CVA teams up with Skyline Ranches for the 2018 Jingle Bell Ride
Nov 19, 2018

  The Holiday season is here and the CVA feed team is excited to team up with Skyline Ranches on their 3rd annual Jingle Bell ride. This event will take place this Sunday, November 25, with gates opening at 9:00 am. Saddle up your horse and plan to leave the park at 10:00 am sharp from the duck pond and begin our journey around the ranch. Dress warm and plan to ride for 1 ½- 2 hours with a short break during the ride. This is a family event and there will be contests for the best dressed horse, rider and child. Each year a non-profit organization is chosen to benefit, plus non-perishable food and clothing will be accepted from riders. If someone would like to watch the event, they are also encouraged to bring a donation. The Omaha Open Door Mission is where donations will go this year.

Forgiving our Fall Sins – Compaction Remediation
Nov 15, 2018

The blessings and the curse of fall moisture. On one side, for those of us with Wheat, Alfalfa, or cover crops the moisture that we have received this fall sets us up for great overwintering conditions and good growth next spring. For the rest of us, it was but yet another hurdle to clear in the 2018 growing season. Most all of us, myself included, lost our patience during the end of September and early October with the wet conditions that wouldn’t exit our area. And as soon as we could get back into the field, there we were, mud on the tires, loading trucks on the road, back at it again. We all know of the compaction and soil structure damage that was not only possible, but likely. Even with that information gnawing at the frontal lobe area of our brain, we all collectively made the decision to proceed.

Welcome Justin Fleming, New Certified Energy Specialist
Nov 14, 2018

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you, our valued customer of Central Valley Ag (CVA). My name is Justin Fleming and I am your new Certified Energy Specialist in Kansas. Growing up in the North Central Kansas town of Concordia, I had the opportunity to learn the world of agriculture at an early age. From working the fields and maintaining equipment to fixing fence and working livestock, agriculture has always been an important part of my life. After graduating high school this proved to be the case as I pursued a degree in agronomy and eventually accepted a position within the cooperative where I have enjoyed working the past nine years.

Preparing your Senior Horse for Winter
Nov 12, 2018

The crisp fall air has started to hint at the sting of winter's bitterness quickly approaching, which means it is time to re-evaluate your horse's nutrition program, especially if you have older horses or hard keepers.  Winter is notorious for wreaking havoc on the body condition of older animals. As the temperature drops, a horse's energy requirement will increase to maintain a proper core body warmth. Thus, more energy equals more calories.   Proper planning can help older horses slide through winter in good shape.

Nitrogen – Getting Smarter about our Biggest Investment
Nov 08, 2018

One of the biggest pet peeves that I harbor is when somebody tells me, “Because we have always done it that way!” I really don’t care if it's when one of my kids explaining how they are doing their math, a volunteer group talking about how to organize an event, or – dare I say it – a grower talking about their operation. In all of those cases, there are two factors in play, security, and comfort. Security and comfort ensure that as long as we stay with what we know, we will get “predictable” results that will be satisfactory to us far more often than not. Security and comfort stand between being good and being outstanding. And again, dare I say it, security and comfort sometimes stand between ensuring a year where we turn a profit, and a year where we make some money.

Animal Observation in Swine Barns
Nov 05, 2018

For a pig to reach peak performance, the animal must be comfortable in its environment. Daily walk-throughs of swine facilities are essential to ensure pigs are content and to avoid possible challenges that may develop. Behavioral or physical cues to watch for include changes in sleeping habits, mental status (does the pig look alert or stressed?), body condition, hydration, and appetite.  If you are noticing changes in these areas, always start with a facility check.

New Tech Old Tech: When is it time to update?
Nov 01, 2018

This time of year is always fascinating to me from a technology standpoint, because harvest for me is literally a stroll down memory lane. I have been in Precision Ag for 20 years. In that time, we went from the YM 2000 Yield monitor and a GPS receiver the size of a lunch box to the modern equivalents that have color touch screens and 100 other features. And while most of the tech from 20 years ago is gone, I still see some old tech at use on farms, and it makes me wonder what the viability of that is.

Deworming Cattle this Fall
Oct 30, 2018

Once harvest is over and producers start to think about marketing calves or preg checking cows, a common question I get is "when should we deworm our cattle?" Pour-on dewormers are frequently used on cattle that are being sent through the chute for vaccinations, but did you realize you may be leaving some profit on the table by not using an oral dewormer? Pour-ons require that cattle do not get wet for a few hours after application and it must be evenly distributed on a cow's back for the full benefit.  Thus, administering pour-ons are often more difficult, and maybe be less beneficial, than using an oral dewormer.

Solutions and Problems: Which Came First?
Oct 25, 2018

It seems to me all too often in life, as consumers we are presented with solutions or products that are in search of a problem. This, of course, is counter-intuitive to what we should have, which is a problem in search of a solution. On the surface, these two things seem closely related, but the fact is they are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. Don’t believe me? This winter walk around a farm show and see how many products are there that you just shake your head at and wonder "who would buy that?" At the same time, count the products that you see that make you go “It is so simple, why didn’t I think of that!”

How can frost affect grazing for a cow herd?
Oct 22, 2018

Now is the time of the year that your calves are weaned, but corn stalks may still be standing. So with temperatures dropping, what options do producers have while they wait to turn their cattle out on harvested fields?  One option is to turn your cows out on cover crops. Cover crops can be useful for a month or more until cows are able to be turned out on stalks. Variables such as snowfall and available hay for supplementation are usually what determines the amount of time cover crop forages will last.

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