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May 22, 2007

Program will help growers learn how to better manage pastures

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University Pasture Walk at Waukaru Farm in Rensselaer, Ind., will cover management plans from creation to implementation to help improve production efficiency.

Barry and Toby Jordan, growers of registered short horn cattle, will host the Pasture Walk from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (EST) June 12. The hands-on program is free and open to the public.

The Waukaru Farm recently made improvements to its pasture management plan by implementing a perennial pasture system. The farm also utilizes corn residues to help fulfill grazing needs.

Participants will interact with forage experts and have the opportunity to ask questions specific to their operation, said Bryan Overstreet, Purdue Extension educator and program coordinator.

Speakers include Keith Johnson, Purdue Extension forage specialist, and Susannah Hinds of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources and Conservation Services in Indiana. Hinds will give information about available funds to help growers make improvements on their farm.

Johnson will evaluate the well-being of the pasture and take inventory of existing resources, including forages.

"We will look at the existing fence, water supply, weed issues, soil type and fertility, as well as take into account the goals of the farm," Johnson said. "We will also discuss means to further enhance the goals of the operation."

Growers can take advantage of corn fields after harvest for grazing purposes, Johnson said.

"The quality of corn residue is not high, but neither are the nutritional needs of cows that have just weaned calves," he said.

The Pasture Walk is sponsored by Purdue Extension, Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Newton County Soil and Water Conservation District.

The Waukaru Farm is located at 7577 S. 210 E., Rensselaer, Ind. For questions and more information, contact Overstreet at (219) 866-5741.

Writer: Julie Douglas, (765) 496-1050, douglajk@purdue.edu

Sources: Bryan Overstreet, (219) 866-5741, boverstreet@purdue.edu

Keith Johnson, (765) 494-4800, johnsonk@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes, forbes@purdue.edu
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