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Transcript for December 15, 2018

Transcript to come.

This show includes the following segments: 

  • Managing livestock winter
  • Mesonet Weather
  • Cow-Calf Corner
  • Updated chemical mixing order guidelines
  • Market Monitor
  • The nitrogen cycle


(upbeat guitar music) 

Managing livestock winter

>>> Hello everyone, and welcome to SUNUP.

I'm Lyndall Stout.

We begin today mindful of livestock,

with guidance for producers

managing cattle and caring for horses

during some of Oklahoma's harshest conditions this winter.

SUNUP's Kurtis Hair starts the conversation today

with our Extension beef cattle specialist, Dave Lalman.

>>> Probably one of the most important principles

is that cattle's thermal neutral zone,

which really just means

the range in temperature in which they're comfortable,

is widely variable.

And you can imagine,

it's just common sense,

if an animal has a winter hair coat,

a heavy winter hair coat,

they can withstand a lot more cold.

If an animal's hide is wet, they can't stand very much cold.

I mean, they'll be stressed,

cold stressed, if their hide is wet.

Even if they do have a winter hair coat.

Because a wet coat doesn't do you any good.

Let's say a cow has a dry, heavy,

she's dry, she has a heavy winter hair coat,

down to 20 degrees or so she's really comfortable.

Things that I think are just kind of practical ways

to adjust to extreme conditions are simply,

first of all provide them with a place

to get out of the wind.

And that can be natural cover in the trees or whatever,

or a windbreak, or some sort of a building.


if there's an extended extreme cold

and wind in the wintertime,

feed better quality hay.

Their water requirements when it's cold

are not as high, obviously,

as they are in the summertime.

But they still need to be able to drink.

So if there's not snow on the ground,

it's extremely cold,

somebody needs to be responsible for cutting the ice

if it's not a rural water system

or if it's not a moving stream.

Well, so one thing you can do that may be an option

for some people over an extended period

of extremely cold and extremely windy conditions

is put out some netting.

So unroll a bale of straw

so the cow can kinda get down in the straw.

And that provides a considerable amount

of relief from the wind.


>>> We're here with our Extension equine specialist

Kris Hiney.

And Kris, we just spoke with Dave Lalman

about cattle in winter.

So let's move to horses.

What are some things that producers need to think about

with horses in winter?

>>> Sure, so most horses can tolerate winter pretty easily

if you've allowed them to adapt to winter.

Essentially grow a winter hair coat,

be out in the temperatures.

And if the temperatures do drop pretty low,

we do know that horses will need extra energy

so that they can maintain their body temperature.

>>> So one thing that people do need to think about though

is their water source.

Talk a little bit about what are some things

they do need to think about with that.

>>> Sure, so it's really important in the winter

that horses maintain their water intake.

And horses don't really like icy cold water.

So they may actually drop their water intake in the winter,

which can be pretty negative as far as health effects.

So we want to make sure they always have fresh, open water.

A lot of people will use tank heaters or bucket heaters.

But the big important thing with those

is to make sure that there isn't any stray voltage.

Horses are extremely sensitive to electricity.

And it can almost learn to fear their water,

which can be extremely detrimental.

So one thing that we need to think about

is older horses or geriatric horses,

as their teeth wear down

they actually may become more sensitive to cold.

And so your older horses

may actually drop their intake of water in the winter

just because it doesn't feel very good.

>>> So while horses will adapt to the cold,

producers do need to think about

having shelter for horses out of the wind, correct?

>>> Yeah, absolutely.

Horses need to have shelter from the wind and rain.

Freezing rain on a horse

can chill them really really rapidly.

So that's the ideal scenario

is we have something that blocks wind and rain from them.

>>> Alrighty, thanks Kris.

If you'd like some more information

on cattle and horses in the winter,

go to our website

(upbeat guitar music)


Mesonet Weather

>>> Welcome to this December Mesonet weather report.

Snow expectations last week were quickly squashed

as the much-forecasted storm took a more southerly track.

It did, however, drop a little rain

to Oklahoma all but not necessarily in the driest areas.

