Fall 2014 MPCD Newsletter
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Fall 2014 MPCD Happenings

Just wanted to pass along some Middle Park Conservation News and Tips....

In this Issue~
Fall Seeding, Tree Seedling SalesFall Fertilizing, Irrigation Cost-Share, Fencing for Wildlife,  Winter Weed WiseHay & Soil Testing, Interpreting Hay Results, Who's Who, Choosing A Supplement, Supplements: Are they Needed?


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Providing that we do not get an early permanent snowpack, planting grass seed in the fall is a good idea for dryland pasture, wildflower, and forest mixes. 

Ideally, the seed should be sown right before the permanent snow pack is on the ground, or when it’s gotten cold enough to prevent germination (consistent soil temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s important that the seed not germinate and then get frozen. Rough up the soil with a rake or similar tool. Scatter seed and cover with approximately 1/4 inch of soil. Then cover that with a layer of light mulch, such as straw or compost.

 The Middle Park Conservation District has several seed mixes available for purchase. The Forest Mix is good for areas where beetle kill trees have been removed. The Brome/Pubescent Mix is good for soil erosion prevention and is also good forage for livestock as a dryland pasture mix.  Our Short Mix is ideal for disturbed areas around buildings.  Our Wildflower Mix has both perennials and annuals in it and is good for adding a pop of color to your yard.  We also have a turf-type lawn mix call DuraTurf and an Irrigated Meadow Mix.

Encouraging grasses and wildflowers to grow in disturbed areas will help prevent soil erosion and noxious weed invasion.

Fall Fertilizing: 
Save Time in the Spring

Nitrogen and Phosphorus are typically the two most limiting nutrients in the soil. If any one nutrient is too limiting, it may hinder plant growth and production, thus reducing your net yield. Nitrogen is often added to increase grass production, while Phosphorus promotes legumes. That being said, if Phosphorus is deficient in your soils, it may also limit grass growth.

Several studies on fertilizers suggest that the net pay off is almost always positive (meaning that the producer always made money from fertilizing and never lost any money).  In general,
Mark Volt, District Conservationist for the NRCS Kremmling Field Office, says that every pound of Actual Nitrogen put on a field it will yield 20-30 extra pounds of hay. 

Mark also says that fall vs. spring fertilizer applications yield similar results as far as grass growth and productivity in Middle Park. However, because Phosphorus takes longer to dissolve and move into the soil, Mark suggests that fall is better for Phosphorus application.  With regard to the amount of Nitrogen to put on, Mark suggests putting on 60-80 lbs of Actual N per acre but no less than 40 lbs. Mark also says that Nitrogen must be put on every year because it does not carry over.  Phosphorus, on the other hand, stays in the soil for up to 7 years, so it can be put on every other year or every third year and be fine.  
 Thus, it comes down to a personal preference and fertilizer type as to whether you opt for fall or spring application. Factors to consider are cost, availability of fertilizer buggies, and time constraints. You may find that fertilizer buggies may be easier to get in the fall and you may have more time on your hands.

Frontier Station currently has fertlizer for sale at the following rates per ton:

34-0-0 $540
30-10-0 $575
11-52-0 $670

+$15 to Granby

For more information on Fertilizing Mountain Hay Meadows and to Calculate your Cost-Benefit Analysis, click here!

Fencing for Wildlife

As winter approaches, it is time to be thinking about wildlife that will start to migrate down from the hills and onto private property.  Sadly, every year barbed wire fences claim the lives of deer, elk, pronghorn, and moose that attempt to cross them.
Though we cannot save them all, there are fencing options that landowners can use to minimize wildlife loss due to tangling.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife have a great brochure on various
wildlife-friendly fences. Click the link below to read the brochure.  

It includes options such as lay-down fences, rail fences, elk jumps, adjustable wire fences, and electric fences.  

Fencing for Wildlife Brochure

Interpreting Hay Results

Congratulations!  You have made a decision that you will not regret.  By testing your hay, you will have the knowledge to actively manage your herd's nutritional needs like never before.

