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SDSU Extension Co-hosting Forage Field Day

BROOKINGS, S.D. – South Dakota State University Extension, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, the Northern Plains Forage Association and I-29 Moo University will co-host a field day for forage producers.

Forage Field Day is a regional event that brings together experts, producers, and industry professionals to provide field tours, panel discussions and presentations on forage-related topics.

The 2024 Forage Field Day is from 9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 6 at the Haskell Ag Lab in Concord, Nebraska. Check-in begins at 8:45 a.m. Registration is required. To register, visit extension.sdstate.edu/events and search “forage”.

It is free for students and Northern Plains Forage Association members, or $30 for non-members. Reduced price registration is being offered through several forage grower and dairy groups in the region.

This year’s event kicks off with a listening session for an alfalfa revenue insurance program with AgriLogic Consulting and the National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance. The session gives producers and industry members an opportunity to learn about the product and provide input.

For cattle owners, Wisconsin dairy farmer Daniel Olson will speak on growing and using digestible forages in dairy rotations, and Shelby Gruss, Iowa State University assistant professor and Extension Forage Specialist, will talk about optimizing forage availability with cover crop grazing.

Other sessions will feature AgSpire, a sustainable agriculture consulting agency; alfalfa diseases and pests; a workshop to make a silage harvest plan; a panel discussion by event speakers; and a visit to cover crop plots with a presentation on summer annuals for forage and soil health.

Sara Bauder, SDSU Extension Forage Field Specialist, said the event’s goal is to provide hands-on and classroom experience evaluating forages and management practices that producers and industry professionals can use.

“The word forage encompasses so many different things and different crops,” Bauder said. “There’s always something new to look at.”

South Dakota is one of the top three forage-producing states in the nation, yielding more than 15,000 tons of alfalfa, silage and other hay in 2023. Nebraska ranks in the top 10, producing more than 10,000 tons in 2023. Bauder’s own forage research currently includes variety trials on forage sorghum, alfalfa and hay additives.

“We have a lot of high-quality private and commercial forage producers in this region,” Bauder said. “This is a unique event because it focuses on forages specifically.”

For more information on the event and reduced price registration, contact Sara Bauder, SDSU Extension Forage Field Specialist, at Sara.Bauder@sdstate.edu; or Ben Beckman, UNL Extension Educator, at bbeckman3@unl.edu.

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