Q. How much water does a cow drink every day?
A. That depends on the size of the animal and environmental conditions. For example, when a growing heifer or steer that weighs about 800 pounds is exposed to a maximum daily temperature of 40 degrees, we expect that it would consume around 6.5 gallons of water per day. When the maximum temperature increases to 60 degrees, it would be expected to drink about 8 gallons per day, and at 90 degrees, it would be expected to drink 15 gallons per day.
A lactating cow at a maximum daily temperature of 60 degrees will drink about 14.5 gallons per day, and at 90 degrees the cow's water intake could go up to about 23 gallons per day. Also, it is important to note that cows on dry pasture or hay will drink more water than those on wet feed. Water is really the most important nutrient. It is important to have water available at all times and to ensure that the water is clean as well.
Q. How can I increase pollination in my garden?
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A. There are many types of pollinators, including bees, flies, and bats. A general rule of thumb is to have something flowering from early spring to late fall. However, for complete planting guides go to www.pollinator.org. There's also a mobile app called BeeSmartTM Pollinator Gardener.
Q. What do you think about sun tea? I've heard conflicting stories that it's unsafe to make, while others say there is no problem. What is your opinion?
A. Although making sun tea is fun and popular, this brewing method is discouraged. Sun tea is the perfect medium for the growth of bacteria. Because tea leaves are made from the dried leaves of plants, bacteria and other organisms are naturally found on them. When water and warmth are added, it's the perfect environment to foster bacterial growth. Several years ago there was a foodborne illness outbreak from sun tea. Because of the potential for illness, brewing tea in the sun is no longer a recommended practice.
Q. What do the four H's on the 4-H emblem stand for?
A. The 4-H emblem is a green four-leaf clover with a white H on each leaflet, symbolizing Head, Heart, Hands and Health. The 4-H emblem was protected by an Act of Congress in 1924.
-- Questions should be called in to the WSU Extension offices in Kennewick at 735-3551 or Pasco at 545-3511.