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Virginia Cooperative Extension -
 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Beef Management Tips

Livestock Update, August 2000

John Hall, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, Virginia Tech

August Beef Management Calendar

Spring Calving Herds

Fall Calving Herds

Fertilize Pastures for Stockpiling in August
Pasture that will be used for stockpiling need to be grazed down to about 2 inches. This should be done in early August west of the Blue Ridge and Mid to Late August east of the Blue Ridge. Pastures should then be fertilized with 50 to 80 lbs. of N in mid-August (Western VA) or late August (Eastern VA). Ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate are the best forms of N fertilizer to use for stockpiling because they are less volatile than urea or some other forms of N fertilizer. Ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate will "wait for rain" and are less likely to burn pastures or lose their N value. Poultry litter is another good option for stockpiling, but some of the organic N might be slower to be released. Cattle should be removed from before fertilization until after the first killing frost or late November (in areas of VA that get light frosts).

Controlling Algae in Stocktanks
Algae growth can become a nuisance this time of year. Rarely are algae harmful to cattle, but control of algae is important for good water consumption and maintenance of floats and valves. Several options for alga control exist. The cheapest is to have an easy to remove drain plug in the tank, and drain and scrub the tank when algae gets bad. A good heavy metal standpipe threaded into a collar at the bottom of a tank is a good drain plug. Biocontrol methods such as adding gold fish or carp to the tank are also good control methods. This is especially true for continuos flow spring-fed tanks. Finally, there is a product called Stocktrine-II made by Applied Biochemists, Inc that is an approved chemical for use in livestock tanks with a zero withdrawal time. This contains copper as the active ingredient. The product is pre-diluted to deliver the proper amount of copper when used following the label directions. It will prevent re-growth with regular use. Other pre-diluted copper solutions for algae control in stocktanks may also be available locally. DO NOT use pond algae control products or copper sulfate directly in stock tanks unless you can accurately dilute the copper to the proper concentration. Addition of too much copper can kill cattle. Also, even with the pre-diluted products be careful if sheep are drinking out of treated tanks. Sheep are poisoned much more easily by copper.

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