As drought intensifies once again in Arkansas, hanging on to water is a pressing issue, and one that will be addressed Nov. 5 at the Arkansas Forage and Grassland Council’s Fall Forage Conference.

“Cattle producers who had such a rough time during the 2011-12 drought are wondering if 2015 is déjà vu and will be looking to hang on to as much moisture as possible in their pastures,” said John Jennings, extension forage specialist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “Knowing what kind of pasture will hold the most rain is among the topics we’ll be discussing.”

The conference will be held in the education building of the Woodland Heights Baptist Church in Conway. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. and the program begins at 9 a.m. The registration is $45 per person, $60 per couple, and $10 for students and includes lunch, conference materials, and membership in the Arkansas Forage and Grassland Council and American Forage and Grassland Council. Registration can be paid at the door by cash, credit or debit card, or check.

Commercial exhibits and booths will be set up for attendees to see the latest forage management products.

This year’s program includes:

  • Jim Russell, Iowa State University professor, who will talk about his grazing research at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture on soil health and water quality.
  • Dennis Hancock, University of Georgia state forage specialist, will talk about his work on which forages produce the best grass-fed beef and recent studies on alternatives to ammonium nitrate fertilizer.
  • Other topics include how a local producer grazes nearly year-round, which pastures hold the most rain, new ways to control feral hogs, new insect pests of forages in Arkansas, and new work on liquid fertilizer effects on forage growth.

Registration and directions

Jennings said registration prior to the event is encouraged to help with conference planning, but is not required for attendance. For more information about the conference or to register, call Linda McCargo at 501-671-2171.

The Woodland Heights Education building is located at 4215 Prince Street at the corner of Prince and Hogan streets in Conway. To reach the Education Building, take I-40 to Conway; Take the Dave Ward Exit (Exit 129) and go west on Dave Ward Drive to Hogan Lane (about 4 miles). Turn right (north) onto Hogan and go to Prince Street. Woodland Heights Baptist Church is at that corner on the left. 

For more information about forages, contact your county extension office or visit www.uaex.edu.