May 2022 CVCA Newslettter
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Catawba Valley Cattlemen’s Association
(Talk & learn on the 2nd Tuesday of each month)
This month’s meeting is on Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., May 10, 2022.
Meet at Piedmont Jerseys Dairy: 4399 Ritchie Rd, Lincolnton, NC
5:30 p.m. -6:15 Eat a hamburger and chips. (Park and eat at the machinery shed just beyond the Blue Harvester Silo.)
Bring your lawn chair if you wish.
6:15 p.m. Tour Creamery and eat ice cream. (For the tour, Booties and Head – Hair Nets are provided and are required)
6:55 p.m. Eat ice cream and have Business Meeting: Mr. Tyler Lutz, President and Dr. Amanda Whitener, Treasurer .
7:10 p.m. Tour Pastures and Paddocks: Focus on Mr. Corey Lutz Nutrition Program using Forages for the dairy herd. Hay wagon will be provided for a load of guys so walking will be minimal.
Speaker: Mr. Corey Lutz, Owner
8:15 p.m. — Meeting adjourned.
Ø Cattlemen serving on the scholarship interview team be prepared to spend some time doing interviews. I am now working on getting this done on Thursday, May 12.
Ø Voluntary Ag District Board(VAD) Board Members Needed – we are looking for farmers that are interested in serving on the VAD. These board members are appointed by the Board of Commissioners but interested farmers that are appropriate will be recommended to the BOC. We are looking for members that are interested in working towards stronger farmland preservation in Catawba County. All persons interested are encouraged to apply. We are hopeful to have new and older generations of farmers represented on the board. Interested parties should contact George Place – 465-8247 or email@example.com.
There is no question that profit is a motivating factor for all of us. We all need to generate enough revenue to pay our production costs including labor, capitol (equipment), fertilizer, feed, animal health costs, and then have a little left over to reward us for the mental energy we put into managing our system.
Haying is one of the most expensive activities we undertake on livestock farms, and when you figure the real cost of hay and then include storage cost and waste, and feeding cost and waste, the cost of the hay a cow, goat or horse swallows is extremely high. NCSU research done with extending the grazing season for beef cattle for the last 3 years has shown that savings per cow is over $1 per day for each day that you extend the grazing season. Furthermore, the improved manure distribution you achieve reduces your fertilizer needs, and improves yields in the following grazing season.
The nutritional quality of grazed forage at NCSU Research Farms has been much better than the hay available on those farms, reducing the need for costly supplementation with energy and protein supplements.
Animal well-being is becoming more and more important in the eyes of consumers. Livestock that spend the winter in concentrated feeding areas face nutritional challenges because of hay quality, while livestock out on well-managed pasture are able to obtain forage that meets their nutritional needs, keeping them in generally better body condition.
Good pasture management including rotational grazing improves temperament of the animals and they have a much lower stress level than livestock that are left to roam and mostly see the farmer in the cab of a truck or on a tractor. Folks are always amazed at how tame and calm cattle are once they get use to rotational grazing. Usually the cattle patiently await the grass they know is coming and then peacefully graze while folks walk among them discussing body condition, forage quality and how beneficial it is to have gentle cows.
Moving livestock frequently also gives the farmer the opportunity to check them closely and observe health problems when they first present themselves. Common diseases such as eye infections, lameness, etc., are easily resolved if treated early, but can become big problems if they are allowed to develop over several weeks.
Improving your grazing management does many things to improve the environment. Not only does it reduce the messy winter feeding areas, it also improves soil health which improves water infiltration, which in turn improves water quality. Improving recycling of nutrients from improved water distribution not only reduces your fertilizer needs, it also does a lot to reduce the runoff of nutrients. Maintaining healthy soil will be more and more important on a worldwide basis. Increasing organic matter means sequestering more carbon which will have future environmental benefits. It also makes for improved earthworm populations, improved soil microbial populations, healthier and more deeply rooted plants, and as a result improved drought resilience.
We will meet at the Piedmont Jerseys Dairy Farm and Riverbend Creamery which are managed by Corey Lutz’s family. Corey Lutz grew up on a dairy farm south of Hickory on Startown Rd. His ancestors have farmed in the Startown area since the 1700s. He graduated from NCSU in the 1980’s. The tour will focus on two areas. Corey has perfected the use of forages to maintain a high producing dairy herd along with feeding high quality corn silage. Dairy animals grazing in the pastures appeal to the public as well. Corey has just built a creamery to sell milk products straight from the farm. We will get a chance to observe the many biosecurity regulations he has to follow while tasting some high quality ice-cream. Then we will tour the pastures to see how he uses in-season forages to graze dairy cows all year around using cereal rye in late fall, ryegrass in early spring, and alfalfa the rest of the warm months. In the heat of the summer alfalfa is grazed at night while during the day, the cows eat crabgrass or BMR Sudex during the hot summer days. Depending on the quality of the forage, 230 dairy cows graze on ¾ to 4 acres of forage for half a day. After each milking they are moved on to a new paddock of forage. Forages are an important part of the Piedmont Jerseys Dairy Farm.