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The Malakoff News
Malakoff, Texas
June 23, 2006     The Malakoff News
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June 23, 2006

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PAGE 10 - The Malakoff News - Friday, June 23, 2006 Besides the effect of re- duced production due to lack of moisture, drought also cre- ates other negative aspects for cattle and hay producers. Warm-season annual grasses, such as forage sor- ghums, sorghum-sudan hybrids (haygrazer types), and the various mullets can also accu- mulate nitrates to a level that is toxic to cattle during periods of dry weather. Typical nitrate accumulation occurs with ex- cessive N fertilization followed by a period of drought, although toxic levels of nitrates have been observed in warm-season annual grasses with as little as 50 lbs. of N/ac under drought conditions. While aboveground plant growth is reduced, nitrate up- take continues to occur and concentrates in the forage tis- sue. Ruminants are affected because microbes in the rumen are able to convert nitrated to nitrite. NLtrite is then absorbed into the bloodstream where it con- verts hemoglobin, which car- ries oxygen throughout the bloodstream, into methemoglo- bin, which does not carry oxy- gen. Cattle death is due to as- phyxiation. The total level of nitrate in forage will determine whether or not the forage is safe to feed. Remember: Nitrate lev- els in hay do not diminish with time! Nitrate levels, however, in si- lage, may be reduced by 50 age, hay, or silage is safe to feed to livestock. Nitrate levels of 5000 ppm or greater may be dangerous to feed animals and .-- .-- 2 ~ Rick Hirsch greater than 15000 : :: genus Sorghum ppm are toxic to i can produce prus- most classes ofi Agriview sic acid following livestock, i light frosts or The official drought. Texas A&M University advi- In well-cured hay crops, sory is to not feed forages that prussic acid is not a concern contain greater than 10,000 since volatilization of the com- ppm nitrate, pound into the atmosphere oc- Then more conservative curs during the field curing pro- number of 5000 ppm, however, ce s s. may be a much safer number Cattle, however, may suc- to use in actual practice, cumb to prussic acid poisoning Producers using warm-sea- while grazing if plants have son annual forages or been subjected to drought johnsongrass should have their stress. hay crops tested prior to har- Again, do not turn cattle into vesting. Look at the forages pastures of drought-stressed carefully, sorghums or johnsongrass. If the forage to be harvested Wait until better growing for hay has been under drought conditions before pasturing stress, there is a good likelihood cattle on any stressed warm- that it is high in nitrates, season annual plant or If a good precipitation event johnsongrass. occurs and plant growth isMillets, while still capable of reinitiated (good green color, no accumulating nitrates to a toxic droopy leaves), then the for- level, do not produce prussic age may be safe to feed, but a acid. forage analysis for nitrate Pond ponderings would still be advisable. Do not harvest the forage If nitrate toxicity many small fish survive They will not reproduce in the was not enough to (overpopulate) and predators pond, will not muddy the pond worry about, there become thin because they are like common carp, will not dis- is also the issue of not able to prey on the forage turb the nests of other fish, and prussic acid (hy- species. Large growths of they consume 30 to 40 percent drogen cyanide) weeds also remove nutrients, of their body weight in weeds i poisoning. Forages which reduces algae produc- every day during warm i belonging to the tion(food), weather. Aquatic weeds can be con- The use of grass carp is trolled by manual, chemical regulated by the Texas Parks and biological means, and Wildlife Department. Con- Manual control of species tact the Department or your such as cattails is practical county Extension office for in- when they first start to colo- formation on required permits, nize a pond. Woody vegetation stocking rates and lists of avail- along the dam also can be con- able sources. trolled manuaUy. One common problem in Chemical control with her- Texas is pont "turn-over." bicides is possible but few her- Turu-overs occur when ponds bicides are approved for are stratifies; that is, surface aquatic use and the type of water is warmer than the wa- aquatic vegetation must be ac- ter below and the two layers curately identified before it is no longer mix. This caused the treated. Herbicides can kill cooler water near the bottom planktonic algae, which leads to stagnate and become de- to oxygen depletion, pleted in oxygen. Fish avoid Oxygen depletion after her- this layer of water. bicide treatment is particularly A turn-over occurs when the common in hot weather, if the warm upper layer suddenly pond is heavily infested with cools and mixes with the stag- weeds, or in both conditions, nant layer. Check with a fisheries biolo- The two layers mixed to- gist or your count Extension gether may not have enough agent for plant identification in- oxygen to support fish and formation and current herbicide they die. This usually occurs recommendations. When using after a cold, hard rain. chemical pesticides, protect If a turn-over occurs, quick aeration may save the fish. Similar fish kills also can be Aquatic weeds are a com- yourself and others by strictly mon problem in farm ponds, al- following all label directions. and then test! To do so could wind up costing you time, ef- fort, and money and result in a hay crop that you will not be able to feed. Likewise, cattle should not be pastured on though some aquatic vegeta- A simple and economical caused by oxygen depletions tion might be good for the pond. long-term aquatic weed con- from a bloom die-off or rotting Rooted aquatic vegetation does trol method for aquatic weeds vegetation from herbicide treat- provide habitat for small such as duckweed, hydrilla, ment. aquatic animals, which adds to pondweed and milfoil is to Question of the week the food chain. stock sterile triploid grass carp. Q. My yellow squash panied by a twisting or mot- tling of the leaves. What could possibly be causing this problem? A. Your plants have been af- fected by a virus disease, most often squash mosaic virusI or cucumber mosaic virus. This virus is transmitted to your plants by insects which have been feeding on other viru-infected squash plants or perhaps some wild plant. Once the plant gets this disease noth- ing can be done. Best preventive measures include insect control and planting varieties which will mature early in the year. This disease is more severe on late-planted squash or sum- mer-planted squash than it is on the early spring-planted crop. The green squash (which should be yellow) is still good to eat if harvested at the proper stage of maturity. There will be little change in taste. This virus disease will eventually kill the plant. Important dates June 19-20 - District 5 4- H Horse Show- Henderson County Fairpark Complex June 24-25 - FARMEDIC Training - Trinity Valley Com- munity College June 27 - Horticultural Field Day - Overton July 78 - Hunter Educa- tion Course - Texas Freshwa- ter Fisheries Center To pre-register, contact Jim Parker at 903-489-2937 or percent or more, but may still warm-season annual grasses Vegetation also provides The grass carp, or white amur, plants are doing a peculiar jpparker3@earthlink.net be excessive for safe feeding,or johnsongrass if conditions small fish with places to hide is an Asian carp brought to this thing. Toward early to mid- Rick Hirsch is the Only a forage analysis for are suchthatnitratelevelscould from larger predators. The country, f or aquatic weed con- summer the plants which Henderson County Extension NITRATE (currently $5 at the be elevated to a toxic level, problem with weeds is uncon- trol. once produced yellow fruit Agent - Agriculture for Texas Texas A&M University SoilAgain, only a forage analy- trolled growth. Grass carp consume vegeta- start producing green or of- Cooperative Extension. Visit Testing Lab) will determine sis can determ~~a.~e~~ tf~too~ma~y,~l~llelp4Ue tion alm~t ex~rd,y,gfter ten yellow and green fruit, our web page at http:// whether or not the fresh for, i.s,s e to graz " they r " ',-;rlais is generally aceom- h tcFson'eo tamu.edu. Your local one-stop shop for Chewolet, Pontiac, Bui & GMC. (Sales, parts, & service) At Eiliott Chevrolet we understand that ris- ing gas prices are affecting everyone. 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