Southeast Oklahoma received the most

with Idabell toping the chart with 1.93 inches.

The north half of the state

along with the southwest continued the recent dry trend.

This week, wind seems to dominate the weather top.

Maximum wind gusts for December the 11th

reached into the forties with Watonga

hitting 47 miles per hour.

When the cold front moves through on Thursday,

we expect to see winds even higher

with gusts reaching into the 50s in western counties.

Rainfall chances have been few and far between lately.

There is, however, a reasonably good chance of precipitation

for central into eastern Oklahoma as represented

by this national weather service map.

It goes through Monday, December the 17th.

Hopefully, this storm will move some moisture

into areas of the state where we need it the most.

Specifically, the northeastern counties.

After this storm, things look pretty dry.

Making the chances of a white Christmas very slim.

Now, here's Gary using that dreaded D word again.


>>> Thanks Wes and good morning everyone.

Let's revisit one of my least favorite, but unfortunately

most popular topics, drought.

Now we know droughts a sneaky hazard

and it can pop up when you least expect it.

But, if you look at the last 60 days,

things are starting to look more and more interesting

in Oklahoma.

Let's get straight to the new drought monitor map

and see what we have.

Now, since last week, unfortunately,

that D one moderate drought up in northeast Oklahoma

has started to spread just a little bit.

The area covered by that drought is a little bit bigger.

It's not a wide spread area, but we do see that yellow area,

which is D zero or abnormally dry conditions,

has also spread to cover the entire northeastern corner

of the state.

And also bleeding over into north central Oklahoma.

Let's take a look and see what's happening on the

Mesonet rainfall maps.

Now last week, we looked at the 30 day maps

and unfortunately, we've now extended that dry grid

into the 60 day maps.

So the 60 day observed Mesonet rainfall,

we see very little rainfall up in north central Oklahoma.

In fact, Cherokee of Alfalfa County,

has had less than an inch.

And less than two inches over in much of northwest Oklahoma.

That's say we're looking for possible spread

as we go in to the next couple weeks.

If we don't get good rainfall.

Now if we look at that as suppose to normal

over that same time frame.

We can see much of north central, northwest Oklahoma,

even down in the central Oklahoma is between two

and four to five inches below normal.

So, why don't we have widespread drought.

Well we are in the cool season

and it's cooler than normal for this cool season so far.

But also we go back to 90 days and we can see some

pretty good rainfall surpluses dating back to those periods.

Still though we see that massive amount of deficit

up in the northeastern quadrant of the state.

So we do need moisture across the entire state,

but especially across northern Oklahoma.

Where we are in danger of seeing that drought intensify

despite the fact that it's the cool season.

That's it for this time.

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

(upbeat melodic music)


Cow-Calf Corner

>>> Every year at this time, I think it's important

to remind cow calf producers across Oklahoma.

Those that have spring calving herds

that now is the time to consider changing

our feeding pattern to where we're feeding the cows

later in the day, as close to sunset as possible.

And the reason that I like to suggest that

is because the research is pretty clear

on we can effect the timing of when those cows calve.

When the calving time comes next late January,

February into March.

The most recent and I think the best study done yet,

on this particular subject.

Was done by Kansas State University folks

at their Hays experiment station in northern Kansas.

And over a five year period, they kept track

of when calves were born in that particular cow herd.

The cows were all fed between four PM

and six PM in the evening.

And they were feeding some Sorghum Sudan Hay

as the primary source of the diet

for those cows over that five year period of time.

They broke the daytime out into four hour increments

for statistical purposes and the bottom line was

that 85% again, of these cows calved

between six AM and six PM.

Leaving only 15% between six PM and six AM,

during the nighttime hours.

The break out was pretty interesting, I thought.

The first four hour increment from six am to 10 am

34 percent of the cows were calving.

Between 10 am and about two pm,

21.2 percent of the cows calf,

and then between two pm and six pm,

it was up to about 30 percent.

Again, of the cows that calved

in that particular timeframe.

And so, when you add all of those together,

you come up with that 85 percent

calving between six am and six pm.

There's just enough data on this subject

to, I think, make this a pretty reliable practice.

