Summer Grasses for Grazing: Demonstration Tours
Many of the livestock operations managed in Catawba County depend on pasture and forages for growth and profitability. There are a number of challenges that pasture management presents to farmers from poisonous weeds that overgrow nutritious grass to fungal associations with certain grasses that lower animal productivity. One of the goals of the Catawba County Cooperative Extension Service Livestock program is to help producers improve their business profitability through better management practices of pastures and reduced costs in supplemental hay.
A number of grass demonstration sites planted in Catawba and Lincoln County are doing very well this summer. If you are interested in an afternoon or evening tour of grasses that grow best throughout the summer for all grazing animals, put Tuesday, August 22 on your calendar. Free tours, starting in Catawba County and ending in Lincoln County, are planned for 1 PM and 5:30 PM. We will look at the effect of grazing cattle in small groups vs grazing cattle in a large group for a short period of time. We will see how killing the grass vs mowing it short affects the planting of summer annuals. We will observe how using fertilizer vs not using fertilizer affects 12 different varieties in this well-watered summer. The demonstration will also show the effects of weed growth in varieties that did not start out well or where seeds were planted deeper than recommended.
Johnny Rogers, NCSU Amazing Grazing Program Leader, will lead the discussion at each stop. Our last stop will be at a farm near Lincolnton that has integrated the use of warm-season annual grasses into their farming practices, allowing them to reduce hay feeding to only one month out of a normal year. Livestock then graze in pastures the other 11 months.
2 hours of pesticide license credits (N, D, O, or X credits) are available for attendance of either of the tours.
We will start at the Newton Agriculture Resource Center, 1175 South Brady Ave at 1 PM and again at 5:30 PM. Transportation for the tour is available or you may drive individually to the sites. For details, call your county agriculture extension offices either in Newton (828-465-8240) or Lincolnton (704-736-8461). Or call your Livestock Extension Agent for Catawba and Lincoln – Glenn Detweiler 405-219-1902