Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm Programming Radio Oklahoma Network  |  7401 N. Kelley Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73111  |  (405) 841-3675  |  Fax: (405) 841-3674

advertisements
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Agricultural News


Avoid Nitrate Poisoning in Your Herd this Summer - Test Your Forages Before You Cut and Feed

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 09:54:08 CDT

Avoid Nitrate Poisoning in Your Herd this Summer - Test Your Forages Before You Cut and Feed Dr. Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist, offers herd health advice as part of the weekly series known as the "Cow Calf Corner" published electronically by Dr. Peel and Dr. Glenn Selk. Today, Dr. Selk offers advice to producers on how to test forage feeds and avoid the consequences of unintentional nitrate poisoning of cattle by eating heat stressed plants.


"Summer has definitely arrived in Oklahoma! Hot dry summer weather brings about heat and drought stress on summer annuals. Stressed plants such as the forage sorghums can occasionally accumulate dangerous concentrations of nitrates. These high nitrate plants, either standing in the field, or fed as hay, can cause abortion in pregnant cattle, or death if consumed in great enough quantities. Nitrates do not dissipate from suncured hay (in contrast to prussic acid), therefore once the hay is cut the nitrate levels remain constant. Therefore, producers should test hay fields before they cut them for hay. Stop by any Oklahoma Cooperative Extension County Office for testing details. Testing the forage before cutting gives the producer an additional option of waiting and allowing for the nitrate to lower in concentration before harvesting the hay. The major sources of nitrate toxicity in Oklahoma will be summer annual sorghum type plants, including sudan hybrids, sorgo-sudans, sorghum-sudans, millets, and Johnsongrass. See OSU Fact Sheet PSS-2903.



"Some of the management techniques to reduce the risk of nitrate toxicity (Note: the risk of this poisoning cannot be totally eliminated), include:



"1)      Test the crop before you harvest it. IF it has an elevated concentration of nitrates, you still have the option of waiting for normal plant metabolism to bring the concentration back to a safe level. And experience tells us that we cannot estimate nitrate content just by looking at the field.



"2)      Raise the cutter bar when harvesting the hay. Nitrates are in greatest concentration in the lower stem. Raising the cutter bar may reduce the tonnage, but cutting more tons of a toxic material has no particular value.



"3)      Know the extent of nitrate accumulation in the hay and the levels that are dangerous to different classes of cattle; ie, pregnant cows, open cows, or stocker steers. If you still have doubt about the quality of the hay, send a forage sample to a reputable laboratory for analysis, to get an estimate of the nitrate concentration. This will give some guidelines as to the extent of dilution that may be necessary to more safely feed the hay.



"4)      Allow cattle to become adapted to nitrate in the hay. By feeding small amounts of the forage sorghum along with other feeds such as grass hay or grains, cattle begin to adapt to the nitrates in the feed and develop a capability to 'digest' the nitrate with less danger. Producers should avoid the temptation of feeding the high nitrate forage for the first time after a snow or ice storm. Cattle will be stressed, hungry, and unadapted to the nitrates. They will consume unusually large amounts of the forage and be in high risk for nitrate toxicity.   'Adaptation' as the only management strategy may not be sufficient to provide complete safety from high nitrate forages.



"5)      Be sure to read “Nitrate toxicity in livestock” OSU Fact Sheet PSS-2903 closely before cutting and feeding any summer annual hay."




   

 

WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI

 


Top Agricultural News

  • Wheat Planting Underway- Mike Schulte Expects Fewer Total Wheat Acres This Fall  Thu, 21 Sep 2017 06:34:39 CDT
  • Feeder Steers Sell 1.00 to 5.00 Higher Wednesday at OKC West Livestock Auction in El Reno, Okla.  Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:17:48 CDT
  • Was Ted Cruz Right? Are People with Gluten-Sensitivity Liberals? OSU's FooD Surveyors Investigate  Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:08:01 CDT
  • Oklahoma Grain Elevator Cash Bids as of 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 20, 2017  Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:12:55 CDT
  • Wednesday Market Wrap-Up with Justin Lewis  Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:29:45 CDT
  • Noble Research Institute Focuses on Pecan Research to Help Producers Meet a Growing Demand  Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:10:08 CDT
  • Wednesday Afternoon Market Wrap-Up with Carson Horn  Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:10:55 CDT
  • Oklahoma 4-H Foundation Unveils New Soil Health Achievement Award and Scholarship Opportunity  Wed, 20 Sep 2017 12:58:23 CDT

  • More Headlines...

       

    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Livestock Exchange Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit P&K Equipment Tulsa Farm Show Stillwater Milling American Farmers & Ranchers KIS FUTURES, INC. Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association

    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com


       
       
    © 2008-2017 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup

    WebReady powered by WireReady® NSI