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Transcript for February 16, 2019

Transcript to come.

This show includes the following segments: 

  • OSU Research Week
  • Controlling horn flies with prescribed burns
  • Cow-Calf Corner
  • Researching feed efficiency in angus/hereford crosses
  • Livestock Marketing
  • Mesonet Weather
  • Market Monitor
  • Eastern red cedar & watershed


(soft music)


OSU Research Week

>>> Hello everyone and welcome to SUNUP.

I'm Lyndall Stout.

To celebrate Research Week at Oklahoma State University,

we are proud to join you today

from the historic Magruder Plots where the first professor

of agriculture at then Oklahoma A&M

carried out the state's earliest studies.

It's also the oldest continuous soil fertility

wheat experiment west of the Mississippi.

To begin the research conversation,

here's Keith Owens who oversees

the Oklahoma agricultural experiment station.


>>> Research within the land grant is essential.

Cooperative extension service helps convey

the research results to producers and to citizens.

We have to understand why things are happening

before we can start managing how things are happening.

Without us doing the research,

there is no new information to convey.

We have research and extension centers across the state

because the state is so diverse in terms of soils,

in terms of climate.

Our research station in the panhandle focused largely

on irrigation efficiency since it's dependent upon

the Ogallala aquifer.

A research station down in Idabel is more forestry related

so it's important that we do research in the region

of the state where it's appropriate for that commodity.

We've been trying to emphasize

is involving undergraduates in research.

So we have a number of programs

to help undergraduate students get into research.

Cause we want students to get involved early,

we want them to enjoy research,

we want them to be thrilled by research.

You know and a curious person will learn

and they'll keep learning.


Controlling horn flies with prescribed burns

>>> To the pasture now

and research on a land management approach

that may reduce parasites in cattle.

>>> So horn flies really affect cattle in general.

They are in beef cows specifically, they cause stress.

Of course and that stress causes reduced production.

So reduced production such as lower milk yields

for their calves and in turn we have lower weaning weights

on our calves.

>>> Horn flies are one of the most important

external parasites that can occur in beef cattle operations.

So in the adult stage, horn flies are actually taking

a blood meal so they're feeding on the animals

and actually feeding on the animals multiple times.

Research studies have shown that horn flies can feed

up to 30 to 35 different times throughout a day.

That's taking 30 different blood meals

throughout that single day.

The other impact is that because there's so many of them

on one animal we can usually average

anywhere from 500 to 1,000 horn flies on our animals

in Oklahoma anywhere from June through October.

You multiply that feeding behavior by 500 to 1,000

and that's a lot of stress to that animal.

Yeah we've had numerous research projects

where we look at horn flies' impacts to the beef system.

One particular thing that we've done is look

at how a common forage management technique

of burning pastures can actually reduce horn fly numbers.

We were able to go out and look at different animal groups

on different burning regiments.

And so essentially you have some that were considered

patch burning so they only burn a third of the pasture

or small portions of that pasture

and then they also compared that to traditional burning

so burning the whole pasture every three years.

We think fire's involved in a two part system

in reducing the number of flies.

One, it's modifying the animal's behavior

and so it's fire driven grazing.

So essentially an animal's gonna go and graze

on that new lush patch after say, a spring burn.

And then the other thing is it's about fecal distribution

and so what we see, we see maybe more condensed fecal pats

in a particular area but it's on a higher nutrient plain

and we also know through previous research that animals

on a higher nutrient plain doesn't support

horn fly development because of the kind of microbes

that are in the manure.

And then the second part to that is actually

burning the fecal pats in the springtime.

We're actually killing flies that are overwintering

in those fecal pats.

If you use patch burning specifically,

you reduce the amount of horn flies by 40 percent

without any kind of insecticide.

So, when we look at patch burning

we're looking at this as an integrated approach,

because we see a lot of good products out there

that we get comments back that say

we don't think that works anymore.

We don't think that's necessarily the case,

it's about how long it works.

>>> Producers struggle with horn fly control

and trying to pick a method that works best for them.

I hear that producers say it doesn't work,

it can be expensive,

but I think if we provide some education,

we can show producers maybe different methodology.

>>> And so, what we wanna do is try to

integrate some of these pasture based management tools,

such as burning, into some of our common insecticide use.

