/1400 = .4642 x 100 = 46%)

Key factors that affect dressing percentage include gut fill, udder size, mud and manure on the hide, excess leather on the body, and anything else that contributes to the live weight but will not add to the carcass weight. Obviously, pregnancy will dramatically lower dressing percentage due the weight of the fetus, fluids, and membranes that will not be on the hanging carcass. Most USDA Market News reports for cull cows will give price ranges for High, Average, and Low Dressing Percentages for each of the previous mentioned grades. As you study these price reports, note that the differences between High and Low Dressing cows and bulls will generally be greater than differences between grades. Many reports will indicate that Low Dressing cows will be discounted up to $8 to $12 per hundredweight compared to High Dressing cows and will be discounted $5 to $7 per hundredweight compared to Average Dressing cows. These price differences are “usually” widest for the thinner cow grades (Leans and Lights). See examples from last week’s sale in the Oklahoma City National Stockyards: http://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/ko_ls151.txt

As producers market cull cows and bulls, they should be cautious about selling cattle with excess fill. The large discounts due to low dressing percent often will more than offset any advantage from the added weight. They should also be cautious about selling old, “broke mouth” or “smooth mouth” cows that are pregnant but not likely to be purchased by someone intending to take them to grass.

Cull cow prices are typically lowest in the fall, as many producers sell cull cows immediately after weaning. The cull cow market exhibits consistent seasonality across years, as evident in the graph below, where prices in March and April are approximately 15 index points higher than prices in October and November. Though the market price levels have seen unusual increases in more recent years, the seasonal pattern has persisted. This seasonality offers opportunities to deviate from traditional fall marketing of cull cows and potentially increasing salvage value by retaining cows into the spring months to market during seasonal high prices (Feuz 2010; Peel and Meyer 2002; Yager, Greer and Burt 1980). Many factors influence this decision, including individual cow health, potential weight gain, cash flow needs, on-farm resources for retention and feeding, current market conditions versus market expectations and time. In addition to feed costs, the decision to retain cull cows requires more labor and management time, including feeding cows, separating culls for possible rebreeding and pregnancy checking. Facilities and pasture availability are important considerations as well, since cull cows on feed are likely managed as a group separately from the breeding herd. Not considered here is the fact that retaining cull cows utilizes forage resources that might be used for another cattle enterprise, either more brood cows or stocker cattle. On the other hand, feeding culled cows may be a good way to capture the value of excess or leftover pasture or hay that may not otherwise get utilized or have a better use. Ultimately, the marketing decision has implications for the individual cow’s salvage value and the producer’s bottom line.

 Seasonal Price Index for Utility (Slaughter) Cows, Southern Plains, 2004-2013. Data Source: USDA-AMS, Compiled & Analysis by LMIC Livestock Marketing Information Center.      

Find out what’s happening on the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Calendar at https://calendar.okstate.edu/oces/#/?i=2

Follow me on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/leland.mcdaniel

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; Phone 405-744-5371; email: eeo@okstate.edu has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies.  Any person who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

Armyworm Control Measures . . .

Well, we are deep into a Fall armyworm infestation that may be 3-4 times, or more, worse than I have ever seen. Established control thresholds are 2-3 caterpillars per foot of row in newly emergent small grains and 3-4 caterpillars in established pastures, such as Bermuda or small grains fields. I am seeing 15-20 caterpillars per square foot in many places! Many of you have already sprayed, but do not rest easy thinking this is the last you will have to worry about them.

Depending on when we get our first frost, there could be one or two more generations of these pests before Mother Nature provides some relief. Our average first frost is November 10, and given how the law of averages works it could be two weeks earlier or two weeks later in a given year. One complete life cycle of the Fall armyworm takes 2-3 weeks, about 10-14 days as feeding caterpillar, 8-9 days in the pupal stage, and 1-3 days as egg-laying adult moths. Once new eggs are lain, new caterpillars hatch about 3 days later to begin the feeding cycle again. So, if our first frost occurs near the November 10th average date, we could see at least one and possibly two more cycles. If we have a late frost, we could see three more generations.

