Q. I heard that you can plant two or three varieties of a fruit tree in one hole so you will have a pollinator for each tree. Would you recommend this?
A. No. The roots need room to stretch and grow. Plant the trees near each other. Bees have wings and will fly between the trees.
Q. What is acidosis in livestock?
A. Acidosis is a condition in ruminants such as cattle, sheep and goats when they consume too much starchy feeds such as grains. Grains contain a lot of starch, which is highly fermentable in the rumen. When the starch is broken down by rumen bacteria, acids are produced causing the rumen to become more acidic. A chain reaction occurs as the rumen becomes more acidic because the environment is favorable for lactic acid forming bacteria, which produce more acids and cause the pH to drop further. When the pH of the rumen reaches around 6.0, digestion slows, and if the pH continues to drop, digestion and rumen motility will cease and the animal can eventually die.
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Acidosis is categorized as either sub-clinical or clinical. In sub-clinical acidosis, the animals may continue to eat and drink, but growth and performance may be compromised. In clinical acidosis, animals will not eat or drink. Prevention of acidosis involves controlling the amount of grain in the ruminant diet and also providing an adequate amount of roughage such as hay or pasture. The roughage will slow digestion of the starch and make for a more neutral pH in the rumen, which is more favorable for digestion. If acidosis is suspected, remove the grain or other starchy feeds from the diet and contact your veterinarian for treatment.
Q. What would be a safe manure to use in my vegetable garden?
A. Most any kind of manure can be used for vegetable gardens, but stay away from pig, human, dog or cat manure for vegetables. All manure should be composted before use in order to avoid burning plants with excessive nutrients. Chicken or cow manure is best to use, and horse manure may be used as well. Horse manure tends to be less desirable because weed or grass seed found in horse manure is usually still viable.
-- Questions should be called in to the WSU Extension offices in Kennewick at 735-3551 or Pasco at 545-3511.