Seed Prices: Why so high?
Many of you may have noticed that the seed prices this year seem outrageously high. In some cases, the seed has more than doubled in price over the last year. This begs the question: Why so high? I can assure the Middle Park Conservation District is not trying to gouge you and steal all your money. Rather, our prices fluctuate with the cost of seed.
As with other goods and services, the market value of that good oscillates with supply and demand. It’s like a market-based teeter-totter. Only when supply and demand are equal does the price of that good remain stable. When either supply or demand outweighs the other, the price goes up or down accordingly. Though demand for seed has not changed over the last year, drought and fire have reduced the available seed bank. Thus, seed prices have sky-rocketed to compensate for the low supply yet high demand.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict how seed prices will change in the future. If the summer rains come in force and keep the fire risk at bay, seed stocks may grow and push seed prices down. However, if the summer brings hot, dry weather and fierce fires, we may be in the same predicament again next year.
All I can suggest is to pray for a moist summer and rich seed crop to keep prices at a minimum!
Yust joins the MPCD Board of Supervisors
Born and raised in Grand County, Jay Yust has a love of agriculture that is rooted deep in his ancestry. The Yust Ranch off County Road 1 (Trough Road) was founded in 1885 and continues to run in the family name today as a working cattle ranch. Jay graduated from West Grand High School in 2002 and then attended University of Wyoming in Laramie for Business. Nevertheless, he ultimately decided to return to the ranch.
Jay replaces John Kossler, of Blue Valley Ranch, on the MPCD Board of Supervisors thanks to his interest in conservation and land management. Furthermore, the goods and services provided by the MPCD are far from foreign to the Yust family. The Yust family has purchased seed and trees from the MPCD in the past and has also taken advantage of the HPP Clover Seed Giveaway. We welcome Jay to the Board and look forward to his investment in the conservation and sustainability of natural resources in Middle Park.
Are your Animals Starving for some Essential Nutrients?
I have decided to dedicate this section of our quarterly newsletter to an on-going series on Animal Nutrition. Please check back every quarter to read a different topic regarding Animal Nutrition.
Nutrition can be any ag producer’s best friend or worst enemy. Providing your stock with the best possible nutrition is essential to growth, reproduction, maintenance, and ultimately, your bottom line. With good nutrition, you will see faster growth in calves, quicker breed-back rates in mother cows, and larger profits at the end of the year.
Rather than jumping into the crooks of nutrition, I have decided to start off slow and introduce you to the basics of animal nutrition and the six essential nutrients: Protein, Carbohydrates, Fat, Vitamins, Minerals, and Water. You can probably name the majority of these nutrients but may not fully understand their role and importance to animal health.
Though future articles in my series will focus on specific nutrients or deficiencies, this article is general information that may be as important and applicable to your very own health as it is to your animals.
Protein is a conglomerate of amino acids that function together to provide the structural integrity of cells and tissues. Proteins are also important for building and repairing body tissues. There are 23 principal amino acids in the body, but nine of these amino acids are considered essential amino acids, They are ‘essential’ because the body cannot synthesize them. Consequently, they must be ingested as part of the diet.
Carbohydrates are the body’s main form of energy and may more easily be labeled as ‘brain food’. Without adequate carbohydrates (glucose), the brain cannot function properly, thus compromising the entire body’s function. Carbohydrates most commonly come in the form of ‘fiber, sugar, or starch’ in your animal feed, or in the form of fruits, vegetables, sugar, and grains in your own diet. Carbohydrates provide quick energy to animals and humans, but excess carbohydrates are converted to fat to be used later.
Fat is the body’s main storage tank for energy. In times of need, the body will first draw energy from carbohydrates and then from its fat stores. Only after the body has depleted its fat supply will it resort to its protein supply (muscles) for energy. Fat, unlike carbohydrates, provides slow-release energy rather than the quick, get-up-and-go type of energy. Fat is also essential to the body because of its function in vitamin metabolism. Certain vitamins are only soluble in fat, so without fat, these vitamins/minerals are rendered useless.
Vitamins and Minerals are essential to proper body function and support and MUST be ingested. They not only act as the structural support of bones, ligaments, and cartilage, but also play a critical regulatory role in metabolism, fluid transport, and immunity. The main difference between vitamins and minerals is that Vitamins are organic compounds produced by plants and animals. Minerals, on the other hand, are inorganic compounds that come from the soil and water. Though you (and your animals) only need small amounts of vitamins and minerals to meet your daily requirements, getting them into the diet is essential.