 The decision to spray should be based on the cost of control versus the value of the forage in question. If the loss of the forage means a substantially increased reliance on feed and hay this winter or replanting small grains fields, then control is likely an economically feasible option. Beyond that, the choice of a control product labeled for Fall armyworm control is largely driven by the cost of application and availability. 

There are a multitude of products commercially available for the control of Fall armyworms and, unfortunately, most of them will only have a 2 or 3-day window of residual activity. Many of the products have no grazing or haying restrictions, but some will have a 3 to 14-day grazing or haying restriction.

The salient point is that I would advise scouting fields at least every other day until we get a frost, and maybe invest in a HUGE flock of chickens (weak attempt at humor). 

If you have questions regarding control strategies for Fall armyworms, feel free to contact me via phone (Carter County OSU Extension 580/223-6570; Jefferson County OSU Extension 580/228-2332) or email: Leland.mcdaniel@okstate.edu.

Plan now for OQBN Pre-Conditioned Feeder Sales . . .

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In recent weeks, I discussed the consistent premiums that have been paid for calves consigned to the OQBN sales over the last 12 years. Oklahoma Quality Beef Network (OQBN) sales provide an opportunity for cattle producers to add value to 2018 calves. Weaning dates are fast approaching for fall sales.

For more information on OQBN sales; vac-45 protocol; enrollment and certification process and forms; and sale representatives, visit http://oqbn.okstate.edu/ .    

 

Below is a summary of 2018/2019 OQBN sales, locations and corresponding weaning dates.

Sale Date         Location                               Weaning Date

                        Oct. 25            Woodward                              Sep. 10

                        Nov. 6             OKC West, El Reno                   Sep. 22

                        Nov. 7             Cherokee                                 Sep. 23

                        Nov. 13           McAlester                               Sep. 29

                        Nov. 17           Blackwell                                Oct. 3

                        Nov. 29           Woodward                              Oct. 15

                        Dec. 4              OKC West, El Reno               Oct. 20

                        Feb. 19            McAlester                               Jan. 5

                        Apr. 16            McAlester                               Mar. 2

                        Jun. 11             McAlester                               Apr. 27

   

 Feeding weaned calves during a pre-conditioning program

Spring born calves have already been, or soon will be weaned to meet the 45-day requirement for value-added calf sales. A minimum of a 45-day weaning period is recommended to maximize the benefits of pre-conditioning. See the list of sale dates and appropriate weaning dates in the previous article. A balanced nutrition program during this period is critical to ensure profitability for the cow/calf producer and maximum immune system function during the stressful weaning period and later production phases.

Calves targeted for a VAC-45 sale (i.e. Oklahoma Quality Beef Network) should gain 1.5 to 2 pounds per head per day from weaning to marketing to greatly enhance the likelihood of profitability of the pre-conditioning program. Research has repeatedly shown that calves that begin eating soon after shipping or weaning will have reduced health issues and certainly gain weight more quickly and consistently. Low stress “fenceline weaning” has been shown to help calves start to eat sooner and begin weight gain more quickly than calves that are weaned away from the cows.

Providing a high quality ration that meets the nutritional needs of the young calves can be accomplished in a number of ways. Producers should download a copy of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Fact sheet ANSI-3031 to obtain several rations to be mixed for weaned calves. Rations are available for very young, lightweight calves as well as for 7 to 8 month old traditional 400 – 600 pound weaned calves. Some rations will include by-product feeds such as wheat-mids and dried corn distillers’ grains if these are available at a competitive price. The Fact sheet will also discuss other management tips for early weaning, traditional weaning, and receiving shipped-in stocker calves. The URL for this important fact sheet is http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-1957/ANSI-3031web.pdf

Premiums from Preconditioning and Seasonal Price Swings . . .

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I wrote about the OQBN program and the associated premiums a few weeks ago but Scott Clawson, OSU Extension Area Ag Economist, more eloquently discusses these potential premiums, and premiums associated with seasonal price changes, in the following comments.

The time of year is upon us to begin planning how we will market our spring born calves. As we fix our eyes on the market’s movements and our checkbook balance, we start to figure out a strategy. As with every plan, we need to make sure we are accurate, conservative, and as thorough as possible. The easiest option is to sell directly off the cow, an option that you can see in every livestock auction in the fall. The discount that follows from this strategy is usually significant. The other option is to wean, “straighten out”, and market those cattle at least 45 days later. Backgrounding premiums and seasonal price changes are the two main positive price movements take place in that 45 plus days after weaning.

