WOTUS: Where every molecule of water can earn a fine

CEW-MR-1-WOTUS1240by Steve Wagner

Welcome to the wonderful world of WOTUS. That acronym stands for Waters of the United States. As is often necessary, political outrage spawns acronyms because the term in question is likely to be around for a long time and is thus easier to reference. [Read more…]

All about Dorper sheep

???????????????????????????????by Sanne Kure-Jensen

Dorper breeds were developed in the 1930s and ‘40s, and were officially recognized in South Africa in 1946. The fast-growing, well-muscled Dorpers are a cross between Horned Dorset rams and Blackhead Persian ewes. Dorper Sheep are typically docile and require minimal labor to manage. [Read more…]

Small-flock turkey production

C4-MR-1-TurkeysPrepared by R. Michael Hulet, Phillip J. Clauer, George L. Greaser, Jayson K. Harper and Lynn F. Kime

Raising turkeys can be a satisfying educational activity as well as a source of economical, high-quality meat for your family and friends. By raising a small flock of turkeys, you can produce the freshest turkey possible while involving the whole family in working with and learning about live animals.

Turkeys can easily be started by hatching eggs or by raising young poults. They can be grown and home processed without the use of expensive processing equipment, or they may be sold to live markets (auctions).

Adult males have a naked, heavily carunculated (bumpy) head that normally is bright red but that turns to white overlaid with bright blue when the birds are excited. Other distinguishing features of the common turkey are a long red fleshy ornament (called a snood) that grows from the forehead over the bill; a fleshy wattle growing from the throat; a tuft of coarse, black, hairy feathers (known as a beard) projecting from the breast; and more or less prominent leg spurs. [Read more…]

Growing the farm: next season’s production planning

C4-MR-1-Growing the farm 2by Tamara Scully

Planning for next season, particularly if you plan to expand your capacity, is a multi-dimensional process. Are you going to grow more crops and become more diverse? Will you expand by growing more of the same crops, increasing your production capacity? Or perhaps you’ll expand by extending the growing season. No matter how you opt to grow, preparing for the growing pains can make the process successful.

[Read more…]

Accelerated lamb production

CW-SR-MR-1-Accelerated lambby Tamara Scully

Lambing is typically an annual affair. For most sheep breeds, the autumn brings about the natural mating season. Lambs arrive in the spring, when grass is greening up, providing a plentiful diet. But commercial sheep production requires a year-round supply of lambs, and accelerated lamb production methods can make it feasible for producers to fulfill those needs.

An accelerated system is one in which the birth interval is decreased to less than a 12-month cycle, Richard Ehrhardt, Ph.D, Small Ruminant Specialist at Michigan State University said. [Read more…]