Sunday, October 13, 2013

Short Grass Prairie Grazing Basics and Research Tour and Workshop

Keith Harmoney (on left), KSRE Range Research Scientist, and John Jaeger, KSRE Beef Cattle Scientist, will serve as hosts for the September 17th Short Grass Prairie Grazing workshop at the K-State Western Kansas Agricultural Research Center in Hays.
Kansas ranch managers and livestock producers are invited to the Short Grass Prairie Grazing Basics and Research Tour, September 17, 2013 at the Western Kansas Agricultural Research Center, 1232 240th Ave. Hays, KS 67601.

Keith Harmoney, KSRE Range Research Scientist, and John Jaeger, KSRE Beef Cattle Scientist, will be hosting the tour, which will show producers ways they can cope with two of their greatest challenges: drought and input costs. Although recent rains have provided some relief, most areas of western Kansas are still well below average rainfall for this growing season and run deficits from the prior two growing seasons.
Topics to be covered include:
  • Perennial Cool-Season Grasses for Grazing in Western Kansas
  • Stockpiled Native Rangeland for Winter Grazing
  • Distillers Grains Supplementation for Late Season Stocker Production on Native Rangeland
  • Precipitation Effects on Animal Production and Forage Yield from Native Rangelands
  • Early Weaning of Calves as a Drought Management Strategy
  • Results of the Early Weaned Calf Performance Studies
  • Tour stockpiled forages & cattle at KSU Ag Research Center-Hays
For producers who would like to have some early season grazing, but not annual cereal crops, we will look at some perennial cool-season grasses that can fill this niche.

Grass production and persistence are two key traits to consider when making a decision on what grass to plant. For producers who want to feed less hay in the winter time, stockpiled native grass for winter grazing can help reduce winter feed costs. How to measure the stockpiled grass to estimate how many days of grazing are available from a winter pasture will be demonstrated.

The long drought, widespread in the western and southwestern part of the state, has many producers interested in the effects of early weaning. "This field day will help producers see what they might expect from implementing early weaning in their operation and how young calves respond to early removal from the cow. Early weaning is one of the most practical ways to lighten the pressure on native pastures that need to gain some vigor," said Keith Harmoney.

To learn about grazing in the Central Kansas Short Grass Prairie area, producers are invited meet at the auditorium. Registration starts at 8:30 A.M. with the Field Day running 9:00 a.m. thru mid afternoon. Cost for the day is $20.00 which includes lunch and handouts.

For questions contact Mary Howell at or call 785-562-8726.

We encourage you to visit the Amazing Grazing Event Calendar to learn more about this and the other seven grazing events scheduled for the next few months.

Hope to see you in Hays on September 17th!

The Amazing Grazing Project is a collaborative effort provided by the following sponsors: Kansas Graziers Association, Kansas Farmers Union, Kansas SARE, Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, with funding from North Central Risk Management Education Center and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

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