Now that you have your results, 

Your most basic Forage Test will test for Moisture, Crude Protein (CP), Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF), and Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF).  Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN) and Net Energy (NE) are calculated values based on Protein and Fiber results.

Crude Protein (CP) is a measure of the of the Nitrogen in the feedstuff and is commonly used as a standard for gauging 
protein requirements for animals.

  Higher Crude Protein values are better!
 7% CP is a must
(read Supplements Article at bottom)


Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF) is a measure of Feed Digestibility while Neutral Deterget Fiber (NDF) is a measure of Feed Intake/Satiation.   

Lower values are better for both ADF & NDF!
ADF and NDF in the 30's is best!

Total digestible nutrients (TDN) is the sum of all the digestible nutrients in a feedstuff and is used as a common measurement for Energy.  TDN is especially useful for roughage-based diets.  Net Energy (NE) also estimates energy but is more applicable to concentrate-based diets.   Both of these values are calculated from ADF.

With either TDN or NE, higher values are better! Above 50% TDN and 0.5 NE  
(see Supplements at bottom)

Click here to read more on Interpreting Forage Test Results


Choosing A Supplement

Choosing a supplement can be difficult.  An article by John Paterson, Montana State Extension Beef Specialist, helps sum up supplements and what to look for.  

Click here to read his entire article.

In his article, Paterson explains that dry supplements rank number one when considering multiple factors, such as time, effort, cost, and flexibility in feeding schedule. Crude Protein content of 25-35% also proved to be the best for increaing forage intake.   

Between blocks and cake, Patterson suggest that consumption is less for blocks than cake yet overall health and condition was the same for both at the end of the study period. Taking into account labor and cost, Patterson believes blocks may be more cost-effective than cake with no sacrifice in nutritional quality.  
The Middle Park Conservation District is once again offering tree seedlings for sale to landowners wishing to conserve their properties.  Seedlings are grown at the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery in Fort Collins and can be purchased in bulk for really low prices.   Seedlings come in packages of 1, 10, 25, 30, or 50 trees and range in size from 5 inches to 14 inches tall.  New this year, there are variety packs, tall potted trees, and perennials available for sale!

Tree seedlings can be utilized for a variety of conservation projects.  They can help stabilize soil on barren ground or steep slopes; reestablish logged forests; or grow up to be living windbreaks for livestock or households. 

Tree seedlings will be available for purchase through the Middle Park Conservation District until next spring; however, some species in particular sell out quickly.  Thus, it is best to

All trees will be delivered in May 2015.

2014-15 Order Form WORD
2014-15 Order Form PDF
Perennial Information Sheet

Cost-Share Program

Need to replace, upgrade, or install irrigation structures?

Apply for funding through the 
MPCD Irrigation
Cost-Share Program

 The Middle Park Conservation District received a 2015 Matching Grant through the Colorado State Conservation Board to fund Irrigation Projects in Middle Park.  

Depending on the number of eligible applicants and projects submitted, each recipient may receive $3,000 or more of matching funds.

Application criteria included:
1.  Projects must address irrigation or irrigation-induced soil erosion control;
2. New or replacement of old structures;
3.  Landowners shall be a Grand or Summit County ag producer or smaller landowner with water rights;
4.  Landowners will provide a 50% material match to the District;
5.  District Funds will only pay for materials;
6.  Specs must meet NRCS approval;
7.  Landowner must have the ability to complete project by November 20, 2015.

The Middle Park Conservation District received this same grant in 2013 and 2014, dispersing nearly $40,000 to landowners for irrigation projects.  Projects included installation of check and turnout structures, head gates, underground pipe, and gated pipe.  

Please contact Katlin if you have a project in mind that  you believe is eligible for this program.  


Winter Weed Wise

Even though we are entering a period of weed dormancy, it is important not to forget about them.

