BATESVILLE – Ranchers and livestock producers will have the opportunity to learn which forages will give them the most bang for their buck in the fall at the 2018 Arkansas Forage and Grassland Council Conference and Tour, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 2.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the conference starts at 9 a.m. at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Livestock and Forestry Research Station near Batesville.
Pre-registration is encouraged to help with conference and lunch planning. Anyone wanting to improve their forage system should attend this conference and tour, according to a news release.
Tour participants will have the chance to visit more than nine acres of no-till planted demonstration plots. Attendees will see how to prepare a field, the best methods for planting and different options for fall forages.
“Some of the plots have already grown over 3 feet tall as of early October, and are likely not finished,” John Jennings, Professor of Forage for the Division of Agriculture, said. “That’s an amazing amount of forage to use for the fall grazing season.”
Researchers from the Division of Agriculture’s Animal Science Department will share results of a study on farm-finished beef, in which steers in a forage-based system were found to finish cheaper; the study also found that the number of animals in the study that were graded “choice” compared favorably with feedlot rates.
“Cover crops grown on row crop fields offer soil erosion control, but using them as a grazing crop during that time gives another income source,” Jennings said. “We’ll be sharing the experiences with local producers on grazing cover crop mixes, animal gains and their suggestions for improving on this practice.
The conference will also address the emergence of the many toxic pasture weeds, due largely to the erratic weather patterns.
“Calls have been rolling in to county offices, with growers needing to know which weeds are toxic, are they toxic in hay, and other questions,” Jennings said. “At the conference, producers can test their skills at identifying toxic versus nontoxic pasture plants.”
Commercial exhibits and booths will be set up for attendees to see the latest forage management products, and other new forage results will be discussed and how producers can use the information to improve their forage systems.
Registration may be paid at the door by cash, credit or debit card, or check. The conference fee is $45 per person, $60 per couple, and $10 for students.
For more information about the conference or to pre-register, call Linda McCargo at 501-671-2171. The Batesville Livestock and Forestry Research Station is located at 70 Experiment Station Dr, Batesville, AR 72501; phone 870-793-7432.
To learn about forage management in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.edu.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
— Ryan McGeeney is with the U of A System Division of Agriculture.