Winter Cover Crop Study

first_imgWayne County farmer Jonny Harris noticed long ago that feeding winter cover crops to his cattle improves their diet, his fields and his bottom line. He wanted to show other southeastern Georgia farmers they can reap the same benefits, but he knew he needed more evidence than decades of personal experience.“I understood that it was good, but we needed documentation. I couldn’t go to my neighbor and say if you use this as a forage cover crop, you can get this much production and market it for this much,” Harris said.SARE funding, UGA Extension supportSo, he applied for and was awarded a grant from the Southern Agriculture Research and Education Program and began partnering with University of Georgia Extension to conduct cover crop trials that would yield the data they needed. By the second of three years, the team has already begun to see convincing results.An economic analysis of Harris’ trials revealed that while forage cover crops can be costly to produce, their nutritional value provides a cost-effective option for farmers. “On a per acre basis, they are expensive. There’s no way of getting around that,” said UGA Extension Livestock Economist Curt Lacy. “But when you convert that cost to how much nutrition you get per acre in terms of total digestible nutrients and crude protein, then it’s very economical.”The cover crops they tested—grown on cultivated fields and harvested as baled silage—were a better value in terms of cost per pound of crude protein and total digestible nutrients than low-quality hay, corn, whole cottonseed and other feed options. Only high-quality hay was a better value.Cover crop supporterHarris’ Greenview Farms, in Screven, Ga., has been in his family since around 1860. It includes 2,800 acres of timberland, pasture for a herd of 1,000 cattle and cultivated fields of cotton, corn, soybeans and peanuts. He has been using winter cover crops on his pastures since the 1950s and on his cultivated fields for the last 10 years.The soils in Harris’ test plots have improved noticeably. Southeastern Georgia’s soils are sandy and low in organic matter, which means they do a bad job of holding water and plant nutrients. In the trials, the soil’s water-holding capacity has increased 15 to 20 percent, and soil organic matter has increased as much as 1 percent.“What’s really outstanding is the quality of the soil, and how it’s improving dramatically,” says UGA Forage Extension Specialist Dennis Hancock, who is working with Harris. “I can tell just by the dark, rich color.” The data they are collecting help document these changes.Richer soil, better yieldsAlong with soil quality, cotton yields also appear to be improving in the trials. In 2012, 1,600 pounds of lint per acre was harvested when cotton was planted after a cover crop of ryegrass, and 1,100 pounds per acre was harvested when no cover crop was used.In his trials, Harris planted 45-acre combinations of ryegrass, triticale and crimson clover, followed by a cotton crop. He fed his baled silage on farm and sold to dairy and beef farmers. One neighboring dairyman saw a 20 percent increase in milk production after just a few days of feeding his cows this nutrient-rich silage, Harris said.“Everything has been positive–the energy we’re able to produce from this grass, the way cattle are transferring those nutrients into meat or milk or whatever else the farmer needs,” he said. “We’re just seeing an abundance of positives.”For more information on SARE, see the website www.sare.org/.Andy Zieminski of SARE Outreach contributed to this article.last_img read more

Read More »

EPL: Solskjaer begs for time after Man Utd hit new low

first_img Promoted Content8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoThe Runner Who Makes Elaborate Artwork With His Feet And A MapCan You Imagine Quitting A Role Because Of Dislike For W. Smith?The Highest Paid Football Players In The World8 Best 1980s High Tech GadgetsWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table TopBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More6 Extreme Facts About Hurricanes Read Also:EPL: Man Utd hit new low in dismal Burnley loss“We are looking to improve, we have got our targets. This is our second defeat at home and first since August. I thought we had turned that corner,” he said.“We have started a clear-out and now I am going to be answering these questions until the window closes. We are working on things.“For me the most important thing is we have to perform on the pitch. Tonight wasn’t good enough for a Manchester United team.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… Solskjaer’s side were rocked by Chris Wood’s first half opener before Jay Rodriguez scored with a superb strike after the break at Old Trafford.It was a woeful display from fifth placed United, who are in such poor form that there will be fresh questions about Solskjaer’s job security in the coming days.Former United defender Rio Ferdinand, a Premier League and Champions League winner with the club, slammed the performance and called for owners Glazer family to take action to stop the rot.“Fans are walking out after 84 minutes! It’s an embarrassment. People at the top need to look and see this and make changes,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.“The downward spiral in this short space of time, it’s only seven years, has been remarkable.”Solskjaer had no complaints about a result that laid bare everything wrong with a rudderless team lacking steel in defence, creativity in midfield and a cutting edge up front.“We have got to hold our hands up and say it wasn’t good enough. In the first half we created some half openings but we were not sharp enough to take our chances,” Solskjaer said.“The boys have given everything they have got but they are experiencing this period for the first time in their lives.“When you are at Manchester United you are playing at the biggest and best club in the world. Some of them have played 10, 12, 15 games and it’s not easy for them.”United trail six points behind fourth placed Chelsea but, given how they have struggled so often this season, the only surprise is that the gap isn’t bigger.United’s tally of 34 points is their lowest after 24 matches of a top-flight season since 1989-90 and the majority of Old Trafford was on its feet when chants of “stand up if you hate Glazers” echoed around the ground.– ‘Mentally tired’ –Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was also subjected to abusive chants in a toxic atmosphere, while those few fans who remained in the stadium booed Solskjaer and his players at full-time.But Solskjaer is still adamant he can turn the tide if he is given time to develop United youngsters like Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams.“I’m going to back them and help them get through this. The players are giving everything, they have done absolutely fantastic so far this season but they know it wasn’t good enough tonight,” Solskjaer said.“The boys looked mentally tired towards the end, we didn’t find that creativity. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves.“When you are at Man United you are privileged because you are playing for the best club in the world. Sometimes you go through periods like that and it is a test I am sure they are going to come through.”United must regroup to avoid more misery in the FA Cup fourth round against Watford or Tranmere on Sunday before they head to Manchester City looking to overturn a 3-1 first leg deficit in the League Cup semi-finals next Wednesday.If United are knocked out of both cup competitions, Solskjaer is likely to find the patience of supporters who idolised him during his playing days will dwindle even further.The gap between United and runaway leaders Liverpool stood at 30 points after Sunday’s defeat at Anfield and there is no sign of Solskjaer bridging the divide any time soon.Aware the pressure is mounting, Solskjaer is keen to make signings to bolster his injury-hit squad, with leading scorer Marcus Rashford and star midfielder Paul Pogba both sidelined. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pleaded for time to get Manchester United back on track after the beleaguered boss and his under-performing stars were booed off and labelled an “embarrassment” following Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat against Burnley.Advertisementlast_img read more

Read More »

Final preparations for Ireland – Australia clash.

first_imgThere are three Irish provinces in action in the Guinness Pro12 tonight.Munster visit Rodney Parade to face the Dragons at half-past seven.Connacht against Zebre and Ulster versus the Ospreys will both kick-off at 7:35. The Irish and Australian players will both hold a run-out at the Aviva Stadium later today ahead of tomorrow’s Test.Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has recalled Rory Best to his starting side as they target three wins from three from the Guinness series.Wallabies coach Michael Cheika still has to finalise his match-day squad after naming 11 substitutes that he will have to reduce to eight names before kick-off.last_img read more

Read More »