Amazing Facts

Grain/Feed

Did you know ... On July 1, 1996, the beef cow inventory was 36.6 million head, down from 36.1 million in 1995, marking the first decline in 6 years? USDA forecasts 1996 winter wheat yields on harvested acres at 37 bushels per acre, down 2% from 1995 for a 4th consecutive year of decline. Global rice production and consumption are projected to reach records for the 3rd year in a row at 376.5 million tons. These and other agricultural statistical reports are available automatically via e-mail from the USDA. Ask us for details.

Grazing/Forage

Did you know ... Cool season forages don’t show noticeable growth until average temperatures exceed 52F? “Summer Slump” is a phenomena that occurs when cool-season grass growth declines even when moisture is readily available. What causes it? Temperature. Growth rates increase until reaching an optimal temperature of 63F. As average temperatures rise above 63F, growth rates decline. Additionally, TDN levels decline as temperatures increase in the Spring until reaching a low in early August. They then return to the high levels seen in the Spring as temperatures cool in the Fall.

… Penn State has a number of excellent forage and intensive grazing resource publications? To get a list of all the publications, contact Marvin Hall- Fax: 1-814-0863-7043 or e-mail: mhh2@psuvm.psu.edu.

Here’s another valuable resource from Wisconsin: Pastures For Profit, A Guide to Rotational Grazing! Publication #A3529. Call Extension Publications at 608-262-3346 for your copy.

… Pastures can provide 100 lbs of TDN (total digestible nutrients) for half the cost of alfalfa, a quarter of the cost of corn silage, and a fifth of the cost of grain; while providing 2-3 times the crude protein levels of corn silage with comparable net energy for lactation? This according to Darrell L. Emmick.

Milk, Dairy, Beef

Did you know ... More people in the world drink goat milk than cow milk? Although in the US the opposite is true. Goat milk is similar nutritionally to cow milk, but contains smaller fat globules. As a consequence, it is easier for some people to digest and does not require homogenization.

… The American hamburger was first introduced in 1885 at the Outgamie Country Fair by Charlie Nagreen of Seymour, WI? Popularized at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis and propelling the first hamburger chain - The White Castle in Wichita, KS in 1921. Do you think ol’ Charlie ever imagined chili burgers, turkey burgers, or veggie burgers?

Nitrogen

Did you know... Research is showing that only small amounts of nitrogen are subject to leaching in turfgrass soils? However, significant differences seem to exist between species, and even cultivars, according to recent University of Rhode Island studies. Kentucky bluegrass had the highest leaching levels at 7% of the applied nitrogen. Perennial Ryegrass leached only 2%, while tall fescue leached the lowest amount, 0.8%.

The 2-year study also showed a large variation between tall fescue and perennial ryegrass varieties. Is this an avenue to explore for more “environmentally friendly” marketing? Pick up Grounds Maintenance, June ‘97 issue to find the full story. (Jan. ‘98 Did You Know Newsletter).

Organizations

Did you know... the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is looking for ways to partner with the seed industry for improved feed options? Jim Gibb, vice-president of the Center for Quality recently issued a plea for partnership at the ASTA Forage Pasture Committee Meeting. He presented some polling data that showed a growing interest with Beef Cattlemen in improved forage varieties, new grazing grasses, and better grazing management.

We encourage you to contact Jim or your local chapter for ways you can get involved.

Pesticides

Did you know... Pesticides approved and used on turf grasses are in many ways less toxic than foods and medicines we regularly use? If you were to apply the antibiotics streptomycin and ox tetracycline against wilt, you would be required to wear a respirator and protective clothing. Yet your doctor might prescribe these as antibiotics if you have strep-throat or pneumonia! “Banner’s” active ingredients, micosin and miconazol, that would require protection against skin exposure, are active ingredients for various topical ailments, infections, and rashes. If only they knew! For more info, contact the GCSAA.

Ryegrass

Did you know... There are over 250 perennial ryegrass varieties eligible for certified Oregon production... 276 to be exact! Fortunately, only 151 of those are in production. If you think those numbers are high, consider tall fescue... 227 eligible varieties with 162 in production, or Kentucky blue. at 159 eligible/79 in production.

… In 1967 less than 10 varieties of perennial ryegrass were available? You could choose from Barenza, Game, Linn, Manhatten, NK-100, Norlea, and Pelo. Now almost 200 varieties are in the national trials! You can count on Ampac to provide you with a well-balanced range of proprietaries. We promise you won’t need to choose from 200+ varieties! Furthermore, every variety comes with the Ampac Integrity and Excellence - intangibles that make the difference! (In case you’d like to memorize such lists of information, you can get your own copy of the US Turf-grass Variety List from the National Turfgrass Federation, Inc. in Beltsville, MD.).

Seed Establishment

Did you know... It takes 100 growing degree days per each leaf of a grass plant for establishment? The plant itself is fully established when three leaves have fully emerged. Sequential to the emergence of the third leaf is the emergence of the first tiller from the base of the first leaf. The surprising news is that this pattern is true of all grasses! This and other intriguing grass facts were recently presented by Tom Chastain, Seed Crop Physiologist at Oregon State University. His studies have also found that the ability of a plant to persist depends on its capacity to replace dead tillers, as tillers are short-lived. This probably explains why grasses that are profuse tiller producers are more persistent.

Tall Fescue

Did you know... There are over 187 turf-type and 39 forage-type tall fescues approved for use in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia? According to William Cook of the Penn. State Seed Lab, this list is not even complete as new varieties are constantly being released. And to think that this all started with K-31!