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Tag Archives: forage

Hay to be in short supply due to weather, insect predation

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — High demand for hay last winter, a wet spring and heavy insect pressure have all challenged the state’s pastureland, which means hay may be scarce this winter. Rocky Lemus, forage specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said these factors pushed the state’s hay inventories 20 percent lower than the three-year average. “The state had about ...

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Weather, armyworms challenge turf and forage producers

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Turf and forage producers in Mississippi need fewer clouds and more sunshine. In 2014, forage producers raised an estimated 600,000 acres of hay across the state. There are about 60 farms producing sod for sale in the state. Turf production… The unusually harsh winter melted into a cool, wet spring and summer, which slowed spring growth and ...

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Cold, wet weather raising concerns of hay producers

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Hay producers need warmer temperatures and drier ground to catch up with production this spring. “Everything is shaping up to be late with all the wet, cool weather we’ve had,” said Charlie Bush, Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Simpson County. Simpson was one of the counties where some fields flooded after most areas in central ...

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State's dairy farmers still facing steep feed costs

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — This year continues the trend of high feed prices, making it very challenging for Mississippi dairy farms to make a profit. Lamar Adams, dairy specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said prices farmers are paid for their milk have been higher than in recent years, but feed prices have remained much higher than ever before. ...

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Invasive stem maggots threaten state's pasturelands

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Forage producers and their livestock are not the only ones admiring the plentiful bermudagrass fields and pastures across the state this year. Another invasive insect has arrived in Mississippi, this time to take a bite out of potentially strong hay yields. Stem maggots are joining the list of invasive species in the state that includes fire ants, ...

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Hay and forage producers hoping for blue skies

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — As pastures transition from cool-season to warm-season grasses, the state’s hay and forage producers hope for sunny days that are better suited to growing and harvesting quality crops. “We’re finishing up with our cool season forages, which are annual ryegrass, wheat and oats with some clovers mixed in,” said Mark Mowdy, an area agent with the Mississippi ...

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Scientist finding native grass best for livestock forage

STARKVILLE — Studies at Mississippi State University are finding that when it comes to providing forage for livestock, native grasses may be best. Sam Riffell, an associate professor of wildlife ecology and management in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, is examining the benefits of replacing exotic grasses, commonly used in Mississippi grazing pastures, with native, warm-season grasses. “The ...

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State's hay producers see increased yield

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Mississippi’s hay producers increased acreage and yields this season in spite of variable rainfall across the state. “Hay production systems in the central part of the state had a really good season,” said Rocky Lemus, Mississippi State University Extension Service forage specialist. “We’ve been blessed with quite a bit of rain in central Mississippi, and the hay ...

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Drought shrinking ranchers' profits; consumers to feel impact

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Pictures of wilting corn in the Midwest may dominate the evening news, but the 2012 drought is also shrinking livestock’s profit potential nationwide. John Michael Riley, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said the drought means livestock, dairy and aquaculture producers will continue to see higher feed prices. “Cattle will be the most impacted, both ...

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