Tennessee field day to focus on forage, cattle

Putting your land to work as well as working the land will be the focus of the Making Forages Work Field Day. Sponsored by the University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station, the free public event will be held July 26 at the Middle Tennessee Research and Education Center.

The gate will open at 7:00 a.m. CDT, with registration and a tradeshow beginning at 7:30. Educational tours will begin at 8:30 and run continuously throughout the morning. A field demonstration of hay equipment from various manufacturers is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Company representatives will be on hand to answer questions.

The event features speakers from industry and state and federal agencies as well as experts from UT Extension and the UT College of Veterinary Medicine and College Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

Researchers, Extension agents and vendors will be on site to answer questions and greet participants.

This year’s educational tours are built around three “colleges” — a Cow College focusing on production management issues including identifying toxic weeds; a Grass Management College including a session on managing forage fertilizers; and a Forage College with topics that include net-wrapping large bales and managing warm season Bermudagrass.

A session on establishing switchgrass for biomass and biofuels production is expected to be particularly popular.

Dennis Onks, director of the research and education center, says topics presented at the event will provide producers with the basic information needed to grow successful forage crops this year and well into the future. “We will be offering timely information about dealing with high fertilization costs and evaluating forage options for your farmstead,” he said.

The center director also stressed the college sessions will address the important topic of animal behavior and how producers can move cattle safely and efficiently.

Lunch and snacks will be available for purchase on site from a local 4-H group.

The Middle Tennessee Research and Education Center is one of 10 research facilities in the statewide UT Agricultural Experiment Station system. It is noted as the home of the performance-tested bull program, which has been in operation since 1972.

The center is located on Hwy. 31, just minutes south of Nashville. Take exit 53 from I-65 and follow the signs to Columbia . The center is on the east side of Hwy. 31, across from the Saturn Plant.

For more information regarding the event visit the Web site http://middletennessee.tennessee.edu/ or contact the center at (931) 486-2129.

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