That if we can somehow feed the cows

in the very late afternoon, the last light of the day,

during these short winter days,

that we'll have a higher percent of the cows calf

during the daylight hours.

What some folks will do is have the big round bales

available in a closed lot, where they just go out

and open the gate, allow the cows access to the big round

bales at basically dinner time or supper time.

And then, the following morning, move the cows

back out of that hay feeding area

into their regular pasture.

Even if the cows have total access, 24/7,

to big round bales, by feeding the supplement just at dusk

seems to have a similar influence, perhaps not as strong

as what we've talked about.

What we've done her at OSU, where just the supplement

was fed, we had an indication of about 70 percent

of the cows calving between six am and six pm.

So I think now's the time to start this late afternoon

early evening feeding, so that we have a high percentage

of these cows calving when we're more likely to be there,

and provide assistance if necessary,

and more calves that are born when the sun's shining

gives them a little better chance to warm up more quickly

and be healthier, jump up and nurse the cow,

get that colostrum they need.

We hope that this will help you through this calving season

Look forward to visiting with you next week

on SUNUP's Cow-Calf Corner.


Updated chemical mixing order guidelines

>>> We've reached that time of year

when herbicide application starts to slow down,

so we decided that it would be a good idea

to talk about herbicide mixing going into the spring.

So Misha, there's a specific order that producers

need to think about when they start mixing herbicide.

>>> Yeah, we just put out a fact sheet,

kinda an updated version on a guideline

that is something that helps to follow

when you're just not sure and you have a different products,

herbicides, adjuvants that are going into your tank.

>>> Why do producers need to think about that?

What's some kind of the implications that would happen

if you did just start mixing things in?

>>> Two major concerns, when we think about challenges.

One, we can have interaction of some molecules

form precipitates in the tank, clog lines,

potentially ruin spray equipment.

So protecting our equipment and that investment

and then also we can have molecules,

different herbicides, adjuvants interact in a way

that creates complexes that the weeds don't really like.

So we don't get as good as a kill.

Equipment and then making sure

we kill weeds we want to kill.

>>> So not all herbicides are the same and they all have

different, specific instructions when it comes to mixing.

Talk a little bit about that,

and what producers need to keep in mind.

>>> So when you look at a herbicide label,

you're going to see active ingredients.

Those active ingredients are what

has toxicity to our weeds.

They're formulated in a fashion that allows us

as applicators to disperse them uniformly on plants.

And also to store them on shelves, and that they don't decay

So every herbicide has a different formulation,

and that's kinda what the guide outlines.

If you have this kinda formulation,

this is the timing that you should add it.

>>> You actually have a fact sheet out right now

that kinda walks people through

>>> Yes

>>> Just kinda a general guideline of mixtures.

Talk a little bit about that.

>>> The traditional acronym has been WALES, W-A-L-E-S

and we've updated a little bit to AWAMLES

which, I don't know, doesn't sound very catchy,

but that's the order, so we have

if you're adding ammonium sulfate, that will go in first.

If you're adding any water dispersible products,

those go in, that's the W.

A is for agitation.

The M is for anything that is micro-encapsulated.

Then we add in our liquids, and then we end with surfactants

>>> Now should producers always follow

this guideline specifically, or are there

different ways that they can go about doing that?

>>> So it is a guide, so it won't answer

every question we have.

My number one recommendation would be

to look to the herbicide label.

Some herbicide labels will outline mixing order

in even more specific manner than we do in this guide.

So herbicide label first.

If there aren't much on the label to look to,

then this can serve as a guide to use.

>>> So it's just always best to follow instructions.

>>> Absolutely.

>>> Alright. 

>>> Read the label.

>>> Alright, thank you Misha.

If you would like a link to that fact sheet,

go to our website,

(cheerful music)


Market Monitor

>>> The WASDE came out earlier this week,

and Kim, what was the markets like ahead of the report?

>>> Well if you look at expectations, hard red winter wheat

exports were running about 36% below last year's level.

The USDA November WASDE had it down 3%,

something had to give there.

Also, Russian wheat exports were running

well above expectations, and market

was looking for some adjustments in Russian export numbers.

