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Volume 6, Number 6 - June 2000

This Month in Ag Connection

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Managing Livestock Water Availability in Dry Weather

If dry weather conditions continue, water supplies and availability will be major concerns of cattle producers. Many livestock producers will be faced with the decisions of securing alternative sources of water (rural water, haul water, drill well, etc.) or reducing livestock numbers. Information needed to make water management decisions is outlined below.

Water Requirements in Gallons Per Head Per Day
Beef Gal/Hd/Day Horses Gal/Hd/Day
Dry Cows 15-29 Mature Horses 8-12
Cows with calves 20-25 Foals 6-8
Stockers 12-15 Ponies 6-8
Dairy   Sheep  
Dry Cows 20-30 Mature Sheep 2
Lactating Cows 35-45 Lactating Ewes 3
Heifers 10-15 Feeder Lambs 1-2
Calves 6-10    

To estimate the amount of water in ponds, use the following formula:

Be conservative in your estimation of the average depth of the pond.

For pasture situations, you need one day's supply available at one time since the herd usually drinks at one time. If you are hauling water, you may need several stock tanks to hold one day's supply.

For example: Water needs per day for 50 beef cows is 1250 gallons per day.

(Author: Mark Stewart, Livestock Specialist)

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Grasshoppers 2000

An ideal year for a large grasshopper infestation is a moist spring followed by a dry summer. Moisture during the time they hatch from their underground egg masses makes it easier for grasshoppers to reach the surface. Then if the rest of the summer weather is dry, the young grasshoppers are much less likely to catch fungal diseases. It is the fungal diseases, stimulated by wet conditions, which kill most of the hatchling grasshoppers. Last year hordes of newly hatched grasshoppers died just before the rains stopped the end of June.

This year we will need to wait and see if the numbers of grasshoppers will be high enough to cause problems in our crops. The first signs of a problem will be the newly hatched grasshoppers found around field margins. No-till fields may have eggs hatching within the field. Grasshoppers do not typically lay eggs in tilled ground. Tillage can help in controlling grasshoppers by destroying eggs and exposing them to weather and predators. Remember, no-tilling will conserve much needed moisture that may prove more beneficial than grasshopper control.

Three main species are typically the most numerous and damaging.

Size and age of grasshoppers make a big difference in the effectiveness of control. Small, newly hatched grasshoppers take much less pesticide to kill. Often they are confined to field margins, waterways, ditch banks, and roadsides that are easier to spray than crop fields. The economic threshold is 7 to 10 grasshoppers per square yard outside the field and 3 or more grasshoppers per plant within the field. Recommended insecticides are:

Brand Name Chemical Name Application Rate Per Acre
*ASANA XL esfenvalerate 0.03-0.05 lb. Ai./Acre5.8-9.6 fluid ox/ XL/Acre
Sevin 5 Bait carbaryl 1-2 lb. Ai./Acre20-40 lb. Bait/Acre
Lorsban 4EMicroFlo Chlorpyrifos 4E AGNufos 4E chlorpyrifos 0.25-1.5 lb. Ai./Acre0.5-3 pt 4E/Acre
*Karate 1E*Warrior 1E Lambda-cyhalothrin 0.015-0.03 lb. Ai./Acre1.92-3.84 fluid oz 1E/Acre
(various) Dimethoate 4E, 4EC, 400,(various) Dimethoate E267 or 267Dimate 4EDigon dimethoate 0.33-0.5 lb. Ai./Acre0.66-1 pt. 4E, 4EC, 400/Acre1-1.5 pt. E267/Acre0.22-0.5 lb. Ai./Acre0.66-1 pt. 267/Acre
*Furadan 4F carbofuran 0.125-1 lb. Ai./AcrePt. 4F/Acre
(various) Malathion 5ECFyfanon 5EC malathion 1 lb. Ai./Acre1.5 pt. 5EC/Acre
*Penncap-M 2FL Methyl parathion 0.5-0.75 lb. Ai./Acre
2-3 pt. 2FL/Acre

*Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP)

Many insects will likely be a problem this year. Potato leafhoppers are active in many alfalfa fields. For more information on them, contact your local University Outreach and Extension Center. When applying pesticides, always read the label carefully for information on environmental conditions, adjuvants, reentry intervals, coverage site, toxicity, personal protective equipment, and other precautions before beginning any application of pesticides. Be sure you know what pest you are trying to control too. Scouting is very important. Watch your fields carefully for developing insect problems.

