Forage Education and Demonstrations
, livestock field specialist
Enhanced forage acres continue to be an important part of soil conservation
and water quality efforts in southern Iowa. While many projects and education
programs have demonstrated the ability to establish grazing systems, Iowa grazing
and hay producing operations continue to look for increased production and improved
forage quality. Economic advantages for grazing and forage land uses must be
demonstrated to continue a forage base in CRP acreages with contract maturity
prior to 2006 and to compete with land uses with higher erosion rates.
Many Iowa Beef Center efforts and Iowa State University Extension (ISUE) activities
target forage producers and the forage industry. These include numerous pasture
walks coordinated with local producers and many winter forage planning meetings.
The Iowa Forage Conference co-sponsored with the Iowa Forage and Grasslands
Council is held each November in Des Moines. Steve Barnhart, Dan Morrical, Russ
Bredahl, and Joe Sellers serve on the IFGC board. In 2003, this event attracted
115 producers to hear a wide range of presentations, including sessions by Steve
Barnhart, John Lawrence, Dan Morrical, Jim Pease, Joe Sellers, and Dale Thoreson
of Iowa State University Extension.
In southern Iowa, ISUE continues to partner with Natural Resources Conservation
Service (NRCS) to develop forage educational programming in local soil and water
conservation districts. The Rathbun Land and Water Alliance special watershed
initiative will include eight forage demonstrations coordinated by a local team
led by Joe Sellers and Jim Secor. Local livestock and crop specialists continue
to plan educational programming to target EQIP participants.
The Rathbun Watershed Initiative will devote $42,000 to forage demonstrations
conducted on local farms and at the ISU McNay Research farm. Over three years,
18 local workshops and field days will be held to present targeted programming
to producers in the watershed. This funding will include partial cost recovery
for ISUE staff involved in the project.
Over 200 new EQIP plans relating to grazing are pending in Iowa. To help meet
the educational needs of this group of producers, the Iowa Beef Center staff
is working with Brian Peterson of NRCS to develop sequential educational programming.
This will start in early 2004 with local forage meetings. This effort will include
locally developed agendas and revenue generation opportunities ISUE staff.
Page last updated:
July 8, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, firstname.lastname@example.org