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Transcript for February 1, 2020

This show includes the following segments: 

  • Teaching Extension Specialist the Benefits of Prescribed Burning
  • Mesonet Weather
  • Naturally Speaking
  • Market Monitor
  • Cow-Calf Corner
  • Crop Update
  • Type of Nitrogen Fertilizer



Teaching Extension Specialist the Benefits of Prescribed Burning

(upbeat music)

>>> Hello everyone, and welcome to SUNUP.

I'm Lyndall Stout.

We begin today on a ranch in Payne County

where extension experts from across the Great Plains

are teaming up to study how one producer

is managing an issue that a lot of land owners

have to deal with.

>>> I'm the only one around here,

there's me and one other person

over west that practices rotational grazing...

>>> This project is a five year project.

We have the University of Nebraska,

we have Oklahoma State University

and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and AgriLife Research.

So this project is really focused on outreach and education

for the practices and management practices

for the control of woody brush encroachment.

So woody brush encroachment is a problem

that we all face throughout the Great Plains,

Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas,

and so a very common problem for a lot of ranchers

and a lot of land owners.

>>> Fire, I use fire in the springtime.

>>> That's a huge issue, here.

We've got the eastern red cedar that's just takin' over

most of these ranches.

Blackberry brush, blackberry bushes,

they're comin' in, they're very invasive.

And we're trying to get away from the use of herbicide

and use more fire and our goats.

>>> This is part of a U.S.D.A. grant that we received.

We're partnering with innovative ranchers

and these ranchers are either using

prescribed burning methods or they're using

goats and sheep to help control woody plants,

mostly goats, but here sheep, as well.

And so we're trying to identify how that's worked for them,

what has been successful, what hasn't been successful.

>>> There's a lot of management practices

that have been underutilized because of that

lack of education or outreach.

And so, we're really tryin' to work hard

to get the research out to the people,

out to the land owners and the ranchers

so that they can start utilizing prescribed fire

and multi-species grazing, and the combination

of those practices to combat woody brush encroachment

throughout the Great Plains.

>>> Typically, we'll burn about a third of the ranch

every year.

We noticed that we needed to do that for cedar control,

but we'll rotate the goats in there

behind the cows, and rotate those around

on these sections.

And those goats have been controllin'

a lot of the new growth on the oak trees

after we either clear them or any new oak trees.

And they're also great weed control.

>>> So San Angelo, Texas is the hub, is the place

for small ruminants.

We do a lot of work with goats, with sheep,

but we haven't really been able

to embrace the fire culture, yet.

And that's something where I hope the ranchers

from Texas can learn from the ranchers in Oklahoma

who do have a really healthy fire culture

and are very active in prescribed burn associations.

>>> You look at it in other states, fire has been totally

taken out of the picture for decades, if not

even a century or so, in some of their cultures.

And again, it's needed, but tryin' to get that back in.

And the nice thing is, it is slowly creepin' back in.

People are realizing that fire is one of the only things

they have left to use.

They realize that it's important.

>>> It's so cool because it's the first time

it's ever been done.

We're combining all the efforts of extension agencies

throughout the Great Plains from many different states.

And so we all have different strengths and weaknesses

and we're able to feed off of each other

and work together to achieve this common goal.

It's really a collective effort

that has not been done before,

and so it's going to bring a new side to extension

and a new way to deliver the information to the people.

(upbeat music)


Mesonet Weather

>>> Hi, Wes Lee with your weekly Mesonet weather report.

A few weeks ago, I visited with you about wheat degree days

and how they were a little behind normal.

This week, I wanted to focus on a related topic

called wheat growth days.

The wheat growth day counter provides a count

of the days since planting

with positive degree day heat units.

We get positive degree days

anytime the average daily temperature

exceeds 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another way to think of this is just how many days

did the wheat grow even just a little bit since planting.

This table shows growing days for

wheat planted on the first of October at two locations.

As of January the 28th, Alva had accumulated 75 growing days

this year.

This falls close to the five year average for this site,

which was 78 days.

Tipton came in a little higher with 97 growing days,

just slightly ahead of the five year average of 92 days.

Now that we know the number of growing days for a site,

what is it useful for?

