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Extension > Minnesota Crop News > 2009 MN Forage Days February 9-13

2009 MN Forage Days February 9-13

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Paul Peterson, Neil Broadwater, Lisa Behnken, Doug Holen, Dan Martens, Krishona Martinson, and Russ Mathison, University of Minnesota; and Beth Nelson and Jenna Knoblauch, Midwest Forage Association

Harvesting results for a profitable future is the theme for the 2009 Minnesota Forage Days to be held at five locations in Minnesota the week of February 9.  The program is sponsored by University of Minnesota Extension and the Midwest Forage Association (MFA).  Dates and locations are:

  • Feb. 9, SWROC at Lamberton
  • Feb. 10, Floodwood Savannah Portage Restaurant
  • Feb. 11, Detroit Lakes ClubHouse Hotel (formerly Holiday Inn)
  • Feb. 12, Royalton American Legion
  • Feb. 13, Rochester UCR Heintz Center.

Dr. Jerry Cherney, Extension Forage Agronomist and E.V. Baker Professor of Agriculture at Cornell University, is the featured speaker at the Feb. 10-13 meetings. A UMN graduate, Dr. Cherney will share his extensive research and practical experience growing and feeding grass and alfalfa-grass silage to dairy cows. Improved management for high quality, advances in equipment, and innovations related to bale silage and other storage options have made grass silage a more attractive option for dairy farmers. Grasses also have nutrient/manure management benefits. Cherney’s research has shown that grass silage can produce as much milk per cow as alfalfa silage when rations are balanced. Over 85% of the alfalfa acreage in New York is sown with perennial grasses; Cherney maintains that alfalfa/grass mixtures should lead to a better balance of ration ingredients to maximize total intake.

UMN Extension Soil Scientist Dr. Dan Kaiser will address economic fertilization strategies for perennial forages in light of high fertilizer prices at Floodwood, Detroit Lakes, and Rochester. UMN Extension’s new Corn Agronomist Dr. Jeff Coulter will present guidelines on agronomy practices for optimizing corn silage production at Royalton and Rochester.

The Lamberton Forage Day is an afternoon-only program with an alfalfa production focus. Extension Educator Doug Holen, SWROC Extension IPM Specialist Bruce Potter, and Extension Forage Specialist Dr. Paul Peterson will discuss recognizing and addressing insect problems, weed and disease management, forage establishment methods and management, and harvest management strategies.

The Floodwood program will include a research update on windrow grazing and turnips presented by NCROC Agronomist Russ Mathison. In addition, a MNDOT representative will be on hand to present the latest guidelines on transporting agricultural products.

The Detroit Lakes meeting will include regional forage research updates provided by Extension Educators Doug Holen and Vince Crary. In addition, Extension Educator Dr. Phil Glogoza will discuss forage pest identification and management, and Paul Peterson will address how to get the most from your establishment-year forages.

The Royalton meeting will include a presentation on forage options for the dairy herd by UMN’s new Dairy Extension Specialist Dr. Noah Litherland. Sartell, MN producer John Traut will join Drs. Litherland and Coulter to discuss on-farm corn-silage testing results. Extension Educator Dan Martens will share 2008 scissors-cut program experiences and provide a hay market update. USDA-ARS Soil Scientist Dr. Michael Russelle will briefly discuss saving potassium dollars for last year alfalfa and nitrogen credit to corn. Paul Peterson will briefly discuss some new on-farm trials with alfalfa/grass mixtures, Kura clover, and birdsfoot trefoil.

At the Rochester meeting, Dr. Cherney will also share information on the exciting potential of grasses for bio-heat on farms; including the agronomics, manure/nutrient management, and options for heating. Also at Rochester, regional research trial updates will be presented by Extension Educators Lisa Behnken and Neil Broadwater. UMN’s Extension Equine Specialist Dr. Krishona Martinson will discuss horse hay trends and marketing strategies.

The Midwest Forage Association’s Local Council Director Jenna Knoblauch will be at all five meetings to provide an update on MFA’s most successful year yet on behalf of forage producers.

University of Minnesota Extension and MFA are grateful to platinum sponsor DHIA Laboratories; and gold sponsors BASF, Cargill, Croplan Genetics, Dairyland Seed, Kemin AgriFoods North America, Monsanta, NK Brand Alfalfa, and Pioneer Hi-Bred International for their generous support of the 2009 MN Forage Days.

Pre-registration is encouraged by Feb. 4 for all sites and will be rewarded with a discount (except Floodwood). Registration for the Lamberton meeting Feb. 9 opens at 12:30 PM, and the program runs from 12:50 to 4:15 PM. MFA members pay $10 in advance and $15 on site. Non-MFA members pay $20 in advance and $25 on-site.

The Feb. 10-13 meetings open with registration at 9:30 AM with presentations from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. For the Feb. 11-13 meetings, registration for 2009 MFA members is $15 in advance, and $20 on-site. Non-MFA members pay $25 in advance or $30 on-site. Registration for the Floodwood meeting Feb. 10 is $15 for all attendees.

Detailed meeting brochures and registration forms can be found on-line at www.extension.umn.edu/forages and www.midwestforage.org. Registration includes attendance, proceedings, several publications and handouts, refreshments, and lunch (except Lamberton). Membership in MFA is encouraged and still costs only $50/year.

Please register via MFA staff at 651-484-3888 or midwestforage@comcast.net.

If you have questions, please contact:

  • Lamberton Forage Day - Feb. 9:
    David Shelgren
    Email: shelgren@charter.net
    Phone: 507-236-2227

  • Floodwood Forage Day - Feb. 10:
    Russ Mathison
    Email: mathison@umn.edu
    Phone: 218-327-4532

  • Detroit Lakes Forage Day - Feb. 11:
    Doug Holen
    Email: holen009@umn.edu
    Phone: 218-998-5787

  • Royalton Forage Day - Feb. 12:
    Dan Martens
    Email: dan.martens@co.benton.mn.us,
    Phone: 800-964-4929

  • Rochester Forage Day - Feb. 13:
    Lisa Behnken
    Email: lbehnken@umn.edu
    Phone: 888-241-4536

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