Alternative Forages are Focus of Sept. 6 Tour

Brown Midrib Sorghum, Forage Soybeans are highlights.

Brown Midrib Sorghum, forage soybeans and introduced mixed forage pastures will be highlighted at the Sept. 6 tour near Courtland.

The tour, which begins at 9:30 a.m. two miles south of Courtland on the Dale Strickler farm, will focus on alternative forages to improve livestock nutrition. Tour stops include fields containing mixes such as eastern gamagrass, alfalfa, chicory and bird's-foot trefoil.

Other forages on the tour include low-alkaloid reed canarygrass, brown midrib sorghum, and grazing corn. Fencing and developed water sources will also be included on the tour.

"Producers save money and livestock nutrition and performance is improved when livestock graze high quality forages," says Jana Beckman, coordinator of the Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops (KCSAAC) at K-State. "Dale has planted a variety of forages and forage mixes to extend grazing into the fall, winter and spring months."

Stickler used the River-Friendly Farms Whole Farm Planning Assessment tool while developing a conservation and management plan for his farm. River-Friendly Farms is a voluntary program on environmental farm planning, both developed and supported by Kansas State University Research and Extension

The second stop on the tour is the Jamestown Wildlife Area located just south of the Strickler farm. Rob Unruh, wildlife specialist with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks will discuss how he works with area farmers to make decisions that balance the farming operation while still enhancing wildlife. Unruh is the wildlife manager for the Jamestown Wildlife Area.

Following lunch at the Courtland Art Center, Strickler will lead a discussion he describes as "forage education 101." The presentation and discussion will include planning a forage program and methods to improve forage productivity.

Registration, which includes lunch, is $10, due by Sept. 4. To register, interested persons can contact Mary Howell at 785-363-7306 or e-mail [email protected].  

More information about the tour is available on the Web at www.kansassustainableag.org Information about the River Friendly Farm program is available at www.oznet.ksu.edu/library/h20ql2/S138.pdf.

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