West Virginia Conservation Agency  •  1900 Kanawha Blvd. E. •  Charleston, WV 25305  •  304-558-2204
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Little Kanawha District

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Committee Meetings Scheduled - 8/14/17
posted by: Jessica Nichols

The District will be holding an AgEP Committee Meeting on August 17th at 10 a.m. in the District office in Parkersburg.  This will be followed by a Banquet Committee Meeting.  For more information call 304-422-9088

Agenda for July 2017 - 7/11/17
posted by: Jessica Nichols
MS Word  View MS Word Document

Draft Minutes - May 2017 - 6/9/17
posted by: Jessica Nichols
MS Word  View MS Word Document

A Quick Course in Pasture and Grazing Management - 3/15/17
posted by: Jessica Nichols

Dr. Ed Rayburn Extension Specialist, WVU-Extension Service   Reprint from WEST VIRGINIA SMALL FARM ADVOCATE

For many, the details of pasture management are fun to discuss. However, for someone not familiar with the how and why of grazing management the details can become overwhelming. As a professor who studies and teaches pasture management I appreciate knowing many of the intricacies of livestock grazing. As a livestock producer I have learned that there are three principles that enable the producer to achieve near maximum production at the lowest cost in time and money. The three principles are: 1. Soil fertility 2. Timing and Intensity of grazing 3. Balancing forage production and live-stock feed demand Soil fertility is evaluated by proper soil testing. Mixed cool-season pastures based on orchardgrass, tall fescue, bluegrass, and clover need a soil pH of 6.0 or higher with soil test phosphorus, potassium and magnesium in the “High” range. If pH is below 6.0 apply high quality lime. If magnesium is below “High” use a high magnesium lime. If the soil is below “High” in phosphorus or potassium apply the recommended fertilizer to bring these nutrients into the low end of the “High” range. Grass-clover pastures do not need nitrogen fertilization. Clovers produce the equivalent of 150 to 200 lbs. of nitrogen/ acre/year if the soil fertility for other nutrients is where it should be. Timing and Intensity of grazing determine the health of pasture plants and nutrition of the grazing animals. Plant height provides the guidelines for proper grazing timing and intensity. Plant height is the tallest leaf within a 9-inch diameter circle (a hand span) around a pasture stick. Use the average of 20 or more plant heights across a pasture. Timing of grazing is the plant height at which animals should go onto a pasture. Intensity of grazing is the plant height at which animals should be taken off a pasture and put onto a fresh pasture. In all cases, animals should graze a pasture for no more then 7-days. Timng or pre-grazing height • Cool-season grass-legume pastures should grow to an 8- to 12-inch height before grazing • Graze at a lower regrowth height to obtain less mature, high quality forage • Graze at a taller height to obtain high forage mass and to stockpile for deferred grazing Intensity or post-grazing height • Move animals out of the pasture when it is grazed to a 2- to 4-inch height • Graze to a shorter height for high gain/acre, to stimulate legumes, and in cool weather • Graze to a taller residual height for high gain/head and in hot-dry weather Where pastures are continuously grazed the number of animals (or acres grazed) need to be adjusted so that average pasture height stays in a 4- to 6-inch range. Pastures grow faster in the spring than in the summer and fall so there needs to be a plan for balancing forage supply and animal feed demand. One way WV farmers do this is to make first-cut hay on some fields then graze the aftermath growth instead of making second-cut hay. Other options are growing warm-season annuals or perennials or moving stocker cattle off the farm in August, at board sale time when prices are high. When there is a drought or in winter, animals need to be confined to a single or a few pastures or hay meadows and feed hay. This should be done on land that can use the fertility from the manure produced from the hay. Also, do not over-stock the farm. As stocking rate goes up, production costs go up and animal performance goes down. Stock at a moderate rate to increase profits and reduce risk. Follow these management principles to ensure that pasture grasses and legumes flourish and provide excellent nutrition to the grazing livestock.

Is the Price Right? - 3/15/17
posted by: Jessica Nichols

Brandy Brabham WVU-Roane County Extension Agent   Reprint from the WEST VIRGINIA SMALL FARM ADVOCATE

What’s your pricing strategy? The price must fall between two points: what the customer is willing to pay and your break even point (you start losing money). Charge too much and it won’t sell. Charge too little and no profits. While research indicates that price is one consideration, there are multiple layers of pricing. Develop a goal. Pricing reflects how you position your product. If you want to be the go-to-girl for a certain product or service, then always sell only top quality product and offer great service. If you’re positioning your enterprise as a family activity, then have activities and operational hours geared towards the weekends with family friendly packaging, activities and prices. Study the competition. The Internet can give an abundance of information about your customers, the marketplace, and the profit potential. Interview potential customers. Tell them you’re thinking about selling a certain product and ask what they are currently paying for similar products. Calculate total costs. Add fixed costs and variable costs. Then calculate the break-even price for a product or service. Of course you’re not in business to just break even. Identify added value. “What’s your unique selling point? Is it quality, different varieties, free delivery, convenient location, or locally grown? What can you offer that customers are willing to pay more to obtain?” Consider pricing options: • Utilize odd-evening pricing ($3.99 instead of $4.00), standard mark-up pricing (typically a producer marks up price 15% over total cost per unit, a wholesaler 20% over costs, and a retailer 40% over costs.), or customary pricing ( when the pro- duct “traditionally” sells for a certain price). • Target “quality” customers versus “quantity” customers. • Offer volume discounts or add-on products. • Offer two layer pricing- one price for premium service and a lower price for economy service. • Match competitor’s pricing. • Use the same price to establish consistency. When setting prices, perception is everything. How customers view your product or service and what they are willing to pay for it is based upon perceptions. In the end, customers will tell you through their purchasing behavior whether or not prices are too high, too low, or right on the money.

WVU Soil Test Form - 3/6/17
posted by: Jessica Nichols

To make it easier to find the forms you need please see attached a copy of the WVU Soil Testing Form to be wrapped around your sample and mailed to the Soil Testing Lab in Morgantown.  Please send 1 cup of soil per sample.

Two Free Forage Samples for LKCD Landowners - 12/28/16
posted by: Jessica Nichols

Have you ever had your forage tested? A simple core test can be done to enable you to know the nutrient values of your hay.

These are analysis for beef cattle, horses, and sheep productions. Determining the nutritional values of your stored feeds will allow you to determine the supplements that you will need.

A conservation specialist will obtain either a sample from your field or get a core from your hay bales for only a charge of $25, that fee covers: using her equipment, making the visit to your farm, and bagging, packaging and postage for the samples. Oh did I mention the Little Kanawha Conservation District also pays for two of your samples. Then you just pay for what type of testing you are wanting done from either Basic or Protein and fiber for the rest of your samples. Samples from the field are taken approximately one week before you cut the field. Hay bales can be sampled after 30 days from being baled. Fermentation needs to be completed, which is usually 3 weeks after being baled.

The samples will be analyzed and the results will be sent to you as well as the Little Kanawha Conservation District. We supply assistance to Calhoun, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt and Wood counties.  If you are located in these counties and would like to schedule an appointment for the District Conservation Specialist to assist you in taking advantage of this farm management opportunity for the small fee of $25 , call the Little Kanawha Conservation District at (304) 422- 9072, Ext. 122. We will be happy to arrange a time that is convenient for you

Fall & Winter Newsletter - 11/10/16
posted by: Jessica Nichols


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