How can forages be used to improve soil health?

The 2015 Great Lakes Forage and Grazing Conference on March 12 will discuss how using forages can build soil health.

Maintaining and building healthy soils has been one of the basic principles Michigan State University Extension has been promoting, especially in the last few years. The MSU Extension Forage Team and the Michigan Forage Council are jointly sponsoring the 2015 Great Lakes Forage and Grazing Conference and trade show to provide an educational opportunity for farmers, graziers, dairy and livestock producers, agribusinesses and governmental agencies to learn more about using forages to improve soil health. The conference occurs during ANR Week and will be held at the MSU Kellogg Conference Center on March 12, 2015.

The keynote speaker for the conference is Doug Peterson, Missouri Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) state soil health conservationist. His message will be “The Building Blocks of Grassland Soil Health.” He has been an NRCS employee for over 25 years and has been a district conservationist in both a grassland-based county in south Missouri and a large cropland county in north Missouri. He also operates a 350 cow-calf ranch. Currently, he is teaching NRCS staff and producers about soil health, how it impacts virtually all natural resource processes and what type of management it will take to effectively improve our soils health.

Other speakers include Michigan NRCS state resource conservationist Betsy Dierberger; MSU forage specialist Kim Cassida; MSU soil biologist Lisa Tiemann; MSU beef cattle and forage utilization specialist Jason Rowntree; MSU Extension grazing and field crop management educator Jerry Lindquist; Michigan’s Upper Peninsula livestock producer Ben and Denise Bartlett; Michigan’s Upper Peninsula dairy producer Bob Barrons; and MSU Extension forage educator Phil Kaatz.

To receive an early registration discount, register online or learn more about the conference, go to the 2015 Great Lakes Forage and Grazing Conference website.

For more information, contact MSU Extension’s Phil Kaatz at or 810-667-0341. 

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