Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

April 17, 2013

AgriLife Pasture Tour, Beef Workshop set April 29

From Staff Reports
Corsicana Daily Sun

FROST — No one can change the weather, but it is possible to change pasture management strategies to adapt to drought and uncertainty, said Logan Lair, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for Navarro County.

To offer agricultural producers alternative management strategies, AgriLife Extension in Navarro and Hill counties is offering the Spring Beef Workshop and Pasture Tour on April 29 in Frost.

Though greatly improved from last year, area pastures have yet to fully recover from years of drought or drought-like conditions, Lair said.

“There are a number of options to consider, even re-introducing native grasses, but the goal is better profitability — to get more forage from fewer inputs, ” he said.

Registration for the program is $10 and begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Frost Baptist Church, 101 E. Stroud St. Lair asked those planning to attend to RSVP by April 22 to facilitate meal planning. Contact Lair at 903-654-3075 or jllair@ag.tamu.edu.

The morning program will be held indoors at the church. First up will be Dr. Jason Banta, AgriLife Extension beef specialist, Overton, who will present “Basic Cattle Working and Health Considerations.” He will be followed by Dr. Larry Redmon, AgriLife Extension state forage specialist, College Station, whose topic will be “Pasture Recovery Following Drought: Considerations for the Future.”

Three continuing education units for Texas Department of Agriculture private pesticide license holders will be offered – one in integrated pest management and two in the general category.

There will be 2.5 Beef Quality Assurance credits offered as well.

Lunch will be provided by the Texas Land Bank of Corsicana and Hillsboro. After lunch, three pasture sites under different management practices will be toured.

The theme of all the tour stops will be similar: better grazing management in the fall, said Matt Machacek, grazing land specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture – National Resource Conservation Service, Corsicana, who will conduct the tours.

“The fall is a critical period, because if we have a stressed plant with short roots and few growth points in the fall, we know that we will have a slow start in the spring,” Machacek said. “We will look at areas that had adequate forage residue going into the fall, and we will highlight the responses that we are seeing this spring. We will also explain how these ranchers made this possible by their grazing management.”

The last tour will end about 3:30 to 4 p.m., Lair said.

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