>>> There were a lot of times you used

the word expectations in there.

Did the USDA report actually meet those expectations?

>>> I think they did, so you look at hard red winter wheat

exports for the US, they lowered that

from 360 million bushels down to 320.

It's now 14% below last year's projection,

or last year's exports.

And our exports increased a little bit,

so we're running, rather than 36,

we're about 31% below last year's level,

so we're just in there.

They also raised Russian exports 55 million bushels.

Course now to do that, they raised Russian beginning stocks

by about 37, and lowered Russian ending stocks

by about 19 million bushels.

>>> So with those adjustments in there,

does that make it good or bad news?

>>> Well, yes, it does.

There's a little bit of both in there.

I think the bad news is that

hard red winter wheat exports for the US

are gonna be lower than they were projected earlier,

but again, that's expectations.

A raise in the Russian beginning stocks

of 55 million bushels is more wheat

than we thought they had.

However, if you look at what's going on,

the Russian ending stocks were

436 million bushels last year.

They're projected to be 197 million at the end of this year.

That's 239 million bushels Russia is not gonna have

to export in the 19-20 market year.

And I think that's good news.

Also, Russian exports are well above average.

If they keep up this pace, they're gonna be

through exporting in mid February,

and that's gonna open the market for us.

>>> So, that's the news around the world.

Is that good news for Oklahoma Ag producers?

>>> I think that's good news that our export demand

should increase late in the year.

I think, also, the good news in those reports is that

the world is gonna use more wheat this year

than we produced last year, we've talked about it before.

So all our quality wheat, we came into this

last year short on protein,

we're gonna come into next year short on protein.

The market is gonna need a high quality protein wheat

come June 1, and if we deliver it,

we're gonna get a good price for it.

>>> So putting all that effort into last crop

is starting to pay off for this crop, and potentially,

the effort could pay off for the next one?

>>> I think so, and also, you can put in there

with Russian ending stocks so low,

and the crop condition of their crop right now

is not as good as it was last year,

and there are also some reports that they have less acres.

If they lose a crop, we're primed and ready

for significantly higher prices.

>>> Okay, thank you much, Kim Anderson,

hopefully we open that present soon.

Kim Anderson, Grain Marketing Specialist

here at Oklahoma State University.


The nitrogen cycle

>>> The one plant-essential nutrient I talk about

more than any other nutrient is nitrogen,

and in my soil fertility class,

the students have to memorize the nitrogen cycle.

Thought I'd take a little bit of time today

to work through some of the components,

so when you see me on SUNUP,

talking about the nitrogen cycle,

you have a better idea of what we're going through.

So, when the students are in class, working on

memorizing this nitrogen cycle,

we go through a couple steps.

One thing that we always start off with

is the central component.

So the central component is what everything operates around,

and that, for nitrogen, is organic matter.

We say organic matter is the central component

because everything operates around it.

In organic matter, there's a lotta nitrogen.

So, nitrogen coming out of organic matter

can really contribute to the system,

and nitrogen also goes into organic matter,

removing it from the plant availability of the system.

So, also in the nitrogen cycle,

so we have the one central component,

we have three primary nitrogen sinks.

So, one of the nitrogen sinks is the nitrate pool, so NO3.

This is the plant available pool that's sitting there

where we have a big reserve of nitrogen.

Up here, up top, we have atmosphere.

The atmosphere is a huge pool of nitrogen.

It contains a significant amount of diatomic nitrogen,

and so it is the largest pool that we have.

The third pool, so remember, one central component,

three sinks, is the microbial and plant,

so microbes in plants.

The living microbes in living plants contain

a significant amount of nitrogen in 'em.

So we have our one central component, three nitrogen sinks,

then, in addition to that, we also have our loss pathways.

We go one central component, three sinks,

and now we have four loss pathways

that all these students learn about.

We go from nitrate, with nitrate,

we have the leaching pathway.

With leaching, that is water moving down

and carrying nitrate with it.

From nitrate, we have a couple other pathways.

One here, we bring it up this way,

and this one is our denitrification.