Backgrounding premiums exist and are being displayed in many areas as most local livestock auctions facilitate their own programs. In the graphic, we see the annual premiums from the Oklahoma Quality Beef Net-work (OQBN) sales. We see variation from year to year, but it’s obvious that the practice has value. Adding to this, there is variation amongst weights. Within a single year a 400# calf may yield a higher dollar per hundredweight premium for preconditioning than does a 600# calf. This stands to reason as the 400# bawling calf is more high risk than the heavier calf. The importance of this number is that it is a comparison to calves selling the same day. This is valuable to demonstrate the premium for that management practice, but it does not illustrate the seasonal price gains that take place over the typical preconditioning period.

Beefbasis.com is a great way to price forecast for the fall. Using this tool, we estimate that a 500# medium/large muscle score #1 weaned calf in mid-October would be $163.53/cwt. We make a modest gain calculation of 1.5#/day over a 60-day backgrounding program. This leaves us in mid-December with a 590# calf with an estimated value of $157.67/cwt. The second part of this equation is the additional value that we anticipate for the VAC-45 management practices we took on. Looking at the data from 2017 and previous years, we could use a conservative $9/cwt addition to our mid-December calf price ($157.67 + $9 = $166.67/cwt) for participating in OQBN. It is worth noting that the value of this 500# calf at this point (Mid-December) is $169.67. This compared with the estimated value of the same calf quality and weight in October displays the seasonal price improvement that we see on average.

Collectively, we could sell a bawling calf in mid-October that weighs 500# for $817.65. The other option is to hold off marketing for 60 days and participate in a VAC-45 program. This gives us the opportunity to capture a seasonal price improvement as well as a VAC-45 premium. The 590# calf in mid-December has an estimated value of $983.35. The difference is $165.70/hd, but this is not profit as no costs have been deducted. But it does provide a starting point to begin our budget. Individual costs per producer will be variable based on set up and resources. Also, each producer will assign a different value for labor, management, and death loss.

At the end of the day, there is risk involved in any ranch decision. Death loss, poor gains, price, and marketing risk are all lurking in the background. We can mitigate price risk by using price protection tools. However, leaning on the history of seasonal price moves and VAC-45 premiums, we have a chance to manufacture some extra profit.

Find out what’s happening on the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Calendar at https://calendar.okstate.edu/oces/#/?i=2

Follow me on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/leland.mcdaniel

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; Phone 405-744-5371; email: eeo@okstate.eduhas been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies.  Any person who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

How Does Rain Impact Hay Quality?

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Summer afternoon rain showers are both a friend and foe for hay producers. While most farmers certainly won’t turn down a year with ample rain, the frequency of rainfall can pose a challenge to putting up high-quality hay for the winter months.

Rain can cause the following to occur when hay is being cured in the field prior to baling:

Leaching – Hay that is closer to baling, or more dry, is more susceptible to leaching losses than fresh cut forage. Nutrient leaching causes dry matter loss, increased fiber and decreased energy value of forage.

Respiration – Losses to respiration occur when moisture levels exceed 30%. When forage is re-wetted by rain, this keeps the forage moisture level high enough for respiration to continue or be prolonged, which results in carbohydrate losses in hay.

Leaf loss is generally more significant in legume forages than grass hay, and amount of loss is often quite variable. Additional handling of windrows to encourage drying post-rainfall contributes to leaf loss.

Rain damage increases with the amount, duration of a rainfall event, and timing relative to when hay was harvested. If rain occurs shortly after cutting, this is usually less damaging than hay that has already had significant drying time in the field. A research trial at the University of Arkansas reported that a short delay in harvest of perennial warm-season grasses had a more negative influence on hay quality than a single rainfall event ranging from 0.5 to 3 inches. Repeat instances of rain cause more damage than a single rainfall event. This is generally where more significant quality and dry matter losses occur, especially for hay that is still above 30% moisture that continues to respire.