And so, when we look at horn fly season,

we're looking at the patch burning reducing

that initial fly load, so you start off at a lower level,

but then incorporating some kind of insecticide

treatment to treat the population later on,

when you're gonna actually have more horn flies.

So, when we look at research and extension,

we're here looking at this as a broad scale team approach.

We have team members from

Natural Resource College of Management,

we have team members from ag economics,

of course team members from animal science,

as well as a specialist out in the field

that are in our extension system area level.

(country music)


Cow-Calf Corner

>>> As we go through this calving season,

or any calving season,

there'll be that cow or heifer that needs our assistance.

And, as we eventually get that calf delivered on the ground,

it's really really important that we get that

calf started breathing as soon as possible.

You see every calf born, whether we assist them,

or whether they're born unassisted,

has some degree of what we call respiratory acidosis.

And that's just because of going through the birth canal,

the umbilical cord has been clamped off occasionally

during the contractions.

And that's why we have this situation where

the calf, when it's first born,

has a buildup of a carbon dioxide in its byproducts

and it's trying to get rid of that as fast as possible.

That calf has to breathe,

get oxygen in, carbon dioxide out

as soon as possible to be a healthy, normal calf.

This is especially an important situation

if we're delivering a backwards calf.

The one where the back feet are coming first,

and the calf's head is still inside the womb of the mother,

and of course surrounded by fluids,

that calf has to be delivered very quickly

as we've talked about before.

Once it's delivered, we want to get the calf breathing

as soon as possible.

First of all, we want to remove any of the mucus or

fluids that are still covering the mouth

and the nostrils of that baby calf.

I would do that manually with your hand,

or maybe if you have a suction bulb handy,

that can be helpful as well.

What I would not suggest is holding up the calf

by its hind legs, trying to allow fluids to drain out,

or even worse, putting the calf over a pipe rail fence.

We've heard of people doing that thinking

that they're helping the calf by allowing

those fluids to drain, but instead what's happening,

is that we're pinching off the diaphragm muscle.

That's the muscle that, when it's contracted,

allows the lungs to expand.

If we've got that calf hanging by his hind legs

over that pipe rail fence,

that diaphragm muscle can't move,

and therefore the calf can't start breathing.

What I much rather suggest you do,

in the case of that you wanna get started breathing

as soon as you've delivered it,

is to grab a real stiff kind of a straw and go ahead

and poke that calf pretty briskly in the nostrils,

you'll see that calf will begin to snort and cough,

when he does, then he's moving that diaphragm muscle,

expanding the lungs, getting oxygen into those lungs,

and that in turn well help him start to breathe.

Do that, and I think what you'll see

is that calf will begin to pant

because it's trying to correct its blood gases

because of that acidosis we've talked about

and it's very normal for that calf to breathe

very very rapidly for several minutes.

Now we've got that calf off and running to

where he's got a better chance of surviving

not only the birth process,

but through its first few weeks of life.

Keep that tip in mind,

go ahead and grab a straw

and briskly touch the nostrils of that calf

and I think you'll do a lot better job at getting

him started breathing as soon as you can.

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

on Sun Ups Cow-Calf Corner.


Researching feed efficiency in angus/hereford crosses

>>> Also on the subject of livestock,

extension beef cattle specialist Dave Lalman

explains the study underway

on breeding cattle for better feed efficiency,

while also maintaining body condition.

>>> One of the things we've been working on

the last few years are just factors

that influence cow efficiency.

One aspect of that we decided to look at this last year

was the impact of cross-breeding system

compared to straight-bred animals.

We chose to look at the differences between

straight-bred Angus cattle and what most of the industry

thinks of as "Black Baldy" cows,

or Hereford/Angus cross-breds.

There's not much data published recently

on feed or forage intake of cross-bred animals

compared to straight-bred animals,

so in the project that we did this last year,

for a number of years we've been breeding our cows

about half of the cow herd is straight-bred Angus cows,

and about half of the cow herd is Hereford/Angus cross.

So "Black Baldy" sired by Hereford bulls.

There's two phases to the research that we've done.

We've looked at maintenance energy requirements,

and then we've also looked at voluntary feed intake.

So if you just turn the cow out on a pasture,

how much feed will she consume?

One factor that would help with cow efficiency

would be cows that are easy fleshing,

or maintain their body condition better.