Denitrification is when nitrate sitting there in the soil

becomes anaerobic or basically, it has water,

it is sitting in water, so there's a lack of oxygen.

The oxygen is pulled from nitrate, and it turns into

nitrogen gas, and so we have a loss pathway

going up this way of denitrification.

We also have another pathway that's not just a loss,

but we have nitrogen coming up here, when we draw this out,

and nitrogen from nitrate turns into ammonium.

The ammonium's taken up into the plant,

so we have the ammonium into the plant

as form of amino acids,

but we have plant loss as one of our pathways.

This is one of those loss pathways

that a lot of people don't think about,

because the ammonia accumulating in a plant

when the conditions are hot and dry,

that NH4 actually becomes toxic

when the plant is lacking water,

so the plant is drawing it down, and it becomes ammonia,

so the plants can gas off ammonia.

In a hot, dry season, at around flag leaf for winter wheat,

if it gets really hot and really dry,

we can lose an upwards of 20 to 30 pounds

of ammonia gas through the leaf alone.

So now, we have one, two, three of our loss pathways.

Over here, we have another pathway that is ammonia loss.

This is actually NH4, or NH3, being volatilized,

so ammonia volatilization, and that's our fourth pathway.

To get there, though, it's coming off of...

We have NH4 setting right here in the system,

and in a hot, dry environment,

NH4, when it's hot, when it's dry, that ammonia actually has

a H stripped off of it, turned to NH3 gas.

Now you ask if we gotta ammonia sitting out all over there,

how do we get ammonia over there?

In this part of the nitrogen cycle, we have organic matter,

have nitrogen as organic nitrogen,

which is RNH2, it's what we look at as organic nitrogen.

It's converted through a process

called mineralization into NH4.

Now when it's in the NH4 form,

we can have it as going up in the gas,

or being held onto the soil, CEC.

That is the exchange site, so I say ammonium, NH4,

is a immobile nutrient because it's positive,

it's holding onto the negative cation-exchange charge.

So we have this organic matter going over there.

Organic matter is also going into

the nitrate pool, so it's for mineralization,

we have nitrogen going nitrate, and we also have nitrate

being converted back to organic matter.

Now, our plants and microbes are taking up

nitrate into the systems.

They're also taking up ammonium, so they're absorbing.

Plants and microbes are eating ammonium, or taking it up,

and the plant and microbes, when they die, guess what.

They go into organic matter, so now you start seeing

all the stuff start circle together.

On this side, we still have to get this NH4,

has one more loop that's going this way.

So NH4, coming down, we have the conversion.

We call it nitrification, that's when we turn NH4,

that immobile nutrient, into nitrate,

and we use bacteria, bacteria's used to do it,

so bacteria's breaking down NH4

and turning NO3 through nitrification.

Those bacteria, nitrosomonas, and nitrobacter,

convert, they strip the hydrogen off,

and basically add oxygen to it, turning it into nitrate.

So we have our central component,

our three pools, so we have our nitrate,

microbial plant, and atmosphere.

We have our volatilization going up here.

We also have the denitrification going in here,

adding more nitrogen to the atmosphere.

And of course, so we have everything in here,

the one thing we have left is additions.

So there's additions to the system,

not just due to the microbial plants dying.

We have lightning,

and rainfall is contributing to the system.

Every time it rains, or every time it has lightning,

we add nitrogen to the system.

We also have the industrial fixation, through different

manufacturing processes, we create nitrogen,

and have that in the system.

Then, of course, we have fertilization.

So farmers applying fertilizer to the soil

adds nitrogen to the system.

So this is kind of a brief rundown of the nitrogen cycle.

The importance to producers are if you understand

what is happening to nitrogen, either because of rainfall,

because of cold weather, because of the addition or removal

of organic matter, you have a better understanding

of what's going on in the field,

like what we saw this fall when we had so much rainfall

occurring in much of our wheat ground.

To see the full nitrogen cycle that my students have

to reproduce in class on a blank sheet of paper,

check out the SUNUP website at

(calm, upbeat music)


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

Remember you can find us anytime 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.

(calm, upbeat music)


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