The best time to plan for eliminating hay feeding on the cold days of winter is in the hot days of summer, says Jim Gerrish, University of Missouri forage research agronomist.

Research at Missouri’s Forage Systems Research Center (FSRC) in Linneus, Mo., has shown how to greatly reduce the number of days that baled hay must be fed to cattle during the winter. With fescue pastures stockpiled starting in August and winter annuals sown in late summer, the grazing season can often be extended through January. With stockpiling, grass grown in the fall is left standing in the pasture to be harvested by the cows. That reduces putting up hay. And, even better, it reduces hauling bales to the herd at the worst time of year.

New research is underway at FSRC on using winter annuals to extend the grazing season.

To help producers plan stockpiling strategies, Mr. Gerrish and co-workers will have a two-part workshop on winter grazing. The first session will be Aug. 4, at the MU Forage Systems Research Center. The follow-up session, to show how the system works, will be Dec. 8. Both workshops are on Saturdays, for producers who work off farm.

The August workshop is "Winter Grazing: Preparing the Pasture." Registration will be at 9:30 a.m. The $15 fee includes lunch, breaks, and handouts.

Dave Davis, superintendent at MU FSRC, will welcome the group at 10 a.m.

Mr. Gerrish will speak on "Why is winter grazing so important." Rob Kallenbach, MU extension forage agronomist from Columbia, will follow with "Choosing the right winter annual forage." In the afternoon, the group will move to the field to see a winter annual establishment demonstration. That will include no-till drilling and herbicide application.

Mr. Kallenbach also will talk about new research on establishing forage in standing corn in the fall. Gene Schmitz, regional outreach and extension livestock specialist at Princeton, Mo., will discuss "Utilizing stockpiled pastures." Chris Zumbrunnen, livestock specialist at Milan, Mo, will follow with "Supplementing stockpiled pastures."

The program adjourns at 5 p.m., after a roundtable discussion with all of the instructors.

Those who plan to attend are asked to pre-register before July 25. The fee is not due until the day of the workshop. Send e-mail to PfeiffE@missouri.edu or call FSRC at (660) 895-5121.

FSRC, a part of the MU Agricultural Experiment Station, is in Linn County at 21262 Genoa Rd., Linneus, MO 64653. It can be reached by turning left at the end of State Route FF, north of U.S. Highway 36, west of Brookfield, Mo.

University of Missouri Extension & Ag Information