Q. What is a good planting date for sweet corn?
A. Sweet corn can be planted anytime from the first week of April to the second week in June in the Columbia Basin. Earlier plantings are subject to frost damage, soil insect problems and fungal rot, while later plantings may not have enough time to reach full maturity and may be susceptible to corn earworm infestation. Remember to plant blocks of four or more rows for good pollination.
Q. How can I tell if my grapes were damaged by the cold?
A. Inside of a grape bud there are actually three other buds. The primary will emerge first and have a full crop. If that bud is dead, a secondary bud will emerge with a partial crop. If both of those were damage, the grape has the last bud which is only vegetative but will save the perennial plant to live another season. If no buds emerge, than the grape was damaged too much. Sometimes people see that there is large sections of the cordon with no shoot and then at the very tip there are a few shoots that emerge, giving false hope. If that happens, there is too much damage along the cordon and it should be considered dead or time to retrain a new shoot from the ground.
Q. We hear a lot about protein for cattle, but how do I determine the amount of available energy in my forages for my cattle?
A. Testing your forage for quality should always be a priority. That goes for hay, range or pasture forage, as well as silages. It is imperative to find out what you have in order to know what you need in the way of supplementation. Commercial feed testing laboratories can estimate the Total Digestible Nutrient (TDN) content. They do this by first analyzing for Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF) and then using empirically derived prediction equations to estimate nutrient content from the fiber content. If you select a laboratory certified by the National Forage Testing Association, these calculations should give a pretty good estimate of energy. You can use the energy values in conjunction with published nutrient requirements for various classes of cattle to determine if the requirements are being met.
To submit a question, call 509-735-3551.