McPherson, KS– Kansas ranch managers and livestock producers are invited to the Short Grass Prairie Grazing Basics and Research Tour, September 17, 2013 at the K-State 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. For producers who would like to have some early season grazing, but not annual cereal crop, the perennial cool-season grasses can fill that 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.

Because of the long drought that has been prevalent in the western and southwestern part of the state, many producers are interested in the effects of early weaning. Recent rains have provided some relief, but most areas of western Kansas are still well below average rainfall for this growing season, not to mention still coping with the deficits from the prior two growing seasons.

“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 more information, and to register, visit kansasgraziers.blogspot.com. For questions contact Mary Howell at kfu.mary@gmail.com or call 785-562-8726.

The Amazing Grazing Education 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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