Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On LinkedinVisit Us On Youtube

farm water

Cover Crops

No Comments
August 6  |  crops, Farm, farmers, farms, Research, water conservation  |   Webmaster

Cover crops are tools to keep the soil in place, bolster soil health, improve water quality and reduce pollution from agricultural activities.

  • They include cereals, brassicas, legumes and other broadleaf species, and can be annual or perennial plants. Cover crops can be adapted to fit almost any production system.
  • Popular cover crops include cereal rye, crimson clover and oilseed radish. Familiar small grain crops, like winter wheat and barley, can also be adapted for use as cover crops.

cover crops

What is a Cover Crop?

A cover crop is a plant that is used primarily to slow erosion, improve soil health, enhance water availability, smother weeds, help control pests and diseases, increase biodiversity and bring a host of other benefits to your farm.

Cover crops have also been shown to increase crop yields, break through a plow pan, add organic matter to the soil, improve crop diversity on farms and attract pollinators. There is an increasing body of evidence that growing cover crops increases resilience in the face of erratic and increasingly intensive rainfall, as well as under drought conditions. Cover crops help when it doesn’t rain, they help when it rains, and they help when it pours!

 

Cover Crops at Work

Please see the attached informative pdf documents and visit their website.

Increasing Soil Organic Matter

Prevent Erosion

Improve Soil Conditions and Prevent Pollution

Sustainable Crop Rotations

Keeping Nutrients Out of_Waterways

Discover the Cover (case study)

 

Learn more at www.sare.org/cover-crops

Tagged , , , ,

Importance of Water-Dairy Calves

No Comments
July 24  |  Dairy, Farm, farmers, farms, Immune System, Latest News, Livestock, News, Nutrition  |   Webmaster

Following is an excellent and timely article from Progressive Dairyman magazine –

The award-winning magazine’s editors and contributors provide compelling features, helpful articles, insightful news analysis, and entertaining commentary about the people, practices and topics related to a dairy lifestyle.

Why high-quality water matters for calf success

Contributed by Ellan Dufour Published on 30 May 2018

Often overlooked, water is the most important nutrient for dairy calves. It is required for all of life’s processes including the transport, digestion and metabolism of nutrients, the elimination of waste materials and excess heat from the body, and the maintenance of a proper fluid-ion balance in the body.

The role of water in young calves

Offering calves free-choice water is critical for stimulating rumen development, improving grain fermentation and promoting starter intake. The quality of water offered can play a major role in calf health and nutrient utilization.

Rumen development: Unlike milk and milk replacer, water consumed by young calves is transported to the rumen rather than the abomasum. Water in the rumen provides a medium for ruminal bacteria to ferment starter feed, grain and hay. Rumen development is slowed in the absence of water.

Improved growth: Calves offered free-choice water in addition to their liquid diet are shown to gain weight faster and consume dry feed quicker than calves only receiving water through their milk or milk replacer.

Calf health: Calves are about 70 to 75 percent water by bodyweight and need to consume fresh water in order to maintain normal cellular functions. Dehydration can lead to weakness, severe weight loss and even death. Signs of dehydration include sunken eyes, dry mouth and nose, tacky gums, depressed demeanor, irregular pulse and cold legs and ears.

How much and when?

  • Pre-weaning: On average, calves consume 1 quart of water per pound of dry matter intake.
  • Post-weaning: Calves should consume 2 quarts of water per pound of dry matter intake. This ratio should extend through the heifer growing period.
  • Hot weather: Expect water consumption to increase by 33 percent or more as temperatures reach the high 70s, and anticipate it may double as temperatures pass 90ºF.

Factors affecting water quality

Offering poor-quality water to the young calf may impact water consumption and starter intake, calf health, rumen development and the value of milk replacer and electrolytes. There are many criteria involved in assessing water quality. These include organoleptic properties (odor and taste), physiochemical properties (pH, total dissolved solids [TDS], total soluble salts and hardness), presence of toxic compounds, presence of excess minerals or compounds (see Table 1), and presence of bacteria.

Hardness: Calves are very sensitive to sodium and struggle to tolerate excess sodium levels. Soft water or hard water that has passed through a water softener can have very high concentrations of sodium and should not be used to mix milk replacer or be offered as drinking water unless tested. High sodium levels can lead to neurological diseases and central nervous system derangement in young calves.

Osmolarity: In situations where total solids are high in milk or milk replacer (over 15 percent), offering high-quality water can sustain the osmotic equilibrium in a calf. High total solids can force water out of cells in an effort to find osmotic balance within the gut and can result in diarrhea and severe dehydration. Water provision is especially important for calves fed an accelerated milk replacer program to ensure proper hydration.

Bacteria: Coliform bacteria like E. Coli and salmonella may be present in poor-quality water or water contaminated by feces and can quickly and exponentially increase to dangerous levels in a calf if consumed. In both cases, calves may suffer from severe dehydration and diarrhea. Salmonella may also result in pneumonia and septicemia in infected animals. Water with high iron content is at an increased risk of salmonella contamination.

Minerals: Calves are more sensitive to elevated mineral levels than adult cattle, making excessive mineral concentrations in drinking water a particular concern. Upper concentrations and maximum tolerable concentrations of minerals for dairy cattle are shown in Table 1 (below). Minerals of particular concern when in high concentrations include cobalt, copper, iron, hydrogen sulfide, manganese and sulfur.

