The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has many resources related to beef and forage production. The following information features a small sample of these resources and tools available. These resources can serve as a guide for finding the right topics and information to help you along the way.
Where can I find information for testing soil samples?
For a soil test and analysis, the primary form can be found on the Auburn University Soil, Forage & Water Testing Laboratory website at aaes.auburn.edu/soil-forage-water-testing-lab/. The form can be completed on paper or online and then submitted with the soil sample for lab testing. Procedures for the testing can be found on the second page of the form.
What other testing services can I have completed for my production system?
Auburn University’s labs can also complete forage and feed analysis, plant tissue nutrient analysis, analysis of non-drinking water, or chicken litter analysis. Information and forms for each of these can also be found on the Soil, Forage & Water Testing Laboratory website. If you need assistance reading your forage analysis results, consult the Alabama Extension publication Interpreting a Forage Analysis for Beef Cattle.
Where can I find sources of hay or feedstuffs for my livestock operation?
If you are looking for hay supply across the state, visit the Alabama Hay Listings web page on the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries’ website, agi.alabama.gov/. If you are looking for feed options, see the Alabama Extension’s Alabama Commodity Feed Contact List web page at www.aces.edu.
Where can I look for feeding options for my animals?
If you need information to help you decide what feedstuffs are best for you, the Alabama Extension publication By-Product Feeds for Alabama Beef Cattle contains a list of common options for beef cattle in the state.
How should I decide what minerals to use in my feeding program?
To begin, the Extension publication Considerations for Mineral Supplementation in Cow-Calf Operations contains a list of basic mineral components that you can use as you consider what you’re looking for. As you begin shopping, the tag on each mineral will show you what that product contains. For assistance reading tags, the publication Importance of Mineral Supplementation & Mineral Tags can be used as you decide which to buy.
What opportunities are there to learn more about these topics?
Alabama Extension’s scheduled events and field days can be found on the website calendar at www.aces.edu. Between field days, production meetings, and hands-on learning opportunities, these cover a broad variety of topics to best serve producers across the state.
Are there any educational opportunities that I can complete on my own time?
The Beef Basics online course is free and offers eight hours of training on management practices for forages, nutrition, health, breeding, and more. Extension also offers the Forage Basics online course that is meant to give producers an overview of forage production in Alabama and the Southeast. It is free and covers topics like weed management, forage selection and establishment, soil fertility, and more.
Can I find general information and updates on social media?
There are Facebook pages for the Forage Focus Program and the Beef Systems Extension team. On these pages, Extension professionals provide information on field days, relevant publications, and forage- and beef-related experiences the staff has across the state and the nation.
If you are in need of further assistance or have additional questions, visit the Alabama Extension directory to find your local Extension contact.