Lastly, and most importantly, is Water. Water helps transport nutrients around the body. It also aids in waste removal and homeostasis (stability on internal variables, such as temperature and pH). As mentioned above, some vitamins are fat-soluble. Others are water-soluble; thus, water is necessary for metabolism of these vitamins.
All six of these essential nutrients should be provided in yours and your animal’s daily diet. With regard to your animal’s diet, all can be found in your animal’s forage (hay). The quantity and quality of these nutrients in your hay may vary, however. Accordingly, it is important to know how much of each nutrient your hay provides. Once known, you can adjust your supplements (protein blocks, salt blocks, etc…) accordingly to verify that your animals are meeting their daily nutrient requirements.
The MPCD offers hay analysis from Weld Laboratories for the nominal fee of $20. If you would like to have your hay tested, please contact the office at 970.724.3456.
The Middle Park Conservation District is proud to announce the recipients of the 2013 Irrigation Cost-Share Funding.
Irrigation Cost-share Applications Approved
Nine ranchers from Grand and Summit Counties applied for the grant funding, and eight of them were chosen to complete their irrigation projects. This year’s successful applicants are Lucky U Ranch (Niggeler Family), Rafter N Ranches (Randy Keck), Brush Creek Ranch (Beardley Family and Bob Sweet), Morales Farm, Bob Southard and Sandy Panagini, McElroy Ranch, Davison Family Trust (Mark Davison), and Lazy T Rocking K Ranch (Kent Whitmer).
Funding for the Irrigation Cost-Share program was granted to the Middle Park Conservation District by the Colorado State Conservation Board to assist landowners with small projects for the betterment of their water conservation and irrigation practices. A total of $25,000 was granted to MPCD in 2013 to go towards the cost of materials, such as culvert pipes, head gates, and gated pipe. As per the grant guidelines, landowners had to come up with funds to match the money given by the Middle Park Conservation District.
Congratulations to all our recipients.
For more information on Matching grant opportunities through the MPCD in the future, contact us at 970.724.3456.
‘Water Law in a Nutshell’ Class a HUGE Success
On May 3rd, the Middle Park Conservation District partnered with Grand County Extension to host a ‘Water Law in a Nutshell’ class taught by Aaron Clay of Delta. Aaron is an Attorney at Law and former 26-year Water Referee for Colorado Court, Division 4. The MPCD originally sought out Clay thanks to his reputation as being a great speaker on the subject of water law. In fact, he has successfully presented this same seminar for many years and has even had his content approved for college and continuing education credit for realtors, closers, attorneys, and others. This day-long seminar covered all aspects of water law, including water rights; ditch rights; appropriation, perfection, limitations, attributes, abandonment, and enforcement of water rights.
Though the Middle Park Conservation District was initially concerned that we may not reach our 20 person minimum for the class, we successfully signed up 50 participants. In addition, Northern Water Conservancy District graciously donated $200 towards the BBQ beef sandwich, beans, coleslaw, and cookie lunch we served. Grand County Sharp Shooters 4-H Club also assisted the cause by serving lunch to attendees.
Overall, the ‘Water Law in a Nutshell’ class was a huge success and enjoyed by all…
“As a small rancher with many water-rights issues, Aaron Clay's water law class was great. I have spent about 18 years learning about water rights on my own, and really wish that Aaron's class had been available when I started the learning process. Because of his lengthy experience in the water court, he had a vast reservoir of knowledge about what is important to laymen. The information he presented was practical and easy to understand. For $50, this class was a true bargain.” ~Drew McCoy
"Our subdivision owns and manages a reservoir which has minority interest partners and both absolute and conditional water rights. What seemed complex to us novices, Aaron made very understandable with his teaching style and course content." ~ John Hart
“This was a fabulous class. I appreciated the case law stories to illustrate the importance of gaining knowledge in this field. The insight into what may happen in the future was extremely interesting from an investment standpoint as well. As a realtor, I feel that any brokers with land/ranch buyers and sellers should be required to take this class!”~ Sonia Chritton
“The class was everything I anticipated a very educated and knowledgeable professor. If there is going to be a part 2 to the class, I would love an email.”~ Tim Hartman
If you would like to be notified of a future Water Law in a Nutshell class, contact us at 970.724.3456. If at least 20 individuals show interest, we will hold another class. Cost for the class is $50.