It is data needed by farmers that utilize enriched strips

and have access to a handheld grain seeker machine

to adequately determine the need

and value of top dressing the wheat

with additional nitrogen fertilizer.

For more information, visit the OSU website


Gary is up next with drought and rainfall information.

>>> Thanks Wes and good morning everyone.

We had a lot of excitement this week

with all the snow up in north west Oklahoma.

What'd that do to the drought monitor?

Lets go take a look.

As you can see we have very little drought left

in Oklahoma, just that little bit of drought

in the far south western corner of the state.

That's moderate drought, the lowest drought category.

Hopefully we can get rid of that with another good

rain or even snow event.

So lets keep working on that.

Speaking of good rains, lets take a look

at the Oklahoma Mesonet rainfall map for most of January.

This is through January 28th.

We can see some pretty good rainfall amounts from

near eight inches down across parts of south east Oklahoma

up to about three to four inches

in the center part of the state along the I-44 corridor.

Then we go from about an inch to two inches

across the far north western parts of the state,

really down to the north western corner of the state.

Now up in the far western pan handle,

we still have less than a quarter of an inch to go

for January so far.

That's the area with the worst drought of course.

If we look at the departure from normal rainfall map

for that same time frame, we see again,

most of the state has some pretty good

surplus moisture for January from three to even as much as

five inches above normal.

And as you know its also been pretty warm,

and if we look at the amount of freezing weather,

at least for January,

we go from really just about 30 to 40 hours

down in the southern part of the state,

to about 250 to 300 up in the north western

parts of the state.

So not a lot of cold weather so far during January

and really during the winter all together.

The lowest temperature we've recorded on the Mesonet

around four to five degrees

up there in the western panhandle.

So we'll take any type of rain or snow

out in the far western panhandle

and get rid of that drought,

and of course south west Oklahoma,

needs a bit of rain or snow as well

to get rid of it down there.

That's it for this time,

we'll see you next time on the Mesonet weather report.

(upbeat music)


Naturally Speaking

>>> Big part of habitat management for white tail deer

is increasing food resources.

But typically land owners are focused mostly on food

resources during hunting season,

but that's actually not when deer have the highest

nutritional demands.

You need to think about the full calendar year.

Particularly, food that is going to be available

during the early summer when they're developing antlers

or when they're nursing fawn.

These are when they really incredibly high nutrition demands

and so want to increase food resources during the whole year

you need to think about more than just a food plot.

Do this by creating forested openings

or thinning our forest.

A simple way is to pick areas on your property

that are Eastern Red Cedar.

Usually those areas have very little in the under story

for white tails.

And those spots we can just cut the cedar down,

and burn, which is what's been done here,

and we'll get a flush of important deer forages.

Like ragweed, partridge pea, pokeweed.

And then if you just maintain that with fire,

maybe once every three to seven years,

you can keep that in a composition that'll really

be beneficial for deer and meet their nutritional needs.

You can also go into oak forests and thin those.

Either mechanically cutting them, and then burning.

Or using some selective herbicide

to create openings in the forest

and try to get that canopy cover down

so that more sunlight reaches the forest floor

and you get that responsive food resources.

So think about nutrition beyond just the hunting season.

Think about what deer actually are consuming throughout

the year, which is mostly forbes,

broad leaf plants, and vines and shrubs.

They don't, do not consume a lot of grasses

so if your property is dense grass,

you might think about practices like prescribed fire

that can get more broad leaf plants on the property.


Market Monitor

>>> Kim Anderson, our crop marketing specialist

joins us now.

Kim the coronavirus of course making big news everywhere.

Lets talk about possible impact on the markets.

>>> Well when you read what the analysts have to say,

they're saying that they're having a negative impact

on the commodity markets.

But if you look at the forward contract prices,

say for wheat, on January the 21st versus

you know, the current price.

Wheat was at $4.85, it's down to $4.67.

It's down 18 cents.

Corn was $3.71, it's now $3.65, down six cents.

Soybeans down 31 cents from $8.61 to $8.30.

And cotton down a penny from 71 to 70.

Now you can say that's Corona Virus

but I think there's other things going on in the market.

I think the Corona Virus has had a minor impact

and it's something that we can easily talk about.

>>> What are some of those other things that you mentioned?

