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Alabama Extension Offers Tax Bill Workshops for Farmers – Extension Daily

Alabama farmers can learn more about how the new tax law affects them individually and their farming operation at tax bill workshops from Alabama Extension’s Agribusiness Management Team.

Source: Alabama Extension Offers Tax Bill Workshops for Farmers – Extension Daily

Citizens of Lee County “What are your needs?”

Lee County Grassroots Needs Assessment

I would like to thank you in advance for taking the time to let us know your needs so we can better satisfy the needs of Lee County.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System wants your help to plan programs that address county needs. Please take about 10 minutes to complete the following planning questions.

You will not be identified unless you give us your contact information at the end of the survey. Your answers will be combined with other stakeholders’ answers. Results will be used to create a program plan for the county. We certainly appreciate and value your input; however, your participation in this survey is optional.

You may stop at any point in the survey, and you may skip questions that you do not want to answer. If you have questions or concerns regarding the survey, please contact your county Extension office.

Tara Barr County Extension Coordinator
334-749-3353

Extending the Grazing Season

cow and calf
Emily Thompson/Images by Emily

Extending the grazing season can improve cattle operations. This saves producers time and money invested in the operation. Whether it is as simple as dividing a pasture into two different paddocks or implementing a more complex system, farmers should consider implementing improved grazing management strategies to help the grazing season.

Dr. Kim Mullenix, an Alabama Extension beef cattle specialist, said there are a few keys to remember for extending the grazing season.

“Pastures must have a time of rest and recovery in order to have a successful grazing plan,” said Mullenix. “Using an improved grazing method has the potential to help extend the number of grazing days.

While there are many grazing options, no one method will fit every operation. Grazing methods can range in difficulty as well as labor required.

Rotational Stocking

Rotational stocking is where animals are placed in a given pasture and then moved to another on a rotational basis. This method can improve the forages available for producers by giving a pasture a time of rest. A farmer can choose how many paddocks they want to manage. Keeping in mind the more paddocks the more labor is required to manage them.

Deferred Grazing

Deferred grazing, or stockpiling forage, is a method proven to help producers gain more grazing days before having to feed hay. Using this method can potentially extend the number of grazing days anywhere from 30 to 60 days or longer depending on the forage available.

Limit Grazing

Limit grazing is another way to provide high-quality forage as a supplement to lower-quality hay during the winter months. Here animals are allowed periodic access to a high-quality pasture and then returned to a hay feeding area. The method greatly increases the efficiency and utilization of high-quality forages.

Creep Grazing

Creep grazing allows young nursing animals access to higher-quality forage that is not accessible to lactating animals. Access to these paddocks can be provided through a creep gate or an opening in between the hay feeding area and high-quality pasture. Research shows increased daily gains of 0.5 to 0.75 pounds per day in calves grazing using this method.

For more information on extending the grazing season visit Alabama Extension online or contact your county Extension office.

Growing Fruits and Vegetables in Alabama

harvested salad greens and carrots in a wheelbarrow

It’s officially spring time in the South, which means it’s beautiful outside and the ideal season to start growing your favorite fruits and vegetables. Whether you’re dreaming of starting your very own home garden and are not sure where to begin or have been tending for years, we’ve got benefits, helpful tips and nutritional information for any home grower.

The Benefits

Often times, people will ask why they should start their very own garden. “There’s no reason to not start your own garden, it can only provide positive benefits,” said Hunter McBrayer, an urban regional Extension agent in home grounds, gardens and pests with Alabama Extension. Moreover, home gardening can also be a very natural way for people to relax and get in touch with nature. “It can be very therapeutic and rewarding to start a seed in the ground and watch it grow,” McBrayer said.

Another positive benefit of growing your own fruits and vegetables is that you know exactly where your food is coming from. This includes knowing which fertilizer and pesticides are being used around your food. Lastly, when you grow your own fruits and vegetables, you can grow them to the size specifically to your liking.

Nutritional Information

When you’re growing crops in your backyard, the accessibility to eat them becomes much easier. Everyone knows that they need to incorporate fruits and vegetables into their diets, but some people are unfamiliar with the nutritional benefits they provide.

“Fruits and vegetables are low in fat, low in sodium and low in calories,” said Dr. Tamara Warren, an urban human nutrition, diet and health specialist with Alabama Extension. “Other nutritional benefits include vitamins, folic acid and anti-cancer agents.”

Another thing to keep in mind when eating fruits and vegetables is to incorporate a variety of different options on your plate. It is also recommended to eat fruits and vegetables once a day and at least three times a week. A recommended serving is based on age, gender and physical activity. The ChooseMyPlate.gov is a good resource for this information.

garden

Helpful Tips

When it comes to growing fruits and vegetables, people often have a hard time understanding whether or not they want to grow organically. Conventional growing can be much easier than growing organically. “Home growers can grow organically, but it may be difficult to control certain pests,” McBrayer said.  Conventional or organic, people will still receive the same nutritional benefits provided from fruits and veggies.

McBrayer suggested that anyone interested in home gardening should not hesitate to ask him any questions. “I try to work with everyone no matter if they have two acres or a small potted plant,” McBrayer said.