Take-home messages

  • Ensure calves are consistently provided with clean, fresh, and readily available water.
  • Keep water buckets clean and free of contamination from starter feed and feces.
  • Know the least expensive and most efficient method available to modify mineral and microbial concentration of water offered to calves.
  • Check your water quality frequently. At minimum, water fed to calves should be tested annually.

Ellan Dufour is a dairy research nutritionist with Hubbard Feeds.Source: https://www.progressivedairy.com/topics/calves-heifers/why-high-quality-water-matters-for-calf-success

 

 

To download a pdf version of this article, please click here

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Letter to the Dairy Industry

Comments Off on Letter to the Dairy Industry
August 27  |  Dairy, Editorial, Latest News, Newsletters, Nutrition, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

Dairy farms are always busy overcoming challenges in their operations.  This year’s severe drought has dramatically emphasized the value and necessity of clean, safe water.

Our company’s focus is the quality of water and how it can contribute to better health in all animals and humans in agriculture, residential and municipal applications. Our product has been on the market for 15 years and thousands of farms now use our product on an ongoing basis with major success.

Over the past few years I have watched the Dairy Industry go through some trying times. Expenses of all kinds keep increasing, while milk prices are not. A fair margin of profit on a consistent basis for dairy farms doesn’t seem to matter to legislators and consumers.

In light of this and other ongoing challenges, what we do is help dairymen with their water. There are many reasons that water is very important to them. When you think of the fact that milk is 85% to 90% water and a milking dairy cow drinks an average of 25-30 gallons a day, how important is the water?  In fact, dairy cows actually drink more water than eat food.  It is only fair to note that many parts of the dairy play an important role to the success for those hard working owners:  feed/THM’s  (with micro toxins taken into consideration), the environment, bedding, ventilation, hoof health, fly control, stray voltage, mastitis, SCC,  just to name a few.  All of these play a big part in a dairy cow’s health and the profit & survival of the dairy operation. The list is more comprehensive than mentioned here, however, you get the point.  The belief we have, is that water is the most important for a dairy cow; without water there is just no farm. Water is the largest consumed item on a farm. Bacteria and organic matter build up and multiply very quickly.  Bacteria build slime which coats the plumbing and attaches and multiply very fast. Parasites feed on this slime and when ingested they can become a hindrance in the health of your cow.  We like to remind people that bacteria never take vacations!  They are always ready to take advantage of a suitable, vulnerable environment.

Our system is very simple.  We always start with a water analysis, and we do this by using an independent lab.  This process gives the Dairy Farmer peace of mind about the validity of an unbiased report.  Our Dealers come to the location, take the sample and either drop it off or send it to the lab.  The water report analysis is usually ready in 5 business days. Water reports are a critical first step. The evaluation of the report is then analysed at no charge to the Dairy.  After analysis, we review the specific issues may be affecting the quality and safety of their water. This is a critical time, since we are honest with the Dairy Owner and they need to be honest with us.  I personally have signed a non- disclosure agreement with customers; their business is their business and no one else’s.  We take our responsibility and trusting relationships very seriously.

With all the knowledge shared by both of us, we can do a more effective job for the dairy. We like to be considered as part of their team. Every dairy has a Veterinarian and a Nutritionist; these two professionals are very important to their success. We like to be considered as their water professional; the person taking care of another important component on their farm.   In fact, I am a certified water technician. 

We then develop a customized protocol for the farmer with a firm quotation.  This is based on the volume of water they use, the type of issues they have, and the amount of equipment that they need.

We also like to help in 3 ways:

  1. To clean your water and help with the process of having clean, clear and nutritional water.
  2. To clean and protect your plumbing.
  3. To help with the overall health of your animals.

With professionals like a Veterinarian, Water Physiologist, Nutritionist, Filtration Experts and Farmers as part of our team, there is a lot more to Oxy Blast than meets the eye. We do know that our customers see great results and we actually have a guarantee system that protects the customer from failing if we did not do our job. There is a protocol they have to follow after the water report in order to stay on track. 

You can just clean your water with the many different products available, however, when you clean it with the additional intention of addressing health concerns, it changes the value of what you are buying. Oxy Blast has a base of high quality Hydrogen Peroxide along with some stabilizing and proprietary ingredients, so it is not Hydrogen Peroxide as it is sometimes called, it’s Oxy Blast.  The base product has improved over the years, to address new technology as it comes along. This keeps the product at the forefront of industry dynamics and its effectiveness and ahead of our competition.   

Farms are also always looking for ways to solve their calve problems.  Many farmers add Oxy Blast to the milk replacer as it helps with scours and the immune system. One thing I would like to mention is that we cannot promise a milk increase to every farm, because it depends on many factors, as you know.  If one factor is not right, the other factor can be simply a band-aid solution against the negative results of that factor. However, we have seen a milk increase after a period of time on many farms. The average has been anywhere from 2 to 5 lbs.  We would like to guarantee a milk increase or even elimination of all the farmer’s problems including better milk prices. However, all we can focus on is the principle of cleaner, safer water, and better water for consumption and hopefully all of the rest falls into place.  We invite you all to watch our short 3 minute movie, which explains who we are and what we do. Please go to http://www.oxyblast.org/movie and give us a call if we can help.

Thanks for your interest.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,
Scroll Up
error: Sorry, right click copy feature has been disabled.