By David G. Hallauer
Jefferson County Extension Agriculture Agent
Grain stored during this rather warm, fall harvest season may result in some special management considerations for producers to consider.
Some grain entering storage may have been warmer than usual, due to hot weather and the early harvest. Be sure to manage bins and aeration equipment to offset for these conditions. Grain should be cooled to 70 degrees F or lower as soon as possible after removal from the field, and then cooled to 40 degrees F by mid-November.
Green soybeans were a hot topic early in the harvesting season, and still may be a concern for some producers and the elevator facility you deliver to. If you evaluate the dockage you may receive or the quality of the beans you will deliver, you may be better off finding another alternative, consider feeding them to beef cattle. There are some management practices you will need to implement to make this work, but soybeans make an excellent protein and energy supplement
Crop residues make great forage for the beef cow. To extend the grazing season, consider crop residue fields for fall and possibly winter grazing. In many cases, corn and sorghum residue can provide a dry cow with much of the necessary nutritional value she needs from grazing; Consider fencing and water supplies, as well as the added benefit of removing cattle from heavily grazed pastures when making your decision.
Perform a feed test. Forages you may be using this winter need to be analyzed to determine their feed value for livestock. This information can go a long ways towards ensuring your livestock feed is meeting animal requirements.
Many landowners, whether on a large scale or small, have a desire to "add value" to their property through some sort of value added enterprise.
These may range from Christmas trees to crops and just about anything in between.
Sometimes, it is difficult to even decide what enterprise to enter. Other times, a market has to be found, or more information is needed. To help in this, there are a number of programs and publications available.
In the Extension office, we have educational material on subjects ranging from horticulture to food processing, as well as knowledge about production systems and markets. This can be very helpful when you are trying to determine just what step you need to take next.
In addition, we know of meetings and trainings that may be of interest to you, like the Medicinal Herb Growers Interest Group that will meet in Oskaloosa, Oct. 28, or the Glacial Hills Resource Conservation and Development Council Guide for Agricultural Entrepreneurs program. If these are of interest to you, or you are looking for assistance to help you decide how you want to add value, feel free to contact the Extension staff.