In todays Ag News Roundup, smaller cows produce better profits, a water pipeline in Oregon will get a much-needed repair, how dairy farmers are using tech to fix runoff, researchers work to mitigate the affects of herbicide resistant tumbleweeds, and drones give farmers a better view of their crops.
Better Herd Results Start with Smaller Cows
According to a study published in the journey Rangelands, Oregon State University extension along with researchers in Wyoming and Oklahoma are advising ranchers to run smaller cows for better results on rangeland. While reducing the size of a herd or increasing feed are viable options, smaller cattle were found to boost rancher profits overall and mitigate the affects on the land.
Repairs to Malheur Siphon to Cost Nearly $2 Million
The Malheur Siphon that carries irrigation water from Owyhee Reservoir to farmers throughout the Owyhee Irrigation District is expected to be repaired this year. The pipeline was built in 1935, and is experiencing pre-failure in a small section of the pipe. If the pipe breaks, it could result in up to $18 million in crop losses.
Technology Could Boost Dairy Industry
Washington state lawmakers have been asked to invest in new technology that would minimize polluted runoff from dairies by distilling manure into fertilizer and clean water. The legislators who heard the proposal were impressed and are expected to move the initiative forward. Developers say that a $2 million system could clean up a 1,000-cow dairy.
Russian Thistle Resistant to Glyphosate
Oregon State University weed scientist Judit Barrosso issued a report that has confirmed the Russian thistle resistance to glyphosate. The weed costs more than $50 million annually to control across the U.S. Now one of the most commonly used herbicides is found to have no affect on the weed. Researchers are working with growers to slow the resistance by rotating other herbicides and weed eradication practices.
Drones Added to Ag Toolbox
From an article in the Associated Press, farmers across the U.S. are turning to drone pilots to take aerial footage and generate reports that detail crop heath. Some farmers are using the reports to estimate fertilization, planting, and generate production quality film for marketing purposes.