>>> Well if you look at it, I think a big thing

going on right now, especially for wheat,

is France and the European Union,

the trucker and the dock worker strikes.

One importing country told their suppliers not to buy wheat

from the European Union because they, there was the case

of not delivering that.

You've got Russia.

They reported that they're gonna limit exports.

But if you look at Russian exports,

they're 13% below last year's level,

that's 126 million bushels,

but Ukraine is 34% above last year.

They're both Black Sea exporters.

That's 154 million above, so they're 28 million ahead

of exports out of Black Sea

so you've gotta ignore things like that.

The Brazilian soybean harvest, that's started a little slow.

It's wet down there and they're having to back that up

but it's coming on.

India it was reported this week may harvest

a record wheat crop.

Now they'll export a little bit,

and they import a little bit

so I don't know that that had much impact.

But I don't think there's any major change

going on and I think that's what the prices have told us.

>>> Well let's talk about any good news

that you've observed recently.

>>> Well if you look at the world wheat ending stocks,

they're record.

If you look at the world stocks (mumbles) it's record.

If you look at the United States, any stocks,

it's not record but it's still above average

along with the stocks used ratio.

But if you look at the Black Sea area, their stocks

used ratio is 10%.

That means when they start their harvest on July 1

they will have 32 days worth of wheat in the bin

and that means that there's the potential if they have

problems with their crop, their prices will take off,

and it will have a big price increase there.

So if there's good news,

it's what's going on in the Black Sea.

And also there's an underlying current,

or underlining talk, that there's a shortage

of milling-quality wheat in the world

and I think that's why we've seen our prices increase

over the last few months.

>>> Okay Kim, thanks a lot.

We'll see you next week.

(country music)


Cow-Calf Corner

>>> A couple of weeks ago on the Cow-Calf Corner

we visited with you about the impact of a prolonged

calving process, or a prolonged stage two of calving.

The impact it would have on the cow.

And we talked about how if that goes on and on and on,

that that cow will be slower to come back into estrous

and have a smaller chance to become pregnant

in the upcoming breeding season.

Well let's, this week, visit about what that prolonged

calving process would mean to the calf.

We know that as that calf passes through the birth canal,

at some point in time the umbilical cord will be trapped

against the pelvic rim of the cow as she's expelling

that calf from her reproductive tract.

Each time she has a contraction,

each time that that umbilical cord is trapped

against the pelvic rim, then for a few seconds at least,

that calf is in a situation where he can't get oxygen

from the mother's blood supply.

He can't get rid of carbon dioxide

back to the mother's supply,

and over time what happens is what the veterinarians,

or the scientists call respiratory acidosis.

That means that the calf's own blood

then can become so monoacidic, if it is severe enough,

and lasts long enough, that can cause some damage

to some of the organs of the calf,

including the calf's brain.

Ranchers sometimes will talk about having a calf

that was born during a difficult birthing process

that eventually they call a dummy calf

because he quite frankly acts very differently.

He's hard to work with.

We think there's probably been some brain damage

just due to the hypoxia, lack of oxygen, that occurred

for a period of time during the calving process.

Also calves that have been acidotic,

those that have this high acidity in the blood stream,

will be more sluggish, they'll be slower to get up,

therefore slower to find the teat to have a chance

to nourish and get that very important colostrum

that that calf needs to get the antibodies

to help protect him against such things as calf diarrhea.

That's why if you notice in your herd

that perhaps you see more calf scours, calf diarrhea

from calves born to two-year olds

than you might see from other cows.

And that can be for two reasons.

That long delivery process

causing the respiratory acidosis in the calf,

plus the fact that the new two-year old mother

just isn't giving as much milk as that older cow.

So, I think what we can learn from this is yes,

there is a reason to provide assistance

if we see that two-year old that isn't making real progress

in an hour of the calving process.

Let's go ahead and bring her in, examine,

and see if we can provide assistance.

Get that calf going.

And, having a better chance to get the colostrum

that he needs early in life.

As we've said before, if you're watching a mature cow

and she isn't making real progress in a half an hour,

then we probably need to examine her

because there's probably something wrong.

If we gonna make sure that those calves

get off to a better start,

get that colostrum as soon as possible,

we'll have a healthier calf.

