• By April W Bowman
  • Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2022

How Can Your Livestock Extension Agent Help You?

What Can Your Livestock Extension Agent Help You With? Free, research-based information provided from our land-grant universities on the husbandry of domestic livestock that provides meat, fiber, milk, or food products (ex. eggs) including, but not limited to cattle, sheep, swine, equine, goats, poultry, and specialty animals. Topics include breeding, feeding, raising, caring, and housing for livestock animals as well as the forages (pasture and hay) that these animals consume. We offer educational programs and consultations via an office visit (appointments are recommended), phone call, email, or a farm visit.

  • Pasture/Grazing Assistance - We can provide weed identification, information on pasture layout, rotation recommendations, forage selection, planting, pasture establishment, and more. Have a short in your electric fence? Borrow our fence tester/fault finder/fence compass to help you find it. We also have a grazing stick that you can borrow to help you determine your forage heights and how much available forage you have for grazing.
  • Fecal Egg Counting - This service is available to small ruminant and equine owners that are working with Extension to create an internal parasite management plan for their farm. Producers can learn to run their own samples with Extension's assistance. We can help you work with your veterinarian to create a treatment plan if needed.
  • Soil Testing - While this service is provided through the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS), Extension helps in a variety of ways. You can come to our office to pick up soil testing forms and boxes from the Message Center in our Demonstration Garden 24 hours a day. If you need a soil probe to collect your sample with, you can check one out. Once your results come in, we can help interpret them. NCDA&CS does soil testing for free from April-November and $4 from December-March. You are responsible for shipping your samples.
  • Forage/Feed Testing - Another service through NCDA&CS that Extension helps with is testing of hay, fresh forage, or feed (not a commercially made feed) for nutritional analysis. Our office has a hay probe that may be borrowed to take hay samples with by attaching it to a power drill. Testing is $10/sample.
  • NCDA&CS also provides waste analysis and livestock water testing.
  • No-Till Drill - You can rent a no-till drill through Forsyth County Soil & Water for a fee of $12/ acre. Your tractor needs around 40 HP to pull our drill and it must have rear hydraulic hookups to attach the hoses, which raise and lower the drill. The drill attaches to the tractor with a drawbar or belly bar. You can contact Soil & Water at 336-703-2840.

We also have tools available for lending out to Forsyth County producers:

  • Clippers, Case and Blades
  • EZE Bander/Castrator
  • Fence Tester/Fault Finder
  • Grazing Stick
  • Hay Probe
  • Acreage Measuring Wheel
  • Small Animal Bander
  • Soil Probe
  • Tattoo Kit
Click here to download more about their role in English or aqui en espanol.

For more information, email, April Bowman, Extension Agent, Livestock, Forages, and 4-H Youth Development at awbowman@ncsu.edu or call 336-703-2855.

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