Farm Facts And Furrows Nov 27

Cattleman/Soil and Crop AGM

The Manitoulin Cattlemen and Soil and Crop organizations will be holding their joint Annual General Meeting on Thursday, January 16, 2014 and their information day on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. Both meetings will be held at the Spring Bay Hall beginning at 11 am. Lunch is provided. New members are welcome!

 Rural Economic Development (RED) Program

The RED Program provides funding to help rural communities remove barriers to community development and promote economic growth. RED has two project streams: planning stream categories are development plans and/or strategies and research and/or analysis to support planning and priority setting.

Eligible projects are those that support the development of initiatives and/or provide information for planning and priority setting. Implementation stream categories are business/sector development and diversification; regional marketing, promotional and/or Branding activities; and human capital and skills development, attraction and retention. Eligible projects are those that involve implementing priorities and/or taking advantage of opportunities identified through evidence-based analysis and planning.

For more information: red@ontario.ca or call 1-800-424 -1300.

How much hay will a cow eat this winter?

Mature cows tend to eat about two percent of their body weight as dry matter. This is based on average quality hay at about 10 percent protein. Cows will eat less hay when it is lower quality and more when hay is higher quality. Poor quality hay takes longer to ferment in the rumen and the cow feels full longer. It is the opposite for good quality with the process more rapid and animal feels hungry sooner. For our purposes we will work with the average at two percent of body weight. There is a great variation in cow body weight depending on frame size and body condition. Farmers on Manitoulin in general have moved to a more efficient cow size to fit the environment targeting 1,200 to 1,400 lbs. Some herds further south have a larger frame size. A cow of 1,400 lbs. needs about 28 lbs of dry matter or just over 30 lbs from the bale. Cows consume more feed during wet and cold weather. Keep in mind that there is always some waste and might be as high as 20 percent. Some farmers feel a little waste buildup is good when hay is plentiful. It acts as bedding for the cows providing a dry spot to lie down away from the snow. Many herds are housed outside with a bush for shelter and a hay mound provides some comfort. During periods of reduced hay production waste can be a concern. In the end a 1,400-pound cow will use 35 to 40 lbs of average quality hay per day. One cow needs about eleven 750 lb bales over a seven month period. For a 25-cow herd that means 275 bales. If you have less than 11 bales of this size stored per cow it means purchasing extra, limiting waste or hoping for a mild winter to reduce consumption. All round bales are not equal in weight.