Feature

A survivor's story

Written by Nancy Jorgensen on .

There's an old saying about farmers-you're land rich and cash poor. You hold most of your assets in land and equipment, creating complex_issues when it comes to passing on_the farm to family.

Tammy Shafer will never forget June 27, 2009, the day that her husband, Roger, died in a pickup accident. The couple had no estate plan or will. Tammy agreed to share her story so that you can learn what you can do to prepare in case you're faced with a similar situation.

Getting silage right

Written by Dr. Jim White on .

A short list of problems and tips on how to solve them

Editor’s note: When you have problems with silage in Today’s Farmer territory, you’re probably dealing with one of a relatively limited number of issues. Below, Dr. White provides some bullet-point diagnoses and solutions.

High ‘forage in’ vs. ‘silage out’ losses
Causes:

    • Shrink.
    • Inadequate sealing and packing.
    • Silage face too large/excessive surface area.
    • Inappropriate moisture content.

Solutions:

    • Select the right forage hybrid or variety.

Steps for a healthy herd

Written by Dr. Tony Martin on .

Start with nutrition and a solid vaccination regimen

First things first. As you read this, let’s consider “healthy” as the absence of illness or disease (i.e. not being sick). Now—think about what it takes for you to be healthy. Think about what we see and hear most often about what it takes to be healthy. The experts tell us to eat right and be active. That is the same core principle for producing healthy beef cattle.

Proper nutrition is number one on the list of

CRP renewal options

Written by Nancy Jorgensen on .

Do expiring CRP acres spell opportunity?

Last fall, the U.S. retired 2.8 million acres from the federal Conservation Reserve Program. For many farmers and ranchers, this represents a loss of CRP rental income. But, it could also mean opportunity as a growing amount of former CRP land becomes available for grazing, haying or crop production.

If you own expiring acres, you face several decisions. You can retain grass cover for grazing or hay, or grow crops. You can lease the land to others for agricultural production or hunting. Or, you can sell the property. We talked to a few experts about what you should consider.

Missouri deer and Chronic Wasting Disease

Written by James D. Ritchie on .

A single case draws caution

A Missouri deer was diagnosed with Chronic Wasting Disease, a fatal neurological disease of cervid animals (deer, elk and moose).

The whitetail deer was found early 2010, after being inspected as part of the state’s CWD surveillance and testing program. The animal was born and raised on the deer-elk game farm in Linn County where it was detected. The CWD diagnosis was confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services lab at Ames, Iowa. It’s the first animal—wild or captive—to be confirmed with CWD in Missouri.

For Dr. Taylor Woods, Missouri State Veterinarian, it’s one too many. “CWD hasn’t been around [or known about] for that long. It’s a new kind of disorder; one with no vaccine to prevent it and no effective treatment to cure it. However, there’s no evidence that CWD poses any threat to domestic animals or humans.”

As Dr. Woods said, CWD is a relatively new malady. The first known case in the U. S. was in 1967, in a captive mule deer at the Colorado Division of Wildlife research facility at Fort Collins. In the 40-plus years since, CWD has been detected in both captive and wild deer and elk in 16 other states (and two Canadian provinces) including Missouri neighbors Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Complicating the veterinary effort,

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