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Beneficial Insects

Don’t forget that there are beneficial insects. One of these is the ladybeetle. Ladybeetles eat lots of aphids, insect eggs, and other insects. Be careful in your selection of controls that you don’t eliminate a very beneficial insect like these. For more information on ladybeetles and other insects, click here to see Jim Jarman’s information on the web.

If you don’t have access to the Web, contact your local University Outreach and Extension Center and they will be glad to obtain the information for you.

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Forage Management in Droughts

Over grazing will destroy both the leaves and the root system. Grasses in the growing stage acquire approximately ninety-five percent of the plant food from the air. Leaves are often considered food factories. They have the ability under sunshine conditions to combine carbon dioxide from the air, water, nitrates, and minerals from the soil to make plant food. When we have short tops we have short roots, and short roots mean less future total plant growth. It is essential to have a root system to gather water, nitrates, and minerals for conversion into plant food.

It is very important to consider grazing management under drought conditions. For the good of the whole pasture system, sacrifice a small area. Bring them in and feed them. The cost of supplementing grazing livestock will be less than replacing a stand of grass and or legumes.

(Author: Dale Watson, Livestock Specialist)

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Taxation Tidbits

Farm Worker - Employee Or Independent Contractor?

Farmers are notorious for attempting to label workers they utilize to assist them in business operations as independent contractors rather than employees. No question—this situation arises from the reporting and extra tax consequences associated with employees.

The question of whether a relationship more closely resembles an employer-employee relationship or a business-independent contractor relationship is based on ALL the facts and circumstances, not on any one definitive item. As an aid in determining whether an worker is an employee the IRS has listed twenty (20) factors or elements which indicate, when taken as a whole, whether sufficient control is present to establish an employer-employee relationship. The twenty factors are:

  1. the right to tell the worker when, where, and how to work;
  2. training the worker;
  3. integration of the worker’s services into the business’s general operation;
  4. requirement that the service be rendered personally;
  5. direction over hiring, supervising, and paying assistants;
  6. the worker’s continuing relationship with one business;
  7. set hours which the worker must work;
  8. requires the worker devote full-time attention to one business;
  9. performing work on a business’s premises;
  10. control over the order or sequence of work performed
  11. requirement the worker submit reports to the person for whom the work is performed;
  12. payment by the hour, week, or month;
  13. compensation for business and/or travel expenses;
  14. provision of tools and materials;
  15. worker’s investment in the facilities in which he/she works;
  16. worker’s direct interest in profitability of the work accomplished;
  17. working for more than one firm at the same time;
  18. making services available to the general public;
  19. a person’s right to discharge the worker;
  20. And a person’s right to terminate the work relationship.

(Author: Parman Green, Farm Business Specialist)

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Drought Information

At the editing of this newsletter, this year is shaping up to be a dry year. We are monitoring the situation and will share information on things that can be done to manage farming operations during a drought as soon as things develop. For information that has previously been published, click here to see the Ag Connections special edition that was published in 1997 at the following web site:

You may also contact your local University Outreach and Extension Center.

Don’t forget that University Outreach and Extension staff may be contacted through the Farm First program toll free at: 1-877-363-3659. Click here for information on this program.

Joe Parcell, Extension Economist, University Outreach and Extension, provides an Agricultural Update weekly. It contains notes on government programs, updates on national marketing and production issues, and links to informational sources on the Web. Click here to access it on the web.

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Publishing Information

Ag Connection is published monthly for Central Missouri Region producers and is supported by University of Missouri Extension, the Commercial Agriculture program, the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Managing Editor: Kent Shannon.