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Schmidt: BBQ Boot Camp Coming to Rugby

By Staff | May 8, 2015

Mark your calendars and save the date as BBQ Boot Camp is coming to Rugby on June 30th!

BBQ Boot Camp is a collaborative effort of animal scientists in NDSU’s Animal Sciences Department and agents from the NDSU Extension Service. BBQ Boot Camps are held in various locations across ND during the summer.

Be sure to bring your appetite because you’ll be able to sample some tasty barbecued meat.

BBQ Boot Camp instructors will introduce participants to grilling methods, including smoking and cooking with gas and charcoal. Instructors will describe the merits of various meat cuts and explain how cooking temperatures, humidity and the composition of the meat from different animal species can affect the barbecuing process. Participants also will learn about nutrition, food safety and techniques such as using rubs, marinades and seasonings.

The camps wrap up with a full meal, including traditional barbecue side dishes. Participants will be able to fill their plates with a large variety of barbecued meat.

The cost to attend the BBQ Boot Camp will be $30 per person. Event registration will be done online, however registration is not yet open. We need attendance of 100 people to hold our spot on this year’s circuit so tell all your friends. More information and registration details will be coming soon.

Be sure to check out the 2015 NDSU BBQ Boot Camp webpage at www.ag.ndsu.edu/ansc/news-events/2014-bbq-boot-camps for more information and updated registration details as it becomes available.

Get Pasture Water Tested

This Year

Limited snowmelt and the lack of rainfall this spring means producers should have the water quality in their pastures tested before turning their livestock out to pasture. Reduced rainfall means less water from runoff into stock dams. Stock ponds at lower water levels indicate a possible increase in total dissolved solids in the water.

In spite of a lack of runoff from winter snowmelt or spring rains, most pastures have surface water from the past several years of a wet cycle. But without dilution from additional water, mineral content and salts may have started to concentrate from evaporation and ground salt migration.

Good cattle production and health depend on the livestock having an adequate and safe water supply. While quantity or shortage may be obvious, using a lab to analyze the water will help determine if the quality is acceptable.

A number of factors can be analyzed to determine if water is suitable for cattle. One of the primary factors is total dissolved solids (TDS), or all of the dissolved minerals in the water. Mature cattle probably can tolerate TDS up to 15,000 parts per million (ppm) for a limited time, but continued use of water with TDS that high can affect their health and cause death.

The National Academy of Sciences considers up to 3,000 ppm of TDS acceptable for cattle.

Sulfates are one of the dissolved solids that may affect livestock. Sulfates can cause a laxative effect, electrolyte imbalance and mineral tie-up. The acceptable limit is 500 ppm.

Nitrates are another dissolved solid of concern with cattle. Watersheds that have been fertilized heavily or are high in nitrogen might contribute to elevated nitrate concentrations and the potential for toxicity.

Salinity also could be a problem for cattle. With the lack of rain, ground water evaporation is causing white saline areas to expand this spring. This is an indicator that livestock water supplies may be increasing in salt concentration. High salt content may impact cattle’s water consumption.

Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) poisoning may be a concern as well if drought persists into the summer. Algae blooms commonly occur on small, stagnant ponds that have high nutrient levels and warm water.

The NDSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, North Dakota Department of Health and several feed testing labs will perform livestock water tests. Contact the labs for sample bottles and instructions on submitting samples.

The cost of a livestock water test for mineral chemistry ranges from $25 to $45.

Your local NDSU Extension office can help you get in touch with testing labs. Contact the Pierce County Extension office at 776-6234 ext. 5 or yolanda.schmidt@ndsu.edu for more information on either of this week’s topics.

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