Smart feeders, meat lab technology among UW presentations at wool growers meeting

Picture of woman and sheep
Former University of Wyoming student Marie McClaren helps load rams following the annual ram test in April at the Laramie Research and Extension Center. Fleece and weight gain data are compiled during the test, which usually starts in October and ends in late March or April.

Using electronic identification and smart feeders and making money through selection are among topics University of Wyoming Extension specialists are presenting at the Wyoming Wool Growers Association summer meeting in Laramie.

The association meets Tuesday, Aug. 7. Registration and agenda information is at the WWGA website

“It’s exciting to host our Wyoming sheep producers at their university to highlight the great work being done to strengthen lamb and wool industries in our state and region,” said Whit Stewart, extension sheep specialist. “When we have this kind of opportunity to host our industry organization and engage in interactive programming, great things result.”

Presentations by College of Agriculture and Natural Resources specialists are among those of state resource and animal experts.

Those attending will tour the university’s meat lab for demonstrations that include fresh meat packaging and food safety interventions, and then move to the Laramie Research and Extension Center for hands-on workshops. Workshops include making money through selection, modern lamb cuts from a commercial perspective and estimating the carrying capacity of rangeland.

Lexi Julian, president of the Collegiate Wool Growers Association at UW, will discuss developing young producers.

Variable irrigation, nitrogen effects on corn for silage described in UW Extension bulletin

            The effects of variable irrigation and nitrogen application rates on silage corn yield, and water use efficiency under sprinkler, sub-surface drip irrigation and on-surface drip irrigation systems are discussed in a new University of Wyoming Extension bulletin.

Research at the Powell Research and Extension Center found drip irrigation systems can help save as much as 50 percent on water and also provide high yields.

The free publication Different irrigation systems and nitrogen rates improve yield and water use efficiency of corn silage, B-1326, is available in pdf, HTML and ePub formats. Go to and click on Find a Publication. Type in the title or bulletin number.

The bulletin is among many free guides, courses and videos from UW Extension to help extend skills in ranching, irrigation, small acreage management, succession, legacy and estate planning and more. YouTube video series from UW Extension include “Barnyards and Backyards,” “From the Ground Up” and “Exploring the Nature of Wyoming.”

Extension bulletins offer enterprise budgets for southeast Wyoming crops

Enterprise budgets that show estimated costs for several southeast Wyoming crops are available in separate bulletins from the University of Wyoming Extension.

Agricultural economists in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources estimate the costs for land, labor, capital and field operations. The crop enterprise budgets and numbers are:

Conventional Alfalfa (established), B-1315-1

Conventional Irrigated Dry Edible Beans, B-1315-2

Conventional Irrigated Corn for Grain, B-1315-3

Irrigated Sugarbeet, B-1315-4

Conventional Dryland Winter Wheat/Fallow Rotation, B-1315-5

No-till Dryland Winter Wheat/Fallow Rotation, B-1315-6

Organic Dryland Winter Wheat/Fallow Rotation, B-1315-7

The free bulletins are available for viewing or downloading by going to and clicking on the Find a Publication link. Type in the title or number. The bulletins are available in pdf, HTML or ePub formats.

Farm tour showcases adding value to products

Extension specialist Cole Ehmke

University of Wyoming Extension is organizing a tour of Wheatland-area farms Wednesday, Aug. 1, so anyone interested can see how raw products are raised and sold to the end consumer.

Participants are asked to meet at 9 a.m. at the Chugwater Rest Area on I-25. The group will then travel to Baker Farms. Dennis and Terry Baker have been raising old and new varieties of wheat under USDA organic certification.  After harvest, some of the wheat is milled onsite for use in their own bakery, with some of the flour being used in their Prairie Pies.

“We’ll learn about their progression from large-scale commercial grains production to niche market producer,” said Cole Ehmke, extension ag entrepreneurship specialist. “Terry’s pies will be available at lunch.”

Eckhardt Farms is the second stop. Carol Eckhardt raised Shetland sheep for their fine fleeces, and now processes wool into yarn and then into knitted goods, said Ehmke. There will be a demonstration of her spinning, and those on the tour will learn about her flock and marketing.

“The final stop will be an unusual and highly productive high tunnel at Marker Farms,” said Ehmke. “The Markers have a 9-foot x 18-foot modified walipini (high tunnel set into the ground) used to produce vegetable and flower starts for themselves and for sale in the area. We’ll learn about the structure, how they use it and the things they’re using it for.”

Continue reading Farm tour showcases adding value to products

New bulletin shows how to calculate, apply Animal Unit Months

          How to estimate and calculate Animal Unit Months and Animal Unit Equivalents to help manage for sustainable grazing and maintaining federal grazing permits is explained in a new bulletin from the University of Wyoming Extension.

The information is in Animal Unit Month Concepts and Applications for Grazing Rangelands, B-1320. An AUM is the amount of air-dry forage a 1,000-pound cow and her un-weaned calf will consume (the “Animal Unit”) in one month. AUMs are frequently used to determine sustainable stocking rates for grazing pastures and rangelands in the West. AUMs can also be useful for managing private lands grazing because they link animal demand with forage supply.

The bulletin is available for free viewing and download by going to and clicking on the Find a Publication link and entering the bulletin title or number. The publication is available in pdf, HTML or ePub formats.