Pearl Snaps

Stories of a cowgirl living life by her own lights


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HayTalk goes to the National Farm Machinery Show

by Jesse Bussard

I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much farm equipment crammed under one roof. I also don’t think I’ve ever seen Ryan Goodman quite so overwhelmed by a large crowd. This past Saturday, Ryan and I took a trip to Lousiville, KY for the 47th National Farm Machinery

The HayTalk Crew - Me, Ryan Goodman, and James Brown

Show (NFMS). This was my second time there and Ryan’s first (hence, the feeling overwhelmed).  The NFMS is the nation’s largest indoor farm show and is held annually at the Kentucky Exposition Center.  This event is also home to the nation’s Championship Tractor Pulls where some of the best pullers across the country too see who’s rigs have the most torque and horsepower.

In addition to touring the show, we were also there to promote the HayTalk.com website and our bi-monthly Twitter #HayTalk chat. This was the first chance I’d had to meet up with the co-founder of the #HayTalk chat, James Brown a.k.a. @hoosierhayfarm on Twitter.  It was good to finally put a face to the name and talk to one of the collaborators Ryan and I’ve been working with so closely to grow #HayTalk chat.

Throughout our time at the NFMS we saw an assortment of the latest and greatest in farm equipment, including an impressive RealTree camo combine and a Dekalb themed chopper motorcycle. Below is a slideshow of some of the equipment we saw:

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The event covered over 1.2 million square feet with over 850 agricultural displays and exhibits. If it wasn’t for Ryan’s sense of direction in that maze I fear I’d of ended up walking in circles all day! Luckily this year the NFMS featured a downloadable app from Farm Industry News for smartphones and tablets that made navigating the large expanse of the Expo Center a little easier.

We had the chance to talk to people from many different agricultural companies including seed and chemical, planting technology, milking equipment, and livestock feeds.  Overall the show was a great experience and I highly recommend checking it out if you’ve never been! You’ll see some amazing examples of the variety of farm equipment that farmers and ranchers use to produce the food, fuel, and fiber to keep our country going and get to meet people from across the nation.

Also be sure to check out Ryan’s post about the trip and see some more photos of equipment.


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#Haytalk: Fall Grazing

Last night on #HayTalk we discussed the topic of fall grazing.  As the air gets a little cooler and days get shorter, many producers take advantage of fall rains to stockpile forages or plant winter annuals for fall/winter grazing.  Producing and/or purchasing hay to feed livestock through the winter is a significant expense for producers.  Add that along with the rising prices of grain and fuel and the expense sky rockets.

Luckily their are several strategies that can be employed to supply forage into fall or early winter and effectively extend the grazing season up to 60-90 days.  This in turn reduces the dependency on stored feeds.  These strategies can be grouped into two categories: stockpiling (conserving cool season forages in late summer for use in the fall/winter) and utilizing forage crops that continue to grow into fall and winter.

To learn more about each of these methods to extend the grazing season I have included a list to several reliable resources.  I also highly recommend contacting your state’s forage extension specialist for more detailed information about fall grazing options in your area.

Stockpiling for Fall and Winter Pasture – University of Kentucky 

Maximizing Fall and Winter Grazing of Beef Cows and Stocker Cattle – Ohio State University 

Grazing Winter Pasture – Noble Foundation

Late Fall or Dormant Seeding Frequently Asked Questions – Manitoba Forage Council

Stockpiling Bermudagrass for Fall Grazing – University of Georgia Cooperative Extension

Fall Fertility for Forage Stands – Manitoba Forage Council

Grazing Annual Forages – Frequently Asked Questions

Windrow Grazing – University of Nebraska, Lincoln

All About Grazing: Be aware of prussic acid and potential damage this fall

Strategies for Extending the Grazing Season on Organic Farms

Seasonal Considerations for Grazing Management

Graze the Extra Forage – Oklahoma State University


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#Haytalk: Fall Forage Management

Last night’s topic on #Haytalk chat was fall forage management.  As we role into autumn, we must remember that now is a vital time for forages as they are storing nutrients in their root systems in preparation for winter dormancy.

Some key points to remember for fall forage management are:

  • When taking last cutting of hay leave adequate stubble.  This will still allow plants to store energy by providing adequate leaf area for photosynthesis to occur.  The stubble will also act as a snow catch, helping to provide insulation from freezing temperatures in northern areas.
  • Fall is a great time to eliminate annual and perennial pasture weeds.
  • Apply nitrogen in the fall to pastures that are less than 1/3 legume will help strengthen the stand and encourage fall growth. This will create a good source of stockpiled forage for winter grazing.
  • Soil testing should be done in the late summer to early fall.  This will allow enough time to decide on a fertilization plan.  Timing of phosphorus and potassium application is not critical but preferred to be in early spring and August for pastures.  Fall is also a good time to lime fields as it will give the lime adequate time to work into the soil profile over winter.
  • If producers are planning on frost seeding they should start planning now.  By scouting your pastures now and getting a good idea of the forage species present you can decide which fields to frost seed.  Also to reduce competition of the frost seeded legumes with other plants, producers may want to overgraze the intended pasture this fall.
For more information on Fall Forage Management you can access the following
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