Selecting the right nitrogen source when fertilizing pastures and hayfields has always been important in nitrogen use efficiency. For many years we have had the option of using either urea or ammonium nitrate as the nitrogen source in our fertilizers. A basic recommendation was to use urea in spring, but use ammonium nitrate in summer and early fall. Urea was usually cheaper, but more prone to nitrogen loss due to volatilization, which occurs in hot weather with limited rainfall.
I have provided a number of tips and pointers on how to best establish and manage native grass forages over the past two years in this space. I want to switch gears and talk about why we might want to consider using native grasses in a forage program. Although there are many reasons to consider using native grasses, I want to focus on their role in a stockering and/or backgrounding program.
“Doctor, there’s a veterinarian on the line who wants to talk to you about some blisters he’s seeing in a group of pigs.” That doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? But if you are a regulatory veterinarian – tasked with protecting animal populations from incursions of serious diseases – this is the call you dread taking.
Taking a cue from what is known about improving human health through the use of soy and other bioactives, new research at the University of Illinois has found that increasing concentrations of soybean meal (SBM) in the diets of weanling pigs, above industry standards, may be beneficial for pigs that are infected with the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus.