2019 Great Lakes Forage & Grazing Conference to focus on mixing forages for sustainability

The March 5 conference will feature keynote speaker Ray Smith, University of Kentucky, and sessions on new and innovative ideas and solutions to challenges in forages and grazing crops.

Tractor in hay field

Many forage producers have recently begun adding reduced lignin alfalfa to their mix of forages for livestock feeding systems. The advantages of the new alfalfas are increased forage quality, a wider harvest window and a potential increase in feeding value. This may ultimately lead to improved sustainability of their forage systems. For producers that have a mixed forage system of both alfalfa and grass, what are the consequences of mixing the new alfalfas with grass? To help answer this question, Ray Smith, forage extension specialist at the University of Kentucky, will address this question in his keynote address, “Mixing Forages for Sustainability,” at the 2019 Great Lakes Forage & Grazing Conference on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, at AgroLiquid Fertilizer, 3055 W. M-21, St. Johns, MI 48879.

The conference also features the Michigan Forage Spokesperson Contest. The contest is a showcase of Michigan forage producers vying for the opportunity to represent Michigan at the 2020 American Forage and Grazing Conference held in Greenville, South Carolina. Additional sessions will feature a summary of the research projects for Michigan Forage Council mini-grant winners; Kim Cassida, Michigan State University forage specialist, presenting the results of her forage research; Smith addressing “Optimizing Pasture Grass Productivity”; and a producer and industry panel discussion on “Hay Drying Techniques.”

The conference and forage tradeshow is open to all forage producers, farmers, graziers, custom forage harvesters, livestock owners of all types, veterans and forage enthusiasts. The event is a partnership between Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Forage Council and North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE).

Registration is 9–9:45 a.m. and the program ends at 4 p.m. In 2019, the Michigan Forage Council will include, with paid registration for non-members, a one-year membership into the Michigan Forage Council. Membership benefits include forage magazines, newsletters and educational discounts for programs.

The cost of the event during early enrollment is $45 for Michigan Forage Council members, $60 for non-Michigan Forage Council members and $20 for students. Refreshments and lunch are included with registration. Early registration deadline is Friday, March 1. All registrations after March 1 will be at the door and an addition $10.

To register online or pay by credit card, go to: 2019 Great Lakes Forage & Grazing Conference. For those without internet or email who want to register, please contact Tina House at 810-667-0341.

For more information, contact Phil Kaatz at 810-667-0341 or kaatz@msu.edu, Kim Cassida at cassida@msu.edu, or Jerry Lindquist at 231-912-0103 or lindquis@msu.edu.

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