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Volume 13, Number 9 - September 2007

This Month in Ag Connection

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Beef AI Just Got Easier

Single Stall Artificial Insemination Barn

Central Missouri cow/calf producers interested in using artificial insemination (AI) and estrus synchronization to increase genetic quality and consistency in their herds now have access to tool and facilities to help. Through grant funding a single stall artificial insemination barn is now available to cow/calf producers in the central Missouri region. The cost is $25.00 per day which will cover maintenance and upkeep on the barn.

The AI barn keeps cattle quieter during the insemination process, making the insemination process safer and quicker for the inseminator as well. The dark environment the barn provides the cattle makes them easier to handle and inseminate along with providing an indoor environment for the inseminator to work in.

Extension livestock specialists can also assist producers in setting up a synchronization calendar utilizing a planning tool from the Iowa Beef Center. The Estrus Sync software helps producers select the most appropriate synchronization protocol for their management and schedule the steps necessary for the protocol to be effective.

To use the Central Missouri AI barn:

(Author: Mark Stewart, Livestock Specialist)

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Bottom Line Tidbits: Changing or Terminating Farm Leases

Although the fall crop harvest is just getting started, farm landlords and tenants wanting to make changes in their lease agreements need to be reviewing the terms of their current rental agreements. Hopefully you have written leases to review. This is a particularly important time of the year because there is typically a lease termination time notification period listed in the terms of a lease. An additional point is many landlords and tenants are unaware that when terminating or changing verbal leases, they must give the other party at least 60 days written notice prior to the end of the lease agreement anniversary.

An advantage of a written lease is it will state the date the lease agreement was made. If you have a verbal lease that has been in existence for several years, it may be difficult to determine the anniversary date. Was your lease agreement entered into on January 1, March 1, or some other date? Remember if either party wants to terminate a verbal farm lease - written notice must be delivered to the other party at least 60 days before the anniversary date of the lease agreement.

So the bottom line is - if you want to terminate a verbal lease, put your intentions in writing and deliver the notice to the other party. For example, if you have a lease with an anniversary date of January 1, the party wishing to terminate the lease should deliver written notice to the other party before the end of October. Again, this is where a written lease would be valuable because it would eliminate the potential debate over the anniversary date of the lease agreement. So if you currently have an oral lease, even if you do not plan to change the terms of the lease, there is no better time than now to put it in writing.

(Source: Parman R. Green, Ag Business Management Specialist)

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Livestock Risk Protection - Lamb

The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) Board approved a Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) plan for lamb on September 28, 2006. LRP-Lamb is available to provide price insurance coverage to lamb producers in 27 states. Missouri is one of these states. Historically there has not been price insurance, exchanges offering futures or derivative contracts on lamb prices for lamb producers.

LRP-Lamb is similar in concept to LRP for swine and cattle, offering protection against declines in slaughter lamb prices. Producers are now offered coverage prices based on a statistical model that uses various industry data, such as cutout, slaughter, weight and pelt information, to forecast cash prices at the policy end date. As policies mature, producers receive insurance payments if the cash index, a figure based on actual Agricultural Marketing Service market information, is below the coverage price purchased.

The LRP- Lamb policy contains provisions, known as "circuit breakers", which allows Risk Management Agency (RMA) to suspend sales when certain restrictions in the policy are triggered. This feature is similar to the LRP-Swine and LRP-Cattle.

LRP-Lamb coverage is offered for 13, 26 and 39 week periods. This pilot program contains limits on sales at $250,000 in premiums per day and an annual limit of one million head insured. The insurance is available through most local crop insurance agents.

(Author: Mary Sobba, Ag Business Specialist)

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Saving Energy in Livestock Confinement Buildings

Saving energy in livestock confinement buildings takes a different approach than we use in our homes. In homes, we can adjust the thermostat and add insulation and make considerable changes in the amount of energy used. The ventilation required in confinement livestock buildings makes energy conservation more challenging. In 1983, the National Food and Energy Council published a Farm Energy Analysis Program providing good suggestions for saving energy.

With fuel rates are going up everywhere it may be time to blow the dust off the Farm Energy Analysis. Suggestions are divided into no cost, low cost, significant cost and major cost improvements. Following is a summary of major points in this article.

No Cost Maintenance and Management Practices:

Low Cost Maintenance and Management Practices:

Significant Cost Improvements and Investments:

(Author: Don Day, Natural Resource Engineer)

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Deworming Small Ruminants

Meat goats and sheep are increasing in numbers in Central Missouri. Because of our climate, internal parasite control can be challenging. A limited number of deworming products combined with parasite resistance to some of these products is making parasite control in sheep and goats increasingly difficult. Below is some information compiled by Dr. Scott Greiner, Extension Sheep Specialist at Virginia Tech concerning deworming sheep and goats.

Approved dewormers for use in sheep include Levamisole (Levasole and Tramisol), Ivermectin (Ivomec Sheep Drench), Albenazole (Valbazen), and the recently approved Moxidectin (Cydectin Sheep Drench). Keep in mind that all other products are currently not labeled for small ruminants, and must be prescribed and administered under veterinary direction.

Reduce the number of deworming treatments and practice selective deworming through strategies such as the FAMACHA system. Deworm only when necessary to prevent development of drug resistance, and deworm only those animals which warrant deworming.

What is FAMACHA? This is a program to help monitor parasite loads by examining the eyelids of the animals. Those animals with pale eyelids indicate parasite induced anemia. These animals should be immediately dewormed. Producers may obtain FAMACHA scoring cards by attending a training class. Contact your area livestock specialist for more information on this program.

Following are a few tips for a successful sheep and goat deworming strategy:

There are three major groups of drugs approved for deworming sheep and goats. These are listed in the table below. It is important to know which drugs are in each group, because once worms become resistant to one member of the group, they will be resistant to the other members of the group.

Table 1. Sheep and Goat Dewormers
Chemical Name Class of Drugs Trade Name
Ivermectin Macrolide Ivomec
Moxidectin Macrolide Cydectin
Levamisole Nicotinic Tramisol
Albendazole Benzimidazole Valbasin

Additional information may be obtained at the Maryland Small Ruminant Page at:

(Author: Gene Schmitz, Livestock Specialist)

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Geotextiles Can Help With Mud Problems

Geotextiles can be used to reduce problems in wet and high traffic areas where gravel might be hard to keep in place. Practical applications of geotextiles can be around livestock waterers, feeders, gates and lanes. The material is placed between soil and gravel to prevent the gravel from moving into the soil.

Use of geotextiles can reduce the cost of solving problems in wet areas compared to the cost of pouring concrete or using greater depths of gravel and having to replace it periodically. Using rock over geotextiles reduces the depth of rock that is needed for stability. It may take half the depth of rock than would be needed without the geotextiles.

Your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office may have cost share and specifications for installation of geotextiles. Talk to your local Soil and Water District Board to determine if geotextile fabrics are an approved cost share component.

The following guide from Ohio gives more information on using geotextiles:

Another document from Kentucky gives other information:

(Author: Don Day, Natural Resource Engineer)

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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.