Even if hay has been rained on multiple times, it is important to get the forage out of the field to minimize the impact of excessive thatch on forage regrowth for the next potential hay harvest. Higher moisture bales may undergo heating, and they also provide a favorable environment for mold growth. Collect a forage sample from rain-damaged hay to send in for nutrient analysis to determine overall feed value and suitability. Rain-damaged, low-quality hay should be used for cows in the herd with the lowest nutrient requirement.

It is a good idea to check for nitrate levels on forage that has gone through drought conditions followed by a recovery of a rainfall event.

Contact your County OSU Extension Educator for further assistance in obtaining proper forage samples.

Find out what’s happening on the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Calendar at https://calendar.okstate.edu/oces/#/?i=2

Follow me on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/leland.mcdaniel

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; Phone 405-744-5371; email: eeo@okstate.edu has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies.  Any person who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

Do Bigger Cows = More Weaning Weight and More Profit?

 There is increasing concern about the long-term trend toward heavier beef cows. A recent study by Maples, Lusk and Peel (2016) shows that heavier carcasses have cost the U.S. beef industry $8.6 billion due to reduced consumer demand. Studies consistently find that consumers want thick-cut steaks. However, large ribeye and loin cross-sectional areas prevent retailers from serving thick steaks while maintaining desired portion size.

We recently evaluated how heavier cows impact the profitability of cow-calf producers. Data from the American Angus Association demonstrates that EPDs for mature weight have increased steadily since the late 1970s while frame size is unchanged. The data shows the genetic trend for Mature Height (MH) is relatively flat while Mature Weight (MW) has increased by nearly 40 pounds. Since frame size is un-changed, that means that the cow herd has added more muscle, bone, and visceral organ mass. Concurrent with the increase in weight, comes increased nutritional requirements and reduced stocking rates. The question then is: Are higher cow-weights economically justified given heavier weaning weights?

Using data on 3,000+ cows from three research stations in Oklahoma and Arkansas, we recently estimated calf weaning weights as a function of mature cow weight. The resulting function shows a less than linear increase in weaning weight as cow weight increases. This means that each additional pound of mature cow weight adds less to calf weaning weight. Weaning weights increase, but at a decreasing rate. So, increasing mature cow size from a 950# cow to a 1000# cow increases weaning weight by 6.8 pounds. However, increasing mature cow size from a 1750# cow to an 1800# cow increased weaning weight by only 4.7 pounds. Both increase mature weight by 50 pounds, but with different results.

Given that stocking rates decline as cow weight increases and weaning weights are concave in cow weight, heavier cows are unlikely to be the most profitable on a per acre basis—and our analysis confirmed this suspicion. Over all of the scenarios we considered (spring and fall calving, Angus cows and Brangus cows, native pasture and Bermuda pastures), lighter cows outperformed heavier cows over a ten-year time period when profits are computed per acre. Our model also considered the higher cull value of heavier cows, differences in stocking rates and supplemental feed costs, and price variations over time. In figure 3, per acre net present value of beef cows by mature weight is presented. Values fall from $39.75 per acre per head for 950# cows to $22.63 per acre per head for 1800# cows.

While results will differ for individual producers, the economics are pointing to reducing cow weights to improve economic returns. Even if our analyses are off by 20%, the economically-optimal mature cow weight is under 1200#.

So, how does a producer with heavy cows adjust cow weight? Just as it has taken the industry several years to reach the current situation, producers will need to adjust over time. Reestablish a maternal line in the herd. Breed cows with desirable phenotypic and genotypic traits to moderate

MW EPD bulls and retain heifer calves that are both phenotypically and genotypically attractive but have a lower projected mature weight. It could take up to ten years to replace heavy cows, but the economics point to improved profitability. (Source: OSU Extension Master Cattleman Quarterly newsletter; Volume 39, June 2018)

     The take home message is that heavier cows are not the path to heavier weaning weights. There is a point of diminishing returns and it is a very inefficient process. Put simply, in my best Economist language, more/bigger/heavier is not always better or more profitable. Just as “variety is the spice of life”, moderation is the key to longevity and sustainability.