If your hay fields had noxious weeds in them this summer prior to harvesting, then it is reasonable to assume that they were cut, teddied, raked, and baled up with the rest of your hay.

Accordingly, to help prevent the spread of those weeds to other weed-free pastures, try to only feed those 'contaminated' bales on the fields where they originated. That way any viable weed seeds will only be dispersed on those same 'dirty' fields and not on new 'clean' fields.  

Hay & Soil Sampling

Hay and Soil Cores provide invaluable information about your pastures and soil. 

The results you’ll get from a simple forage test will be similar to that of a Nutrition Label on the back of your favorite food.  You will finally know exactly what you are feeding your livestock, a
nd what, if anything, your animals are missing in their diets. This knowledge can then be used for balancing rations and adding supplements.  
Soil samples are benefial for determining what and how much fertilizer you need to put on your fields in order to reach your hay production goals.

Hay and Soil Samples are very easy to take and the cost of testing is also cheap, ranging from $20-30. 

Call our office at 970.724.3456 for more information or to borrow our core samplers.

Who's Who @ the 

Middle Park Conservation District?

Executive Director
Katlin Miller
Office: 970.724.3456
Cell: 970.531.0127
Board of Supervisors
President: Deb Wood  (Parshall)
Vice President: Jay Yust (Kremmling)
Treasurer: Justin Fosha
(Hot Sulphur/Granby)
Secretary: John Longhill (Silverthorne)
Member: Dave Abbott (Kremmling)

Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)
Mark Volt (970.724.3456)
Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS): 
Ron Cousineau (970.887.3121)

CSU Extension: 
Travis Hoesli (970.724.3436)

Our office is located in the same building as NRCS at: 
106 South 2nd Street
Kremmling, CO 80459

The public is welcome to attend allregularly scheduled board meetings at our office.
Tuesday, November 4th (6pm)
Tuesday, December 2nd (6pm) 

Tuesday, February 3rd (6pm)
Tuesday, April 7th (6pm)
Tuesday, May 5th (6pm)
Tuesday, June 2nd (7pm)
Tuesday, July 7th (7pm)
Tuesday, September 1st (6pm)
Tuesday, November 3rd (6pm)
Tuesday, December 1st (6pm)

Supplements: Are they Needed?

When deciding whether or not to supplement, the answer depends on the physiological state of the animals you're feeding in addition to climatic factors.  Growing, late gestation, and lactating animals have higher nutritional needs than early gestation and maintenance animals.  Furthermore, winter puts extra energy demands on livestock.

When feeding hay, the main nutrients you need to look at are Crude Protein and Total Digestible Nutrients.  Crude Protein needs to be at 7% or higher to maintain rumen health.  If your hay is below that value, you NEED to supplement extra protein.  Total Digestion Nutrient requirements start at about 50% for mature maintenance animals.

However, as winter sets in and gestation progresses, both Crude Protein and Total Digestible Nutrient requiremets will go up and could exceed 12% CP and 70% TDN.  It's hard to put a definitive value on either of these nutrients because there is no set standard for nutrient requirements as related to climatic factors.  For example, there is nothing that says 0 degrees Farenheit and wind chill of minus 10 requires 11% CP and 65% TDN.  

The BEST way to see if your animals are meeting their nutritional requirements is to watch their body condition scores.  If they start to lose body condition in late winter, then you likely need to supplement with protein or energy (or both).

Additionally, it is wise to save your higher quality hay to feed in late winter because that is when nutritional demands are the greatest.  

To read more on Nutrient Requirements for Beef Cattle, click here!

Lastly, different nutrient and mineral deficiencies may cause reproductive issues.  The chart below describes some symptoms of specific deficiencies.  

The content of this newsletter is for Educational Purposes ONLY.  We have attempted to site opinions, beliefs and viewpoints from various sources and professionals.  These opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Middle Park Conservation District or its Board of Supervisors/Employees.  It is always recommended that you seek independent advice before implementing new management practices.
Copyright © 2014 Middle Park Conservation District, All rights reserved.

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