HAY DAY 2013
The Routt County Conservation District will be hosting this year’s Hay Day on July 10th
at Carpenter Ranch just east of Hayden on US Highway 40.
The Carpenter Ranch was acquired by the Nature Conservancy in 1996 as the centerpiece of its broader effort to conserve the natural and agricultural heritage of the Yampa River Valley. Today, the Nature Conservancy manages this historic, biologically significant property as a working cattle ranch to explore ways to simultaneously pursue agricultural production and the conservation of streamside and wetland habitats.
To get to the Carpenter Ranch from Kremmling take US Highway 40 to Steamboat Springs. Continue on Hwy 40 approximately 20 miles west of Steamboat Springs, look for a white sign on the north side of the road for "Carpenter Ranch"; turn down the dirt road and park at the Visitor Center.
The day’s events going from 8:30-3 and include presentations from 5 different speakers and hay equipment demonstrations. Lunch is provided for $5.
For more information and to RSVP, contact the Routt Conservation District Manager, Jackie Brown, at 970.879.3225.
Click here for a complete schedule of presentations and activities.
Weed of the Season
Black Henbane, Hyoscyamus niger L.
According Weeds of the West (2002), "Black henbane is a annual or biennial forb that reaches 1 to 3 feet in height. The leaves are shallow-lobed with coarse teeth and pubescent. The plant has a strong odor. Flowers are bownish-yellow with purple centers and veins. Though originally brought from Europe as ornamentals, Black Henbane has since spread throughout the US along pastures, roadsides, and disturbed areas. Despite its beauty, Black Henbane is a real killer, literally. The alkaloids in the plant are poisonous to livestock and humans alike. Fortunately, animals are not likely to eat Black Henbane unless all other forage has been depleted." Regardless, Black Henbane is a weed to watch out for and manage as soon as possible.
Contact the Grand County Department of Natural Resources and Weed Management at 970.887.0745 for more information of weeds of concern and herbicide application.
The Need for Seed
As indicated above, the MPCD is actively selling seed to suit all your needs. We have the following mixes on-hand but can also special order any type of seed you do not see below. Common special orders include turnip seed, alfalfa, and clover.
1. short mix–Used for disturbed areas around buildings. Grows about 1 foot tall. Does NOT look like a lawn. Comes in 10 lb bags. Seeding rate: 10 lbs/acre.
2. smooth brome/pubescent wheatgrass mix– Used in areas where erosion control is needed. Good forage. Grows ~2 feet tall. Good competition for weeds. Comes in 50 lb bags. Seeding rate: 20-26 lbs/acre.
3. forest mix–Designed for areas of beetle kill tree removal. Good competition for weeds. Can grow waist high. Comes in 50 lb bags. Seeding rate: 10 lbs/acre.
4. irrigated meadow mix–for irrigated hay meadows. Contains meadow brome, orchardgrass, timothy, alsike and mammoth red clover. Comes in 50 lb bags.
5. wildflower mix–contains 8 different species of wildflowers, some annual, some perennial. 1/2 lb covers 3,000 sq. ft. Comes in 1/2 lb bags or 5 lb bags.
6. dura-turf lawn mix–same lawn mix used in Kremmling town square. Contain tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. Seeding rate: 10 lbs/acre. Comes in 25 lb bags.
Contact the MPCD Office for more info!
Middle Park Conservation District
Board of Supervisors
, Range Ecologist
Monthly Board of Supervisors meeting held first Tuesday of every month at 6pm at 106 S. 2nd St., Kremmling, CO. The Public is invited to all Board of Supervisors Meetings.
Public Input Desired
As a political subdivision of the state,
the Middle Park Conservation District Board of Supervisors represent YOU. Our purpose is to provide leadership for conservation and promote wise use and sustainability of natural resources. We do this by providing technical assistance, education, and funding to local landowners. Nevertheless, in order to fully assist you, we must have a firm grasp and understanding of YOUR needs. Please click the following link to complete a short 5-minute online survey on your conservation needs and expectations of the Middle Park Conservation District.