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Schmidt: Net wrap should be removed from bales

By Staff | Nov 14, 2014

Cattlemen, do you use net wrap on your bales? If so you may want to check out a video that our Livestock Animal Health Program Planning Team developed while we were at NDSU Communication Camp in Fargo last week. The video outlines why producers should remove the net wrap before processing and/or feeding net wrapped hay. You can find the video by going to youtube.com and typing “remove net wrap” into the website’s search bar and the NDSU Extension Service video will pop up. If you have trouble let me know and I can email you a link to the video.

Cattle may eat the net wrap if it’s not removed. Eating excessive amounts of net wrap can result in livestock illness and deaths.

NDSU Animal Sciences Department researchers conducted a study on several hay bale-binding materials and found that the three types of net wrapping and the biodegradable twine they evaluated had not disappeared 14 days after cattle ate hay with those wrappings. However, more than 70 percent of the sisal twine they evaluated did disappear during that 14-day period.

“Because none of the plastic products disappeared during our study interval, the potential exists for these products to build up in the rumen through time and possibly lead to associated complications,” said NDSU Extension Service beef cattle specialist Carl Dahlen, one of the researchers. “Whether complications occur as a result of net wrap consumed likely is based on the volume of the product consumed and the ability of the plastic particles to move through the digestive tract.”

For example, a recent case submitted to the NDSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory was diagnosed as acute tympany (bloat) associated with excessive net wrap ingestions.

In a case from South Dakota, a month-old calf was found with a large net wrap obstruction. The calf was seen chewing on baling twine, then later regurgitating milk after nursing. The calf was taken to Iowa State University. An exam with a scope revealed the obstruction in the calf’s esophagus was a section of net wrap and food particles. “Removing net wrap can be difficult and time-consuming, but with bred heifers selling for $3,200 and 500-pound steers selling for $1,500, removing net wrap before processing and feeding forages is worth the effort,” said Lisa Pederson, NDSU Extension Service beef quality assurance specialist. For more information, contact Pederson at lisa.pederson@ndsu.edu or at 328-9718, or visit the “2014 North Dakota Beef Report” at ag.ndsu.edu/cattledocs/research-reports.

Upcoming Producer


November 25, 1:30 p.m. – A Farm Bill Informational Meeting will be held at Dakota Farms in Rugby to discuss provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2014, more commonly known as the farm bill, and the decisions that producers and landowners will need to make to participate in the farm program. The Farm Service Agency and NDSU Extension Service in Pierce County are partnering to hold this meeting. This meeting is free and open to the public.

December 2, 9 a.m. to noon – The “Income Tax Management for Ag Producers” program provides an excellent opportunity for agricultural producers and tax preparers to learn and ask questions about tax management alternatives while there is still time to implement year-end tax management decisions. It will be presented to 11 sites of the North Dakota Interactive Video Network (IVN) and is a cooperative effort between the NDSU Extension Service and the Internal Revenue Service. Cost is $15. Pre-registration is required. Attendance is limited. Contact your local county NDSU Extension Service office for registration forms.

Area locations include: Bottineau County Courthouse, district court room; Devils Lake – N.D. School for the Deaf, North College Drive, lower level IVN room; Minot – North Central Research Extension Center, 5400 Hwy 83 S.

Topics include federal income tax update, net investment income surtax and grouping, repair expense rules and reporting, transition planning, health insurance premium tax credits, shared responsibility payments, impact of Affordable Care Act on HRAs and HSAs, income deferral and prepaids and tax planning ideas for 2014 and beyond.

December 12, 3 p.m. – The NDSU Extension Service offices in Pierce and McHenry Counties will co-host the “Winter Cattlemen’s Update” in Rugby at Dakota Farms. Topics slated for this event include: Calf marketing tips, evaluating cow nutritional status, cattle budgets and opportunities, winter feeding strategies, feed and forage concerns. For planning purposes RSVPs are requested by Dec. 5 by calling 776-6234 ext. 5.

December 16, 9 a.m. – The NDSU Extension Service in Pierce County will host the “Putting the Profit Back in Your Crop” series at Dakota Farms. This annual meeting series, laid out by NDSU Extension Service county agents within the northwest district, is designed to cover a variety of agronomic, management and market issues that could be of concern to producers in the 2015 growing season. This year’s topics include: Market outlook and transportation challenges, soil fertility updates and soil myths bebunked, maximum economic yield is the most always the best?, and a county extension update by the local county agent. There is no cost to attend.

For more information on any of this week’s topics contact Yolanda Schmidt, NDSU Extension Service Pierce County Agent at 776-6234 ext. 5 or yolanda.schmidt@ndsu.edu.

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