Dear County Agent
Terrell Davis, ANR Agent
Q: Your recent newsletter says I shouldn’t unroll my hay bales because it wastes too much hay. But I have more waste in a ring than I do unrolling.
A: I have had several calls questioning my recommendation to place hay in a ring feeder instead of unrolling the bale. Most of the
clients had very good points to their defense that rings are messy and cattle still waste considerable amounts of hay. The key to
efficiently unrolling hay is to feed on a limit-feeding basis. Simply put, only feed what the animals will eat. Another tool to limiting
the waste of an unrolled bale of hay is to place an electrified poly wire 30” high along the edge of the bale. The cattle will eat the
hay much like they would a feed bunk. However, unrolling a bale and placing out a few other for the next few days seems to work
much like me at a buffet. Too many choices and they may leave one meal for another.
Hay rings also differ from one brand to another. Look for a ring that has a solid bottom or another ring at the base. The feeders
with just one ring in the middle seem to allow for the most waste. Regardless of whether you choose unrolling or rings, consider
feeding in various locations. The typical 4×5 bale has a fertility value approaching 100 lbs of 17-17- 17 fertilizer. Most importantly,
if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. I’d bet we would be hard pressed to find any two cattle operations that run the same way in the Pike
County metroplex. Evaluate your farm, determine if changes are needed, and research the best method for you.
Q: How do I get rid of all these ladybugs?
A: We get the calls every year. The weather changes and an infestation of ladybugs propels homeowners into defense mode.
Hopefully, the problem has died down a bit, but there’s always next year. To begin, the ladybugs are actually Asian Ladybeetles,
which are slightly different and more aggressive than the common ladybug. In an effort to prepare for winter, just like our spotted
nemesis, check doors, windows, floors, and walls for any openings. Seal up the cracks to keep the bugs out and save on your
heating bill this winter. Second, poison is not always the remedy. Many times clients want to kill the pest- be it insect or weed. If
you fill your home with insecticide, they bugs will die and then attract other insects or spiders to eat up all the food you provided.
The best remedy involves a vacuum and a pair of pantyhose. Place the pantyhose in your vacuum’s expandable hose and secure
with an attachment. Tie off the end and dispose of the bugs. When the ladybugs find their winter home, they will remain out of
the way until next year.
Terrell A. Davis
Pike County Extension Service, Staff Chair
PO Box 297
100 Court St. Suite A
Murfreesboro, AR 71958