Georgia’s extreme drought has devastated pastures, and hay supplies are all but gone. Cattlemen are struggling to feed their herds. University of Georgia experts are working to educate them on how to weather the situation better.A series of workshops will provide producers across the state with information on marketing strategies, the tax implications of weather-forced sales, emergency forage choices and much more, said Dennis Hancock, an agronomist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. A cooperative effortIn planning the information sessions, Hancock, and other UGA CAES specialists, worked closely with representatives from the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, the Georgia Farm Bureau, the Georgia Milk Producers, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia governor’s office.The first workshop was held in Calhoun, and future sessions are set for Dahlonega (July 2), Macon (July 5), Athens (July 9), Plains (July 16), Bainbridge (July 17) and Statesboro (July 19). Additional dates may be added.Along with the workshops, Hancock said, cattlemen can find information at the Web site www.georgiaforages.com.Cold, drought and ethanolA late spring freeze and a severe drought now has severely decreased hay production in Georgia and the Southeast, he said. And land that was once planted for hay in other regions is now being used to grow corn for the current ethanol boom.”Hay supplies are very tight nationwide,” Hancock said. “They’re actually the lowest they’ve been in over 50 years.”Cattlemen are paying double what they normally would for hay. “And despite the price, the quality is low,” he said.Be careful what you buyHancock is warning cattlemen to be leery of hay. People are now selling low-quality material, he said. “Farmers are desperate and are tempted to take just about anything they can get,” he said.Suspicious hay can be tested for quality at local UGA Cooperative Extension offices.Withered pastures, alternative feedsThe drought has limited the growth of Georgia’s pastures, too. Withered pasture grasses can’t compete against summer annual weeds that are often much more tolerant of drought conditions.”The shorter the grasses are grazed, the lower the quality of the forage,” Hancock said.To feed their herds, farmers are turning to alternative feeds such as soybean hulls, corn gluten feed and cottonseed, he said. “These sources can replace a substantial amount of hay and are very cost effective,” Hancock said.Before developing alternative livestock diets on their own, Hancock tells farmers to check with their county agent. “They can help producers develop a ration based on what they have available to them,” he said.Converting drought-stressed crops such as pearl millet, sorghum-sudan and corn into animal feed can be helpful, he said, but the potential for nitrate toxicity is very high.County agents can also help farmers keep their cattle from becoming ill by conducting a field test on pasture grasses. “At $10, it’s a good inexpensive insurance policy,” Hancock said. “It’s much better than losing am animal or a whole herd.”Focus on financesHancock tells struggling farmers to view each animal as an investment. “Whatever animal you invest in, there should be a return,” he said. “Look at the economics of your situation and get your animal population down to a manageable size.”Once this is accomplished, Hancock advises farmers to develop a balanced ration based on the size and number of cattle or other livestock.
German development bank to underwrite Indian wind, solar projects FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:German state-owned development bank KfW will lend EUR 200 million (USD 228m) to India so as to help the country provide low-interest loans for around 200 MW of new renewable energy capacity.The bank has signed a credit line agreement with India’s Rural Electrification Corporate Ltd (REC), which plans to back solar and wind power projects, the lender announced this week. The specific loans will be supplemented by counterparty contributions of up to 30% from the borrowers and contributions from other lenders. The provided financing will target projects in the private sector and will support 200 MW of renewables. The new capacity, seen to meet the demand of about 270,000 homes, will help offset up to 285,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually.“KfW’s financing to promote the increased use of renewables will make an important contribution to slowing the rise in greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the deficit in the power supply,” said Joachim Nagel, member of the KfW Group executive board.Additionally, REC will get a EUR 1-million grant from KfW to improve standards in the Indian energy sector, the German lender said.India’s goal is to have 175 GW of installed renewables capacity by 2022 and account for 50% of its total power generation. The target for solar and wind is 100 GW and 60 GW, respectively.More: Germany’s KfW to help fund 200 MW of renewables in India
Winter bragging rights belongs to the Tigers, after they beat the TMI Trappers in Sunday’s ‘A’ division final of Fort St. John slo-pitch’s year-end tournament. The Trappers had posted the best record in the regular season, but fell to the Tigers in the final game, with World Gym finishing third.In the ‘B’ division, the Ikons defended their title (won last year as Moose FM), beating the Trojan Safety 69ers 13-12 in the final. In ‘C’, FAIT made it all the way to the final undefeated, but lost consecutive games to Petron Communications, giving Petron the title.- Advertisement -And in ‘D’, the Butler Bashers beat Bring It Welding in the final, to take the title. There is still one more tournament remaining in the season, with next weekend’s men’s and ladies tournaments. The entry fee is $350. To register, call Jason, at 250-793-3773.