Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Garden Minute Radio Program Natural Fertilizers

Gardening Minute
This is Jason Lamb with your Gardening Minute.

Natural and organic fertilizer differs from chemicals, in that they feed your plants while building the soil. 

Animal manures contribute more to the soil than just nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Continued use of manures builds organic matter in soils and improves soil structure. In addition, many trace nutrients needed for optimum plant growth are available from manures. Plant nutrients are also released more slowly and over a longer period of time than from most commercial fertilizers.

Disadvantages of using manures are the handling and transportation problems. Fresh manure may also introduce new weeds, since certain weed seeds remain viable after passage through animals. Fresh manure can expose pathogens like E. coli to vegetables and are a primary safety concern. Manure should be composted or left alone for at least a year be for incorporating into the soil.

Natural fertilizers are good sources of nitrogen with sheep and poultry manure being the highest at 3.5 percent followed by horse at 2.3 and cattle at 1.3 percent. Fertilizers should be readily mixed into the soil prior to planting. 

If you are interested in learning more about applying fertilizers or other topics in Agriculture please contact us at the Cooperative Extension Office at 461-0562. This has been your Gardening Minute with Jason Lamb your Quay County Ag. Extension Agent. Where are programs are open to everyone. 

Adapted from University of Kentucky Brent Rowell, Extension Vegetable Specialist and Robert Hadad Organic Manures and Fertilizers for Vegetable Crops

Monday, January 25, 2016

CATTLE OUTLOOK – Ron Plain and Scott Brown Ag Economics, MU January 22, 2016

CATTLE OUTLOOK – Ron Plain and Scott Brown
Ag Economics, MU   January 22, 2016

USDA’s January Cattle on Feed report said December placements were
down 0.8% while marketings were up 1.1%.  This resulted in the number
of cattle on feed at the start of 2016 to be down 0.5% compared to a
year ago.  Placements of feeders weighting less than 600 pounds was
down by 14.8% during December; placements weighing 600-699 pounds were
down 2.7%; placements weighing 700-799 pounds was up 6.9% and
placements weighing 800 pounds or more was up 10.0% compared to
December 2014.

The average price of a pound of choice beef at retail during December
was $5.972.  That was down 24.1 cents from the month before, down 33.8
cents from a year ago, and the lowest for any month since July 2014.
The December average grocery store price for all fresh beef was $5.885
per pound, down 10.4 cents from the month before and down 9.7 cents
from December 2014.

The 5 area average live price for slaughter steers was $124.70/cwt
during December.  That was down $3.60 from the month before and down
$38.40 from a year ago.  This is the lowest monthly average steer
price since August 2013.¬

Fed cattle prices were lower this week.  Through Thursday, the 5-area
average price for slaughter steers sold on a live weight basis was
$126.62/cwt, down $6.90 from last week’s average and down $32.89 from
a year ago.  The 5 area average dressed price this week for steers was
$202.00/cwt, down $7.57 for the week and down $54.03 compared to the
same week last year.

This morning the choice boxed beef cutout value was $225.43/cwt, down
$7.22 from the previous Friday and down $28.45 from a year ago.  The
select carcass cutout was $220.98/cwt, down $6.65 from last week and
also down $28.45.

This week’s cattle slaughter totaled 569,000 head, up 0.2% from last
week, but down 2.1% from a year ago.

The average steer dressed weight for the week ending on January 9 was
902 pounds, down 2 pounds from the week before, but up 13 pounds from
a year ago.  This was the 82nd consecutive week with weights above the
year-ago level.

Prices at the Oklahoma City Stockyards this week were $6 to $8 lower
on feeder steers and $10-$15 lower on calves than last week.  Prices
for medium and large frame #1 steers by weight group were: 400-450#
$204-$226, 450-500# $198-$214.50, 500-550# $183.50-$199, 550-600#
$168-$185.50, 600-650# $162-$169, 650-700# $145-$167.50, 700-750#
$152-$165.50, 750-800# $147.50-$155.50, 800-900# $137.50-$149.75 and
900-1000# $138-$142.25/cwt.

Cattle futures were higher this week.  The February live cattle
futures contract settled at $132.07/cwt today, up $4.52 for the week.
April fed cattle settled at $133.07/cwt, up $4.57 from the previous
week.  The June contract ended the week at $123.85/cwt, up $4.10 from
the previous Friday.

January feeder cattle ended the week at $159.42/cwt, up $5.12 from a
week earlier.  March futures gained $7.63 this week to close at
$157.90/cwt.  April settled at $157.82/cwt.