Not only early part of life, but now research tells us

that they'll be healthier even as they go on

into the later stages of the beef production cycle.

Be less likely to get respiratory disease

say as they go into a feed lot.

That early assistance, or proper timing of assistance,

can be real helpful.

Not only to the mother, in terms of getting her rebreed

but to the health of that calf.

Hey, we look forward to visiting with you again next week

on "SUNUP's Cow-Calf Corner."

(upbeat acoustic music)


Crop Update

>>> Had a nice drink of water across the state.

And Josh, that's really been beneficial

to the crops across Oklahoma.

>>> Yeah, those areas of dryness we've been talking about

they're shrinking, but they're still there.

The good thing is, we are gettin' some moisture to areas.

We are gettin' some of the ground a little saturated,

allow those, winter crops to start movin'

when we get the heat.

You know, we're still missin' those two parts.

The moisture and the heat.

So, the rain's good, the snow's good and all that.

We just need a little bit more heat for it to be effective.

>>> This recent moisture was kind of a soaking rain,

we kinda needed that to fill up the soil profile.

How are the moisture contents looking kinda deeper

where the roots need it?

>>> Well it's gonna be really dependent on where you were,

what you had last season.

We've noted historically that where we have

a summer crop going into a winter crop,

our sub-soil profile's quite a bit depleted.

Because that's where a lot of the roots were

during the summer.

And when we had those really dry spells later on

into the summer, right before we went into harvest,

we did have that.

The good thing is, our fall,

for a bulk majority of the state,

and we still have some areas that still haven't received

a substantial amount of rain since summer.

So, in those areas, we're fairly depleted still yet.

Even in our areas where we've gotten a lot of moisture,

we could still have some deeper profiles

that are a little depleted.

However we're probably workin' on that pretty good.

Especially since, a lot of our winter crops

aren't growing substantially fast.

They didn't get a whole lot of growth in the fall.

So, moisture status for a bulk of the down-state area

is probably pretty good if not a little excessive

by which you see here.

But, we're workin' towards good things.

Like I said, we just need that other component

for things like our canola, our cover crops and our wheat.

>>> Speaking of canola, what are some of the things producers

need to be thinking about moving forward?

Because we're not outta the cold yet.

There's still some potential

for some issues to come up with canola.

>>> Yeah, so like, as opposed to wheat,

which we have a fairly open window

to make those in-season nitrogen applications, other things.

Canola, especially any that received a lot of growth,

and I have to say, we were in this field

not but a couple months ago

and the canola was very small. 

>>> [Dave] Right.

>>> You can see the canola is still growing,

little bit by little bit.

Every day we get a nice warm spell, we are growing.

So, depending on how much growth it haves,

if it doesn't have a whole lot

of above ground tissue burned off,

you know we don't see a lot of it right now.

So if we don't get a really sharp cold spell,

we could potentially see it

going reproductive really quickly.

So that means growers that have canola need to be

thinking about a couple of things.

That last glyphosate application

or the last herbicide application.

Most of our herbicides are cut off around that bolting

if not early flowering.

And then, gettin’ that fertility on the field

because once again, our reproductive structure's

what makes the yield.

Once we have those out in the field

we're gonna just be losing yield more and more.

The more we don't have nitrogen out there.

So, especially in these areas like we have behind us

that have been really flooded,

have a lot of water standing on it.

Maybe have had a lot of water work through it.

Make sure you have your nitrogen out there

'cause we might not have a whole lot left

if we put any in the fall.

But then for canola, that window's very narrow,

so we need to make sure that we're very proactive

when we see that warming trend start to

start to hit us.

>>> Coming up in the next month or so,

are there opportunities for some

for some last minute plantings of

crops that could possibly just hold the soil together?

>>> Yeah I mean there's always those conversation of oats,

we typically see some of the small grains

go in in the spring.

Oats is the big one, it's one that

because we get such rapid early growth

that folks that maybe don't have a wheat pasture

that are wanting to take that wheat to grain

still need something for their cattle to graze on,

oats is still that option.

We have some of our other small grains

that are there, but oats are gonna be your primary one.

