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Rick's Ag Roundup
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Mole and gopher control demonstration
A few years ago, when I lived out south of Ellinwood, a gopher chewed threw my satellite television cable and I lost reception. It was then that I declared war.
If you have ever seen the movie “Caddy Shack,” you know how the psychotic groundskeeper, played by Bill Murray had fits trying to get rid of the gopher at the golf course. Frankly I always thought the movie was “trashy,” even as funny and highly acclaimed as it was.
Many of you have had similar problems with moles and gophers taking over your property. So, as mentioned last week, we are having Charlie Lee, Wildlife Damage Control Specialist, from Kansas State University come out to Barton County for a trapping and control field day.
The event will be held on Saturday, Dec. 4. It will begin after lunch at around 1:15 p.m. The location will be the Jim and Marlies Stevens home and yard at 547 SE 40 Road, which is four miles south and five miles east of Great Bend.
Charlie will be here to talk about various control methods. This will be outside, so dress warm. The event should be over before 3 p.m.
No reservations are needed. I will have more information next week. Call me at 620-793-1910 if you have questions.
Oh, and one more thing about the movie, the theme song by Kenny Loggins may have been the best thing about it. Here the opening lyrics:
I’m alright; Nobody worry ‘bout me; Why you got to gimme a fight?; Can’t you just let it be?
It’s hard to say whether the lyrics pertain more to the gopher or to Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield or the kid golfer.
I realize that Thanksgiving will be over for some of you by the time you read this, but I just stumbled onto this from the archives of my computer and thought you might enjoy a weather forecast for Thanksgiving and into the weekend.       
Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon high near 190F. The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a severe squall or cold shoulder.
During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a knife will slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation of one to two inches on plates. Mashed potatoes will drift across one side while cranberry sauce creates slippery spots on the other. Please pass the gravy.
A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued for the entire area, with increased stuffiness around the beltway. During the evening, the turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34F in the refrigerator.
Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat sandwiches will be established. Flurries of leftovers can be expected both days with a 50 percent chance of scattered soup late in the day. We expect a warming trend where soup develops. By early next week, eating pressure will be low as the only wish left will be the bone.
If you are beef cow-calf producer, it’s time to start doing some management strategies to get the most that you can from your cowherd.
Realizing that some of you are fall calvers, this information is focusing on for spring calving cows.
* Finish culling cows in order of priority. You may want to hold them until after the first of the year when cow prices have a tendency to be higher. “Three O Rule” Open, Old, and Ornery. Get rid of physical problems such as structure, feet and legs, eyes, teeth. Finally, cull out poor producers.
* Continue feeding/grazing programs started in October and November.
* Supplement to achieve ideal body condition scores at calving.
* Use this formula to compare the basis of cost per pound of crude protein: (Cost of supplement, $/cwt) ÷ (100 x Percent crude protein) = cost per pound of crude protein
* Use this formula to compare energy sources on basis of cost per lb of total digestible nutrients: (cost, $/ton ÷ (2,000 x dry matter percent x %TDN in dry matter) = cost per lb of TDN.
* Control lice.
* Be sure the herd has an adequate water supply. Depending on body size and stage of production, cattle need 5 to 11 gallons per head per day, even in the coldest weather.
* Provide some protection, such as a windbreak, during severe winter weather to reduce energy requirements.
* Body condition score cows and sort into management groups. Put thin and young cows together and feed accordingly.
* Forage test to divide forage supplies into quality lots to determine supplementation needs.
* Feed lowest quality forage to mature dry cows during late fall/early winter (mid gestation).
* Feed medium quality forage to dry cows during late pregnancy.
* Higher quality feedstuffs should be utilized for replacement females and younger cows and thin cows which may lack condition and be more nutritionally stressed.
Last but not least, address environmental concerns as we really get into the cold weather of winter.
* Increase the amount of energy 1% for each degree of cold stress (no effect on protein, mineral and vitamin needs).
* Cold stress involves both wind chill and lower critical temperatures.
Beef Cattle Lower Critical Temperatures (LCT)
Coat Description               Lower Critical Temperature
Summer coat                         59 degrees F
Wet coat                               59 degrees F
Fall coat                                45 degrees F
Winter coat                           32 degrees F
Heavy winter coat                 18 degrees F 
Rick Snell is the Barton County Extension Agricultural Agent for K-State Research & Extension. He can be reached at 620-793-1910 or The Barton County Extension Office is located at 1800 12th Street in Great Bend.