And if they're able to do that

while consuming fewer nutrients,

obviously it's a big advantage in terms of cow efficiency.

In our study, in fact, the Hereford/Angus cows or the

"Black Baldy" cows did have better body condition score

when we started the experiment.

They're about 3/10 of one body condition score unit higher.

And then when we went through the second phase

of the project for voluntary feed intake,

they were about 6/10 of a body condition score higher

compared to the straight-bred Angus cow.

So it's an indication that they're better able

to store feed energy.

But at the same time, the interesting thing is

that they consumed a little bit less feed,

and by a little bit it was just under two pounds less

per head per day of we'll say a moderate quality forage.

And so if you put that on an annual basis,

it wound up being about 725 lbs

less forage consumed in a year.

Now if you put that on a stocking-rate basis,

and if you're in country,

let's say native range land country,

some of the more productive native range land in Oklahoma

might produce around 3,000 lbs of forage per acre,

but our range land ecologists tell us

that we need to try to consume only about 25% of that.

Well, 25% of 3,000 is about 750 lbs.

So in other words, the cross-bred cows

you should be able to maintain them with one acre

per cow less or lower stocking rate.

The improvement you get in fertility and longevity

is still viable in cross-bred animals.

And so it's not a free lunch in the cattle industry,

but it's as close to a free lunch as you're gonna get.

So it is a tremendous impact

just by using a different breed.


Livestock Marketing

>>> Well Derrell, we just heard from Dave Lalman

about some of the research that they do

in breeding of cattle, but there's a lot of research

at Ag Economics doing to the cattle markets as well.

>>> Absolutely, I get involved

in a lot of fairly applied work.

We look at obviously the market impacts,

the things like the OQBN sales,

a lot of work on price relationships in cattle markets

that really drive what stocker/producers do.

We've got survey-based work that we've done

to understand what producers do, what they can do,

why they do what they do, that sort of thing.

We've got a stocker survey that we've done,

as well as a cow/calf survey.

We've got some feed lot work where we're trying

to understand some of the economic issues

related to feed lot management.

So just a wide range of applied research relative to that.

>>> Why is it important for what you do,

as opposed to relying on other research out there,

actually getting boots on the ground and doing it?

>>> Well, I think it's important for a couple reasons.

Every place is a little bit different.

So conditions in Oklahoma are different.

Our stocker industry is a really good example

of something that plays a fairly big role nationwide,

and yet what we do in the Southern Plains

and in Oklahoma particularly is quite unique.

So our wheat pasture grazing in the wintertime

is something that really only happens

in this part of the country.

And yet, those market impacts really affect

feeder cattle prices at that time of the year

all across the country.

So it's very important for us to do that kind of research

and contribute not only for Oklahoma producers,

but really to the broader cattle markets in general.

>>> Switching gears a little bit,

the USDA just released some reports in summarizing 2018,

what was in some of those reports?

Well you know, the data that we got recently

was more oriented towards the crop side of things,

so we're looking at it

from a feed market perspective.

USDA did confirm about a 14.4 billion

bushel corn crop in 2018,

that's the third largest.

It was down slightly from a year ago,

but still a very large number.

Carryover stocks are projected

at the end of this marketing year

to be a little bit down from last year,

but still fairly large,

and the upshot of it is that you know,

the cattle industry, and livestock industries in general,

will not see major increases,

there may be a slight increase in corn prices.

Soy beans was a record crop,

and of course we've got all kinds of trade issues,

we export a lot of those soy beans,

and we're not doing that now,

so, we've got huge carryover stocks projected

on the protein feed side,

so again, livestock industries,

the bottom line is I think we're not

going to see a lot of feed market impact.

So, we should have adequate supplies

of both concentrate and protein feeds

for the livestock industry.

>>> How does all that impact,

say, the cattle markets moving forward?

>>> Well again, producers are trying to figure out

their plans as we go through the year.

So, setting themselves up for forage productions.

So you know, obviously they gotta get through

the winter as the first concern,

but then setting themselves up for forage needs,

that can impact their forage management

going into the next year,

and of course. wheat pasture

plays a role in that as well.

We utilize that forage in the winter,

and some producers will be looking at

whether or not they need to you know,

might be thinking about making hay

out of some of that wheat crop at the end of the year.

