Leveraging forages for livestock, soil health focus of Field Day
COLBY, Kan. — Producers and researchers will share experiences integrating grazed forages into dryland crop rotations at a field day in Bird City on Sept. 13. The program will begin at 9 a.m. at the American Legion with short presentations and then move to view fields and demonstrations. Lunch and a producer panel will take place back at the legion.
“In Northwest Kansas, producers are trying to understand the tradeoffs of water use that comes with keeping the soil covered with forages during typical fallow periods and subsequent crop yields,” said Sandy Johnson, K-State Extension beef specialist.
Can using forages for livestock improve or maintain the total operation’s bottom line while also improving soil health? That is the question being addressed by a Conservation Innovation Grant from Natural Resources Conservation Service that has K-State Research & Extension, Colorado State University and area producers working together to collect data and answer.
Meagan Schipanski, Colorado State University assistant professor of agroecology and lead investigator, will share what has been learned about the potential of grazing cover crops to balance economic and soil health goals.
A producer panel including Mike Neff, Matt Wilson and Nathan and Josh Sowers, all producer cooperators on the grant, will share lessons learned from managing cover crops for grazing. Field tours at Matt Wilson’s farm just north of Bird City will demonstrate different approaches to utilizing cover crops as forages and intercrops. Water infiltration demonstrations will be provided by NRCS.
K-State Research and Extension personnel will highlight key points of cover crop selection for grazing, considerations when using forages for livestock and share results of forage crops planted after wheat including the effects on soil moisture and farm economics from field trials near Garden City.
The field day is free and begins at 9 a.m. at the American Legion, 113 W 4th St, Bird City, KS. Lunch is provided by GreenCover Seed and the program will conclude by 1:30 p.m.
Please RSVP for lunch to the K-State Sunflower District — St. Francis Office at (785) 332-3171 or online at http://www.sunflower.ksu.edu/agronomy by Sept. 7.