Find out what’s happening on the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Calendar at https://calendar.okstate.edu/oces/#/?i=2

Follow me on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/leland.mcdaniel

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; Phone 405-744-5371; email: eeo@okstate.edu has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies.  Any person who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

OSU Extension News June 28 2018

The Longhorned Tick (also known as the Bush tick) (Figure 1) is an exotic tick and has been documented as a serious pest of livestock in Australia and New Zealand. Recently, this tick has been found on animals in New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia and Arkansas. Longhorned Ticks can be found on multiple animals and is considered a three-host tick. This three-host tick is unique in that it can reproduce either sexually (male and female mating) or through parthenogenesis. The reproductive biology of this tick can lead to large populations occurring in pastures or on animals in a short period of time if left unmonitored. However, since it is a three-host tick, it will typically complete their life cycle in 6-months with all active life stages (larva, nymph, and adult stages) feeding on animals. Host associations for this tick are diverse and can infest both small birds as well as large ruminants such as cattle. Considering hosts and pasture types, these two factors will allow certain areas to be more susceptible to this tick. For instance, this tick does not move very far from available hosts when transitioning between life stages (Heath 2016). Therefore, areas that are regularly visited by cattle with vegetation that allows humidity to stay high such as wooded or tall grass areas are probably more likely to have this tick. This tick is also associated with wildlife such as deer, raccoons and opossums. A common area for ticks to be found in pastures are where these wildlife animals commonly reside such as deer trails. It is also an aggressive biter and causes a lot of stress in animals which can lead to economic impacts to beef animal performance.  

Figure 1

Disease associations from this tick are important from the veterinary health aspect as well as the public health aspect. This tick has been identified as a competent vector of several bacterial pathogens including anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, spotted fever rickettsia, and Lyme disease. This tick is also associated with viruses mainly found in East Asia. However, the most likely pathogen that this tick can transmit is the protozoan pathogen that causes Theileriosis. In fact, the cattle that this tick was sampled from in Virginia tested positive for Theileria orientalis which causes bovine theileriosis which can cause high production losses and high mortality in susceptible beef animals. 

Below is a comparison of ticks commonly found in Oklahoma (Fig. 2).

Figure 2

Of the ticks listed the most likely tick to be confused with the Longhorned tick is the Brown Dog Tick (Fig. 2F) due the similar structure of the mouthpart of these two ticks. The length of the mouthpart in Amblyomma ticks and Ixodes ticks (Fig. 2A-C) is much longer than in the Longhorned tick. The mouthparts of the American Dog Tick and Winter Tick, both of which are Dermacentor ticks, are shorter or in equal length as the basis that connects their mouthparts to their body (Fig. 2 E&F). The Longhorned tick has some characteristics that distinguish it from other ticks but only trained personnel can see these differences. If you suspect that a tick is different from other ticks seen previously then the tick can be sent to Oklahoma State University at the below address for identification. The local county extension office as well as your veterinarian can be contacted to assist in the collection. Also, when sending the tick, the best method is to place the tick into a sealable vial with 70% ethanol. The sample should include where the tick was collected (GPS coordinates or street address), type of animal or if it was collected from a person, and the date of collection. All of this will be required for identification.  If a possible tick is presumed to be the Longhorned Tick then the State Veterinarian office within the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry will be notified as to the location of the positive tick sample.  Plant Disease and Insect Diagnostic Laboratory

ATTN: Justin Talley

Entomology and Plant Pathology

Oklahoma State University

127 NRC

Stillwater, OK  74078

(405) 744-9961 

Find out what’s happening on the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Calendar at https://calendar.okstate.edu/oces/#/?i=2

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Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; Phone 405-744-5371; email: eeo@okstate.edu has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies.  Any person who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

Skid Steer Brush Control Considerations . . .

 With the recent increase in the popularity of skid steer attachments for brush removal, OSU has also seen an increase in the prevalence of questions related to chemically controlling re-sprouts that occur after the removal operation. While these pieces of equipment make the job easier, unfortunately, if used alone they also reduce the effectiveness of foliar herbicide applications on re-sprouting brush species in the near future.

While species such as Eastern redcedar can be fully controlled by cutting them below their green limbs, some species of trees will regrow from buds present on the crown or root. Examples of crown budding species are oak, hickory, elm and Osage orange, while commonly encountered root budding species are honey locust and persimmon. This indicates that while clipping these trees will temporarily remove them from the landscape, they will also re-sprout from existing rootstock and return in the very near future.

