“Making a Difference on the Farm with Improved Grazing Systems” was a one and a half day long program that educated forage-livestock producers and professional personnel that interact with producers about important concepts needed to make improvements in grazing systems. Information provided had application to all livestock types that utilize pasture. Much pastureland in Indiana is not meeting its full potential because forages are overgrazed, soil fertility is low, and improved forages are not being utilized. A properly implemented grazing system can reduce the amount of stored feed (hay and silage) fed and can improve the persistence of perennial forage species. Use of improved grazing systems improves the profitability of the farm because stocking rate could increase, but more importantly, livestock graze more days each year, which is less expensive than supplying harvested feed.
The “Making a Difference on the Farm with Improved Grazing Systems” program was held at the Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center on June 4 and 5, 2021 and in the Rossville/Cutler Indiana area on June 11 and 12, 2021.
Topics discussed at the program included forage growth and development, identifying different forages, how to use the Web Soil Survey, soil fertility, fencing and watering systems, determining proper stocking rate, nutritional needs of grazing livestock, potential plant-related toxicities, and extending the grazing season with stockpiling, use of corn residues and double crop forages. Much of the education was done with interactive hands-on activities, group discussion, demonstration of new fencing and water distribution technologies, and pasture tours. Enjoy reviewing the pictures!
Stephanie Newcomer, a student at Northwood High School, submitted an essay to the 2022 American Forage and Grassland Councils “National Youth in Forage Management Essay Competition”. The competition provides an opportunity for youth to write about grazing management or any other subject matter related to forage management. Stephanie has a strong interest in dairy cattle nutrition. Read Stephanie’s submission below!
Swapping Your Sileage – Stephanie Newcomer (full essay)
Several Indiana Forage Council members came to the Indiana State Fair to provide volunteer work at the Indiana Beef Cattle Association’s food tent. It was a good opportunity to network with one another as they made sandwiches for fairgoers. Vice President Sam Stratton was so strong after eating his beef sandwich, that his hand went completely through the sack receiving a sandwich that he had made!
Keith Johnson (left) and Miles Kuhn (right) present Kevin Smith with the 2021 Maurice E. Heath Award. Kevin was recognized for being an outstanding mentor to Purdue University students that have prepared feature articles for the Indiana Forage Council’s newsletter. Several of Kevin’s colleagues and students were part of the surprise presentation at his Purdue University classroom.
The Purdue University Forage Bowl team looks forward to competing against other universities at the Wichita, Kansas based American Forage and Grassland Conference in early January 2022.The four-member Purdue University team of forage enthusiasts (left-to-right) Sarah Jones, Jessica Peterson, Emily Nealy, and Colleen Jones meet weekly to prepare for the “Forage Bowl Competition” with their coach Dr. Keith Johnson, Purdue Professor of Agronomy and Forage Extension Specialist. This interaction with one another is a form of learning outside of the traditional classroom that will reinforce what has been learned in the classroom, introduce new topics for learning, and create life-long memories. The Indiana Forage Council has purchased Purdue shirts for the team to wear at the competition. Go Boilers!