Grazing conferences help producers improve forages

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Indiana livestock producers looking to improve their pastures and forages will have opportunities to learn from experts in the field at the Northern and Southern Indiana Grazing Conferences in February.

The Southern Indiana Grazing Conference is Feb. 1 at the Simon J. Graber Building, 9164 E. 875 N., Odon. The Northern Indiana Grazing Conference, sponsored in-part by Purdue Extension, takes place Feb. 3-4 at the Michiana Event Center, 7605 N. Indiana 9, Howe.

"There continues to be interest in utilizing improved grazing management systems in Indiana," said Keith Johnson, Purdue Extension forage specialist and speaker at the Northern Indiana Grazing Conference. "The forage conferences will provide ample opportunity for attendees to interact with one another and agribusiness vendors who have resources to help implement improved grazing systems."

The conferences will include presentations by agronomists, farmers and Extension experts. Both also will offer exhibits from agribusinesses.

Registration for the southern Indiana conference is $25 per person until Jan. 18, or $35 per person after Jan. 18. Walk-in registration is $40. For more information, visit: http://daviesscoswcd.org/main/page_sigc.html

Registration for the northern Indiana conference is $35 for one day for the first person from a farm. Additional attendees from the farm can register for $25 each. Two-day registration is $55 for the first person from each farm and $40 for each additional. More information is available at http://www.lagrangeswcd.org/_mgxroot/page_10776.html

"Livestock producers who carefully select forage species best for the soil resource they have on their farms, do not overgraze, supply needed nutrients for forage growth and pay as much attention to the well-being of their forage resources as they do their livestock can improve livestock productivity and reduce the amount of hay and silage fed to their livestock," Johnson said.

On Jan. 31, just before the grazing conferences, the Indiana Forage Council also will host its annual meeting and seminar at Gasthof Amish Village, 6747 E. Gasthof Village Road, Montgomery.

The annual meeting, for members and other interested participants, begins at 4:30 p.m. At 6 p.m., dinner will be served at no cost to Forage Council members or $5 for nonmembers. At 7 p.m., guest speakers Gary Zimmer of Midwestern Bio-Ag and Andrew Brown, 2011 Indiana Forage Council spokesperson, will talk about quality forage and personal observations of forage farming.

Attendance at the annual meeting is not a requirement for participation in the remainder of the evening. Participants should register by Jan. 27 with Lisa Green at 765-494-4783 or by email at lgreen06@purdue.edu



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