>>> This time last year,

we were still kind of green, still kind of wet,

because we did have the moisture,

but then it dried out,

and wild fire played a role across Oklahoma.

There were producers that lost livestock

in the wildfires of western Oklahoma.

How are we setting up this year?

>>> [Derrell] I think in general, it's important

for producers to think about, you know,

we are coming into the biggest part

of our wildfire season,

are there things you can do to be

as prepared as you can?

Obviously, everybody's trying to watch

and be vigilant, is probably the biggest thing,

but you know, are there things you need to do

relative to managing, for example,

your hay inventories, think about where there's

maybe some green wheat fields next to

where you've got cattle right now

that they could be run out onto a green field

to get them away from a wild fire.

So, as much as you can prepare ahead of time,

we hope it doesn't happen,

but it's almost inevitable

that we're gonna see some wildfires

in the next six weeks, or so.

>>> Okay, thank you much, Derrell Peel,

livestock marketing specialist,

here at Oklahoma State University.

(upbeat music)


Mesonet Weather

>>> Hi, Wes Lee with the

weekly Mesonet weather report.

This past week marked the first time

we had to worry about wildfire

danger in quite a while.

Wet conditions last fall and into winter

made fire concerns almost non existent.

Recently, dry conditions out west

along with low humidity, and high winds

brought elevated, and even critical conditions

to the western tier of counties,

and the pan handle on Wednesday and Thursday.

Fire can be a two sided story on pasture and range.

Uncontrolled wildfires can be devastating to ranches,

while on the other hand, a prescribed fire

with the right conditions, can be one of the most

valuable tools a producer has to utilize.

Conditions a year ago were not

very conducive to a prescribed fire.

This map from March of 2017 shows just how

dry the soil was in the western two thirds of the state.

Fast forward to this year, we see soil moisture

levels in much better shape in most areas.

If a prescribed fire is something you're interested in,

Mesonet's Fire Prescription Planner tool

could prove very useful.

With it, you can select certain weather perimeters

to help conduct a successful prescribed fire.

Now, here's Gary with more on

rainfall and forecast information.

>>> Thanks Wes, and good morning everyone.

While we continue to watch

that dry weather out to our west,

things are getting a little bit more serious,

nothing to panic about just yet,

and I might have some good news for you,

but first, let's take a look

at the latest drought monitor report.

We see in the far western reaches of Oklahoma,

no drought just yet, but we are continuing

to watch that area, as I said, pretty closely.

Especially down on the far

southwestern parts of the state.

When you take a look at the consecutive days

without at least a quarter inch

of rain falling on any day,

each week that I show you this map,

we just add seven days to it

out there in the west.

We're now up to nearly 50 days

down in southwest Oklahoma,

and also out in the pan handle,

and over a month in other areas.

So again, this is the area we're watching

for drought development.

Like I said though, nothing to panic about just yet.

I think one of the things that stopped us

from having a full-blown drought episode so far,

with this recent dryness, is just how wet we were

dating back to early fall.

We can go back to the beginning

of the water year, October 1st,

again, this departure from normal rainfall map

from the Mesonet, we can see much of the state

at least an inch above normal,

only one station below normal,

but some areas are five to even more

than 10 inches above normal.

So, really good moisture supply

all the way back to October first.

And again, I think that's why

we don't have the horrible drought conditions

that we've seen over the last few winters.

Now, for the good news.

Well, partially good news,

it depends on what kind of weather you like.

This is the outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

For next week, we see increased odds

of below normal temperatures

across much of the United States,

but especially the western half of the US.

Down into Oklahoma as well,

but I think that's probably good or bad news

depending on your perspective.

But the good news, I think, for everybody

will be for precipitation for next week.

We do see increased odds

of above normal precipitation across the entire state,

but especially in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

That's it, for this time.

We'll see you next time, on the Mesonet Weather Report.


Market Monitor

>>> Well, the WADSE report came out, and Kim,

what's going on in the wheat markets?

>>> Well, that report basically said that we were expecting

slightly higher US ending stocks for wheat,

slightly lower ending stocks for the world,

so nothing going on there.

You've got Ukraine, Russia, the Black Sea area,

they've got a limited amount of wheat

to sell on the export market.

We hadn't seen them on the market the last week or so.