And then, speaking of Dave, we're at the end of January,

even though we're out here in coats,

we're maybe two months away from corn planting,

so it's already starting to think about

getting the fallow fields burned down,

getting that ready for corn, for milo,

soybeans, cotton, whatever you're thinking about going into

but we're not far away from working in our planting

especially of corn,

which is typically our first summer to go in.

>>> And one of the important things there

is to really look at the overall picture

of the cropping system, not just being reactionary,

hey I have, this isn't working right now,

I wanna till that up, I wanna put something in,

just look at the overall picture.

>>> Yeah because we do have some crops

that work well in a rotation with

others and then we have to remember,

we have herbicide restrictions

that also play a big role into that,

so maybe you grew soybean last year

and you had an herbicide that may not allow you

maybe go into cotton or sesame, but

you have to remember those herbicide restrictions

and you have to remember, "Well,

I was in a low-residue crop of cotton maybe last year,”

"maybe I'll go to sesame".

Well you're not adding that residue

and so you're gonna have open soil there

which from a soil management, soil health,

soil conservation standpoint,

is something that we're concerned with

so having that big picture like you said

in mind is there,

we always have to worry about

economics and make it work out on paper

so there are a couple things going on

but there are quite a few options

and hopefully we have a couple of months

for those to kinda shake out on themselves.

>>> Okay thank you very much.

Dr. Josh Lofton, Cropping Systems Specialist

here at Oklahoma State University.

(upbeat music)


Types of Nitrogen Fertilizer

>>> Of the central nutrients,

nitrogen is the most commonly applied.

We have several source options when it comes to both

homeowners and ag producers.

And there's often several questions

when it comes to what are the different sources

and what are the importance

in the different characteristics.

So one of the most commonly sold sources

of nitrogen in Oklahoma

is anhydrous ammonia.

Anhydrous ammonia is a gas form

with 82% nitrogen for every pound,

so every 100 pounds of anhydrous ammonia

we're going to have 82 pounds of nitrogen.

It goes in the soil as a gas,

and it immediately reacts with H2O,

any water into the soil

and it's going to form NH4,

and hold onto the soil particle.

Then we have urea.

Urea is our number two and sometimes number one

fertilizer source,

it is by far the greatest dry source.

Urea is 46% nitrogen.

It's popular because A,

it has the highest concentration of nitrogen

of a dry product

and it's fairly safe.

So urea comes in with (NH2)2CO,

it's applied in the soil,

it gets wet,

urease, an enzyme, is going to act upon

these particles right here,

break off the CO, and go NH2,

and turn that into NH3,

which then reacts with water

and goes to NH4.

The challenge with urea,

while it's a very safe and easy to store dry product,

if urea is not incorporated into the soil

via tillage or irrigation,

there's high probability that with

a little bit of moisture, this NH3

can actually be lost to the environment.

So in agriculture and other aspects,

we're always concerned about nitrogen losses

from the application of urea

if we don't get a good incorporation.

Another less common source of nitrogen

is the ammonium sulfate.

And this is commonly applied with urea

when there's a sulfur demand.

Why is it not just applied solely?

Because there's only 21% nitrogen.

However ammonium sulfate

is a very stable source,

but it has a highest acidifying reaction rate

as compared to any other nitrogen source

because our source for ammonium sulfate

when we apply directly as a ammonium,

goes back to our acidifying factors

and ammonium converts and releases more hydrogen

than any other of these sources

that start out at an NH3.

So our most acidifying fertilizer for nitrogen

is ammonium sulfate.

There are also other sources,

such as UAN,

so UAN stands for Urea Ammonium Nitrate.

UAN is a liquid fertilizer source.

So it comes in as either a 32% nitrogen

or 28% nitrogen with no other nutrients.

We'll often use them as top dress or

sprayed on as top dress or injected into the soil.

It is half urea, half ammonium nitrate,

blended in and watered down.

These are our primary nitrogen containing fertilizers

that we would use across Oklahoma in agriculture

and in the garden.

If you have any other questions about nitrogen,

check out the SUNUP website at

(upbeat music)


>>> That'll do it for us this week.

Remember you can find us any time at

And also follow us on YouTube and social media.

I'm Lyndall Stout, have a great week everyone

and remember Oklahoma Agriculture

starts at SUNUP.

(upbeat music)


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