The shoots mirror the roots

In general agronomy terms, the shoots (aboveground plant portion) of an unmolested plant typically have similar mass to the roots. This basic of plant physiology allows for efficient uptake of foliar applied herbicides and subsequent translocation to the root system, achieving desired long-term control.

However, if we remove the top growth of a re-sprouting species, the ratio of leaf surface area in relation to root mass has been reduced drastically and sufficient root kill through a foliar application of herbicide is likely impossible. In addition, there is a disproportionately large root system now supplying the small “sprout” with all the elements needed for fast regrowth in the short term ( See Figure 1 below).

Over the next few years, although the re-sprout continues to grow extremely fast, the photosynthesis occurring in the leaves is insufficient to supply the energy needed by the large root mass and therefore a portion of the root system dies back to a sustainable level for the plant. It is at this point when foliar herbicide applications become an option on the table once more.

  For this reason, dealing with root or crown sprouting species necessitates these options in decreasing order of preference (combination of control level, time and economics):

1. Apply chemical to the freshly cut stump of re-sprouting tree species.

a. Usually mixed with fuel oil, apply within 30 minutes of cutting.

2. Use an approved product/method to control trees prior to mechanical removal.

a. This could include foliar sprays or basal treatments.

3. Apply a post-harvest soil active herbicide labeled for the offending species.

a. Relies on root uptake and therefore rainfall, not reliable on clay soils.

4. Allow at least 3-4 years of regrowth before using a foliar spray application.

a. Allows time for increased leaf area and decreased root mass.

5. Spray a broadcast treatment option for 2-3 years in a row on re-sprouts.

a. While effective, this method is costly.

So, if you’re contemplating using a skid steer for mechanical tree removal, they are a great option. However, remember to consider the growth habit of the tree species at hand before firing up. Identify what species are present and if they are notorious for re-sprouting. Determine the proper and least cost herbicide treatment for consistent root control. Some tree saw/shear options come with an onboard herbicide reservoir and pump, allowing you to treat the cut stump from the cab. (Source: Brian Pugh, OSU Extension Area Agronomist; June 2018 Timely Topics)

Follow me on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/leland.mcdaniel

Find out what is happening in OSU Extension at https://calendar.okstate.edu/oces/

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures.  This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; Phone 405-744-5371; email: eeo@okstate.edu has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies.  Any person who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

Last Call for Ranch Tour! . . .

If you are interested in this unique opportunity to see some of south-central Oklahoma’s more notable ranches, and learn from some progressive beef cattle producers, registration will likely close Monday, May 28.

Cost is $30 per participant. Online registration is available at http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/marketplace through the OSU Department of Animal Science.

On May 30, the vans will depart at 12:15 p.m. from the Ardmore Convention Center, located at 2401 Rockford Rd. and travel to the Chuckwagon Barbecue Restaurant, located at 101 Hargrove St. and State Highway 7 in Velma, prior to continuing on to the first ranch site.

 Out of respect to our gracious ranch hosts and in the interest of logistics, we ask participants to ride in the vans provided. If you must caravan in your own vehicle, please drive a pickup able to handle the terrain and carpool as much as possible.

The vans will return to the Ardmore Convention Center at approximately 8 p.m. The second day of the tour will kick off at 8 a.m. and finish early in the afternoon of May 31.

Ranch sites on the tour include Sugar Loaf Ranch in Velma, Sparks Ranch in Hennepin, Coffey Ranch in Davis, Daube Ranch in Ardmore, Eddie Parker Angus Ranch in Waurika, Wilson Cattle Company in Ringling and Howard Cattle Company in Claypool.

Anyone interested in obtaining additional information about the tour should contact me by email at leland.mcdaniel@okstate.edu or by phone at either 580-223-6570 or 580-228-2332, or visit my Facebook page.

Follow me on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/leland.mcdaniel

Find out what is happening in OSU Extension at https://calendar.okstate.edu/oces/

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures.  This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; Phone 405-744-5371; email: eeo@okstate.edu has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies.  Any person who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

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