You've had Egypt coming in and buying some US wheat,

and then of course you've got the Planet Intentions report

that came out that showed that winter wheat plantings

were down overall,

with hard red winter wheat planted acres less,

especially in Oklahoma and Kansas.

>>> What's going on with wheat prices?

>>> Well, if you look at wheat prices,

you'd expect this with Russian, Black Sea area

running out of wheat that our prices would go up

but we're not into March or April time period yet,

we've got some hope out there.

But basically, hard red winter wheat prices

have been trending lightly lower.

>>> So last week you said that the exports

in the Black Sea region would impact wheat prices

here positively in the states.

What's going on with that?

>>> We just don't see that demand,

and the demand we see is for the soft red winter wheat

rather than the hard red winter wheat.

Also Russia got that wheat out,

and they're still shipping it.

They're not selling it, but they're still shipping it

and so its probably going to be the March-April-May

time period before we see demand pick up for US wheat.

>>> And Egypt also got in the mix, but there was a little...

They were maybe buying a different type of wheat

than what we were wanting them to.

>>> Right, they bought that soft red winter wheat,

and I think they did that because they've been buying

that Russian-Ukrainian hard red winter wheat

and hard red spring wheat with relatively high protein.

I think they're buying that soft red so they can blend it

to get that protein level down

for some of their flours.

>>> So with all of that, what's it gonna take

for wheat prices to come up?

>>> What it's gonna take for prices to come up,

is export demand for hard red winter wheat.

Right now, I think the markets saying we probably won't

see that until we get out into the April may time period,

and it may be harvest before we see better prices,

when the market sees what the test weight

and what the protein.

You've gotta have test weight and protein

to get into this market.

>>> Alrighty, thanks Kim.

Kim Anderson, grain marketing specialist here

at Oklahoma State University.


Eastern red cedar & watershed

>>> Finally today, the ongoing topic of managing

Eastern red cedar in Oklahoma.

SUNUP's Ed Baron revisits a research study

that looks into how removing red cedar

can impact the watershed.

>>> [Rodney Will] Eastern red cedar encroachment

into grasslands is a huge issue in Oklahoma

in the great plains.

One of the big impacts is that red cedar uses more water

than does native range land,

which means there's less water available

for agriculture and other uses.

We've been researching what happens

when you cut down red cedar and plant switchgrass

in terms of productivity

and then also water yield to streams.

We're conducting the research at the watershed scale.

>>> [Chris Zou] Watershed is a pretty standard approach

in understanding the water yield or runoff

in a given landscape.

So the watershed, it is basically if you have a location,

such as here, this low point,

that means more water from that given location

will eventually come to this point,

to be able to quantify how many water

coming out of this watershed.

>>> [Ed Baron] But how much water does

a red cedar tree actually use?

>>> It's a really tough question,

because it depends on tree size,

the amount of leaf area,

how wet the soil water is.

We did some calculations and a big cedar,

on a really wet soil period, with a hot dry long day,

it can use up to 50 gallons.

>>> [Chris Zou] Of course it depend the size of cedar.

Depend whether it's stand alone,

or it is growing in a woodland,

and also depend whether there is water available

for the cedar tree to use.

So average for a cedar tree, for this size in particular,

we did measure before the tree was cut,

it used somewhere around five, six gallon per day.

Before the treatment, the runoff from this [inaudible]

are pretty small, and after we cut the cedar,

the runoff increase about is about 300%.

>>> [Ed Baron] And all that water could be going to places

that really need it.

>>> The runoff from this landscape are limited.

However, those runoff are important for stream,

or for reservoir.

Because human need this water,

also wild life, fish that needs this water.

This encroachment by Eastern cedar,

we saw the reduction of the runoff.

We may have less water available for human use

or for wildlife.

>>> [Rodney Will] I guess what it emphasizes is for societal benefit,

getting rid of red cedar in the landscape

will increase water yield to streams.

And that's important for all Oklahomans

who take advantage of water that flows to streams

and eventually into reservoirs.

In terms of cattle production,

when you look at the native prairie you can see

the forage production that would happen

with no intervention,

and then obviously the ability to plant native grasses

there as well.

>>> [Ed Baron] In Payne county, I'm Ed Baron.


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

Remember you can find us anytime online

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 guitar music)

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