Hay Field Fertilization — It would be best to apply fertilizer by a soil test but without one, I would suggest the following: Alfalfa — 150 lbs. of DAP per acre and 200 lbs. of muriate of potash per acre and boron; Clover/grass — 100 lbs. of DAP and 100 lbs. of muriate of potash per acre; Grass only 100 lbs. of urea, 100 lbs. of 60 percent potash, and 100 lbs. of DAP per acre. When should you apply this fertilizer? The real answer is February, but today's answer is "today." Get it on quickly so it will have time to increase your hay yields.
Speedy Soil Sample Results — The next day it's too wet to plow, get your soil samples taken and bring them to the Extension Office for analysis. We can test your soil for all major and minor nutrients. Our UK testing system allows us to get your results back to the office in seven to 10 working days. I will then write your recommendation for only what you need for the best economic value so you don't base your fertilizer use on a guess. We will charge them to your fertilizer dealer which is a good deal for you as you eliminate the guess work and don't spend any of your money getting the right answers. If your dealer takes your soil samples be sure to tell them to send them to UK through your local Extension Office. If you want to pay for your own, the cost is only $5 per field.
Alfalfa Weevils — Mid March is the time of year to start inspecting your alfalfa fields for weevils. Check your fields every three to five days for damage. Don't just eyeball, but break off some stems and shake them hard in a bucket to see if weevils are there.
Beef Minerals Needed Bad — Be alert for grass tetany. Be sure your cows and calves have access to a good mineral mix or block. A complete mineral not just white salt or a "blonde" trace mineral block but rather a complete mineral mixture. Cows and calves can't get enough calcium and phosphorus and trace minerals from grass and the cow's milk to make maximum gains. Bones and muscles are primarily calcium and phosphorus, so let's make sure our beef cattle have enough minerals available to get the best gains on our cattle. Make sure your mineral has sufficient magnesium to take care of grass tetany as that risk begins now and runs through May.
Using a mineral mix with Rumensin will help your cows be in better condition for breeding so you should use a Rumensin mineral mix. It also helps control most bloat problems.
For more information contact me at the Lincoln County Extension Office at 365-2447.