Q . Why is it so much more difficult to kill the insect pests in my vegetable garden than it was 20 years ago?
A. Older insecticides were broad in spectrum and long in residual, meaning they were effective against many types of insects and other arthropods, and persisted in the environment for a long time. The newer insecticides are narrow in spectrum and short in residual, meaning they are only effective against a few or one type of insect or arthropod, and they degrade quickly. As a result, one must be sure they know the type of pest they are trying to control. Closely read the label of the pesticide to be sure the proper amount is being used and that it is effective against the pest of concern.
Q. What are body condition scores for beef cows, and how can the information be used in my herd?
A. Body condition scores (BCS) are a way to describe the relative fatness of cows. Beef cows are generally scored on a 1 to 9 scale. A producer can learn body condition scoring by studying publications on the subject (there are many good Extension publications) or by learning from a producer who is experienced with the procedure. In general, BCS 1, 2 and 3 are cows in very thin and unacceptable condition; BCS 4 is borderline; BCS 5, 6 and 7 are optimum; and BCS 8 and 9 are typically considered excessively fat. The utility of body condition scoring is to relate the relative fatness of the cows with reproductive performance. It is advisable for cows to receive adequate feed energy (nutrition) to calve at a BCS of 5. This relates to about 14 percent to 18 percent body fat, which is sufficient for the cows to have adequate body reserves for milk production and to breed back in a timely manner.
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Q. Why does my horse tend to colic more in winter?
A. Colic is abdominal pain, which can be caused by many things. During cold weather, horses greatly reduce their water consumption, which may result in impaction colic from an inadequate amount of water in their intestines to digest food. Horse owners must watch their horse’s water consumption closely during cold weather to ensure they are drinking enough amounts. Water consumption can be increased during cold weather by providing warm water and having it available at all times.
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