Farmers#039; Market meeting

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 26, 2003

A Farmers' Market Meeting was held February 13 to plan for the upcoming produce growing/selling season.

Producers attending were treated to a delicious catfish meal sponsored by the Butler County ALFA Farmers Federation.

The meeting agenda focused on improvements for the Market and continuation of the FMNP (Farmers' Market Nutrition Program).

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Butler County was included last year in this statewide program.

Vouchers are distributed to low income senior citizens to be used for the purchase of fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables.

These vouchers can not be used to purchase retail produce.

If you would like further information on the FMNP or want to sell the fresh produce that you grow, please contact me at the Butler County Extension Office.

2003 Master Wildlife broadcasts began February 4 in 27 locations throughout Alabama.

The Butler County Extension Office is one of those hosting the live broadcasts each Tuesday night through March 18.

Thus far, the program has covered Wildlife Management, Biology and Management of Bobwhite Quail, Cottontail Rabbits and Mourning Dove,

Biology and Management of Wild Turkey.

Future broadcasts will cover Biology and Management of Whitetail Deer, Managing Your Aquatic Resources, Managing for Wildlife Diversity, and Developing Wildlife Opportunities on Your Property.

Each session will begin at 6:00 p.m. and are live from Clemson University.

You may attend (even if you did not enroll earlier) each or any one of the remaining nights at $15.00 per session.

Please pay at the door by check only and make the check payable to Master Wildlifer 2003.

Beef Cattle Nutrition

It's that time of the year when you should start thinking about

a high magnesium mineral.

Grass tetany is primarily a problem during this time of year when cattle are grazing highly fertilized grasses or cereal crops.

It is a result of a serum magnesium deficiency in the animal.

Grass tetany generally occurs in females during early lactation; however, other classes of cattle can also be afflicted.

Signs of tetany may not be noticed until the animal is already down or dead.

Early signs may include:

nervousness, salivation, muscle tremors and labored breathing.

Ultimately, the animal will go into convulsions and die if treatment is not administered promptly.

Grass tetany is always associated with low concentrations of serum magnesium.

Blood serum is low in magnesium because the cow is unable to absorb sufficient amounts of magnesium.

This is a result of the forages being low in magnesium during this time of year, being high in potassium and nitrogen and low in dry matter content.

A mineral supplement containing adequate magnesium is the most reliable means of preventing grass tetany; however, the cattle must eat the mineral.

Cattle should consume 1 to 2 ounces of magnesium per day and their intake should be monitored frequently.

Daily consumption is important because magnesium is not stored in the body for very long.

Several commercial mineral supplements are available which provide adequate amounts of all minerals and additional magnesium.

At least 12 percent actual magnesium is recommended.

The most economical means of supplementing magnesium is a 1:1 mix of trace-mineral salt and magnesium oxide.

In general, magnesium oxide is not very palatable and the cattle may not consume enough of this trace-mineral salt and magnesium oxide.

Other palatable grains also may be used; however, do not use protein supplements or meals to increase consumption.

The high nitrogen concentration will serve to aggravate the problem.

Remember n the goal is for the cows to consume 1 to 2 ounces of magnesium per day and the magnesium oxide is 60% magnesium.

Treatment of grass tetany can be successful if quick enough.

When signs of grass tetany occur, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.