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Farm & Ranch

Ag Elsewhere: Wyoming

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By Tressa Lawrence

May you find yourselves bedded down and cozy this February!

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Farm & Ranch

Grass Tetany (Hypomagnesemia)

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By Barry Whitworth, DVM

With spring approaching, producers should be aware of a disease associated with rapidly growing forages. Hypomagnesemia is commonly referred to as grass tetany. The disease is a serious and often fatal metabolic disease that occurs in cattle and less commonly in sheep and goats. The disease is characterized by low blood and cerebral spinal fluid levels of magnesium.
Low level of magnesium in animals is associated with tetanic convulsions. The disease is often associated with grazing lush green pastures during cold rainy weather in early spring. Other names for hypomagnesemia are grass staggers, hypomagnesmic tetany, lactation tetany, or wheat pasture poisoning.

Magnesium is an important mineral because it activates many enzymes in chemical reactions in the body. Without this mineral, cells are unable to produce energy, transport genetic information, transport materials across cell membranes, and nerves cease to respond in a normal manner. Magnesium also plays a role in electrolyte balances in the body.

Maintaining magnesium levels requires adequate daily intake to meet the needs of the animal. Factors that increase magnesium requirements are fetal growth during pregnancy, milk production, soft tissue growth, and bone growth. Failure to absorb magnesium may lower blood levels as well.

To read more, pick up a copy of the February 2024 issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Farm & Ranch

Ag Elsewhere: Montana

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By Lindsey Monk

Hope someone is whispering sweet nothings in your ear this Valentine’s Day!

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Farm & Ranch

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch….

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By Rayford Pullen | [email protected]

It looks as though this winter will be a repeat of the past two winters regarding hay supplies. Several have asked me if we have enough hay to make it through the winter and my standard reply is, “Ask me again in the middle of March.” One of the biggest snows I’ve seen occurred the first week of March when we certainly needed to feed hay and cubes but were unable to get through the gates due to the large snow drifts. So, check back in with me about the hay situation around our place in the middle of March.

As of this writing, the cattle market appears to be holding its own this year. With the cost of running a cow year-round running about $930, and assuming you have a 90 percent calf crop, for every calf you sell, you have more than $1,000 in feeding costs alone, so the market needs to keep pace with our overhead plus room for a profit.

To read more, pick up a copy of the February 2024 issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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